Vocabulary:
Holocaust: generally refers to the systematic slaughter of the Jews by Nazi Germany

Final Solution: Hitler's plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe

Anti-semitism: the general hatred of Jews

Video Clip:

Coming Soon!

More Notes:
Hitler used the Jewish people of Europe as a "scapegoat" for their problems. Because the Jews were a recognizable minority- they were an easy target. They could not defend themselves in a true democratic form- as they would be easily outvoted.
Hitler popularized anti-semitism in his book, Mein Kampf.

Even though one of the lessons we learn from this historic episode is to never forget the 6 million Jews put to death- we must ALSO realize that there was more to the story!

Extra Links:
Click here for a time line of the holocaust- you can click on the time line links to learn more about specific events!

More Notes:
As mentioned previously, minority groups lose in a democracy (where "majority rules"). If safeguards are not put in place- discrimination can easily take place! In times of war, when people are already passionate, these groups face increased problems, as common sense to maintain. While all nations do this to a certain degree, the Nazis took this to a whole new level!

Video Clip:

The Final Solution

Extra Links:
How extensive were the concentration camps and the death camps? Check out this map to see how many there really were!

Vocabulary:
(see above)

Video Clip:

The Jewish Ghettos

More Notes:
First, look at those numbers for the Holocaust. 11 million people were killed, 6 million were jews. If you quickly do the math, you should realize that jews made up just over half of the death! If you thought the Holocaust was bad because of the jewish extinction, it was really much worse!

The term "concentration camp" is often the generic word we use when describing the method of moving people in holocaust and executing them. But, there were actually different types of camps in Europe! "Work Camps" were where people went to serve as slave laborers for the Nazis- they were tortured and brutalized, but served a purpose to Germany. When people were no longer strong enough to work, they would be sent to "Death Camps", where they would be exterminated. Some of these camps were so big, that they were BOTH labor and death camps!
Extra Links:
This link shows a chart that compares some of the camps in Europe - which one had the most recorded murders?

Vocabulary:
scapegoat: a person, or group of people, who are blamed entirely for a situation (usually a false accusation)

Video Clip:

Being Shipped to the Camps

More Notes:
The anti-semitism in Europe was ancient and deep-rooted. Hitler played on people's already existing prejudices against the Jews. Mein Kampf, Hitler's book which formed the foundations of the Nazi Party, was known throughout the world! As he rose to power in the 1930's, jews attempted to flee- but were rejected by countries like the U.S. (after all, we had the Depression going on). Jews were an easy target, but not the ONLY target!
Extra Links:
Faces of the holocaust - this resource has photographs of camps, victims and Nazi officials.

Vocabulary:
Gypsies: this is a minority group that, like the jews, suffered tremendous prejudice and discrimination through out Europe

political dissidents: people who oppose the government in power and speak out against it

Video Clip:

Life in the Camps

Death in the Camps

 

More Notes:
Hitler wanted to take the land of Eastern Europe for German expansion and enslave the people who lived there. Gypsies, to Hitler, were no better than the jews. Even German people who were not "fit" enough to perpetuate the "master race" needed to be eliminated.

Of all of these groups who were targeted by Hitler, the most dangerous were the Communists. Any people who could pose a political threat to him or his party were immediately eliminated. We often think of Jews as being Hitler's first victims- but that is incorrect. He went after the Communists first!

Extra Links:
Click here to go to the Virginia Holocaust Museum web site; "Tolerance Through Education".

Click here to go to the U.S. Holocaust Museum.

"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant . Then they came for me, and by that time, nobody was left to speak up."

Pastor Martin Niemoeller
Holocaust Survivor


More Notes:
We knew in the 1930's that something was "not right" in Germany. We were just a little too busy with our own problems to say anything about it. However, this is considered one of the worst episodes in human history- and it had drastic short-term and long-term effects!

Video Clip:

Coming Soon!

Extra Links:
Click here to learn more about Pastor Martin Niemoeller.

Vocabulary:
zionism: the belief that the Jewish people should have a "homeland"- a country of their own- where they would run the government and be the majority

war crime: actions during war that are ruled inhumane and not necessary to the war effort

Video Clip:

LIBERATION!

The Nuremburg Trials

More Notes:
As the Allied forces stormed across Europe, the concentration camps were liberated. The ghastly horror of the condition of the survivors made the world realize that these were crimes against humanity- war crimes. Many of the officers of these camps were hunted down- including high officials of the Nazi Party. They were put on trial for their war crimes at Nuremberg. These were public trials and the defendants were given counsel. The common defense was that they were "simply following orders". That defense did not hold up; some were held in prison and many others were sentenced to death!

Even in war, when morality faces its greatest challenge, there are certain actions which are intolerable. Those responsible must be held accountable.


Zionism had been around for a very long time. The jews were driven from their original homeland thousands of years ago- in Palestine. Because they were a minority in all other countries, they were easy targets for prejudice and discrimination. If they had their own country- they would be the majority and would not need to fear for their rights and liberties.

Extra Links:
This link goes to an extensive site on the Nuremberg Trials with lots of extra links an information.

More Notes:
Ever wonder why the Arab nations seem to HATE us? A big reason was our support for zionism and the creation of Israel. It had been run by Britain as a mandate after the Ottoman Empire was split apart at the end of World War 1. Some land was used to create Israel (for the jews), some land was used to create Lebanon (for anyone who did not want to live under jewish law), and some land was given to Jordan (as an attempt to please that Arab neighbor). But for some reason, the Palestinian Arabs did not want to leave the land that had been theirs to make room for the new Jewish nation.

Naturally, they opposed the creation of Israel. When the U.S., Britain and many "western" nations supported Israel, we became their enemy! Over the past 50+ years, those bad feelings have grown- and new generations are learning to hate the United States.

Our reliance on Middle Eastern Oil and our support for Israel has created a very difficult situation!

Video Clip:

Birth of Israel Newsreel

Extra Links:
This site takes a historical look at the Arab-Israeli conflict. Check it out to learn more!

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