The Holocaust An examination of the crimes of the Nazis
SHOAH - a great terrible wind(Hebrew) HOLOCAUST(Greek): Holos means “whole”, caustos means “burnt”.
HOLOCAUST is an example of GENOCIDE. The United Nations Convention of 1948 defines genocide as “acts committed to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnical, racial or religious groups.”
Genocide in History • 1904-5: annihilation of Herero in Africa by German settlers. • 1915-16: Turks massacre 1 M. Armenians.
German Imperialism in S.W. Africa (Namibia)
Armenians killed by Turks
1965-66: 1 M communists and their families massacred by Indonesian army. • 1972: 150,000 Hutus massacred by ruling Tutsis in Burundi.
1975-79: Up to 2 M. Cambodians murdered by Khmer Rouge in Kampuchea. • 1975-2002: 200,000 Timorese murdered by Indonesian army.
Brazilian Indians by destruction of rainforests. • “Ethnic Cleansing” in former Yugoslavia.
Two Approaches to Examining this history: • When they examine the factors which enabled the Holocaust to occur they are then what is calledFUNCTIONALIST. • When they believe that from the moment of the Nazis gaining of power that all Jewry was to be annihilated then this is what is called anINTENTIONALIST.
Steps to Genocide 1. You have no right to live among us as Jews. 2. You have no right to live among us. 3. You have no right to live.
Anti-Semitism: A History • Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. • The revolutions in Judea under Roman rule…Diaspora. • The Crusades. • The Enlightenment. • 19th Century nationalism.
In the late 19th cent. Jews were seen as anti-nationalist: they were Zionists.
Two Peoples One Religion • Sephardim: means Spain; refers to Jews in the Mediterranean basin. • They speak Ladino; eat couscous; listen to Oriental music.
Ashkenazim: means Germany; all Jews living in western, central and eastern Europe…and North America. • Speak Yiddish: Hebrew + Medieval German. • Listen to Slavic melodies.
The Nazi Approach • Step One: • Nuremberg Laws (1935) • Jews could not enjoy German citizenship • Step Two: • Forced ghettoization. Especially in Poland.
Step Three: • The Final Solution 1942 • Killing factories.
The Evian Conference, July, 1938: Many countries discuss why they can’t accept refugees. • “Suppose the conference actually does find territories other than Palestine to shelter Jewish refugees? If other doors are open, it will damage Zionism in Palestine! Better the conference comes to no decision.” David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973) future PM of Israel.
“If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will be not the Bolshevization of the earth and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.” Hitler, January, 1939, speaking the the German parliament.
There was a plan to ship Jews to Madagascar, but with Britain still fighting on, this was scrapped in the summer of 1940. • Shipped to centralized locations in Poland; ghettos (once more). • Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow, Lublin were the most popular cities with Jewish ghettos.
“Non-productive” Jews were taken out of the ghettos for “resettlement”. • The approach to a solution.
The Final Solution • Several ways of mass killing were utilized, but they were slow and psychologically painful on the murderers: shooting and carbon-monoxide. • Solution: Zyklon B
On January 20, 1942, the aims of the Final Solution were dictated: • 11 million JEWS in Europe. 4.5 are in German held areas, 5 are in Russia.
All are to be gathered in the East. • They are to be used as slave labour. Most will die from disease, starvation, and brutality. • Jews will be taken to transit ghettos and then to camps.
The Economics of the Final Solution. • Nearly 500,000 slave labourers were used in German industry. • Many companies found in Germany today utilized this force: Krupp Steel, I.G. Furban Chemicals, Siemans, Graetz, and Krone-Presswerk. • Most produced war material.
Auschwitz-Birkinau • The most infamous camp: 1/5th of all killings • 3 camps • Zyklon-B used in gassing. Thirty minutes.
12,000 a day • In two months the entire Jewish population of Hungary was murdered.
Jewish Resistance • No chances • Many collaborated with Nazis to hunt down Jewish people. • Warsaw Ghetto, April 18, 1943. • Treblinka Death Camp Rebellion, summer, 1943.
By December, 1941, reports had been received by the allies of the genocide going on. • Two Czech Jews that had escaped from Auschwitz had evidence of what was happening and numbers; both were registrars in the camp. • The Allies chose not to believe this.
By August, 1944, aerial photographs of Auschwitz were taken. • Chimneys of the crematoria could be seen.
Rather than bomb that, the Americans aimed at Auschwitz III, the synthetic rubber factory. • In the end it was felt that bombing death camps would endanger crews.
War Crimes and Trials • Holocaust crimes were not pursued as fervently as other crimes. • Especially by the British. • Of the thousands involved in the Holocaust only a fraction have been brought to justice. • More Japanese soldiers/leaders were executed than Germans.