Holocaust Background Information


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Holocaust Background Information

  2. 2. NTI-SEMITISM <ul><li>Death of Christ-1400: Christianity becomes the official religion of the Roman Empire and… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Christ’s death blamed on Jews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>refusal to convert to Christianity seen as arrogant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a scapegoat for Christianity—used to make Christianity look better </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. NTI-SEMITISM <ul><li>5th-7th Centuries, Middle Ages, Renaissance/Reformation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ blood libel” as an example of myths about the Jews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jews less than human, killed in the Crusades </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blamed for Black Death </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wore badges or cones on head, in Italy and Germany they were separated into ghettos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Central and eastern Europe: not allowed to own land, serve as officers in the military, hold positions in state service, and generally denied access to handicraftsman and small-manufacturing opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>17th-18th Century tensions eased but the stereotypes remained </li></ul>
  4. 4. Rise to Power <ul><li>Why elect Hitler? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hitler’s promises </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The effects of WWI </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and the Treaty of Versailles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Chancellor to Dictator (1933) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>burning of the Reichstag </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Enabling Act (end of Democracy) </li></ul></ul>Germans cheer Adolf Hitler as he leaves the Hotel Kaiserhof just after being sworn in as chancellor. Berlin, Germany, January 30, 1933. (ushmm.org)
  5. 5. 1933-1939 <ul><li>Dictatorship under the Third Reich (Nazi Party) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ state of emergency”—suspended constitutional civil rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Propaganda pushed central ideas/messages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>History and biology changed to match anti-Semitic views </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boys and girl’s clubs/programs immersed in Nazi ideology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The Poison Mushroom” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aryan “pure” race </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Euthanasia program conceived </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forced sterilizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ IN MY STATE, THE MOTHER IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CITIZEN.” --Hitler, 1934 (ushmm.org) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ OUR STARTING POINT IS NOT THE INDIVIDUAL, AND WE DO NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THE VIEW THAT ONE SHOULD FEED THE HUNGRY, GIVE DRINK TO THE THIRSTY, OR CLOTHE THE NAKED…OUR OBJECTIVES ARE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT: WE MUST HAVE A HEALTHY PEOPLE IN ORDER TO PREVAIL IN THE WORLD.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>--Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda (1938) (ushmm.org) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. PROPAGANDA (n): Official government communications to the public that are designed to influence opinion. The information may be true or false, but it is always carefully selected for its political effect. [propaganda. (n.d.). The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition . Retrieved February 15, 2008, from Dictionary.com website] Top Left: &quot;The result! A loss of racial pride.&quot; Germany, prewar [ushmm.org, Feb 15, 2008] Top Right: “German children read…DER GIFTPILZ ( &quot;The Poisonous Mushroom&quot;). The girl on the left holds a companion volume…&quot;Trust No Fox.&quot; Germany, ca. 1938.” [ushmm.org, Feb 15, 2008] Bottom Right: &quot;Healthy Parents have Healthy Children.&quot; Germany, date uncertain [ushmm.org, Feb 15, 2008] Bottom Left: “…from a film produced by the Reich Propaganda Ministry. It shows patients in an unidentified asylum. Their existence is described as ‘life without hope.’” Germany, prewar [ushmm.org, Feb 15, 2008]
  7. 7. 1933-1939 <ul><li>Early Stages of Persecution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sept 1935—Laws at Nuremberg </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>deprived Jews of political rights </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>defined who was a Jew </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Store Boycott </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Book burning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>KRISTALLNACHT, Nov 9-10, 1938 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Organized violence against Jews throughout Germany and Austria </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Death of Ernst vom Rath (low-ranking German official) by Herschel Grynszpan, a Polish Jew 17 years of age </li></ul></ul></ul>“ The synagogue in Oberramstadt (a town in southwestern Germany) burns during Kristallnacht. Oberramstadt, Germany, Nov 9-10, 1938.” [ushmm.org, Feb 15, 2008]
  8. 8. 1933-1939 <ul><li>Concentration Camps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ concentration camp refers to a camp in which people are detained or confined, usually under harsh conditions and without regard to legal norms of arrest and imprisonment that are acceptable in a constitutional democracy.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opened to “hold subversives”—people opposing the regime </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First camp was in Dachau in 1933, soon after Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor </li></ul></ul>“ Roll call for newly arrived prisoners, mostly Jews arrested during Kristallnacht (the &quot;Night of Broken Glass&quot;), at the Buchenwald concentration camp. Buchenwald, Germany, 1938.” [ushmm.org, Feb 15, 2008]
  9. 9. 1939-1945 <ul><li>WWII begins with the invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More “living space” for the Aryan Race </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other groups targeted during Holocaust: Romas (gypsies), Poles, Russians and other Slavic peoples, homosexuals, Jehovah Witnesses, Communists and Socialists </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler gives authorization for the Euthanasia (“good death”) program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ qualifications” for the program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>gas showers and crematoriums first used, to be incorporated later in the “final solution” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>halted in 1941 due to public suspicions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>continued, more carefully concealed, in 1942 through lethal injections, drug overdoses and forced starvation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>all-in-all, deaths estimated at 200,000 individuals </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. PERSECUTION AND MURDER OF JEWS <ul><li>Ghettos </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1939-1945; small areas of a city where Jews isolated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Warsaw ghetto largest (400,000 Jews crowded in an area of 1.3 square miles) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>forced labor; had to wear “identification” (patches/armbands etc…) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Einsatzgruppen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile units for mass murders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>shooting and burying in mass graves progressed to gas vans because of “psychological burden” on the soldiers </li></ul></ul>“ White armband with a Star of David embroidered in blue thread, worn by Dina Offman from 1939 until 1941 while in the ghetto in Stopnica, Poland.”
  11. 11. <ul><li>Wannasee Conference; Jan 20, 1942 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>German leaders discuss the “final solution” to the “Jewish Question” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Deportations and killing centers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Movement from ghettos to concentration and death camps (by train) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Auschwitz-Birkenau largest death camp (960,000 Jews murdered along with about 135,000 individuals of other groups) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selection took place upon getting off the train </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zyklon-B replaces carbon monoxide in gas chambers/showers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiments on prisoners (most well known SS Captain Dr. Josef Mengele who worked with infants, twins and dwarves specifically) </li></ul></ul>“ The Final Solution” “ Main entrance to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. Poland, date uncertain.”
  12. 12. Top Left: “A transport of Hungarian Jews lines up for selection at the Auschwitz extermination camp. Poland, May 1944.” Bottom Left: “Suitcases that belonged to people deported to the Auschwitz camp. This photograph was taken after Soviet forces liberated the camp. Auschwitz, Poland, after January 1945.” Top Right: “Hungarian Jews on their way to the gas chambers. Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, May 1944.” [ushmm.org, February 15, 2008]
  13. 13. <ul><li>May-July 1944: Over 430,000 Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, most are gassed </li></ul><ul><li>June 6: D-day; Allies invade Normandy </li></ul><ul><li>“ Death Marches” towards Germany begin </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Losing territory, destroying evidence, needed for production, perhaps use as hostages </li></ul></ul>“ A view of a death march from Dachau. Germany, April 29, 1945.”
  14. 14. LIBERATION and 1945 <ul><li>July 1944: Soviet Troops liberate Majdanek camp in Poland </li></ul><ul><li>January 27, 1945: Soviet Troops liberate Auschwitz-Birkenau </li></ul><ul><li>April-May 1945: Allies liberate Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau, Mauthausen, and Theresienstadt concentration camps </li></ul><ul><li>April 30, 1945: Hitler commits suicide </li></ul><ul><li>May 7, 1945: Germany surrenders and the war ends in Europe </li></ul><ul><li>November 1945-October 1946: War Crimes Trials held at Nuremberg, Germany </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crimes against humanity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some eventually sentenced to death </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Resources <ul><li>All pictures acquired from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 15 February 2008. <http://www.ushmm.org/> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Teaching about the Holocaust: A resource book for educators. Washington, DC. </li></ul><ul><li>The History Place, TM. 2008. 15 February 2008. <http://www.historyplace.com/> </li></ul>