Key Terms • Lieutenant General Reinhard Heydrich • Nuremburg Laws • Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases • Eugenics • Sinti and Roma • Auschwitz-Birkenau
Lecture Outline • Holocaust A. An Overview II. Summary of the Holocaust A. 1933-1939 1. Jews 2. Handicapped 3. Jehovah’s Witnesses 4. Sinti and Roma 5. Homosexuals B. 1939-1945 1. Poles C.Aftermath of the Holocaust
Quotes • “What luck for the rulers that men do not think.”—Adolf Hitler
The Plan • On January 20, 1942 fifteen high ranking Nazi Party and German government leaders met at Wannsee district of Berlin to coordinate the carrying out of the “final solution.” • The leader of the meeting was SS Lieutenant General Reinhard Heydrich. • It was estimated that the “Final Solution” would kill 11 million European Jews from more than 20 countries.
April 19—Give an example of how you have been discriminated against or an example of discrimination that you witnessed.
An Overview • Six weeks before the Wannsee meeting, the Nazis began to murder Jews at Chelmno, an agricultural estate located in a part of Poland annexed to Germany.
An Overview • During 1942, trainloads of Jewish men, women, and children were transported from countries all over Europe to the four major killing centers in German-occupied Poland.
Summary of the Holocaust 1933-1939--Jews • 525,000 Jews, less than 1% of the population, lived in Germany. • In 1933 new German laws forced Jews out of civil service jobs, university and law positions, and other areas of public service. • In April 1933, a boycott of Jewish business was instituted.
1933-1939--Jews • In 1935, laws proclaimed at Nuremberg made Jew’s second-class citizens. • These Nuremberg laws defined Jews, not by their religion or by how they wanted to be identified, but by the religious affiliation of their grandparents.
1933-1939--Jews • Between 1932 and 1939, anti-Jewish regulations segregated Jews further, including the Nuremberg Laws.
1933-1939--Handicapped • The Law for Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Disease, July 14, 1933, forced the sterilization of all persons who suffered from diseases considered hereditary. • Before Hitler, the US led the world in forced sterilizations. • Eugenics= belief that the human race could be improved by controlled, selective breeding.
1933-1939--Handicapped • In January 1934 approx. 300,000 to 400,000 people were sterilized under the law. Several thousand died as a result of the operations. • In October 1939, Hitler initiates a decree which empowers physicians to grant a “mercy death” to patients deemed incurable. • In all between 200,000 and 250,000 mentally and physically handicapped people were murdered from 1939-1945.
1933-1939—Jehovah’s Witnesses • Was founded in the US in the 1870s. • By the early 1930s only 20,000 Germans were Jehovah’s Witnesses. • April 1933, Jehovah’s Witnesses are banned in Bavaria and by the summer in most of Germany. • April 1, 1935, law banned the group nationally.
1933-1939—Jehovah’s Witnesses • In 1935, Germany introduced conscription. Jehovah’s Witnesses were arrested and incarcerated in prisons and concentration camps for refused to be drafted. • In 1936 a special unit of the Gestapo began compiling a registry of Jehovah’s Witnesses. • By 1939, approx. 6,000 Witnesses were detained in prisons or camps.
1933-1939—Jehovah’s Witnesses • Approx. 10,000 Witnesses were imprisoned in concentration camps. • An estimated 2,500-5,000 Witnesses died in camps or prisons. • More than 200 men were executed for refusing military service.
1933-1939—Sinti and Roma • In 1939, 30,000-50,000 “Gypsies” lived in Germany and Austria. • A Bavarian law of July 16, 1926 required the registration of all Sinti and Roma. • Under the July 1933 Law for Provention of offspring with Hereditary Defects physicians sterilized an unknown number of Gypsies.
1933-1939—Sinti and Roma • Under the Law against Dangerous Habitual Criminals of November 1933, the police arrested many Gypsies along with prostitutes, beggars, chronic alcoholics, and homeless vagrants, and imprisoned them in concentration camps. • As the war broke out, Gypsies were sent to ghettos and then to death camps. • Approx. 220,000-500,000 Sinti and Roma were killed
1933-1939--Homosexuals • In 1934, a special Gestapo division on homosexuals was set up. • An estimated 1.2 million men were homosexuals in Germany in 1928. • 1933-1945 100,000 men were arrested as homosexuals and of these some 50,000 were sentenced to prison. • 5,000-15,000 were incarcerated in concentration camps.
1933-1939--Homosexuals • After the war homosexual concentration camp prisoners were not considered victims of Nazi persecution and some were forced to serve out their sentences. • They refused no reparations. • The law remained in effect in the Federal Republic (West Germany) until 1969.
1939-1945--Poles • On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland and WWII began. • Within weeks the Polish army was defeated and the Nazis began their campaign to destroy Polish culture and enslave the Polish people whom they viewed as “subhuman.” • It is believed that 1.8 million to 1.9 million non-Jewish civilians were victims of German occupation policies and war.
1939-1945 • In the months following Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union, Jews, political leaders, Communists, and many Roma (Gypsies) were killed in mass shootings.
1939-1945 • During the war, ghettos, transit camps, and forced labor camps, in addition to the concentration camps, were created by the Germans to imprison Jews, Roma, and other victims.
Statistics • There were 10,005 “camps” • 941 were forced labor camps • 230 were especially made for Hungarian Jews • 399 Ghettos in Poland • 52 main concentration camps with 1,202 satellite camps
1939-1945 • Between 1942 and 1945, the Germans moved to eliminate the ghettos in occupied Poland and elsewhere. • They deported ghetto residents to “extermination camps”—killing centers equipped with gassing facilities.
1939-1945 • Auschwitz-Birkenau, which also served as a concentration camp, became the killing center were the largest numbers of European Jews and Roma were killed. • The killing centers were operated by the SS.
1939-1945 • There were instances of organized resistance in almost every concentration camp and ghetto. • An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 Jews fought bravely as partisans in resistance groups. • Organized armed resistance was the most direct form of opposition.
Obstacles to Resistance • Superior armed power of the Germans • German tactic of “collective responsibility” • Isolation of Jews and lack of weapons • Secrecy and deception of deportations
1939-1945 • By the summer of 1944, the Nazis had emptied all ghettos in eastern Europe and killed most of their former inhabitants. • After the war turned against Germany and the Allied armies approached German soil in late 1944, the SS decided to evacuate outlying concentration camps.
1939-1945 • In May 1945, Nazi Germany collapsed, the SS guards fled, and the camps ceased to exist.
Aftermath of the Holocaust • Following the war, the trials of “major” war criminals was held at the palace of Justice in Nuremberg, Germany between November 1945 and August 1946. • These trials were conducted by the International Military Tribunal.
Aftermath of the Holocaust • Trials and investigations continue today.
Ch 16 Sec 5 Nuremberg Trials Demilitarized democratization