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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 l.jpg

  • 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

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  • 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

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  • German from Sudetenland

  • Saved 1100 Jews by bribing SS officer

  • Made famous in movie “Schindler’s List” by Steven Speilburg

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  • Orchestra played at Auschwitz as people were marched to their deaths

  • Orchestra members chosen from camp inmates

  • Ordered to play “snappy tunes”

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • “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

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  • 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

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Anne Frank

Raoul Wallenberg