systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately 6 million Jews by the Nazi regime
1933 European Jewish population = roughly 9 million
By 1945 2/3 Jews had been killed & 1.5 million children had died
Why Jews? (According to Nazi’s)
Goal = world domination (resulting in direct threat to the Aryan idea)
Belief in Social Darwinism
survival of the fittest; natural selection
Seen as greedy; evil; cowardly; backstabbing
Politically responsible for German failures post-WWI
Seen as slayers of Christ; witches
Hatred of Jewish people/heritage
Hitler believed in eugenics and adopted the idea of genocide resulting in the Final Solution
Improving a race by selective breeding
Systematic killing of a race or group
Total extermination of Jewish people
See visual overview of Holocaust here .
The Holocaust: A Timeline 1933
Hitler becomes German chancellor
Anti-Semitic news publication “Jews are our misfortune”
SS sets up concentration camps for political prisoners
Enabling Act passed
Separate Jews from Germans
Jews in public office are ordered to “retire”
Establishment of the Gestapo
Secret state police
The Holocaust: A Timeline 1934-1939
1934 - Hitler becomes Fuhrer of Germany
1935 – Nuremburg Laws
Jews are no longer German citizens/marry non-Jews
1936 – SS Deathshead Unit put in charge of concentration camps
1938 – Night of Broken Glass
Anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish businesses, people, and synagogues
200,000 sent to camps
See video regarding the Night here .
1939 - Euthanasia program begins; Jews forced to wear yellow star; mass use of ghettos
Urban living areas where Jews would be sent pre-concentration camps
The Holocaust: Ghetto’s
Originally created as a provisional measure to control and segregate Jews
Creation of Final Solution (1941) made ghetto’s relatively useless & many were destroyed
Largest ghetto in Poland = Warsaw
Over 400,000 Jews in 1.3 square miles
See Warsaw ghetto history here .
The Holocaust: Camps
Concentration camps & Death camps ( extermination camps )
Primarily detention and labor centers, as well as sites for the murder of smaller, targeted groups of individuals
Dachau = first
Auschwitz-Berkenau (II) = largest
Height of operation 6,000 Jews killed/day
See video regarding Auschwitz here .
The Holocaust: Camps continued…
Germany constructed a very sophisticated railway system
Reaching into Spain, Italy and Russia
Prisoners would be transported from CC to DC in Eastern Europe
Trip was a nightmare
Jammed into cars like cattle
Seldom received food or water during journey
Extreme weather conditions
No sanitary facilities
See video regarding transport here .
The Holocaust: Camps continued…
Mistreatment of prisoners
Building, excavating, production, general labor under harsh conditions
Hanging, shooting, gassing
Zyklon B (Cyanide based pesticide)
Belittling, stripping of human rights, suicide, living in constant fear
Beatings, starvation, sickness, over-crowdedness
See video regarding hunger in camps here .
See video regarding labor in camps here .
See video regarding daily life in camps here .
The Holocaust: Special Stories
Nazi; womanizer; war profiteer; saved 1,200 Jews from death during Holocaust by putting them to work in factories; reason for only shipment out of Auschwitz (300 women); died penniless; Schindler’s List
List of 1,200 Jewish names Schindler purchased for factory work
German Jew; moved to Amsterdam; spent 2 years hiding in father’s office building; died of typhus at age 15 at Bergen-Belsen CC; talented writer ( Diary of a Young Girl )
Book written by Frank detailing her 2 years in hiding
See flash site regarding Anne and her writing here .
The Holocaust: Liberation
Russian forces reached Poland July 1944 starting liberation of camps
Germans tried to destroy all evidence of camps and began mass evacuation of prisoners to the interior ( death marches )
Destruction of documents, personal belongings and buildings; burning of bodies
Only after the liberation of camps was the full scope of Nazi horrors exposed to the world
See video regarding liberation here .
See video regarding liberation of Auschwitz here .
See pics regarding liberation of Auschwitz here .
The Holocaust: War Crimes
By 1942 the allied powers announce their determination to punish war criminals
Allies officially note the mass murder of European Jews
Moscow Declaration (1943)
War criminals would be punished by joint decisions of the Allied governments – the International Military Tribunal
US, GB, R and FR supplied a judge and a prosecution team
Defined crimes against humanity as "murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation...or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds.”
Declared that “following orders” was not a legitimate defense
Commander of Luftwaffe; un-sympathetic during trials; committed suicide in his cell night before execution
Architect; minister of armaments and war production; very cooperative during trials; sentenced to 20 years
Deputy head of Nazi party; claimed amnesia during trials; sentenced to life in prison
See video regarding trials here .
The Holocaust: War Crimes continued…
first time a nation's leaders were prosecuted by the international community for crimes committed by the state
The rules created during the trial formed the future of principles for war
Organization to help former SS members avoid capture/trial
People who track down/gather information on former Nazi/SS who were involved in the Holocaust
Found Adolf Eichmann; tried and executed in 1962
Gestapo head for Jewish affairs
Holocaust survivor; Nazi hunter
“ When history looks back I want people to know the Nazis weren't able to kill millions of people and get away with it.”
The Holocaust: Denial?
What is Holocaust Denial ?
Claims that the genocides that took place during WWII never occurred
against the law in Israel, France, Germany, Austria and now Hungary to deny the Holocaust
Punished with stiff fines and prison sentences
Types of denial?
Issues with gassing
Why single out the Jews (i.e. why not the Russians or thousands of others who died?)?
See video regarding the denial here .
The Holocaust: Denial? continued…
“ The Holocaust was the murder of six million Jews, including two million children. Holocaust denial is a second murder of those same six million. First their lives were extinguished; then their deaths. A person who denies the Holocaust becomes part of the crime of the Holocaust itself.”
David Matas, Senior Counsel for the “League for Human Rights”