In total, the Nazis established 356 ghettos in Poland, the Soviet Union, the Baltic States, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Hungary between 1939 and 1945. Jews were not allowed to leave the so-called "Jewish residential districts," under penalty of death.
All ghettos had the most appalling, inhuman living conditions . The smallest ghetto housed approximately 3,000 people. Warsaw, the largest ghetto, held 400,000 people . Lódz, the second largest, held about 160,000.
The Nazis undertook to liquidate the ghettos as they began full implementation of "The Final Solution to the Jewish Question" in 1942 . Massive deportations of Jews to concentration and death camps continued until the summer of 1944. By that time, almost all of the ghettos had been liquidated.
Most Germans were not soldiers Most Germans were not Jews Most Germans did not die Most Germans just watched Mr. Mulford The average German citizen watched the Jewish people and others go from being boycotted, to being herded into Ghetto’s and then shipped off to concentration camps. Only at the end did they understand the full impact, and then still some could not believe the Holocaust had actually happened.
Indifference is not so much a gesture of looking away--of choosing to be passive--as it is an active disinclination to feel. Indifference shuts down the humane, and does it deliberately, with all the strength deliberateness demands. Indifference is as determined--and as forcefully muscular--as any blow. Cynthia Ozick
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the labor leaders, and I did not speak out because I was not a labor leader. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me. The Reverend Martin Niemöller, a pastor in the German Confessing Church who spent seven years in a concentration camp.
Rescuers are those who, at great personal risk, actively helped members of persecuted groups, primarily Jews, during the Holocaust in defiance of Third Reich policy. They were ordinary people who became extraordinary people because they acted in accordance with their own belief systems while living in an immoral society. Thousands survived the Holocaust because of the daring of these rescuers. Although in total their number is statistically small, rescuers were all colossal people.
RESCUE STEPS First, a rescuer had to recognize that a person was endangered Next, rescuers had to decide whether or not to assume the responsibility of helping and risk the potential consequences Lastly they took action!
There are 350,000 survivors of the Holocaust alive today... There are 350,000 experts who just want to be useful with the remainder of their lives. Please listen to the words and the echoes and the ghosts. And please teach this in your schools. --Steven Spielberg, Academy Award acceptance speech
Inner Exile: Life in Hiding Life in hiding from the Nazis was a daily struggle. Those hidden lived in constant terror of being discovered. People in hiding were discovered frequently. The consequences of being found for hiders and those hiding them were grave, often resulting in brutal death at the hands of special police squads.
Exile: Flight in and through Europe Many survivors either sensed the danger awaiting them if they stayed in their hometowns across Europe, or were forced to leave their homes. For those who left, it often meant that they would see their friends and relatives for the last time. Life in exile was full of fear and uncertainty.
Death Factories and Forced Labor The chances of surviving the war in any of the Nazi death, concentration, or labor camps were slim to none. Those who did survive are the sole witnesses to the horrors put into action behind the barbed electric fences surrounding Nazi compounds. Their stories remind us of the atrocities humans are capable of when led to believe those who are different from them are sub-human or otherwise undesirable.