Phase 3 : July 1943 – June 1944 From 1943 on, The Allies were advancing on all fronts. (Front is the line of contact between enemy forces)
- The US recaptured the Philippines - Soviets were beating back the Germans - Aerial bombings of Germany dramatically increased
By 1943 Canada has its own bomber group. Canadians were actively involved in the continuous aerial bombings over Germany. They were targeting the industrial sectors to destroy Germany’s ability to wage war.
The Canadian army had increased as well from a single division to a full army. After El Alamein, they were actively involved in the invasion of Sicily, an island off the Italian coast.
After Sicily, They invaded Italy and the Italian gov’t surrendered. Germany sent reinforcements and the fighting continued.
The Italian campaign was a slow one. The Canadians distinguished themselves at Ortona in 1943 and at Cassino in spring of 1944. Canadians continued fighting until Feb 1944 when they were removed to northwest Europe.
One Canadian soldier, Sgt. Tommy Prince, was the highest decorated war hero. He won a total of 8 medals including the Military Medal and the Silver Star.
Canada’s Merchant Marine fleet grew from 38 to 403 ships. These ships supplied the Allies with vital war supplies. During the war they made 25,000 voyages losing 1600 sailors (including 8 women)
Phase 4 : June 1944 – Sept 1945 On June 6 th, 1944 the Allied invasion of Europe began. It was called “Operation Overlord”. The landings, commonly known as D-Day, took place at Normandy, France and involved the British, American and Canadian forces.
The beaches on the coast of Normandy were : Juno Beach =Canada Gold and Sword Beaches=British Utah and Omaha Beaches=U.S.
Germany were forced to fight on two major fronts at the same time. Their resistance eventually collapsed.
The road and rail city of Caen was the Canadians 1 st objective. This took most of the summer of 1944.
Once captured, The Canadians helped the US forces capture Falaise. After this success, the Germans retreated to Belgium and the German border.
Paris was liberated and most of France was free. However, as the allied armies advanced and became bigger more supplies were needed and ports had to be opened
The Canadians had to free the Belgian port of Antwerp. Antwerp was one of the major ports in Europe.
The port was 80 km away from the city and was covered in low-lying areas behind dikes. The Germans flooded the dikes to slow down the Canadians.
The Canadians were nicknamed the “water rats” because most of the fighting here was done by the infantry since tanks and artillery were hard to use here. This became known as the Battle of the Scheldt.
Over 6000 Canadians were killed in this battle.
When the war in Europe ended on May 8, 1945, Canadian forces : - Duty in northern Germany - Air force helped control the skies - Navy patrolled the North Atlantic
6.3 War in the Pacific After Germany’s surrender, Canada’s war effort focused on the Japanese in the Pacific.
Over 80,000 Canadians volunteered to join the Pacific war. However, the war was over before they could take part.
Under the code name “The Manhattan Project”, the U.S. had developed a new weapon called the atomic bomb
U.S. President Harry Truman had to make the ethical decision whether or not to use the atomic bomb. If he uses it, it could end the war and save thousands of Allied lives but thousands of innocent civilians could be killed in the explosion. If he doesn’t use it, the war will drag on and many more Allied lives would be lost in the fighting.
On Aug 6 th, 1945, the 1 st atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.
On Aug 9 th, 1945, the 2 nd atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.
The use of atomic weapons in Japan still remains one of the most controversial decisions made during World War 2.
6.4 The Holocaust The Holocaust is known as the Nazi slaughter of over 6 million Jews during the Second World War.
The Nazi Party began their policy of anti- semitism (hatred of Jews) almost immediately after they came to power in 1933 and Hitler became dictator of Germany.
1933 – The Nazis called on all Germans to boycott Jewish businesses Boycott means to refuse to buy from, or use the services of a particular group
2. Nuremberg Laws In 1935 The Nazis introduced the Nuremberg Laws : - banned marriages and sexual relations between Jews and non – Jews - stopped Jews from being citizens - stopped Jews from using public facilities
3. Night of broken glass On Nov 7, 1938, a German diplomat is shot dead by a Polish Jew. Germany retaliates by destroying over 8,000 Jewish businesses and over 200 synagogues. 30,000 Jewish men arrested and sent to concentration camps ( prisons where Jews were beat and ill-treated
Resettlement Jews were “resettled” into ghettos which were parts of a city which were walled or enclosed to keep people in.
First they gathered all the victims together. This was called the “round-up”. Jews were rounded up and forced into ghettos or sent off to the camps.
ID papers were issued to indicate when someone was Jewish. Jews had to wear yellow stars when they were in public Gov’t documents were used by local authorities as well as “denunciation” by non-Jewish citizens were ways to find all Jews in the area
Ghettos Ghettos were used by the Germans to confine the Jews. The Ghettos during World War II were used for forced labour and eventually as a concentration point for deportation to the death camps
The terrible conditions that the inmates of the Ghettos faced were common to all ghettos.
All ghettos robbed the Jews of their privacy, their identity and their lives. Many died in the ghettos due to starvation, illness and brutality. Many ghetto dwellers were forced into slave labour.
There was no “good” ghetto. Ghettos were typically located in the poorest areas of large cities near the railroad tracks. They were either sealed by walls or some other forms of barricades
In the Warsaw ghetto, more than 70,000 Jews died of exposure, disease and starvation during the first two winters alone.
Watch video clip 1 Jewish Children in the Warsaw Ghetto And Warsaw Ghetto in Photos
Some Jews managed to escape from the ghettos to survive in the forests. Others found refuge with Christian families who accepted them and hid them.
There was resistance activity in many ghettos. While it was possible, in a number of ghettos the children were schooled, orphanages were set up and activity groups were maintained.
However, as conditions worsened and deportations began, most of these subtle forms of resistance were no longer possible
Reflection: How is having a school a form of resistance? How is having an orphanage resistance? Why would they be important?
Wannsee Conference In January of 1942, the Nazi leaders meet at Wannsee to determine the fate of the Jews. With Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union, 5 million more Jews will come under the German sphere of influence.
Reinhardt Heydrich chaired the meeting. The Nazis had to decide what to do with the anticipated 11 million Jews they would soon control. With the war intensifying in Russia, they wanted to rid themselves of the “Jewish” problem. Their “Final Solution” was to exterminate all Jews. Watch video clip 2
Deportation on Cattle Cars Cattle cars were used to transport most of the victims. Each car held 80-120 adults, children and the elderly. There was usually one pail per car – no toilets and no water.
Transporting the Jews to feed the death camps was a major undertaking. Adolph Eichmann was the Nazi officer in charge. He went from country to country and organized the deportation of local Jews in each community to send them off to the death camps.
Many froze to death, suffocated to death or died of diseases during their “relocation” to the camps. The dead were not removed because each body had to be accounted for at destination by the bureaucracy
There was also some resistance: Holland, Belgium, Albania, Denmark, Finland and Bulgaria had government officials and citizens who defied orders. But in other countries like Poland, Greece, France and Yugoslavia, the governments cooperated to the fullest.
Concentration Camps In 1933 the first concentration camps were established by the Nazis to imprison political opponents. The first camp, Dachau, was built in 1933 initially for opponents of the regime. The first prisoners were Jehovah’s Witnesses who refused to swear allegiance to Hitler. The SS managed the camps. The system was expanded to include all of the “undesirables”: A. Jews, B. conscientious objectors like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, C. homosexuals, D. Poles, E. gypsies, and F. the opponents of Nazism such as writers and journalists.
Camps can be divided into three categories: work camps, transit camps and death camps. A)Work Camps These camps were used for slave labour: 10-14 hours a day to build roads, work in quarries, manufacture weaponry, clothe the army, etc. Various German industries and manufactures used the cheap labour of the camps (Farben, Volkswagen, etc).
Inmates were herded into barracks or living quarters, given almost no food, worked often to death, subjected to torture and physical and emotional abuse. Resistance was met with death.
After the beginning of 1942, the camp system in general was lethal for Jews.
Methods of killing included : rounding up Jews and shooting them mobile killing vans gas
Besides the killings, Nazi doctors performed cruel medical experiments on Jews of all ages. In most cases, these Jews died from the experimentation.
Camps housing Jews did so on a temporary basis, because the Germans had consigned all Jews to death. Only the rate of extermination, not the goal, might vary.” (Goldhagen)
B. Transit Camps These camps were used as temporary points from which prisoners were deported to the killing centres. Example : The Frank Family was shipped to Westerbork en route to the death camps..
C.Death Camps These camps were built by slave labour once the invasion of the Soviet Union was underway. Although the invading forces were followed closely by the Einsatzgruppen, Himmler deemed that it was too hard on his men to kill all the Jews and requested that a more efficient system be built. Hence the death camps that were built as killing centers.
There were six death camps that were built in total, all on Polish soil. Two of the six had forced labour camps as well (Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek).
What needs to be remembered: Any form of resistance was met with certain death. The Nazis were armed, were not averse to torturing and slaughtering babies and adults alike in public and there were trained guard dogs to help “herd” people onto the trains.
Reflection How was it possible that the Jews and others went so readily into the trains? How could so many people just go “like sheep to the slaughter”? Why did they go where they were told to go? What role did deception and fear play in this process?
Draw A Death Camp Activity 1. Each student receives a blank paper 2. Eyes closed throughout this activity 3. Draw the scene as described by the teacher 4. Points are rewarded if student draws the camp as directed. 5. Student with most points wins
Einsatzgruppen The largest groupings of Jews were in the East. Once Hitler began his invasion of the Soviet Union, the large population of Jews had to be dealt with.
The Einsatzgruppen or Special Attention Squads were recruited in 1941.
These were specially trained units of the SS whose orders were to kill the Jews, communists and Gypsies.
They followed the invading troops to Russia and Poland. By the end of 1942, the Einsatzgruppen had murdered more than a million Soviet Jews.
Babi Yar Massacre :a ravine outside of Kiev in the Ukraine According to the Einsatzgruppen records, 33,771 Jews were killed at Babi Yar on September 29-30, 1941 alone. The total figure for Babi Yar from 1941-1943 is approximately 100,000 people, mostly Jews. The Ukrainian militia helped the SS in their task. In 1943 the bodies were dug out by slave labour and burned to hide the evidence of the slaughter.
Resistance Moral resistance and physical resistance occurred in ghettos, camps and the forests. Moral Resistance : Those who wrote diaries, taught lessons, and printed underground reports were moral resistors. Diaries were kept in the ghettos and camps to document the horrors. Music was written in the ghettos and played and sung as an act of resistance Even in the ghettos, education and religious practices were maintained until the end Maintaining dignity was an act of resistance Some children were born in the ghettos and camps but never survived for long.
Physical resistance can be subdivided into: National Resistance: Before German occupation, Bulgaria, Hungary, Finland, and Italy refused to deport Jews. It is interesting to note here that these countries had governments that collaborated with the Nazis even though large portions of their populations were actively involved in resistance. The Vichy government of France was one of the primary collaborators and aided in the deportation of Jews. Yet there was a fierce underground movement in France that saved countless Jews either by hiding them or by getting them to safe havens. The people of Denmark also operated an enormous resistance movement and the Danes managed to ferry almost all of their Jewish population in overnight operations in 1943 to Sweden.
Underground resistance movements: Widespread partisan resistance existed in the occupied territories. Ironically, Poland had a very well organized resistance movement.
Resistance in the ghettos and Camps: There were armed Jewish uprising in the ghettos of Tarnow, Radom, Bedzin, Bialystok, and others. For three weeks, in 1943, the 65,000 remaining Jews of the Warsaw ghetto battled German police attempting a final roundup. Show Video Clip 5 of theWarsaw Ghetto Uprising
Story Circles 1. Students view the picture. 2. Person holding picture creates a sentence and reads it to the group. 3. He/She writes it down and then passes the picture and sentence to the next person 4. Next person adds to the 1 st sentence by repeating steps 1-3 5. Present story to the group
Death Marches As the Russians advanced from the east and the British and Americans from the west, it had become obvious that Hitler was losing the war. Evidence of the atrocities was to be erased. The Germans tried to erase the atrocities by burning the evidence such as at Babi Yar. Watch Babi Yar clip
Himmler ordered the emergency evacuation of prisoners from camps in the occupied territories. In early 1945 most of the prisoners were dragged by the thousands in long death marches lasting several days in cold and rain and without equipment or food.
Exhaustion, starvation, thirst and the killing of escapees and the weak accounted for hundreds of thousands of victims. The local populations, who had been incited against the prisoners, attacked them and refused sanctuary to those who escaped.
At the reception camps, masses of the new arrivals died of starvation and overcrowding, which hastened the spread of epidemics such as typhus and spotted fever. The evacuation operation cost the lives of about 250,000 prisoners, many of them Jews.
Watch Video clip 6 and 7 Band of Brothers : Discovering the Camp Visiting the Camps
Reflection: Do you think the Nazis could ever hide the evidence of their crimes?