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"[85], The economic strain of the Great Depression led Protestant charities and some members of the German medical establishment to advocate compulsory sterilization of the "incurable" mentally and physically handicapped,[87] people the Nazis called Lebensunwertes Leben (life unworthy of life). The US Holocaust Memorial Museum teaches millions of … The Holocaust was unique in its being genocide—the systematic destruction of a people solely because of religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, or sexual preference—on an unmatched scale. Richard J. Evans argued in 2015: Thus although the Nazi "Final Solution" was one genocide among many, it had features that made it stand out from all the rest as well. [151] Judenräte were responsible for the ghetto's day-to-day operations, including distributing food, water, heat, medical care, and shelter. [466][467] In 2019 a survey of 1,100 Canadians found that 49 percent could not name any of the concentration camps. Between 1941 and 1945, across German-occupied Europe, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews, around two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population. Holocaust museums in Israel and Europe. It deported 7,500 Jews in 1938 on its own initiative; introduced anti-Jewish measures in 1940; and by the autumn of 1942 had deported around 60,000 Jews to ghettos and concentration camps in Poland. [49], Throughout the Middle Ages in Europe, Jews were subjected to antisemitism based on Christian theology, which blamed them for killing Jesus. Like the network of concentration camps that followed, becoming the killing grounds of the Holocaust, Dachau was under the control of Heinrich Himmler, head of the elite Nazi guard, the Schutzstaffel (SS), and later chief of the German police. Along with the Jews, another 9 to 10 million people—Gypsies, Slavs (Poles, Ukrainians, and Belarussians), homosexuals, and the disabled—were exterminated. [198], At first the Einsatzgruppen targeted the male Jewish intelligentsia, defined as male Jews aged 15–60 who had worked for the state and in certain professions (the commandos would describe them as "Bolshevist functionaries" and similar), but from August 1941 they began to murder women and children too. You could not see which was which. The SS soon placed a huge order for the gas with a German pest-control firm, an ominous indicator of the coming Holocaust. Explore with your students the lives of Jews before World War II and examine music as a form of resistance. Sophie is the survivor of Nazi concentration camps, who has found a reason to live with Nathan, a sparkling if unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust. [157], In May 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, and France. [156] On 26 November 1942, 532 Jews were taken by police officers, at four o'clock in the morning, to Oslo harbor, where they boarded a German ship. That August, 500 officials gassed 500 Soviet POWs to death with the pesticide Zyklon-B. The French had planned to try Grynszpan for murder, but the German invasion in 1940 interrupted the proceedings. Denying the Holocaust. [a], Michael Gray, a specialist in Holocaust education,[30] offers three definitions: (a) "the persecution and murder of Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945", which views Kristallnacht in 1938 as an early phase of the Holocaust; (b) "the systematic mass murder of the Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators between 1941 and 1945", which recognises the policy shift in 1941 toward extermination; and (c) "the persecution and murder of various groups by the Nazi regime and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945", which includes all the Nazis' victims, a definition that fails, Gray writes, to acknowledge that only the Jews were singled out for annihilation. Here we remember the suffering and loss - as well as the perseverance, survival and strength - of its victims. The primary motivation was the Nazis' anti-Semitic racist ideology. November is Holocaust Education Month, a time we tell stories of survival. Davar and later Haaretz both used the term in September 1939. We cannot be sentimental about it. [209] Longerich wrote in 2010 that the gradual increase in brutality and numbers killed between July and September 1941 suggests there was "no particular order"; instead it was a question of "a process of increasingly radical interpretations of orders".[210]. The Holocaust was unprecedented genocide, total and systematic, perpetrated by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, with the aim of annihilating the Jewish people. [318] Polish and Jewish accounts stated that hundreds or thousands of Germans had been killed,[319] while the Germans reported 16 dead. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! "[255] He continued: Under proper guidance, in the course of the Final Solution, the Jews are to be allocated for appropriate labor in the East. Those were not empty words. [24] Against this, Hitler regarded the Jews as what Dan Stone calls "a Gegenrasse: a 'counter-race' ... not really human at all". Fleming writes that the latter was sent to the Polish Embassy in the United States. They carried out the operations with the assistance of Nedić's puppet government and Dimitrije Ljotić's fascist organization Yugoslav National Movement (Zbor), but the main engine of extermination was the regular German army. The following day, the United States declared war on Japan, and on 11 December, Germany declared war on the United States. [427] In Belgium, France and the Netherlands, the Roma were subject to restrictions on movement and confinement to collection camps,[428] while in Eastern Europe they were sent to concentration camps, where large numbers were murdered. The Holocaust Explained is a website which aims to answer common questions about how the Nazis were able to plan and carry out the mass murder of over six million Jews, and millions of non-Jews.. [465] A 2018 survey in the United States found that 22 percent of 1,350 adults said they had never heard of it, while 41 percent of Americans and 66 percent of millennials did not know what Auschwitz was. [201], Notable massacres include the July 1941 Ponary massacre near Vilnius (Soviet Lithuania), in which Einsatgruppe B and Lithuanian collaborators shot 72,000 Jews and 8,000 non-Jewish Lithuanians and Poles. [36] As prisoners entered the death camps, they surrendered all personal property,[40] which was cataloged and tagged before being sent to Germany for reuse or recycling. [426] He adjusted the order on 15 November 1943 to allow "sedentary Gypsies and part-Gypsies" in the occupied Soviet areas to be viewed as citizens. Without collaborators, the Germans could not have extended the killing across most of the continent. [177] The largest concentration camp in occupied Yugoslavia was the NDH's Jasenovac, where an estimated 13,000 Jews were killed. [134], The Germans began sending Jews from territories they had recently annexed (Austria, Czechoslovakia, and western Poland) to the central section of Poland, which they called the General Government. [409], The survival of Jews in countries where states survived demonstrates, writes Christian Gerlach, "that there were limits to German power" and that the influence of non-Germans—governments and others—was "crucial". Beginning in 1953, the German government made payments to individual Jews and to the Jewish people as a way of acknowledging the German people’s responsibility for the crimes committed in their name. [42], Dan Stone writes that since the opening of archives following the fall of former communist states in Eastern Europe, it has become increasingly clear that the Holocaust was a pan-European phenomenon, a series of "Holocausts" impossible to conduct without the help of local collaborators. Gentlemen, I must ask you, arm yourselves against any thoughts of compassion. "[435], Around 100,000 gay men were arrested in Germany and 50,000 jailed between 1933 and 1945; 5,000–15,000 are thought to have been sent to concentration camps, where they were identified by a pink triangle on their camp clothes. [98] The medical community regularly received bodies for research; for example, the University of Tübingen received 1,077 bodies from executions between 1933 and 1945. The Holocaust was unique in its being genocide—the systematic destruction of a people solely because of religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, or sexual preference—on an unmatched scale. On 9–10 November 1938, eight months after Germany annexed Austria, Jewish businesses and other buildings were ransacked or set on fire throughout Germany and Austria during what became known as Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass"). The government claimed it was spontaneous, but in fact it had been ordered and planned by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, although with no clear goals, according to David Cesarani. The Deutsches Ärzteblatt (a medical journal) reported on 6 April 1933: "Germans are to be treated by Germans only. A decree on 12 November 1938 barred Jews from most remaining occupations. [307], Bełżec, Sobibór and Treblinka became known as the Operation Reinhard camps, named after the German plan to murder the Jews in the General Government area of occupied Poland. Austrian Nazis broke into Jewish shops, stole from Jewish homes and businesses, and forced Jews to perform humiliating acts such as scrubbing the streets or cleaning toilets. [191] Traveling with nine German Order Police battalions and three units of the Waffen-SS,[192] the Einsatzgruppen and their local collaborators had murdered almost 500,000 people by the winter of 1941–1942. [300] Those selected for death at all camps were told to undress and hand their valuables to camp workers. The destruction of the Jews must be its necessary consequence. Between 1941 and 1945, across German-occupied Europe, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews, around two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population. [202] In the Kamianets-Podilskyi massacre (Soviet Ukraine), nearly 24,000 Jews were killed between 27 and 30 August 1941. This perception contributed to the canard of Jewish Bolshevism. [a][d] The murders were carried out in pogroms and mass shootings; by a policy of extermination through work in concentration camps; and in gas chambers and gas vans in German extermination camps, chiefly Auschwitz, Bełżec, Chełmno, Majdanek, Sobibór, and Treblinka in occupied Poland.[4]. [113] The Évian Conference was held in France in July 1938 by 32 countries, as an attempt to help the increased refugees from Germany, but aside from establishing the largely ineffectual Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, little was accomplished and most countries participating did not increase the number of refugees they would accept. Under the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, anyone with three or four Jewish grandparents was considered a Jew, while those with two Jewish grandparents were designated Mischlinge (half-breeds). [164], The fall of France gave rise to the Madagascar Plan in the summer of 1940, when French Madagascar in Southeast Africa became the focus of discussions about deporting all European Jews there; it was thought that the area's harsh living conditions would hasten deaths. [99] In August 1941, after protests from Germany's Catholic and Protestant churches, Hitler canceled the T4 program,[100] although the handicapped continued to be killed until the end of the war. Swiss government and banking institutions have in recent years acknowledged their complicity with the Nazis and established funds to aid Holocaust survivors and other victims of human rights abuses, genocide or other catastrophes. In his classic book “Survival in Auschwitz,” the Italian Jewish author Primo Levi described his own state of mind, as well as that of his fellow inmates in Auschwitz on the day before Soviet troops arrived at the camp in January 1945: “We lay in a world of death and phantoms. [128] Among the areas considered for possible resettlement were British Palestine and, after the war began, French Madagascar,[129] Siberia, and two reservations in Poland. [320] According to Gwardia Ludowa, a Polish resistance newspaper, in May 1943: From behind the screen of smoke and fire, in which the ranks of fighting Jewish partisans are dying, the legend of the exceptional fighting qualities of the Germans is being undermined. [190] Each Einsatzgruppe numbered around 600–1,000 men, with a few women in administrative roles. Echoes of the Holocaust: Bulletin of the Jerusalem Center for Research into the Late Effects of the Holocaust, Talbieh Mental Health Center. [5] After the passing of the Enabling Act on 24 March,[6] which gave Hitler plenary powers, the government began isolating Jews from civil society; this included boycotting Jewish businesses in April 1933 and enacting the Nuremberg Laws in September 1935. … Holocaust definition is - a sacrifice consumed by fire. Germany had over 500,000. [328] Three SS officers were killed. [445] West Germany initially tried few ex-Nazis, but after the 1958 Ulm Einsatzkommando trial, the government set up a dedicated agency. [250] According to Gerlach, an unidentified former German Sicherheitsdienst officer wrote in a report in 1944, after defecting to Switzerland: "After America entered the war, the annihilation (Ausrottung) of all European Jews was initiated on the Führer's order. It begins with … Article share tools Facebook [226], Italy introduced some antisemitic measures, but there was less antisemitism there than in Germany, and Italian-occupied countries were generally safer for Jews than those occupied by Germany. According to Haaretz, the writer Yehuda Erez may have been the first to describe events in Germany as the shoah. [158] In the Netherlands, the Germans installed Arthur Seyss-Inquart as Reichskommissar, who began to persecute the country's 140,000 Jews. [383] Buchenwald was liberated by the Americans on 11 April;[384] Bergen-Belsen by the British on 15 April;[385] Dachau by the Americans on 29 April;[386] Ravensbrück by the Soviets on 30 April;[387] and Mauthausen by the Americans on 5 May. [54] Interested in genetics[54] and keen to experiment on twins, he would pick out subjects from the new arrivals during "selection" on the ramp, shouting "Zwillinge heraus!" b. [320] The Germans said that 14,000 Jews had been killed—7000 during the fighting and 7000 sent to Treblinka[321]—and between 53,000[322] and 56,000 deported. Along with the … People are shot by firing squads, killed by an "air hammer" /Hammerluft/, and poisoned by gas in special gas chambers. The Guardian. The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its allies and collaborators. (twins step forward!). On January 30, 1933, he was named chancellor of Germany. The Holocaust was the systematic annihilation of six million Jews by the Nazis during World War 2. "[252][u] On 18 December Hitler and Himmler held a meeting to which Himmler referred in his appointment book as "Juden frage | als Partisanen auszurotten" ("Jewish question / to be exterminated as partisans"). "Racial" enemies could never belong to the Volksgemeinschaft; they were to be removed from society. Israelis were divided about the idea of taking money from Germany. How and why do certain individuals and groups dispute the reality of the Nazis' attempt to annihilate the Jews of Europe? Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) said they believed the Holocaust was a myth, or had been exaggerated, or they weren’t sure. ... We have an estimated 2.5 million Jews in the General Government, perhaps with the half-Jews and all that that entails some 3.5 million. [22], Most Holocaust historians define the Holocaust as the genocide of the European Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1941 and 1945. An International Military Tribunal (Judicial assembly) is created by Britain, France,the United States, and the Soviet Union. The term pogrom is a Russian word meaning these violent riots or attacks on people for their ethnicity. [412] According to German historian Detlef Garbe, "no other religious movement resisted the pressure to conform to National Socialism with comparable unanimity and steadfastness. Either the German authorities were a party to this outbreak or their powers over public order and a hooligan minority are not what they are proudly claimed to be. [249] Peter Longerich interprets Hitler's speech to the party leaders as an appeal to radicalize a policy that was already being executed. Eyewitnesses brought reports of Nazi atrocities in Poland to the Allied governments, who were harshly criticized after the war for their failure to respond, or to publicize news of the mass slaughter. For other uses, see, Dining room in which the conference took place, Women on their way to the gas chamber, near Crematorium V, Auschwitz II, August 1944. [205] The Germans continued to use the ravine for mass killings throughout the war; the total killed there could be as high as 100,000. "[223], Although Hungary expelled Jews who were not citizens from its newly annexed lands in 1941, it did not deport most of its Jews[224] until the German invasion of Hungary in March 1944. [406] Much of the uncertainty stems from the lack of a reliable figure for the number of Jews in Europe in 1939, border changes that make double-counting of victims difficult to avoid, lack of accurate records from the perpetrators, and uncertainty about whether to include post-liberation deaths caused by the persecution. [181] Approximately 55,000-60,000 Yugoslav Jews were killed in the Holocaust, representing nearly 80% of its pre-war population. [144][o], The Germans established ghettos in Poland, in the incorporated territories and General Government area, to confine Jews. By the end of the war, they had killed around two million, including about 1.3 million Jews and up to a quarter of a million Roma. [179][180] According to Jozo Tomasevich of the 115 Jewish religious communities from Yugoslavia which existed in 1939 and 1940, only the Jewish communities from Zagreb managed to survive the war. [77], Throughout the 1930s, the legal, economic, and social rights of Jews were steadily restricted. [417] The death rates decreased as the POWs were needed to help the German war effort; by 1943, half a million had been deployed as slave labor. Most were sent to Auschwitz; the first transport of 1,135 Jews left Holland for Auschwitz on 15 July 1942. Reflect on the artwork of the Holocaust and the importance of remembering the past by studying the remarkable artwork of artist and Holocaust survivor Samuel Bak. [96] Between 1939 and 1941, 80,000 to 100,000 mentally ill adults in institutions were killed, as were 5,000 children and 1,000 Jews, also in institutions. [306] At Auschwitz, the bodies were at first buried in deep pits and covered with lime, but between September and November 1942, on the orders of Himmler, 100,000 bodies were dug up and burned. [375] From January to April 1945, the SS sent inmates westward on "death marches" to camps in Germany and Austria. From mid-1942, as part of Sonderaktion 1005, prisoners at Auschwitz, Chelmno, Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka were forced to exhume and burn bodies that had been buried, in part to hide the evidence, and in part because of the terrible smell pervading the camps and a fear that the drinking water would become polluted. The Holocaust Explained. One of the most well-known, if not iconic, facts known about the Holocaust is the number of Jewish victims killed by Nazi Germany up through the end of World War II. [34] Peter Hayes writes that the persecution of these groups was less consistent than that of the Jews; the Nazis' treatment of the Slavs, for example, consisted of "enslavement and gradual attrition", while some Slavs (Hayes lists Bulgarians, Croats, Slovaks and some Ukrainians) were favored. 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