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First They Came…Martin Niemoller. First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

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First They Came…Martin Niemoller

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First They Came…Martin Niemoller

  • First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.

  • Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

  • Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--Because I was not a Jew.

  • Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

Instructions by Reinhard Heydrich, on Policy and Operations Concerning the Jews in the Occupied Territories, September 21, 1939

Berlin, September 21, 1939 To Chiefs of all Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police. Subject: Jewish Question in Occupied Territory for the time being, the first prerequisite for the final aim is the concentration of the Jews from the countryside into the larger cities.
This is to be carried out speedily.

As far as possible, the areas…are to be cleared of Jews; at least the aim should be to establish only few cities of concentration so as to facilitate subsequent measures. In this connection, it should be borne in mind that only cities which are rail junctions, or at least located on railroad lines, should be selected as concentration points.
On principle, Jewish communities of less than 500 persons are to be dissolved and transferred to the nearest concentration center.[1]


  • This document was written less than three weeks after the Nazis invaded Poland. What does this denote about Nazi Germany’s policy toward Jews under their occupation?

The Ghetto

  • What’s your definition of the word “Ghetto”?

    • What types of conditions would we find in them?

    • Originally used in Venice to describe an area of the city were Jews were restricted and segregated in the 1516

  • Did you know?

    • Our modern understanding of the word “ghetto” came from the Holocaust period.

  • Critical Thinking:

    • How would the Nazis benefit from establishing Jewish Ghettos?


  • In this unit we will take a close look at 3 distinct Ghettos, each with their own distinctiveness; Warsaw, Lodz (Wooch), and Theresienstadt. (Tha-Ray-Zen-Stat)

  • Warsaw will see Adam Czerniakow desperately try to manage a ghetto of ½ million people in vain, Janusz Korczak’s devotion to this orphanage, and the heroic efforts of Mordechai Anielewicz along with his followers fight the Nazis and die with honor.

  • Lodz will see the actions of Mordechai Rumkowski where he will actively collaborate with the SS to provide material for the war effort, send his enemies to Concentration Camps, and actually compel people to volunteer on the trains to Auschwitz.

  • Theresienstadt will see a flourishing Jewish cultural life and the most dramatic hoax ever pulled by the Germans to fool the world into believing the Jewish Ghetto’s were clean, orderly, and its inhabitants well treated.











  • Warsaw

  • Lodz

  • Theresienstadt

Death Camps

4. Auschwitz

5. Chelmno

6. Treblinka

7. Sobibor

8. Majdanek

9. Belzec



  • Jews were forced to live in designated areas called “ghettos” to isolate them from the rest of society

  • Nazis established 356 ghettos in Poland, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Hungary during WWII

  • Ghettos were filthy, with poor sanitation and extreme overcrowding

  • Disease was rampant and food was in such short supply that many slowly starved to death

  • Warsaw, the largest ghetto, held 500,000 people and was 3.5 square miles in size

Nazi ghettos were a preliminary step in the annihilation of the Jews, as the ghettos became transition areas, used as collection points for deportation to concentration & death camps

Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning

  • During the latter part of our imprisonment, the daily ration consisted of very watery soup given out once daily, and the usual small bread ration. In addition to that, there was the so-called "extra allowance," consisting of three-fourths of an ounce of margarine, or a slice of poor quality sausage, or of a little piece of cheese, or a bit of synthetic honey, or a spoonful of watery jam, varying daily. In calories, this diet was absolutely inadequate, especially taking into consideration our heavy manual work and our constant exposure to the cold in inadequate clothing. The sick who were "under special care"--that is, those who were allowed to lie in the huts instead of leaving the camp for work--were worse off. When the last layers of subcutaneous fat had vanished and we looked like skeletons disguised with skin and rags, we could watch our bodies beginning to devour themselves. The organism digested its own protein, and the muscles disappeared. Then the body had no powers of resistance left....

What tactics did the Nazis use to get the Jews to leave the Ghettos?


New arrivals at the Death camps were given postcards to send to their friends.


The Jews were told that they were going to ‘resettlement areas’ in the East.

The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were only fed a 100 calories a day .


In some Ghettos the Jews had to purchase their own train tickets.

A Human being needs 2400 calories a day to maintain their weight


They were told to bring the tools of their trade and pots and pans.

The SS publicly shot people for smuggling food or for any act of resistance

Hungry people are easier to control

Warsaw Ghetto Revolt Questions

  • 1. Who ran the Warsaw Judenrat? What policy did he put into place to ensure survival?

    • Led by Adam Czerniakow. Made them work to ensure survival

  • 2. What was the death rate in the Ghetto? What was the cause of their deaths?

    • By 1942 – 100,000 dead. 300 – 400 per day. Starvation and disease

  • 3. Adam Czerniakow knew the fate of the Jews. What key factor about the deportations led him to this conclusion?

    • Taking the babies, old and sick until further notice. He Killed himself

  • 4. Which death camp were most of the Warsaw Jews murdered?

    • Treblinka

  • 5. Who was Janusz Korzak? What did he do that made him famous before the Holocaust? What happened to him at the end?

    • Educator ran an orphanage. Children’s author. He died with his children

Warsaw Ghetto Revolt Questions

  • 6. After most of the Warsaw Jews were sent to the death camps, about 1,000 people decided to fight. What was their group called? What was their motto? What was their goal?

  • Jewish Fighting Organization. “Brothers, don’t die in silence. Lets fight!” Kill as many SS as they could.

  • 7. What resulted from the Jews fighting back against SS?

    • In 4 days killed 20 SS men and injured 50

  • 8. Who was Jurgen Stroop? What was his task?

    • Leader of the SS that returned. “Liquidate” the ghetto and deport everyone to Treblinka

  • 9. How did the Jews perform in the opening rounds of the uprising?

    • Used stealth to fight off Nazis in the beginning.

  • 10. How did the Jewish fighters match up with Stroop’s SS?

    • SS – 3,200 troops. Jews – 1,200 fighters

    • Nazis = 135 machine guns – Jews = 2

    • Nazis = 1,358 rifles – Jews = 15

    • Nazis have tanks – Jews don’t

    • Nazis have more ammo

Warsaw Ghetto Revolt Questions

  • 11. What was Stroop’s new plan to defeat the Warsaw Jews?

    • Destroy all of the buildings (take their cover away)

  • 12. How long did the Warsaw Jews resist the Nazis?

    • 1 month

  • 13. How did the Jewish Survivors escape?

    • Sewers and tunnels

  • 14. What are the estimated Nazis and Jewish casualties?

    • Hundreds of SS. 7,000 Jews

  • 15. How was Stroop rewarded immediately after the uprising? How did he profit from this experience?

    • Iron Cross 1st class. Wrote a book on it

  • 16. What do you think happened to Stroop after the war?

    He was executed

Lodz Ghetto Questions

  • 1. How was the Lodz Ghetto set up differently from other Ghettos?

    • Cut off. Factories the Jews had to work in. Surrounded by Ayrans

  • 2. Who ran the Lodz Ghetto? What was his plan for survival?

    • Mordecai Chaim Rumkowski. Cooperate with the Nazis and show that they are useful

  • 3. What services did the Lodz Ghetto offer its people? Are you surprised at any of them?

    • Rationing, Schools, Emergency Services, Welfare (soup kitchens)

  • .4. What did people call Rumkowski? How do you think this affected his personality?

    • The King

  • 5. What was the Lodz Chronicle? What do the entries describe?

    • Secret Newspaper of the Ghetto. Daily life, doesn’t bash Nazis, contained photos

Lodz Ghetto Questions

  • 6. What reward did the Jews get if the worked? What jobs in the ghetto gave people further rewards?

    • Fed a meal at their job. Running the Ghetto, postman (two bowls of soup a day). “Official” jobs like police officer – extra rations

  • 7. What happened to many able-bodies men in the Ghetto?

    • Taken away for forced labor

  • 8. How did the Nazis attempt to quicken the pace of death on the Lodz Ghetto?

    • Took away part of the ghetto that had the most food and medicine

  • 9. What death camps did most of the Lodz Jews end up going to?

    • Chelmno and Auschwitz-Birkenau

  • 10. Despite the massive deportations to the death camps how was Lodz different from the Warsaw Ghetto in the End?

    • Lodz didn’t fight back. Only 870 out of 230,000 left

Theresienstadt: Kingdom of Deceit

The Propaganda Ghetto

  • Located in Czechoslovakia, Terezin was to serve as the “model camp” and “model Jewish Settlement” that foreigners could be shown. As of 1941, it became “Theresienstadt,” a ghetto.

  • Who went there?

    • Jews over the age of 65 (die a natural death)

    • Jewish War veterans who were disable or were awarded the Iron Cross

    • Prominent Jews whose disappearance might raise suspicion .The resienstadt ghetto was created to house “special categories” of Jews (artists, authors, musicians, spiritual leaders, children, etc.)


  • 1. In addition to Theresienstadt being a ghetto and concentration camp, it was also a Transient Camp. What is that?

    • People did not stay there for very long

  • 2. How did the liquidation of this ghetto differ from others?

    • It was never a “permanent” ghetto.

  • 3. How did the presence of so many Jewish artists, writers, scientists, musicians, and professors shape the ghetto?

    • Rich culture, library, Music concerts, Theater, Painting, Education

  • 4. Why were the Danish Jews given special consideration at Theresienstadt?

    • Danish government wanted to see how their Jews were treated.


  • 5. To calm the fears of the Danish government what did the Nazis allow in the summer of 1944? How did they prepare for it?

    • Allowed the Red Cross to visit. More deportations, Cleaned up, gardens, houses painted, Turf, Social Centers, synagogue, monument for dead

  • 6. You are a member of the Red Cross delegation: would you believe what youre seeing is the real ghetto or a fake? Explain.

    • Good acting (Paul Eppsetin), Band, Café, soccer game, children’s opera

  • 7. What did the Nazis do immediately after the Danish visit to spread their propaganda to the German population?

    • Deported to Auschwitz

  • Yet, in truth, rules and experiences at Terezin could be just as horrifying as any other concentration camp. For example, it was illegal to write letters to anyone outside of the ghetto. On January 10, 1942 nine people were hanged, each accused of smuggling a letter.

  • A total of around 15,000 children under the age of 15 passed through Terezin. Of these around 100 survived.

Entrance to Terezin camp. The gate bears the motto “Arbeit Macht Frei”

(“Work makes one free”)

German Jews, wearing identification tags, before deportation to Theresienstadt. (Wiesbaden, Germany, August 1942)

Departure of a train of German Jews being deported to Theresienstadt. (Hanau, Germany, May 30, 1942)

The arrival of Jews at the Terezin (Theresienstadt) Ghetto, near Prague,Czechoslovakia.

Prisoners were sometimes allowed to bring a few possessions with them, but often what they brought was immediately taken away by the prison guards.

A transport of Jewish prisoners marches through the snow from the Bauschovitz train station to Theresienstadt.

(Czechoslovakia, 1942) Even in the worse weather, young and old alike were forced to march from the train station to the Terezin ghetto.

Arrival of a transport of Dutch Jews in the Theresienstadt ghetto.

(Czechoslovakia, February 1944)

Dutch Jews who have recently arrived in the Theresienstadt ghetto. Czechoslovakia, February 1944.

Women prisoners lie on thin mattresses on the floor of a barracks in the women's camp in the Theresienstadt ghetto. Czechoslovakia, between 1941 and 1945. The living conditions were quite miserable, and were usually very crowded.

Sicknesses spread quickly among the people.

Preparation of food in the Theresienstadt ghetto. (Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, between 1941 and 1945.)

The food for the prisoners was very poor quality and was prepared in unsanitary conditions. Food rations were very small.

Prisoners wait for food rations. Theresienstadt ghetto, Czechoslovakia, between 1941 and 1945. Prisoners at Terezin were always hungry. Thousands died of malnutrition.

Forced laborers at work in a tailor's workshop. Theresienstadt ghetto, Czechoslovakia, between 1941 and 1945. Men, women and children were forced to work for long hours. However, the children at Terezin were allowed to go to school. Adult prisoners acted as their teachers, and tried hard to make life as normal as possible for the children.

Crematorium at Terezin

The Nazis build crematoriums to dispose of the dead. The Nazis tried to hide the fact that they killed millions of people. Red Cross Inspectors would never have seen this place.

Here is a layout of the town. The ghetto is area is where most of the prisoners lived in barracks. The prison and internment camp were where political prisoners and Jewish resisters were held.

“At Terezin”

When a new child comes

Everything seems strange to him

What, on the ground I have to lie?

Eat black potatoes? Not I!

I’ve got to stay? It’s dirty here!

The floor—why, look, it’s dirt, I fear!

And I’m supposed to sleep on it?

I’ll get all dirty!

Here the sound of shouting, cries,

And oh, so many flies.

Everyone knows flies carry disease.

Oooh, something bit me! Wasn’t that a bedbug?

Here in Terezin, life is hell

And when I’ll go home again, I can’t yet tell.

-Teddy 1943

“The Butterfly”

The last, the very last,

So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.

Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing

Against a white stone….

Such, such a yellow

Is carried lightly ‘way up high.

It went away I’m sure because it wished to

Kiss the world good-bye.

For seven weeks I’ve live in here,

Penned up inside this ghetto.

But I have found what I love here.

The dandelions call to me

And the white chestnut branches in the court.

Only I never saw another butterfly.

That butterfly was the last one.

Butterflies don’t live here,

In the ghetto.

-Pavel Friedman April 6, 1942

“I am a Jew”

I am a Jew and will be a Jew forever.

Even if I should die from hunger,

Never will I submit.

I will always fight for my people,

On my honor.

I will never be ashamed of them,

I give my word.

I am proud of my people,

How dignified they are.

Even though I am suppressed,

I will always come back to life.

-Franta Bass

Music Behind Prison Bars

  • 1943 still life of a violin and sheet of music behind prison bars by Bedrich Fritta (1909-1945), Czech Jewish artist who created drawings and paintings depicting conditions in the Theresienstadt camp-ghetto. Fritta was deported to Auschwitz in October 1944; he died there a week after his arrival.

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