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The Holocaust: Resisters, Rescuers, and Bystanders

literature of social justice

c x

on 26 April 2010

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Transcript of The Holocaust: Resisters, Rescuers, and Bystanders

Nazis wanted Jewish organizations to help them
Jewish councils - "Judenrat" (pl: Judenräte) - made up of elders from territories conquered by Germany - organized deportation, kept track of population, distributed food and medical supplies, communicated orders from the Nazis.
Became local government - ex. levied taxes
Nazis would terrorize the Judenrat - beatings and executions
Also did good: hopsitals, orphanages, disinfection stations, food and clothing
Seen as collaboration with the enemy, but also necessary evil for negotiation.
Often randomly appointed
Self-preservation, but no guarantee
Responsible for choosing workers, bribable
Underground organizations could be alternative Judenräte; some helped with resistance
Kapos - concentration camp inmates who cooperated with the Nazis - would be punished for failing to to obey, but often had to be brutal toward fellow prisoners
Bounties - the Gestapo offered bounties to civillians who turned Jews in
Many members of France's Vichy government advocated cooperation with Germany
Handed over non-French Jews, although they did protect the small population of French Jews Passive Jewish Resistance
Many were unaware that the "Final Solution" was occurring
Most believed the lie that they were being deported as laborers
Resistance was punished by death, but still occurred occasionally
Collective responsibility - many punished for the crimes of one
Trying to carry on a normal life - culture
Artists, underground newspapers, religious services, schools in ghettos
Committees that defied Nazi authority
Sabotage by laborers
resisters, rescuers, and bystanders Armed Resistance Occurred in both ghettos and death camps
Tuchin Ghetto, 1942
Warsaw Ghetto, 1943
Bialystok Ghetto, 1943
Vilna Ghetto, 1943
Treblinka, 1943
Sobibor, 1943
Auschwitz, 1944 Image Sources http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stroop_Report_-Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_11.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Birkenau25August1944.jpg May, 1943 - image from Jurgen Stroop's report to Heinrich Himmler; released to public domain in U.S. The Kovno Judenrat, 1943 and compliers Individuals: Righteous Gentiles Non-Jews who worked to save Jews
Many executed by Nazis
If caught, would be shot or hanged immediately
Motivations included religious beliefs, morals, dislike of the Nazis, and payment Raoul Wallenberg Dr. Jan Karski Count Andreas Szeptycki Wladyslaw Bartoszewski Pastor Andre Trocme Archbishop of Lwow
Polish Catholic
Ordered the clergy reporting to him to save Jews
Hid 21 Jews in Cathedral, 183 in monasteries
Any clergy who cooperated with Nazis were excluded from sacraments Additional Sources http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/heroes.htm The Huguenot religious leader in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France
Hid and saved more than 5000 Jews Le Chambon-sur-Lignon; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Swedish diplomat
Regarded saving the Jews of Hungary as his personal mission.
Granted more than 30,000 Jews Swedish passports Set up safe houses, distributed supplies and food
Created a bureaucracy designed to protect Jews in Budapest
Although more than 90,000 Jews in Budapest were murdered, without him the figure would have been far greater
Imprisoned after the Soviets "liberated" Budapest
Wladislaw Bartoszewski (right) and Richard Karl Freiherr von Weizsäcker Founder of Polish resistance
His organization was mostly Catholic, but intended to save Jews
Provided false documents to Jews living outside Warsaw ghetto
Founded the Council for Aid to Jews Groups Governments sometimes got involved due to public pressure or morals
Some groups of citizens were able to make a difference, often by influencing the government Denmark Other Countries Bulgaria - people worked to save 48,000 Jews; clergy forced government to rescind order of deportation
Hungary - embassies in Hungary worked to issue passports
Spain and Portugal
The Danish people managed to save almost all of their Jewish population of about 8,000
King Christian X was strongly opposed to anti-Semitic legislation - story that he threatened to abdicate and wear Star of David badge
In September 1943, Nazis decided to deport Danish Jews to death camps
Danes were tipped off by a German shipping official
Ferried 5,900 Jews, 1,300 part-Jews, and 700 non-Jewish members of Jewish families to Sweden
Nazis deported the approximately 500 left in Denmark on October 1
Unlike many other countries, no history of anti-Semitism
Sweden was willing to accept their Jewish population Anti-Semitism
Many feared Nazi reprisals
Those unaffected didn't want to get involved Individuals Some did not believe Holocaust was happening
Leaders were anti-Semitic
Were more concerned about war
Thought winning war was the solution "Whoever saves a single soul, it is as if he had saved the entire world" the not-so-righteous gentiles Failed Attempts Wagner-Rogers Legislation, 1939 - United States - inspired by Dutch and British efforts, was amended so much that Wagner withdrew his support
Bermuda Conference, 1943 - United States and Britain
War Refugee Board, 1944 - United States - delayed response by Roosevelt to information available the previous year, was already too late Governments The United States Ignorance and Indifference Franklin Delano Roosevelt signing the declaration of war against Germany (Library of Congress/public domain) Tended towards inaction and indifference
Many Jews fled before 1939, especially to the United States
Some ships were turned away by U.S. immigration officials
Immigration quotas were never raised or even filled
Roosevelt evnetually released a statement condemning German government Many were shocked by photographs of the Holocaust after the war
American articles about the Holocaust, although they existed, were generally buried and suppressed
Government kept the public ignorant
Churchill did call for Auschwitz to be bombed, but no action was taken
Allies could have bombed rail lines or death camps
Barriers against Jewish immigration because of economic conditions Army photograph of Birkenau (Auschwitz extermination camp), August 25, 1944 (public domain) Contact between Polish resistance and exiled Polish government
Smuggled into Warsaw ghetto to observe
Reported observations to world leaders Statue of Karski in Tel Aviv University (public domain)
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