The Holocaust 1933-1945
Vocabulary • Holocaust: mass destruction or loss of life • Concentration Camp: guarded compound for detainees during the Holocaust • Anti-semitism: hatred towards the Jewish • Liberation: to set free • Liquidate: to get rid of, eliminate or kill • Ghetto: section of the city where Jewish were forced to live • Synagogue: Jewish place of worship
Holocaust • Plan to exterminate Jewish population during Nazi regime • Targets: Jewish, Communists, homosexuals, disabled, Russians, Gypsies, Jehovah Witnesses, etc. • Mastermind: Nazi leader Adolf Hitler • Mein Kampf outlined plan • German race superior, others inferior • Between 10-12 million died • 90% of Polish Jewish exterminated
How Did They Know? • Nazis would demand membership list from synagogues • Those suspected had to prove they were not Jewish (produce certificates of baptism) • Following traditions (eating only kosher food, dress, etc) • Association & whereabouts • Family background
Why the Jewish? Majority of Europe was anti-Semetic Anti-Semetic pamphlets distributed Jealousy Jewish were only group singled out for extermination Nazi propaganda Threat to Germany Interfered w/ Aryan dominance Criminals
The Beginning… • Hitler gained power in 1933 • Spoke of Jewish hatred • Used propaganda to rally Jewish hatred • Education geared towards war & anti-Semitism (pg. 16) • Turned all aspects of German life against Jewish • Boycott Jewish Business
Hitler on Education “I do not want an intellectual education. I want young people who will grow up to frighten the world…arrogant, violent, unafraid, cruel youth who must be able to suffer pain. Nothing tender and weak must be left in them.”
The Beginning Cont…. • Nuremberg Laws passed in 1935 • Citizenship & civil rights deprived • Forced out of public life: • Couldn’t go to public schools, theatres, walk in certain parts of city/town removed from professions
Kristallnacht “Night of Broken Glass” pg. 24 Violence against Jews Synagogues burned Businesses trashed Cemeteries, hospitals, and schools looted (pg. 24)
Fleeing Germany By 1938, roughly 500,000 fled Germany Thousands fled to Palestine, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Holland, Britain, Sweden & France Dominican Republic openly allowed refugees
Voyage of the St. Louis SS St. Louis, a German ocean liner 936 passengers left Germany May of 1936 All had passports for Cuba in hopes of emigrating to U.S. (waiting list) Turned away when they reached Havana U.S. Coast guard did not allow entry Returned to Europe (288 got off in England) Belgium, Holland, and France took the rest (perished in the Holocaust)
Evian Conference Conference held in 1938 to discuss issue of increasing Jewish refugees Hitler welcomed emigration of Jewish Other countries would not accept Jewish refugees or set quotas Failed economies, Anti-Semitism & distrust of foreigners, racial problems Most Jewish remained in Germany Pg. 26
And it Begins… • In 1940, forced to relocate to ghettos • Usually marked off the oldest, most run down sections of cities. • 11 mile wall built to keep from escaping • Guards stationed throughout • Living conditions miserable; 70,000 died in 2 years. • Trolley cars still ran through. Outside passengers gawked and sneered at ghetto prisoners • Jewish Council
Ghetto Life Description “Life in the ghettos was usually unbearable. Overcrowding was common. An apartment might have several families living in it. Plumbing broke down, and human waste was thrown in the streets with the garbage. Contagious diseases spread rapidly in such cramped, unsanitary housing. People were always hungry. Germans deliberately tried to starve residents. During winter, heating and fuel was scarce, and most lacked adequate clothing. Tens of thousands died in the ghettos from illness, starvation, and cold.
Resistance Revolts in over 100 ghettos Armed themselves w/ any weapon possible Thousands escaped & hid in forests Resisters met w/ extreme force Auschwitz: 4 prisoners stole & dressed in SS gear stole an automobile & drove out main gate Warsaw Ghetto: pg. 70
And it Begins… 1939: “Incurably ill” first to die Ex. Babies born w/ disability Mentally ill Killed by starvation, lethal injection & gas chambers German hospitals released information Pg. 32
Mobile Killing Squads After Soviet Union invasion in 1941 Emigration turned to mass murder SS soldiers killed any Jews they could find Pg. 42
Final Solution Solving “The Jewish Question” Ghettos not killing fast enough Final Solution: Ghetto survivors deported to death camps for extermination The SS rounded up ghetto survivors for deportation
On the Train Most did not know reason for boarding trains Crammed into boxcars until no room left No seats, bathrooms & only had slated openings as windows. When doors opened, the passengers felt relief as nothing could have been worse than the train ride.
Concentration Camps • 6 main death & labor camps • Built near railroad line for faster transportation • Up to 1,500 • Transit & detention camps • Death camps: Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek, etc • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nazi-German_concentration_camps
Camp Arrival Women, children, elderly & sick immediately sent to “showers” Greeted by SS soldier (physician) to make decision on slave labor Others segregated by sex Possessions taken away, heads shaved, uniforms issued & numbers tattooed Medical experiments conducted on inmates
Camp Life • 10-12 hr labor • Confined to crowded barracks • Infested with bugs & rats • Little to no sanitation • Food ration depended on labor • 1300 calories for less demanding • 1700 for physical • Leveled grounds, • Laying of roads & bricks • Digging ditches
Camp Life The prisoners' day began at 4:30 am with "reveille" or roll call, with 30 minutes allowed for morning ablutions. After roll call, workers would walk to their place of work, five abreast, wearing striped camp fatigues, no underwear, and wooden shoes without socks, most of the time ill-fitting, which caused great pain. A prisoner's orchestra was forced to play grotesquely cheerful music as the workers marched through the gates in step. Prisoners who had been promoted to foremen—were responsible for the prisoners' behavior while they worked, as was an SS escort. The working day lasted 12 hours during the summer, and a little less in the winter. No rest periods were allowed. One prisoner would be assigned to the restrooms to measure the time the workers took.
Medical Experiments • Freezing Tests • Sea Water Tests • Malaria Experiments • Bone & Muscle Transplants • Head Injury Experiments
Experiments on Twins • Dr. Josef “Uncle” Mengele • Twins singled out immediately • Received “special treatment” • “Mengle’s Children” • Eye Injections • Shots & Disease Injections • Surgeries
Executions Death marches Mass shootings Gas Chambers Hanging
Prior to Gas Chamber Entrance Speech given a group of Greek Jews in the undressing room shortly before the group was led into the gas chamber to be killed: "On behalf of the camp administration I bid you welcome. This is not a holiday resort but a labor camp. Just as our soldiers risk their lives at the front to gain victory for the Third Reich, you will have to work here for the welfare of a new Europe. How you tackle this task is entirely up to you. The chance is there for every one of you. We shall look after your health, and we shall also offer you well-paid work. After the war we shall assess everyone according to his merits and treat him accordingly."
Killing Centers Strip down and turn over all their valuables Steel door was locked behind once inside Poison (Zyklon B) emitted Die within minutes from lack of oxygen Bodies burned in crematoria or mass graves Bodies pillaged for profit (gold teeth)
End of Holocaust • Inmates forced on death marches after news of Allies arrival • Germans attempt to destroy camps to hide evidence • Camps liberated by Allies w/ few survivors (100,000-200,000) • End of war in 1945 signifies end of Holocaust
Death Marches Soviets closed in Mass movement of camp inmates March long distances without food or water If you fell behind, you were shot and killed.
Allied Liberation Soviets 1st arrived in July 1944 Auschwitz, January 1945 Americans freed survivors of Dachau “There were about a dozen bodies in the dirty boxcar, men and women alike. They had gone without food so long that their dead wrists were broomsticks tipped with claws. These were the victims of a deliberate starvation diet…” Survivors died within days Guilt fell upon survivors
Nuremburg Trials 1946: Trials held to prosecute Nazi war criminals Prosecuted for initiating war, Holocaust, etc. 21 Nazi war officials sentenced to death or life imprisonment
International Response Could Allies have saved more lives? Countries set up quotas Alaska as a safe haven? Bombing of concentration camps? Aside from Denmark & Bulgaria, most occupied countries cooperated Pope expressed sympathy, but remained neutral
Full Support? Not all of Germany agreed, but most went along Some aided Jewish in hiding Italy & Japan would not cooperate & refused to deport Jewish Japanese accepted refugees
Supporters Righteous Among the Nations: Non-Jewish who risked life by helping Jewish to avoid extermination Ex. MiepGies: aid provided to Anne Franke Nominated by Jewish family Receive award, certificate, gratification, etc.
Holocaust Denial Claims: -Gas chambers not used -Nazi never authorized or intended to exterminate Jewish -# of deaths exaggerated -Myth created by Allies to demonize Germany -Survivor testimonies unreliable -Denial illegal in 17 countries
Propaganda “Germans defend yourselves; don’t purchase from the Jews!”
Arrival Right: Slave Labor Left: Gas Chambers