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Status of Women, Treatment of Minorities, and Religious Groups

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Presentation on theme: "Status of Women, Treatment of Minorities, and Religious Groups"— Presentation transcript:

1 Status of Women, Treatment of Minorities, and Religious Groups

2 Role of Women in the Third Reich
Women played a vital role in Hitler's plan to create an ideal German Community (Volksgemeinschaft) Hitler believed a larger, racially purer population would enhance Germany's military strength and provide settlers to colonize conquered territory in eastern Europe The Third Reich's aggressive population policy encouraged "racially pure" women to bear as many "Aryan" children as possible 

3 Role of Women in the Third Reich
This policy took its most radical form in 1936 when SS leaders created the state-directed program known as Lebensborn (Fount of Life) In an extension of the SS Marriage Order of 1932, the 1936 Lebensborn ordinance prescribed that every SS member should father four children, in or out of wedlock Lebensborn homes sheltered illegitimate offspring and their mothers, provided birth documents and financial support, and recruited adoptive parents for the children

4 Role of Women in the Third Reich
The state encouraged births, whether through wedlock or not: Restrictions on entry into certain jobs Marriage loans Family income supplements for each new child Bestowed the Cross of Honor of the German Mother on women bearing four or more babies Increased punishments for abortion In the end, women were needed in the workplace, while men were needed at the front

5 Role of Women in the Third Reich
The National Socialist Women's Union and German Women's Agency used Nazi propaganda to encourage women to focus on their roles as wives and mothers Besides increasing the population, the regime also sought to enhance its "racial purity" through “species upgrading” Laws prohibited marriage between "Aryans" and "non-Aryans" while preventing those with handicaps and certain diseases from marrying at all; some deemed unfit were sterilized

6 Role of Women in the Third Reich
Girls were taught to embrace the role of mother and obedient wife in school and through compulsory membership in the League of German Maidens However, rearmament followed by total war obliged the Nazis to abandon the domestic ideal for women The need for labor prompted the state to prod women into the workforce (there was a compulsory-service plan for all women) and even into the military (the number of females in the German armed forces approached 500,000 by 1945)

7 The Reichskonkordat (Reich Concordat)
Nazi Treatment of Minorities and Religious Groups The Reichskonkordat (Reich Concordat) Treaty between the Holy See and Germany negotiated during its transition into Nazi Germany. It was signed on 20 July 1933 by Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli (who later became Pope Pius XII) on behalf of Pope Pius XI and Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen and President Paul von Hindenburg on behalf of the German government respectively. Priests giving the Hitler salute at a Catholic youth rally in the Berlin-Neukölln stadium in August 1933. Since when can one make a pact with Christ and Satan at the same time?“ Albert Einstein referencing the Reich Concordat

8 The treaty sthe political activity of German Catholic clergy
The treaty sthe political activity of German Catholic clergy. This contributed to a decrease in the previously vocal criticism of Nazism by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Germany, after September of 1933 when the treaty was ratified. From a Roman Catholic church perspective it has been argued that the concordat prevented even greater evils being unleashed against the Church. Though some German bishops were unenthusiastic, and the Allies at the end of World War II felt it inappropriate, Pope Pius XII successfully argued to keep the concordat in force. It is still in force to this day.

9 The Fate of Catholic Clergy and Resisters
Almost immediately after signing the Concordat, the Nazis promulgated their sterilization law - the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring - an offensive policy in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Days later, Nazis began to dissolve the Catholic Youth League. Clergy, nuns and lay leaders began to be targeted, leading to thousands of arrests over the ensuing years, often on trumped up charges of currency smuggling or "immorality". Priests were watched closely and frequently denounced, arrested and sent to concentration camps. Otto Neururer Austrian Roman Catholic priest and martyr. He was the first priest to die in a Nazi Concentration Camp and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1996 He advised a girl not to marry a divorced man of questionable morality. The man was a personal friend of the Nazi Gauleiter (party leader) of Tirol. Neururer was arrested on the charge of "slander to the detriment of German marriage" and sent to Dachau Concentration Camp and later to Buchenwald

10 Saint Maximilian Kolbe's (1894-1941) story, although well known,
bears repeating. He was a Franciscan, a seminary professor and a publisher of religious materials. When the Nazis invaded Poland, he sheltered 1,500 Jewish refugees in iepokatanow, a community he had established twelve years before. Early in 1941, Fr. Kolbe was arrested and sent to Auschwitz. To deter potential escapees, whenever a prisoner escaped the camp commandant would select ten prisoners at random and sentence them to death. Franciszek Gajowniczek, who had a wife and children, was one of ten prisoners so condemned. Father Kolbe volunteered to take Gajowniczek's place. Kolbe endured two weeks in a punishment cell without food or water until he was killed by lethal injection on August 14, Gajowniczek survived Auschwitzand lived to attend Fr. Kolbe's canonization in Rome in 1982.

11 Poland The Catholic Church in Poland was especially
hard hit by the Nazis. In 1939, 80 percent of the Catholic clergy and five of the bishops of the Warthegau region had been deported to concentration camps. In Wroclaw, 49.2 percent of the clergy were dead; in Chelmno, 47.8 percent; in Lodz, 36.8 percent; in Poznan, In the Warsaw diocese, 212 priests were killed; 92 were murdered in Wilno, 81 in Lwow, 30 in Cracow, thirteen in Kielce. Seminarians who were not killed were shipped off to Germany as forced labor. Of 690 priests in the Polish province of West Prussia, at least 460 were arrested. The remaining priests of the region fled their parishes. Of the arrested priests, 214 were executed, including the entire cathedral chapter of Pelplin. The rest were deported to the newly created General Government district in Central Poland. By 1940, only 20 priests were still serving their parishes in West Prussia.

12 Mass meeting of the German Christian Movement 13 Nov.1933
A radical wing of German Lutheranism and the main Protestant branch supporting Nazi ideology, the German Christian Movement reconciled Christian doctrine with German nationalism and anti-Semitism

13 Nazi Treatment of Minorities and Religious Groups
Believed that Jews’: Blood was tainted and therefore subhuman Didn’t work, but lived off the country Evaded military service Egoistic Are corrupting Germany morally Are corrupt in business Used people to achieve their ends (to make a life) Wanted to dominate the globe

14 Nazi Treatment of Minorities and Religious Groups
Germany was a police state where political opponents were arrested and imprisoned by the SS or the Gestapo Under the command of Heinrich Himmler, the SS were responsible for suppressing hostility to the regime at home and organizing concentration camps The Jews were a particular target of SS hostility

15 Nazi Treatment of Minorities and Religious Groups
Jews were the long-standing targets of Hitler’s hatred and an obstacle in his design for a new Germany As early as April 1933, Jews were excluded from: Holding public office Joining the civil service (Career Civil Service Act) Being a teacher, doctor, journalist, being an officer in the armed forces

16 Nazi Treatment of Minorities and Religious Groups
The Nazis also set up the first concentration camp at Dachau to hold 200 Communists In 1934, Jewish newspapers could no longer be sold in the streets In 1935, Jews were deprived of their citizenship and other basic rights (Nuremburg Laws) Jews were also prevented from marriage with Germans (Blood Protection Act)

17 Nazi Treatment of Minorities and Religious Groups
In 1936, the Nazis boycotted Jewish-owned businesses Jews no longer had the right to vote in Germany In 1938, on Kristallnacht (“The Night of Broken Glass”) Nazis terrorized Jews throughout Germany and Austria 30,000 Jews were arrested

18 Nazi Treatment of Minorities and Religious Groups
Jews: Were forced to carry identification cards and Jewish passports were marked with a “J” Had to wear the Star of David Could no longer head businesses Could not attend plays or concerts Were moved to Jewish schools Were forced to hand over drivers’ licenses and car registrations

19 Nazi Treatment of Minorities and Religious Groups
In 1940, Goring ordered Heydrich to begin the enslavement of all Jews in the German occupied territories In 1941, corps of SS men known as Einsatzgruppen accompanied the Wehrmacht (unified armed forces of Germany) into the USSR to eliminate Jews and other “undesirables”

20 List of Jewish populations by country used at the
In January 1942 at the Wannsee Conference, the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” was considered. The primary goal of the meeting was to: 1. Place the Final Solution in the hands of the SS totally outside the purview of any other agency. 2. Determine the scope of the deportations and arrive at definitions of who was Jewish, who was Mischling, and who (if anybody) should be spared List of Jewish populations by country used at the Wannsee Conference in 1942.


22 Nazi Treatment of Minorities and Religious Groups
Shortly afterward, the first gassings began by use of cars Later, gas chambers were built at Death Camps (Auschwitz-Birkenau), Belzec, Chelmo, Maidenek, Sobibor, and Treblinka) In 1944, the camps were threatened by the advance of the Red Army. The Germans forced the prisoners to march to the interior of Germany Six million Jews died in the Holocaust Jews also died of hunger in ghettos

23 Auschwitz


25 Nazi Treatment of Minorities and Religious Groups
The T-4 or euthanasia program was set up to oversee the identification and elimination of defectives and the sterilization of those weaker members of society who might pass on hereditary diseases Handicapped, mentally disabled, homeless were included It was responsible for 70,000 deaths

26 Nazi Treatment of Minorities and Religious Groups
5 million others were killed besides the Jews, including: Sinti and Roma (gypsies) Poles Soviet POWs Mentally or physically disabled Homosexuals Blacks Jehovah’s Witnesses Political dissidents Trade unionists Priests and clergy

27 Memorials Harrisburg, PA Miami, FL San Francisco, CA

28 Baltimore’s Holocaust Memorial was built to resemble a train which is how Jews were taken to the concentration camps. It was built in response to a teacher who told the Baltimore Jewish Council that his class didn’t believe in the Holocaust

29 This flame, memorializing Kristallnacht, is also at the Baltimore Holocaust Memorial. It’s located on the corner of Water and Gay Streets

30 Warsaw Ghetto Memorial

31 Berlin Holocaust Memorial

32 Translation Why is a Catholic obliged to vote for the parliamentary list of Adolf Hitler? Because in the National Socialist state intrinsically and through the Reichskonkordat 1. The Faith is protected, 2. Peace with the Church is assured, 3. Public morality is preserved, 4. Sunday is hallowed, 5. Catholic schools are maintained, 6. The Catholic conscience is no longer burdened, 7. A Catholic has equal rights before the law and in the life of the nation, 8. Catholic organisations and associations, insofar as they exclusively serve religious, charitable and cultural purposes, can operate freely. Therefore a Catholic is obliged on 12 November [1933] to vote thus: Referendum: yes Parliamentary election: Adolf Hitler

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