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. In 1275 they were made to wear a yellow badge. In 1287 269 Jews were hanged in the Tower of London. Deep prejudice against Jews was strong in the twentieth century, especially in Germany, Poland and Eastern Europe, where the Jewish population was very large. In London in the 13 th Century: Jews were blamed for the defeat in the WWI. 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. Historical Background
Timeline of the Events That Led to the Holocaust Holocaust
xHitler and Nazi party seize power and begin there program against the Jews xNazis order boycott of Jewish businesses xHermann Goering creates the Gestapo x1 st Concentration camps are built (Dachau 3/22/1933)
xReichstag declares that Jews are not entitled to national healthcare xThe SS (Schutzstaffel) led by Henrich Himmler take control of concentration camps xHitler’s approval rating from German citizens is 90%
xNuremberg Laws passed = defined who was Jewish and set guidelines for their lives xJews were not allowed to: - marry or have sex with Aryans - have any civic involvement - have citizenship rights
xHeinrich Himmler is appointed Chief of the German Police xOlympic Games held in Berlin = Nazi’s briefly loosen restrictions
xNew Law: Jews are not allowed to teach Germans xEternal Jew exhibit opens in Germany - warns Germans about the “Jewish problem” xNew Law: Jews are not allowed to be accountants or dentists
xKristallnacht (November) - Jewish stores, shops, and synagogues vandalized and burned - retaliation for a Jew killing German Diplomat in Paris France xNew Law: Jews are not allowed to practice medicine xLeague of Nations seeks to aide Jews fleeing Nazi’s but no nation will take them
xSS General Reinhard Heydrich orders speed up to emigration of Jews from German lands xNazi order: All Jews must wear a “yellow Star of David” xNew Law: Jews must hand over all gold and silver
xNazi Order: All Jews in Germany are to be deported to “Ghettos” in Poland Forced labor in the Warsaw GhettoDeportation of Jews to Kutno Ghetto Jewish children in the Warsaw Ghetto
xHitler’s “Commissar Oder”: Any Soviet politician captured is to be shot immediately “Liquidate all Communist officials you encounter”! - Hitler’s order to advancing Nazi Army into Soviet Union
xWannsee Conference: - meeting of senior Nazi officials where Reinhard Heydrich presented the plan for “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question” xThe Plan: - deport all Jews from Europe and North Africa to concentration camps in German controlled land - Jews will be placed into either labor camps or death camps (according to Wannsee Protocol
xJews rounded up and taken into the woods and shot one by one xTheir bodies buried in mass grave Phase 1
xJews were rounded up and told they were be relocated into vans xThe vans were equipped so that the van’s exhaust piped back into the van xEstimated 700,000 killed Phase 2
Phase 3 xJews were rounded up, told to bring one piece of luggage, placed on trains, and deported to….
xNazi Medical Experiments xDr. Josef Mengele “the Angel of Death” xPerformed medical experiments on men, women, and children Sterilization of men and women Endurance of pain to high and low temperatures and pressure Experiments on twins to increase number of multiple births Injections of phenol to kill patients Dr. Mengele attempted to sew children together to make Siamese twins
Portrait of two-year- old Mania Halef, a Jewish child who was among the 33,771 persons shot by the SS during the mass executions at Babi Yar, September, 1941.
Nazis sift through a huge pile of clothes left by victims of the massacre. Two year old Mani Halef’s clothes are somewhere amongst these.
“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. 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 “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. 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