Vocab • Concentration Camps – detention centers, prisons, for civilians considered enemies of the state. • Holocaust – Nazi massacre of approx. 6 million Jews. About 5 million other people: Gypsies, Poles, Homosexuals, people with handicap, and political dissenters were also killed. • Genocide – the murder of a group of people based on their race. • Nuremburg Trials – European trials for Nazis who committed “crimes against humanity”
Prelude to the Final Solution • In 1935 Nuremberg laws limit the Jews rights • In 1938, the Nazi attack on the Jews changed and became more violent with Himmler launching Kristallnacht on 11th November 1938. • By 1939, half of Germany’s 500,000 Jews had emigrated to escape Nazi persecution.
In 1939, Germany invaded Poland which had a much larger population of 3 million Jews. Jews were forced into Ghettos, walled off sections of town and given very little food. (starve them out) Prelude to the Final Solution
Read “Ghetto” (folder 5) • Watch clip • Pt 1 • Pt 2 (ch 5)
Change of Tactics: Einsatzgruppen • In 1941, Germany invaded Russia which had a population of 5 million Jews. • Himmler sent four specially trained SS units called “Einsatzgruppen battalions” into German occupied territory and shot at least 1 million Jews. • Victims were taken to deserted areas where they were made to dig their own graves and shot. • When the SS ran out of bullets they sometimes killed their victims using flame throwers.
The ‘Final Solution’ • In January 1942, Himmler decided to change tactics once again. • It was decided that the existing methods were too inefficient and that a new ‘Final Solution’ was necessary.
Why do you think that they located them here? Where were the Death Camps built? The work of the Einsatzgruppen
Deception The Jews were told that they were going to ‘resettlement areas’ in the East. In some Ghettos the Jews had to purchase their own train tickets. They were told to bring the tools of their trade and pots and pans. New arrivals at the Death camps were given postcards to send to their friends. Terror and Starvation The SS publicly shot people for smuggling food or for any act of resistance The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were only fed a 1000 calories a day . SS Tactics
More SS Tactics: Dehumanisation • The SS guards who murdered the Jews were brainwashed with Anti-Semitic propaganda. • The Jews were transported in cattle cars in terrible conditions. • Naked, dirty and half starved people look like animals, which helped to reinforce the Nazi propaganda. • The SS used to train their new guards by encouraging them to set fire to a pit full of live victims – usually children.
Entrance to Auschwitz Notice how it has been built to resemble a railway station
Map of Auschwitz New Arrivals ‘Showers’ ‘Destruction Through Work’
Auschwitz from the air Notice how the Death camp is set out like a factory complex The Nazis used industrial methods to murder the Jews and process their dead bodies
The Gas Chambers • The Nazis would force large groups of prisoners into small cement rooms and drop canisters of Zyklon B, or prussic acid, in its crystal form through small holes in the roof. • These gas chambers were sometimes disguised as showers or bathing houses. The SS would try and pack up to 2000 people into this gas chamber
Notice the Ovens easy located near the Gas Chambers The outside of the Gas Chamber
Processing the bodies • Specially selected Jews known as the sonderkommando were used to to remove the gold fillings and hair of people who had been gassed. • The Sonderkommando Jews were also forced to feed the dead bodies into the crematorium.
Shoes waiting to be processed by the sonderkommando Taken inside a huge glass case in the Auschwitz Museum. This represents one day's collection at the peak of the gassings, about twenty five thousand pairs.
Destruction Through Work This photo was taken by the Nazis to show just how you could quite literally work the fat of the Jews by feeding them 200 calories a day
Destruction Through Work Same group of Jews 6 weeks later
The Nazis aimed to kill 11 million people Today there are only 2,000 Jews living in Poland. The Nazis managed to kill at least 6 million Jews. Not all Jews went quietly into the gas cambers. In 1943, the Warsaw Ghetto, like many others revolted against the Nazis when the Jews realized what was really happening. Was the Final Solution “successful”?
Resistance Movements • Resistance existed in almost every concentration camp and ghetto of Europe. • Unfortunately very few of them had any kind of impact due to the force of the Nazis. • In general, rescue or aid to Holocaust victims was not a priority – the focus was to fight the war against Nazism.
First They Came for the Jews By Pastor Martin Niemoller First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Examples of successful resistance: • Churches hiding Jews in the basements and closets of their churches • Oskar Schindler: A Nazi who changed his ways during the war and started to help Jews survive • Non-Jewish families that would adopt Jewish children as their own • Corrie ten-Boom a woman and her family that hid hundreds of Jews in their house and would ruin train tracks so the Nazi trains full of Jews could not get through to the Concentration Camps
The Beginning of the End • In 1944, the war started turning against Germany. • To cover up the evidence of genocide, outlying concentration camps were evacuated. • Prisoners were moved to camps within Germany so they would not be liberated by the Allied Forces.
The Beginning of the End • Concentration camps were evacuated through long journeys on foot known as “death marches”. • Even camps unintended for extermination became deadly as their conditions worsened.
The End of Nazi Tyranny • In May 1945, Nazi Germany collapsed, the guards fled, and the camps ceased to exist. • Trials were conducted for war crimes. • Millions of Holocaust survivors were liberated from Nazi rule, but had nowhere to go. • “We are free, but how will we live without our families?” –Anton Mason (survivor)
Add to your timeline: • January 30, 1933 – Adolph Hitler named chancellor of Germany • 1935 – Nuremburg Laws • 1939 -in Poland, Jews were required to wear patches or armbands at all times with the Star of David on them. • 1939-1942-Jews lived in Ghettos
January 1942-Final Solution • Jews are sent to labor camps or death camps • 1944-German starts losing WWII and camps are evacuated • 1945-Germany loses WWII, all Jewish people are liberated (free) • November 21, 1945 to October 1, 1946-Nuremburg Trials (for Nazi leaders)
Journal • Put yourself (as who you are now) in Nazi Germany. What would your life have been like? • Jewish? • Helping people escape? • Political Dissenter? • Supporting the Nazi’s? • Hitler Youth 1-2 paragraphs describing what the reality of your life would have been like and what you would have liked it to be like (if they are different).