Between Holocaust and Samudaripen The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state- sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. "Holocaust" is a word of Greek origin meaning "sacrifice by fire." Contrary to French historians, this term is more used in English speaking countries especially the USA. Shoah is also used. It’s a Hebrew word meaning catastrophe. This term is used by the French and European historians by preference to Holocaust. But this term is challenged nowadays because, as it is an hebrew word, it only refers to the genocide of the Jews. Samudaripen is a Romanes/Gypsy word, meaning Overall killings, recently used (2010) to specify the Roma Holocaust.
The racial theories at the origin of the Holocaust The racial theories at the origin of the Holocaust were contained in the Nazi ideology which separated people according to their race. Hitler applied these theories immediately after it took power on January 30 th 1933, with the first measures against the Jews on April 1 st 1933. These theories separated people between the « inferior races » and the « superior races ». During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived "racial inferiority": Roma (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals.
People concerned by the Holocaust The Holocaust touched many groups of people during WW2 - The Jews who were the most important to be killed: approx. 6 million - Roma (Gypsies), the second most touched people: approx. 200,000 - Certain Slavic peoples : Poles and Russians - Disabled Considered as an “inferior race” - Members of political parties: communists socialists - Resistance fighters - Religious groups: Jehovah’s Witnesses - Homosexuals Persecuted for political reasons or because they were considered as socially deviant
How was such a massacre possible? Nazis step by step brought on play solutions to cause the death of thousand of people at a large scale. Nazis called that action: the Final Solution, i.e. using all the industrial means already known to exterminate several peoples at an industrial scale. The Final Solution was using industry and its techniques of production to exterminate Men.
The Holocaust took several forms: - Deportation in concentration camps (to exterminate men and women sent there by forced labour) and killing centers (to destroy at a large scale all the people, or close, that arrived at the camp). - Ghettos : It consisted in locking the Jews in districts of some polish cities to let them progressively die from hunger. Ex: The Ghetto of Warsaw or Craiova. The Survivors were deported in camps. -The Mass Shootings: it consisted in gradually exterminating during the progress on the Russian front, peoples considered as an “inferior race”, especially the Jews and Roma, using rifle fires before common graves, during days and nights.
Concentration camps and killing centers (also called extermination camps)
- Concentration camps: People were imprisoned and forced to work on very bad conditions in order to kill them by forced labour. -Killing centers (also called extermination camps): People were deported there and immediately sent to the gas chamber in order to be terminated. Some camps were both like Auschwitz Birkenau. Several sorts of camps were used in the Nazi industrial death machine
The organisation of a killing center: Auschwitz-Birkenau
Auschwitz, a camp among a large system of camps
1. Camp commandant’s house ; 2.Main guard house ; 3. Camp Administrative offoces ; 4. Gestapo ; 5. Reception Building/Prisoners registration ; 6. Kitchen ; 7. Gas Chamber and Crematoria ; 8. Storage buildings and workshops ; 9. Storage of confiscated belongings; 10. Gravel Pit: Execution site; 11. Camp Orchestra sites ; 12. « Black Wall », execution site ; 13. Block 11 : Punishment Bunker ; 14. Block 10 : Medical Experiments ; 15. Gallows; 16. Block Commander’s barracks ; 17. SS Hospital United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
1. « Sauna » : Disinfection ; 2. Gas Chamber and Crematorium #2 ; 3. Gas Chamber and Crematorium #3 ; 4. Gas Chamber and Crematorium #4 ; 5. Gas Chamber and Crematorium #5 ; 6. Cremation Pyres ; 7. Mass Graves for Soviet POWs; 8. Main Guard House; 9. Barrack of Disrobing; 10. Sewage Treatment Plants; 11. Medical experiment barrack ; 12. Ash Pits; 13. Rampe (Railroad platform) ; 14. Provisional Gas Chamber #1; 15. Provisional Gas Chamber #2. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Main entrance to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. Poland, date uncertain — Beit Lohamei Haghettaot
On January 27 th 1945, the Soviet army entered in Auschwitz and freed more than 7,000 remaining prisoners who, for the most part, were ill and dying. The others had been sent back to Germany during the Death marches to Ravensbrück and Dachau. Historians estimated to 1.3 million of people deported to Auschwitz from 1940 to 1945. Among them 1.1 million were exterminated.
The Ghettos were also a way to exterminate the Jews – the case of Warsaw
The Jews Mass Shooting Between 1941 and 1944, almost one and a half million Ukrainian Jews were assassinated when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The immense majority was killed by Einsatzgruppen firing squads (mobile execution units in the East), Waffen SS units, the German police and local collaborators. Only a small minority was assassinated after having been deported to extermination camps. Since 2004, Father Patrick Desbois and the Yahad-In Unum research team regularly travel across the regions of Ukraine, intent on identifying and assessing every site in eastern and western Ukraine in which Jews were exterminated by mobile Nazi units during World War II. Einsatzgruppen in Liepaja, Latvia, 1941 Einsatzgruppen film footage
Finally, the Holocaust caused about 6 million of deaths: -For the Jews: 5.1 millions of deaths, i.e. from 54 % to 64% of the Jewish population in 1939 800,000 of deaths in the Ghettos 1.3 million of deaths in the Jews Mass Shooting Approx. 3 million of deaths in concentration camps and killing centers -For the Roma: 200,000 of deaths, i.e 30 % of the Roma population in1939 - Others deaths concerned the disabled, Resistance fighters, war prisoners, homosexuals, people caught in round up (like hostages), common law prisoners, and so.