Children and the Holocaust • Approximately one million Jewish children under 15 were murdered by the Nazis • The experience of children varied
The Kindertransport • Followed Kristallnacht • The British government allowed an unspecified number of children under the age of 17 to enter Great Britain from Germany and German territories
The Kindertransport • Private citizens had to pay for each child’s care, education, and emigration • parents or guardians could not accompany children • last transport from Germany was in September 1939, just before the war started
The Kindertransport • Last transport left the Netherlands on May 14, 1940 • In all, 9,000-10,000 children were brought • some 7,500 were Jewish • Most of these children would never see their parents again
In Poland and Eastern Europe, children went with their parents to the ghettos Many became smugglers and beggars Children and the Holocaust
Children and the Holocaust • Children in Western Europe were sent with their families to the transit camps. • In the end, children were deported with their parents to concentration camps
Children and the Holocaust • Parents who refused to be separated from their children were sent at once to the gas chambers.
Children and the Holocaust • Many parents forced to make “choiceless choices” • Should they stay and face the future or go into hiding? • If they go into hiding, should they go together or individually? • Should a child be given to non-Jewish friends or strangers?
Children and the Holocaust • Young children often endangered their parents
Children and the Holocaust • Should a child be hidden in a convent or monastery where they might be protected, but cease to be a Jew? • Some Jewish children could pass as non-Jew and took on new names • Led to confusion about their religion and their identity.
Two Types of Hiding • Physical hiding- an attempt to hide one’s complete existence from the outside world. • Where would you hide? • Identity Hiding • changing who you were in order to blend into society
Children and the Holocaust • Gypsy children and twins were subject to medical experiments by Dr. Josef Mengele • Trying to create the Master Race