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Introduction to Night and the Holocaust

Introduction to Night and the Holocaust

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Introduction to Night and the Holocaust

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  1. Introduction to Night and the Holocaust

  2. Objectives: • To understand the background of the Holocaust and its progression • To learn new vocabulary and terminology necessary for understanding and appreciating Night • To differentiate between different types of non-fiction

  3. Holocaust Genocide Ghetto Kapo Gestapo Concentration camp Death camp Terms to Know

  4. Holocaust • Holocaust means “complete destruction by fire.” • The term is now associated with the murder of more than six million Jewish people during World War II.

  5. The Holocaust (1941-45) • There have been many massacres during the course of world history. And the Nazis murdered many non-Jews in concentration camps. • What is unique about Hitler’s “Final Solution of the Jewish Problem,” was the Nazi’s determination to murder without exception every single Jew who came within grasp, and the fanaticism, ingenuity, and cruelty with which they pursued their goal.

  6. Genocide • Genocide is a word that combines the Greek word “genos” (meaning race, people, or nation) and the ending “cide” (meaning to kill). • Genocide refers to the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.


  8. Ghetto • The confinement of Jews in a set-apart area of the city.

  9. Kapo • Camp prisoner forced to oversee other prisoners • Noted for their brutality

  10. Nazi War Camps • Concentration/Labor Camps • Primarily used for slave labor • Holding camps or transit camps • Death Camps • Camps dedicated to the efficient murder of Jews and other victims

  11. Gestapo • The secret police organized in 1933 to uncover and undermine political opposition • Part of SS, German acronym for the German Secret State Police • Notorious for terrorism against enemies of the state

  12. PROGRESSION OF DISCRIMINATION TOWARDS JEWS • The NAZI party and Adolf Hitler seized power in 1933 and slowly began their program against the Jews of Germany • Each new year in Germany led to harsher policies directed towards the Jews.

  13. 1933 • Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany • Hermann Goering creates the Gestapo • Nazis boycott Jewish businesses • First concentration camps are built

  14. 1934 • Hitler declares himself “Der Fuhrer” (the leader) and receives a 90% approval rating from the people

  15. 1935- Nuremberg Race Laws

  16. 1936 • HeinreichHimmler is appointed Chief of the German Police • Olympic games in Berlin, Jews treated better - briefly.

  17. 1937 • Jews are not allowed to teach Germans • Not allowed to be accountants or dentists

  18. 1938 • Nazi troops enter Austria • League of Nations considers helping Jews fleeing Hitler, but no country will take them • Jews are not allowed to practice medicine

  19. 1939-KRISTALLNACHT • Night of Broken Glass • Jewish stores, shops and synagogues burned down • Same year, Nazis begin euthanasia on sick and disabled • German Jews forced into labor camps • Poland invaded • Yellow stars

  20. 1940 • German Jews are deported to Poland • Ghettos of Lodz, Krakow and Warsaw are sealed off • Total of 600,000 Jews • These ghettos will be liquidated starting in 1942 German soldiers rounding up Jews to be placed in ghettos

  21. 1941 • Nazis invade the Soviet Union • Jewish population of 3 million • Hitler issues infamous “Commissar Order” • SS Einsatzgruppen follow advance of German Army

  22. Einsatzgruppen • SS “Special Action Groups” organized in early years of war by ReinhardHeydrich • Heydrich organized 4 large groups (A,B,C,D) in Soviet Union • Competition between group leaders to see who could kill the most Jews • 1,300,000 Russian Jews killed by end of war by these “mobile killing units”

  23. THE “FINAL SOLUTION” • Heydrich, the “Blond Beast,” organized a meeting with 15 top Nazi officials in Berlin in January, 1942 • Plan to exterminate the entire Jewish population of Europe, an estimated 11 million persons • 3 Phases

  24. FINAL SOLUTION • “Now judgement has begun and it will reach its conclusion only when the knowledge of the Jews has been erased from the earth!”--Nazi Newspaper • There were 3 phases of the Nazi plan to wipe out the Jewish population of Europe

  25. Phase 1 = Shooting • Jews were rounded up and told they were to be relocated • They were taken to the woods and were shot one by one • their bodies were buried in mass graves

  26. Phase 2 = Gas Vans • Again, Jews were rounded up and told they were to be relocated in vans • The vans were equipped so that the van’s exhaust was piped back into the van 700,000 Jews killed in Vans

  27. Problems with Phases 1,2 • Too much time • Resources such as gas and munitions were becoming scarce • Soldiers involved were beginning to have psychological problems with what they were doing.

  28. Phase 3 = The Camps • Nazi leaders decided to drastically speed up the Final Solution • Two different types of camps: • CONCENTRATION CAMPS • EXTERMINATION/DEATH CAMPS • Jews from all over occupied Europe were to be brought here.

  29. CONCENTRATION • 100 of these in Nazi-occupied Europe • Prisoners used for forced labor, usually lasted less than 1/2 year • Communists, homosexuals, criminals, social-democrats, artists • First camp was opened in 1933, right after Nazis came to power

  30. EXTERMINATION • Started out as ordinary concentration camps • later modified with gassing installations for use on humans, now “DEATH CAMPS”

  31. AUSCHWITZ • Started operations in January 1940 (Poland) • Himmler chose Auschwitz as the place for the Final Solution • Had 4 gas chambers/crematories by 1943 • Mass killings with Zyklon B gas • Recorded 12,000 kills in one day



  34. Dr. Josef Mengele • Arrived in Auschwitz in May of 1943 • SS Doctor who had power of life/death • Performed medical experiments on Jewish children “ANGEL OF DEATH”

  35. MEDICAL EXPERIMENTS • Sterilization of men and women • Endurance of pain to high and low temperatures and pressure • Experiments on twins to increase number of multiple births to Aryan women • Injections of phenol to kill patients • Dr. Mengele attempted to sew children together to make Siamese twins

  36. Holocaust Chronology • Jan 27, 1945 - Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz. By this time, an estimated 2,000,000 persons, including 1,500,000 Jews, have been murdered there. • April 29, 1945 - U.S. 7th Army liberates Dachau.

  37. A Jewish man wearing the yellow star walks along a street in Germany.

  38. One of the most famous photos taken during the Holocaust shows Jewish families arrested by Nazis during the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland, and sent to be gassed at Treblinka extermination camp.

  39. A view of Majdanek, which served as a concentration camp and also as a killing center for Jews.

  40. Life in a Concentration Camp • A prisoner in Dachau is forced to stand without moving for endless hours as a punishment. He is wearing a triangle patch identification on his chest. • A chart of prisoner triangle identification markings used in Nazi concentration camps which allowed the guards to easily see which type of prisoner any individual was.

  41. Nazis sift through the enormous pile of clothing left behind by the victims of a massacre. (1941)

  42. Soviet POWs at forced labor in 1943 exhuming bodies in the ravine at Babi Yar, where the Nazis had murdered over 33,000 Jews in September of 1941.

  43. Survivors in Mauthausen open one of the crematoria ovens for American troops who are inspecting the camp.

  44. A warehouse full of shoes and clothing confiscated from the prisoners and deportees gassed upon their arrival. The Nazis shipped these goods to Germany.

  45. A mass grave in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

  46. Young survivors behind a barbed wire fence in Buchenwald.

  47. Camp Totals


  49. Nonfiction: types • An autobiography is a sketch of the author’s entire life, often from birth up until the time of the writing. • A memoir focuses on one aspect of the writer’s life. Memoirs usually cover a relatively short span of time, and their main purpose is to draw the reader’s attention to a specific theme or circumstance.