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Anti -Semitism
This is the term given to
political, social and
economic agitation against
Jews. In simple terms it
means ‘Hatred of Jews’.
Aryan Race
This was the name of what Hitler
believed was the perfect race. These
were people with full German blood,
blonde hair and blue eyes.
For hundreds of years Christian Europe had regarded the Jews as the
Christ -killers. At one time or another Jews had been driven out of
almost every European country. The way they were treated in
England in the thirteenth century is a typical example.
In 1275 they were made to wear a yellow badge.
In 1287 269 Jews were hanged in the Tower of London.
This deep prejudice against Jews was still strong in the twentieth
century, especially in Germany, Poland and Eastern Europe, where
the Jewish population was very large.
After the First World War hundreds of Jews were blamed for the
defeat in the War. Prejudice against the Jews grew during the
economic depression which followed. Many Germans were poor
and unemployed and wanted someone to blame. They turned on the
Jews, many of whom were rich and successful in business.
Between 1939 and 1945
six million Jews were
murdered, along with
millions of others, such
as European Gypsies,
Homosexuals, Jehovah’s
Witnesses, disabled and
the mentally ill.
Percentage of Jews killed in each country
16 of the 44 children
taken from a French
children’s home.
They were sent to a
concentration camp
and later to Auschwitz.
A group of
children at a
camp in Poland.
Part of a stockpile of Zyklon-B poison
gas pellets found at Majdanek death
Before poison gas was used ,
Jews were gassed in mobile gas
vans. Carbon monoxide gas
from the engine’s exhaust was
fed into the sealed rear
compartment. Victims were
dead by the time they reached
the burial site.
Smoke rises as the
bodies are burnt.
Portrait of two-year-old
Mania Halef, a Jewish
child who was among the
33,771 persons shot by
the SS during the mass
executions at Babi Yar,
September, 1941.
Nazis sift through a huge pile of clothes left
by victims of the massacre.
Two year old Mani Halef’s clothes are somewhere
amongst these.
Bales of hair shaven
from women at
Auschwitz, used to
make felt-yarn.
After liberation, an Allied
soldier displays a stash of
gold wedding rings taken
from victims at Buchenwald.
In 1943, when the number of murdered Jews exceeded 1 million. Nazis
ordered the bodies of those buried to be dug up and burned to destroy all
Soviet POWs at forced labor in 1943 exhuming bodies in the ravine at
Babi Yar, where the Nazis had murdered over 33,000 Jews in September
of 1941.
“Until September 14, 1939 my life
was typical of a young Jewish boy
in that part of the world in that
period of time.
I lived in a Jewish community
surrounded by gentiles. Aside
from my immediate family, I had
many relatives and knew all the
town people, both Jews and
gentiles. Almost two weeks after
the outbreak of the war and shortly
after my Bar Mitzvah, my world
In the course of the next five and a
half years I lost my entire family
and almost everyone I ever knew.
Death, violence and brutality
became a daily occurrence in my
life while I was still a young
Leonard Lerer, 1991
Not Just Jews….
• Before the beginning of World War II, the
homosexual people in Germany, especially
in Berlin, enjoyed more freedom and
acceptance than anywhere else in the world.
However, upon the rise of Adolf Hitler, gay
men and, to a lesser extent, lesbians, were
two of several groups targeted by the Nazi
Party and were ultimately among the roster
of Holocaust victims
• homosexuals within the Nazi Party itself were
murdered. The Gestapo compiled lists of
homosexuals, and they were compelled to sexually
conform to the German norm. Most of these men
spent time in regular prisons, and many were
incarcerated in concentration camps. The leading
scholar Ruediger Lautman believes that the death
rate in concentration camps of imprisoned
homosexuals may have been as high as sixty
percent (for Jews it was 45%). Homosexuals in
camps were treated in an unusually cruel manner
by their captors, and were also persecuted by their
fellow inmates. This was a factor in the relatively
high death rate for homosexuals, compared to
other "anti-social groups".
• Some gay men who resisted the SS had their
fingernails pulled out. Others were raped with
broken rulers and had their bowels punctured,
causing them to bleed profusely and often die. At
the concentration camp at Schirmeck, during a
morning roll-call, the Nazi commander announced
a public execution. An accused homosexual man
was brought out, and the Nazi guards stripped the
clothes off the prisoner and placed a metal bucket
over his head. Then the guards released trained
German Shepherd dogs on him, which mauled him
to death.
• Erwin Schimitzek, Clerk
Born Feb 16th, 1918 in Breslau (Wroclaw)
Interned in Auschwitz on Aug 28th, 1941
Died on Feb 28th, 1942, aged 24 years
• The Porajmos, literally Devouring, or Samudaripen
(Mass killing) is a term coined by the Roma (Gypsy)
people to describe attempts by the Nazi regime to
exterminate most of the Roma peoples of Europe during
The Holocaust. The phenomenon has been little studied
and largely overshadowed by the Shoah (the Hebrew term
for the Nazi campaign to exterminate Jews). The term was
introduced into the literature by Roma scholar and activist
Ian Hancock, in the early 1990s, though he did not coin the
• Because the Roma communities of Eastern Europe were
less organized than the Jewish communities, it is more
difficult to assess the actual number of victims, though it is
believed to range from 200,000 to 2,000,000. Only in
recent years has the Roma community begun to demand
acceptance among the victims of the Nazi regime. The
response so far has been mixed.
• The vast majority of Roma were to suffer the same
indignities as the Jews, and in some instances,
they suffered even more brutally. They were
herded into ghettos, including the Warsaw Ghetto
(April–June, 1942), where they formed a distinct
subclass. According to Ghetto diarist Emmanuel
Ringelblum, the Gypsies were sent to the Warsaw
Ghetto because the Germans wanted
– "..To toss into the Ghetto everything that is
characteristically dirty, shabby, bizarre, of which one
ought to be frightened, and which anyway has to be
• Further east, teams of Einsatzgruppen
(intervention groups) tracked down Roma
encampments and murdered the inhabitants on the
spot, leaving no records of the victims.
• German soldiers of
the Waffen-SS and
the Reich Labor
Service look on as
a member of
Einsatzgruppe D
murders a man
kneeling before a
filled mass grave in
Vinnitsa, Ukraine,
in 1942.
• A group of Gypsy prisoners, awaiting instructions
from their German captors, sit in an open area near
the fence in the Belzec concentration camp