Holocaust | German War Against The Jewish People

                               

 

 

 

 World War 2 - Nazi Campaign Against the Jews

In World War 2 Europe, being Jewish  meant concentration camps & extermination.

Six million people perished in the Holocaust. This is considered the most intense genocide campaign in history against any race.  it seems incredible that the holocaust could have been initiated by Germany, one of the most advanced nations on the face of the earth.

Many fictional and non-fictional books have been written on the Holocaust but, to me, the novel "Sophie's Choice"  best expresses the inhumanness of that catastrophe.  It is difficult to get the memory of that novel out of one's mind. 

 

 

 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Can a Holocaust-Type Event Occur in the U.S.?

One great lesson should be learned from the Holocaust of World War 2.  If a Holocaust can happen in an advanced country like Germany, it can happen here in the United States. Those that say it can't happen here will probably be the first to fall in behind a future American Fuehrer when he arrives!. 

If you don't believe America could have a Fuehrer and Holocaust, you need to listen, for example,  to some of the fanatics on talk radio.  Many of those people who faithfully listen to these talk shows will follow a right-wing Messiah anywhere and do anything he asks of them.  An example of their attitude is the Abu Ghraib prison scandals in Iraq.  To listen to the king of conservative talk show, Rush Limbaugh, American prison guards were just playing some innocent pranks at Abu Ghraib.  Sort of like a fraternity initiation! 

Those of us who know the story of the Holocaust must be ever alert.  Those who deny that such an event ever took place need to get into the real world.  Whatever, we don't want a Holocaust event in America.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Pre-1933 Holocaust Events.

It should be noted that in World War I,  German Jews played an active role in the war and were as patriotic as any German citizens.  This did not save them when their time came in the 30's.  An inkling of what lay ahead occurred only two years after the end of World War I.  At that time, the German Labor Front issued a manifesto that included the expulsion of Jewish people from all areas of German life.  Also, in Hitler's Mein Kampf, written in the mid-twenties, he includes many pages deprecating the Jews.  He left no doubt in the reader's minds that there was no place in Germany for Jews.  The problem is too few people actually thought he would carry out his threats.  In similar fashion, too few Americans of 2000-06 paid much attention to the ranting of the fanatical right wing even as these right wingers drastically increased their influence in the country. 

1933 - The Holocaust Begins. 

The most active part of the Holocaust began on January 30,1933 when Hitler became Chancellor.  Shortly thereafter, in February 1933, an apparent fire at the Reichstag, the German Parliament building,  allegedly set by an arsonist but possibly set by the Nazis, gave the Nazis the opportunity to obtain dictatorial powers for Hitler. Remember, at this time, Hitler was Chancellor - not president.  His boss, President von Hindenburg, an honest but aged World War I German hero, thoroughly disliked Hitler but could not effectively resist him at this stage very near the end of his life.

Other Holocaust-related Actions in 1933

1.   First Concentration Camps for Jews Opened.   In March 1933, the Dachau concentration camp was opened near Munich.  Two other German concentration camps - Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen, - opened shortly thereafter.  The Holocaust was gearing up fast. 

2.   Boycott of Jewish Shops.  In April, a boycott of Jewish shops was held.

3.   Nazis Define 'Who is a Jew'.   These definitions would come to haunt many Germans with Jewish  blood.  Some Nazis, such as Goering, cynically used the definitions as they saw fit.  If they liked a person, that person was not Jewish even though there might be questions about the person's ancestry.  Goering said: "I will decide who is Jewish and who is not", as he promoted a person with questionable Jewish ancestry     Others like Hitler stood by the definitions even when he once had to get rid of a favorite cook.

4.   Non-Jewish Undesirables Also Targeted.  In July, a law was passed to allow forced sterilization of individuals  who are determined by a Hereditary Health Court to have genetic defects.  In November, laws were passed allowing the homeless, alcoholics and the unemployed to be sent to concentration camps.  The Jews were not the only people persecuted in  the Holocaust.

5.  Jews Prohibited From Owning Land.  In September,  Jews were prohibited from owning land.  This should have been the final warning that Jewish citizens were going to be destroyed economically.

Thus, the Holocaust got off to roaring start in 1933.  And yet the world still had not become fully aware of what lay ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

German Exiles in 1933.   

As actions against the Jewish people and other undesirables began in Germany, some of its finest citizens fled for greener pastures.  The most notable of the exiles in 1933 was Albert Einstein, mathematician and formulator of the Theory of Relativity.  (Einstein, a Jew,  was later asked to be the president of Israel.  He declined.) 

Political Scientist Hannah Arendt also left in 1933.  According to Time - Life book, "Blitzkrieg," she said she was "appalled about the sheep-like conformity of Hitler's followers." 

I see much of this same sheep-like conformity today in Rush Limbaugh's ditto heads and in the millions of naive U.S. citizens who bought in on  the feeble WMD excuses put forth by the Bush administration to attack Iraq.  There is danger ahead when your citizens are that ignorant and weak.

Author Thomas Mann also left Germany for the US in 1933.

Holocaust Actions in 1934

1.  Prohibitions Against the Jews:   During 1934, additional economic actions were taken against Jewish citizens.  They were banned from getting legal qualifications and national health insurance, and  prohibited from belonging to the German Labor Front.

2.  Night of Long Knives.  Hitler moved against Ernst Roehm and the SA (brown shirts).  Roehm and hundreds of other assorted political enemies and others that Hitler, Goering, Goebbels, and Himmler just didn't like, were wiped out at the same time.  The Night of Long Knives is not directly associated with the Holocaust except the event allowed Hitler and the Nazi to continue to consolidate their powers.  After this bloody terrorism, few dared to oppose the Nazi.  The German people were now Hitler's bitches.  There was no stepping back after the Night of Long Knives.

3.  Hitler Becomes President When von Hindenburg Dies.  Hitler became president and kept the Chancellor position also.  Hitler now was the Fuhrer.  The Nazis had won.  The approval of Hitler's dictatorial powers was put to the German people who approved by 90%. 

By the end of 1934, the world was beginning to lift their eyebrows a little at the Nazis.  Many had treated them as a joke but their laughter was getting a little hollow. 

Actions of 1935 - 1937

The Holocaust actions continued during 1935-1937.  Jews were banned from serving in the military (they had proudly served in World War I);  the Nuremberg Race Laws were enacted against Jews; and the SS Deaths head division was established to guard concentration camps.

One event that occurred in 1936 actually took pressure off  Jewish citizens temporarily.  That was the Olympics which were held in Berlin that year.  The Nazis were on their best behavior during that event in an attempt to obtain good publicity.

Notable German Exiles in 1935 -1937.  Physicist Hans Bethe and Physical Chemist James Franck emigrated to the US in 1935.  They helped the US develop the atomic bomb.

Holocaust Actions of 1938

The year 1938 was a busy one for the Nazi as they took over Austria.  They also moved to increase their persecution of the Jews in that year.

Nazis Seize Austria.  In March Austria fell into the Nazi camp as they were forced into a union with Germany.  The SS was immediately placed in charge of Jewish affairs.  Himmler quickly set up the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.  By the end of the war, over 36,000 people had perished in the camp.

League of Nations & the Holocaust.  In July, a League of Nations conference was held with the idea of helping Jews who were trying to leave Germany.  The conference failed to achieve anything since no country would accept them.

Identity Cards.   In July, Jews over age 15 were ordered to apply for identity cards from the police.   (Say, aren't some in this country working to get this type thing going in the US under the guise of helping in the War on Terrorism?)

Sudetenland.  In October, the Germans occupied the Sudetenland province of Czechoslovakia.

Kristallnacht - The Night of Broken Glass.     Probably the most savage Holocaust event of the year occurred in November.  After a German diplomat is assassinated in Paris,  Reinhard Heydrich ordered the destruction of all synagogues in Germany.  Almost 200 synagogues were destroyed.  The Nazis then, perversely, levied a huge fine on the Jews for the destruction. 

Goering Takes Charge of the 'Jewish Question'.   In December, Hermann Goering became active in the Holocaust/  It should be noted that Goering never seemed to care one way or the other about the Jews.  He had no personal animosity toward the Jews.  Not that he had any sympathy toward them; It was just not his type of issue.  Nevertheless, over the years, he took actions, at the order of Hitler, that brought the "final solution" into being.  On that basis, he was guilty of crimes against humanity. 

On a personal level, Goering ignored the existence of Jewish relatives of certain of his assistants, e.g., Erhard Milch, and allowed them to hold high positions.  Additionally, his wife, Emmy, worked diligently to help her Jewish friends.  She was so active in this that Goering, on several occasions, had to apologize to Hitler for his wife's sentimentality toward her Jewish friends.

Had Goering taken a stand against the Holocaust, the Holocaust might never have happened.  But he either didn't care or he didn't have the moral courage.

Notable German and Italian Exiles in 1938.  German psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and Italian physicist Enrico Fermi left Italy in 1938 (Fermi was not Jewish but had a Jewish wife).  Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini also emigrated to the US in 1938.

    

 

Actions of 1939

1939 was a very active year for the Nazis as they absorbed Czechoslovakia and started World War II by conquering Poland which contained over 3 million Jews, the largest Jewish population of any country in Europe. It was also an active year in the Holocaust as persecution of the Jews was speeded up.  In January, Goering ordered the cold-blooded Nazi Reinhard Heydrich to speed up the emigration of Jews from Germany.  In February, Jews citizens had to surrender their gold and silver items.  April saw Slovakia, part of the old Czechoslovakia nation, pass its own version of the Nuremberg Laws.  Other Holocaust actions :

The St. Louis Incident.    In May, a ship, the St. Louis, with over 900 Jewish refugees aboard looking for a home, is turned away by the United States and other Western Hemisphere countries, and has to take the refugees back to Europe.  A sad, sad tale which shows Roosevelt's problems with right wing extremists.  Roosevelt well knew the problems we were going to have to face with the Nazis but had to move with mincing steps because of these powerful right wing extremists in the United States, many of whom thought Germany was going to conquer Europe and some of whom wanted to get on board with Hitler and join Germany in an attack on Russia.  Roosevelt did many things of this nature which I'm sure he regretted having to do.  The important thing was that he managed to stay in office and slowly mobilize this country against Hitler.

Poland.    In September, Reinhard Heydrich issued orders that Polish Jews were to be gathered into ghettos near railroads for future transportation.  The Holocaust was advancing at a rapid rate.

Euthanasia.  In October, euthanasia on the sick and disabled began in Germany.  This program targeted non-Jews as well as Jews.  This program was not accepted well by German citizens because their own non-Jewish relatives were often targeted due to retardation, mental illness, etc and ended up 'missing'.  According to some sources, this program was eventually dropped due to complaints but only after about 100,000 people had been disposed of.  The attack on Jew continued unabated.  Most German people either agreed with the policy of  eliminating the Jews, did not know what was going on, or were afraid to speak up.

Yellow Stars for Jews.   In November, all Polish Jews over 10 began to have to wear yellow stars.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How Could the Holocaust Happen?  

In the words of Pastor Martin Niemoller, about how the Nazis were able to take over a country like Germany and do with it as they pleased:

"In Germany the Nazis came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.  Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.  Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.  Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me."   Pastor Martin Niemoller .

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Holocaust Actions of 1940. 

Auschwitz.  Early in 1940,  Auschwitz in Poland became a new concentration camp.  Before this hideous place was shut down, at least 1 million persons and possibly several times that number had perished there.  Rudolf Hoss was the commandant there.  He once said that he would be known as the greatest mass murderer in history.

Madagascar plan.  In July, Eichmann's Madagascar plan was proposed.  It would have deported all European Jews to the island of Madagascar.  Although this was considered for some time, nothing came of it and, eventually, it would have been impossible anyway since the Germans were chased out of Africa. 

Ghettos sealed off.  The Lodz Ghetto, the Krakow Ghetto, and the Warsaw Ghetto, all in Poland,  were sealed off.

 

Actions of 1941.

During 1941, the final solution for Jews was greatly accelerated.   At Hitler's order, Goering instructed  Heidrich via a letter to present plans for the 'final solution' to the Jewish problem.  At about the same time, Himmler told  Commandant Hoss of Auschwitz, "The Fuhrer has ordered the final solution to the Jewish question."   Hundreds of thousands of Jews perished in Lithuania, Romania, Hungary, Russia, Germany, etc.  Other actions:

Zyklon-B Gas.  The first use of this gas at Auschwitz occurred in September.

Yellow stars for German Jews.  In September, German Jews were forced to begin wearing yellow stars.

More concentration camps set up.    Majdanek concentration camp and Chelmno extermination camp were set up in Poland.

Struma refugee ship   The sad saga of the refugee ships continued.  The Struma carried over 700 Jews to Palestine but the Jews were not allowed to go ashore.  Proceding to the Black Sea, the ship is sunk by a Russian sub.

 

Holocaust Events in 1942.

During 1942, the Wannsee Conference in January made the final plans for the Final Solution which was already well underway.

Mass killings with Zyklon-B.   At Auschwitz - Birkenau compound, mass killings of Jews began using Zyklon-B gas.  In June,  the Auschwitz camp is expanded in order to speed up the mass killings.

Yet another Holocaust Extermination camp.    In March, the Belzec extermination camp in Poland became operational.  Carbon monoxide is first used but Zyklon-B gas is later used instead.

Treblinka extermination camp.   In July, the Treblinka extermination camp in Poland goes into action using first, carbon monoxide and later Zyklon-B gas.

Jewish valuables cashed in.    By the end of 1942, about 1000 boxcars of  Jewish possessions taken from the concentration camps had been cashed in. 

Belzec extermination camp closed.   The Belzec camp is closed after 600,000 Jews have been slaughtered there in less than a year.  The camp was dismantled.

 

Events in 1943.

During 1943, the tide of World War 2 began to turn more and more against the Nazis. (See German Battles World War 2) However, this did not stop their extermination policy against the Jews.  The Holocaust continued.

Non-Jewish undesirables also continued to get targeted. Although the Holocaust is sometimes called the Jewish Holocaust, it included other undesirables. In January, the order went out to arrest all Gypsies and transport them to extermination camps. 

 During the year, the expansion of the crematoriums at Auschwitz continued even as another extermination camp, Chelmno, was taken out of operation after 300,000 people had been murdered there.  The Treblinka extermination camp was also shut down  after almost 900,000 were murdered there.  Other Holocaust events during the year:

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.    Jewish resistance began in January and continued into May as Jews fought bravely to the end.  Over 300 Germans died in the uprising. 

Ghettos Liquidated.    A number of Ghettos were liquidated by the Nazis:  Krakow, Bialystok, Vilna, Riga, and Minsk.

Breakout at Sobibor.   In October, 300 Soviet POWs and Jews escaped from Sobibor.  Shortly after this escape, Sobibor was closed down after about 250,000 died there.

 

Events of 1944.

World War 2 was really going against the Nazis now, but they seemed determined to wipe out all remaining Jews and other undesirables before the war ended.  Hungarian Jews were next on the list for extermination and 100,000 of them perished in a few weeks at Auschwitz.  The daily death rate at Auschwitz reached 9,000 in 1944.  A few camp inmates were now managing  to escape and they spread the word of the horrors in the camps so the word was getting around for those who couldn't believe what they had been hearing.  Other 1944 events:

Liberation of Majdanek Camp.   Russian troops reached the Majdanek camp in July.  Over 350,000 Jews had died there.

Raoul Wallenberg.   Over 30,000 Hungarian Jews were saved from slaughter by a Swedish diplomat, Raoul Wallenberg, who had the courage to take action in Hungary.   

Lodz Ghetto Liquidated.    In August, the Lodz Ghetto was liquidated and 60,000 Jews were shipped to Auschwitz.

Auschwitz Stopped Gassing Jews.  In October and November, Auschwitz stopped gassing Jews and the destruction of crematories was begun.  Earlier in the year, one crematory was destroyed by Jewish slave laborers who revolted.

Oskar Schindler.    Oskar Schindler saved about 1,000 Jews by taking them from the Plaszow labor camp.

 

Holocaust Events of 1945.    

As the German fronts began to collapse in late 1944 and early 1945, concentration camp inmates were forced on long death marches away from the fronts.  In January, Russian troops reached Auschwitz.  About 2,000,000 people, mostly Jews, but also many Russian POWs and others, had died there. 

In late April, Hitler committed suicide and in early May, Germany surrendered.  The horrors of World War 2 in Europe had ended at last but it was too late for most Jews. 

Post-World War 2 Events.

In 1946, the Nuremberg trials of  major Nazi war criminals took place and many of the accused Nazis were convicted and many of these hanged.  Probably most of them died because of their role in the Holocaust.  Later, SS doctors who had performed grisly experiments on concentration camp inmates were put on trial and, again, many were convicted and some were hanged.  The millions of German lesser officials, military personnel, and civilians who played a part in the Holocaust also suffered as Germany was heavily damaged in World War 2 with millions being killed.  If the Holocaust had not occurred, it might not have been necessary for the Allies to demand unconditional surrender and the lives of millions of Germans  (and Allies) might have been spared.  But the crime was too great and no mercy could be shown the Germans.  They deserved everything that happened to them.

Holocaust Lessons 

Ted Flynn summed up his reaction to the Holocaust in " Hope of the Wicked: The Master Plan to Rule the World" as follows:

"As the Nazi Holocaust finally came to an end, Allied soldiers led the horrified German population-the everyday, law-abiding, government-believing people of the day—through the concentration camps. Newsreels showed the reality that was before them as women cried convulsively, stunned men bowed heads low in shock and dismay. Filing past piles of emaciated corpses, the stench of death everywhere, an unspeakable horror permeated their souls. For all at once, they realized the nagging doubt in the back of their minds that the secret fear of genocide might actually be true. They had made a subconscious decision to not believe it because of the creature comforts the military buildup had brought, the fear of being accused of disloyalty, weakness, lack of patriotism, and other sentiments. These doubts had actually been the desperate cry of inner truth. The soft velvety denial they had lived in for nearly a generation vanished instantly, and in its place the agony of guilt and betrayal would last for generations to come. The Holocaust didn’t come overnight, it evolved over a generation."

Hopefully, we aren’t laying the groundwork for some sort of a Holocaust in this country with the war on terrorism and with right wingers leading the assault on any person who disagrees with the ultraconservatives. 

Flynn's use of the term "government-believing people", scares the hell out of me.  I shudder at the changes I see in the American people over the past several years.  Bit by bit, they seem to be closing off their consciences to assure they are one of the "in-crowd.   They now openly discuss torturing prisoners including  Islamic prisoners of war captured in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Many American people also appear to be perfectly willing to give up the religion of their childhood to be able to worship at the alter of false gods, e.g., ultraconservatism.  

History teaches that all things are temporary so some say: "Don't get too upset about certain political  movements.  They will pass."  But, lest it be forgotten, while Hitler was 'temporary,' he managed to be responsible for the deaths of about 50 million people during his temporary stay. 

Remember, be cynical about any 'truths' the government tells you. In your heart, you know they are lying. Just like the Germans, deep down, knew they were being lied to.

The price for not having future Holocausts is eternal vigilance. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Web Sites for Holocaust

 

1.  Germany in World War 2.   Causes of World War 2, the German leaders, German generals,  German battles, and German strategy.

Although this site is focused on the expertise of German generals of  the Second World War ,  the German generals  had to face a number of excellent American, British, and Russian generals.

 

2. American Generals World War 2. American (Eisenhower, Patton, & Bradley) along with British & Russian Generals of World War 2 are discussed.

 

3. World War 2 Battlefield Tours.  The visitor to Europe needs to tour the World War 2 battlefields of Europe: D-Day, The Battle of Britain, Battle of the Bulge, and Dunkirk. The battlefield tours could also include the World War 2 battlefields of Italy, Sicily, North Africa, and Russia.

4. Bakken Oil Companies. The Bakken shale formation is the hottest new oil strike and oil companies flock to it.

 

5. Internet Marketing Success For Beginners.  To achieve success in Internet Marketing, the Website owner needs to learn the fundamentals of the Internet Marketing profession.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion for Holocaust 

 

The World War 2 Holocaust, with its atrocities against the Jews, was one of the most horrendous events in the history of mankind.  Over 6,000,000 people died in the Holocaust.  It remains to be seen whether mankind has learned the lesson needed  from the Holocaust

 

 

 

Last Updated:     05/04/14