John Toland: Hitler
Alan Elsner, Reuters
Robert M. Pallotti, D. Min.
Sir Martin Gilbert: The Holocaust
Sir Martin Gilbert: The Righteous
Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka
Who is Who in Nazi Germany
Abram L. Sachar:
The Redemption of the Unwanted
Saul Friedländer: Kurt Gerstein
- The Ambiguity of Good
Jennifer Rosenberg: Kurt Gerstein
- A German Spy in the SS
Pierre Joffroy: A Spy For God
- The Ordeal of Kurt Gerstein
Gitta Sereny: Albert Speer www.tagblatt.de - das.magazin:
Kurt Gerstein - Gottes Spion in der Hölle
is the Holocaust?
The Holocaust was the systematic annihilation of six million Jews by
the Nazi regime during World War 2. In 1933 approximately nine
million Jews lived in the 21 countries of Europe that would be
occupied by Germany during the war. By 1945 two out of every three
European Jews had been killed. The European Jews were the primary
victims of the Holocaust.
But Jews were not the only group singled out for persecution by
Hitler’s Nazi regime. As many as one-half million Gypsies, at
least 250,000 mentally or physically disabled persons, and more than
three million Soviet prisoners-of-war also fell victim to Nazi
genocide. Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, Social Democrats,
Communists, partisans, trade unionists, Polish intelligentsia and
other undesirables were also victims of the hate and
aggression carried out by the Nazis.
How many Jews were murdered during the Holocaust?
While it is impossible to ascertain the exact number of Jewish
victims, statistics indicate that the total was over 5,830,000. Six
million is the round figure accepted by most authorities.
What does Final Solution mean?
The term Final Solution (Die Endlosung) refers to the Germans’
plan to physically liquidate all Jews in Europe. The term was used
at the Wannsee
Conference held in Berlin on January 20, 1942, where German
officials discussed its implementation.
How many children were murdered during the Holocaust?
The number of children killed during the Holocaust is not fathomable
and full statistics for the tragic fate of children who died will
never be known. Some estimates range as high as 1.5 million murdered
children. This figure includes more than 1.2 million Jewish children,
tens of thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of
institutionalized handicapped children who were murdered under Nazi
rule in Germany and occupied Europe.
Why did Hitler hate the Jews?
Holocaust happened because Hitler and the Nazis were racist. They
believed the German people were a 'master race', who were
superior to others. They even created a league table of 'races' with
the Aryans at the top and with Jews, Gypsies and black people
at the bottom. These 'inferior' people were seen as a threat to the
purity and strength of the German nation. When the Nazis came to
power they persecuted these people, took away their human rights and
eventually decided that they should be exterminated.
How did the Nazis carry our their policy of genocide?
In the late 1930's the Nazis killed thousands of handicapped Germans
by lethal injection and poisonous gas. After the German invasion of
the Soviet Union in June 1941, mobile killing units following in the
wake of the German Army began shooting massive numbers of Jews and
Gypsies in open fields and ravines on the outskirts of conquered
cities and towns.
Eventually the Nazis created a more secluded and organized method of
killing. Six extermination centers were established in occupied
Poland where large-scale murder by gas and body disposal through
cremation were conducted systematically. Victims were deported to
these centers from Western Europe and from the ghettos in Eastern
Europe which the Nazis had established. In addition, millions died
in the ghettos and concentration camps as a result of forced labor,
starvation, exposure, brutality, disease, and execution.
When was the first concentration camp established?
Dachau was the first concentration camp established and was opened
on March 22, 1933. The camp's first inmates were primarily political
prisoners (Communists or Social Democrats), habitual criminals,
homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and anti-socials (beggars,
vagrants, hawkers). Others considered problematic by the Nazis were
also included (Jewish writers and journalists, lawyers, unpopular
What is a death camp? How many? Where?
A death camp camp is a concentration camp with special apparatus
especially designed for mass murder. Six such camps existed: Auschwitz-Birkenau,
Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor,
All were located in Poland.
What was Auschwitz-Birkenau?
Auschwitz-Birkenau became the killing centre where the largest
numbers of European Jews were killed. After an experimental gassing
there in September 1941 of 850 malnourished and ill prisoners,
mass murder became a daily routine. By mid 1942, mass gassing of
Jews using Zyklon-B began at Auschwitz, where extermination was
conducted on an industrial scale with some estimates running as high
as three million persons eventually killed through gassing,
starvation, disease, shooting, and burning.
Did the Jews resist?
Many Jews simply could not believe that Hitler really meant to kill
them all. But once the Nazis had complete control and the Jews were
being relocated to ghettos, rations were reduced, conditions
were horrible and the Jews did not have the strength, physically,
emotionally, or militarily, to resist. There were uprisings in
the camps, but it was incredibly difficult and rarely successful.
Elie Wiesel put it this way: "The question is not why all
the Jews did not fight, but how so many of them did. Tormented,
beaten, starved, where did they find the strength - spiritual and
physical - to resist?" Those attempting to resist faced
almost impossible odds.