Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Holocaust - Part One

The links below will help you with translating tools between English and Spanish. 
1. Audio  of a  words  in both English and Spanish. Will also translate phrases.
2. Google Search - Espana: The word can be typed in English, and the search finds results in Spanish, including images
3.Also Google Arabic is available.
4. Google Translate:Can work in any language necessary
5. Module Vocabulary


The word Holocaust means a great or complete devastation or destruction, especially by fire. That is the reason that what was done to Jews in Europe by Germany during WW II was given the name Holocaust.  

Hatred directed towards the Jews was not new with the Nazi party. It had existed for hundreds, even thousands of years.  Jews in England in the early 1100’s were blamed for kidnapping children and murdering them. The Black Death of the 1350’s was blamed on actions by Jews.  

A picture from the Middle Ages (the years 600-1600) showing what many people thought should be done to Jewish people
Why?: ( Anti-Semitism and Aryan Supremacy)
You might ask why did the Nazis make this Anti-Semitism (which means hatred of Jews)  such an important part of what they believed and practiced.  The answer has more than one part.

Reason One. Control, getting and holding power, is one reason. The Nazis were a very small political party at their start in the 1920s (Democrats and Republicans are political parties now in the U.S.).  
Image result for hitler's beer hall putsch

Hitler and some followers around the time of "The Beer Hall Putch" of November 1923, when the small Nazi party tried to take control of the government. They lost, and Hitler and others were sent to prison.

They needed an enemy to blame for the problems of the German people during and after WW I.  Since people in Germany had hated Jews for hundreds of years, it was easy to get them to hate them even more.  If Jews could be blamed for all of the problems of the German people, then the people did not feel as bad. It was not their own fault.  If you were a group that showed you hated Jews more than any other group, people just might think you wanted to help them more than anyone else.  You could use anti-Semitism to make your power grow.

A political cartoon  from a 1919 German card showing a Jewish person stabbing the German Army in the back with a knife. The point they were making is that it was the fault of Jews that Germany lost
WW I. 

Reason Two. Just doing what had always been done was another reason. Everyone likes doing what they are used to doing. It is comfortable and easier than changing. Anti-Semitism may have been taught in their families going back MANY years. Your father taught it to you. His father taught it to him. His father taught it to him, and so on and so on, and so on, back into time. It was so much a part of what people around you thought, you might not question it. In your mind it was normal. What everyone thinks.

Parents teach it to children > Children teach it to their children...

Reason Three. Racial ideas were another. Aryan Supremacy (being way better). The Germans considered themselves of the Aryan race. An Aryan was the name given to white skinned people, particularly those who come from Northern Europe. The Germans believed this made them better than any other group of people. 

German Aryan in the army

They used the ideas of Survival of The Fittest (only the strongest should be allowed to survive)  to support their thinking that since they were strong, and the Jews living around them were supposedly weaker, that the Jews must eventually either become servants, or just go out of existence.
Reason Four. The last reason Nazis hated Jews, and eventually started the large scale killing of them was money. Some Jews were doctors, lawyers, bankers, and businessmen just like anyone else. That means they had money and possessions. If you could get everyone else to believe they were not even really human, then it would be OK to take everything they had. The Nazis would soon be fighting a war around the world, and needed lots of money to pay for it. Besides, if you as a Nazi had a little house and could get a better one taken away from a Jewish family, then you were better off, right???
What was the Holocaust?
At the most basic level The Holocaust was an organized and systematic attempt to get rid of all Jews in Europe.  If the Nazis had won the war there is no reason they would have stopped with the Jews in Europe. They would have done this to Jews in any country they defeated.

It is also true that they targeted many other groups for violence, abuse, and even killing. Black skinned people, Christians, Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, mentally and physically disabled, homosexuals, and others.

Badges worn on uniforms inside concentration camps

When we say it was a systematic attempt to get rid of all Jews, we mean that it followed a plan.  At first it was just something they did.  They concentrated on it, but the effort was not all that organized. 

Then after Hitler came to power, it became MUCH more organized, with specific goals. It would eventually come to be supported by law.
Holocaust Tactics
Teach The Young
If you can get the young people of your country to accept an idea, then you can control their minds. A group for German boys ,and eventually one for girls, , was started and called the Hitler Youth.

Hitler Youth Boys
Look at the expressions on their faces. WHat does that say about them?

Hitler Youth Girls (Bund Deutscher Mädel)

It was started in March of 1922, 11 years before Hitler gained power in Germany. Think of the power of teaching the very young to believe what the Nazis believed. When they grew up, what would they be willing to do to people they had been taught to hate from the age of 10 or even younger? 

A 14 year old German soldier who started in the Hitler Youth. A 14 year old carrying a machine gun that could fire 1,000 bullets per minute. Good idea?

In 1936 The Nazis passed a law that made it mandatory (You had to do it.) to be a member of the Hitler Youth if you were between the ages of 10 and 18.

Watch this video. You may not understand the German being spoken, but look at the video. 
  • What are they doing? 
  • Why are they doing this
  • Why are they doing hard jobs? 
  • Why do they have them in the large groups away from parents? 
  • Why have them in uniforms all the time?
  • Why all the sports like activities they do together? 
  • Why the military training well before they can go to war?
In 1943 the Germans would even create a whole group of soldiers that were all from the Hitler Youth. It was called the 12th SS Panzer Division.

12th SS Panzer Soldiers - Hitler Youth members. They fired machine guns and drove tanks. Big ones. Estimted age about 14-15 years old.

Anti-Jewish Boycott – April 1st, 1933
On April 1, 1933, the Nazis carried out the first nationwide, planned action against Jews: a boycott targeting Jewish businesses and professionals. A boycott is when you say you will not go to a certain business. The Nazis said the boycott was revenge against Jews because Jews in Germany, as well as Jews in other countries,  assisted by foreign newspaper people, were publishing stories around the World to damage Nazi Germany's reputation. They said the stories about bad things happening in Germany against Jews was not true (It was a lie, but they said it anyway. The bad things really were happening.)

The sign reads: "Germans! Defend Yourselves! - Don't buy from Jews!. " Do you see how these Nazi bullies are standing in front of a store that is still closed so nobody can buy things? This is what they mean by boycott. Don't buy. 

The Nazi Propaganda (information) leader, Dr. Josef Goebbels, opened the boycott on April 1st with a speech. Look at the crowd and think what they show about how the regular German citizen feels about the Nazis and what they believed and wanted:

Listen to part of that speech

The Nazis also rode cars  through the streets
getting people worked up against Jews:

The communities targeted were all over Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia.

Cities in Germany hit by the boycott

Nuremberg Laws – September, 1935
In September 1935, the Nazi leaders announced new laws which turned  many of their ideas about race  into law. These "Nuremberg Laws" took citizenship away from German Jews.  Jews were now also not allowed to  marry or have close relations with persons of "German or German-related blood." Jews were disenfranchised (lost the right to vote) and could not be community leaders.

Jews were no longer allowed to even be teachers

The first amendment to the Nuremberg Laws defined anyone who had three or four Jewish grandparents as a Jew. It was not due to a religion you practiced, but due to who your parents and grand-parents were.  

Another part of the law said that all Jewish professionals had to register with the government. Why would the Nazis want this information?  

Jewish doctors and lawyers registering with
Nazi government 

Jews now had to have a red J stamped on their identity papers.

What would be the effect on Jews of taking away their citizenship, right to vote, and making it easy to identify them with official papers???

Kristallnacht – November 9-10, 1938
Kristallnacht, also known as Crystal Night and the Night of the Broken Glass, was a pogrom against Jews throughout Germany and parts of Austria on November 9–November 10, 1938.

The windows of Jewish owner stores have been smashed

A Jewish synagogue (a place Jewish people practiced their religion) on fire. If you follow a religion how would you feel if people came and set the building where you worship on fire just because you follow that religion?

Jewish homes along with 8,000 Jewish shops were broken into and ruined in many  German cities, towns and villages, as regular citizens and different groups of Nazis, including the SS (Schutzstaffel,  a powerful and special military unit of the Nazi party) destroyed buildings with sledgehammers, leaving the streets covered in broken glass from windows. That is where the name "Night of Broken Glass" came from.  

This map shows dots where some of this violence happened. Since there was so much violence, and it was spreed out all over Germany, was it spontaneous, or planned?
  • Jews were beaten to death
  • 30,000 Jewish men were taken to concentration camps
  • 1,668 synagogues messed up
  • 267 synagogues were set on fire.

Listen to a lady tell the story of what she experienced that night

Link to Video Interview: Click Here

Why did they target Jewish businesses , places of worships , and homes? What was the message being sent???

Segregation Of Jews Into Ghettos – October, 1939 – Spring, 1944

Crowded Marketplace (place to buy and sell things) in Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw, Poland

The Nazis wanted to limit the freedoms of Jews in the countries they captured, as well as in Germany itself.  They did this by creating a closed spot in some of the cities they captured so they could force all the Jews in that area to go live and stay there. They called the spots Ghettos.

This map shows where the city of Lodz was in Poland. Poland was the first country Germany attacked, and there were a lot of Jews living there. That means they set up a lot of ghettos to use to gather Jewish people. THIS LINK tells a story of the starting of the Lodz Ghetto. 

This was done to limit the freedoms of Jews even more.  If they had to be in one place, then you could come to get them when you were ready. Also, you could limit who and what went into and out of a ghetto, including food. How would that be useful to the Germans???

There were three types of ghettos that the Germans used to control Jews:(1) closed; (2) open; and (3) destruction.

This is where ghettos were in places in Europe the Germans conquered
Closed Ghetto.

Warsaw Ghetto Wall-Jews who have been rounded-up in the Warsaw ghetto are seated on the ground in the Umschlagplatz (name of train station) awaiting deportation (sending them to a Concentration Camp)

This type of ghetto was closed off by walls, or by fences with barbed wire. The Germans forced Jews living in the surrounding areas to move into the closed ghetto, which was usually located in the largest nearby city.   

This resulted in

This led to constant outbreaks of disease and a high death rate. Most ghettos were of this type. In some of them the Germans  would cut off all access to water. Think of all the things you could not do if you did not have water.

Notice the body on the sidewalk. Why would the other people just be looking and walking by?
Click on this to go to a place to hear a woman tell her story of sneaking food into a ghetto when she was young

Hear this man describe living conditions in the Lubin, Poland ghetto: Leo Schniderman

Open Ghetto
They may not have had big walls or fences, but their movement was still controlled by the Germans
This type had no or small walls or fences, but there were restrictions on entering and leaving. These existed in German-occupied Poland and the occupied Soviet Union

Jews were still forced to do slave labor in open ghettos

Destruction Ghetto.

The people in the picture are Jews being marched out of a Destruction Ghetto in The Soviet Union. They were shot right outside the town.
These were tightly sealed off and existed for between two and six weeks before the Germans sent the Jews to a Death Camp where they were immediately murdered, or shot them right outside the city. These existed in German-occupied Soviet Union, as well as Hungary.