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The “Final Solution” . Ghettos In Poland. Millions of Jews lived in eastern Europe. After Germany invaded Poland in 1939, more than two million Polish Jews came under German control

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ghettos in poland
Ghettos In Poland
  • Millions of Jews lived in eastern Europe.
  • After Germany invaded Poland in 1939, more than two million Polish Jews came under German control
  • The Germans aimed to control this sizable Jewish population by forcing Jews to reside in marked-off sections of towns and cities the Nazis called "ghettos" or "Jewish residential quarters."
  • Altogether, the Germans created at least 1,000 ghettos in occupied territories. The largest ghetto was in Warsaw, the Polish capital, where almost a million Jews were confined.
Many ghettos were set up in cities and towns
  • Between October and December 1941, thousands of German and Austrian Jews were transported to ghettos in eastern Europe
  • The Germans usually marked off the oldest, most run-down sections of cities for the ghettos.
  • They sometimes had to evict non-Jewish residents from the buildings to make room for Jewish families.
  • Many of the ghettos were enclosed by barbed-wire fences or walls, with entrances guarded by local and German police and SS members.
In the Polish cities of Lodz and Warsaw, trolley lines ran through the middle of the ghetto
  • Rather than reroute the lines, workers fenced them off, and policemen guarded the area to keep the Jews from escaping on the trolley cars.
  • The passengers from outside the ghetto used the cars to get to work on weekdays, and some rode them on Sunday outings just to gawk and sneer at the ghetto prisoners.
life in the ghettos
Life in the Ghettos
  • Overcrowding was common. One apartment might have several families living in it.
  • Plumbing broke down, and human waste was thrown in the streets along with the garbage.
  • Contagious diseases spread rapidly in such cramped, unsanitary housing.
  • People were always hungry. Germans deliberately tried to starve resident
  • People weakened by hunger and exposure to the cold became easy victims of disease; tens of thousands died in the ghettos from illness, starvation, or cold.
  • Many young people tried to continue their education by attending school classes organized by adults in many ghettos. Since such classes were usually held secretly.
important dates
Important Dates
  • February, 8 1940:LODZ JEWS ORDERED INTO GHETTOThe Germans order the establishment of a ghetto in the northeastern section of Lodz. Over 160,000 Jews, more than a third of the entire population of Lodz, are forced into a small area of the city. The Jews of Lodz formed, after Warsaw, the second largest Jewish community in prewar Poland.
  • January,16 1942:LODZ JEWS DEPORTED TO CHELMNO KILLING CENTERDeportations from the Lodz ghetto to the Chelmno killing center begin. German police will carry out roundups in the ghetto. Hundreds of Jews, mainly children, the elderly, and the sick, are killed on the spot during the deportations.
  • June, 23 1944 GERMANS RESUME DEPORTATIONS FROM LODZ GHETTOBetween September 1942 and May 1944, there are no major deportations from Lodz. The ghetto resembles a forced-labor camp. In the spring of 1944, the Nazis decide to destroy the Lodz ghetto. By then, Lodz is the last remaining ghetto in Poland, with a population of about 75,000 Jews. On June 23, 1944, the Germans resume deportations from Lodz. About 7,000 Jews are deported to Chelmno and killed.
mobile killing squad
Mobile Killing Squad
  • Their job was to kill any Jews they found in the Soviet Territory
  • Their territories were Ukrainians, Latvians, and Lithuanians
  • The way they would kill Jews and Gypsies was by lining them up in open fields or forest; they would shoot them or gas them in gas vans and dump the bodies into mass graves.
  • The victims had to surrender any valuables and remove clothing
  • Killing squads killed men, women, and children
key dates
Key Dates
  • By June 22nd1941 the Mobile Killing Squad killed more than a million Jews and tens of thousands Gypsies, plus Soviet political officials
  • Mobile Killing Squad called themselves the special duty unit that were assigned to kill Jews during the invasion of the Soviet Union
  • At that time they were German and they followed the German Army and only shot at primary Jewish men
  • Wherever the Killing Squad went, they shot all Jewish Men, women, and Children regardless of age and gender
the wannsee conference
The Wannsee Conference
  • Wannsee- a villa and lake in a wealthy part of Berlin, Germany
  • On January 20, 1942, fifteen high-ranking Nazi party members and German government leaders gathered for a meeting.
  • ReinhardHeydrich, SS chief Heinrich Himmler’s head deputy, called together the meeting to discuss the “final solution.”
the final solution1
The “Final Solution”
  • “Final Solution”- Code name for the genocide of all European Jews
  • “Final Solution” was a very vague name used to protect the world from what was truly happening
  • The Conference was used to reveal the plan to non-Nazi leaders who were responsible for transporting the Jews.
mobile killing squads eiensatzgruppen
Mobile Killing Squads (Eiensatzgruppen)
  • These squads were already killing Jews before the Wannsee Conference.
  • At first they were killing only Jewish men but later killed anyone who was Jewish.
  • Started killing Gypsies in spring of 1943
  • Gassing was experimental at first and began at Auschwitz
  • Zyklon B was the first gas (crystalline hydrogen cyanide gas)
  • Gas vans were used in Chelmno which killed Jews with carbon monoxide
at the killing centers
At the Killing Centers
  • After the deportation trains arrived, the guards ordered the deportees to get out and form lines
  • Men were separated from women and children
  • Babies, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, handicapped, and the sick had very little chance of survival
A Nazi usually an, SS physician, looked quickly at each person to decide if he or she was healthy and strong enough for forced labor
  • They chose who lived or died; those who were selected to die were led to gas chambers. To prevent panic they were told they were going to take showers to be rid of lice
  • Victims were instructed to turn over all their valuables and to undress
After being escorted inside, the guards would close the steel doors and release carbon monoxide, sometimes “Zyklon B.” Within minutes people would die.
  • Other prisoners would have to haul the dead bodies to other rooms where they removed hair, gold teeth, and fillings. The bodies were then burned.
  • Jews were "deported" -- transported by trains or trucks to six camps, all located in occupied Poland: Chelmno, Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Majdanek-Lublin.
  • The Nazis called these six camps extermination camps.“
  • "Many of the victims were deported from nearby ghettos, some as early as December 1941, even before the Wannsee meeting.
a uschwitz
  • Auschwitz was the largest camp established by the Germans.
  • There was three main camps: Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II (Birkenau), and Auschwitz III (Monowitz).
  • More than one million people lost their lives at Auschwitz, nine out of ten of them Jewish. 
  • Victims who were spared immediate death by being selected for labor were systematically stripped of their individual identities.
  •  They had their hair shaved off and a registration number tattooed on their left forearm. Men were forced to wear ragged, striped pants and jackets, and women wore work dresses.
works cited
Works Cited
  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “The Holocaust.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. Accessed on January 20, 2014.