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WHAT WAS THE HOLOCAUST ?

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HOLOCAUST

HOLOCAUST

SUMMARY

WHY TEACH AND LEARN ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST WHEN OTHER CRIMES ARE PERPETUATED   TODAY ?

HOLOCAUST
TIMELINE

GLOSSARY

LINKS

THE NAZI
RACIAL STATE

ORGANISATION AND LEADERSHIP
OF THE
NAZI PARTY

THE SS AND

GESTAPO

NUREMBERG
LAWS

36
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY

MUSEUMS AND MEMORIALS


THE HOLOCAUST

DURING WW2

MAPS/

GEOGRAPHY

THE NAZI
'FINAL SOLUTION'
TO THE
'JEWISH PROBLEM'

MURDER

ON AN

INDUSTRIAL SCALE

THE

EINSATZGRUPPEN

NAZI CAMPS/
DEATH MARCHES

VIDEOS
NAZI CAMPS/
DEATH MARCHES

MEDICINE AND THE

NAZIS

VIDEOS
'LEBENSBORN'
'THE SPRING OF LI'FE'
(for the 'Master Race')

THE JUDENRÄTE (JEWISH COUNCILS)

STORIES OF THE
THE JUDENRÄTE

(JEWISH)
GHETTO  POLICE


THE HOLOCAUST

DURING WW2

RED CROSS HOLOCAUST INSPECTION VISIT

TO THE

TEREZÍN
  (THERESIENSTADT)

"CAMP-GHETTO

VIDEOS
MUSIC

TEREZIN

VIDEOS
DEFIANT REQUIEM

THE

DOCUMENTARY

TEREZIN

"

JEWISH
RESISTANCE
TO THE HOLOCAUST

RESCUERS
DURING
THE HOLOCAUST

BOMBING
AUSCHWITZ


REACTION
TO THE HOLOCAUST AFTER WW2

RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE HOLOCAUST

NAZI TRIALS

HOLOCAUST
RESEARCH PROJECT

DENIAL OF THE

JEWISH

HOLOCAUST

VIDEOS
NAZI HUNTERS
OVERVIEW

VIDEOS
MEMORIES OF

HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS

VIDEO TOOLBOX
VOICES OF THE

JEWISH

HOLOCAUST

(Yad Vashem)          

SURVIVING SURVIVAL
OF
HOLOCAUST
SURVIVORS

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 THE HOLOCAUST -
MURDER ON AN INDUSTRIAL SCALE



The discovery of Nazi concentration camps towards the end of WW2 revealed the full horror of Hitler's plans to exterminate Europe's Jews and other minorities.
shocked the world.

What happened in Germany to lead to these events?

How much was known inside and outside Germany of these mass murders?
  

 




















































































































































































































BBC iWonder

(Another timeline is shown by Simple to Remember.)


WHAT HAPPENED

COMMENT and QUOTE


1933 NAZIS IN POWER.   
HITLER CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY

Hitler rose to power in Germany by offering a version of history in which the depression of the 1930's was the fault of the Jews.

In January, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of a coalition government, his own National Socialist party being the largest in parliament.

Hitler quickly moved to cement his power by suspending many civil liberties and allowing imprisonment without trial. By March, the first Nazi concentration camp was established at Dachau, not to imprison Jews but to hold political dissidents. Further laws targeted Jews, restricting the jobs they could hold and revoking their German citizenship. Anti-Semitic sentiment increased as the Jewish population was blamed for many of Germany's recent and historical problems.






Adolf Hitler: Man and monster

Did the Treaty of Versailles pave the way for Hitler?  

__________________


I refuse to admit that the police are a defence squad for Jewish stores.

Herman Göring, reported in the Times, 11 March 1933


1934  HITLER DECLARED FÜHRER

By August, Hitler’s grip on power was secured after a bloody purge that destroyed all opposition in the party. He declared himself Führer, or leader.

His grip on German society tightened and those who publicly objected to Nazi policies were often sentenced to hard labour in the rapidly expanding concentration camp system. Jews were subjected to further laws restricting their rights, but rising anti-Semitism in Europe wasn’t limited to Germany. In the UK, Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists gained support from sections of the public and press, even filling the Royal Albert Hall in April.



Transcript
of speech broadcast on
BBC radio in November 1934,
Churchill warned of the Nazi ‘gospel of intolerance and racial pride'.      

The concentration camp system  

The Guardian reports on Mosley meeting at Albert Hall

Winston Churchill timeline

__________________


Hurrah for the Blackshirts.   

Daily Mail, January 1934.
‘Blackshirts’ was the nickname for the British Union of Fascists.



1935 ANTI-SEMITISM AS LAW

The Nuremberg Laws defined a Jew as anyone with three or more Jewish grandparents. Four German grandparents were needed to be classified as German.

In September, policy escalated. The Nuremberg Laws reduced Jews to second-class citizens because of their 'impure' blood.

Defined by the religion of their grandparents rather than by their own beliefs, Jews were viewed as having impure blood lines. The new laws were taught in schools, cementing anti-Semitism in German culture. Most Germans kept quiet, often benefiting when Jews lost jobs and businesses. Persecution of other minorities also escalated: the police were given new powers to arrest homosexuals and compulsory abortions were administered to women considered to be ‘hereditably ill’.






The Nazi racial state

Anti-Jewish legislation
in pre-war Germany
 

__________________


Like so many Nazi catchwords… “May Jewry perish!” – was meant literally and will be literally brought to pass if the fanatics have their way.        

The Times, 8 November 1935


1936 THE THIRD REICH ON SHOW

Hitler's anti-Semitic rhetoric had turned many Germans against the Jews. But a different propaganda strategy was needed for a global audience.

The Summer Olympics in Berlin gave the Nazis a platform to project a crafted image to the world. Despite calls for boycotts, the games were a success. Anti-Jewish notices were removed and German spectators cheered black athlete Jesse Owens to four gold medals. Visitors saw a tolerant Reich. However, three days after the games ended, the head of the Olympic Village, Wolfgang Fürstner, killed himself as he would soon be dismissed due to his Jewish ancestry under the Nuremberg Laws





Jesse Owens' Olympic win challenges Hitler's Aryan ideal   

The Guardian report on fascist march through London   

__________________


This contact with many nationalities and races has made the Germans more human again.

Frederick T Birchall reports on the Berlin Olympics, New York Times,
16 August 1936



1937 ESCALATION OF ANTI-JEWISH PROPAGANDA

As the world’s eyes were on the battle between Fascism and Communism in Spain, the Nazis stepped up their erosion of civil rights in Germany.

Concentration camps began to incarcerate ‘habitual criminals’ in addition to political prisoners. Goebbels stepped up anti-Semitic propaganda with a travelling exhibition which cast Jews as the enemy. Nearly half a million people attended. Some guessed worse would come. Winston Churchill criticised British relations with Germany, warning of ‘great evils of racial and religious intolerance’, though many colleagues complained of his ‘harping on’ about Jews.




Nazi propaganda played on
Jewish stereotypes   

In Our Time: Spanish Civil War pits left against right  

Churchill's efforts against the Holocaust   

__________________

It is a horrible thing that a race of people should be attempted to be blotted out of the society in which they had been born.

Winston Churchill criticises British foreign policy in December 1937


1938  JEWISH PERSECUTION INTENSIFIES


In March, Germany invaded Austria and by September parts of Czechoslovakia too, drawing new territories under the regime of Nazi persecution.

In November, attacks erupted against Jewish businesses. At least 91 Jews died and 267 synagogues were destroyed in a centrally coordinated plot passed off as spontaneous violence across Germany. Thousands of Jews were sent to concentration camps and were only released if they agreed to leave the Nazi territory. Many Jews decided to flee, though options were limited. Britain agreed to house Jewish children, eventually taking in 10,000 minors, but refused to change its policy for Jewish adults.




Briton Nicholas Winton saves hundreds of children  


Oliver's story: A young boy escapes by kindertransport  


Was Churchill alone in his opposition to appeasement?

__________________


"I believe it is peace for our time... Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."

By Neville Chamberlain when he returns from meeting Hitler as the Nazis occupy parts of Czechoslovakia


1939   THE WORLD AT WAR

Until this point, Nazi strategy had concentrated on getting Jews to leave the Reich but when war broke out in September a different plan emerged.

By the end of September, the SS had started to develop plans to deport Jews to newly invaded Poland: the first steps towards the systematic murder that would follow. In Poland itself, thousands of Poles and Jews were rounded up and shot, early indications of the systematic murder that would follow. Alongside this, Hitler approved a new programme of euthanasia to exterminate the handicapped and mentally ill




The invasion of Poland  

Countdown to World War Two  

World War Two in depth
on BBC History
 

__________________


Patients considered incurable, according to the best available human judgment of their state of health, can be granted a mercy killing.

Decree from Hitler, October 1939


1940   NAZI PERSECUTION ACROSS EUROPE

German forces marched across Europe. Of the occupied countries, some capitulated and implemented Nazi policy immediately. Others held off for longer.

For the first time, camps were created specifically for Jews. Their conditions were far worse than other camps. The implicit intention was that the inmates would die there. Increasing numbers of Jews in Poland were relocated in ghettos. Non-Jewish Poles were also deported from their farms and villages to make room for ‘pure’ ethnic Germans to populate the new territory.




Life in the Warsaw Ghetto

The Fall of France  

The Battle of Britain

__________________


…they will be driven into the ghetto forcibly. An official explanation says that Jewish homes are known to be breeding-places of pestilence.

The sealing of the Warsaw Ghetto reported in the Times,
25 October 1940



1941    THE ‘FINAL SOLUTION’ AGREED

The Nazi policy on Jews moved from expulsion to containment to commanders being ordered to systematically murder the Jews of Europe.

Methods of mass murder evolved at local levels as well as being decreed from Nazi high command. Killing squads rounded up and shot entire Jewish communities. Over two days in Kiev, 33,771 Jews were shot. The murder of Jews rapidly escalated, in part because local Nazi leaders didn’t have enough room to place them in the ghettos. By the end of the year, plans to implement the systematic slaughter of Jews by using gas in mobile trucks and gas chambers were well underway.



Germany invades the Soviet Union  

LISTEN: Documents reveal what Britain knew in 1941  

How Allied codebreaking changed World War Two   

__________________


Since the Mongol invasions… there has never been methodical, merciless butchery on such a scale… We are in the presence of a crime without a name.

Winston Churchill could not declare all he knew without revealing Enigma was broken



1942   MASS MURDER


More Jews were murdered in 1942 than in any other year of the Holocaust, the majority in the newly created extermination camps.


Of the 430,000 sent to the first death camp at Bełżec in Poland, there were only two survivors. 700,000 were killed at Treblinka in just five months. In July, Himmler ordered that all Jews in key areas of Poland, except for those needed for essential labour, were to be killed by the end of the year. Most were. Despite Allied intelligence receiving detailed reports of the mass murders in Europe, the public reaction in Britain was largely a mixture of apathy and disbelief.





The man who warned about the Final Solution   

Moral dilemmas: British bombing in World War Two  

Anne Frank begins her diary    

__________________


Extinction feared by Jews in Poland.

Headline in the New York Times,
1 March 1942




1943 JEWISH REBELLIONS

Germany was now losing the war. Vital resources were still ploughed into implementing the 'Final Solution' – the extermination of all Jews in Europe.

Uprisings broke out in some extermination camps. The few remaining Jews kept alive to dispose of bodies and sort possessions realised the number of transportees was reducing and they would be next. Civilian uprisings occurred across Poland as mainly young Jews, whose families had already been murdered, began to resist Nazi oppression. With reports of rebellion and mass murder in the British press, the situation in the camps could no longer be ignored



Allied leaders pledge justice for Holocaust victims   

Revolt at Treblinka death camp

__________________


Let those who have hitherto not imbued their hands with innocent blood beware... [we] will pursue them to the uttermost ends of the earth.

From the text of the Moscow Declaration, in which Allied leaders pledged justice, October 1943


1944 THE LONG MARCH TO GERMANY

By March, the Allies were driving the German army back.

Tens of thousands of Jews held in the eastern territories were marched towards the heart of Germany so they could not bear witness to the Allies. Aware that the world had been alerted to the horrors of the camps, the Nazis sought to destroy evidence. In June, Soviet forces liberated the first major camp, known as Majdanek, in Lublin, Poland. The Nazis had burned down the crematorium chimney but had failed to destroy the gas chambers and barracks. Only a few hundred inmates were still alive.



D-Day timeline:
The beginning of the end of WW2

Why did Himmler order the
 'death marches'?

Liberation of the concentration camps  
__________________


The officials used to crack grisly jokes with their victims, a favourite remark being “I’ll see you in the stove soon”.

The Times reports on the Soviet liberation of Lublin concentration camp, August 12 1944


1945 HORRORS REVEALED

As the Allies swept to victory in Europe and camps were liberated across the once Nazi-occupied territories, the full scale of the Holocaust emerged.

The Allies found camps that were catastrophically over-crowded with no food or sanitation. General Eisenhower ordered careful documentation of evidence by occupying troops as thoughts turned to justice. Hitler and other senior Nazis including Himmler and Goebbels killed themselves. In November, trials of captured Nazi leaders began at Nuremberg.



Dimbleby's report in full

Report from Buchenwald

Germany announces Hitler is dead

__________________

Those officers and men who’ve seen these things have gone back to the Second Army moved to an anger such as I have never seen in them before.

Richard Dimbleby, BBC report,
19 April 1945



1946  JUSTICE AT NUREMBERG

The international military tribunal delivered its verdict on 21 senior Nazi officials. 18 were found guilty and three were acquitted.

11 of Hitler’s deputies were given death sentences, including Goering, the most senior surviving Nazi. However he too committed suicide the night before he was due to hang. Others received prison terms. Albert Speer, Hitler's personal architect, was released in 1966 and spent his remaining years writing about the Nazi regime, donating most of his royalties to Jewish charities. Rudolph Hess committed suicide in prison in 1987. Many Nazis evaded justice altogether and were never tried.




Nuremberg: Nazis on trial

Should Nazi criminals have been shot rather than tried?

__________________

If understanding is impossible, knowing is imperative, because what happened could happen again.

Primo Levi, Holocaust survivor, 1979


THE

INCREDIBLE

STORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE


Go to Timeline for a more detailed timeline of the Nazis and Jews