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The Holocaust

By Whittos Mar 06, 2014 1308 Words
History Study Notes

Topic - Holocaust

The Holocaust!
Topic 1: Term 1!

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ASSESSMENT 1: WEEK 5 (25 FEBRUARY)!

Stage 1: Discrimination (1933-1939)!

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Period in which Nazis excluded Jews from all aspects of life via a range of social policies and legislative changes. In doing so they also dehumanised them and made them scapegoats of the Nazi regime.! !

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- Hatred of Jews = anti-Semitism !

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Key Features!

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Social Discrimination!

- Gradual process of discrimination!
- 1933: Commenced by boycotting Jewish establishments, dissuading Germans from engaging with Jewish people !

- Establishment of the Minister for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment! - Goebbles!
- Relevant? They controlled the dialogue around Jews - portraying in media the Jews as evil and inhuman!

- Censorship!
- Establishment of the Hitler Youth - basically put young Germans into ‘cadets’ that taught them

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Nazi ideology - essentially indoctrinating the German youth!

Legislative Discrimination!

- Legislation enforced anti-Jewish sentiment!
- 15 September 1935: Nuremberg Laws!
- Law prevented marriage/sexual relations between Jews and Germans (punishment was imprisonment and death penalty)!

- Enforced Hitler’s ideology regarding the Aryan race - making it an official doctrine! - Citizenship: Jews could not be German citizens!
Page 1 of 6

History Study Notes

Topic - Holocaust

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9 - 10 November 1938: Kristallnacht (night of broken glass)!

- Series of Nazi-organised pogroms against the Jews!
- 24 hours of violence against Jews!
- Details!
- Destroyed property; in particular burning many synagogues and homes! - Desecrated Jewish graves!
- Arrested 25, 000 - 30, 000 Jewish men and sent them to labour/concentration camps! - Killed 91 Jews!
- Trashed and looted over 7, 000 Jewish establishments!
- Nazi’s blamed it on spontaneous violence by citizens (although the SA started it dressed as regular civilians) in an attempt to avenge von Rath’s death!

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- German officials only intervened to prevent the destruction of German property and deaths!

Practice Question!
Explain how life changed for German Jews between 1933 and 1936.!

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Life changed immeasurably for German Jews due to the vast amount of anti-Jewish legislation between 1933-1936. In particular the passing of the 1935 Nuremberg Laws radically altered life for Jews. These laws deprived them of their citizenship, by requiring that all citizens of the Reich be Aryan, and were dehumanised by banning relationships and marriage between Jews and Aryans. Furthermore, other legislation was passed to prevent Jews who owned shops and property from being allowed to make any revenue and thus reducing them to abject poverty, which was particularly exacerbated (worsened) by the social practices of boycotting all Jewish establishments. Essentially, from 1933-1936 German Jews experienced a gradual isolation from German society as the Nazis sought to make them the target of their radical social policy. !

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History Study Notes

Topic - Holocaust

Stage 2: The Ghettos (1939-45) !

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Ghettos were areas where Jews were confined from the rest of a city and population. !

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Key Features!

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Officials!

- Run by all-Jewish councils (Judenrat) and police forces!
- Followed Nazi orders for fear of repercussions !
- Council members = privileged positions BUT likely to be the first punished if Nazis displeased!

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Living Conditions!

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Inadequate conditions!
Food: food supplies were inadequate - people struggled to avoid starvation! Overcrowding!
Poor sanitation and hygiene leading to many diseases (rampant illness)! Insufficient fuel and clothing for winter heating needs (many died of hypothermia) ! Stealing/crime was common!

Resistance !

- Black market: Smuggled food, medicine and weapons!
- Poor control/authority - laws regularly broken!
- Some schooling for children (inadequate and inconsistent)! - Guards shot anyone caught breaking the rules!
- Warsaw (Ghetto) Uprising: Spring (July-September) 1943!
- 20, 000 Jews went into hiding and created a rebellion!
- 300, 000 killed or deported by the Nazis!
- 19 April 1943: Jews began an armed uprising against the SS (who had come to kill the inhabitants)!

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- About 7, 000 Jews died during the uprisings!
- Nazis deported over 50, 000 to the extermination camp at Treblinka!

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History Study Notes

Topic - Holocaust

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Practice Question!
What caused the Warsaw Uprising in Spring of 1943?!

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The Warsaw Uprising of 1943 was a result of the growing unrest in the Warsaw Ghetto, which was caused by inadequate living conditions and dissatisfaction with the Nazi leadership. The Jewish population of the ghetto struggled to survive due to a lack of basic necessities such as sufficient food and clothing during the winter months. Further, the cramped living areas and poor sanitation meant that disease was rampant. Such poor conditions caused growing unrest, which saw the black market expand to include weapons as well as food and medicine. The catalyst for the uprising was the presence of SS soldiers to kill thousands of Jews in hiding.!

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1st sentence: topic sentence - gave overview of the causes of the uprising. ! 2nd sentence: gave details about the pressures on Jewish life, the factors that made living conditions inadequate. !
3rd sentence: expanded upon the pressures caused by inadequate living conditions! 4th sentence: explain the reaction to these pressures!
5th sentence: identified the specific cause/catalyst for the violence (presence of SS soldiers)!

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Page 4 of 6

History Study Notes

Topic - Holocaust

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Stage 3: Annihilation (Final Solution) !

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Nazis decided to exterminate the Jews. Previously the death Jews had been indirect, now the exact policy was to kill as many as possible. By 1941 Hitler decided that mass extermination of Jews was the Final Solution to the Jewish Problem. Existing concentration camps and labour camps were converted into extermination/death camps. !

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Key Details!

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Man in charge: Heinrich Himmler!

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Einsatzgruppen!
Mobile killing squad. !

- Rounded up and systematically shot Jewish prisoners, burying them in mass graves (usually dug by the Jews themselves).!

- Before execution the Jewish people would hand over valuables and clothiers!

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Mobile Gas Chambers/Vans!

- Jews rounded up and put into vans to be gassed to death!
- Estimated by 1943 that around 1 million (soviet) Jews had been killed! - Inefficient: too slow and not ‘killing enough’ - ratio of killed: captured was unbalanced! - Hence established special concentration camps/killing centres - housing purpose built gas

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chambers!

Final Solution!

- 20 January 1942: Wannsee Conference!
- Meeting of senior Nazi officials where they decided to establish gas chambers/death camps! - They also decided to use Jewish labourers to build them !

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Death v Concentration Camps!

- Death camps: housed the purpose built gas chambers - Jews brought there to die! - Some Jews (Sonderkommandos) were used to deceive other Jews about the purpose of the death camps!

- Concentration camps: Jews were worked or starved to death! - By 1945: 1 million Jews dead at Auschwitz and 6 million dead throughout Europe due to Nazis! Page 5 of 6

History Study Notes

Topic - Holocaust

Practice Question!
What was the Final Solution? And how was it implemented?!

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- Final solution was the culmination (end result) of Hitler’s anti-Semitic views established in Mein Kampf (My Diary) !

- Represented the most effective way of exterminating on a large scale the Jewish population of Europe!

- Compare it to previous methods (such as gas vans and mobile killing squad) ! - Wannsee Conference - this is where they decided to implement the final solution! - Death camps v concentration camps!

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The Final Solution was the culmination of methods used to exterminate the Jewish population. Being first established in Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf' (My Diary) and implemented at the Wannsee Conference of 1942, it was the most effective process of annihilating Jewish prisoners. Eight of the concentration camps located around Nazi territory were transformed into extermination camps, which were used to deal with the millions of Jewish prisoners that the Nazis were trying to dispose of. These extermination camps, such as Auschwitz, contained purpose-built gas chambers which could kill large numbers of Jews at a time. From 1941 until 1944 the Auschwitz extermination camp gassed and burned up to 1,000,000 Jews.!

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The following aspects of the course will be assessed:
- Nazi racial beliefs
- reasons for and process of discrimination of German Jews
- process of persecution/ Ghettos
- extermination process 1941-45 including camps

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