Introduction to Night Holocaust Notes
Monday, April 21 Bell Work (start a new one): Take Out: The Bell Work from last week What is the importance of compassion and courage?
Announcements • Still have your TKAM book? • ACT • Monday: Regular • Tuesday: 1, 3, 5 • Wednesday: Late Start-11:50am • Thursday: 2, 4, 6 • Friday: Regular • Bus=4 ½ hours later than normal time
NightIntroduction • Plot Summary
Prior Knowledge: Literature & History • What prior knowledge do you have? • Which texts have you read? • Which movies have you seen? • What have you already studied?
How does this pertain to English? • Survivors, as primary sources, are eye-witnesses of this period in time. As they pass on, their written works become their voice. • Consider the motive behind the diaries and letters that were carefully hidden. • The victims wanted their stories to be known. • In History you learn the facts; in English the stories. Through reading, you experience the world. This milk can, filled to the brim with diaries and letters, was carefully buried so that the truth could eventually be heard.
Basic Overview: The Holocaust • The Holocaust refers to a specific genocidal event in twentieth-century history: the state-sponsored, systematicpersecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945. • Be careful with terms like “The Germans”; they did not act alone. The time period known as “The Holocaust” is offensive to some people because he word holocaust refers to a sacrifice by fire- sometimes offensive to people because it implies the Jews were sacrificed for the greater good. What do you think?
Basic Overview: continued Jews were the primary victims— 6 million were murdered; Gypsies, the handicapped, and Poles were also targeted for destruction or decimation for racial, ethnic, or national reasons. Millions more, including homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war, and political dissidents, also suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi tyranny. Photo montage of victims USHMM Washington D.C.
Before the War • Jews were living in every country in Europe before the Nazis came into power in 1933 • Approximately 9 million Jews • Poland and the Soviet Union had the largest populations • Jews could be found in all walks of life: farmers, factory workers, business people, doctors, teachers, and craftsmen Group portrait of members of the Jewish community of Sighet in front of a wooden synagogue. 1930-1939.
Anti-Semitism Hits • Nazi teachers began to apply the “principles” of racial science by measuring skull size and nose length and recording students’ eye color and hair to determine whether students belonged the the “Aryan race.” • Basically means “the hate of Jews”. • Jews have faced prejudice and discrimination for over 2,000 years. • Jews were scapegoats for many problems. For example, people blamed Jews for the “Black Death” that killed thousands in Europe during the Middle Ages.
Which students do you think are Jewish? (all of them)
Book Burning: The First Step to Public Persuasion and Ignorance “Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings." Heinrich Heine
The GhettosSections of cities were first gated off to segregate Jews. These became ghettos. Some people were transported into ghettos.These were very condensed living quarters. Basic living necessitates such as food and running water were limited. This quickly led to the spread of diseases such as Typhoid.
Typhoid • Typhoid fever — also known simply as typhoid — is a common worldwide bacterial disease transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person,
Concentration Camps • These holding camps served two main purposes: to demoralize and dehumanize. • Prisoners were immediately separated from their families and then stripped of their belongings, clothing, and hair. • There is great value in having a sense of self and a purpose. What happens when those two things are stripped from you? • Eliminates the desire to escape and rebel. • Where do you go if you are convinced you have nowhere to go? • Freedom is only desirable if you have a will and purpose to be free.
Labor Camps • Prisoners were forced to engage in strenuous penal labor and production to aid the war.
Death Camps • Purpose: to complete the final step in The Final Solution
Piles of shoes that belonged to prisoners who were murdered upon arrival, were recycled. Auschwitz 1945
Hair was used to make bomb fuses, felt, thread, rope and mattress stuffing.
The Centrality of Auschwitz • Auschwitz was a death camp. It is also the only camp that tattooed ID #’s on the arms of victims. • The amount of planning it took to simply transport people- never mind murder them and recycle their belongings- required a system. • Many people claim theydidn’t do anything to stop the killing because they “didn’t know”. Historian Raul Hilberg points out that over 1 million Germans must have known about the death camps, just by virtue of their association with the railroads.
The Nazis found willing collaborators in many occupied territories. They couldn’t have pulled it off by themselves. • A member of the Lithuanian auxiliary police, who has just returned from taking part in the mass execution of the local Jewish population in the Rase Forest, auctions off their personal property in the central market of Utena. Lithuanians, July 1941
Resistance Occurred Portrait of Jewish partisans (Bedzin ghetto, Poland 1942).Jewish resistance occurred in many forms and many places, including armed revolts in the death camps.
Denmark, October 1943: The Danish did many things to help the Jews escape and survive. In this picture, a crowd gathers around a Danish Nazi and a Jew he has apprehended. Danish police later helped the Jewish man to escape.
Some people immigrated successfully The voyage of the St. Louis, May – June 1939
Why didn’t they just leave? • The Evian Conference sent a message to the Jews that even if they could get out of Germany, most countries didn’t want to take on massive immigration during lean economic times. • How has the cartoonist labeled the man in the middle? What does this imply about the tenor of the times? The Evian Conference. Political cartoon entitled, "Will the Evian Conference guide him to freedom?“, published in July 1938, The New York Times
Avoid comparisons of pain Don’t jump to conclusions about other people’s pain, i.e. “The Holocaust was the most difficult period of time.” Pain is an abstract and relative concept. It is by no means a contest: our goal is simply to widen our knowledge and experience through literature.
Levels of suffering? Injustice causes suffering. Rwanda Trail of Tears Armenia American slavery
A group of Gypsy prisoners congregate in the Rivesaltes internment camp. The Roma experience came closest to that of the Jews. Persecuted as an inferior race, between 25 – 50 % of their prewar population murdered by the Nazis, by members of the Einsatzgruppen and in concentration and death camps. Roma, 1939 - 1942
Vocabulary • Genocide- the systematic and planned extermination of an entire nation, race, or ethnic group • Annihilation- total destruction • Holocaust- the state-sponsored systematic persecution of European Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945 • Totalitarianism- total control of the country by the government • Fascism- a system of government that is marked by stringent social and economic control, a strong centralized government usually headed by a dictator
Vocabulary continued • Anti-Semitism- ill-feeling or hatred toward Jews • Stereotype- commonly held popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals • Racism- hatred of a person or group because of race or ethnic background • Bigotry- obstinately or intolerantly devoted to opinions, prejudices, and animosity about a group of people • Prejudice- a preconceived opinion or judgment
Find these terms • Kristallnacht • The Final Solution • Aryan • The Jewish Question • Resettlement