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THE HOLOCAUST

THE HOLOCAUST

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THE HOLOCAUST

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  1. THE HOLOCAUST The Destruction of the European Jews, 1939-1945

  2. DEFINING THE HOLOCAUST • Mass murder of more than 5,000,000 Jews • Holocaust: sacrificial offering burnt whole before the Lord • Sho’ah: catastrophe • Genocide: total physical annihilation • Gypsies, mentally and physically handicapped, Soviet prisoners of war, Polish and Soviet citizens, political prisoners, religious dissenters, homosexuals

  3. ROOTS • History of prejudice in Christianity – claimed to be the fulfillment of biblical prophecy and the sole recipient of God’s Covenant • Pogroms, discriminatory laws, expulsions • Eugenics: racial pseudo-science

  4. HOW THE FINAL SOLUTION CAME ABOUT – 1930s • Excluding the racially inferior • Creating the Gestapo • The first concentration camps • Nuremberg Laws – Sept 1935 • Crystal Night Pogrom – Nov 9-10 1938 • Evian Conference – July 1938

  5. WAR • Euthanasia (T4) Program • Nazi racial policies in Poland • Yellow badge in the West • Attack on the USSR & mobile killing squads – “Einsatsgruppen” • Volunteers – “Hiwi” – to help guard labor and extermination camps

  6. FINAL SOLUTION • Wannsee Conference – Jan 1942 – authorized systematic deportation of 11,000,000 Jews

  7. CAMPS • Forced Labor camps • Extermination camps: 4 of 6 devoted exclusively to mass murder Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka Extermination through work: Majdanek, Auschwitz

  8. INTERPRETATIONS • Intentionalists: pinpointing Hitler’s fixation • Functionalists: No premeditated plan -- A “twisted road” to Auschwitz • Synthesizers: Before and after 1941

  9. WHO WERE THE PERPETRATORS? • SS and Police, German Army, German physicians, German civil servants, Non- German volunteers (Hiwis), Non- German Govt. officials • Explanations for their behavior: Indoctrination, superior orders, careerism, peer pressure, self- preservation

  10. HOW DID THE VICTIMS TRY TO SURVIVE? • Accomodation – obeying the law • Armed resistance • Evasion • Surviving camps

  11. BYSTANDERS • Bystanders: apathy and indifference • Rescuers: family background that emphasized justice and non-violent solutions. Less concerned about race, class, and nation

  12. THE ALLIED POWERS • Bombing? • Negotiations? • Pressure through Vatican and satellites? • Publicized mass-murder to influence bystanders? • Waited too long to establish WRB? • Jewish committees of the free world? • The Neutrals?

  13. THE LASTING EFFECTS • Notion of linear progress and Reason shattered • Studying the Holocaust to avoid other genocides • The Shoah project – taped interviews • “Blockbuster” interpretations of the Holocaust: Schindler’s List – saving lives • Primo Levi’s If this is a Man? – Survival at Auschwitz • Negationism