Intro to the holocaust

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Information about Intro to the holocaust

Published on March 13, 2014

Author: msgilmore


Intro to the Holocaust Exit Ticket: Pick two essential questions to answer. Write your answers on the back of this paper, and number your response. 1. What is your understanding of the Holocaust? 2. Do you believe we should study the Holocaust? Explain your answer. 3. What do you expect to learn by studying the Holocaust? 4. What is your understanding of discrimination or prejudice? 5. Do you believe there are ways to stop discrimination or prejudice? Explain. 6. What emotional and physical challenges do you think the people of the Holocaust went through? 7. Genocides and massacres, like the Holocaust, have occurred in the past and are still occurring today. Do we know more about current situations? Why? 8. How do you believe studying the Holocaust will change you?

The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated. (Robert Jackson, 1945) 1929-1945

What is the Holocaust? • The Holocaust is a watershed event in human history. There is a distinct “before” and “after” the Holocaust. • Ordinary people perpetrated these events against other ordinary people. • The Holocaust arose slowly, in stages, and arose because of conditions in Europe – questions of religion, race, nationalism, war, peace, politics, etc.

Why bother studying the Holocaust? • Some hatreds which allowed the Holocaust to occur still exist. • We’ll see how events in our world are shaped by events in the past, and how understanding the past can help us avoid similar situations in the future.

Why bother studying the Holocaust? • Help us understand concepts of prejudice, stereotyping, and racism in any society. • It helps us understand what it means to be a bystander, remaining silent in the face of grave moral injustice, and what apathy can lead to. • Learn about individual acts of heroism or courage. • Learn about choices people made or were forced to make during this time.

Why bother studying the Holocaust? • To understand how power can be abused by individuals, groups, and even nations. • To understand how important each individual is in a democracy. Each person has rights and responsibilities in maintaining a truly democratic society. • Learn that citizens of a democracy have the responsibility to stand up against evil of all forms: social, political, economic, etc.

Think about this question… How could the Holocaust have happened?

Before World War II… • 1918: World War I ends – 37 million dead – Germany left in ruins • Economically, politically • 1919: – Treaty of Versailles – Adolf Hitler – German Workers Party

The rise of Adolf Hitler • 1923: – Hitler attempts to overthrow local government in Munich – Hitler and other leaders sent to jail for treason – Sentenced to 5 years with parole; Hitler was released after 1 year • 1925: Mein Kampf (My Struggle) – Autobiography – Written while in hiding – Radical ideals of German nationalism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Bolshevism – “The Jewish Peril” – Jewish conspiracy to gain world leadership

The rise of Adolf Hitler • 1925-1927: Jewish propaganda leads to condemnation of Jewish businesses

Nazi Scapegoats Scapegoat: A person or group on whom the crimes of others is blamed

1929: The Great Depression

Nazification • 1933: Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany – Beginning of a police state in Germany – Dachau concentration camp created – Special courts established – Anti-Semitic legislation passed – Book burnings • 1934: German President dies; Hitler declares himself “Fuhrer” • 1935: “non-Aryans” are stripped of civil rights Adolf Hitler (below) and Eva Braun

Nuremberg Laws: 2,000 anti-Jewish laws *Took away civil rights of Jews *No citizenship, no marriages with Germans, closed businesses, stole property, forced to wear yellow Star of David *Jews could not be judges, lawyers, teachers, or government workers

Chart used to define racial identification. Only a person with four German grandparents was considered of “German blood.”

The cartoon shows a Jew politely asking for room on the bench, after which he shoves the previous inhabitant off. The poem notes that Jews behave the same way in other situations. July 1936 (Issue #28)

It was even taught in school… German (Aryan race) is superior to all others The caption says: "As long as the German people has racially valuable children, its future is assured." (June 1942)

Nazification • 1936: Germans host the Olympics (right) • 1938: Nazi Germany takes over Czechoslovakia and Austria – Kristallnacht (below) • 1939: Germany invades Poland; WWII begins

Riots destroyed Jewish property all over Germany and Austria.

The Ghettos • 1939: Hitler declares Polish citizens “slaves” for Germans – 2 million Jews relocated to ghettos in cities – Star of David – “official story:” Jews were carriers of diseases and must be contained in ghettos for health reasons • 1940: over 365 ghettos in Soviet Union, Baltic nations, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Hungary

Warsaw Ghetto •Bad conditions •Some resistance: Jews attended music concerts and planted gardens •Secret newspapers •Armed resistance: January 1943. 56,000 Jews killed (9 Nazis). Transport to the camps began after this uprising.

Concentration Camps • Not only Jews were there – Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Gypsies, clergy, homosexuals, and political opponents – Six “death factories” in Poland began operations in 1942 • Those being moved to concentration camps were rounded up into cattle trains (sometimes 100 people or more per car)

Concentration Camp

Conditions were beneath human dignity….

Concentration Camps • Extermination of Jews – 1941: firing squads – By 1942, 1,500,000 Jews shot • 1942: “Final Solution” to Jewish “problem” – Nazi officials agreed to transport and destroy all 11 million European Jews • No selection process: Jews murdered upon arrival to concentration camps • Also included 30 million Slavs, Russian prisoners of war, and Gypsies

(Dachau) The “Final Solution” to the Jewish problem: Extermination Nazis claimed that Jews were being “resettled in the East”

The end of the war… • June 6, 1944: Allied forces land in Normandy, France – Begin liberating countries as they move across Europe • Germans close down death camps when Allies drew close (1944) – Death marches (1945) • 1945: Adolf Hitler commits suicide as Allies surround his underground bunker in Berlin – Total Jewish deaths: 5.2-5.8 million – About 5 million other victims (Russian POWs, Gypsies, etc.)

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