THE HOLOCAUST BEGINS “Nature is cruel, so we may be cruel, too… I have the right to remove millions of an inferior race that breeds like vermin.” – Adolf Hitler
“We are on guard in defense of Socialism.”
“Preparing Resistance to the Growing Reaction!”
August 22, 1939: The Nazi-SovietNon-Aggression Pact, 1939
September 1, 1939: German invasion of Poland
September 3, 1939: WWII begins Great Britain and France declared war on Germany.
1.5 million German soldiers in five armies
German Troops March into Warsaw
Sitzkrieg, or The “Phoney War”
Invasion of Denmark & Norway April 9, 1940
Invasion of the Netherlands, Belgium, and LuxembourgMay 10, 1940 “Blitzkrieg: German soldiers being parachuted into Holland - May 10, 1940”
Invasion of France: May 13, 1940 Dunkirk Dunkirk Evacuation at Dunkirk, June 4, 1940
June 4, 1940: “Miracle” at Dunkirk
France SurrendersJune, 1940
Vichy France - Led by Marshal Henri-Philippe Petain
“Stamps” drawn on the blank borders of a sheet of postage stamps by Karl Schwesig, a non-Jew interred in Gurs concentration camp in France. The words “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” were the motto of the French Revolution. The founding principle’s of the state. The stamps tell ironically what Schwesig believed had become of these noble ideas.
Italy Joins the Axis June 10, 1940 Benito Mussolini with Adolf Hitler. Mussolini was Prime Minister & Dictator of fascist Italy, 1922-1943. Italy enters World War II as a Germany ally hoping to establish a “New Roman Empire.” Although allied with Germany, Mussolini did not willingly cooperate in the Nazi plan to kill the Jews of Europe.
By Summer 1940,Germany controlled all of western and central Europe.
Only Britain remained free.
The Battle of BritainJuly 10, 1940
“The Painter and the Clipper”, 1940 Arthur Szyk
The Tripartite Pact September 27, 1940 Adolf Hitler, Nazi Germany Emperor Hirohito, Japan Benito Mussolini, Italy
Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis, 1940 The Tripartite Pact
Attack in the West With the invasion of each country in Western Europe, anti-Jewish policies followed patterns seen previously in Germany between 1933-1939.
Jews were categorized.
Civil liberties were restricted and property confiscated.
Jews were dismissed from universities and civil service jobs.
Jewish businesses taken over.
Jews were isolated and forced to wear a star.
Jews were assembled in large cities.
Jews were deported to camps in the east.
The Division of Poland
Gentile Poles assembled for forced labor. June 1943 A German soldier stands on a toppled Polish monument. Krakow, Poland
Polish boys imprisoned in Auschwitz look out from behind the barbed wire fence. Approximately 40,000 Polish children were kidnapped and imprisoned in the camp before being transferred to Germany during "Heuaktion" (Hay Action), The children were used as slave laborers in Germany.
Isolation of Polish Jews 1. Humiliation & Terror 2. Forced Labor 3. Expulsion 4. The Jewish Badge
Humiliation & Terror German soldiers cutting the beard of a Jew. Jewish men forced to race against one another while riding on the backs of their fellows. Harassment of a Jewish man. A soldier tutors two Jewish men on how to give the Nazi salute correctly.
Forced Labor Jews rounded up for forced labor October, 1939 Jews forced to sweep the streets.
Expulsion Polish Exiles, 1941 Arthur Szyk
The Jewish Badge
France Belgium Holland Germany, Alsace, Bohemia-Moravia Parts of Greece, Serbia, Belgrade, Sofia (armband) Part of Slovakia Romania Parts of Bulgaria (a button) Parts of Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia Parts of Poland, East & Upper Silesia
The Ghettos The horror is not in the executions. It is in the life that came before the executions. - Abba Kovner, partisan fighter from the Vilna Ghetto Definition: section of a city in which a minority group lives and/or is restricted to by economics or discrimination First ghetto = Venice, 1516 when the Church ordered walls built around the Jewish Quarter. “Ghetto” means “foundry” or “iron works.” Venice ghetto was near a foundry that produced cannon balls. The establishment of ghettos was the first step in the Nazi extermination plan for the Jews of Eastern Europe. They served as assembly and collection points for Jews.
Jews were said to be carriers of epidemic illnesses thus the need to isolate them in ghettos.
By 1942, most of the Jews of Eastern Europe were concentrated in more than 800 ghettos.
By the Fall of 1944, no ghettos remained.
More than 800 ghettos were established by the Nazis in Eastern Europe.
Every Jewish community with a population up to 10,000 had to elect a 12 member Judenrat.
Every community with more than 10,000 people had to choose 24 members.
The Judenrat members in Krakow, Poland.
The Judenrat had the following functions: Transmit German directives to Jewish population Use Jewish police to enforce German will Establish hospitals, kitchens, schools, recreation facilities, and orphanages based on available resources Oversee taxes, banking, grievances, labor, public health, social welfare, postal service, housing and religious services Deliver Jewish property, labor, and lives to Germans Judenrat leaders rationalized cooperation, claiming it saved some Jewish lives. Jewish community members often viewed their Judenrat as betrayers.
Jews at forced labor constructing the wall around the Krakow ghetto. 1941 Polish and Jewish laborers construct a section of the wall that separated the Warsaw ghetto from the rest of the city.
Ghetto boundaries drawn by Nazis encompassing existing run-down neighborhoods, often lacking basic facilities such as sewers and lighting.
Non-Jewish residents evicted before Jews forced to move in. In Warsaw, 113,000 Poles had to leave and 138,000 Jews moved in.
The largest ghetto was in Warsaw which contained almost ½ million Jews surrounded by 11 miles of walls and barbed wire.
Daily Life Nazi officer terrorizes elderly woman with a whip. A brother feed his young sister in the Lodz Ghetto. Jewish men remove loaves of bread from a wagon at the soup kitchen in the Kielce ghetto. Children selling books to earn money.
Jew chopping up furniture to use as fuel. Lodz Ghetto. The ghetto orchestra, Lodz. Girls eating in soup kitchen, Warsaw.
Jews using a wooden bridge to cross from one section of the Lodz Ghetto to the other. Communal kitchen for children, Warsaw Ghetto. Burials, a part of daily life. Street scene, Warsaw Ghetto.
Jewish Life Jewish women baking matzos for Passover in the Warsaw Ghetto. Celebrating the Passover Seder in the Warsaw Ghetto. Reading the Torah. Celebrating the beginning of the Sabbath in the Lodz Ghetto. Jewish men praying in the Krakow Ghetto.
Living Conditions With little food and diseases rampant in the crowded ghettos, the living conditions became unbearable.
By mid-1941, Jews received a ration card that provided only 184 calories per day.
No meat, only bread and/or potatoes
8-14 people per room
No fuel for heat
No plumbing = waste thrown in street, no bathing, extreme thirst
20% of ghetto inhabitants died of disease and hunger
Entire population would have died in 5-6 years
Forced Labor Jewish women press Nazi military uniforms in the Glubokoye Ghetto. Jewish women moving human excrement, Lodz, Poland. Jewish children making boxes in the Glubokoye Ghetto. A workshop in the Warsaw Ghetto. Child in a ghetto factory, Kovno, Lithuania. Making shoes. Kovno, Lithuania.
Spring 1942-Summer 1944: Final Solution
Liquidations = often unannounced, chaotic, violent; sometimes announced and Jews were forced to choose who would go
Nazi lies convinced many Jews they were being resettled for hard labor
News of mass shootings and gassings met with disbelief by Jews
Deportation of the elderly and sick from the Lodz Ghetto to Chelmno. Passengers in a train car. Lodz, Poland
By Spring 1943, 2.7 out of 3.3 million Polish Jews were dead.
Jews from the Lodz ghetto board trains for the death camp at Chelmno.
Deportations in and out of the Lodz Ghetto. Jews from Lublin ghetto being hustled to the trains to be sent to Sobibor death camp. Deportation of Children from the Lodz Ghetto. Round-ups in the Warsaw Ghetto.
A woman writing a letter before boarding a deportation train. Lodz, Poland Jews parting from their relatives before their deportation. Lodz, Poland Final farewell: A child about to be sent to death camp.
Attack in the South April 1941
50,000 Jews pre-war
March 1, 1941 – joined Axis to regain territory lost after World War I
No history of Anti-Semitism; resisted German pressure to enact Anti-Semitic policies until 1943
Finally, in 1943, sent 12,000 Jews from occupied Greek territories to Treblinka.
October 1944: switched to Allied side
Only country in Europe whose Jewish population in 1945 was larger than prewar.
November 1940: joined Axis
Hitler allowed Hungary self-rule; did not deport 725,000 Jews = “safe” haven,
1941: Assisted in German invasions of Yugoslavia and Soviet Union
March 19, 1944: after Stalingrad, Hungary sought separate peace with Allies; Germans occupy Hungary
April 1944: in less two months the SS under Eichmann deport 440,000 Jews to Auschwitz
3rd largest Jewish population in Europe: 757,000
November 1940: joined Axis; willingly assisted in Jewish killings both in Romania and with Einsatzgruppen in Soviet Russia
August 1944: switched sides; joined Allies
271,000 Jews dead in Romania
October 1940: Attacked by Italy
April 1941: German invasion
60,000 of 76,000 Jews killed.
April 1941: Invaded by Germans
60,000 out of 78,000 Jews killed
Operation Barbarossa: June 22, 1941
3 million Jews in Soviet Union
Hitler’s aim of invasion: “an ideological battle and a struggle of races”
Soviet Union invaded by 3 million Germans and 500,000 Finns, Romanians, and Hungarians
Soviet Red Army collapsed quickly, Axis Powers near Moscow by December
Mass killings begin immediately – 1 million Soviet Jews; 3.3 million Soviet POWs (57% of prisoners)
The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. - Adolf Hitler, 1941 German soldiers in the Soviet Union. December 1943
Soviet P.O.W.’s Soviet P.O.W.’s from the Ukrainian front. Kharkov, Soviet Union, June 18, 1942
Soviet P.O.W.’s Camp for Soviet P.O.W.’s. Shelter was minimal, consisting of rough dug outs. Wietzendorf, Germany, 1941-1942.
Einsatzgruppen Once I really am in power, my first and foremost task will be the annihilation of the Jews. - Adolf Hitler
Marched to the forest.
Forced to undress.
Forced to dig their own grave.
Shot into a ditch.
Nazis executing a Jew at the edge of a mass grave. Ukraine, January 1942
Bialystok MassacreJune 27, 1941 The Great Synagogue of Bialystock, built in 1908, was the largest wooden synagogue in Eastern Europe. On June 27, 1941 the Germans forced 1,000 Jews into the synagogue and burned it to the ground.
BabiYar MassacreSeptember 28 - 29, 1941 BabiYarravine where 33,771 Jews were massacred in two days.
More than 1,200,000 Jews murdered between July 1941 – March 1942
Einsatzgruppen were considered too “slow” and “inefficient”; construction on death camps begun
To date, no written order by Hitler to kill the Jews has ever been found.
Elegy for the Jewish Villages Gone now are those little towns where the shoemaker was a poet The watchmaker a philosopher, the barber a troubadour. Gone now are those little towns where the wind joined Biblical songs with Polish tunes and Slavic rue, Where old Jews in orchards in the shade of cherry trees Lamented for the holy walls of Jerusalem. Me and My Village by Marc Chagall - AntoniSlonimski Rain by Marc Chagall