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Transcript of The Holocaust
"Einsatzgruppen battalions" were specially trained SS units sent into German occupied territory and shot at least 1 million Jews.
What was the "Final Solution?" How was "the Final Solution" going to be organized?
Changing Tactics: Einsatzgruppen
The "Final Solution"
Prelude to the Final Solution
Their victims were taken to deserted areas, made to dig their own graves, then shot.
Not an efficient way of killing, needed to find a new way to kill
This method of killing caused psychological damage amongst soldiers
The young and fit would go through a process called 'destruction through work.'
Jews were to be rounded up and put into transit camps called ghettos.
The Jews living in these ghettos were to be used as a cheap source of labor.
Conditions in the Ghettos were designed to be so bad that many die whilst the rest would be willing to leave these areas in the hope of better conditions
The remaining Jews were to be shipped to ‘resettlement areas’ in the East.
On arrival the Jews would go through a process called ‘selection.’
Women, children, the old & the sick were to be sent for ‘special treatment.’
Shooting was too inefficient as the bullets were needed for the war effort
How did the Nazis get the Jews to leave the ghettos?
The Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were only fed 1000 calories a day.
In order for a human being to maintain their weight, they need 2400 calories a day.
Hungry people are easier to control.
The SS publicly shot people for smuggling food or for any act of resistance.
The Jews were told that they were going to ‘resettlement areas’ in the East.
In some Ghettos the Jews had to purchase their own train tickets.
They were told to bring the tools of their trade and pots and pans.
New arrivals at the Death camps were given postcards to send to their friends.
SS Tactics: Dehumanization
The SS guards who murdered the Jews were brainwashed with Anti-Semitic propaganda.
The Jews were transported in cattle cars in terrible conditions.
Naked, dirty and half starved people look like animals, which helped to reinforce the Nazi propaganda.
The SS used to train their new guards by encouraging them to set fire to a pit full of live victims – usually children.
All new arrivals went through a process known as ‘selection.’
At Auschwitz the trains pulled into a mock up of a normal station.
The Jews were helped off the cattle trucks by Jews who were specially selected to help the Nazis
At some death camps the Nazis would play records of classical music to help calm down the new arrivals.
At Auschwitz the new arrivals were calmed down by a Jewish orchestra playing classical music.
The able bodied were sent to work camp were they were killed through a process known as ‘destruction through work.
Mothers, children, the old & sick were sent straight to the ‘showers’ which were really the gas chambers.
Tactics: What happened to new arrivals?
Entrance to Auschwitz
Notice how it has been built to resemble a railway station
Destruction Through Work
This photo was taken by the Nazis to show just how you could quite literally work the fat of the Jews by feeding them 200 calories a day
Same group of Jews 6 weeks later
Processing the bodies
Specially selected Jews known as the sonderkommando were used to to remove the gold fillings and hair of people who had been gassed.
The Sonderkommando Jews were also forced to feed the dead bodies into the crematorium.
Dead bodies waiting to be processed
Shoes waiting to be processed by the sonderkommando
The Nazis aimed to kill 11 million Jews at the Wannsee Conference in 1941
Today there are only 2000 Jews living in Poland.
The Nazis managed to kill at least 6 million Jews.
Men like Schindler helped Jews escape the Final Solution.
Not all Jews went quietly into the gas cambers.
In 1943, the Warsaw Ghetto, like many others revolted against the Nazis when the Jews realised what was really happening.
Auschwitz from the air
Notice how the Death camp is set out like a factory complex
The Nazis used industrial methods to murder the Jews and process their dead bodies
When the Soviet Army liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau, in January of 1945, they found evidence of atrocities which survived the Nazis' efforts to demolish the camp. Baled (and unbaled) human hair - cut from the heads of murdered females - was found in an Auschwitz warehouse.
Evil is when a few good men decide to do nothing.
Read the following articles, look closely at the images, and watch the videos in order to answer the questions for this section.
2. Hitler Comes to Power
3. The Nazi Terror Begins
4. Nazi Propaganda
5. The Nuremberg Race Laws
Before Death Camps
Read the following
book excerpt. Answer
the questions that go
along with this section.
Read the following
book excerpt. Answer
the questions that
go along with this
Women and children from a Hungarian
transport after its arrival at Auschwitz-
Birkenau. Auschwitz, Poland, spring 1944.
Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel.
Read the following book excerpts and answer the questions that go along with this section.
Holocaust Survivor Testimonies: Deportation