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The Holocaust Majority of information presented from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum In the last months of the European war – Allied forces.

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Presentation on theme: "The Holocaust Majority of information presented from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum In the last months of the European war – Allied forces."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Holocaust Majority of information presented from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum In the last months of the European war – Allied forces uncovered horrors

2 How did the Holocaust develop and what were its results? Hitler blames Jews for the problems in Germany. Hitler urges Germans to boycott Jewish businesses and excluded Jews from many jobs. 400+ anti-Jewish regulations in Hitler’s first six years. Nuremberg Laws – Segregation, Denied citizenship, banned marriages between Jews and non-Jews. Anyone with 3 or more Jewish grandparents. “Final Solution”- plan to murder all European Jews. GENOCIDE – willful annihilation of a racial, political, or political group –first termed in 40’s.

3 The Ghettos1939-1941 Ghetto = 1516 Venice -name given to section of the city government forced Jews to live. 15 th & 16 th centuries this practice continued in other cities as well. World War II ghettos were city districts where Germans isolated and controlled the Jewish population through segregation and forced them to live under miserable conditions.World War II Three types – closed, open and destruction (Nazi’s in Berlin). The Warsaw ghetto in Poland was the largest - 400,000 Jews were crowded into an area of 1.3 square miles.Warsaw ghetto Identifying badges or armbands and required many to perform forced labor for the German Reich. Daily life in the ghettos was administered by Nazi-appointed Jewish councils (Judenraete).Jewish councils

4 The Camps concentration camp - place where people are held, usually under harsh conditions, without regard to legal norms that are true in a constitutional democracy. 1933 -1945 - 20,000 camps for forced-labor, transit and extermination early concentration camps built to imprison and eliminate "enemies of the state."early concentration camps Used labor in concentration camps prisoners for economic profit / war is excuse to prevent releases and as Germany takes over Austria & Poland forced labor camps grow rapidly near factories. After the violent Kristallnacht ("Night of Broken Glass") pogroms the Nazis conducted -1,500 synagogues, 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses, 200 deaths, 600 injured, thousands arrested.Kristallnacht As Germany takes over Austria & Poland forced labor camps grow rapidly Death by starvation & disease



7 Doctors performed medical experiments on prisoners.medical experiments To facilitate the "Final Solution" extermination camps were designed for efficient mass murder. Gas chambers constructed to increase killing efficiency and to make the process more impersonal for the perpetrators. (Auschwitz reportedly gassed 6,000 Jews each day.) Carbon Monoxide or Insectiside in showers"Final Solution"as chambers Almost all of the deportees who arrived at the camps were sent immediately to death in the gas chambers (with the exception of very small numbers chosen for special work team) During the last year of the war, the SS evacuated concentration camp prisoners as the front approached so prisoners would not be liberated.evacuated


9 Red - political prisoners: communists, unionists Green - "professional criminals " / convicts, parolees* Blue - foreign forced laborers, emigrants Purple – Jehovah’s Witnesses Pink - sexual offenders & homosexual men* Black – “A Social” and “work shy” = mentally retarded, mentally ill, homeless, alcoholic, Pacifists, Conscription resisters, prostitutes, drug addicts Brown = gypsies (Roma)- previously wore black triangle Un-inverted red triangle = POW’s and deserters * convicted in criminal court – may have gone to prison after liberation Yellow = Jewish In addition to color-coding, some groups had to put letter insignia on their triangles to denote country of origin. (P=Poland, B=Belgium, F=France) Repeat offenders – received bars over triangles. Many various markings and combinations existed. A prisoner would usually have at least two, and possibly more than six.


11 Common Student Questions about the Holocaust 1. How could Hitler make the Holocaust happen by himself? Hitler did not make the Holocaust happen himself. Many, many Germans and non-Germans were involved in the so-called Final Solution. Besides the SS, German government, Nazi party officials who helped to plan and carry out the deportation, concentration, and murder of European Jews, many other “ordinary” people – such as civil servants, doctors, lawyers, judges, soldiers, and railroad workers – played a role in the Holocaust. 2. Why didn’t you leave Germany if you were Jewish? Oppressive measures targeting Jews in the pre-war period were passed and enforced gradually. These types of pre-war measures and laws had been experienced throughout the history of the Jewish people in earlier periods and in other countries as well. No one at the time could foresee or predict killing squads and killing centers. More would have left, if they found the means and made that decision but were generally not welcome in other countries. World Wide Depression

12 3. Why wasn’t there more resistance? The impression that Jews did not fight back against the Nazis is a myth. Jews carried out acts of resistance in every country of Europe that the Germans occupied, as well as in satellite states. They even resisted in ghettos, concentration camps and killing centers, under the most harrowing of circumstances. Why is it then that the myth endures? Period photographs and contemporary feature films may serve to perpetuate it because they often depict large numbers of Jews boarding trains under the watchful eyes of a few lightly armed guards. Not seen in these images, yet key to understanding Jewish response to Nazi terror, are the obstacles to resistance. 4. How did they know who was Jewish? Eventually Jews in Germany were locatable through census records. In other countries, Jews might be found via synagogue membership lists, municipal lists or more likely through mandatory registration and information from neighbors or local civilians and officials. 5. What happened if you disobeyed an order to participate? Contrary to popular assumption, those who decided to stop or not participate in atrocities were usually given other responsibilities, such as guard duty or crowd control. Quiet non-compliance was widely tolerated, but public denunciation of Nazi anti-Jewish policy was not.

13 6. Wasn’t one of Hitler’s relatives Jewish? There is no historical evidence to suggest that Hitler was Jewish. Recent scholarship suggests that the rumors about Hitler’s ancestry were circulated by political opponents as a way of discrediting the leader of an antisemitic party. These rumors persist primarily because the identity of Hitler’s paternal grandfather is unknown; rumors that this grandfather was Jewish have never been proven. 7. Why were the Jews singled out for extermination? The explanation of the Nazis’ hatred of Jews rests on their distorted worldview, which saw history as a racial struggle. They considered the Jews a race whose goal was world domination and who, therefore, were an obstruction to “Aryan” dominance. They believed that all of history was a fight between races, which should culminate in the triumph of the superior “Aryan” race. Therefore, they considered it their duty to eliminate the Jews, whom they regarded as a threat. In their eyes, the Jews’ racial origin made them habitual criminals who could never be rehabilitated and were hopelessly corrupt and inferior. There is no doubt that other factors contributed toward Nazi hatred of Jews and their distorted image of the Jewish people. These included the centuries-old tradition of Christian antisemitism, which propagated a negative stereotype of Jews as murderers of Christ, agents of the devil, and practitioners of witchcraft.

14 8. What did the United States know and do? Failure to help : anti-Semitism, apathy, pre-occupation with the Great Depressoin, underestimating of Hitler’s plans. Unfortunate for those fleeing from Nazi persecution, these issues greatly impacted this nation's refugee policy, resulting in tighter restrictions and limited quotas at a time when open doors might have saved lives. Debates continue on what the government and civilians knew. Was it not a priority or could they not figure out how to rescue behind German lines. US and British meet to discuss war refugees but do not come up with any answers. Roosevelt establishes the War Refuge Board worked with the Red Cross to save thousands of Jews in Eastern Europe. Was it too late? 4/5 th of the Jews who would die were already dead by 1944. Could / should we have bombed railroad lines? Keep with strategy of defeating Hitler?

15 Resistance 1942-1944 Organized armed Jewish civilians in over 100 ghettos Jews in the Warsaw ghetto rose in armed revolt after rumors that the Germans would deport the remaining ghetto inhabitants to the Treblinka killing center.Warsaw Jewish groups attacked German tanks with Molotov cocktails, hand grenades, and a handful of small Jewish resisters continued to hide in the ruins of the ghetto, which SS and police units patrolled to prevent attacks on German personnel. Other forms of non-violent resistance included sheltering Jews (sometimes at risk of death), listening to forbidden Allied radio broadcasts, and producing clandestine anti-Nazi newspapers. In the face of Nazi repression and violence, acts of resistance at times significantly impeded German actions, saved lives, or simply boosted morale of the persecuted.

16 Rescue & Liberation 1944-1945 Enormity of Nazi crime became real only when soldiers began to liberate camps. Piles of dead bodies, warehouses full of human hair and jewelry, ashes in crematoriums, half-dead emaciated survivors. Soldiers hardened by war were still ill prepared Individuals in every European country and from all religious backgrounds risked their lives to help Jews. Rescue efforts ranged from the isolated actions of individuals to organized networks both small and large. 3,000 – 5,000 Individuals willing to help Jews in danger faced severe consequences if they were caught, German-occupied Denmark was the site of the most famous and complete rescue operation in Axis-controlled Europe. Martial Law / German Businessman warning/ help from non-Jewish neighbors and friends, virtually all the Danish Jews went into hiding / Danish fishermen secretly ferried 7,200 / 7,800 to SwedenDenmarkAxis

17 Aftermath1945-2000 On December 17, 1942, the leaders of the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union issued the first joint declaration officially noting the mass murder of European Jews and resolving to prosecute those responsible for crimes against civilian populations. Nuremberg Trials – 12 Nazi Leaders were sentenced to death. Thousands of other Nazis imprisoned.

18 Israel Holocaust increased demand and support for and independent Jewish Homeland 1948 – Jewish community in Palestine proclaimed the State of Israel – the U.S. immediately recognized the new nation.

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