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Introduction to WWII and the Holocaust

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1 Introduction to WWII and the Holocaust

2 I. The major players of WWII
The Axis powers (bad): Germany, Italy, and Japan The Allied powers (good): Britain, Soviet Union, and the United States. Also involved were a few smaller nations.

3 German Occupied Areas during 1942

4 II. Hitler’s War at home WWII and the Holocaust has its roots in the fall of the Germans in WWI. Hitler, and other Germans blamed the democrats, the radicals, the communists, the liberals, the Jews, and others for Germany losing the war in 1918. After WWI Germany had to sign the Treaty of Versailles which took away land, populations, and resources. Their economy crashed. Hitler then came to power by telling the people exactly what they wanted to hear.

5 II. Hitler’s War at home D. Hitler promised the German people he would restore their pride, create jobs, and drive out and punish the people who had lost them the first war. “The following asocial elements are to be transferred from the prison to the Reichsfurher S.S. to be worked to death: person’s under protective arrest, Jews, Gypsies, Russians, Ukrainians, Poles …Czechs, and Germans with sentences of more than 8 years…” Reichsfurher S.S. Himmler September 18, 1942

6 Hitler’s Rise to Power

7 III. Definition of Holocaust
The genocide, or mass killing, of European Jews and others by the Nazis during World War II. A. An estimated 11 million people died in the Holocaust 6 million Jews 5 million others including Roma (Gypsies), Jehovah's Witnesses, and Handicapped. Of these, 1.5 million were children

8 IV. Anti-Semitism Jews have faced prejudice and discrimination for over 2,000 years. Jews were used as scapegoats for many problems. For example, people blamed Jews for the “Black Death” that killed thousands in Europe during the Middle Ages. In the late 1800s, the Russian Empire organized attacks on Jewish neighborhoods called pogroms. Mobs murdered Jews and looted their homes and stores.

9 V. Inferior Races The master race included those that were white, had blue eyes and blonde hair. This master race had the right to rule over and “enslave” all other inferior (or lower) races. This began Hitler’s anti-Semitism campaign to get votes and power. A. Inferior: Jews, Gypsies, blacks, and Slavs would be completely eliminated. Blind, deaf, mute, physically and mentally handicapped were to be sterilized so they could not reproduce. Those that wanted to live a free life were to be eliminated. Any others who were labeled inferior usually were enslaved, or eliminated. Those married to Jewish people and did not divorce them after 1935 were then forced to endure the same as their Jewish partners.

10 Labeling of “inferior” races
Jewish people had to wear a yellow Star of David on all of their clothing so other people would know immediately that they were Jewish

11 VI. Mind Control This however led to the total mind and body enslavement to his authority. Hitler controlled everything: Arts Music Plays Books C. Propaganda is information, rumors, and ideas deliberately spread to harm a person, a group, movement, institution, nation etc. Hitler used all of these as propaganda.

12 Propaganda Illustration from an antisemitic children's primer. The sign reads "Jews are not wanted here." Germany, 1936.

13 VII. Ghettos The Nazi’s established ghettos in Poland, Western European Jews, and Polish Jews were taken to these ghettos. This was the first step in the German “final solution” or the complete annihilation/ elimination of Jews. 400 ghettos were created to house Jews in occupied German areas. The largest was in Warsaw where a million Jews were confined. Ghettos were surrounded by barbed wire, and guarded.

14 VII. Ghettos F. Life in the ghettos was difficult.
Many families in one apartment Plumbing would break down, and human waste was thrown in the street with garbage. G. They often would never have enough food to eat, and would never be able to keep warm in the winter. H. Tens of thousands died in the ghettos due to diseases, starvation, or cold.

15 Ghettos Children eating in the ghetto streets. Warsaw, Poland, between 1940 and 1943.

16 VIII. Forced Labor Camps
A. Those forced into labor camps were of “inferior races” Jews, Gypsies, and political prisoners were the first to be used. Then prisoners of war and people picked up off the streets in occupied countries. B. All of the slave laborers did not have enough food or water. They usually died from exhaustion, hunger, and disease.

17 IX. Concentration Camps
Large Concentration Camps like Auschwitz could have labor and death camps. Once brought to a concentration camp (on train) the people were divided to the left and right. Those that went to the right were usually too weak to work in the labor camps, they were sent straight to the gas chamber. Those that went to the left were told to take off their clothes, shower (in freezing cold water) and then shave off all their hair.

18 Concentration Camps Interior of a gas chamber in Auschwitz, the largest concentration camp. The Loading of Jews into cattle cars to be taken to a concentration camp.

19 Concentration Camps A storehouse full of victim’s shoes and clothing found at Auschwitz-Birkenau shortly after liberation.

20 IX. Concentration Camps
C. These concentration camps housed gas chambers, crematoriums (were they burned bodies) and pits filled with corpses. Think hell on Earth. D. One resource lists 157 concentration camps were found, but the complete # will never be known. E. Some of the more famous names; Auschwitz, Krakow, Treblinka, and Belzec are in Poland, and then also Dachau in Germany.

21 Concentrations Camps in German Occupied Areas in 1944

22 X. End of WWII A. Ends in 1945 Germany surrenders first along with Italy, then Japan surrenders after U.S. drops A-bombs. B. Many people around the world had no idea of the mass killings carried out by Hitler and the SS until the end of the war. A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan August 1945 killed 80,000 people. The second bomb dropped on Nagasaki three days later was worse it killed 150,000 people and because of the wind and high temperatures the radiation had huge long term damage.

23 Current Genocide Watch Map
“The world is too dangerous to live in – not because of the people who do evil but because of the people who sit and let it happen.” Albert Einstein

24 Those that Took a Stand Irena Sendler A 98 year-old German woman named Irena Sendler recently died. During WWII, Irena worked in the Warsaw Ghetto as a plumbing/sewer specialist. Irena smuggled Jewish children out; infants in the bottom of the tool box she carried and older children in a burlap sack she carried in the back of her truck. She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers wanted nothing to do with the dog, and the barking covered the kids’ and infants’ noises. Irena managed to smuggle out and save 2500 children. She eventually was caught, and the Nazis broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar buried under a tree in her backyard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and reunited some of the families. Most had been killed. She helped those children get placement into foster family homes or adopted. Last year Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected.

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