Night. Elie Wiesel Ms. Mac Eng. II Pre-AP. Elie Wiesel.
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Ms. Mac Eng. II
Mr. Elie Wiesel is a Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor. He is the author of over 40 books, the best known of which is Night, a memoir that describes his experiences during the Holocaust and his imprisonment in several concentration camps. Mr. Wiesel established The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity soon after he was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize for Peace. The Foundation's mission, rooted in the memory of the Holocaust, is to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs that promote acceptance, understanding and equality.
Elie Wiesel was born in Sighet, Romania in 1928 into a strict Jewish family. Wiesel's autobiographical book, Night, explores some of Wiesel's early childhood experiences, one of which includes the anecdote of Moshe the Beadle. A caretaker for the synagogue in Sighet, Moshe had a great impact over the young Wiesel; it was from Moshe the Beadle that Wiesel learned the secrets of the Talmud. In 1941, foreign-born Jews in Hungary were deported to Polish concentration camps; among the foreign, Jewish deportees was Moshe the Beadle.
In late 1942, Moshe the Beadle escaped from the Polish concentration camp that he had been deported to and returned to Sighet with hope of forewarning the Sighet Jews of what was awaiting them in Poland.
You don't understand ... you can't understand. I have been saved miraculously. I have managed to get back here [to Sighet]. Where did I get the strength from? I wanted to come back to Sighet to tell you the story of my death. So that you could prepare youselves while there was still time. To live? I don't attach much importance to my life anymore. I'm alone. No, I wanted to come back and to warn you. And see how it is, no one will listen to me (Johnson & Strom, 120).
Disregarding the warnings of Moshe the Beadle and the reports from Poland, Romania was invaded by the German Nazi on March 19, 1944.
WWII began September 1, 1939 and ended September 2, 1945
Over 70 million were killed by the end of the war and were mainly civilians
103 different countries were involved in or affected by WWII
Before the war there were 9,793,700 Jewish people
Nearly 6 million killed
The total number of victims of Nazi genocidal policies, including the handicapped and Romani, Poles and Soviet POW is generally agreed to be between 9 and 11 million. Approximately 6 million were Jewish people.
Ghettos were established across all of occupied Europe, especially in areas where there was already a large population of Jews
Many ghettos were closed by barbed wire or walls and were guarded by SS
Jews sometimes had to use bridges to go over Aryan streets that ran through the ghettos
Life was hard: food was rationed; several families often shared a small space; disease spread rapidly; heating, ventilation, and sanitation were limited
Many children became orphaned in the ghettos
Marching group of Hitler’s army
National Socialist German Workers' party of Germany
Hitler smothered all resistance and ruled over all cultural, economic, and political activities of the people
Hitler also created a Nazis Army
German internal security police as organized under the Nazi regime, known for its terrorist methods directed against those suspected of treason or questionable loyalty
Einsatzgruppen were mobile killing squads made up of Nazi (SS) units & police. They killed Jews in mass shooting actions throughout eastern Poland and the western Soviet Union.
2nd row 7th from the left
A prison camp where people are held without regard for accepted rules of arrest and detention
The Nazis constructed concentration camps to hold Jews, “Gypsies,” communists, and others considered “enemies of the state.”
A camp where the Nazis murdered people in assembly-line style
The largest death camp was Auschwitz-Birkenau (referred to as Auschwitz)
Also used to describe concentration camps such as Bergen-Belsen and Dachau
Included gas chamber and crematories
A crematory is a furnace where a corpse can be burned and reduced to ashes
Gas chambers were sealed chambers into which a poisonous gas is released
Both crematories and gas chambers were used to kill prisoners in concentration camps
Prisoner forced to oversee other prisoners
Nuremberg Laws stripped Jews of their German citizenship. They were prohibited from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of “German or related blood.”
2. Containment: Put them all together in one place-namely ghettos
3. “Final Solution” : annihilation
Kristallnacht was the “Night of Broken Glass” on November 9-10, 1938
Germans attacked synagogues & Jewish homes & businesses
Nazis targeted individuals & groups in addition to the Jews:
The White Rose movement protested Nazism, though not Jewish policy, in Germany.
White Rose stood for purity & innocence in the face of evil.
Founded in June 1942, by Hans Scholl, 24 year old medical student, his 22 year old sister, Sophie, & 24 year old ChristophProbst.
In February 1943, Hans & Sophie were caught distributing leaflets & were arrested. They were executed with Christoph 4 days later.
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Jewish partisans who escaped to fight in the forests
Most of the Jewish Partisans were European teenagers who fought against the Nazis during World War II. They were typically everyday people with little or no military background who had escaped the ghettos and work camps and formed resistance groups in the forests and urban underground. This made it impossible for them to return home and so they were forced to constantly move around, living in the shadows on the edges of cities and towns. The few that knew anything at all about guns and ammunition quickly became important teachers and leaders of the groups. A typical requirement to join one of the groups was the ownership, be it legal or not, of a gun. Ten percent of the group members were women, only some of which were fighters. Most were part of the infrastructure, cooking for the group and taking care of the sick and wounded. Most groups denied the membership of families with small children.
Less than 1% of the non-Jewish European population helped any Jew in some form of rescue.
Denmark & Bulgaria were the most successful national resistance movements against the Nazi’s attempt to deport their Jews.
In Denmark 7,220 of the 8,000 Jews were saved by ferrying them to neutral Sweden.
The Danes proved that widespread support for Jews could save lives.
The War Refugee Board was established by the U.S. Secretary of Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., and it worked with Jewish organizations, diplomats from neutral countries, & European resistance groups to rescue Jews from Nazi-occupied territories.
Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg worked in Hungary to protect tens of thousands of Jews by distributing protective Swedish (a neutral country) passports.
Soviet soldiers 1st to liberate camp prisoners on July 23, 1944, at Maidanek in Poland.
British, Canadian, American, & French troops also liberated camp prisoners.
Troops were shocked at what they saw.
Most prisoners were emaciated to the point of being skeletal.
Many camps had dead bodies lying in piles “like cordwood.”
Many prisoners died even after liberation.
Jewish displaced persons, eager to leave Europe, pushed for the founding of a Jewish state in British-controlled Palestine.
U.S. President Harry Truman issued an executive order allowing Jewish refugees to enter the U.S. without normal immigration restrictions.
Nuremberg Trials brought some of those responsible for the atrocities of the war to justice
There were 22 Nazi criminals tried by the Allies at the International Military Tribual
Twelve subsequent trials followed as well as national trials throughout formerly occupied Europe
12 prominent Nazis were sentenced to death
Most claimed they were only following orders, which was judged to be an invalid defense