HOLOCAUST. From Ancient Greek, meaning a “burnt offering” or “sacrifice by fire”. . Part I. 1933 – 1939: Propaganda & Persecution. What was the Holocaust?.
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HOLOCAUST From Ancient Greek, meaning a “burnt offering” or “sacrifice by fire”.
Part I 1933 – 1939: Propaganda & Persecution
What was the Holocaust? • “…the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.” (USHMM) • Victims of Nazi persecution also included Roma (“Gypsies”), the disabled, Communists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and homosexuals. • Approximately 12 million people were murdered after being labeled by the Nazis as "undesirables”.
1920-1934: Hitler’s Rise to Power • 1919: Hitler joins the German Workers Party • 1920: Hitler takes charge of party propaganda; delivers anti-Semitic tirades • 1923: Munich Beer Hall Putsch • Attempts to lead an overtaking of the Bavarian Government (& eventually the Weimar Republic) • 1933: Hitler, as a member of National Socialist German Workers Party, is named Chancellor of Germany by President Hindenburg • 1934: After the death of President Hindenburg, Hitler rises to the role of Fuhrer (supported by a vote)
1933 – 34: Growing Restrictions • 1933-34: • “Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service” excluded Jews and “politically unreliable” persons from state service. • German law restricted the number of Jewish students at German schools and universities • Restricted the ability of Jewish medical professionals to obtain an education, treat patients, and receive payment from public health insurance funds • Jewish actors forbidden to perform on stage or screen • Prevention of Jewish dietary rituals
1935: Nuremberg Laws • Excluded German Jews from Reich citizenship • Prohibited marriage or sexual relations with person of “German or German-related blood” • Jews could not hold public office or vote • Did not identify a “Jew” as someone with a particular religious affiliation • Removed the names of Jewish soldiers from WWI memorials
1936: Berlin Olympic Games • 1936 Winter and Summer Olympic Games were held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Berlin, respectively. • Despite movements for a boycott of the games, the U.S. & other western democracies opted to participate in the games • Public anti-Jewish rhetoric was toned down during the games, and anti-Jewish signs were taken down. • Despite a banning of Jews from athletic clubs, a half-Jewish athlete was allowed to represent Germany in fencing.
1933 – 38: “Aryanization” • “Aryanization”: (1933-38)Aimed to exclude Jews from the economic sphere of Germany by preventing them from working. • Removed Jewish workers and managers, and transferred businesses to non-Jewish Germans. Reduced the number of Jewish-owned businesses by 2/3.
1937 • Authorities increased legislative persecution of German Jews • Required Jews to register their property • Forbade Jewish doctors to treat non-Jews and revoked licenses of Jewish lawyers • “Aryanizing” of businesses continued
1938 • In August of 1938, German authorities decreed that by January 1, 1939, Jewish men and women bearing first names of “non-Jewish” origin had to add “Israel” and “Sara”, respectively, to their given names. • Jews were required to carry identity cards. • Autum of 1939: Jews identified by a “J” stamp on their passports.
November 9th & 10th 1938: Kristallnacht • “Night of Broken Glass” • Followed the assassination of a German embassy official stationed in Paris, by Herschel Grynszpan, a 17 year old Polish Jew • Joseph Goebbels (Nazi Propaganda minister), “the Fuhrer has decided that…demonstrations should not be prepared or organized by the Party, but insofar as they erupt spontaneously, they are not to be hampered.” • Violent anti-Jewish pogroms included the destruction of more than 1,000 Synagogues, vandalism of 7,500 Jewish businesses, and the deportation of 30,000 Jews to concentration camps.
Part II 1939-1942: World War & Mass Murder
Nazi Occupied Europe: New Political Powers • Heinrich Himmler: Led the SS and Gestapo; Minister of the Interior from 1943 to 1945; Organizer of the Mass Murder of Jews in the Third Reich; Established & Organized Concentration Camps • Joseph Goebbels: Master propagandist of the Nazi regime; Staged book burnings in Berlin; Assisted with provocation of Kristallnacht; “Cultural Dictator” of Germany
Nazi Occupied Europe: New Political Powers • SS: (Schutzstaffel; Protection Squadrons) Assumed leading responsibility for security, identification of ethnicity, settlement and population policy, and intelligence collection and analysis. Controlled the German police forces and the concentration camp system. • Gestapo: (GehimeStaatspolizei) Secret police of Nazi Germany; Responsible for round ups of Jews and other “undesirables”; charged with guarding and supervising the ghettos; imposing forced labor; supervise deportation of Jews
1939: “Euthanasia Program” • August: Reich Ministry of the Interior circulates an order that all medical professionals must report infants and children under 3 who showed signs of severe mental or physical disability. • Program eventually expands to children up to 17 • At least 5,000 children were murdered through starvation or lethal overdose of medication.
1939: Adult “Euthanasia” • “T4”: Tiergatenstrasse 4 • Up to 200,000 mentally or physically disabled persons murdered through starvation, lethal injection, and, eventually, gassing. • Aimed to restore the racial “integrity” of the German nation. • Eliminate what eugenicists and their supporters considered “life unworthy of life”.
1939: War Begins • September 1: German forces invade and occupy Poland • September 3: Britain and France declare war on Germany • Russia signs non-aggression pact with Germany
1939-1940: Creation of Jewish Ghettos • German occupation forces establish the first ghetto in Poland in late 1939. • Warsaw Ghetto is created in October 1940 • More ghettos are created and sealed off throughout Eastern Europe
1940: War Intensifies • Rationing begins in the United Kingdom • German ‘Blitzkrieg’ overwhelms Belgium, Holland, and France • Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister of Britain
1941: Operation Barbarossa • Hitler secretly breaks non-aggression pact with Russia • Germany invades the Soviet Union in June • SS and German police begin mobile killing units aimed at Jewish communities. • By autumn, SS and police introduce mobile gas vans in the occupied Soviet Union
1941: War Expands • London Blitz continues • Pearl Harbor • Japan assaults the U.S. in a surprise attack of the military base in Hawaii on December 7th • 3,500 Americans were killed or wounded in the two hour attack • The U.S. enters the war on December 8th
1942: The “Final Solution” • In 1941, Nazi officials began preparations that would lead to the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” • Formally established and agreed upon at a meeting in January 1942 • Establishment and opening of three major killing centers: Belzec, Treblinka, and Sobibor. • Mass murder of Jewish people at Auschwitz-Birkenaubegins in April.
1942: “Factories of Death” Auschwitz “ArbeitMachtFrei” • Near Krakow, Poland • Three main camps • All forced labor • One, Auschwitz II or Auschwitz-Birkenau, functioned as a killing center • SS continued gassing operations until November 1944 • At least 960,000 Jews were killed in Auschwitz
1942: “Factories of Death” Dachau • Established in March 1933 as the “first concentration camp for political prisoners” • In Southern Germany • Prisoners underwent “selection”; those deemed too weak to work were “euthanized” or shot • Medical experimentation • 28,000 Victims between January 1940 and May 1945
1942: “Factories of Death” Treblinka • Poland • Treblinka I: Forced labor camp for Jews, established in November 1941 • Treblinka II: Killing center opened in July 1942 • Treblinka II divided into three parts: • Reception Area • Living Area • Killing Area • 870,000 to 925,000 Jews were killed at Treblinka II
Part III 1942-1945: A Terrifying Legacy
1942: Increasing Terror • July: Mass deportations from Warsaw Ghetto; Approximately 265,000 are killed at Treblinka • July: Germans issue order prohibiting pregnancies and births in the ghettos. • Deportations from ghettos continue, and ghettos are increasingly transformed from ghettos to work camps.
1943: Liquidation & Rebellion • January: Lodz ghetto (Poland) is transformed into labor camp; 100,000 Jews are killed. • March: Deportations of Jews from Greece to Auschwitz begin. • Liquidation of ghettos increase as Germans are pushed into a retreat by the Allies. In June, Himmler orders the liquidation of all ghettos in “Ostland” and reorganization into concentration camps. • August: Armed prisoner revolt at Treblinka killing center. • September: Vilna ghetto fighters clash with German forces.
War Efforts • July 1943: Allies invade Sicily. • September 1943: Italy Surrenders to the Allies. • March 1944: Germans forces occupy Hungary. • June 6, 1944: D-Day; Allied invasion of western Europe begins. • August: Paris is liberated. • September: U.S. troops reach the western border of Germany.
1944 • August: Last transport of Jews from the Lodz ghetto. 74,000 Jews were transported to Auschwitz in August. • August: Anne Frank, her family, and fellow members of the ‘Secret Annex’ are discovered by Nazis. The 8 Jews in hiding are sent to Auschwitz. • October: Prisoners blow up one crematorium in a revolt at Auschwitz • November: The last people are gassed at Auschwitz. As the Soviets near, the Nazis attempt to destory evidence of mass murder.
1945: The Beginning of the End • Dec. 1944 – Jan. 1945: Battle of the Bulge • January: Soviets amassed more than 2.5 million troops on the Eastern front. The Soviets attack on several fronts, pushing Germans back. They liberate Warsaw on January 17th. • At the Chelmnocamp, the SS begins killing the group of Jewish prisoners they had forced to help dismantle the camp. • January 18th: Nazis begin to remove prisoners from Auschwitz. Tens of thousands of prisoners from several camps are forced to march on foot to other camps in Germany.
1945: Liberation & Loss • January 27th: Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz. Only a few thousand prisoners remain. • February: Anne Frank dies of typhus at Bergen-Belsen • March- April: Allied troops liberate Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and other concentration camps.
May 7th, 1945: Germany Surrenders • April 30th: Hitler commits suicide. • May 7th: Germany surrenders to the Allies. • May 8th: Victory in Europe (VE) Day; The war in Europe is officially over. • Many Nazi officials flee to South America
The Holocaust: Impacts & Lingering Questions • How could world war be stopped in the future? • United Nations established in 1945. • How to punish those responsible? • Nuremberg Trials (1945-1946) led to the creation of International Criminal Court. • Where should the victims go? • Establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. • How to prevent such crimes against humanity? • Universal Declaration of Human Rights written in 1948. • What should be done with Germany? • Division of Germany among Allied Powers; Creation of East Germany (1949), which would play a major role in the Cold War.