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Persecution in WWII
Transcript of Persecution in WWII
Led by Adolf Hitler, the Nazi party insistently persecuted and slaughtered millions of people:
Jewish People - 5.9 million people
Gypsies - 220,000-1,500,000 people
Homosexuals - 5,000-15,000
People with mental and physical disabilities - 200,000 - 250,000 people
Jehovah's Witnesses - 2,500-5,000 people
Non-Jewish Poles and Slavs
Freemasons - 80,000-200,000 people
Ethnic Poles - 1.8 - 2 million people
Soviet POWs 2-3 million people
If you did not have light hair and light eyes you were considered inferior.
Aryan race considered dominant over others
The Nazi's sytematic murder of millions of poeple in other groups
Total of 11-17 millions people slaughtered
Major Camps: Auschwitz, Belzec, Bergen- Belsen, Chelmno,
Dachau, Flossenburg, Brini, Jasenovac, Klooga, Majdanek, Maly/Trostinets, Mauthausen-Gusen, Ravensbruck, Treblinka
People were sent to concentration camps and were held there where they were worked to death or until they were deemed unfit to work, they were killed
Camps tattooed prisoners with an ID
People worked a 12-15 hour work day
Most people were worked to death or killed in gas chambers
Early prisons were mainly basements and storehouses
Escape attempts from camps were few but not unknown
A day in the camps
4 a.m - Kapo barks at you to wake up. You run to the sanitary facility in hopes of gettting a quick wash, among hundreds of other inmates. You see that the lines are long and you don't want to be a straggler, you know the kapo's will beat you, sometimes to death
Breakfast - You must have your mess-tin in hand. No mess-tin, no food. A kapo gives you approximately 10 ounces of bread and some "coffee", which is tasteless. The bread is the only solid food you will get till tomorrow.
Morning roll call - All prisoners are lined up in rows of ten while the kapo's count thousands of inmates, if a mistake is made it starts over. You must stand silently at attention despite weather conditions. Some are too weak to stand and die in line. The rough material of your jumpsuit offer no protection to the weather.
Japanese Americans were imprisoned in war relocation camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor
62 % of them were American citizens
Approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans resided in these camps
Camps were mainly located in western states such as - Arizona, Utah, California, Wyoming, Arkansas, and Colorado.
Camps were in desolate, excluded areas
Most residents were allowed to stay with their families and treated well unless they violated the rules
Mostly occured in Aushwitz, Dachau, Buchenwald, Ravensbruck, Sachsenhausen, and Natzweiler
Experiments included placing subjects in pressure chambers, testing drugs, freezing them, attempting to change children's eye color by injecting chemicals, various amputations and brutal surgeries.
Mainly performed on children (for they were not able to work, but usually exterminated immediately upon their arrival).
Massacre of Babi Yar
Most notorious massacre of Jews in a single operation
September 29-30, 1941
33,771 Jews were killed in the ravine
Polish Catholic priest
Provided refuge to more than 2,000 Jews in his friary
Sent to Auchwitz
After one man from his barrack tried to escape, ten men were ordered to starve to death to compensate the man's escape; a way of enforcing order
One of the men, Franciszek Gajowniczek, cried out, lamenting his wife and children
Maximilian volunteered to die in his place
During the three weeks of starvation, he prayed with the other men, and encouraged them that they would soon be with Mary in heaven
After surviving these three weeks, Maximilian was finally killed with an injection of carbolic acid
Franciszek Gajowniczek survived until the liberation of the camp, lived a long life, and considers Maximilian his savior
Maximilian Kolbe was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1982 for his selfless action
Starting the work day - You run off to join your work team and begin the walk to the yard hoping not to get beaten by the SS or kapo's. If you are lucky, you have received a good tool, a shovel or a pickax. Otherwise, you'll have to work with your hands... and this may mean death because you'll not be able to work as fast as the guards request. The day will be long: 12-14 hours of work. The work is very hard, and often useless: to move heavy sand bags from one point to another, to extract and carry heavy stones, to dig trenches or to bore a tunnel. Maybe you are working in a factory but this does not improve your condition of life. This is extermination by work. Everything has to be done as fast as possible, and always with insults and beatings from the kapos and the SS. If a guard thinks you are not working fast enough, you'll be beat up, maybe until you die. Don't even think about stopping for a while or even slowing down. It will be considered as sabotage and this means death.
Return to camp/Evening roll call - You begin to walk back to camp, the survivors carry the bodies of those who died during the day. You endure the roll call that can take up to several hours.
Evening - After roll call, you run in to receive your dinner, which consists of a "soup". You return to your barrack. In no way you are allowed to leave the barrack during the night. The "blockfuerher" is waiting for you and your comrades. The blockfuerhers wear green triangles, which means “real criminals”. They have the right to decide who'll live and who'll die. Maybe he will let you rest until tomorrow morning. But, maybe he'll decide to have some "fun"--to order exercises like crawling, jumping, running until you faint. Eventually, you are allowed to lie down on your straw-mattress. You are five in a bunk bed, with just one blanket. The barrack is not heated. If a prisoner wants to turn over in bed, all the others have to follow. You are exhausted. Today, you managed to survive.
By: Grace Von Ohlen and Chandler Scoco