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The Holocaust (proper noun): The systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators
holocaust (noun): Greek word meaning “sacrifice by fire”
genocide (noun): The crime of destroying a group of people because of their ethnic, national, racial, or religious identity
Nazi target groups Ethnicities: Jews & Gypsies (Roma) Nationalities: Slavs (Poles & Russians) “Degenerates”: homosexuals, mentally & physically disabled Political rivals: communists & socialists Religions: Jehovah Witnesses & Jews Asocials: Anybody else who opposed the Nazis
Eugenics Eugenicists believed that people should be bred as farmers breed animals: deliberately weeding out “inferior” traits through genetic selection.
Bizarre Parlor Talk? Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for extensive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune.
While Hitler's race hatred sprung from his own mind, the intellectual outlines of the eugenics Hitler adopted in 1924 in other words the Nazis belief that they could create a “a master race” came from the US Eugenics movement.
Racial Purity In 1933, there were few people of African or Asian ancestry living in Germany. There were, however, 500, 000 Jews who seemed to threaten “racial purity”.
Aryan race The Nazis believed that people of Northern European ancestry – especially those with blue eyes and blonde hair – were superior to all other people, including people of African, Asian, and Middle-Eastern ancestry.
All were said by Hitler… “The great masses of the people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than a small one” “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think” The victor will never be asked if he told the truth” “ I believe today I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am doing the Lord’s work”
The First Solution to the Jewish Question 1933 -1938
Before the war started Hitler accused Jews: (1)of controlling Germany (2)of dragging out WWI (3)of losing WWI (4)of creating the inflation and depression
Hitler’s first moves were to “free” Jews from German life by (1) stripping them of their German citizenship (2) using harsh discrimination laws to pressure them to leave the country (3) finally expelling them from Germany
Lost Citizenship Being denied citizenship of the country where you reside often means no rights, no protections, and no recourse for the redress of grievances Simple things like opening a bank account, getting a driver’s license, attending school—becomes a risky and humiliating process fraught with unpredictable dangers and the threat of harassment, arrest, and often deportation
Nuremberg Race Laws, 1935 Also called the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor Announced at the annual Nazi party rally held in Nuremberg These new laws institutionalized racial theories prevalent in Nazi ideology The laws excluded German Jews from Reich citizenship and prohibited them from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of "German or related blood. “
Categories Full Jews: They had at least three Jewish grandparents and practiced Judaism. First Class Mischlinge; otherwise known as half Jewish: They did not practice Judaism, did not have a Jewish spouse and had two Jewish grandparents. Second Class Mischlinge; otherwise known as one-quarter Jewish: They also did not practice Judaism and had one Jewish grandparent.
Chance of Survival The Jews that were “Full Jews” and “First Class Mischlinge” were killed in big numbers. The ones that were “Second Class Mischlinge” had a higher chance of surviving as long as they didn’t get any attention towards them.
Reichstag Fire 1933 Nazis needed a crisis in order to pass a law necessary to “restore order” The Reichstag building, seat of the German government, was burned causing panic and outrage “Communist plot to take over Germany” An emergency act was passed giving Hitler complete authority
Decree Civil Liberties protected by the Weimar Constitution were permanently suspended Writ of habeas corpus Right to assembly Freedom of speech Freedom of the press Restraints on police investigations
Weimer Republic Hitler managed to tear down the German Democratic Republic legally and end democracy Ensured a complete Nazi takeover of Germany By November, 1938, the Nazi attack on the Jews changed and became more violent
Catalyst Ernst von Rath, 3 rd secretary in the German Embassy in Paris, was shot and mortally wounded by Herschel Grynszpan to avenge the brutal abduction of his Polish Jewish parents in Germany Rath died on November 9, triggering Kristallnacht
Pogrom Organized violent attack on a religious group Usually associated with attacks on Russian Jews in the late 19 th early 20 th Centuries
Opportunity “It is now time to rise in bloody vengeance against the Jews” The Gestapo launched Kristallnacht on 11 th November 1938
For the next 24 hours Nazi Stormtroopers, SS, and Hitler Youth beat and murdered Jews, broke into and wrecked Jewish homes, brutalized Jewish women and children, destroyed 265 synagogues, looted 7, 500 Jewish businesses, smashed Jewish cemeteries, hospitals and schools.
30, 000 Jewish men and boys were sent to concentration camps.
Some say it was the day the Holocaust began. .
After Kristallnacht emigration escalated
The St. Louis
May, 1939 By 1939, half of Germany’s 525, 000 Jews had emigrated to escape Nazi persecution 938 passengers on the German transatlantic liner St. Louis sailed from Hamburg, Germany, for Havana, Cuba to await entrance into the US
Why? As the boat Joseph Goebbels had approached Havana, decided to use the S. S. the Cuban government St. Louis and her declared the visas passengers in a master invalid and refused propaganda plan. entry to the passengers. Agents were sent ahead to Havana to instigate.
Nazi propaganda fabricated and hyped the Jewish passengers' criminal nature - making them seem dangerous and undesirable. The agents within Cuba stirred anti-Semitism and organized protests. The Jewish refugees entering Cuba were seen as a threat and denied entrance.
Refugees aboard the SS St. . Louis wait to hear whether Cuba will grant them entry. Off the coast of Havana, Cuba, June 3, 1939 A view of the S. S. St. Louis surrounded by smaller vessels in the port of Havana
The US government refused to permit the passengers to enter as well and the ship sailed back to Europe.
Great Britain took 288 passengers Netherlands admitted 181 Belgium took 214 France took 224 Only 278 of the 619 that landed on Continental Europe survived the war
The Second Solution to the Jewish Question 1939 -1940
Trapped In 1939, Germany invaded Poland Much larger population of 3 million Jews In 1941, Germany invaded Russia which had a population of 5 million Jews
Round up and Relocate Order given to move all Jews eastward to Central Poland Area called Government General Temporary solution Ghettos were set up in cities with access to major railway arteries A deliberate starvation policy and no medical help was to be utilized
Why? Control Isolate Jews from the non-Jewish population To stop the Jews, viewed by the Nazis as an inferior race, from mixing with and degrading the superior Aryan race
Ghettos in Nazi-occupied Poland Closed off by walls, barbed-wire fences, or gates Extremely crowded and unsanitary Starvation, chronic food and fuel shortages, and severe winter weather Repeated epidemics added to an already high mortality rate
Children Dying of Starvation in the Warsaw Ghetto
Deportation , 1942 Jewish occupants sent to forced-labor and extermination camps
What tactics did the Nazis use to get the Jews to leave the Ghettos? Deception New arrivals given postcards to send to their friends ‘resettlement areas’ in the East Jews had to purchase their own train tickets They were told to bring the tools of their trade and pots and pans Tactics Terror The SS publicly shot people for smuggling food or for any act of resistance Starvation The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were only fed a 1000 calories a day A Human being needs 2400 calories a day to maintain their weight Hungry people are easier to control
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Mordechai Anielewicz Jews are found in a bunker during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in May 1943
Einsatzgruppen Specially trained SS units sent into German occupied territory (3, 000 men sent - Baltic States, Soviet Union, Hungary, Romania, Italy) 1 million Jews killed (33, 033 kills each- averaged 90 murders per day for one year) Victims were taken to deserted areas where they were made to dig their own graves and shot When the SS ran out of bullets they sometimes killed their victims using flame throwers
Babi Yar September 29 -30, 1941 murdered the Jewish population of Kiev at Babi Yar revine This was one of the largest mass murders at an individual location during WWII 33, 771 Jews were massacred in two days 100, 000 people were murdered over the course of the next few months thousands more Jews as well as non-Jews including Roma (Gypsies), Communists, and Soviet POWs
The Final Solution to the Jewish Question 1941 -1945
Wannsee Conference January 1942, Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, decided to change tactics once again Called a special conference at Wannsee (suburb of Berlin) Existing methods were too inefficient and too expensive New ‘Final Solution’ was necessary
Decision Women, children, the old & the sick were to be sent for ‘special treatment. ’ The young and fit would go through a process called ‘destruction through work. ’ On arrival the Jews would go through a process called ‘selection. ’ How was the Final Solution going to be organized? These Jews would to be shipped to ‘resettlement areas’ in the East Conditions intentionally designed to be so bad that many died. The rest would be willing to leave in the hope of better conditions Shooting was too inefficient as the bullets were needed for the war effort Jews were already concentrated in Ghettoes The Jews were to being used as a cheap source of labour
Transportation Systematic Deportation Ghettoes were situated on major RR arteries Boxcar Packed tightly (100 + per car) Doors bolted shut Could ride for days with no food or water Not unusual that one had to pay for their own transport Tickets were always one way
Theresienstadt The “Model” Camp For International Red Cross inspection Streets were paved, housing repaired, rose bushes planted, a playground built The Nazis made a documentary-style film Before the film was released the participants were sent to Auschwitz and gassed Only 5% survived the war
Death Camps Between 1941 and 1942, SS engineers and architects were designed and set up death machinery at 6 major death camps in Poland Treblinka, Chelmno, Sobibor, Maidanek, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Belzec Murder was set up assembly-line fashion
What happened to new arrivals? All new arrivals went through a process known as ‘selection. ’ Mothers, children, the old & sick were sent straight to the ‘showers’ (gas chambers) The able bodied were sent to work camp were they were killed through a process known as ‘destruction through work’ At Auschwitz the trains pulled into a mock up of a normal station Deception & Selection At Auschwitz the new arrivals were calmed down by a Jewish orchestra playing classical music The Jews were helped off the cattle trucks by Jews specially selected to help the Nazis At some death camps the Nazis would play records of classical music to help calm down the new arrivals
Death Camps Gassing was main murder method Other smaller camps employed bullets as their chosen method Only Auschwitz and Maidanek had facilities such as barracks to house prisoners.
Death Camps Selection was made immediately as the prisoners were brought to the camp Those sent to the right were to be slave laborers housed and worked till death Those sent to the left were taken immediately for “processing”
Central Poland The work of the Einsatzgruppen
How can one human do that to another? The SS guards who murdered the Jews were brainwashed with Anti-Semitic propaganda. The Jews were transported in cattle cars in terrible conditions. Naked, dirty and half starved people look like animals, which helped to reinforce the Nazi propaganda.
Entrance to Auschwitz
Auschwitz Notice how it has been built to resemble a railway station
Map of Auschwitz New Arrivals Showers Destruction Through Work
Auschwitz from the air Notice how the Death camp is set out like a factory complex The Nazis used industrial methods to murder the Jews and process their dead bodies
Birkenau Auschwitz II was the largest of the more than 40 camps and sub-camps about 90%—of the victims of Auschwitz Concentration Camp died in Birkenau
Gas Chambers Zyklon B (prussic acid) Disguised as showers Average 2000 people
Zyklon B pellets found at the liberation of the Majdanek camp. Poland, after July 1944. Notice the gas mask in the picture on the right.
The outside of the Gas Chamber Ovens were located near the Gas Chambers
Sonderkommando Prisoners were used to remove the gold fillings and hair Also forced to feed the bodies into the crematorium
The Ovens at Dachau
Bodies Awaiting Cremation
Shoes Taken inside a huge glass case in the Auschwitz Museum. This represents one day's collection at the peak of the gassings, about twenty five thousand pairs.
An American soldier sorts through crates of silverware taken from prisoners in Buchenwald.
A crate of rings confiscated by the Nazis found in a cave near Buchenwald.
Destruction Through Work
Destruction Through Work Same group of men 6 weeks later
Medical Experimentation 70 different medical-research projects took place in concentration camps by the Nazis More than 7, 000 people were part of forced experiments which broke all the rules and norms of medical research
Medical Experimentation 200 Nazi Doctors carried on lethal experimentation on concentration camp inmates Research institutes for hereditary biology and racial hygiene, were set up Racial experiments, including research into dwarfs and twins, serological (blood) research, and skeletal examination
Medical Experimentation The German Air Force conducted experiments dealing with survival and rescue, including research into the effects of high altitude, freezing temperatures, and the ingestion of seawater Medical treatment involved research into the treatment of battle injuries, gas attacks, and the formulation of immunization compounds to treat contagious and epidemic diseases
Medical Experimentation The Seven Dwarves of Auschwitz The Ovitz family
Dr. Josef Mengele SS doctor at Auschwitz Conducted horrific medical experiments Surgery without aesthesia Blood Transfusions from one twin to another Isolation endurance Lethal Germ injections Sex Change operations Removal of organs and limbs After the war he escaped to South America and died in Brazil in 1979
Dr. Carl Clauberg SS doctor, infamous for his brutal experiments in sterilizing Jewish women at the Auschwitz Arrested and tried by the Russians at the end of the war Died after only serving 7 of his 25 year sentence
Was the Final Solution successful? 9 million Jews lived in continental Europe before WWII 6 of 9 million Jews disappeared during WWII 1. 6 Million living in Europe today
Remember… Evil is when a few good men decide to do nothing.