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The Holocaust

Historical Significance
Represents a failure of democracy, Christianity, education, science, technology, civilization Unprecedented in intent and extent
First attempt to murder a people totally and cosmically (all over Europe) undertaken by Nazis and European collaborators, by the state to rid the world of the Jewish enemy because they exist.

Holocaust Origins/Historical Overview

I. Does not begin with Hitler II. Anti-Semitism Long History
A. B. C. D. E. F. Middle Ages Christ killers, forced conversions Forced conversions / indifferent to violence Humiliation/symbols Martin Luther: On the Jews and Their Lies Jews-Devil, abduction of children/Blood Libel, desecration of the host Forced Expulsions
1. 2. 3. England (13th C.) France (14th C.) Spain (15th C.)

G. Banned from professions/ghettos (usury) H. Popular Violence

III. Turn of the Century

A. B. A. B. C. D. Anti-Semitism the norm full citizenship prominence = resentment Targets of German Nationalism stab in the back Jewish bankers, politicians (Weimar) Racial pseudo science Bolshevism = Jewish (leaders) Judaism = Communism common among middle and upper classes Henry Ford: International Jew was the greatest threat to the human race

IV. Hitler: A New Voice of same old Anti-Semitism

New Racial Order

Aryans: Nazi idea of master race
All non-Aryans were inferior, including Jews

Mrs. Buck (blue) - refused to permit Hannah's expulsion from her class, despite the Nuremberg Laws' banning of Jewish children from public schools. (Hanna circled in yellow)

Racial Science Classes

V. In Germany (1933) 1% of the population or 600,000 - Internal Enemy of the German State
A. B. C. D. April 1933 Boycott of Jewish businesses, exclusion from civil service jobs 1934 quotas on Jews at universities 1935 Nuremburg Laws deprived Jews of citizenship, forbade intermarriage 1938 Banned from practice of medicine & law register property w/ govt later confiscated/sold to Aryans November 9, 1938 Kristallnacht murder of a German diplomat by a Polish Jew spontaneous riots Jews moved to ghettos Star of David

E. F.


VI. Jewish Emigration

A. By 1938 66% -- majority who stayed behind lost their jobs Strict quotas by other nations (US 21,000 refugees from 1941-1945)


Part of Nazi New Order Early solutions to Jewish Problem

Forced emigration and Madagascar Plan

Only persons of exceptional merit - Albert Einstein In 1939, the annual combined German-Austrian immigration quota was 27,370 and was quickly filled. Americans as a whole wanted to close its doors on Jewish refugees threat of taking jobs

Roosevelt - sympathetic, but Refused to do anything which would conceivably hurt the future of present American citizens. Political appeal to anti-Semitic sentiment in the US

The St. Louis - ship of refugees 943 passengers 740 had papers US Coast Guard sent them back to Germany
Over 475 died during the Holocaust

Limited #s of refugees accepted throughout the war

AMERICAN RESPONSE To Nazi Anti Semitic Policies APATHY US did little about persecution of the Jews.
Roosevelt Administration (Cordell Hull) hesitant to criticize Nazi anti-Semitic policies 1934 resolution in the US Senate asking the Senate and President to express surprise and pain at what the Germans were doing to the Jews and to ask for a restoration of Jewish rights

Request was buried in committee

VII. Conditions in the Third Reich

A. 1939 final solution to Jewish problem contemplated in Germany/conquered territories
1. 2. Deportation to reservations in conquered territories Invasion of Russia 1941 Einsatzgruppen firing squads of Russian Jews open mass graves Killing of Jews in Poland/Serbia by spring 1942 Jews exterminated in labor camps (1 M)



B. 1941 Hitler decided on final solution extermination (enslavement of Slavs)

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Adolf Eichmann undesirables rounded up by SS/cooperative regimes Some countries cooperated/some more sporadic Resistance movements supported by non-Jewish populations Belgium, France, Germany protested by clergy and assisted hid in Norway, Netherlands, Denmark Israel 18,000 Righteous Among the Nations (ex. Oskar Schindler)

C. D.

Deportation in stages ghettos (sealed off) camps by railcar Camps political opponents (1933), oppositional clergy, communists, Jehovahs Witnesses, gypsies, homosexuals, mentally retarded, w/ severe illnesses
2. 3. 4. 5.

Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau (Germany) & Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz-Birkenau (Poland) Slave labor Germany companies/war industry Fate elderly/young exterminated // able-bodied separated by gender labor] Inadequate clothing/food rations Death by firing squad became mechanized Cyanide gas Zyklon-B 6,000/day (Auschwitz)

Nazi allowances left each man, woman, and child with a monthly diet of 2 pounds of bread, 9 ounces of sugar, 3.5 ounces of jam, and 1.75 ounces of fat. Meat and cheese were extremely rare.

A ghetto prisoner, Professor Ludwik Hirszfeld, wrote in his diary: ...Horrifying sights are to be seen every day...One sees people dying, lying with arms and legs outstretched, in the middle of the road. Their legs are bloated, often frost-bitten, and their faces distorted with pain... I once asked a little girl: 'What would you like to be?' 'A dog,' she answered, 'because the guards like dogs.'"

The Final Solution

Leadership of Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich Tasks of einsatzgruppen

Himmler & Heydrich

Creation of death camps

Comparison to concentration camps AuschwitzBirkenau
Commandant: Rudolf Hss

Cooperation of Transport Ministry and priority over military needs

VIII. By Liberation 1945 6 M Jews (1.5 M children), 3.5 M Soviet soldiers, 1.5 M Poles
A. Less than 4 M survived B. US/UK intelligence aware by 1941 C. Reluctance to believe mainstream news by 1942 D. Refusal to bomb rail lines strategic reasons?

IX. Holocaust Denial monumental evidence

A. Nazi records (einszatzgruppen-regular reports) B. Diary Accounts (Anne Frank, Elie Weisel, Marion Blumenthal-Lazan) C. American GIs D. Newsreel footage E. Idiotic to deny but uniqueness?
(Inquisition, Thirty Years War, Slave Trade, Native Americans, Armenian Genocide (1915), Stalins purges, Japanese rape of Nanjing, Killing Fields of Cambodia, ethnic cleansing in Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Darfur)

X. Lessons? A. Civilization as a choice we make or not makeevery day B. Begins not at a podium, but at the dinner table, in the grocery line, from parents to children C. Democracy and democratic freedoms are not inborn, but must be continually fought for

Non-Jews Killed
Soviet POWs Ethnic Poles Roma Disabled Freemasons Gay men

23 million 1.8-2 million 220,000500,000 200,000250,000 80,000200,000 5,00015,000

Jehovah's Witnesses