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The Holocaust . SWBAT: identify the causes of the Holocaust. Homework: None. Do Now: With a partner sitting near you, add words surrounding the word “Holocaust” with things you already know about it. Consider: who, what, where, when, and why . Note: the more you can add, the better. .

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The Holocaust

SWBAT: identify the causes of the Holocaust.

Homework: None.

Do Now: With a partner sitting near you, add words surrounding the word “Holocaust” with things you already know about it. Consider: who, what, where, when, and why.

Note: the more you can add, the better.

The Holocaust

what is the holocaust
What is the Holocaust?
  • Systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, throughout the German Reich and German-occupied territories
  • Of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe before the Holocaust, approximately two-thirds were killed.
  • A network of over 40,000 facilities in Germany and German-occupied territory were used to concentrate, hold, and kill Jews and other victims
who was targeted
Who was Targeted?
  • Those deemed to have "racial inferiority":
  • This mostly meant Jews.
  • Included gypsies, the physically and mentally disabled, homosexuals, Communists, Socialists, and Jehovah's Witnesses.
the beginnings
The Beginnings
  • As early as 1933, laws were implemented that outlawed kosher butchering and made it difficult for Jewish children to attend school with non-Jewish children.
  • In 1935, Hitler introduced the Nuremberg Lawsstripping German Jews of their citizenship and deprived them of all civil rights.
  • At the same time the Nazis used propaganda to spread the concept of Rassenschande (race defilement) to justify the need for a restrictive law.

The Nazi propaganda film poster for the “The Eternal Jew”

  • On November 7, 1938, a Jewish teenager named Herschel Grünspan assassinated Nazi German diplomat Ernst vomRath in Paris.
  • This incident was used by the Nazis as a reason to begin physical violence against German Jews.
  • What the Nazis claimed to be spontaneous "public outrage" was in fact a planned program throughout Nazi Germany,
  • These programs became known as Kristallnacht("the Night of Broken Glass", literally "Crystal Night").
  • Jews were attacked and Jewish property was vandalized,
  • Over 7,000 Jewish shops and more than 1,200 synagogues (roughly two-thirds of the synagogues in areas under German control) were damaged or destroyed.
early measures
Early Measures
  • Germany's invasion of Poland in September, 1939 increased the urgency of the "Jewish Question".
    • Poland was home to approximately three million Jews.
  • A Nazi party member recommended putting Polish Jews in ghettos in major cities, located on railway junctions in order to furnish, "a better possibility of control and later deportation.“
  • Here many thousands died from maltreatment, disease, starvation, and exhaustion, but there was still no program of systematic killing.
movement towards the final solution
Movement towards the “Final Solution”
  • Hitler said that if the "Jewish problem" cannot be solved by these laws and ghettos, it "must then be handed over by law to the National-Socialist Party for a final solution".
    • The "final solution“ became the standard Nazi euphemism for the extermination of the Jews.
  • The Wannsee Conference brought together some 15 Nazi leaders to a suburb of Berlin.
  • Purpose? To discuss plans for a comprehensive solution to the "Jewish question in Europe.“
  • The decision? European Jews would be rounded up from west to east and sent to extermination camps where they would be killed.
the camps
The Camps

Extermination Camps

Labor Camps

Concentration Camps

  • Located in all German-occupied locations.
  • Created to exploit the labor of prisoners of various kinds, including prisoners of war.
  • Included Camps like:
    • Buchenwald
    • Mauthausen-Gusen
    • Ravensbrück
  • Located mostly in Poland.
  • Created for the sole purpose of exterminating the Jews.
  • Included camps like:
    • Auschwitz
    • Belzec
    • Sobibor
    • Treblinka
  • Located mostly in Germany.
  • intended as places of incarceration and forced labor for a variety of enemies of the Nazi regime
  • Included camps like:
    • Dachau
    • Bergen-Belsen
steps to death
Steps to Death
  • Deportation and transportation to camps often took days.
    • Individuals, families and whole communities together with their personal belongings were packed into cattle train cars.
  • They had no information. They did not know where they were going, the length of the journey or what would happen to them when they eventually arrived at their destination.
  • It was not uncommon for the very young, the old and the sick to die because of the inhumane conditions during the journey
  • Having arrived at a concentration camp and been unloaded from the cattle trucks, men and women were separated, children staying with their mothers.
  • After registration, prisoners had to undress and have their hair shaved before showering.
  • They usually had their own clothing taken away, which would be replaced by a striped uniform.
life at a camp
Life at a Camp
  • After an early wake-up, daily concentration camp routines would begin with the Appell, the daily roll call.
  • During the Appell prisoners had to stand in rows, completely still, for hours at a time, and in all weather conditions.
  • After waking and before roll call, up to 2,000 prisoners at a time would have to share toilet facilities. The toilet would be a concrete or wooden board with often 100 holes for seats.
  • No privacy and no real sanitation was provided. Prisoners would have to wash in dirty water, without soap and with no change of clothes for weeks or months on end.
    • Unsanitary conditions often spread disease.
  • After eating a meagre ration of watery soup, a piece of bread and some imitation coffee, a prisoner’s day would follow with work details.
    • Led to malnutrition and starvation.
  • If the conditions didn’t kill you, the work might.
    • Exhaustion was a common cause of death.
  • And if this didn’t kill you, the gas chambers would.