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The Holocaust In 1933 nine million Jews lived in the 21 countries of Europe that would be occupied by Nazi Germany during World War 2. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been killed.
Anti -Semitism This is the term given to political, social and economic agitation against Jews. In simple terms it means ‘Hatred of Jews’. Aryan Race This was the name of what Hitler believed was the perfect race. These were people with full German blood, blonde hair and blue eyes.
For hundreds of years Christian Europe had regarded the Jews as the Christ -killers. At one time or another Jews had been driven out of almost every European country. The way they were treated in England in the thirteenth century is a typical example. AT GO In 1287 269 Jews were hanged in the APE of London. Tower SC This deep prejudice against Jews was still strong in the twentieth re a we century, especially in Germany, Poland Eastern Europe, where ws Je the Jewish population was very large. In 1275 they were made to wear a yellow badge. After the First World War hundreds of Jews were blamed for the defeat in the War. Prejudice against the Jews grew during the economic depression which followed. Many Germans were poor and unemployed and wanted someone to blame. They turned on the Jews, many of whom were rich and successful in business.
“Until September 14, 1939 my life was typical of a young Jewish boy in that part of the world in that period of time. I lived in a Jewish community surrounded by gentiles. Aside from my immediate family, I had many relatives and knew all the town people, both Jews and gentiles. Almost two weeks after the outbreak of the war and shortly after my Bar Mitzvah, my world exploded. WHY? In the course of the next five and a half years I lost my entire family and almost everyone I ever knew. Death, violence and brutality became a daily occurrence in my life while I was still a young teenager. ” Leonard Lerer, 1991
Steps to the Holocaust A Timeline
19 33 • Hitler comes to Power • New legislation set to exclude Jews from the life of Germany. – Laws were passed banning Jews from working in professional capacities; schools were established exclusively for Jewish children and quotas limited their entry into Universities. – They could neither join the army nor participate in the artistic life of the country.
• This Nazi propaganda poster from 1932 links Jews with the development of capitalism, communism, & socialism.
NUREMBERG LAW FOR THE PROTECTION OF GERMAN BLOOD AND GERMAN HONOUR, SEPTEMBER 15, 1935 • Moved by the understanding that purity of the German Blood is the essential condition for the continued existence of the German people, and inspired by the inflexible determination to ensure the existence of the German Nation for all times, the Reichstag has unanimously adopted the following Law, which is promulgated herewith: – § 1 1. Marriages between Jews and subjects of the state of German or related blood are forbidden. Marriages nevertheless concluded are invalid, even if conducted abroad to circumvent this law. 2. Annulment proceedings can be initiated only by the State Prosecutor. – § 2 1. Extramarital intercourse between Jews and subjects of the state of German or related blood is forbidden. – § 3 1. Jews may not employ in their households female subjects of the state of German or related blood who are under 45 years old.
– § 4 1. Jews are forbidden to fly the Reich or National flag or to display the Reich colours. 2. They are, on the other hand, permitted to display the Jewish colours. The exercise of this right is protected by the State. – § 5 1. Any person who violates the prohibition under § 1 will be punished by a prison sentence with hard labour. 2. A male who violates the prohibition under § 2 will be punished with a prison sentence with or without hard labour. 3. Any person violating the provisions under § § 3 or 4 will be punished with a prison sentence of up to one year and a fine, or with one or the other of these penalties. – § 6 1. The Reich Minister of the Interior, in co-ordination with the Deputy of the Führer and the Reich Minister of Justice, will issue the Legal and Administrative regulations required to implement and complete this Law. – § 7 The Law takes effect on the day following promulgation except for § 3, which goes into force on January 1, 1936.
Why was this allowed? • "Since we have no racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one. " – Australian delegate, Evian Conference. • "I can only hope and expect that the other world, which has such deep sympathy for these criminals, will at least be generous enough to convert this sympathy into practical aid. We, on our part, are ready to put all these criminals at the disposal of these countries, for all I care, even on luxury ships" – Adolph Hitler March 1938 From 1938 onwards, it was obvious to Jews that they should leave Germany as soon as possible. The stage of expulsion had started. Although half of the Jews left Germany before 1941, over half a million remained, at the mercy of Hitler and the Nazis.
Number of Jewish Refugees Allowed • • US: 200, 000 Palestine: 125, 000 Britain: 70, 000 Argentina: 50, 000 Brazil: 27, 000 China: 25, 000 Bolivia and Chile: 14, 000 CANADA: 5, 000
19 • Germans invaded Poland 3 • The millions of Jews who had fled to Poland to 9 escape the Nazis now suddenly came under Germany's control. • Over three million Jews lived in Poland • The Nazi's first act was to round up all Jews and send them into ghettos. – These were small areas of towns which were sealed off and allocated to the Jews. – Life within the ghetto was intolerable • overcrowding, hunger and disease Despite this, many Jews survived, thinking and hoping that their suffering must one day cease.
Between 1939 and 1945 six million Jews were murdered, along with hundreds of thousands of others, such as Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, disabled and the mentally ill.
Percentage of Jews killed in each country A al o Tot 00, 6, 0 f ews 0 J 00
A MAP OF THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS AND DEATH CAMPS USED BY THE NAZIS.
au ch a • D KZ Dachau was the first concentration camp established in Nazi Germany - the camp was opened on March 22, 1933. • First inmates were primarily: Political prisoners Habitual Criminals Social Democrats Homosexuals Communists Jehovah’s Witnesses Trade unionists Beggars • "On Wednesday the first concentration camp is to be opened in Dachau with an accommodation for 5000 persons. 'All Communists and—where necessary —Reichsbanner and Social Democratic functionaries who endanger state security are to be concentrated here, as in the long run it is not possible to keep individual functionaries in the state prisons without overburdening these prisons, and on the other hand these people cannot be released because attempts have shown that they persist in their efforts to agitate and organise as soon as they are released. ”
Types of Camps • Hostage camps (or death camps) – Hostages were held and killed as reprisals. • Labor camps – Had to do hard physical labor under inhumane conditions and cruel treatment. • POW camps: – Prisoners of war were held after capture – Endured torture and liquidation on a large scale. • Camps for rehabilitation and re-education of Poles: – Intelligentsia of the ethnic Poles were held, and "re-educated" according to Nazi values as slaves. • Transit and collection camps: – camps where inmates were collected and routed to main camps, or temporarily held (Durchgangslager or Dulag). • Externmination Camps
Road to Death Camps • In the late 1930's the Nazis killed thousands of handicapped Germans by lethal injection and poisonous gas. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, mobile killing units following in the wake of the German Army began shooting massive numbers of Jews and Gypsies in open fields and ravines on the outskirts of conquered cities and towns. • Eventually the Nazis created a more secluded and organized method of killing. Extermination centers were established in occupied Poland with special apparatus especially designed for mass murder. Giant death machines.
Part of a stockpile of Zyklon-B poison gas pellets found at Majdanek death camp. Before poison gas was used , Jews were gassed in mobile gas vans. Carbon monoxide gas from the engine’s exhaust was fed into the sealed rear compartment. Victims were dead by the time they reached the burial site.
Smoke rises as the bodies are burnt.
Auschwitz • Largest numbers of European Jews were killed. • By mid 1942, mass gassing of Jews using Zyklon-B began – where extermination was conducted on an industrial scale with some estimates running as high as three million persons eventually killed through gassing, starvation, disease, shooting, and burning. – 9 out of 10 were Jews. – Gypsies, Soviet POWs, and prisoners of all nationalities died in the gas chambers. • Private diaries of Goebbels and Himmler (developers of Auschwitz) unearthed from the secret Soviet archives show that Hitler personally ordered the mass extermination of the Jews - as Goebbels wrote "With regards to the Jewish question, the Fuhrer decided to make a clean sweep. . . "
Auschwitz Death Camp
In 1943, when the number of murdered Jews exceeded 1 million. Nazis ordered the bodies of those buried to be dug up and burned to destroy all traces. Soviet POWs at forced labor in 1943 exhuming bodies in the ravine at Babi Yar, where the Nazis had murdered over 33, 000 Jews in September of 1941.
Children • The number of children killed during the Holocaust is not fathomable and full statistics for the tragic fate of children who died will never be known. Estimates range as high as 1. 5 million murdered children. This figure includes more than 1. 2 million Jewish children, tens of thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of institutionalized handicapped children. • Plucked from their homes and stripped of their childhoods, the children had witnessed the murder of parents, siblings, and relatives. They faced starvation, illness and brutal labor, until they were consigned to the gas chambers.
16 of the 44 children taken from a French children’s home, sent to Auschwitz and killed immediately upon arrival. ONLY 1 SURVIVED* The Jewish Children Of Izieu A group of children at a concentration camp in Poland.
Problems with Liberation • The first task for the liberators was to tackle this medical nightmare. • Limited: Roughly 50, 000 inmates still living, 20, 000 were seriously or critically ill. • With those prisoners who seemed to stand some chance of living, the medical teams first washed and deloused them, before disinfecting them with DDT powder. I • nmates were then admitted to a makeshift hospital established in the camp. • Here, the doctors attempted to rehydrate and feed them, while treating their illnesses. Even so, many were just too ill to be saved. –. . . 13, 000 Belsen inmates died after liberation. • Some inmates had been starved for so long that they had lost the ability to digest the rations that well-meaning British soldiers offered them; within minutes of taking a biscuit, some inmates just passed away.
What to do with the bodies? • Another task was to dispose of the 20, 000 diseased bodies, in order to contain the spread of typhus. • The British forces made the surrendered German and Hungarian SS camp guards carry the corpses into mass graves that had been dug by British bulldozer teams. – As punishment for their crimes, the camp guards were prevented from using protective gloves, and consequently some of them contracted typhus and died. • This method of burial soon proved too slow, and subsequently the bulldozers simply shoveled the corpses into the graves. • As the weeks went by the British steadily relocated the recovering inmates to local housing commandeered from German civilians. – As this process unfolded, the local populace were forced to inspect the camp, to see for themselves the evils committed in their name.
Survivors • Feared to return to their former homes because of the anti-semitism they had suffered before. – Some who returned home feared for their lives. – In postwar Poland, for example, there were a number of violent anti-Jewish riots. • With few possibilities for emigration, tens of thousands of homeless Holocaust survivors migrated westward to other European territories liberated by the western Allies. • There they were housed in hundreds of refugee centers and displaced persons (DP) camps such as Bergen. Belsen in Germany. – The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) and the occupying armies of the United States, Great Britain, and France administered these camps.
Problems • Opportunities for legal immigration to the United States above the existing quota restrictions were still limited. • The British restricted immigration to Palestine. • Many borders in Europe were also closed to these homeless people.
• M ov With the establishment of the State of Israel in May 1948, Jewish displaced persons and refugees began streaming into the new sovereign state. – Possibly as many as 170, 000 Jewish displaced persons and refugees had immigrated to Israel by 1953. • December 1945, President Truman issued a directive that loosened quota restrictions on immigration to the U. S. of persons displaced by the Nazi regime. – Under this directive, more than 41, 000 displaced persons immigrated to the United States; approximately 28, 000 were Jews. – In 1948, the U. S. Congress passed the Displaced Persons Act, which provided approximately 400, 000 U. S. immigration visas for displaced persons between January 1, 1949, and December 31, 1952. – Of the 400, 000 displaced persons who entered the U. S. under the DP Act, approximately 68, 000 were Jews. • Other Jewish refugees in Europe emigrated as displaced persons or refugees to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, western Europe, Mexico, South America, and South Africa. ing
Victims Name From Age of Death Camp Judith Schwed Hungary 12 Auschwitz Herta Scheer-Krygier German 21 Auschwitz Peter Winternitz Czechoslovakia 21 Auschwitz Henoch Kornfeld Poland 3½ Belzec Henny Schermann Germany 30 Ravensbrueck & Bernburg Thomas Elek Hungary 20 POW in Paris Eva Heyman Romania 13 Auschwitz Erzsebet Markovics Katz Hungary 40 Bergen-Belsen Esther Morgansztern Poland 15 Treblinka Smiljka Ljoljic Visnjevac Yugoslavia 30 Banjinca
Victims Age of Death Name From Camp Shulim Saleschutz Poland 12 Belzec Hela Szabszevicz Poland 43 Lodz ghetto Barbara Kertesz Nemeth Hungary 34 Strasshof Ilona Karfunkel Kalman Hungary 38 Auschwitz Welwel Wainkranc Poland 24 Kaluszyn ghetto Ethel Stern Poland 24 Trawniki Yves Oppert France 35 POW at Etercy Zuzana Gruenberger Czechoslovakia 11 Auschwitz Eva Brigitte Marum Germany 26 Sobibor Fischel Felman Poland 31 Treblinka
NAME From Date of Birth Life during War Jeannine Burk Belgium 9/15/1939 Hidden Child Shep Zitler Lithuania 5/27/1917 Polish Soldier and Prisoner of War Eva Galler Poland 1/1/1924 Escaped a Death Train Solomon Radasky Poland 5/17/1910 Warsaw Ghetto and Auschwitz Isak Borenstein Poland 5/5/1918 Prisoner of War Joseph Sher Poland 7/27/1917 Labor Camps Esther Raab Poland 1922 Sobibor Joseph Bau Poland 18 June 1920 Plaszow Rivka Yosselevka Belarus Unknown Zagrodski Ghetto
NAME From Date of Birth Life during War Ernest Domby Czechoslovakia March 9, 1925 Theresienstadt ghetto, Auschwitz, Gross-Rosen Franz Wohlfahrt Austria January 18, 1920 Rollwald Rodgau Ruth (Huppert) Elias Czechoslovakia October 6, 1922 Theresienstadt ghetto, Auschwitz Saul Ingber Romania April 16, 1921 Dachau Arthur Karl Heinz Oertelt Germany January 13, 1921 Theresienstadt and Flossenbürg Thomas Buergenthal Czechoslovakia May 11, 1934 Auschwitz Wolfgang Munzer Germany February 26, 1920 Auschwitz Wolf Himmelfarb Poland June 19, 1927 Theresienstadt Szlamach Radoszynski Poland May 17, 1912 Auschwitz
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