International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust
The HolocaustInternational Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust January 27, 2012
Early Stages of Persecution• Groups Targeted: • The Nuremberg Laws – Jewish were anti-Semitic laws – Roma (“Gypsies”) that took away civil – Jehovahs Witnesses rights and citizenship – Handicapped from German Jews. – Mentally ill – Forbid marriage between – Homosexuals Jews and non-Jews of German descent – Political opponents, such as socialists and liberals – Took away jobs from Jews – People who helped – Took away right to vote or targeted groups hold office from Jews. – Soviet prisoners of war – Later extended to gypsies
Jewish Experiences in the Holocaust• Nazis believed in one pure Aryan race being superior to all others. Jews formed the largest non-Aryan population in Germany at the time, so they were targeted. They were also used as scapegoat for the economic and political problems in Germany• In concentration camps, thousands of prisoners died from exhaustion, starvation, and exposure and killing centers, which were designed for efficient mass murder. The most deadly phase of the Holocaust was the Final Solution.• Pogroms were a form of violent riot that directly attacked a minority group, and were characterized by killings and destroying homes, businesses, and religious centers.
Roma Experiences in the Holocaust• Nomadic ethnic group that originated in Northern India• Targeted because of nomadic lifestyle, differences beliefs, and darker features (hair, eyes, and skin) as well as stereotypical depictions as vagabonds and thieves• Traditionally referred to as “gypsies” because of their supposed origins in Northern Egypt• Extermination by Nazi Germany began as early as 1936 and most were killed by mobile killing squads (Einsatzgruppen) and some were sent to concentration camps. – Identified by a brown triangle – Estimated 500,000 people were killed; about 25% of the Roma population in Europe• The tribes of the Roma refer to the Holocaust as the “Porajmos”
Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Holocaust•During the 1870’s, a group of people in Alleghany, Pennsylvania, took part in a Bible study group, which later transformed into the Jehovah’s Witness. They believed that Jesus had returned in 1874 and also set many dates for the apocalypse. Jesus was supposed to return to lead the 144,000 faithful to heaven.•The Nazis targeted Jehovah’s Witnesses as undesirable. They were persecuted for refusing to swear loyalty to their government and serve in armed forces for it was against their religion. They also partook in missionary activity to gain followers. The Nazis then saw their refusal to commit to their state and efforts to convert others as rebellious acts.•Unlike other targeted groups, Jehovah’s Witnesses had the option to avoid the horrors of the Nazis by serving in the military, but many chose torture and even death as opposed to giving up their religion.
• Starting in 1933, gay organizations were banned and books about homosexuality were burned in Nazi Germany. May 6, 1933: Institute of Sex Research was attacked by Nazis• 100,000 men were arrested as homosexuals• Most went to jail but others were sent to concentration camps where 60% of them were murdered• Pink triangle badges were used to identify gays in concentration camps This later became a symbol of gay pride
Heroism in the Holocaust: Oskar Schindler•Born a Roman Catholic in Austria-Hungry and later become a citizen of Czechoslovakia, who spied on Czechoslovakian government for Abwehr, a German intelligence agency.•Joined the Nazi party in 1939•Owned a factory (Deutsche Emaillewaren-Fabrik) • Witnessed a raid on a Jewish ghetto • Because of this, he went out of his way to protect the Jews working for him. He obtained approximately 1,000 Jewish forced laborers to work at his factory and found ways to keep them from being asked to leave the factory. • He was able to save over 1,2000 Jewish people from dying in a gas chamber.•Schindler is a hero because he was able to use be a part of the Nazi party to do good and save thousands of lives. Because of his heroic actions, Thomas Keneally wrote the book Schindlers Ark which was made into the Academy Award winning movie Schindlers List.
Raoul Wallenberg• Wallenberg was a Swedish architect and diplomat who studied at the University of Michigan where he learned English, German and French. He worked in South Africa and then back to Sweden, where he was employed by a Hungarian Jew.• Wallenberg went onto trains deporting and transporting Jews to concentration camps and handed out fake, or protective, Swedish passports so that the Jews with the protective passports would be saved and go to Sweden instead.• He rented thirty two buildings in Budapest that were protected by diplomatic immunity and were declared extraterritorial. Each building that he rented housed around 10,000 people.• He is considered a hero because over 400,000 lives were saved by him during the Holocaust. Without him, the people that he gave passports to would have ended up in concentration camps and killed, but because of his actions they got to live.
Results of the Holocaust• The horror of the Holocaust made Jews realize that there was a great need for them to have a state of their own, Israel, otherwise they could never expect protection from outsiders• Also, a need to protect human rights became a worldwide problem and is the focus of efforts by governments, intergovernmental bodies, and non- governmental organizations• Allied troops came and liberated the camps, and surprised by the rapid advance, but Germans attempted to hide the evidence of mass murder by demolishing the camps.• Approx. 350,000 survivors are alive today
Results of the Holocaust• Prosecution of top Nazi leaders at Nuremberg established the principle that individual officials could be held responsible for “crimes against humanity” and for implementation of policies that violated international law, without being able to rely on their status as government officials as a defense and regardless of whether they were at the scene of the crime.• The Holocaust should be remembered so we can learn from the past so we wont make the same mistakes again.• If we forget genocides, the message to all who want to commit a genocide is that they can get away with it.
The HolocaustUnited Nations International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust January 27, 2012