Presentation on theme: "Historical Breakdown: The Holocaust, also known as: “The Final Solution” The People Involved, A Background, and a Visual Understanding."— Presentation transcript:
Historical Breakdown: The Holocaust, also known as: “The Final Solution” The People Involved, A Background, and a Visual Understanding
The Holocaust Massive genocide committed against primarily European Jews during the World War II era ◦ Genocide = the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group ◦ This genocide was state-sanctioned by the German Nazi state, led by Adolf Hitler
The End Result Over six million European Jews were murdered, which was approximately two-thirds of the population ◦ One million of this number were children A total 11-17 million were killed (the numbers are not fully known, records were destroyed) ◦ Others attacked: gypsies, Soviet POWs/civilians, Polish, homosexuals, the disabled, and Jehovah's Witnesses
Types of Persecution – Various Stages Laws that removed Jews from civil society (Nuremberg Laws) ◦ These laws allowed an official ideology of incorporating anti- Semitism as a form of scientific racism; this law was designed to determine who was non- Aryan. Stripped away basic rights.
Types of Persecution – Various Stages Ghettos ◦ A tight space that was used within cities to imprison Holocaust victims prior to transportation
Types of Persecution – Various Stages Concentration camps ◦ Slave labor camps designed to work a prisoner to death through exhaustion or disease
Types of Persecution – Various Stages Einsatzgruppen formed (extension of S.S.) ◦ A specialized unit that murdered Jews and political opponents (believed to have killed at least 1,000,000 people)
Types of Persecution – Various Stages Extermination camps / gas chambers ◦ Overcrowded ghettos would transport victims via freight train, where if they survived, they were systematically killed in the gas chambers
Nazi-State General Understandings Every arm of Nazi Germany’s government was involved in the genocides The civilian population of Germany were unaware of the gas chambers, but they knew of the ghettos and concentration camps Holocaust victims most commonly believed they were to be resettled somewhere else, they had little to no idea about the death camps ◦ This was the first time a mass murder of this size was taking place; it was difficult to accept such an idea.
How did this start? 1933-1935: After Hitler became Chancellor of Germany (subsequently, the rise of Nazi power), the attacks on Jews began. ◦ Boycott of Jewish businesses ◦ Discrimination of Jews (banning of marriage between Aryan and non-Aryan) ◦ Goal became about preserving “German blood and honor” – many claimed that it was about prevention of hereditary illness
Medical Experiments Medical experiments ◦ Designed to see if one could “purify” the blood line through science Dr. Josef Mengele: most notorious physician, worked in Auschwitz ◦ Placed subjects in pressure chambers ◦ Tested drugs and other medications ◦ Froze subjects ◦ Attempted to change eye color by injecting chemicals into eye’s ◦ Various amputations Few survived surgeries, and when they did – they were killed following the surgery
Medical Experiments Dr. Mengele: ◦ Preferred to work with Romani children ◦ Asked children to call him “Onkel Mengele” (“Uncle”), he would bring them candy and toys ◦ He personally escorted children to gas chambers A Jewish inmate at Auschwitz reported as saying: “I remember one set of twins in particular: Guido and Ina, aged about four. One day, Mengele took them away. When they returned, they were in a terrible state: they had been sewn together, back to back, like Siamese twins. Their wounds were infected and oozing pus. They screamed day and night. Then their parents – I remember the mother's name was Stella – managed to get some morphine and they killed the children in order to end their suffering.”
Concentration Camps In total – there were nearly 60 concentration camps. ◦ 1933-1945 ◦ Data suggests over 4 million died in camps, however many suggest that records were destroyed (meaning: the true numbers will never truly be known)
Types of Camps Hostage camps: camps where hostages were held and killed as reprisals. Labor camps: concentration camps where interned inmates had to do hard physical labor under inhumane conditions and cruel treatment. Some of these camps were sub-camps of bigger camps, or "operational camps", established for a temporary need. POW camps: concentration camps where prisoners of war were held after capture. POWs were usually soon assigned to labor camps. Camps for rehabilitation and re-education of Poles: camps where the 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).
The Extermination Camps First in existence with expressed goal of murdering extensive amounts of people. ◦ Auschwitz-Birkenau ◦ Belzec ◦ Chelmno ◦ Jasenovac ◦ Majdanek ◦ Maly Trostenets ◦ Sobibor ◦ Treblinka
Death Marches: 1944-1945 As the Allied forces closed in on Nazi forces, a desperate effort was made to conceal the death camps. ◦ People were murdered faster, and disposed of in unknown ways ◦ Gas chambers dismantled, crematoria dynamited ◦ Mass graves dug up to cremate the bodies, while farmers planted crops over the site to hide evidence ◦ Death marches were last attempt to hide evidence
Death Marches Prisoners were forced to walk tens of miles in snow to train stations. After walking to the train station, victims were transported for days at a time without food or adequate cover from the cold. After arrival at the new camp, they were made to march again. ◦ Most victims were deathly ill, starved, and weak ◦ An estimated 250,000 died during the marches ◦ This was the INTENDED goal of the Nazi’s: they wanted the Jews to die a painful death, the gas chambers were too effective Largest and best-known death march was January 1945 ◦ 35 mile march, 15,000 died ◦ Elie Weisel made this march, and survived – it is in his novel
Victims VictimsKilled Jews5.9 million Soviet POWs2–3 million Ethnic Poles1.8–2 million Romani220,000–1,500,000 Disabled200,000–250,000 Freemasons80,000 Slovenes20,000–25,000 Homosexuals5,000–15,000 Jehovah‘s Witnesses2,500–5,000
This is a BRIEF overview… As we read Elie Wiesel’s account in Night, you will be faced with understanding much more… ◦ Keep these notes handy. Wiesel uses Yiddish, Kabbalah, and German terms to create a more real storyline. ◦ Prepare for a visual overview of the Holocaust, at least of the images that do still exist.
Elie Weisel: The Author Survived Auschwitz Circled is Elie, five days after liberation…
Elie Wiesel Romanian-born Jewish-American Night is about his time in Auschwitz, Buna, and Buchenwald concentration camps Lived in the city of Sighet, Romania Inmate Tattoo ID: A-7713
Upon arrival at the death camp… Mother and sisters were separated… presumably, they died upon arrival in a gas chamber Elie and his father remained together until the weeks leading up to Buchenwald’s liberation
His novel is non-fiction… Not embellished, is authentic. #1 Best-Seller as recently as 2006 Translated into 30 languages I’ll let Elie tell you his life story though with his novel… these are just some of the main points to take into consideration.
Now that you have a start to the depth and horrors of the Holocaust, we are going to review some of the most iconic images of the Holocaust. Please remember that your sensitivity and maturity are required. More importantly, as you walk away from this class today – take a moment to think of how The Holocaust in Pictures
Discussion… What major ideas would people be afraid we learned from the Holocaust? ◦ Consider both positive and negative lessons. After viewing the images, and hearing a brief history, what do you feel now? What information was new or unexpected from this slide show?