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The Holocaust
Teach Me Something…
What do YOU know about the Holocaust?
The Basics
“Holocaust”- Greek for “sacrifice by fire”
German Race (Aryan) deemed “pure”
Mein Kampf
Book written by Hitler outlining the idea of a superior
“If, with the help of his Marxist creed, the Jew is victorious over the
other peoples of the world, his crown will be the funeral wreath of
humanity…Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with
the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the
Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord” (60)
“Here he stops at nothing, and in his vileness he becomes so
gigantic that no one need be surprised if among our people the
personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the
living shape of the Jew. The ignorance of the broad masses about
the inner nature of the Jew, the lack of instinct and narrowmindedness of our upper classes, make the people an easy victim
for this Jewish campaign of lies”
The “Final Solution”
The “Final Solution”
Jews were the largest group targeted
Nuremberg Laws
1. Established in 1935
2. Jews were no longer German citizens
3. Germans not allowed to marry Jews
4. “Jew” = anyone with 3 or 4 Jewish
5. Jews unemployed
6. “Jews and Dogs Not Allowed”
1. November 9-10, 1938
2. Nazi Youth, ‘Storm
Troopers’, and German
3. “Night of Broken Glass”
4. Jewish homes,
businesses, and
5. 30,000 Jewish males
Berlin Book Burning
1. Happened during “Kristallnacht”
2. Took place at university in Berlin
3. Nazi Youth
The Victims- Jews
Jews were the largest
group targeted
Primary “threat”,
according to Hitler
Seen as taking
over the world
1. Anti-Semantic
Literature for
2. “The Mongrel”
3. Nazi Propaganda
(controlled by gov’t)
The Ghettos
1. Jews rounded up
beginning 1939
(yellow star)
2. Sent to live in
ghettos for unknown
period of time
3. Seen as a “holding
place” for Jews
The Victims- Gypsies (Roma)
1. Definition- people who move from place
to place in groups (no set home)
2. Persecuted long before Hitler/Nazi
The Victims- Gypsies (Roma)
3. Dr. Ritter- helped Nazi
4. Are gypsies biologically
made to be criminals?
5. They are “primitive”
and not able to be a
part of normal society.
The Victims- Gypsies (Roma)
6. 1936- Central Office to “Combat the
Gypsy Nuisance”
7. Very similar situation to Jews (ghettos,
deportation, etc)
The Victims- Gypsies (Roma)
8. July, 1936- 600
9. Put in internment camp
near sewage dump;
10. Identified by Black
The Victims- Jehovah’s Witnesses
1. Developed in U.S. in
19th century
2. Expected to be
3. Weren’t liked even
before 1933
The Victims- Jehovah’s Witnesses
4. Refused to swear allegiance to “worldly
5. “Guilty” because of “Jewish connections” in
faith (Old Testament)
6. Wrote letter to convince Hitler they were
The Victims- Jehovah’s Witnesses
7. 1935- nationally
outlawed the religion
8. Had chance to escape
9. Wore the Purple
The Victims- Polish/Political
1. Intelligensia captured
and imprisoned/killed
2. Qualifying children
captured and given to
Aryan families
3. No specific mark
(asocial, political,
“purple P”, etc)
The Victims- Political Prisoners
4. Those who resisted the
Nazi regime
5. Anti-Nazi Confessional
6. Wore the Red Triangle
The Victims- Homosexuals
1. Paragraph 175- 1871
2. Mangus Hirschfeld
research: “not really
3. Hirschfeld’s Institute of
Sexual Science burned
in Berlin Book Burning
The Victims- Homosexuals
4. “Pink Lists”
5. Men targeted, not
women (asocials)
6. Ernst Rohm
The Victims- Homosexuals
7. Camp conditions for homosexuals much
worse than others
8. Choice between camp or castration
9. Medical experiments performed to turn
them to heterosexuals
The Victims- Homosexuals
10. “Forgotten Victims”
11. Still received
12. 1969- 175 repelled
The Victims- Handicapped
1. Included mental, emotional, and physical
2. 1933- forced sterilization
3. U.S. used forced sterilization BEFORE
The Victims- Handicapped
4. “Useless eaters”
5. 1939- Euthanasia (“mercy killing”) for
6. No physical examination- only questionaire
The Victims- Handicapped
7. Lethal injection
replaced with gassing
8. Celebrated 10,000th
cremated patient with
beer and wine
9. Public found out- was
told killings were
Death Totals (approx.)
1. Jews- 6 million
2. Gypsies- 250,000 – 500,000
3. Jehovah’s Witnesses- 1,500
4. Political Prisoners- 200,000+
5. Homosexuals- 10,000
6. Handicapped- 200,000-250,000
Other Info
Einsatzgruppen (mobile euthanasia
Other Info
The Gas Chambers…
Other Info
Dr. Mengele- ‘Angel of Death’
The use of human subjects in medical experiments.
Most notorious physician - Dr. Josef Mengele, who worked in
– Experiments included:
1. placing subjects in pressure chambers,
2. testing drugs on them,
3. freezing them,
4. attempting to change eye color by injecting chemicals into
children's eyes
– Subjects who survived Mengele's experiments were almost
always killed and dissected after the experiments.
Different Camps
2 Different Concentration Camps:
– Labor Camps- work to death
– Death Camps- built for extermination
The Concentration Camps
All throughout Europe
Worst ones in Poland: Auschwitz-Birkenau,
“tattooed” for
Labor Camps
Camp living conditions were atrocious.
non-insulated barracks,
up to 500 in one building,
No bathrooms were available- a bucket was the only form of
waste control.
– Each barrack had about 36 bunks, it was typical for 5 or 6
inmates to squeeze onto one plank.
– Food was scarce and what was available was disgusting, watery
soup with rotten stew or vegetables, stale, molded bread,
perhaps some tea, or a bitter, coffee-like drink that was anything
but coffee. Malnutrition made prisoners easy targets for disease
and dehydration.
Killing Centers
Railroad freight cars and passenger trains would bring in victims.
Men immediately seperated from women.
Prisoners stripped and their valuables confiscated.
Forced naked into the gas chambers, disguised as showers, where
carbon monoxide or Zyklon B asphyxiated them.
The bodies then stripped of hair, gold fillings and teeth, and burned
in crematoria, or buried in enormous mass graves.
(The hair was used for ship rope and mattresses).
The few picked for slave labor were quarentined, after which they
were particularly succeptible to malnutrition, exposure, starvation,
and epidemics.
Laborers would work outside the camps occasionally, companies
like Bavarian Motor Works (BMW) and I. G. Farben used them for
cheap labor to save money. They also were often used for medical
experiments and subject to extreme brutality on the part of the
guards. Many died as a result.
Random World War 2 Facts
The first German serviceman killed in the war was killed by the Japanese
(China, 1937)
80% of Soviet males born in 1923 didn't survive World War 2
The youngest US serviceman was 12 year old Calvin Graham, USN. He
was wounded in combat and given a Dishonorable Discharge for lying about
his age. (His benefits were later restored by act of Congress).
At the time of Pearl Harbor, the top US Navy command was called CINCUS
(pronounced “sink us”), the shoulder patch of the US Army’s 45th Infantry
division was the swastika, and Hitler’s private train was named “Amerika”.
All three were soon changed for PR purposes.
A number of air crewmen died of farts. (ascending to 20,000 ft. in an unpressurized aircraft causes intestinal gas to expand 300%!)
Germany lost 40-45% of their aircraft during World War 2 to accidents
The Russians destroyed over 500 German aircraft by ramming them in
midair (they also sometimes cleared minefields by marching over them).
The US Army had more ships that the US Navy.
Among the first “Germans” captured at Normandy were several Koreans.
They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were
captured by the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they
were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German Army
until they were capture by the US Army.
The only nation that Germany declared war on was the USA.
Germany lost 136 Generals, which averages out to be 1 dead General
every 2 weeks