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Remembering the Holocaust. By: Casey Lessmann. Auschwitz- Birkenau.

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remembering the holocaust

Remembering the Holocaust

By: Casey Lessmann

auschwitz birkenau
Auschwitz- Birkenau

Auschwitz was the largest death camp during the Holocaust. Auschwitz opened March 1,1941, after Heinrich Himmler ordered it’s establishment. Auschwitz was separated into three parts, a forced labor camp, a concentration camp, and a death camp. Auschwitz was the first camp to have a gas chamber. It’s first gas chamber began operating on September 3,1941, by the end of the war Auschwitz had four gas chambers. Along with not having good living conditions at Auschwitz, some people were used to perform horrible medical experiments. At Auschwitz there was little food, medicine, and shelter. Because of the horrible conditions dying due to diseases was a main cause of death. Today Auschwitz is a museum so that people can see what really happened there.

Wigoder, Geoffrey. “Auschwitz”. The Holocaust Volume 1. 1997. print.


Main entrance to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. Poland, date uncertain

babi yar
Babi Yar

On September 30,1941 thousands of Jews were killed at Babi Yar. Babi Yar is located on the outskirts of Kiev and Ukraine. At this location tens of thousands of Jews were murdered by the Nazis. On September 28,1941 notices were sent out to the Jews living in Kiev and Ukraine to meet and Babi Yar. When the Jews arrived there they had to register and turn in all of their valuables. The Jews then had to take of their clothes and stand at the edge of the ravine, where they would be shot by gunmen. After 48 hours of this process over 33,771 Jews were killed. At the end of the war Babi Yar was a murder site for over 100,000 people. In 1974 a memorial was built at Babi Yar in honor of all who lost their life there.

Wigoder,Geoffrey. “BabiYar”. The Holocaust Volume 1. 1997. print.


Soviet investigators (at left) view an opened grave at Babi Yar. Kiev, Soviet Union, 1944

dr josef mengle
Dr. Josef Mengle

Dr. Joseph Mengele was born in March of 1911. Before finishing his education in medicine, Mengele attended three months of training with the German army. Mengele also wrote reviews of heredity books before becoming a doctor. After his education Mengele became one of the 200 Nazi doctors and became a S.S. captain. Mengele was also the chief medical officer at Auschwitz. Mengele did horrifying experiments on thousands of Jews. He injected dye into people’s eyes to see if he could turn them blue. Mengele was fascinated with twins and wanted to unlock the secret of multiple births. Mengele did experiments on over 1,500 Jewish twins. After the Holocaust Mengele fled to South America. Mengele was charged for crimes against humanity, but he was never prosecuted. Mengele died when he drowned while swimming with his friends in February of 1979. In June of 1985 the bones of Mengele were found. Today Mengele is a purposely forgotten member of the Mengele family.

Cefrey, Holly. Dr. Josef Mengele. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2001. print

Chaikin, Miriam. A Nightmare in History. New York: Clarion Books, 1987. print


Dr. Joseph Mengele


On November 9-10,1938 synagogues were burned, shops were destroyed, and homes were burned. These days are known as Kristallnacht or the November Pogrom. Kristallnacht happened after Hershel Grynspzpan, a young Jewish refugee, shot Ernst Van Rath, a German embassy official. Nazi officials were outraged, so they sent troops to destroy Jewish communities throughout Germany and Austria. The SA sent in brigades to burn synagogues and to destroy shops and homes. Henrich Himmler ordered his troops not to stop destruction no matter what happened. Heinrich Himmler and his troops also arrested 30,000 Jews during Kristallnacht. Kristallnacht was thought to mark the beginning of the Holocaust.

Wigoder, Geoffrey. “Kristallnacht.” The Holocaust Volume 1. 1997. print.


Jewish-owned shop destroyed during Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass"). Berlin, Germany, November

oskar shindler
Oskar Shindler

Oskar Shindler was born on April 18,1908 in a small town in Austro Hungarrian named Zwittau. Oskar became a very successful businessman During the Holocaust Oskar was a member of the Nazi party and also owned a large fsactory. Even though he was a meber of the Nazi party, Oskar was very troubled by the Holocaust. Oskar hired 1,100 Polish Jews to work in his factory during the Holocaust. Oskar also provided food for the Jews that were kicked out of their homes. In his factory Oskar built a sanctuary for his Jewish workers. During the war his workers were in danger of having to go to a death camp. Oskar the bribed Nazi officials so they would let him create his own detention camp and move his factory. By the end of the war Oskar was broke and he fled to Argentina and worked as a farm hand with his wife, Emilie Pezel, who he married in 1928. Oskar die in 1974 and his buried in Israel. Today he is known as a savior because he saved all of his workers from going to a death camp. A movie called Shindler’s List is about all of the great things he did to save his workers.

Roberts, Jack. The Importance of Oskar Shindler. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1996. print.

Roberts, Jeremy. Oskar Shindler Righteous Gentile New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2000. print.


Oskar Schindler in Paris in 1949

warsaw ghetto
Warsaw Ghetto
  • The Warsaw Ghetto encompassed 1,000 acres of land and was home to thousands of Polish Jews. Warsaw was segregated by a 10 foot wall that was topped with broken glass and barbed wire. The Jews were not allowed to enter or leave without a pass. The Warsaw Ghetto was split into three sections, the central ghetto, the shop section, and the brush-making factories. The shop section was composed of businesses where Jews could work for little or no money. The brush-making section was where different brushes were produced for the German Army. The central ghetto was where the majority of the Jews lived. The Warsaw Ghetto was infected with typhoid, typhus, and paratyphoid due to overcrowding. In the ghetto there was no medication and little food. People usually only got one piece of bread, two bites of groat, and a swallow of milk. Even thought the conditions at Warsaw were terrible the Jews there were determined to survive.

Landau, Elaine. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising New York: New Discovery Books, 1992. print.


Ruins of the Warsaw ghetto after the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Poland, May 1943