Basic Definitions to know • Holocaust: attempted genocide resulting in the murder of approximately 12 million people • 6 million Jews • Genocide: an attempt to eliminate an entire group of people • Anti-Semitism: hatred of or prejudice against people of the Jewish faith
Background • Anti-Semitism has been very common in history • In 1933, Nazis came to power in Germany • Led by Adolf Hitler • Nazis began to reshape German society • Use propaganda to brainwash society and increase support for Nazi policies • Nazis also use force to keep power • Gestapo: secret police • SS: elite Nazi soldiers
The Persecution Begins • Early 1930’s: German politicians pass a series of Anti-Jewish laws • Examples: • Jews were forbidden from owning radios or cars • Jews had to abide by curfews • Jewish children were banned from German schools • Jews were banned from most jobs • Jews were forced to register their property with the government
1935 • 1935: Nuremberg Laws were passed; one of the most famous law codes from Nazi Germany • German Jews lose citizenship • Jews and Germans forbidden from marrying each other Questions: 1. What impact would the loss of citizenship have on the Jews of Germany?
1936 • 1936: Berlin, Germany hosted the summer Olympics • Germans take down their Anti-Jewish propaganda Questions: • Why would Germany remove the Anti-Jewish propaganda during the Olympics? • How would this relaxation of Anti-Jewish policy affect the outlook of the Jews living in Germany?
1938 • November, 1938: Anti-Jewish policy in Germany began to escalate with an event known as Kristallnacht or the “Night of Broken Glass” • Thousands of Jewish shops and synagogues were attacked and destroyed • Jews were physically attacked, some killed • Tens of thousands arrested and sent to concentration camps
1939 • WWII provided the opportunity for Germany’s Anti-Jewish policy to escalate even more • September 1, 1939: Germany invaded Poland to start World War II • As the war expanded, Nazis would take control of millions of Jews living in other countries • Germans had to develop a plan for how to deal with these “unwanted” individuals
Ghettos • Many large cities in Poland were segmented into Ghettos where Jews would be fenced into small areas • Warsaw and Lodz had the largest ghettos • Very poor conditions: • Lack of sanitation, typically no electricity or running water • Overcrowding, disease, starvation Question: 1. What was the purpose of the Ghetto?
Einsatzgruppen • 1941: WWII expanded with the German invasion of the Soviet Union (Russia) • Millions more Jews fall under German control • With ghettos already full, Germans developed a new strategy to eliminate the Jewish communities • Einsatzgruppen: mobile killing squads were used to murder over 1 million Jews, Poles, and others • Mass shootings and mass graves • Eventually, Germans would abandon the mobile killing squads. Question: Why would the Germans eventually abandon the use of Enisatzgruppen killing squads?
The Final Solution • Eventually, Nazis started to look for a more “efficient” way of dealing with the “undesirables” of Europe • 1942: Top Nazi officials developed the Final Solution Question: What strategies/tactics were included in the Final Solution?
Death Camps • Specialized facilities, known as Death Camps, were constructed to carry out mass murder • Auschwitz: most famous example • Methods used at Death Camps • Prisoners went through selection to determine who was strong enough to work and who should die immediately • A gas chamber would be used to murder large numbers of people • Zyklon B was the preferred gas • Bodies were then taken to a crematoria to be burned
The End of WWII • By 1944-1945, it was clear that the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, Japan) were going to lose the war. • Allies (U.S., Great Britain, Soviet Union) began to liberate more and more territory, getting closer and closer to Germany.
Death March • As the Allies started to close in on the Germans, prisoners were often sent on a long Death March • Some would march for months at a time, sometimes for hundreds of miles Question: Why would the Germans send prisoners on the Death March?
Other Victims • Poles • Gypsies/Roma • Jehovah’s Witnesses • Homosexuals • People with physical or mental disability or handicap • T4 Program was a “euthanasia” program designed to carry out “mercy” killings of those who were deemed to be unfit for life
Liberation • In the early months of 1945, Allied forces began to liberate many of the Nazi concentration camps. • When the world learned of the atrocities committed against Jews, and other groups, people began to demand punishment for those responsible. • By that time, however, many top Nazis had either fled the country or committed suicide • Ex: Hitler committed suicide in April, 1945
Nuremberg Trials • Following the Holocaust, surviving Nazis were put on trial for their involvement. These trials were known as the Nuremberg Trials • Those who were found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity were often executed.
Word Bank for Crossword Puzzle Allies Zyklon B Axis Powers Propaganda Gestapo Kristallnacht Gas Chamber Nuremberg Laws Poland Nuremberg Trials Final Solution Death March Hitler Nazis Ghetto Holocaust Genocide Einsatzgruppen Auschwitz T4 Program