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Number the Stars Background

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Stephanie Griffin

on 20 November 2017

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Transcript of Number the Stars Background

Hitler and WWII
Adolf Hitler, Leader of German NAZI Party
Invaded and occupied countries of Europe 1940-1945
Elected by the people Germany because he promised to make Germany "great" through aggressive technological development and repairing "problems"--like a poor economy.
They blamed their problems on the Jews and other undesirable people.
Denmark 1940
The text states, "The country that was too small to defend itself...
...surrendered to Germany".
By the end of the war, Denmark was able to protect and rescue over 95% of the Jews living in Denmark.
"Number the Stars"
Background Notes

Copenhagen, Denmark 1943
The Jews
The text states, "Hitler was obsessed with racial purity...and he viewed the Jews as the lowest and the most dangerous race of all".
3. Apply the Final Solution to the Jewish Question---Genocide.

The text says, "there were 8000 Jews in Denmark living in Denmark" in 1940.
Once a country was invaded by Germany, what can you infer happened to Denmark's Jewish population?
The Danish Resistance
Animated Map
(Halt video at 3:04 min):
In 1933, approximately 9.5 million Jews were in Europe.

Of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe before the Holocaust, approximately two-thirds were killed.

The War Against the Jews by Lucy Dawidowicz (1975)
After the German invasion, Denmark is
faced with a choice:
Do they give up their Jewish citizens and collaborate with the Germans?
Or should they resist?
What is 95% of 8000?
The Danish government were able to keep their Jewish citizens safe from mass deportation for two and half years.
Anti-Semitism--is prejudice, hatred of, or discrimination against Jews. It is a form of racism.
1. Pass laws restricting the Jews
2. Gather them up in one location--Ghettos.

The Germans were story tellers. Part of the story about how "great" they were was to showcase Denmark as a "model protectorate."

Allowed Denmark to remain a democracy. The Danish government remained in power, there was less motivation for Danish citizens to fight the occupation than in other countries such as Norway, France, and Poland.

Democratically-elected politicians remained in power, and the police remained in Danish hands.

Daily life in Denmark remained much the same as before the occupation though the Germans did make certain changes: official censorship, no talking to Allies, and the stationing of German troops in the country.

The Danish government actively discouraged violent resistance because it feared a backlash from the Germans.

The texts says, "a Gestapo colonel...complained that the Danes' tolerant attitude was begining to influence the German soldiers stationed in Denmark"
7600 Danish Jews were rescued by boat.
The Danes considered the Jewish people Danish citizens first. Even the Danish police helped hide and rescue Jews in Denmark.

Collaborate means: to go along with
How did the German Government carry out their plan to make Germany pure?
The Holocaust: destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire or nuclear war.
he Bond Between Rescuers and Rescued | Righteous Among the Nations Gallery »

"More often than not rescuers and rescued came from completely different backgrounds and had very little in common with each other. However the rescuers decision to accept full responsibility for the survival of Jewish outcasts as well as the total dependence of the rescued Jews on their benefactor combined with the stressful circumstances of living clandestinely, created strong bonds between the Righteous Among the Nations and the persons they saved. The memory of rescue – the noblest expression of sacrifice and solidarity as well as the terrible suffering it often entailed – continues to affect the families of both rescuers and rescued." Yad Vashem
A man tells of his escape to Sweden.
The Rescuers of the Holocaust.

Click this to see a map of the Rescue of Jews in Demark. https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/media_nm.php?ModuleId=0&MediaId=3374
Full transcript