Archive for the ‘Holocaust’ Category

Polands Senate Approves Holocaust Law – voanews.com

WASHINGTON

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki says Poland will “never limit the debate” on the Holocaust, saying the country owes it to the victims.

Morawiecki gave a televised address Thursday just after the Senate passed a controversial law making it a crime to call the Nazi genocide of Jews a Polish crime and Nazi death camps Polish death camps, even though some of the most brutal Nazi atrocities took place in Poland.

The law awaits President Andrzej Duda’s signature.

WATCH: Poland’s Holocaust Bill Causes Diplomatic Spat With Israel

“Our government condemns all the crimes of the Second World War committed on Polish soil regardless of the nationalities of their perpetrators and to which nation the victims belonged,” the prime minister said. “Fighting against false claims about the participation of the Polish state in the German war machine, Poland stands on the side of the truth.”

Poland regards itself as having been a victim of Nazi terror. Morawiecki pointed out that six million Poles were killed during World War II, three million of them Jews.

Morawiecki’s televised speech was also aimed at easing concerns of the United States and cooling down the outrage in Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will not tolerate “distortion of the truth, rewriting history, and denial of the Holocaust.”

Some experts fear the new Polish law could also mean jail for Holocaust survivors when talking about their ordeals.

Duda, the Polish president, said this week there was no institutional participation by Poland in the Holocaust, but it did recognize criminal actions toward Jews by some individual Poles.

“There were wicked people who sold their neighbors for money. But it was not the Polish nation, it was not an organized action,” Duda said.

He pointed out that some Poles sacrificed their own lives to save Jews from the Nazis, and that the Polish underground and government in exile resisted efforts to wipe out European Jewry.

Poland was home to one of the worlds most thriving Jewish populations before Nazi Germany invaded in 1939. However, some historians say many Poles collaborated with the Nazis in persecuting Jews.

Holocaust survivors who returned to Poland after the war found themselves victims of further anti-Semitism.

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Holocaust Remembrance and the Rise of Hate | Israel …

Every year on January 27 is Holocaust Remembrance Day, when people from across the globe commemorate the tragedy which took place during World War II. The notable day is intended to honor the victims who suffered through and because of the Holocaust, remembering the widespread genocide which occurred with the unfortunate combination of hatred, ignorance and silence.

In todays world, it seems we need to do much more than simply remember. With thousands of Holocaust survivors remaining and aging, it is crucial to continue educating and discussing in the future, especially amidst the exponential rise of antisemitism currently in spring across the globe.

The World Jewish Congress launched a campaign which spans across six continents, with the aim of inspiring six million people to use the hashtag #WeRemember and spread the global word to remember the Holocaust. Robert Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress says, In todays digital age, social media is the only tool that can allow us to connect the world together with this message.

While the #WeRemember social media campaign has created a large trend of honoring Holocaust Remembrance Day, it should still be noted that 2017 showed record high hatred against Jews on a global scale.

The Anti-Defamation League reported a 67% rise in anti-Semitic acts in America, Britain saw a 78% increase in physical violence alone, and there was a stark increase of anti-Semitic incidents since November 2016 after Trump stepped into the presidency, and began normalizing hatred and inciting violence in the mainstream media. Today social media enables Neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic groups to form, train, recruit and amplify their malicious messages.

From physical violence to vandalism to cold blooded murder, hate crimes are rising across America and Europe, particularly in Germany, Ukraine, France and Britain. The worldwide Jewish bullying continues even with global institutions like the UN and UNESCO, which are allegedly dedicated to unification, however, have expanded to both anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment.

While we may never experience a Holocaust similar to that which took place across Germany in the 1930s, hatred, violence, brainwashing and murder is on the rise and before history is allowed to repeat itself, one of the greatest lessons we can all learn is that silence is certainly not the answer.

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Controversial Holocaust bill is passed in Poland | Euronews

The Polish senate has approved a law that makes it illegal to suggest that Poland played any part in the Nazi Holocaust, which took place on its soil during World War Two.

The law would make the term “Polish death camps” punishable by up to three years in jail. The Auschwitz and Treblinka concentration camps were built on Polish soil.

The bill has already caused a rift with Israel. On Sunday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Poland of attempting to change history.

In a statement he said: “I strongly oppose it. One cannot change history and the Holocaust cannot be denied.”

Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, called the legislation “problematic”.

“This law is liable to blur historical truths due to limitations it places on expressions regarding the complicity of segments of the Polish population in crimes against Jews committed by its own people, either directly or indirectly, on Polish soil during the Holocaust,” the center said in a statement.

While the Yad Vashem said the term “Polish death camps” is “erroneous”, it emphasised that historical misrepresentations and statements like that should not be criminalised, adding the law “jeopardizes the free and open discussion of the part of the Polish people in the persecution of the Jews at the time.”

Poland’s deputy justice minister said: “Talking about the past and analysing this past, even the darkest, shameful part of the Polish past is not threatened in any way”

The role of Poland in the atrocities has always been a tough topic for the country, which after being invaded by Nazi Germany saw 90% of its Jewish population killed.

The move to absolve Poles and the Polish state of that responsibility now has momentum, with the bill passing in parliament with 57 votes to 23.

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Holocaust victims – Wikipedia

Holocaust victims were people who were targeted by the government of Nazi Germany for various discriminatory practices due to their ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, or sexual orientation. These institutionalized practices came to be called The Holocaust, and they began with legalized social discrimination against specific groups, and involuntary hospitalization, euthanasia, and forced sterilization of those considered physically or mentally unfit for society. These practices escalated during World War II to include non-judicial incarceration, confiscation of property, forced labor, sexual slavery, medical experimentation, and death through overwork, undernourishment, and execution through a variety of methods, with the genocide of different groups as the primary goal.

According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the country’s official memorial to the Holocaust, “The Holocaust was the murder of six million Jews and millions of others by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II.”[1] Of those murdered for being Jewish, more than half were Ashkenazi Polish Jews.[2]

While the term Holocaust generally refers to the systematic mass murder of the Jewish people in Nazi-occupied Europe, the Nazis also murdered a large number of non-Jewish people who were considered subhuman (Untermenschen) or undesirable. Some victims belonged to several categories targeted for extermination, e.g. an assimilated Jew who was a member of a communist party or someone of Jewish ancestry who identified as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Non-Jewish Victims of Nazism included Slavs (e.g. Russians, Poles, Ukrainians and Serbs), Romanis (gypsies), French, Belgians, Dutch, Greeks, Italians (after 1943), LGBT people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Pansexual, etc);[a] the mentally or physically disabled, mentally ill;[b] Soviet POWs, Roman Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhists, Muslims, [c] Spanish Republicans, Freemasons,[d] people of color (especially the Afro-German Mischlinge, called “Rhineland Bastards” by Hitler and the Nazi regime); leftists, communists, trade unionists, capitalists, social democrats, socialists, anarchists, and every other minority or dissident not considered Aryan (Herrenvolk, or part of the “master race”) as well as those who disagreed with the Nazi regime.[e][20]

Taking into account all of the victims of persecution, the Nazis systematically killed an estimated six million Jews and an additional 11 million people during the war. Donald Niewyk suggests that the broadest definition, including Soviet civilian deaths, would produce a death toll of 17 million.[21]

Despite widely varying treatment (some groups were actively targeted for genocide, while others were not), some died in concentration camps such as Dachau and others from various forms of Nazi brutality. According to extensive documentation (written and photographic) left by the Nazis, eyewitness testimony by survivors, perpetrators and bystanders and records of the occupied countries, most perished in death camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The military campaign to remove certain classes of persons (above all, Jews) from Germany and other German-held territories during World War II, often with extreme brutality, is known as the Holocaust. It was carried out primarily by German forces and collaborators, German and non-German. Early in the war, millions of Jews were concentrated in urban ghettos. In 1941 Jews were massacred, and by December Hitler had decided to exterminate all Jews living in Europe at that time. The European Jewish population was reduced from 9,740,000 to 3,642,000; the world’s Jewish population was reduced by one-third, from roughly 16.6 million in 1939 to about 11 million in 1946.[22] The extermination of jews had been priority to Nazi’s regardless of the consequences of it. [23]

In January 1942, during the Wannsee Conference, several Nazi leaders discussed the details of the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” (Endlsung der Judenfrage) and German State Secretary Josef Bhler urged conference chairman Reinhard Heydrich to proceed with the Final Solution in the General Government. Jewish populations were systematically deported from the ghettos and the occupied territories to the seven camps designated as Vernichtungslager (extermination camps): Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Maly Trostenets, Sobibr and Treblinka. In 1978 Sebastian Haffner wrote that in December 1941 Hitler began to accept the failure of his primary goal (to dominate Europe) after his declaration of war against the United States, and his withdrawal was compensated for by his secondary goal: the extermination of the Jews.[24] As the Nazi war machine faltered during the war’s final years, military resources such as fuel, transport, munitions, soldiers and industrial resources were still diverted from the fronts to the death camps.

Poland, home of the world’s largest Jewish community before the war, lost 3,300,000 (90percent) of its Jewish population.[25] Although the Germans rigorously imposed the death penalty for hiding Jews,[26][27][28] some Poles hid Jews (saving their lives) despite the risk to themselves and their families.[29] Although reports of the Holocaust had reached Western leaders, public awareness in the United States and other democracies of the mass murder of Jews in Poland was low at the time; the first references in The New York Times, in 1942, were unconfirmed reports rather than front-page news.

Greece, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Lithuania, Bohemia, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Latvia lost over 70 percent of their Jewish population; in Belgium, Romania, Luxembourg, Norway, and Estonia the figure was about 50 percent. Over one-third of the Soviet Union’s Jews were killed; France lost about 25 percent of its Jewish population, Italy between 15 and 20%. Denmark evacuated nearly all its Jews to nearby, neutral Sweden; the Danish resistance movement, with the assistance of many Danish citizens, evacuated 7,220 of the country’s 7,800 Jews by sea to Sweden[30] in vessels ranging from fishing boats to private yachts. The rescue allowed the vast majority of Denmark’s Jewish population to avoid capture by the Nazis.[30] Jews outside Europe under Axis occupation were also affected by the Holocaust in Italian Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Iraq, Japan, and China.

Although Jews are an ethnoreligious group, they were defined by the Nazis on purely racial grounds. The Nazi Party viewed the Jewish religion as irrelevant, persecuting Jews in accordance with antisemitic stereotypes of an alleged biologically determined heritage. Defining Jews as the chief enemy, Nazi racial ideology was also used to persecute other minorities.[31]

The Holocaust did not only affect Jews. It affected a lot of minority groups including ‘gypsies’ or travellers, and homosexuals. The identity of all citizens is changed by a sharp relief by the Holocaust.[32]

If the ethnic repression by others is not checked, it could lead to another genocide like the Holocaust.[33]

The Nazi genocide of the Romani people was ignored by scholars until the 1980s, and opinions continue to differ on its details. According to historians Donald Niewyk and Francis Nicosia, the genocide of the Romani began later than that of the Jews and a smaller percentage was killed.[34] Hitler’s genocidal campaign against Europe’s Romani population involved the application of Nazi “racial hygiene” (selective breeding applied to humans). Although despite discriminatory measures some Romani (including some of Germany’s Sinti and Lalleri) were spared deportation and death, the remaining Romani groups suffered a fate similar to that of the Jews. Romani were deported to the Jewish ghettos, shot by SS Einsatzgruppen in their villages, or deported and gassed in Auschwitz-Birkenau and Treblinka.

Estimates of the Romani death toll in World War II range from 220,000 to 1,500,000.[35] The Romani genocide was formally recognized by West Germany in 1982 and by Poland in 2011.[36]

The Slavs were one of the most widely persecuted groups during the war, with many Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, Serbs and others killed by the Nazis. According to British historian Ian Kershaw, the Nazis’ genocide and brutality was their way of ensuring Lebensraum (“living space”) for those who met Hitler’s narrow racial requirements; this necessitated the elimination of Bolsheviks and Slavs:

The Nazi revolution was broader than just the Holocaust. Its second goal was to eliminate Slavs from Central and Eastern Europe and to create a Lebensraum for Aryans… As Bartov (The Eastern Front; Hitler’s Army) shows, it barbarised the German armies on the eastern front. Most of their three million men, from generals to ordinary soldiers, helped exterminate captured Slav soldiers and civilians. This was sometimes cold and deliberate murder of individuals (as with Jews), sometimes generalised brutality and neglect… German soldiers’ letters and memoirs reveal their terrible reasoning: Slavs were ‘the Asiatic-Bolshevik’ horde, an inferior but threatening race. Only a minority of officers and men were Nazi members.[37]

The Nazi occupation of Poland was among the most brutal of the war, resulting in the death of more than 3 million ethnic Poles and about 3 million Polish Jews. The six million Jewish, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Poles represented nearly 17 percent of the country’s population.[38] Poles were one of Hitler’s first extermination targets, as he outlined in an August 22, 1939 speech to Wehrmacht commanders before the invasion. Intelligentsia, socially prominent and influential people were primarily targeted, although ethnic Poles and other Slavic groups were also killed en masse. Hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholic and Orthodox Poles were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau and other concentration camps, and the intelligentsia were the first targets of the Einsatzgruppen death squads.[39] The anti-Polish campaign culminated in the near-complete destruction of Warsaw, ordered by Hitler and Himmler in 1944. The original assumptions of Generalplan Ost were based on plans to exterminate around 85% (over 20 million) of ethnically Polish citizens of Poland, with the remaining 15% to be used as slaves.[40]

Between 1941 and 1945, approximately three million Ukrainian and other gentiles were killed as part of Nazi extermination policies in present-day Ukraine.[41][42] More Ukrainians were killed fighting the Wehrmacht in the Red Army than American, British and French soldiers combined.[43] Original Nazi plans called for the extermination of 65 percent of the nation’s 23.2million Ukrainians,[44][45] with the survivors treated as slaves.[46] Over two million Ukrainians were deported to Germany as slave labor.[47] The ten-year plan would have exterminated, expelled, Germanized or enslaved most (or all) Ukrainians.

During Operation Barbarossa (the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union), millions of Red Army prisoners of war were summarily executed in the field by German armies (the Waffen SS in particular), died under inhumane conditions in German prisoner of war camps and death marches or shipped to concentration camps for execution. The Germans killed an estimated 2.8 million Soviet POWs by starvation, exposure and execution over an eight-month period in 194142.[48] According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, by the winter of 1941 “starvation and disease resulted in mass death of unimaginable proportions”. As many as 500,000 people were killed in the concentration camps.[49]

Soviet civilian populations in the occupied areas were severely persecuted and endured the treacherous conditions of the Eastern Front, which spawned atrocities such as the siege of Leningrad (when more than 1.2 million civilians died). Thousands of peasant villages across Russia, Belarus and Ukraine were annihilated by German troops. During the occupation the Leningrad, Pskov and Novgorod region lost about a quarter of its population. An estimated one-quarter of Soviet civilian deaths at the hands of the Nazis and their allies (five million Russians, three million Ukrainians and 1.5 million Belarusians) were racially motivated.[50] In 1995 the Russian Academy of Sciences reported that civilian deaths in the occupied USSR, including Jews, at the hands of the Germans totaled 13.7 million dead (20 percent of the population of 68 million). The figure includes 7.4 million victims of Nazi genocide and reprisals; 2.2 million deaths of persons deported to Germany as forced labour, and 4.1 million famine and disease deaths. An estimated three million people also died of starvation in unoccupied territory. The losses occurred within the 19461991 borders of the USSR, and include territories annexed in 193940.[51] The deaths of 8.2 million Soviet civilians, including Jews, were documented by the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission.[52]

Most Spanish Republicans were captured after France was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1940; some 7,000 died in concentration camps, especially Mauthausen-Gusen, during the Holocaust.

According to their eugenics policy, the Nazis believed that the disabled were a burden to society because they needed care and were considered an affront to their notion of a society composed of a perfect race. About 375,000 people were sterilized against their will due to their disabilities.[53]

Those with disabilities were among the first to be killed by the Nazis; according to the U.S.Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the T-4 Program (established in 1939) was the model for future Nazi exterminations and it set a precedent for the genocide of what they described as the Jewish race.[54] The program attempted to maintain the “purity” of the Aryan race by systematically killing children and adults with physical deformities or suffering from mental illness, using gas chambers for the first time. Although Hitler formally halted the program in late August 1941, the killings secretly continued until the end of the war and an estimated 275,000 people with congenital disabilities died.[55]

The Nazis promoted xenophobia and racism against all “non-Aryan” races. African (black sub-Saharan or North African) and Asian (East and South Asian) residents of Germany and black prisoners of war, such as French colonial troops and African Americans, were also victims of Nazi racial policy.[56] When the Nazis came to power hundreds of African-German children, the offspring of German mothers and African soldiers brought in during the French occupation, lived in the Rhineland.[57] In Mein Kampf, Hitler described the children of marriages to African occupation troops as a contamination of the white race “by Negro blood on the Rhine in the heart of Europe”[58] who were “bastardising the European continent at its core”.[57] According to Hitler, “Jews were responsible for bringing Negroes into the Rhineland, with the ultimate idea of bastardising the white race which they hate and thus lowering its cultural and political level so that the Jew might dominate”.[59]

Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy on September 27, 1940, and was part of the Axis. No Japanese people were known to be deliberately imprisoned or killed, since they were considered “honorary Aryans”. In his political testament Hitler wrote:

I have never regarded the Chinese or the Japanese as being inferior to ourselves. […] and I admit freely that their past history is superior to our own. They have the right to be proud of their past, just as we have the right to be proud of the civilisation to which we belong.[60][unreliable source?]

South Africans, white people and Europeans of gentile ancestry from other continents were exempt, as were Latin Americans of “evident” Germanic or White “Aryan” (non-mestizo) ancestry.

Non-heterosexual people were also targets of the Holocaust, since male homosexuality was deemed incompatible with Nazism. The Nazis believed that gay men were weak, effeminate and unable to fight for the German nation; homosexuals were unlikely to produce children and increase the German birthrate. According to the Nazis, “inferior races” produced more children than Aryans, so anything which diminished Germany’s reproductive potential was considered a racial danger.[61] Homosexuality was also thought to be contagious by the Nazis.[62] By 1936, Heinrich Himmler was leading efforts to persecute gay men under existing and new anti-homosexual laws. More than one million gay Germans were targeted, of whom at least 100,000 were arrested and 50,000 were convicted and imprisoned.[63] An unknown number were institutionalized in state-run mental hospitals. Hundreds of European gay men living under Nazi occupation were chemically castrated by court order.[64] Although an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 gay men were imprisoned in concentration camps,[64][65] the number who died is uncertain. According to Austrian survivor Heinz Heger, gay men “suffered a higher mortality rate than other relatively small victim groups, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and political prisoners”.[66] Gay men in Nazi concentration camps were identified by a pink triangle on their shirts, along with men convicted of sexually assaulting children and bestiality.[67] Lesbians were not usually treated as harshly as gay men; although they were labelled “asocial”, they were rarely imprisoned on sexual-orientation charges. In the concentration camps, they usually wore a black triangle.[68] According to the USHMM website, “Nazi Germany did not seek to kill all homosexuals. Nevertheless, the Nazi state, through active persecution, attempted to terrorise German homosexuals into sexual and social conformity, leaving thousands dead and shattering the lives of many more.”[64]

Many homosexuals who were liberated from the concentration camps were persecuted in postwar Germany. Survivors were subject to prosecution under Paragraph 175 (which forbade “lewdness between men”), with time served in the concentration camps deducted from their sentences. This contrasted with the treatment of other Holocaust victims, who were compensated for the loss of family members and educational opportunities.[69]

Another large group of victims was composed of German and foreign civilian activists across the political spectrum who opposed the Nazi regime, captured resistance fighters (many of whom were executed duringor immediately aftertheir interrogation, particularly in occupied Poland and France) and, sometimes, their families. German political prisoners were a substantial proportion of the first inmates at Dachau (the prototypical Nazi concentration camp). The political People’s Court was notorious for the number of its death sentences.[70]

German Communists were among the first to be imprisoned in concentration camps.[71][72] Their ties to the USSR concerned Hitler, and the Nazi Party was intractably opposed to communism. Rumors of communist violence were spread by the Nazis to justify the Enabling Act of 1933, which gave Hitler his first dictatorial powers. Hermann Gring testified at Nuremberg that Nazi willingness to repress German Communists prompted Hindenburg and the old elite to cooperate with them. Hitler and the Nazis also despised German leftists because of their resistance to Nazi racism. Many German leftist leaders were Jews who had been prominent in the 1919 Spartacist uprising. Hitler referred to Marxism and “Bolshevism” as means for “the international Jew” to undermine “racial purity”, stir up class tension and mobilize trade unions against the government and business. When the Nazis occupied a territory, communists, socialists and anarchists were usually among the first to be repressed; this included summary executions. An example is Hitler’s Commissar Order, in which he demanded the summary execution of all captured Soviet troops who were political commissars.[73]

Thousands of people, primarily diplomats, of nationalities associated with the Allies (China and Mexico, for example) and Spanish Civil War refugees in occupied France were interned or executed. After Italy’s 1943 surrender, many Italian nationals (including partisans and Italian soldiers disarmed by the Germans) were sent to concentration camps.

The Nazis also targeted religious groups for political and ideological reasons. Thousands of Christian clergy were killed, including some with a Jewish background (Edith Stein, for example). The Nazis considered Jews a racial group; secular people and those of other religions who had Jewish ancestry were, therefore, Jews (a belief shared by some Jews).[74]

Historian Detlef Garbe, director of the Neuengamme Memorial in Hamburg, wrote about Jehovah’s Witnesses: “No other religious movement resisted the pressure to conform to National Socialism [Nazism] with comparable unanimity and steadfastness”.[75] Between 2,500 and 5,000 Witnesses died in the concentration camps;[18] unwilling to fight for any cause, they refused to serve in the army.[76]

The Catholic Church was persecuted under the Third Reich,[77] with the Nazi leadership hoping to gradually de-Christianize Germany.[78] Political Catholicism was a target of Hitler’s 1934 Night of the Long Knives.[79][80][81] German clergy, nuns and lay leaders were also targeted after the Nazi takeover, leading to thousands of arrests over the following years.[82] Priests who were part of the Catholic resistance were killed. Hitler’s invasion of Catholic Poland in 1939 began World War II, and the Nazis targeted clergy, monks and nuns in their campaign to destroy Polish culture.

In 1940, the Priest Barracks of Dachau Concentration Camp was established.[83] Of 2,720 clergy imprisoned at Dachau, the overwhelming majority (94.88 percent) were Catholic.[84] According to Ian Kershaw, about 400 German priests were sent to the camp. Although the Holy See concluded a 1933 concordat with Germany to protect Catholicism in the Third Reich, the Nazis frequently violated the pact in their Kirchenkampf (“struggle with the churches”).[86] They shut down the Catholic press, schools, political parties and youth groups in Germany amid murder and mass arrests.[87][88][89] In March 1937, Pope Pius XI issued his Mit brennender Sorge encyclical accusing the Nazi government of violating the 1933 concordat and sowing the “tares of suspicion, discord, hatred, calumny, of secret and open fundamental hostility to Christ and His Church”.[82]

The church was especially harshly treated in annexed regions, such as Austria. Viennese Gauleiter Odilo Globocnik confiscated property, closed Catholic organizations and sent many priests to Dachau. In the Czech lands, religious orders were suppressed, schools closed, religious instruction forbidden and priests sent to concentration camps.[90] Catholic bishops, clergy, nuns and laypeople protested and attacked Nazi policies in occupied territories; in 1942, the Dutch bishops protested the mistreatment of Jews.[91] When Archbishop Johannes de Jong refused to yield to Nazi threats, the Gestapo rounded up Catholic “Jews” and sent 92 to Auschwitz.[92] One Dutch Catholic abducted in this manner was nun Edith Stein, who died at Auschwitz along with Poland’s Maximilian Kolbe. Other Catholic victims of the Holocaust have been beatified, including Poland’s 108 Martyrs of World War II, the Martyrs of Nowogrdek, Dutch theologian Titus Brandsma and Germany’s Lbeck martyrs and Bernhard Lichtenberg.

According to Norman Davies, the Nazi terror was “much fiercer and more protracted in Poland than anywhere in Europe.”[93] Polish Catholic victims of the Third Reich numbered in the millions. Nazi ideology viewed ethnic Polesthe mainly Catholic ethnic majority of Polandas subhuman. After their 1939 invasion of Poland, the Nazis instituted a policy of murdering (or suppressing) the ethnic-Polish elite (including Catholic religious leaders).[94] The Nazi plan for Poland was the nation’s destruction, which necessitated attacking the Polish Church (particularly in areas annexed by Germany).[95] About the brief period of military control from September 1 to October 25, 1939, Davies wrote: “According to one source, 714 mass executions were carried out, and 6,376 people, mainly Catholics, were shot. Other put the death toll in one town alone at 20,000. It was a taste of things to come.”[96]

In Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany, severe persecution began. The Nazis systematically dismantled the church, arresting its leaders, exiling its clergy and closing its churches, monasteries and convents. Germanization of the annexed regions began in December 1939 with deportations of men, women and children.[97] According to Richard J. Evans, in the Reichsgau Wartheland “numerous clergy, monks, diocesan administrators and officials of the Church were arrested, deported to the General Government, taken off to a concentration camp in the Reich, or simply shot. Altogether some 1700 Polish priests ended up at Dachau: half of them did not survive their imprisonment.”[98] Among the clergy who died at Dachau were many of the 108 Polish Martyrs of World War II.[99]

Hans Frank said in 1940, “Poles may have only one mastera German. Two masters cannot exist side by side, and this is why all members of the Polish intelligentsia must be killed.”[94] Thomas J. Craughwell wrote that from 1939 to 1945, an estimated 3,000 members of the Polish clergy (18 percent) were murdered; of these, 1,992 died in concentration camps.[100] According to the Encyclopdia Britannica, 1,811 Polish priests died in Nazi concentration camps.[101] Among the persecuted resisters was Irena Sendlerowa, head of the children’s section of egota, who placed more than 2,500 Jewish children in convents, orphanages, schools, hospitals and homes. Captured by the Gestapo in 1943, Sendlerowa was crippled by torture.[102]

The Nazis attempted to deal with Protestant dissent with their ideology by creating the Reich Church, a union of 28 existing Protestant groups espousing Positive Christianity (a doctrine compatible with Nazism). Non-Aryan ministers were suspended and church members called themselves German Christians, with “the swastika on their chest and the cross in their heart.”[76][103] The Protestant opposition to the Nazis established the Confessing Church, a rival umbrella organization of independent German regional churches which was persecuted.[103]

The Bah’ Faith was formally banned in the Third Reich. Heinrich Himmler signed a 1937 order disbanding Bah’ institutions in Germany[104] because of their “international and pacifist tendencies”.[105] In 1939 and 1942, there were sweeping arrests of former members of the German Spiritual Assembly. May 1944 saw a public trial in Darmstadt; although Hermann Grossmann defended the faith, the Bah’s were steeply fined and their institutions continued to be disbanded.[106]

The Nazis claimed that high-degree Masons were willing members of “the Jewish conspiracy” and Freemasonry was a cause of Germany’s defeat in World War I. Reich Main Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt, or RSHA) records indicate the persecution of Freemasons during the Holocaust.[107] RSHA Amt VII (written records), overseen by Franz Six, was responsible for “ideological” tasks: the creation of antisemitic and anti-Masonic propaganda. Although the exact number is unknown, an estimated 80,000 to 200,000 Freemasons were killed as a result of Hitler’s December 1941 Nacht und Nebel directive.[15] Masonic concentration-camp inmates, considered political prisoners, wore an inverted red triangle.[108]

Small blue forget-me-nots were first used by the Zur Sonne Grand Lodge in 1926 as a Masonic emblem at its annual convention in Bremen. In 1938 a forget-me-not badge made by the factory which produced the Masonic badge was chosen for the annual Nazi Winterhilfswerk, the charity drive of the National Socialist People’s Welfare (the party’s welfare branch). The coincidence enabled Freemasons to wear the forget-me-not badge as a secret sign of Masonic membership.[109][110][111]

After the war, the forget-me-not was again used as a Masonic emblem at the first annual United Grand Lodges of Germany convention in 1948.[112] The badge is worn on the lapels of Masons worldwide in remembrance of those who have suffered in the name of Freemasonry, particularly during the Nazi era.[112]

Speakers of Esperanto, an international auxiliary language, were viewed with suspicion by the Nazis. Hitler considered it a language of the “Jewish conspiracy” because its creator, L. L. Zamenhof, was Jewish. Because of this, people who spoke Esperanto were sent to Death camps.[113]

The SS and police conducted mass actions against civilians with alleged links to resistance movements, their families, and villages or city districts. Notorious killings occurred in Lidice, Khatyn, Sant’Anna and Oradour-sur-Glane, and a district of Warsaw was obliterated. In occupied Poland, Nazi Germany imposed the death penalty on those found sheltering (or aiding) Jews. “Social deviants”prostitutes, vagrants, vegans, alcoholics, drug addicts, open dissidents, pacifists, draft resisters and common criminalswere also imprisoned in concentration camps. The common criminals frequently became Kapos, inmate guards of fellow prisoners.

Some Germans and Austrians who lived abroad for much of their lives were considered to have too much exposure to foreign ideas, and they were sent to concentration camps. These prisoners, known as “emigrants”, each wore a blue triangle.[114][bettersourceneeded]

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White House nixed Holocaust statement naming Jews

President Donald Trumps White House reportedly blocked the statement’s release. | Getty

The State Department wrote a message that recognized Jewish victims, but the White House used its own that didnt.

By JOSH DAWSEY, ISAAC ARNSDORF, NAHAL TOOSI and MICHAEL CROWLEY

02/02/2017 07:33 PM EST

The State Department drafted its own statement last month marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day that explicitly included a mention of Jewish victims, according to people familiar with the matter, but President Donald Trumps White House blocked its release.

The existence of the draft statement adds another dimension to the controversy around the White Houses own statement that was released on Friday and set off a furor because it excluded any mention of Jews. The White House has stood by the statement, defending it as an inclusive message that was not intended to marginalize Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

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According to three people familiar with the process, the State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy on Holocaust Issues prepared its own statement for International Holocaust Remembrance Day that, like previous statements, commemorated Jewish victims.

Instead, the White Houses own statement drew widespread criticism for overlooking the Jews’ suffering, and was cheered by neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer.

A White House official said there was no ill intent, adding that the White House didnt see States draft until after issuing its own statement and told State not to release its version because it came after 7 p.m. And the official said the White House didn’t ask the State Department to craft their own statement.

Officials at the State Department, however, believed the statement was being drafted for the White House to use, people familiar with the matter said.

An official with the Office of the Special Envoy on Holocaust Issues referred a request for comment to the State Department’s spokeswoman, who referred the request to the White House.

The White Houses explanations for omitting Jews in its statement havent quelled the controversy and in some cases made it worse. Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks originally defended the omission to CNN saying, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said he didnt regret the wording.

“Everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust, including obviously all of the Jewish people affected and the miserable genocide that occurred is something that we consider to be extraordinarily sad and something that can never be forgotten, Priebus said on NBCs Meet the Press.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday accused critics of nitpicking over the statement. He said it was written with the help of an individual who is both Jewish and the descendent of Holocaust survivors. A source with knowledge of the situation told POLITICO that person was Trump aide Boris Epshteyn.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) likened Trumps statement to Holocaust denial. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum implicitly rebuked the White House on Monday, saying, Millions of other innocent civilians were persecuted and murdered by the Nazis, but the elimination of Jews was central to Nazi policy.

The Republican Jewish Coalition and the Zionist Organization of America, both funded by influential donor Sheldon Adelson, each also scolded the White House for its Holocaust message.

“The lack of a direct statement about the suffering of the Jewish people during the Holocaust was an unfortunate omission. History unambiguously shows the purpose of the Nazi’s final solution was the extermination of the Jews of Europe, the Republican Jewish Coalitions Fred Brown said in the statement. We hope, going forward, he conveys those feelings when speaking about the Holocaust.”

Especially as a child of Holocaust survivors, I and ZOA are compelled to express our chagrin and deep pain at President Trump, in his Holocaust Remembrance Day Message, omitting any mention of anti-Semitism and the six million Jews who were targeted and murdered by the German Nazi regime and others, the ZOAs Mort Klein said.

The United Nations designated Jan. 27 International Holocaust Remembrance Day to mark the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

In 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry issued an extensive statement on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau that remembered “the six million Jews and the millions more murdered by the Nazis including Poles, Roma, LGBT people, persons with disabilities. Two years earlier, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement that did not explicitly name Jews but forcefully warned against Holocaust denial.

“It is our obligation to stay true to our values and maintain constant vigilance, she said. “We must never forget that when the checks and balances in government and society that protect fundamental freedoms are lost, the result can be massive atrocities. The United States is committed to a world in which the lessons of the Holocaust are taught and that all human rights are valued so that this will never happen again.

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Holocaust | World | The Guardian

Letters:Dr David Alderson and 42 others want the University of Manchester to apologise to the students whose campaign it has maligned, and to the censored speaker whom it has defamed. MeanwhileProf Avi Shlaim and six other signatories object to Moshe Machovers expulsion from the Labour party

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Bearing Witness Series – The Breman Museum

The Breman Museum is proud to offer free admission to the 2017 series, Bearing Witness through a generous grant from the Sara Giles Moore Foundation. In the 2017 season, The Breman Museum will be increasing the season from six to eight programs.

The speakers, all Atlanta residents, recall their experiences during the Holocaust. Their words rise above hatred and retribution to speak about the strength and will that enabled them to survive and go on to build new lives.

“This really is what the series is about — the 4Rs: resilience, resourcefulness, resistance and rescue that people who lived through the Holocaust needed to survive.”It’s one thing to read about the Holocaust in a book or see a movie. It’s a completely different experience to hear someone tell you ‘this is what happened to me.’ It connects you with history. It’s mesmerizing, and becoming rarer by the day.”

“We would like audiences to take away two things from our Bearing Witness programs. First, to take warning that the Holocaust was perpetrated by a country of culture and refinement in the heart of civilized Europe; and second, to marvel at the indomitable spirit of Holocaust survivors who have overcome unprecedented evil with strength, courage and enduring hope. ” Liliane K. Baxter, Ph.D. Director of The Weinberg Center for Holocaust Education

The Breman’s Bearing Witness program is in its sixth year and has been building a loyal audience, according to Aaron Berger, executive director of The Breman.”A barrier for many to hear this live testimony from the Holocaust has been the price of admission,” he said. A grant from the Sara Giles Moore Foundation allows everyone to hear these stories first-hand, and it’s free. We hope students and young professionals will take advantage of this offering, because it is vitally important their generation continues to share the stories once our witness generation is gone.”

Jan. 8 HELEN WEINGARTEN (ROMANIA) Helen was one of seven children. She entered Auschwitz as one of five sisters, but only four survived. Helen narrowly escaped death when the 500 women she was with were redirected from the entrance to the gas chambers and sent to Germany for slave labor.

Feb 19 BENJAMIN HIRSCH (GERMANY)Ben was six years old when he witnessed the ravages of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, in his home town of Frankfurt am Main. Soon thereafter, he and four of his siblings were sent on a Kindertransport to France and then the United States and Atlanta.

March 5 MURRAY LYNN (HUNGARY) Murray Lynn was only 14 years old when he, his mother and three brothers were sent by cattle train to Auschwitz-Birkenau. His mother and brothers were murdered upon their arrival, but Murray survived despite unbearable conditions, and a death march that lasted many weeks. As an orphaned teenager, he was sent to England, Ireland and ultimately America, where he began a new life.

April 23 YOM HASHOAH

May 7 EUGEN SCHOENFELD, PH.D. (CZECHOSLOVAKIA) Brutalized by Nazis, beaten and humiliated, Eugen survived the Holocaust in the notorious camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Dachau. Yet after the war, when given the chance to kill one of the most brutal guards, he refused. What powers led Eugen to give up hostility to his enemies? The former Chair of the Department of Sociology at Georgia State University, Eugen will reflect on this question and other aspects of rebuilding life from the brink of destruction.

Sept 10 MIRIAM FISHKIN (POLAND) When she was ten, Miriam and her family were forced from their home by the Russian secret police who controlled the region, and sent to Siberia. There, despite the relentless hard work and bitterly cold weather, she survived the war.

Oct 15 HENRY (HANK) LEWIN (SECOND GENERATION LITHUANIA) Hank tells the story of his parents, Nora and Joel Lewin who were married in Kovno, Lithuania, and endured separation and several concentration camps to survive the Holocaust. He remembers Gideon, a brother he never knew who was killed in Auschwitz at the age of two.

Nov 12 BEBE FOREHAND (BELGIUM) Like Anne Frank, Bebe Forehand was hidden away from the Nazis in an attic. A family friend brought food, books and materials to while away the hours while they were in hiding. As a result, her mother, father, grandfather and brother were all able to survive the Holocaust.

Dec 10 ANDRE KESSLER (ROMANIA) Andre and his mother were saved by the kind-hearted superintendent of the building within which they were hiding who risked his life bringing them food and concealing their presence from the authorities. After the Holocaust, they moved to the United States Andre was drafted by the NBA to play for the Philadelphia Warriors where he had the privilege of rooming with Wilt Chamberlain.

Guided tours of our Holocaust Gallery will be given at 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM Speakers will tell their remarkable Holocaust stories beginning at 2:00 PM.

Free Parking is available at the museum (with free overflow parking available at The John Marshal Law School on 18th between W. Peachtree and Spring) and seating is first-come, first-served, so be sure to arrive early in order to secure your spot!

Free admission to the 2017 Bearing Witness Series is provided through a generous gift fromThe Sara Giles Moore Foundation.

This event is presented by theWeinberg Center for Holocaust Educationat The Breman Museum and our community partnerEternal-Life Hemshech.

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91 Important Facts about the Holocaust | Fact Retriever

Over 11 million people were murdered during the Holocaust, including 6 million Jews

Over 1.1 million prisoners died at Auschwitz, of which 90 percent of those murdered were Jewish

The Holocaust would not have been without mass transportation

It took between 3-15 minutes to kill everyone in the gas chamber

Thousands of concentration camp prisoners died within their first week of freedom from malnutrition and disease

The Nazi-era witnessed the direct and indirect theft of over $150 billion of tangible assets of victims of Nazi persecution

When Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek camps, they found hundreds of thousands of shoes, but very few living prisoners

Soldiers executed women in mass shooting operations at hundreds of locations

The personification of evil, Heinrich Himmler was one of the primary people responsible for the Holocaust

IBM used its punch card technology and its information technology to systematize and accelerate Hitlers anti-Jewish program

Many homosexual Holocaust survivors were re-imprisoned and remained deviants in the eyes of post-war society

Main Concentration Camps and Associated Deaths[2]

Important Dates[2][10]

References

1Altman, Linda Jacobs. Impact of the Holocaust. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishing, Inc, 2004.

2Byers, Ann. The Holocaust Camps. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishing, Inc, 1998.

3Hayes, Peter. Lessons and Legacies: Memory, Memorialization, and Denial. Vol III. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Publishing Press, 1999.

4Ike and the Death Camps. Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission. 2004. Accessed: May 25, 2011.

5Laqueur, Walter, ed. The Holocaust Encyclopedia. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001.

6Levy, Pat. The Holocaust Causes. Austin, TX: Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers, 2001.

7Muselman. Jewish Virtual Library. 2010. Accessed: June 14, 2011.

8Muslims Honor Jewish Holocaust Victims at Auschwitz. Reuters. February 1, 2011. Accessed: May 25, 2011.

9Willoughby, Susan.The Holocaust. Chicago, IL: Heinemann Library, 2001.

10Wood, Angela Gluck.Holocaust: The Events and Their Impact on Real People. New York, NY: DK Publishing, Inc, 2007.

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Introduction to the Holocaust

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jews, deemed “inferior,” were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community.

During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived “racial inferiority”: Roma (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and homosexuals.

WHAT WAS THE HOLOCAUST? In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe stood at over nine million. Most European Jews lived in countries that Nazi Germany would occupy or influence during World War II. By 1945, the Germans and their collaborators killed nearly two out of every three European Jews as part of the “Final Solution,” the Nazi policy to murder the Jews of Europe.

Although Jews, whom the Nazis deemed a priority danger to Germany, were the primary victims of Nazi racism, other victims included some 200,000 Roma (Gypsies). At least 200,000 mentally or physically disabled patients, mainly Germans, living in institutional settings, were murdered in the so-called Euthanasia Program.

As Nazi tyranny spread across Europe, the Germans and their collaborators persecuted and murdered millions of other people. Between two and three million Soviet prisoners of war were murdered or died of starvation, disease, neglect, or maltreatment. The Germans targeted the non-Jewish Polish intelligentsia for killing, and deported millions of Polish and Soviet civilians for forced labor in Germany or in occupied Poland, where these individuals worked and often died under deplorable conditions.

From the earliest years of the Nazi regime, German authorities persecuted homosexuals and others whose behavior did not match prescribed social norms. German police officials targeted thousands of political opponents (including Communists, Socialists, and trade unionists) and religious dissidents (such as Jehovah’s Witnesses). Many of these individuals died as a result of incarceration and maltreatment.

ADMINISTRATION OF THE “FINAL SOLUTION” In the early years of the Nazi regime, the National Socialist government established concentration camps to detain real and imagined political and ideological opponents. Increasingly in the years before the outbreak of war, SS and police officials incarcerated Jews, Roma, and other victims of ethnic and racial hatred in these camps.

To concentrate and monitor the Jewish population as well as to facilitate later deportation of the Jews, the Germans and their collaborators created ghettos, transit camps, and forced-labor camps for Jews during the war years. The German authorities also established numerous forced-labor camps, both in the so-called Greater German Reich and in German-occupied territory, for non-Jews whose labor the Germans sought to exploit.

Following the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units) and, later, militarized battalions of Order Police officials, moved behind German lines to carry out mass-murder operations against Jews, Roma, and Soviet state and Communist Party officials. German SS and police units, supported by units of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS, murdered more than a million Jewish men, women, and children, and hundreds of thousands of others.

Between 1941 and 1944, Nazi German authorities deported millions of Jews from Germany, from occupied territories, and from the countries of many of its Axis allies to ghettos and to killing centers, often called extermination camps, where they were murdered in specially developed gassing facilities.

THE END OF THE HOLOCAUST In the final months of the war, SS guards moved camp inmates by train or on forced marches, often called death marches, in an attempt to prevent the Allied liberation of large numbers of prisoners. As Allied forces moved across Europe in a series of offensives against Germany, they began to encounter and liberate concentration camp prisoners, as well as prisoners en route by forced march from one camp to another. The marches continued until May 7, 1945, the day the German armed forces surrendered unconditionally to the Allies.

For the western Allies, World War II officially ended in Europe on the next day, May 8 (V-E Day), while Soviet forces announced their Victory Day on May 9, 1945.

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, many of the survivors found shelter in displaced persons (DP) camps administered by the Allied powers. Between 1948 and 1951, almost 700,000 Jews emigrated to Israel, including 136,000 Jewish displaced persons from Europe. Other Jewish DPs emigrated to the United States and other nations. The last DP camp closed in 1957.

The crimes committed during the Holocaust devastated most European Jewish communities and eliminated hundreds of Jewish communities in occupied eastern Europe entirely.

Further Reading

Bergen, Doris. War & Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003

Dawidowicz, Lucy S. The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1975.

Gilbert, Martin. The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1986.

Gutman, Israel, editor. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1990.

Hilberg, Raul. The Destruction of the European Jews. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003.

Yahil, Leni. The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, 1932-1945. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

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Polands Senate Approves Holocaust Law – voanews.com

WASHINGTON Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki says Poland will “never limit the debate” on the Holocaust, saying the country owes it to the victims. Morawiecki gave a televised address Thursday just after the Senate passed a controversial law making it a crime to call the Nazi genocide of Jews a Polish crime and Nazi death camps Polish death camps, even though some of the most brutal Nazi atrocities took place in Poland. The law awaits President Andrzej Duda’s signature. WATCH: Poland’s Holocaust Bill Causes Diplomatic Spat With Israel “Our government condemns all the crimes of the Second World War committed on Polish soil regardless of the nationalities of their perpetrators and to which nation the victims belonged,” the prime minister said. “Fighting against false claims about the participation of the Polish state in the German war machine, Poland stands on the side of the truth.” Poland regards itself as having been a victim of Nazi terror. Morawiecki pointed out that six million Poles were killed during World War II, three million of them Jews. Morawiecki’s televised speech was also aimed at easing concerns of the United States and cooling down the outrage in Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will not tolerate “distortion of the truth, rewriting history, and denial of the Holocaust.” Some experts fear the new Polish law could also mean jail for Holocaust survivors when talking about their ordeals. Duda, the Polish president, said this week there was no institutional participation by Poland in the Holocaust, but it did recognize criminal actions toward Jews by some individual Poles. “There were wicked people who sold their neighbors for money. But it was not the Polish nation, it was not an organized action,” Duda said. He pointed out that some Poles sacrificed their own lives to save Jews from the Nazis, and that the Polish underground and government in exile resisted efforts to wipe out European Jewry. Poland was home to one of the worlds most thriving Jewish populations before Nazi Germany invaded in 1939. However, some historians say many Poles collaborated with the Nazis in persecuting Jews. Holocaust survivors who returned to Poland after the war found themselves victims of further anti-Semitism.

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Holocaust Remembrance and the Rise of Hate | Israel …

Every year on January 27 is Holocaust Remembrance Day, when people from across the globe commemorate the tragedy which took place during World War II. The notable day is intended to honor the victims who suffered through and because of the Holocaust, remembering the widespread genocide which occurred with the unfortunate combination of hatred, ignorance and silence. In todays world, it seems we need to do much more than simply remember. With thousands of Holocaust survivors remaining and aging, it is crucial to continue educating and discussing in the future, especially amidst the exponential rise of antisemitism currently in spring across the globe. The World Jewish Congress launched a campaign which spans across six continents, with the aim of inspiring six million people to use the hashtag #WeRemember and spread the global word to remember the Holocaust. Robert Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress says, In todays digital age, social media is the only tool that can allow us to connect the world together with this message. While the #WeRemember social media campaign has created a large trend of honoring Holocaust Remembrance Day, it should still be noted that 2017 showed record high hatred against Jews on a global scale. The Anti-Defamation League reported a 67% rise in anti-Semitic acts in America, Britain saw a 78% increase in physical violence alone, and there was a stark increase of anti-Semitic incidents since November 2016 after Trump stepped into the presidency, and began normalizing hatred and inciting violence in the mainstream media. Today social media enables Neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic groups to form, train, recruit and amplify their malicious messages. From physical violence to vandalism to cold blooded murder, hate crimes are rising across America and Europe, particularly in Germany, Ukraine, France and Britain. The worldwide Jewish bullying continues even with global institutions like the UN and UNESCO, which are allegedly dedicated to unification, however, have expanded to both anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment. While we may never experience a Holocaust similar to that which took place across Germany in the 1930s, hatred, violence, brainwashing and murder is on the rise and before history is allowed to repeat itself, one of the greatest lessons we can all learn is that silence is certainly not the answer.

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Controversial Holocaust bill is passed in Poland | Euronews

The Polish senate has approved a law that makes it illegal to suggest that Poland played any part in the Nazi Holocaust, which took place on its soil during World War Two. The law would make the term “Polish death camps” punishable by up to three years in jail. The Auschwitz and Treblinka concentration camps were built on Polish soil. The bill has already caused a rift with Israel. On Sunday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Poland of attempting to change history. In a statement he said: “I strongly oppose it. One cannot change history and the Holocaust cannot be denied.” Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, called the legislation “problematic”. “This law is liable to blur historical truths due to limitations it places on expressions regarding the complicity of segments of the Polish population in crimes against Jews committed by its own people, either directly or indirectly, on Polish soil during the Holocaust,” the center said in a statement. While the Yad Vashem said the term “Polish death camps” is “erroneous”, it emphasised that historical misrepresentations and statements like that should not be criminalised, adding the law “jeopardizes the free and open discussion of the part of the Polish people in the persecution of the Jews at the time.” Poland’s deputy justice minister said: “Talking about the past and analysing this past, even the darkest, shameful part of the Polish past is not threatened in any way” The role of Poland in the atrocities has always been a tough topic for the country, which after being invaded by Nazi Germany saw 90% of its Jewish population killed. The move to absolve Poles and the Polish state of that responsibility now has momentum, with the bill passing in parliament with 57 votes to 23.

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Holocaust victims – Wikipedia

Holocaust victims were people who were targeted by the government of Nazi Germany for various discriminatory practices due to their ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, or sexual orientation. These institutionalized practices came to be called The Holocaust, and they began with legalized social discrimination against specific groups, and involuntary hospitalization, euthanasia, and forced sterilization of those considered physically or mentally unfit for society. These practices escalated during World War II to include non-judicial incarceration, confiscation of property, forced labor, sexual slavery, medical experimentation, and death through overwork, undernourishment, and execution through a variety of methods, with the genocide of different groups as the primary goal. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the country’s official memorial to the Holocaust, “The Holocaust was the murder of six million Jews and millions of others by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II.”[1] Of those murdered for being Jewish, more than half were Ashkenazi Polish Jews.[2] While the term Holocaust generally refers to the systematic mass murder of the Jewish people in Nazi-occupied Europe, the Nazis also murdered a large number of non-Jewish people who were considered subhuman (Untermenschen) or undesirable. Some victims belonged to several categories targeted for extermination, e.g. an assimilated Jew who was a member of a communist party or someone of Jewish ancestry who identified as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Non-Jewish Victims of Nazism included Slavs (e.g. Russians, Poles, Ukrainians and Serbs), Romanis (gypsies), French, Belgians, Dutch, Greeks, Italians (after 1943), LGBT people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Pansexual, etc);[a] the mentally or physically disabled, mentally ill;[b] Soviet POWs, Roman Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhists, Muslims, [c] Spanish Republicans, Freemasons,[d] people of color (especially the Afro-German Mischlinge, called “Rhineland Bastards” by Hitler and the Nazi regime); leftists, communists, trade unionists, capitalists, social democrats, socialists, anarchists, and every other minority or dissident not considered Aryan (Herrenvolk, or part of the “master race”) as well as those who disagreed with the Nazi regime.[e][20] Taking into account all of the victims of persecution, the Nazis systematically killed an estimated six million Jews and an additional 11 million people during the war. Donald Niewyk suggests that the broadest definition, including Soviet civilian deaths, would produce a death toll of 17 million.[21] Despite widely varying treatment (some groups were actively targeted for genocide, while others were not), some died in concentration camps such as Dachau and others from various forms of Nazi brutality. According to extensive documentation (written and photographic) left by the Nazis, eyewitness testimony by survivors, perpetrators and bystanders and records of the occupied countries, most perished in death camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau. The military campaign to remove certain classes of persons (above all, Jews) from Germany and other German-held territories during World War II, often with extreme brutality, is known as the Holocaust. It was carried out primarily by German forces and collaborators, German and non-German. Early in the war, millions of Jews were concentrated in urban ghettos. In 1941 Jews were massacred, and by December Hitler had decided to exterminate all Jews living in Europe at that time. The European Jewish population was reduced from 9,740,000 to 3,642,000; the world’s Jewish population was reduced by one-third, from roughly 16.6 million in 1939 to about 11 million in 1946.[22] The extermination of jews had been priority to Nazi’s regardless of the consequences of it. [23] In January 1942, during the Wannsee Conference, several Nazi leaders discussed the details of the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” (Endlsung der Judenfrage) and German State Secretary Josef Bhler urged conference chairman Reinhard Heydrich to proceed with the Final Solution in the General Government. Jewish populations were systematically deported from the ghettos and the occupied territories to the seven camps designated as Vernichtungslager (extermination camps): Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Maly Trostenets, Sobibr and Treblinka. In 1978 Sebastian Haffner wrote that in December 1941 Hitler began to accept the failure of his primary goal (to dominate Europe) after his declaration of war against the United States, and his withdrawal was compensated for by his secondary goal: the extermination of the Jews.[24] As the Nazi war machine faltered during the war’s final years, military resources such as fuel, transport, munitions, soldiers and industrial resources were still diverted from the fronts to the death camps. Poland, home of the world’s largest Jewish community before the war, lost 3,300,000 (90percent) of its Jewish population.[25] Although the Germans rigorously imposed the death penalty for hiding Jews,[26][27][28] some Poles hid Jews (saving their lives) despite the risk to themselves and their families.[29] Although reports of the Holocaust had reached Western leaders, public awareness in the United States and other democracies of the mass murder of Jews in Poland was low at the time; the first references in The New York Times, in 1942, were unconfirmed reports rather than front-page news. Greece, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Lithuania, Bohemia, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Latvia lost over 70 percent of their Jewish population; in Belgium, Romania, Luxembourg, Norway, and Estonia the figure was about 50 percent. Over one-third of the Soviet Union’s Jews were killed; France lost about 25 percent of its Jewish population, Italy between 15 and 20%. Denmark evacuated nearly all its Jews to nearby, neutral Sweden; the Danish resistance movement, with the assistance of many Danish citizens, evacuated 7,220 of the country’s 7,800 Jews by sea to Sweden[30] in vessels ranging from fishing boats to private yachts. The rescue allowed the vast majority of Denmark’s Jewish population to avoid capture by the Nazis.[30] Jews outside Europe under Axis occupation were also affected by the Holocaust in Italian Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Iraq, Japan, and China. Although Jews are an ethnoreligious group, they were defined by the Nazis on purely racial grounds. The Nazi Party viewed the Jewish religion as irrelevant, persecuting Jews in accordance with antisemitic stereotypes of an alleged biologically determined heritage. Defining Jews as the chief enemy, Nazi racial ideology was also used to persecute other minorities.[31] The Holocaust did not only affect Jews. It affected a lot of minority groups including ‘gypsies’ or travellers, and homosexuals. The identity of all citizens is changed by a sharp relief by the Holocaust.[32] If the ethnic repression by others is not checked, it could lead to another genocide like the Holocaust.[33] The Nazi genocide of the Romani people was ignored by scholars until the 1980s, and opinions continue to differ on its details. According to historians Donald Niewyk and Francis Nicosia, the genocide of the Romani began later than that of the Jews and a smaller percentage was killed.[34] Hitler’s genocidal campaign against Europe’s Romani population involved the application of Nazi “racial hygiene” (selective breeding applied to humans). Although despite discriminatory measures some Romani (including some of Germany’s Sinti and Lalleri) were spared deportation and death, the remaining Romani groups suffered a fate similar to that of the Jews. Romani were deported to the Jewish ghettos, shot by SS Einsatzgruppen in their villages, or deported and gassed in Auschwitz-Birkenau and Treblinka. Estimates of the Romani death toll in World War II range from 220,000 to 1,500,000.[35] The Romani genocide was formally recognized by West Germany in 1982 and by Poland in 2011.[36] The Slavs were one of the most widely persecuted groups during the war, with many Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, Serbs and others killed by the Nazis. According to British historian Ian Kershaw, the Nazis’ genocide and brutality was their way of ensuring Lebensraum (“living space”) for those who met Hitler’s narrow racial requirements; this necessitated the elimination of Bolsheviks and Slavs: The Nazi revolution was broader than just the Holocaust. Its second goal was to eliminate Slavs from Central and Eastern Europe and to create a Lebensraum for Aryans… As Bartov (The Eastern Front; Hitler’s Army) shows, it barbarised the German armies on the eastern front. Most of their three million men, from generals to ordinary soldiers, helped exterminate captured Slav soldiers and civilians. This was sometimes cold and deliberate murder of individuals (as with Jews), sometimes generalised brutality and neglect… German soldiers’ letters and memoirs reveal their terrible reasoning: Slavs were ‘the Asiatic-Bolshevik’ horde, an inferior but threatening race. Only a minority of officers and men were Nazi members.[37] The Nazi occupation of Poland was among the most brutal of the war, resulting in the death of more than 3 million ethnic Poles and about 3 million Polish Jews. The six million Jewish, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Poles represented nearly 17 percent of the country’s population.[38] Poles were one of Hitler’s first extermination targets, as he outlined in an August 22, 1939 speech to Wehrmacht commanders before the invasion. Intelligentsia, socially prominent and influential people were primarily targeted, although ethnic Poles and other Slavic groups were also killed en masse. Hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholic and Orthodox Poles were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau and other concentration camps, and the intelligentsia were the first targets of the Einsatzgruppen death squads.[39] The anti-Polish campaign culminated in the near-complete destruction of Warsaw, ordered by Hitler and Himmler in 1944. The original assumptions of Generalplan Ost were based on plans to exterminate around 85% (over 20 million) of ethnically Polish citizens of Poland, with the remaining 15% to be used as slaves.[40] Between 1941 and 1945, approximately three million Ukrainian and other gentiles were killed as part of Nazi extermination policies in present-day Ukraine.[41][42] More Ukrainians were killed fighting the Wehrmacht in the Red Army than American, British and French soldiers combined.[43] Original Nazi plans called for the extermination of 65 percent of the nation’s 23.2million Ukrainians,[44][45] with the survivors treated as slaves.[46] Over two million Ukrainians were deported to Germany as slave labor.[47] The ten-year plan would have exterminated, expelled, Germanized or enslaved most (or all) Ukrainians. During Operation Barbarossa (the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union), millions of Red Army prisoners of war were summarily executed in the field by German armies (the Waffen SS in particular), died under inhumane conditions in German prisoner of war camps and death marches or shipped to concentration camps for execution. The Germans killed an estimated 2.8 million Soviet POWs by starvation, exposure and execution over an eight-month period in 194142.[48] According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, by the winter of 1941 “starvation and disease resulted in mass death of unimaginable proportions”. As many as 500,000 people were killed in the concentration camps.[49] Soviet civilian populations in the occupied areas were severely persecuted and endured the treacherous conditions of the Eastern Front, which spawned atrocities such as the siege of Leningrad (when more than 1.2 million civilians died). Thousands of peasant villages across Russia, Belarus and Ukraine were annihilated by German troops. During the occupation the Leningrad, Pskov and Novgorod region lost about a quarter of its population. An estimated one-quarter of Soviet civilian deaths at the hands of the Nazis and their allies (five million Russians, three million Ukrainians and 1.5 million Belarusians) were racially motivated.[50] In 1995 the Russian Academy of Sciences reported that civilian deaths in the occupied USSR, including Jews, at the hands of the Germans totaled 13.7 million dead (20 percent of the population of 68 million). The figure includes 7.4 million victims of Nazi genocide and reprisals; 2.2 million deaths of persons deported to Germany as forced labour, and 4.1 million famine and disease deaths. An estimated three million people also died of starvation in unoccupied territory. The losses occurred within the 19461991 borders of the USSR, and include territories annexed in 193940.[51] The deaths of 8.2 million Soviet civilians, including Jews, were documented by the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission.[52] Most Spanish Republicans were captured after France was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1940; some 7,000 died in concentration camps, especially Mauthausen-Gusen, during the Holocaust. According to their eugenics policy, the Nazis believed that the disabled were a burden to society because they needed care and were considered an affront to their notion of a society composed of a perfect race. About 375,000 people were sterilized against their will due to their disabilities.[53] Those with disabilities were among the first to be killed by the Nazis; according to the U.S.Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the T-4 Program (established in 1939) was the model for future Nazi exterminations and it set a precedent for the genocide of what they described as the Jewish race.[54] The program attempted to maintain the “purity” of the Aryan race by systematically killing children and adults with physical deformities or suffering from mental illness, using gas chambers for the first time. Although Hitler formally halted the program in late August 1941, the killings secretly continued until the end of the war and an estimated 275,000 people with congenital disabilities died.[55] The Nazis promoted xenophobia and racism against all “non-Aryan” races. African (black sub-Saharan or North African) and Asian (East and South Asian) residents of Germany and black prisoners of war, such as French colonial troops and African Americans, were also victims of Nazi racial policy.[56] When the Nazis came to power hundreds of African-German children, the offspring of German mothers and African soldiers brought in during the French occupation, lived in the Rhineland.[57] In Mein Kampf, Hitler described the children of marriages to African occupation troops as a contamination of the white race “by Negro blood on the Rhine in the heart of Europe”[58] who were “bastardising the European continent at its core”.[57] According to Hitler, “Jews were responsible for bringing Negroes into the Rhineland, with the ultimate idea of bastardising the white race which they hate and thus lowering its cultural and political level so that the Jew might dominate”.[59] Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy on September 27, 1940, and was part of the Axis. No Japanese people were known to be deliberately imprisoned or killed, since they were considered “honorary Aryans”. In his political testament Hitler wrote: I have never regarded the Chinese or the Japanese as being inferior to ourselves. and I admit freely that their past history is superior to our own. They have the right to be proud of their past, just as we have the right to be proud of the civilisation to which we belong.[60][unreliable source?] South Africans, white people and Europeans of gentile ancestry from other continents were exempt, as were Latin Americans of “evident” Germanic or White “Aryan” (non-mestizo) ancestry. Non-heterosexual people were also targets of the Holocaust, since male homosexuality was deemed incompatible with Nazism. The Nazis believed that gay men were weak, effeminate and unable to fight for the German nation; homosexuals were unlikely to produce children and increase the German birthrate. According to the Nazis, “inferior races” produced more children than Aryans, so anything which diminished Germany’s reproductive potential was considered a racial danger.[61] Homosexuality was also thought to be contagious by the Nazis.[62] By 1936, Heinrich Himmler was leading efforts to persecute gay men under existing and new anti-homosexual laws. More than one million gay Germans were targeted, of whom at least 100,000 were arrested and 50,000 were convicted and imprisoned.[63] An unknown number were institutionalized in state-run mental hospitals. Hundreds of European gay men living under Nazi occupation were chemically castrated by court order.[64] Although an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 gay men were imprisoned in concentration camps,[64][65] the number who died is uncertain. According to Austrian survivor Heinz Heger, gay men “suffered a higher mortality rate than other relatively small victim groups, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and political prisoners”.[66] Gay men in Nazi concentration camps were identified by a pink triangle on their shirts, along with men convicted of sexually assaulting children and bestiality.[67] Lesbians were not usually treated as harshly as gay men; although they were labelled “asocial”, they were rarely imprisoned on sexual-orientation charges. In the concentration camps, they usually wore a black triangle.[68] According to the USHMM website, “Nazi Germany did not seek to kill all homosexuals. Nevertheless, the Nazi state, through active persecution, attempted to terrorise German homosexuals into sexual and social conformity, leaving thousands dead and shattering the lives of many more.”[64] Many homosexuals who were liberated from the concentration camps were persecuted in postwar Germany. Survivors were subject to prosecution under Paragraph 175 (which forbade “lewdness between men”), with time served in the concentration camps deducted from their sentences. This contrasted with the treatment of other Holocaust victims, who were compensated for the loss of family members and educational opportunities.[69] Another large group of victims was composed of German and foreign civilian activists across the political spectrum who opposed the Nazi regime, captured resistance fighters (many of whom were executed duringor immediately aftertheir interrogation, particularly in occupied Poland and France) and, sometimes, their families. German political prisoners were a substantial proportion of the first inmates at Dachau (the prototypical Nazi concentration camp). The political People’s Court was notorious for the number of its death sentences.[70] German Communists were among the first to be imprisoned in concentration camps.[71][72] Their ties to the USSR concerned Hitler, and the Nazi Party was intractably opposed to communism. Rumors of communist violence were spread by the Nazis to justify the Enabling Act of 1933, which gave Hitler his first dictatorial powers. Hermann Gring testified at Nuremberg that Nazi willingness to repress German Communists prompted Hindenburg and the old elite to cooperate with them. Hitler and the Nazis also despised German leftists because of their resistance to Nazi racism. Many German leftist leaders were Jews who had been prominent in the 1919 Spartacist uprising. Hitler referred to Marxism and “Bolshevism” as means for “the international Jew” to undermine “racial purity”, stir up class tension and mobilize trade unions against the government and business. When the Nazis occupied a territory, communists, socialists and anarchists were usually among the first to be repressed; this included summary executions. An example is Hitler’s Commissar Order, in which he demanded the summary execution of all captured Soviet troops who were political commissars.[73] Thousands of people, primarily diplomats, of nationalities associated with the Allies (China and Mexico, for example) and Spanish Civil War refugees in occupied France were interned or executed. After Italy’s 1943 surrender, many Italian nationals (including partisans and Italian soldiers disarmed by the Germans) were sent to concentration camps. The Nazis also targeted religious groups for political and ideological reasons. Thousands of Christian clergy were killed, including some with a Jewish background (Edith Stein, for example). The Nazis considered Jews a racial group; secular people and those of other religions who had Jewish ancestry were, therefore, Jews (a belief shared by some Jews).[74] Historian Detlef Garbe, director of the Neuengamme Memorial in Hamburg, wrote about Jehovah’s Witnesses: “No other religious movement resisted the pressure to conform to National Socialism [Nazism] with comparable unanimity and steadfastness”.[75] Between 2,500 and 5,000 Witnesses died in the concentration camps;[18] unwilling to fight for any cause, they refused to serve in the army.[76] The Catholic Church was persecuted under the Third Reich,[77] with the Nazi leadership hoping to gradually de-Christianize Germany.[78] Political Catholicism was a target of Hitler’s 1934 Night of the Long Knives.[79][80][81] German clergy, nuns and lay leaders were also targeted after the Nazi takeover, leading to thousands of arrests over the following years.[82] Priests who were part of the Catholic resistance were killed. Hitler’s invasion of Catholic Poland in 1939 began World War II, and the Nazis targeted clergy, monks and nuns in their campaign to destroy Polish culture. In 1940, the Priest Barracks of Dachau Concentration Camp was established.[83] Of 2,720 clergy imprisoned at Dachau, the overwhelming majority (94.88 percent) were Catholic.[84] According to Ian Kershaw, about 400 German priests were sent to the camp. Although the Holy See concluded a 1933 concordat with Germany to protect Catholicism in the Third Reich, the Nazis frequently violated the pact in their Kirchenkampf (“struggle with the churches”).[86] They shut down the Catholic press, schools, political parties and youth groups in Germany amid murder and mass arrests.[87][88][89] In March 1937, Pope Pius XI issued his Mit brennender Sorge encyclical accusing the Nazi government of violating the 1933 concordat and sowing the “tares of suspicion, discord, hatred, calumny, of secret and open fundamental hostility to Christ and His Church”.[82] The church was especially harshly treated in annexed regions, such as Austria. Viennese Gauleiter Odilo Globocnik confiscated property, closed Catholic organizations and sent many priests to Dachau. In the Czech lands, religious orders were suppressed, schools closed, religious instruction forbidden and priests sent to concentration camps.[90] Catholic bishops, clergy, nuns and laypeople protested and attacked Nazi policies in occupied territories; in 1942, the Dutch bishops protested the mistreatment of Jews.[91] When Archbishop Johannes de Jong refused to yield to Nazi threats, the Gestapo rounded up Catholic “Jews” and sent 92 to Auschwitz.[92] One Dutch Catholic abducted in this manner was nun Edith Stein, who died at Auschwitz along with Poland’s Maximilian Kolbe. Other Catholic victims of the Holocaust have been beatified, including Poland’s 108 Martyrs of World War II, the Martyrs of Nowogrdek, Dutch theologian Titus Brandsma and Germany’s Lbeck martyrs and Bernhard Lichtenberg. According to Norman Davies, the Nazi terror was “much fiercer and more protracted in Poland than anywhere in Europe.”[93] Polish Catholic victims of the Third Reich numbered in the millions. Nazi ideology viewed ethnic Polesthe mainly Catholic ethnic majority of Polandas subhuman. After their 1939 invasion of Poland, the Nazis instituted a policy of murdering (or suppressing) the ethnic-Polish elite (including Catholic religious leaders).[94] The Nazi plan for Poland was the nation’s destruction, which necessitated attacking the Polish Church (particularly in areas annexed by Germany).[95] About the brief period of military control from September 1 to October 25, 1939, Davies wrote: “According to one source, 714 mass executions were carried out, and 6,376 people, mainly Catholics, were shot. Other put the death toll in one town alone at 20,000. It was a taste of things to come.”[96] In Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany, severe persecution began. The Nazis systematically dismantled the church, arresting its leaders, exiling its clergy and closing its churches, monasteries and convents. Germanization of the annexed regions began in December 1939 with deportations of men, women and children.[97] According to Richard J. Evans, in the Reichsgau Wartheland “numerous clergy, monks, diocesan administrators and officials of the Church were arrested, deported to the General Government, taken off to a concentration camp in the Reich, or simply shot. Altogether some 1700 Polish priests ended up at Dachau: half of them did not survive their imprisonment.”[98] Among the clergy who died at Dachau were many of the 108 Polish Martyrs of World War II.[99] Hans Frank said in 1940, “Poles may have only one mastera German. Two masters cannot exist side by side, and this is why all members of the Polish intelligentsia must be killed.”[94] Thomas J. Craughwell wrote that from 1939 to 1945, an estimated 3,000 members of the Polish clergy (18 percent) were murdered; of these, 1,992 died in concentration camps.[100] According to the Encyclopdia Britannica, 1,811 Polish priests died in Nazi concentration camps.[101] Among the persecuted resisters was Irena Sendlerowa, head of the children’s section of egota, who placed more than 2,500 Jewish children in convents, orphanages, schools, hospitals and homes. Captured by the Gestapo in 1943, Sendlerowa was crippled by torture.[102] The Nazis attempted to deal with Protestant dissent with their ideology by creating the Reich Church, a union of 28 existing Protestant groups espousing Positive Christianity (a doctrine compatible with Nazism). Non-Aryan ministers were suspended and church members called themselves German Christians, with “the swastika on their chest and the cross in their heart.”[76][103] The Protestant opposition to the Nazis established the Confessing Church, a rival umbrella organization of independent German regional churches which was persecuted.[103] The Bah’ Faith was formally banned in the Third Reich. Heinrich Himmler signed a 1937 order disbanding Bah’ institutions in Germany[104] because of their “international and pacifist tendencies”.[105] In 1939 and 1942, there were sweeping arrests of former members of the German Spiritual Assembly. May 1944 saw a public trial in Darmstadt; although Hermann Grossmann defended the faith, the Bah’s were steeply fined and their institutions continued to be disbanded.[106] The Nazis claimed that high-degree Masons were willing members of “the Jewish conspiracy” and Freemasonry was a cause of Germany’s defeat in World War I. Reich Main Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt, or RSHA) records indicate the persecution of Freemasons during the Holocaust.[107] RSHA Amt VII (written records), overseen by Franz Six, was responsible for “ideological” tasks: the creation of antisemitic and anti-Masonic propaganda. Although the exact number is unknown, an estimated 80,000 to 200,000 Freemasons were killed as a result of Hitler’s December 1941 Nacht und Nebel directive.[15] Masonic concentration-camp inmates, considered political prisoners, wore an inverted red triangle.[108] Small blue forget-me-nots were first used by the Zur Sonne Grand Lodge in 1926 as a Masonic emblem at its annual convention in Bremen. In 1938 a forget-me-not badge made by the factory which produced the Masonic badge was chosen for the annual Nazi Winterhilfswerk, the charity drive of the National Socialist People’s Welfare (the party’s welfare branch). The coincidence enabled Freemasons to wear the forget-me-not badge as a secret sign of Masonic membership.[109][110][111] After the war, the forget-me-not was again used as a Masonic emblem at the first annual United Grand Lodges of Germany convention in 1948.[112] The badge is worn on the lapels of Masons worldwide in remembrance of those who have suffered in the name of Freemasonry, particularly during the Nazi era.[112] Speakers of Esperanto, an international auxiliary language, were viewed with suspicion by the Nazis. Hitler considered it a language of the “Jewish conspiracy” because its creator, L. L. Zamenhof, was Jewish. Because of this, people who spoke Esperanto were sent to Death camps.[113] The SS and police conducted mass actions against civilians with alleged links to resistance movements, their families, and villages or city districts. Notorious killings occurred in Lidice, Khatyn, Sant’Anna and Oradour-sur-Glane, and a district of Warsaw was obliterated. In occupied Poland, Nazi Germany imposed the death penalty on those found sheltering (or aiding) Jews. “Social deviants”prostitutes, vagrants, vegans, alcoholics, drug addicts, open dissidents, pacifists, draft resisters and common criminalswere also imprisoned in concentration camps. The common criminals frequently became Kapos, inmate guards of fellow prisoners. Some Germans and Austrians who lived abroad for much of their lives were considered to have too much exposure to foreign ideas, and they were sent to concentration camps. These prisoners, known as “emigrants”, each wore a blue triangle.[114][bettersourceneeded]

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January 24, 2018   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

White House nixed Holocaust statement naming Jews

President Donald Trumps White House reportedly blocked the statement’s release. | Getty The State Department wrote a message that recognized Jewish victims, but the White House used its own that didnt. By JOSH DAWSEY, ISAAC ARNSDORF, NAHAL TOOSI and MICHAEL CROWLEY 02/02/2017 07:33 PM EST The State Department drafted its own statement last month marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day that explicitly included a mention of Jewish victims, according to people familiar with the matter, but President Donald Trumps White House blocked its release. The existence of the draft statement adds another dimension to the controversy around the White Houses own statement that was released on Friday and set off a furor because it excluded any mention of Jews. The White House has stood by the statement, defending it as an inclusive message that was not intended to marginalize Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Story Continued Below According to three people familiar with the process, the State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy on Holocaust Issues prepared its own statement for International Holocaust Remembrance Day that, like previous statements, commemorated Jewish victims. Instead, the White Houses own statement drew widespread criticism for overlooking the Jews’ suffering, and was cheered by neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer. A White House official said there was no ill intent, adding that the White House didnt see States draft until after issuing its own statement and told State not to release its version because it came after 7 p.m. And the official said the White House didn’t ask the State Department to craft their own statement. Officials at the State Department, however, believed the statement was being drafted for the White House to use, people familiar with the matter said. An official with the Office of the Special Envoy on Holocaust Issues referred a request for comment to the State Department’s spokeswoman, who referred the request to the White House. The White Houses explanations for omitting Jews in its statement havent quelled the controversy and in some cases made it worse. Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks originally defended the omission to CNN saying, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said he didnt regret the wording. “Everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust, including obviously all of the Jewish people affected and the miserable genocide that occurred is something that we consider to be extraordinarily sad and something that can never be forgotten, Priebus said on NBCs Meet the Press. White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday accused critics of nitpicking over the statement. He said it was written with the help of an individual who is both Jewish and the descendent of Holocaust survivors. A source with knowledge of the situation told POLITICO that person was Trump aide Boris Epshteyn. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) likened Trumps statement to Holocaust denial. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum implicitly rebuked the White House on Monday, saying, Millions of other innocent civilians were persecuted and murdered by the Nazis, but the elimination of Jews was central to Nazi policy. The Republican Jewish Coalition and the Zionist Organization of America, both funded by influential donor Sheldon Adelson, each also scolded the White House for its Holocaust message. “The lack of a direct statement about the suffering of the Jewish people during the Holocaust was an unfortunate omission. History unambiguously shows the purpose of the Nazi’s final solution was the extermination of the Jews of Europe, the Republican Jewish Coalitions Fred Brown said in the statement. We hope, going forward, he conveys those feelings when speaking about the Holocaust.” Especially as a child of Holocaust survivors, I and ZOA are compelled to express our chagrin and deep pain at President Trump, in his Holocaust Remembrance Day Message, omitting any mention of anti-Semitism and the six million Jews who were targeted and murdered by the German Nazi regime and others, the ZOAs Mort Klein said. The United Nations designated Jan. 27 International Holocaust Remembrance Day to mark the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. In 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry issued an extensive statement on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau that remembered “the six million Jews and the millions more murdered by the Nazis including Poles, Roma, LGBT people, persons with disabilities. Two years earlier, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement that did not explicitly name Jews but forcefully warned against Holocaust denial. “It is our obligation to stay true to our values and maintain constant vigilance, she said. “We must never forget that when the checks and balances in government and society that protect fundamental freedoms are lost, the result can be massive atrocities. The United States is committed to a world in which the lessons of the Holocaust are taught and that all human rights are valued so that this will never happen again. Missing out on the latest scoops? Sign up for POLITICO Playbook and get the latest news, every morning in your inbox.

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December 12, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

Holocaust | World | The Guardian

Letters:Dr David Alderson and 42 others want the University of Manchester to apologise to the students whose campaign it has maligned, and to the censored speaker whom it has defamed. MeanwhileProf Avi Shlaim and six other signatories object to Moshe Machovers expulsion from the Labour party

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December 11, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

Bearing Witness Series – The Breman Museum

The Breman Museum is proud to offer free admission to the 2017 series, Bearing Witness through a generous grant from the Sara Giles Moore Foundation. In the 2017 season, The Breman Museum will be increasing the season from six to eight programs. The speakers, all Atlanta residents, recall their experiences during the Holocaust. Their words rise above hatred and retribution to speak about the strength and will that enabled them to survive and go on to build new lives. “This really is what the series is about — the 4Rs: resilience, resourcefulness, resistance and rescue that people who lived through the Holocaust needed to survive.”It’s one thing to read about the Holocaust in a book or see a movie. It’s a completely different experience to hear someone tell you ‘this is what happened to me.’ It connects you with history. It’s mesmerizing, and becoming rarer by the day.” “We would like audiences to take away two things from our Bearing Witness programs. First, to take warning that the Holocaust was perpetrated by a country of culture and refinement in the heart of civilized Europe; and second, to marvel at the indomitable spirit of Holocaust survivors who have overcome unprecedented evil with strength, courage and enduring hope. ” Liliane K. Baxter, Ph.D. Director of The Weinberg Center for Holocaust Education The Breman’s Bearing Witness program is in its sixth year and has been building a loyal audience, according to Aaron Berger, executive director of The Breman.”A barrier for many to hear this live testimony from the Holocaust has been the price of admission,” he said. A grant from the Sara Giles Moore Foundation allows everyone to hear these stories first-hand, and it’s free. We hope students and young professionals will take advantage of this offering, because it is vitally important their generation continues to share the stories once our witness generation is gone.” Jan. 8 HELEN WEINGARTEN (ROMANIA) Helen was one of seven children. She entered Auschwitz as one of five sisters, but only four survived. Helen narrowly escaped death when the 500 women she was with were redirected from the entrance to the gas chambers and sent to Germany for slave labor. Feb 19 BENJAMIN HIRSCH (GERMANY)Ben was six years old when he witnessed the ravages of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, in his home town of Frankfurt am Main. Soon thereafter, he and four of his siblings were sent on a Kindertransport to France and then the United States and Atlanta. March 5 MURRAY LYNN (HUNGARY) Murray Lynn was only 14 years old when he, his mother and three brothers were sent by cattle train to Auschwitz-Birkenau. His mother and brothers were murdered upon their arrival, but Murray survived despite unbearable conditions, and a death march that lasted many weeks. As an orphaned teenager, he was sent to England, Ireland and ultimately America, where he began a new life. April 23 YOM HASHOAH May 7 EUGEN SCHOENFELD, PH.D. (CZECHOSLOVAKIA) Brutalized by Nazis, beaten and humiliated, Eugen survived the Holocaust in the notorious camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Dachau. Yet after the war, when given the chance to kill one of the most brutal guards, he refused. What powers led Eugen to give up hostility to his enemies? The former Chair of the Department of Sociology at Georgia State University, Eugen will reflect on this question and other aspects of rebuilding life from the brink of destruction. Sept 10 MIRIAM FISHKIN (POLAND) When she was ten, Miriam and her family were forced from their home by the Russian secret police who controlled the region, and sent to Siberia. There, despite the relentless hard work and bitterly cold weather, she survived the war. Oct 15 HENRY (HANK) LEWIN (SECOND GENERATION LITHUANIA) Hank tells the story of his parents, Nora and Joel Lewin who were married in Kovno, Lithuania, and endured separation and several concentration camps to survive the Holocaust. He remembers Gideon, a brother he never knew who was killed in Auschwitz at the age of two. Nov 12 BEBE FOREHAND (BELGIUM) Like Anne Frank, Bebe Forehand was hidden away from the Nazis in an attic. A family friend brought food, books and materials to while away the hours while they were in hiding. As a result, her mother, father, grandfather and brother were all able to survive the Holocaust. Dec 10 ANDRE KESSLER (ROMANIA) Andre and his mother were saved by the kind-hearted superintendent of the building within which they were hiding who risked his life bringing them food and concealing their presence from the authorities. After the Holocaust, they moved to the United States Andre was drafted by the NBA to play for the Philadelphia Warriors where he had the privilege of rooming with Wilt Chamberlain. Guided tours of our Holocaust Gallery will be given at 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM Speakers will tell their remarkable Holocaust stories beginning at 2:00 PM. Free Parking is available at the museum (with free overflow parking available at The John Marshal Law School on 18th between W. Peachtree and Spring) and seating is first-come, first-served, so be sure to arrive early in order to secure your spot! Free admission to the 2017 Bearing Witness Series is provided through a generous gift fromThe Sara Giles Moore Foundation. This event is presented by theWeinberg Center for Holocaust Educationat The Breman Museum and our community partnerEternal-Life Hemshech.

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December 2, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

91 Important Facts about the Holocaust | Fact Retriever

Over 11 million people were murdered during the Holocaust, including 6 million Jews Over 1.1 million prisoners died at Auschwitz, of which 90 percent of those murdered were Jewish The Holocaust would not have been without mass transportation It took between 3-15 minutes to kill everyone in the gas chamber Thousands of concentration camp prisoners died within their first week of freedom from malnutrition and disease The Nazi-era witnessed the direct and indirect theft of over $150 billion of tangible assets of victims of Nazi persecution When Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek camps, they found hundreds of thousands of shoes, but very few living prisoners Soldiers executed women in mass shooting operations at hundreds of locations The personification of evil, Heinrich Himmler was one of the primary people responsible for the Holocaust IBM used its punch card technology and its information technology to systematize and accelerate Hitlers anti-Jewish program Many homosexual Holocaust survivors were re-imprisoned and remained deviants in the eyes of post-war society Main Concentration Camps and Associated Deaths[2] Important Dates[2][10] References 1Altman, Linda Jacobs. Impact of the Holocaust. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishing, Inc, 2004. 2Byers, Ann. The Holocaust Camps. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishing, Inc, 1998. 3Hayes, Peter. Lessons and Legacies: Memory, Memorialization, and Denial. Vol III. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Publishing Press, 1999. 4Ike and the Death Camps. Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission. 2004. Accessed: May 25, 2011. 5Laqueur, Walter, ed. The Holocaust Encyclopedia. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001. 6Levy, Pat. The Holocaust Causes. Austin, TX: Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers, 2001. 7Muselman. Jewish Virtual Library. 2010. Accessed: June 14, 2011. 8Muslims Honor Jewish Holocaust Victims at Auschwitz. Reuters. February 1, 2011. Accessed: May 25, 2011. 9Willoughby, Susan.The Holocaust. Chicago, IL: Heinemann Library, 2001. 10Wood, Angela Gluck.Holocaust: The Events and Their Impact on Real People. New York, NY: DK Publishing, Inc, 2007.

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December 2, 2017   Posted in: Holocaust  Comments Closed

Introduction to the Holocaust

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jews, deemed “inferior,” were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community. During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived “racial inferiority”: Roma (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and homosexuals. WHAT WAS THE HOLOCAUST? In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe stood at over nine million. Most European Jews lived in countries that Nazi Germany would occupy or influence during World War II. By 1945, the Germans and their collaborators killed nearly two out of every three European Jews as part of the “Final Solution,” the Nazi policy to murder the Jews of Europe. Although Jews, whom the Nazis deemed a priority danger to Germany, were the primary victims of Nazi racism, other victims included some 200,000 Roma (Gypsies). At least 200,000 mentally or physically disabled patients, mainly Germans, living in institutional settings, were murdered in the so-called Euthanasia Program. As Nazi tyranny spread across Europe, the Germans and their collaborators persecuted and murdered millions of other people. Between two and three million Soviet prisoners of war were murdered or died of starvation, disease, neglect, or maltreatment. The Germans targeted the non-Jewish Polish intelligentsia for killing, and deported millions of Polish and Soviet civilians for forced labor in Germany or in occupied Poland, where these individuals worked and often died under deplorable conditions. From the earliest years of the Nazi regime, German authorities persecuted homosexuals and others whose behavior did not match prescribed social norms. German police officials targeted thousands of political opponents (including Communists, Socialists, and trade unionists) and religious dissidents (such as Jehovah’s Witnesses). Many of these individuals died as a result of incarceration and maltreatment. ADMINISTRATION OF THE “FINAL SOLUTION” In the early years of the Nazi regime, the National Socialist government established concentration camps to detain real and imagined political and ideological opponents. Increasingly in the years before the outbreak of war, SS and police officials incarcerated Jews, Roma, and other victims of ethnic and racial hatred in these camps. To concentrate and monitor the Jewish population as well as to facilitate later deportation of the Jews, the Germans and their collaborators created ghettos, transit camps, and forced-labor camps for Jews during the war years. The German authorities also established numerous forced-labor camps, both in the so-called Greater German Reich and in German-occupied territory, for non-Jews whose labor the Germans sought to exploit. Following the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units) and, later, militarized battalions of Order Police officials, moved behind German lines to carry out mass-murder operations against Jews, Roma, and Soviet state and Communist Party officials. German SS and police units, supported by units of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS, murdered more than a million Jewish men, women, and children, and hundreds of thousands of others. Between 1941 and 1944, Nazi German authorities deported millions of Jews from Germany, from occupied territories, and from the countries of many of its Axis allies to ghettos and to killing centers, often called extermination camps, where they were murdered in specially developed gassing facilities. THE END OF THE HOLOCAUST In the final months of the war, SS guards moved camp inmates by train or on forced marches, often called death marches, in an attempt to prevent the Allied liberation of large numbers of prisoners. As Allied forces moved across Europe in a series of offensives against Germany, they began to encounter and liberate concentration camp prisoners, as well as prisoners en route by forced march from one camp to another. The marches continued until May 7, 1945, the day the German armed forces surrendered unconditionally to the Allies. For the western Allies, World War II officially ended in Europe on the next day, May 8 (V-E Day), while Soviet forces announced their Victory Day on May 9, 1945. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, many of the survivors found shelter in displaced persons (DP) camps administered by the Allied powers. Between 1948 and 1951, almost 700,000 Jews emigrated to Israel, including 136,000 Jewish displaced persons from Europe. Other Jewish DPs emigrated to the United States and other nations. The last DP camp closed in 1957. The crimes committed during the Holocaust devastated most European Jewish communities and eliminated hundreds of Jewish communities in occupied eastern Europe entirely. Further Reading Bergen, Doris. War & Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003 Dawidowicz, Lucy S. The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1975. Gilbert, Martin. The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1986. Gutman, Israel, editor. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1990. Hilberg, Raul. The Destruction of the European Jews. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003. Yahil, Leni. The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, 1932-1945. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

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