Jewish genocide Genocide- systematic killing over peoples of a certain identity. Estimated 6 million of 9 million European Jews were murdered during the Hitler regime. Atlanta Metro Area (2009) 5.5 Million residence. The Holocaust also targeted: Gypsies, Homosexuals, Russian POW’s, Polish and Soviet citizens, and political and religious opponents. Estimated death toll to be between 11-17 million in all.
Origins There has always been anti-Semitism around the world dating back for thousands of years. Nazi Ideology of the “Aryan” helped to spread anti-Semitism around Germany and Europe. Aryan- “superior race” always locked in conflict with the Jewish race. Hitler had been open about plans for the Jewish questions since 1925 in Mein Kampf
Legislation Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Diseased Offspring (1933). Called for the sterilization of people deemed not to be Aryan. Estimated 400,000 people were forced to undergo. Nuremberg Laws (1935)- Anti-Semitic laws- Revoked German citizenship for Jews. Also made it illegal for Germans and Jews to marry. 1933- Zionist Federation of Germany began the movement of Jews from Germany to Palestine.
Kristallnacht 1938 a German Diplomat was assassinated by in Paris. Gave Nazi Germany an excuse to use wide spread repression of Jews Resulted in mass vandalism of Jewish property and synagogues. 91 Jews were “reported” to be killed Started the Mass transportation of Jews to Concentration Camps.
Ghettos First used in Poland when Nazi’s invaded in 1939 Areas where Jews were forced to live in certain cities. Comparable to prisons Everyone was put to work for the Nazis Largest was Warsaw (380,000) Many people died from the labor, conditions, and disease.
Concentration Camps First Camp was Dachau (1933) Originally used to torture political opponents Became slave labor camps Each prisoner was tattooed a number Worked 12-14 hour shifts Workers would be worked to death Famous Camps: Dachau and Auschwitz Over 15,000 Camps
Death Squads Open, public killings of Jews Mainly occurred once Germany invaded the USSR. Coordinated between SS (German Secret Police) and the local populations Estimated at least 2.2 million people were killed this way
Wannsee Conference 1942 in Berlin 15 men decide the fate of the Final Solution. (Operation Reinhard) Plans were made for the killings of all Jews in Europe. Creation of Extermination or Death Camps Only workers were excluded from the Death Camps in the beginning.
Extermination Camps Created after Wannsee Conference. Main Camps: Auschwitz, Belzec, Treblinka, Sobibor, and 4 others. Camps were run by the SS Used to being the Final Solution in exterminating the Jewish race Prisoners would arrive by train from Ghettos or Concentration camps First use of Gas chambers as a method of killing. Possessions would be seized and the people would be herded to “showers” which were the gas chambers.
Jewish Resistance Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: 1943 Jewish population fought off the SS for 4 weeks until the army arrived. 13,000 Jews were killed and almost 60,000 were sent to the gas chambers. 1943- Treblinka uprising 200 inmates overpowered the Guards and escaped. Thousands of Jewish partisans used guerrilla warfare against the Germans
Anne Frank German born Jewish girl in 1929. Lost citizenship under the Nuremburg laws. Lived in the Netherlands where she also hid out from Nazi Germany with her family. The family hid out in secret rooms of the father’s office. Eventually the family was discovered. Anne and her sister were both sent to Belsen concentration camp. Died March 1945 at the age of 15. Belsen was liberated in April. Remembered for her diary, “Dairy of a Young Girl” Out of 107,000 Jews transported from the Netherlands, 5,000 survived the war
Schindler’s List Biographical movie about Oskar Schindler who operated a ammunition factory during WWII He “employed” 1,000 Jewish peoples in the factory Originally made profit from occupied Poland during the Nazi occupation. Eventually started shielding his own workers from the Nazis Towards the end of the war, the ammunition being made was never produced. Credited with saving over 1,200 people from the Holocaust. “Oskar Schindler's exceptional deeds stemmed from just that elementary sense of decency and humanity that our sophisticated age seldom sincerely believes in. A repentant opportunist saw the light and rebelled against the sadism and vile criminality all around him. The inference may be disappointingly simple, especially for all amateur psychoanalysts who would prefer the deeper and more mysterious motive that may, it is true, still lie unproved and unappreciated. But an hour with Oskar Schindler encourages belief in the simple answer” Herbert Steinhouse
Towards the End The war was beginning to turn against German favor in 1943 Caused the Exterminations to speed up 1943 Warsaw Ghetto was dismantled and the Jewish population was sent to camps 1944 Auschwitz was killing 8,000 people every day Death Marches were conducted to move Jews from Camp to Camp before the Russians could get to the camps Many camps were destroyed and evidence was hidden once the camp was no longer used.
Liberation Many camps were destroyed before the allies were able to liberate them Soviets liberated Auschwitz and Majdanek Americans- Buchenwald and Dachau British- Belsen
The toll Many liberated prisoners would still die in the weeks after liberation due to their conditions. Estimated- 6 million Jews 2-3 Million Soviet POW’s 2 Million Ethnic Poles 200,000-1.5 Million Gypsies