2The HolocaustFrom the time Hitler came to power, he targeted Jews for persecution.By war’s end Nazis murdered 6 million Jews and 5 million inferiorsToday, continue to remember and seek ways to prevent it from happening again.
3Roots of the HolocaustEdward R Murrow saw at Buchenwald just a fragment of the most horrible chapter of the Nazi era.In 1945 there was no word for it.Today, called “Holocaust”, the Nazi attempt to kill all Jews under their control.Mass murder of Jews and “undesirables” direct result of Nazi ideology that considered “Aryans” (white gentiles-Germanic, Nordic and Anglo-Saxon blood) superior
4The Nazi movement trafficked in hatred and “anti-Semitism” Hitler blamed Jews for all German ills-from communism to inflation to abstract painting- and especially for Germany’s defeat in WWI.Other extremists influenced Hitler’s ideal and shared his prejudicesIn 1920s Hitler was just another angry voice in Weimar Republiche offered simplistic answers for the nation’sgrave economic, political and social troubles.-by 1933 had become chancellor of GermanyHitler Preaches Hate
5Nazis Begin the Persecution Persecution starts:Starts economically- Hitler urges boycott of Jewish ownedbusinesses- Jews were barred from jobs in civil service,banking, and stock exchange, law, journalism,and medicine1935 moved to a broader legal persecution- Nuremburg Laws (named for the city thatserved as spiritual center of Nazism)a. denied German citizenship to Jewsb. Jews forced to wear yellow stars with theword “Jude”c. banned marriage betw. Jews and non-Jewsd. segregated Jews at every level of societyHitler hints at the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question”
6Nazis Begin the Persecution Hitler uses full power of the state in his anti-Semitic campaignNewspapers printed scandalousattacks against Jews-Children in schools and the HitlerYouth movement taught that “Jews”were“polluting” German society andcultureComic books contained vilecaricatures of Jews
7Violence Erupts on Kristallnacht Acts of violence against Jews commonplaceNovember 9, 1938 most serious attack known as “Kristallnacht” (The Night of Broken Glass)after a Jewish refugee kills Germandiplomat in Paris, Nazi officials orderattacks on Jews in Germany, Austria andSudetenland-secret police and military destroy morethan 1,500 synagogues and 7,500 Jewishowned businesseskill more than 200 Jews, injure morethan 600arrest thousands of Jews
9Jewish Refugees Face Obstacles Betw and 1937, about 129,000 Jews fled Germany and Nazi-controlled Austrianotable figures in the scientific and artistic world, including “Albert Einstein”more would have left but were not generally welcomed in other countriesa. Great Depression made jobs scarce, US and other countries barred their doorsb. In 1939 ocean liner St. Louis left Germany for Cuba, 900 refugees on board, only22 received permission to stay in Cuba, US refused all, ship returned to Germany.later, almost all 600 later died in Nazi concentration camps
10Hitler Adopts the Final Solution Nothing short of the systematic extermination of all Jews living in the regions controlled by the Third Reich.Today, when a willful annihilation of a racial, political or cultural group genocide.
12Nazis Build Concentration Camps 1933 Hitler opened first Nazi concentration camps, where specially designated groups were confinedEarliest camps:-Dachau, Sachsenhausen, and BuchenwaldLater:-Ravensbruck, not far from Berlin, for female prisoners
13Nazi Build Concentration Camps In theory, camps designed not to kill prisoners, but turn them into “useful members” of the Third ReichImprisoned:political opponents like labor leaders, socialists, communistsjournalists or novelists, ministers or priests, who spoke againstHitlerany Jew or Aryans who had intimate relations with Jews
14Nazis Build Concentration Camps Imprisoned:“undesirables”; Gypsies, Jehovahs’ Witnesses, homosexuals, beggars, drunkards,conscientious objectors, the physically disabled, and people with mental illnessCamp Administrators tattooed numbers on arms, dressed prisoners in vertically striped uniforms with triangular insigniasRed were political prisonersPink were homosexualsYellow were JewsPurple were Jehovahs’ WitnessInside the wall, no real restraints onsadistic guardsthey tortured and killed with nofear of reprisalsdeath by starvation and disease aneveryday occurrence
15Nazis Build Concentration Camps Prisoners subjected to:-bogus experiments on oxygen deprivation-hypothermiaeffects of altitudebodies mutilated without anesthesiaThousands died agonizing deaths, including 5,000 mentally and physically disabled children
16Millions Are Murdered in Death Camps Nazis gain control of large territories, home to millions of Jews, from the invasion of Poland and Soviet UnionUnder Nazi rule, Jews in Warsaw, Lodz, and other Polish cities forced to live in crowded, walled ghettos.Additional concentration camps also constructed in Poland and Eastern Europe
17Millions Are Murdered in Death Camps At first, the murder of Jews were random (arbitrary)After Wannsee Conf. in January 1942 decision made to move toward Hitler’s “Final Solution”Reinhard Heydrich, SS leader, known as “the man with an iron heart” outlined a plan to exterminate 11,000,000 JewsMinutes of the meeting never use the word “kill”, but the goal was d\definitely understoodMany concentration camps designated death camp, esp. in PolandAuschwitz in southern Poland was the largestOther camps: Treblinka,Maidenek, Sobibor, Belsee,and Chelmno
18Million Are Murdered , cont Nazis forced prisoners:into death chambers, pumped in COCrammed into shower-like facilities, released insecticideZyklon B-in some camps, shot hundreds of thousands prisonersNazi “Action Groups” followed army into Eastern Europe shot several million Jews and buried them in ditches,In fully functioning camps, bodies further desecrated:-human fat turned into soap-human hair woven into wigs, slippers and mattresses-cash, gold fillings, wedding rings stripped from victims-bodies thrown into crematoriumsBy 1945, about 6 million Jews murdered, but not only victims; 5 million other lay dead, including 2 million non-Jewish PolesSurvivors live with nightmares, guilt and sorrow, but determined to rebuild lives in US, Israel and elsewhere.
19The Allies and the Holocaust Inevitable question- Could the Holocaust been prevented?Could the nations in the democratic West-esp. Britain,France, & US intervened at some point and stopped theslaughter.No simple answers.Many people today believe the West could have done more than it did.
20Early Response Was Weak Before the war:US (and other countries) could have relaxed immigration policy-State Department at first made conscious effort to block Jewishimmigration- later commentators gave possible reasona. Anti-Semitismb. Apathyc. Preoccupation with the problems of the Great Depressiond. A tendency to underestimate Hitler’s genocidal plans
21American Government Takes Action Once war starts; news of mass killings filter WestBy end of 1942, US issues statement acknowledging Jews being taken to Poland and killedApril 1943, British and US officials host “Bermuda Conference”; discuss possibilityOf rescuing surviving Jews from Europe; not concrete action takenEarly 1944, FDR began to respond to reportsestablishes “War Refugee Board” (worked with Red Cross to save thousands ofEastern European Jews esp. from Romania & Hungary.tragically, few were savedSoviets were closest to death camps-Stalin showed no concernBritain and US-expressed sympathybut resources and strategy focused on defeating Hitler, not stopping his genocidecampaign
22American Government Takes Action Cont:Could have bombed rail lines to death camps, but these were not military targetsWar Department official told Refugee Board that bombing rail line“could be executed only by the diversion of considerable air support essential to the success of our forces now engaged in decisive operations elsewhere”US also refused to pressure countries within Nazi sphere of influence to stop transporting Jews to Germany
23Allied Soldiers Liberate the Camps For most part, the enormity of the Nazi crimes became real when soldiers began to liberate the concentration campsWhen saw piles of bodies, warehouses of hair, jewelry, ash from crematoriums, etc; realized evil more than a distractionEven hardened soldiers were unprepared for what they saw; stunned beyond beliefAmericans had an outpouring of sympathy and longing to help victims; many survivors found temporary or permanent homes in US
24American Soldiers Liberate Camps Revelation of the Holocaust increased demand and support for an independent Jewish homeland1948 the Jewish community in Palestine proclaimed the State of IsraelPresident Truman immediately recognizes the new nation- US became perhaps the staunchest ally of new Jewish State