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DEATH CAMPS. All Polish death camps linked by rail to those parts of Europe marked to send Jews to their death Zyklon B gas was most efficient chemical killing agent First tried out on Russian pows in fall of 1941. COMMANDANTS SPEAK. Rudolf Hoess Commandant of Auschwitz

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death camps
DEATH CAMPS
  • All Polish death camps linked by rail to those parts of Europe marked to send Jews to their death
  • Zyklon B gas was most efficient chemical killing agent
    • First tried out on Russian pows in fall of 1941
commandants speak
COMMANDANTS SPEAK
  • Rudolf Hoess
    • Commandant of Auschwitz
    • Demonstrated “pride” in his work
    • People who lived nearby knew what was going on
    • Everyone was destined to die
      • Some could postpone this fate by being in good enough shape to work
    • Proud of deception practiced at Auschwitz
    • Grossly corrupt

Rudolf Hoess

Franz Stangle

Commandant of Treblinka

oskar schindler
OSKAR SCHINDLER
  • German from Sudetenland
  • Saved 1100 Jews by bribing SS officer
  • Made famous in movie “Schindler’s List” by Steven Speilburg
banality of evil
BANALITY OF EVIL
  • Orchestra played at Auschwitz as people were marched to their deaths
  • Orchestra members chosen from camp inmates
  • Ordered to play “snappy tunes”
sonderkommando
SONDERKOMMANDO
  • Some Jews had the job of accompanying victims to gas chambers, removing bodies and extracting gold from teeth and hair from bodies
  • Had little choice
    • Alternative would have been their own deaths
    • Normal standards of decency did not apply in camps
jewish resistance i
JEWISH RESISTANCE I
  • Generational difference within Jewish community about issue of resistance
  • Each ghetto had a Judenrate
    • Made up of Jewish elders
    • Given limited power of self-government by Nazis
    • Selected those to go to death camps
    • Regarded resistance as useless and pointless
  • Younger Jews believed that Nazis should be resisted at all costs
  • Created tensions between younger and older generations in camps and ghettos
jewish resistance ii
JEWISH RESISTANCE II
  • Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
    • Sparked by decision by Himmler to destroy ghetto
    • From April 19-May 15, 1943
    • Finally forced to surrender
    • Survivors joined Polish resistance
jewish resistance iii
JEWISH RESISTANCE III
  • Some Jews formed resistance bands
  • Others joined the Polish resistance
    • Often a problem because Jewish resisters were not always welcome by Poles
  • Other Poles took great risks to hide and help Jews
    • Roman Polanski
educational efforts
EDUCATIONAL EFFORTS
  • Jewish culture and language preserved in ghettos
  • Set up special schools
    • Taught Yiddish
    • Jewish history
    • Hebrew
    • And other subjects
  • 4000 students attended Warsaw schools between 1940 and 1941
  • No schools in the death camps
theresienstadt
THERESIENSTADT
  • “Model” camp, the only one where foreign observers were allowed
  • Reality was that it was a stopping place for Jews on their way to Treblinka or Auschwitz
  • Children’s art preserved in museum
    • Usually only days separated the production of these drawings and the death of the child artist in the gas chambers
hungary
HUNGARY
  • Germans occupy Hungary because the dictator Miklos Horthy resisted Nazi demands to transport 400,000 Hungarian Jews to the death camps
    • March 1944
  • Eichmann forces Jews to march to Auschwitz
    • Many die along the way
    • Remainder gassed at Auschwitz
    • 70% of Hungarian Jews killed
two glimmers of humanity
TWO GLIMMERS OF HUMANITY

Anne Frank

Raoul Wallenberg