The Holocaust Never Again
What do you know? • In groups of three discuss what you learned about the Holocaust in high school or before. • If you don’t know much, why do you think that is? • Each group should have at least 4-5 items to share with the class in detail (you can include facts, field trips, novels, projects, and films you studied).
Nazi Philosophy • The individual did not matter • The Volk was everything. • The Volk (the people)was a key component to Hitler's ideal of Germany. It recalled a simple, pastoral life. • Productivity determined your worth as a person. • Aryans had the potential to be most productive. • Jews, Blacks, Gypsies, the disabled, and the feeble were burdens on society. • Hitler did not invent any of this. He simply expanded on ideas that were developing as a result of WWI and the Depression.
Main Players • Hitler- leader and founder • Goebbels- Director of propaganda, press and film departments in Nazi Germany. • Dr. Eichmann- Director of medical experimentation on Jews and Gypsies. • Dr. Mengele- Director of Eugenics (medical experiments on twins and pregnant women) • Himmler- military strategy • The SS- secret police (highest level and honor) • Gestapo- local police
Role of German people • Had been Anti-Semetic for centuries. • Believed in Social Darwinism. • Were eager to claim their status among European countries. • Eventually many Germans felt the Third Reich went too far, but no one spoke up. • Other countries were eager to prove their status as Aryans and so were often more brutal than the original Nazis.
The Righteous • Some people in Europe, like Raohl and Schindler and many others risked their lives to save Jewish people from the Nazis. • Israel honors these people’s commitment to TikkunOlam (the Jewish belief that to save a life is to save the world) by calling them The Righteous. • They have a special room in YadVashem (the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Israel) and are allowed to be buried in Israel regardless of citizenship.
Myths • Hitler was Jewish • Jews could save themselves if they converted or immigrated • There were no children in concentration camps • The Holocaust was the result of a crazy man’s dream. • The Holocaust happened because of anger and fear due to the Great Depression.
Holocaust Art • Hitler's ideas concerning music and art shaped the cultural atmosphere and political policies for all of Germany. • He decried the "degenerate" influence on German culture from Jews and Blacks, particularly through Jazz music, and stated his repugnance repeatedly. • Any artist who did not fit into the ideal of Volk was excluded. This meant that only German composers, Operas, artists, etc were acceptable forms of entertainment and culture. • True art as defined by Hitler was linked with the country life, with health, and with the Aryan race.
Examples Wagner’s Opera: Tristan Jews could not play German music as it would taint the purity of the sound. Most German art and film at the time was more propaganda than art form.
Hitler. Nuremberg speech, Sept. 11, 1935 • "Art is a noble mission. Those who have been chosen by destiny [Vorsehung] to reveal the soul of a people, to let it speak in stone or ring in sounds, live under a powerful, almighty, and all-pervading force. They will speak a language, regardless of whether others understand them. They will suffer hardship rather than become unfaithful to the star which guides them from within." --Hitler. Nuremberg speech, Sept. 11, 1935
Adolf Hitler's words are strangely prophetic. Professional and amateur artists of all genres recorded what they saw and experienced during the reign of the Third Reich. They went beyond simple protest against the hardships, misery and inhumanity to leave an eloquent account of their sufferings. The record left by ghetto dwellers, camp internees, and displaced persons create snapshots of life and death under Hitler. Inmate drawings and paintings speak eloquently of man's inhumanity and cruelty. The Nazis labeled this art "horror propaganda"; Holocaust writer Lawrence Langer calls it the "horror truth."
Art of the Camps and Ghettos • Moshe Rynecki was a painter whose work often directed attention to the persecution of the Jews. He lived in the Warsaw ghetto and died at Majdanek. • http://www.rynecki.org/ • Some inmate art was actually sanctioned by the camp or ghetto authorities. Preserved remnants of barracks decoration can still be viewed in Auschwitz and Birkenau.
Inmates who produced clandestine art did so at great risk to their lives. These artists used their talents to create works of art as an expression of their own humanity- something the Holocaust sought to destroy and or ignore. • When the liberation forces were examining the ghettos and camps, thousands of pictures drawn by children and adults were discovered. These images bear silent testimony to man's eternal need to create, and portray for future generations a way of living and dyingthat the Third Reich tried to hide.
Nazi Approved Art • "Divine destiny has given the German people everything in the person of one man. Not only does he possess strong and ingenious statesmanship, not only is he ingenious as a soldier, not only is he the first worker and the first economist among his people but, and this is perhaps his greatest strength, he is an artist. He came from art, he devoted himself to art, especially the art of architecture, this powerful creator of great buildings. And now he has also become the Reich's builder." • --Hakenkreuzbanner (The Swastika Flag), June 10, 1938
Art was considered to be one of the most important elements to strengthening the Third Reich and purifying the nation. • Political aims and artistic expression became one. • The task of art in the Third Reich was to shape the population's attitudes by carrying political messages with stereotyped concepts and art forms. • True art as defined by Hitler was linked with the country life, with health, and with the Aryan race. • Modern art, therefore, had no place in the Third Reich.
"We shall discover and encourage the artists who are able to impress upon the State of the German people the cultural stamp of the Germanic race . . . in their origin and in the picture which they present they are the expressions of the soul and the ideals of the community." (Hitler, Party Day speech, 1935; in Adam, 1992)
Holocaust Architecture: the camps • Architecture was Hitler's favorite art form. He viewed himself as the "master builder of the Third Reich." Among the surviving examples of Nazi architecture is the Olympic stadium complex in Berlin. • The Olympic games had been scheduled before Hitler came to power in 1933. He saw this event as a unique opportunity to play host to the world and to show Germany as a force to be reckoned with. He wanted Germany to be portrayed in the best possible light and removed all antisemitic slogans that had defaced the walls of public buildings. The stadium was built as a huge assembly place for hundreds of thousands of people to celebrate Nazi rituals. The art that accompanied this colossal building was no less magnificent.
Although all Nazi architecture was meant to show Nazi power, not all Nazi Architecture was beautiful.
http://www.auschwitz.org.pl/ • Concentration and Death camps were among the Nazi’s most amazing and gruesome buildings. They show a precision to detail and systematic, emotionally devoid, sense of hatred never before seen among peoples.
Holocaust Language • Words changed in meaning as a result of the Holocaust. • Degenerate art referred to art made by Jews and Blacks • Camps, Survivor, witness, testimony, tattoo and many others have been altered in meaning forever.
The Post-Holocaust World • Next power point will deal with: • Existentialism- (philosophy /art/etc) • Modernism- (in everyday art) • Post-Modernism –(literature and art) • America 1950-1990 –(socio-political developments) • America and Israel- (allies)
Holocaust Denial • The greatest form of Anti-Semitism today is in the form of Holocaust denial. • It can be seen in outright denial of it ever happening to believing it was a Jewish creation to blame the world for its destruction. • Most countries have no laws against such hate speech. Anyone can be a Holocaust denier, including college professors. • Iran’s president hosts a yearly “academic” conference on the topic. Academic is an oxymoronic term since all Holocaust deniers are basing their opinions on hate and myth and not on any historical or scientific evidence. • England and Germany are among the few nations that have made it illegal to deny the Holocaust.
Facts • 6 million Jews were murdered by German Nazis or neighboring fascist governments working with German Nazis. • 11 million people were killed in total as a result of Nazi laws, labor and death camps. • Gypsies, Gay men and Lesbian women were the next greatest target for the Nazi party. Often tortured and currently seldom recognized as valid victims of the Holocaust. • Blacks, the invalid, and political dissidents were also victims of the Holocaust. • Everyone had their own color triangle they had to wear on their chests. Jews were given two yellow triangles that formed a star of David. • Hitler was elected by regular people, who allowed their fears and their dislike of others to overpower their sense of morality. They allowed themselves to believe that not everyone is human on an equal playing field and that some “people” don’t deserve to live. • These people were essentially bullies who gained control of a country and created a social nightmare.