Vocabulary• Anti-Semitism - Prejudices toward Jews or discrimination against them.• Genocide - Deliberate, systematic destruction of a racial, cultural, or political group.• Scapegoat - Person or group of persons unfairly blamed for wrongs done by others.
Pre-War• Approximately 11 million Jews in Europe• Poland and the Soviet Union had the largest Jewish populations• Jews very assimilated: farmers, factory workers, business Jewish community of Sighet, people, doctors, Romania in front of a wooden synagogue. teachers, and craftsmen
Germany blames Jews for Post WW1 problems• Post WWI Blues – Many Germans upset over the loss (Hurt Pride) – Upset about Reparations – German Army is limited in size – Germany falls to extreme depression.• Extremists blamed Jews for Germany’s defeat in WWI – Blamed the German Foreign Minister (a Jew) for his role in reaching a settlement with the Allies.
Anti-Semitism• For 2,000 yrs Jews have suffered discrimination and used as scapegoats. – people blamed Jews for the “Black Death” during Middle Ages• Hitler idolized Austrian mayor (Karl Lueger) who used anti-Semitism in his political campaign.• Political leaders who used anti-Semitism as a tool - portray Jews as a race instead of a religion.
Totalitarian State• Totalitarianism is the total control of a country in the government’s hands: – It subjugates the individual’s rights. – It demonstrates a policy of aggression. – In a totalitarian state, paranoia and fear dominate. – The government maintains total control over the culture. – The government is capable of indiscriminate killing.
Why do you think Germany is a prime country for doingsomething like the Holocaust? Think of what you know about Germany and characteristics of a Totalitarian State
Persecution• April 1933 – eliminated from civil service – social security eliminated – quotas in schools• September 15, 1935 - Nazis passed Nuremberg Laws: – Stripped Jews of their German citizenship. – Prohibited from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of “German or related blood.” – were required to carry ID cards
Persecution• The “Jewish Question” evolved in three steps: 1. Expulsion: Get them out of Europe 2. Containment: Confine in one place — Ghettos 3. “Final Solution”: annihilation• Other Groups Targeted: – Gypsies (Sinti and Roma) – Homosexuals Helene Gotthold, a Jehovahs – Jehovah’s Witness Witness, was beheaded for her – Handicapped Germans religious beliefs on December 8, – Poles 1944, in Berlin. She is pictured with – Political Dissidents her children in 1936.
Kristallnacht• “Night of the Broken Glass” November 9- 10,1938• Anti-Jewish rampage in Germany: Burnings, arrests and beatings• Nazis attacked synagogues, homes and businesses
Shattered Jewish Storefronts in Berlin. This photo was taken after the Shattered Jewish Storefronts in Berlin. This photo was taken after theattacks of Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938. attacks of Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938.
Anti-Semitism Propaganda• Nazi teachers began to apply the “principles” of racial science by measuring skull size and nose length and recording students’ eye color and hair to determine whether students belonged to the “Aryan race.”• The Nazis used propaganda to promote their anti-Semitic ideas. – One such book was the children’s book, The Poisonous Mushroom.
The Holocaust: The Final SolutionNazis would attempt to exterminate theentire Jewish population of Europe, an estimated 11 million persons.
Prelude to the Final Solution • In 1939, Germany invaded Poland which had a much larger population of 3 million Jews. • In 1941, Germany invaded Russia which had a population of 5 million Jews.
Final Solution• Himmler established specially trained SS units called “Einsatzgruppen” to shoot Jews.• Attempted to kill Jews by having them dig their own graves and then stand in front of grave and be shot.• Inefficient – Too Long, Needed Bullets for war• Wannsee Conference to determine a more effective way
Wannsee Conference• On January, 20, 1942, headed by Himmler, head Nazis met in Berlin to coordinate the “FINAL SOLUTION”• Used “secret” language in discussing plan• "...eliminated by natural causes," refers to death by a combination of hard labor and starvation.• "treated accordingly“, "special treatment" and "special actions" refers to execution by SS firing squads or death by gassing
Final Solution• Jews to be rounded up, go through process of selection• Healthy Jews Labor camps – Death through over work and starvation• Too Young, Too Old, Mothers of young, or unhealthy Death Camps
Where were the Death Camps built? The work of the Einsatzgruppen Why do you think that they located them here?
Children Dying of Starvation in the Warsaw Ghetto
SS Tactics: Dehumanisation• The SS guards who murdered the Jews were brainwashed with Anti-Semitic propaganda.• The Jews were transported in cattle cars in terrible conditions.• Naked, dirty and half starved people look like animals, which helped to reinforce the Nazi propaganda.• The SS used to train their new guards by encouraging them to set fire to a pit full of live victims – usually children.
Entrance to AuschwitzNotice how it has been built to resemble a railway station
Auschwitz from the air Notice how the Death camp is set out like a factory complex The Nazis used industrial methods to murder the Jews and process their dead bodies
The Gas Chambers • The Nazis would force large groups of prisoners into small cement rooms and drop canisters of Zyklon B, or prussic acid, in its crystal form through small holes in the roof. • These gas chambers were sometimes disguised as showers or bathing houses.The SS would try and pack up to 2000 people into this gas chamber
The outside of the Gas ChamberNotice the Ovens easily located near the Gas Chambers
Processing the bodies • Specially selected Jews known as the sonderkommando were used to to remove the gold fillings and hair of people who had been gassed. • The Sonderkommando Jews were also forced to feed the dead bodies into the crematorium.
Who did this?Reserve Police Battalion 101 from Hamburg • Ordinary Germans obeying orders • July 1942-Nov. 1943: killed more than 38,000 Jews • deported 45,000 others.
Who knew?• Extermination involved the knowledge and cooperation of many not directly involved in killing• Most who suspected the worst were terrified and powerless• Many Europeans believed “the Jews” were a problem that needed “solving”• Nazis tried to conceal the death camps• What of other governments? • Vichy France required Jews to wear special identification • Italians participated less actively • Hungarian government dragged its feet
Resistance?• Little resistance seemed to be possible• Rebellions at Auschwitz and Treblinka• Warsaw ghetto uprising (1943) • 80 percent of the residents had been deported • Small Jewish underground movement • 56,000 Jews were killed
Overall human costs• 5.1-6.0 million Jews – 800,000 in Ghettos – 1,400,000 in open-air shootings – 2,900,000 in camps• 1.8 -1.9 million Poles• 200,000-800,000 Roma & Sinti• 200,000-300,000 people with disabilities• 10,000-25,000 gay men• 2,000 Jehovahs Witnesses
Shoes waiting to be processed by the sonderkommandoTaken inside a huge glass case in the Auschwitz Museum. This representsone days collection at the peak of the gassings, about twenty five thousand pairs.
Destruction Through WorkThis photo was taken by the Nazis to show just how youcould quite literally work the fat of the Jews by feeding them 200 calories a day
Destruction Through Work Same group of Jews 6 weeks later
Was the Final Solution successful?• The Nazis aimed to kill 11 million Jews• Today there are only 2000 Jews living in Poland.• The Nazis managed to kill at least 6 million Jews.
The HolocaustTo What Extent did the World Know?
Evil is when a few good men decide to do nothing.
U.S. and World Response• Evian Conference - summer of 1938 in Evian, France. – 32 countries met to discuss what to do about the Jewish refugees who were trying to leave Germany and Austria. – Despite voicing feelings of sympathy, most countries made excuses for not accepting more refugees.• Some US congressmen proposed the Wagner-Rogers Bill – let 20,000 endangered Jewish refugee children into the country – bill was not supported in the Senate.• Anti-Semitic attitudes played a role in the failure to help refugees.• The SS St. Louis, carrying refugees with Cuban visas, were denied admittance both in Cuba and in Florida. After being turned back to Europe, most of the passengers perished in the Holocaust.
The Horror of the Holocaust. Although the outside world had some knowledge of theNazi death camps before the war’s end, the full revelation of Hitler’s atrocities as theAllies overran Germany in the spring of 1945 stunned and sickened the invading troops.At General Eisenhower’s orders, German civilians were compelled to view the evidenceof the Nazi regime’s genocidal crimes- though these witnesses at Buchenwald tried tolook the other way, as many had done during the war itself.