By 1945 2 out of every 3 European Jews had been killed In 1933 approximately 9 million Jews lived in the 21 countries of Europe that would be occupied by Germany during the war.
Explain the reasons behind the Nazis’ persecution of the Jews and the problems facing Jewish refugees.
Describe the Nazis’s “final solution” to the Jewish problem and the horrors of the Holocaust.
Identify and describe the profound and lasting effects of the Holocaust on survivors.
Why the Jews? Hitler convinced Germans that the Jews were responsible for Germany’s economic failures following WWI.
Jealousy: Some held successful positions during worldwide depression
Some Socialist/Communist leaders were Jewish
"Jewish Bankers" stopped funding WWI. Therefore responsible for the TOV
Jews were scapegoats for Germany's economic failures
The Nazis had a vision of an Aryan German race that did not include Jews and many other groups of people.
Jewish communities tend have a very strong group collective mindset. Easy to single out.
In the 1930s there was a lot of anti-Jewish feeling and resentment in the Western world.
Enemies of the Third Reich: Hitler rants and raves about the Jews cradling their dead sons.
Four events that led to the Holocaust The removal of non-Aryans from government jobs. Nuremberg Laws Kristallnacht Causes Effect The Holocaust “ Final Solution”
Nazi Persecution of the Jews, 1933-1939 Development of political, legal, social, religious, economic, and cultural discrimination against Jews In less than a year after coming to power in 1933, Hitler and the Nazis legally excluded Jews from government and many professions and had instigated a campaign of terror and violence against them
German soldiers cutting the beard of an elderly Jew in Poland
February 1933 : Nazis begin instituting boycotts against Jewish businesses March 1933 : Interior Minister declares that German police would not protect Jews or their property April 1933 : More boycotts of Jewish businesses. Anti-Jewish rioting and violence. April 1933 : Jewish government positions eliminated. (Judges, clerks, lawyers, etc.) Systematic Discrimination 2,000 Jews killed in 1933 and many placed in concentration camps
Dismissal of judges and clerks raised legal issues Hitler sought “legal” answer to the “Jewish problem” April 7 : First of 400 laws began that resulted in destruction of Europe’s Jews First Law: Jews and enemies of state to be removed from Civil Service Second Law : Debarred Jewish Lawyers Third Law : Jews excluded from juries and serving as judges Systematic Discrimination
April 22 : Jews prohibited from practicing as physicians, dentists, or dental technicians in gov’t institutions April 1933 : Jews were prohibited from the ritual slaughter of animals April 25 : the number of Jews allowed into German schools reduced May 6 : Jews removed from positions as honorary professors and university lecturers July 26 : Nazis cancelled naturalization of Jews who had become German citizens under the Weimar Republic September 1933 : excluded from entertainment or cultural occupations October 1933 : prohibited from working on German newspapers Fall 1933 : Jews prohibited from inheriting farm property Systematic Discrimination
Reports of murder, assassination, and brutality against Jews continued to reach the non-German world No new legislation in 1934 Nazis continued to enforce 1933 laws ever more strictly 1935: Jews prohibited from going to places of entertainment, such as theaters or swimming pools Systematic Discrimination
September 15, 1935: Nuremberg Laws
These laws prohibited:
marriage between Jews and Germans
extramarital relations between Jews and Germans
employment by Jews of female domestic help under 45
flying by Jews of German flags
Nuremberg Laws Can be compared to American South’s Jim Crow Laws against Blacks
Distinguished between a citizen and a state subject
This gave Jews a distinctly inferior status
Redefined citizenship so that it was based upon racial purity and a slavelike obedience, rather than on rights
Jews had no access to the German legal system
Prohibited Jewish participation in 1936 Olympics in Berlin
Reich Citizenship Law Spring/Summer 1938: Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps enlarged. Why? Annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia increased “Jewish Problem”
1937 : Nazis begin policy of forced expulsion of Jews from Germany 1938 : Jews had to report all foreign and domestic property 1938 : Jews prohibited from engaging in various commercial ventures 1938 : Jewish physicians and lawyers were denied the right to practice 1938 : Jewish businesses were transferred to Aryans Jews were required to obtain official identification cards Jews were required to adopt a "Jewish" name as specified by the government Systematic Discrimination
A massive national uprising against Jews
Ordered in response to the assassination of a Reich diplomat by a Jew
200 synagogues were destroyed
2,000Jewish businesses destroyed
7,500 Jewish shops were looted
Many Jews beaten or killed
Germans blamed Kristallnacht on the Jews
Fined them 1 million marks for property destruction
Kristallnacht November 9, 1938 “ Night of broken glass"
New legislation was passed barring Jews from all public places, including schools, and from economic life Nazis would not allow another outburst such as Kristallnacht occur in the future From now on Jews would be handled by a rational bureaucracy, which would develop a smoothly working system of annihilation 1939: Increasing unwillingness on the part of the nations of the world to accept Jewish immigration reached the level of irresponsibility September 21, 1939: Ghettoization of all Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland begins: First step of the “Final Solution” Systematic Discrimination
Jews Found Dead in a Polish Ghetto
Zyklon B pellets
Hairbrushes of victims
Eyeglasses of victims
Family members say goodbye to a child through a fence at a Poland ghetto
Two brothers, seated for a family photograph in a Lithuanian ghetto
Human remains found in the Dachau concentration camp crematorium after liberation
Survivors of Dachau Concentration Camp on liberation day
Nazi Medical Experiments on Jews
During World War II, a number of German physicians conducted painful and often deadly experiments on thousands of concentration camp prisoners without their consent.
Unethical medical experimentation divided into three categories:
How to increase survival of Axis military personnel
Development and testing pharmaceuticals and treatment methods for Axis personnel injuries and illnesses encountered in the field
Advancing the racial and ideological tenets of the Nazi worldview
Freezing experiments using prisoners to find an effective treatment for hypothermia
Freezing experiments using prisoners to find an effective treatment for hypothermia
High-altitude experiments, using a low-pressure chamber, to determine the maximum altitude from which crews of damaged aircraft could parachute to safety
Scientists tested immunization compounds for the prevention and treatment of contagious diseases, including malaria, typhus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, yellow fever, and infectious hepatitis
Prisoners were subjected to phosgene and mustard gas in order to test possible antidotes
Testing pharmaceuticals and treatment methods
Polish Woman’s Leg & Scars Disfiguring scars resulted from incisions made by medical personnel that were purposely infected with bacteria, dirt, and slivers of glass
Jewish child is forced to show the scar left after physicians removed his lymph nodes. Injected with tuberculosis germs as part of a medical experiment. He’s later murdered with 20 other children
Soviet prisoner of war, victim of a tuberculosis medical experiment
Most infamous were the experiments of Josef Mengele at Auschwitz Twin studies He supervised an operation by which two Gypsy children were sewn together to create conjoined twins; the hands of the children became badly infected where the veins had been resected Injected chemicals in eyes in attempt to change color Sterilization Experiments The research intended to establish "Jewish racial inferiority."
Did German Civilians Know about Camp Horrors? U.S. medical officers direct German civilians to walk past 30 Jewish women starved to death by SS troops in a 300-mile march across Czechoslovakia. Some Germans claimed no knowledge of the mass murders and concentration camps.
America's Response to The Holocaust 21,000 European Jews (out of millions) admitted to U.S. by war’s end
“ We fought to preserve America for Americans and our children, not for a bunch of refujews.”
- as noted in a letter to a Jewish congressman
1946 Poll, after Nazi atrocities were well known: 72 % of Americans still opposed admitting Jews “ [Jews] are the reason for Hitler” - noted in a letter to the White House
America's Response to The Holocaust
Anti-Semitism increased during 1900s to 1920s
Great wave of Jewish immigration from Russia and Eastern Europe
Immigration Act of 1924 locked in immigration quotas to 1890s
Intentionally limited number of Jews allowed in to U.S.
By the 1930s Hitler's terror campaign against the Jews of Germany was underway and well known.
As huge numbers of Jewish refugees sought entry into the United States, American anti-Semitism increased in response
Unemployment engendered by the Great Depression fed anti-immigrant sentiment
Real problem was the widespread dislike, if not hatred, of Jews
Late 1941: influential Jewish newspapers in the U.S. published refugees' reports of atrocities against Jews
August 1942: U.S. Department of State received confirmation of program, but claimed it could not get other confirmations
November 1942 many newspapers were reporting the systematic extermination of more than 2 million Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe
FDR promised the Nazis would be punished at war’s end
Jewish organizations felt they could not wait that long
Pay Hitler to release Jews of bomb death camps
Hitler would use $$$ to build war machines
Bombing would divert precious airpower from winning war
Bombing runs hit oil installations only minutes from Auschwitz
What Did Americans Know, and When Did They Know It?
America's Response to The Holocaust The “Jew Deal”
FDR appointed Jews to high level gov’t positions:
Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau
Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter
Many American Jews were vocal in the appeal for social and economic justice throughout the Depression
FDR and the Conservative Shift in Congress
1942 elections gave Republicans control of House and Senate
Conservatives were adamant in their refusal to admit refugees to the US
Knew of “Jew Deal” criticism
Noting the conservative shift in the mood of the electorate, FDR worried about his chances in the presidential election of 1944
FDR was in a political pickle
Many Congressmen were notorious for their racism and anti-Semitism.
Some even used the word kike on the floor of the House of Representatives.
State Department argued that accepting refugees from Germany and the occupied countries " would take the burden and curse off Hitler ."
Mass-circulation magazines such as Time and Life, ignored the problem
“ We all want to get rid of our Jews. The difficulty is that no country wishes to receive them.” Germany’s foreign minister:
3. Why do you think the Nazi system of systematic genocide was so brutally effective? There was no effective opposition in Germany to Hitler’s plan for mass extinction. Nazis propaganda loudly proclaimed that the Germans were a superior race destined to rule the world. At the same time they preached that Jews, Poles and other groups were inferior races. Hitler used the Jews as scapegoats for Germany’s problems following World War I. He stripped them of their rights and then used terror and propaganda to coerce them into giving up their freedom.
"Dr. Mengele had always been more interested in Tibi. I am not sure why - perhaps because he was the older twin. Mengele made several operations on Tibi. One surgery on his spine left my brother paralyzed. He could not walk anymore. Then they took out his sexual organs. After the fourth operation, I did not see Tibi anymore. I cannot tell you how I felt. It is impossible to put into words how I felt. They had taken away my father, my mother, my two older brothers - and now, my twin ..."