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History of Holocaust: Exam 2 notes

by: Amna Azmi

History of Holocaust: Exam 2 notes History 261

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These notes are from lecture 14 to 23. Study these and you'll get great marks on the exam. Years are important to him!
History of Holocaust
Paul Hanebrink
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This 37 page Study Guide was uploaded by Amna Azmi on Saturday September 3, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to History 261 at Rutgers University taught by Paul Hanebrink in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see History of Holocaust in History at Rutgers University.


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Date Created: 09/03/16
PART II: Lecture 12: Resistance What Constitutes Resistance and what was actual historically possible There was little resistance against the Nazis Raoul Wallenberg  Famous author who wrote the first book about the Holocaust  Mapped out the process by which Nazis murdered 6 million Jews o Argues there was no significant Jewish resistance  Very few cases of armed resistance  These resistances were totally unsuccessful and only resulted in the a few German deaths  Warsaw ghetto uprising (1943)  Courageous uprising with few weapons  Resulted in 16 dead and 85 wounded Germans  Almost all men and women that took part in the uprising were killed  Didn’t affect the outcome of the war  Jews in the diaspora only learned to survive by appeasing their Christian neighbors Situations Jews had to resist or react to the Germans  In that place and time, what could the individuals actually do to resist Nazi rule?  Eastern Europe o The largest Jewish community in Europe o Widest variety of political traditions  Zionism, Communism, Socialism  Area where Jewish communities were under German occupation for a long time  Closest to the Eastern front  Where Soviets and Germans are fighting this titanic battle that will change the course of the war  No outside state that is primarily concerned with helping the Jewish people The Pianist  Shows the kinds of social and existential conditions people lived in the ghetto o German violence is so arbitrary Izak heller  Nazi collaborator o What sort of choices were there to make What decisions were members on the Jewish council forced to make? Lecture 13: Jewish Resistance II: The Judenrat “The Judenrat”  The Jewish council o What decisions did they have to make? o Why did that make the decisions they made? o All men councils  Made the goals of the Nazis extermination of the Jews possible  On the other hand, these men were put in difficult positions  Council in Kovno  Located in Lithuania Adam Czerniakow  Head of Jewish Council in Warsw ghetto o Made decisions on behalf of many people  Jewish ghetto police o Unarmed, but have clubs o Controlled by the Germans  Given task of enforcing orders within the ghettos  They had prisons and arrested people  Reasons to join the ghetto police  Personal advantages  Rations, goods, ensure your family gets better treatment  For a time, believed they could escape deportation  Opportunity to have power  Have some control within the ghetto  Belief that “somebody had to do it” What is the Jewish council?  In every ghetto o Germans selected a number of men to serve on the Judenrat  Responsible for executing German orders in the ghetto  Who did they chose?  Chose well respected men  Politicians, business men, doctors  Germans told them that the fate of the ghettos lied in the hands of the Jewish council by:  Maintaining order  Ensure that no resistance being formed, labor be provided at all times, any decree the Germans may give would be carried out by Jewish council  Germans did not administer the ghettos themselves but instead have the council do it for them o Isaiah Trunk  Interviews Jewish council survivors  Men on the Jewish council believed that if they did not carry out these orders, the Germans would do it much more brutally  The wealthier the family the more opportunities they had to sell their belongings for food  Judenrat took it upon themselves to make the best of a horrible situation o Tried to set up some kind of infrastructure  Organized doctors  Set up clinics to try and treat people  Soup Kitchens  Try to offer food to the poorest people  Divide up apartments  Give decrees on who should live where  Order in the streets  Reduce crime and looting  Vilna Judenrat  Their leader was very serious about the notion that there had to be cultural events and initiatives in order to keep morale  Run sporting events  Theater programs  Any kind of entertainment  Jacob Gens  It is necessary for people to mentally and spiritually escape from the conditions in the ghetto to show that their spirit has not been enslaved   Many survivors hate the Jewish councils after the war  Believed that they were working for the Germans  Actions they took when deportations began Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski  Head of Council in Lodz ghetto o Believed he could save some people by making them work  Germans decided that ghettos could be economically advantageous to the them  Jews could be used for labor  This would be good because they would not get their hands on anything dangerous  Mainly made clothing for soldiers  Rumkowski believes the Nazis will see the value in Jewish labor and will not get rid of the them  Maybe everyone could stay alive just until the situation changes  If ghettos could contribute to war economy, Nazis could see the value of keeping Jews alive  “Our only way is work”  By working you can survive What happens to people who are unable to work?  The problem the Nazis gave to the Jewish councils o When they decided to deport Jews to the East  Council very clearly that this did not mean anything good  Nazis would go to Jewish council and say they want to deport a certain amount of the population to the east  Told the councils that they could select the people  Warned that if they did not do this, the Germans would do it much more violently  Members of the council faced with how to choose  1942 Adam Czerniakow  Committed suicide when asked to choose  Other thought that if they did this, more people w  Those who were capable of work tended to be chosen for deportation by the council  Unfit for labor  The sick, children, elderly  Jews had to make some kind of rationale for choosing  If they choose those who can work then they are saving more people than less  Nazis were fighting two wars  Against Soviets and Western Europe  Jewish council could not understand the racial war with Soviets  Believed if they complied and suppressed armed resistance, they could try and ensure that the greatest number of people survived possible  Chaim Rumkowski  Businessman before the war began  Chairman of the Jewish council in Lodz  Unlike in other cities, ruled pretty much on his own  Survivors recall him as being some sort of dictator  Crushed any organization of resistance  Believed if he got people to work peacefully, he could get the maximum number of survivors  August 1944  70,000 Jews alive in the ghetto  In almost every other place in Poland, ghettos had been liquidated either to death camps or labor camps  The soviet army was 70 miles away from Lodz  If they had continued to advance they would have arrived very quickly and liberated Lodz before Nazis could deport them  Soviets decide to stop  Uninterested in saving people  Germans then had time to liquidate the Lodz ghetto  Deported all the Jews to Auschwitz  900 Jews survived  Video:  Focuses the mind on the unthinkable thing that happened and that it never really stopped for those survivors  When they use scenes of a big oven of baking bread  Makes you think about crematorium  Presents the dilemma of parents  A child was contraband  Where would you hide your child?  If you did hide your child, the entire apartment building would be totally done for  Children worried for their elderly parents  Consequences of Resistance Lecture 14: Jewish Resistance Part III Kiev, Russia ( 1945)  Resistance took place o Lined the streets of Kiev with land mines  Exploded and killed many Germans  To punish the Jews for their retaliation  Taken to a field and shot  Largest single massacre Nazis carried out in Russia Clip in Class: Marching in Russia to shooting grounds Two characters symbolic for something  Nazis o In awe because he is directly responsible for making the killing happening  Jewish young man o He is the only one who can understand the “deportation to the east” or “working camps” How the march was filmed  The music was droning on very sullen  All the victims march cooperatively with minimal German supervision o Walking in kind of a purposeful way o Do nothing but keep walking forward  Influential version on a cliché  That Jews went “like lambs to the slaughter”  Lambs – convey the sense of passivity and helplessness, also a lot of religious symbolism Christ is “lamb of God”, Jews sacrifice lamb  People accepted their fate Why do we need heroes in telling the history of the Holocaust? Excerpt from the Diary of Chaim A Kaplan On the Warsaw Judenrat  The Jewish council is an abomination to the community of Warsaw o Because they choose who to send for deportation to the East o Some calls for resistance March 1942  Call to Arms in an underground newspaper in Warsaw Ghetto o Written by members of the underground  Trying to encourage people to resist  Says that Hitler’s system of murder is a dead end for Jews  Must be heroic action to get by day to day Why people did not immediately want to or actually resist?  The ghettos are sealed o Jews questioned what success they could have after escaping the ghetto  Where would they go/run to?  Only flat fields, nowhere to really hide  The number of able bodied people  Changes constantly, real demographic chaos  People constantly falling ill because of disease  People are starving which make them more susceptible to disease  People are being pulled to work squads  Once deportations begin  Never exactly sure who will be there  Complete lack of weapons  January 1943  Night before Warsaw ghetto uprising  Only 10 pistols in the ghetto  Hostility on the part of the Non Jewish population  Most people you met if you escaped would be indifferent to your situation  May be hostile  Number of conflicting German orders created complete confusion o Constantly issue contradicting orders  Immense amount of bureaucratic paperwork  Confusing for people who are trying to deal with the things coming at them in the moment \  Unclear to people in the ghettos what the Germans were going to do or thinking  Very hard to make a plan  Jewish underground could not rely on any outside help  No government to commit resources  No military aid  **** Collective reprisal*** o Very important o Policy that if Germans felt a threat, they would kill the single person who they deemed a threat, and round of random others to kill  Any action that a small group of people may take in even the smallest way against the Germans, would involve an overwhelming response that would lead to the deaths of MANY innocent people Who wanted armed resistance  Young people who were politically active o Communism and Zionism  Ideologies that create new societies  Creating utopias, a society that would be better than what existed before  Building a utopia will be create new kinds of people  Communism  People will be different  Better educated  Morally righteous  Economically  Zionism  Jewish homeland that didn’t exist but would in the future  There would be different kinds of Jews  People willing to making a sacrifice with their lives, to better the condition of the society in the future  Calls for resistance like this were unpopular  Most people want to see the situation stabilize  Once you have a sense of consistency you can predict the next moves  Keeping communities and families together was one way the Jewish council tried to stabilize the ghetto Cultural resistance  These groups understood very well that the German war effort was fighting culture o Preserving culture was one way Jews could back  Attempted to do historical work o Group of archivists  Was on of the best things to do because you are chronicling things for the future  Emmanuel Ringelblum  Historian and leader of Warsaw ghetto archive  Made it his task to document German occupation of Poland  Wrote a remarkably objective history  He thought this was the most significant thing he could have done under these circumstances When do people say they should start doing something instead of documenting it?  1942 o Germans begin liquidating the ghettos  “Deportations to the East” began  Community at large did not want to believe what they were hearing  Yitzhak Cukierman  Jewish Population Disbelieves Reports of the Extermination  Jewish press was denounced for stirring panic To resist was irresponsible  Resistance meant a death sentence to themselves, people close to them, and random people around them o Was hopeless Resistance would be symbolic  Offers revenge  Offers hope for future generations  Ideological goal o Idea that people in the future will learn about what you are doing will outweigh the fear of being killed  Just struggling to survive does not carry the same power as armed resistance Lithuania  Dense Forests o Partisan groups hiding in this areas  Soviets, groups of fighting lead by soviet officers  Receive arms from Soviet union  Some Jews escape and go to join them Soviet Partisans  “Glory to the partisans who destroy the rear enemy” For Paper: No work cited needed if you only use texts on the syllabus In text citations – (authors name, page number). - Do not narrate persons story - but you need to tell enough about that persons life - Where that person is from, what things happened to them, how they survived, where they ended up after the war  Focus on 2 or 3 most interesting pieces of the interview o Connect the details to the bigger historical framework Lecture 15: Jewish Resistance IV The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: History and Narrative Warsaw Ghetto Uprising:  Such an iconic event that a number of interpretations have been made about it  Iconic Image of the Holocaust o Jews being rounded, who had been in hiding, at gunpoint  Very powerful because at the very center of the photograph is a young boy with his hands up marching out of the building at gunpoint  Capture the fear and helplessness of these victims  Because focus in on the child, you get a universal image of the horror of war in general, and holocaust in particular  May 1943 – photo taken  German photographer, took it in Warsaw after the uprising had been crushed  Taken for particular reasons for the Germans  Uprising against German power but it failed to save the lives of the Jews  From different perspectives we get different interpretations Adam Czerniakow  Chairman of the Judenrat in Warsaw ghetto o Was a very decent, hardworking individual  Genuinely believed that somebody had to be involved in this situation to make conditions in the ghetto at least somewhat better  Spent 18 hours a day trying to organize the ghetto  Set up health clinics, housing, food, safety  Try and keep a kind of civil society alive  By 1942 was given ultimatum by Nazis  If he did not select a quota of people for deportation to the east, the Germans would do it much more violently and take more people  He could not comply with this o July 22, 1942  Last Diary Entry  He is being asked to choose 6000 people to be deported  Could NOT comply  Took a cyanide pill and committed suicide  The “Assembly Place” in Warsaw Ghetto (1942)  Place where Jews who were on the list to be deported that day would go to  Put into trains and taken to the death camp at Treblinka  Deep psychological shock within the ghetto  Absolute disbelief  Thousands of Jews being deported every day  No one knows how long they would last  Many believed that if they kept their work papers valid they could survive the deportations  No one knows where they are being sent  LACK of information  By September 1942  300,000 Jews deported  Disbelief  General optimism (Yitzhak Cukierman)  A belief that there is such a thing as common human sense  Somehow the Germans will want some of the community to continue to work for them  Young people in ghetto  Want to organize an underground resistance  Not in a cultural way, but in an armed way  Formed a few days after the deportations began  Jewish defense organizations  Youth leaders of different Zionist groups  Very politically committed Jewish nationalists  Try to find out what happened to previously deported Jews  Had connections with Polish underground, smuggled out of ghetto, followed trains  Brought back that the evacuation to work plants was just a cover for deportation to killing centers  With this knowledge the organization tries to expand and consolidate itself into one umbrella group  Wanted to organize an uprising  Majority wanted to way for an armed resistance  Until the situation became more clear  Real awareness that Germans would carry out their reprisal policy if they started an uprising too soon  If there is some chance than a portion of the ghetto would remain a workforce, then you are putting those lives at risk  A real sense of responsibility for others lives  Didn’t want to cause the unnecessary deaths for the people around them  When to fight back? o Notes from one of the Jewish Ghetto Fighters in a Underground meeting (October 1942)  Sense that they are responsible to themselves and to history  Moral weight on their shoulders  They know uprising will be a trigger for collective reprisal  Will result in the deaths of all the people in the uprising but may be a way for some people to survive  Precursor to Uprising (January 1943) o Jewish underground fighters attack Germans for the first time  May- Sept 1942 deportations happened constantly  Seemed like it had stopped for a while  January 1943  Deportations resume  Jewish underground believe this is the final push  Engaged in armed resistance  Came as a huge shock to Germans because work in the Warsaw ghetto was supposed to be a more luxurious job  Deportations then stop  Believe that the Germans stopped because of what we did  Made them even more encouraged  Got news that the Germans were losing on the Eastern front  Seeing signs that Germans are beginning to fail  Maybe if there is some resistance it would contribute to the collapse of Nazism  Wanted to get support from the people within the ghetto  Became a leadership organization within the ghetto  Established bunkers and hiding places  Tried to persuade the Polish Underground Army to help them  Mainly with weapons Jon Karski – Polish diplomat  Invited to ghetto to see what was going on there o in disguise  Went into one of the death camps o Tried to persuade the Polish government in exile that they needed to give help at least in those cities like Warsaw in Poland o Failed because Polish army did very little  Fair amount of anti-Semitism among many people in the underground army  Believed that a free Poland was free of Nazi rule and free of Jewish influence  Polish Home Army was a national liberation army  Their one goal was to liberate Poland from Nazi rule  Wanted to establish a political government that would be recognized as legitimate around the world and the people you would have to talk to about Poland  Because it helped to free itself, Poland would have a moral authority  WANTED TO CREATE A STATE  Helping Jews would create an additional burden Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (April19-May 16, 1943)  Happened on eve of Passover o German troops entered ghetto by force  Feeling that this was the moment that Germans were going to deport everyone  Attacked the Germans, shot them with whatever weapons they had  Threw homemade bombs and hand grenades from swears, alley ways, house windows  Managed to set a German tank on fire  German forces in shock  Therefore they withdrew  Took a few days to regroup his forces and retaliate  A few days later  Plan is to be very ruthless  Sends in massive force, taking it house by house, block by block, blowing up buildings, shooting people everywhere  Throws gas into basements and sewers  Fire people as they emerge  By early May  Germans discover where underground leadership is  Those who Germans do not kill commit suicide  By May 16 , 1943  Uprising is crushed  5,000 Jews killed  6,000 gassed or burned  50,000 sent to death camps  Only 16 Germans killed, 86 wounded  Germans then get the order to destroy the ghetto as it had been Mordechai Anielewicz Lecture 16: The Universe of Camps I – Industrial Killing Auschwitz  “Death Factories” o Idea that death camps were killing factories o Photograph represents well known image of Auschwitz  1 million Jews murdered here and countless others  Designated killing site  At the endpoint of a very organized and complex system of transporting victims to this site  The way people were emptied and sorted from the transport, to the systematic killing of undesirables conducted within hours of arrival and reduced to ashes  Horrifying because it is thoroughly modern  The systematic nature of Auschwitz could not happen before the 20 century  Auschwitz becomes a symbol of modernity  Factory of Death and Industrial Killing 4 Necessary Preconditions for a Death Factory 1. Establishment of a concentration camp 1. A place where a community of people is brought to be imprisoned for fear of being a threat to security 2. The conditions are explicitly meant to be punishable  Creation of concentration camps o Nazis did not invent this o Ex. British Concentration Camp (Boer War 1900-1902)  First concentration camp to ever be created  A rebellion by white south Africans against British rule because Britain was trying to exercise more control since there were valuable diamonds  Because they wanted to control the interior where the diamond were  British began sending raiding parties into areas were Whites lived  Raiding parties were defeated, raised a massive amount of resistance  British became frustrated with this resistance and began forcing people from their homes into refugee camps  As resistance grew still, conditions within camps became horrible, became concentration camps  Subject to poor hygiene, starvation, overpopulation  26,000 women and children died in these camps,  These camps were modern concentration camps  Where a community of people are imprisoned because they are threat to the power  The life expectancy of these prisoners goes steadily down  Emily Hobhouse  Humanitarian activist  Very interested in concentration camp in South Africa  Tries to convince public that this must be stopped  Brings back images of a young girl  Lizzie Van Zyl  So emaciated from lack of food  Becomes poster child for British cruelty 2. Genocide as directed against a specific population  First Genocide of the 20 century o Herero Genocide in German SW Africa (1904-1907)  Germany wants to acquire colonies  Set up a government in this area  Want to reshape and move people around so they can make the most money possible  The Herero people who live there are very unhappy  Live through cattle herding  Revolt against Germans  Germans try to suppress the revolt  Resistance is harder than they thought it would be and decide they need to just clean out all the Herero from the areas and try to encircle them in one final battle  Want to force them into one are were German can kill off the enemy  End up pushing all the Herero out of their land where they had lived  Herero people are completely decimated  General Lothar Von Trotha  Strategy for ending resistance was to exterminate Herero people  A way of thinking that became more popular in the 20 century  The word genocide had not yet been created however, this mans mindset is all about genocide  Example of Population Transfer  World War 1  Resettlement of Greeks and Turks  International agreement that all the Greek speaking people in Turkey had to leave, and all the Turkish speaking people in Greece had to leave  Mass deaths when moving began  Dealing with the whole population will achieve peace  Problem of question that needed a solution  It was the duty of the government to provide a solution to these ethnic problems  Mass resettlement- “ethnic cleansing”  Might result in the physical annihilation of the race 3. Industrialization  The FACTORY comes into being o A place of production where input is brought o Human then uses that input with the help of mechanical tools to create a final product  Engineers and business analysts try to make factory production more efficient  Technological  Different ways of powering those machines are invented  Organizational  How to make it more efficient  Break it down into component party  Goal is to produce more in a shorter amount of time  Ex. Meatpacking industry  Slaughter houses  Transportation to stockyards  Slaughtering of those cattle  Meatpacking and processing  Diagram of the Pork Slaughtering Process  German book about US meatpacking industry  Shows the division of labor and the division of tasks  US meatpacking industry is so effective because it breaks it down into a process  And each of those processes can be more efficient  Can be done on a mass scale by rationalizing the industrial process and making it as efficient as possible  You need the thinking about killing an animal into all of those stages 4. Industrial technology applied to killing things  Particularly to killing people o WWI made it very clear that modern industrial technology could be used to destroy on a massive scale  Both the allied and enemy sides tried to invent ways to kill the most people as possible to create the most detrimental effect  Machine Gun and Chemical Weapons  Both ways allow for a large number of the enemy can be killed at once  Chemical Warfare  Made a tremendous affect on people in Europe  It was such a horrible way to die  Weapon of Mass Destruction  Came about during this time  Thought it should be banned by international law  Whole units would just collapse and die ALL 4 preconditions are NECESSARY to fathom something like Auschwitz  Concentration camps  Targeting a particular group of people  Industrial process/efficiency  Modern technology can be applied to killing people 6 Death Camps in Poland  All located near a rail line o TO ensure the efficiency of transporting people  o Layout  Not very large  Size of two or three football fields  Clearly delineated space, rail line that goes into it  Living Area, Reception Area, Extermination area  Germans wanted to keep people moving because they knew that if you allow people standing around, they would try to spark a resistance  The “tube”  Where people are forced through into the gas chamber  Treblinka – 750,000 people murdered there Auschwitz  Death camp for ALL Jews of Europe o Various camps within the one camp of Auschwitz  1- original camp for political prisoners  2- Birkneau (Death Camp)  3- Workers trying to build rubber factory  Birkneau  Rail line running through camp  Cycle-B  Insecticide used to kill  More effective than carbon monoxide  Shows the thought put into how effective killing should be and how to do it in the shortest time  Crematoria are in the same building  Shows how they tried to make the killing and cremating more efficient Special Commando  People confined to the area of the death camps o Job is to take people out of the gas chambers  Search those bodies for valuables  Then take bodies to crematorium w  Everyone in the special commando gets killed and a new team is recruited Lecture 17: Universe of Camps  We know a lot about the Holocaust because of survivors o Paradox: Must acknowledge that the exception is the survivor, the typical case is death  Those who did not survive: Hungarians on their way to the gas chambers  We only have these exceptionally rare stories of how people somehow survived  Must remember this when listening to stories of survivors  Often you will find examples of cleverness, intelligence to deal with this situation or courage  Must also remember that survivors survived because of very specific circumstances  It is not to say that the common person who was killed was not courageous or intelligence  There are survivors because the Nazis decided to use some victims as workers before they killed them  Put into forced labor in the vast number of camps across Europe  Many prisoners died because of the work they had to do, lack of nutrition, hunger, disease  Many worked until Nazis decided to kill them  Many times survivors were in many different places  Bounced from one camp to another Universe of Camps  Concentration camps (1933) o Originally set up as camps for political prisoners  Oranienburg, Dachau  Prisoners at Dachau  “Protective custody”  Fiction is that the German people are so outraged with these political leaders that they must locked up  Included all undesirables  Potential threats to the state  Asocial  Anti social, the Nazis deemed that you are unable to fit into the society around you  Enemies of the Regime  Law and order campaign to arrest many groups of people deemed to be threats to the German society  Nazis made it clear that they would clean up Germany and put them into camps where they will finally do an honest days work  “Work shy” – people who do not want to work  Concentration camps  Tool to inspired fear in people  Reduce the risk of resistance  Through the 1930s  Nazi party was very popular because they had the law and order vote locked up  Many people buy into they idea that concentration camps were places for people to get work  Prisoners had only themselves to blame  If you are in a concentration camp you deserve to be there  It is your faulty  “Only as stubborn mule ends up in a KZ”  Reason why Concentration camps grew:  Nazis would always have a group to target, would move on once one group was completely removed  The SS whole claim to power is superiority  Their job is to find threats and risks within the state and remove those threats  The only way to show you are doing a good job is increasing numbers, therefore, increasing concentration camps and prisoners  Variety of KZ prisoners  Badges would signify hierarchy among prisoners  Ravensbruck Camp  Specifically for women as forced laborers  Jews, Poles, politically active, asocial, prostitutes, homosexuals, Jehovah Witnesses, etc.  Had women administrators  SS did hire some women to be camp guards  Some women from this camp were selected to work in brothels set up in other concentration camps  Forced prostitutes  Henrich Himmler decided that at some camps he would set up brothels so that the workers in those camps could work harder if they could be rewarded with tickets to brothels  Polish and German woman forced to work in these  As soon as the war was over these woman immediately became silent about this  Very little concrete information  Medical Experimentation  Designed to aid the survival of German military personnel  To figure out things that they think could be useful  High Altitude Experiment  Doctors tried to see how high could a plane be and have a pilot  Drinkability of Seawater  Designed to test drugs and treatments  Most ended horribly  Designed to test German racial purity  How would two people of different races react to malaria?  Over the years camps grow in number  By end of war, countless number of camps  So many camps because the SS, military, and private companies realize that to fight a war you need massive industrial output  All the prisoners are a virtual goal mind  THEY EQUAL FREE LABOR  Dachau Prisoners working as forced labor  SS uses prisoners as property  Lease out prisoners  Write out documents  Companies get cheap labor, and workers get used as basically slave labor  Jews were completely slaves  Other prisoners were given a small salary  SS grew extremely wealthy from the concentration camps  Camps related to Dachau  Many sub-camps in villages surrounding Dachau  In 1940s it was very difficult to be anywhere in Germany and not be near a concentration camp  Mauthausen  Built around a big quarry  SS set up granite company  Would use laborers to hack out granite  The work was so punishing that 95000 prisoners died there  SS has no interest in making labor more efficient  Idea was that if someone died they could just get another person from another concentration cam  Plaszow (Shindlers List)  Slave labor camp for the Poles first, then Jews  Interview – Ernest Abraham o Got a job that was not strenuous  All the jobs inside of the factory were horrible  There are no safety standards, working conditions are very dangerous  Got this job because he knew someone who knew his parents well  Connections helped him survive  Described the camp as more humane  Other camps had random shootings of people  Sometimes due the character of the administrative staff  Some memories are so intense because they are physical  Physical experience will lead the personal to tell those memories because it is so personal Auschwitz  Massive complex o Includes Birkenau, SS workshops, SS War Industries  Auschwitz I o First camp actually built  Initially served as a place for Polish political prisoners  Eventually a placed for forced labor with people from ALL over Europe  Where Mengele conducted his experiments  Auschwitz III  Monowitz or Buna (synthetic rubber)  I.G. Farben factory  Chemical company wanted to do everything they could do to help Germany win the war  Germany had no access to rubber because it grows in tropical regions and Britain/France controlled those areas  Organizing  Many camp laborers make deals with other workers to trade possessions that they had  Ex. Having shoes was crucial  Second Interview  Buna was marginally better and gave him a better chance to survive  Brothel at Auschwitz: for Polish workers and German criminals  Points out that Jews were never allowed near the brothel  Even if they had been they were too weak to go because their rations were much less  Roofing job was great for him  Advantageous because he never had to be at roll call  This was good because they could take two hours and in harsh weather, roll calls could be very detrimental to health  Auschwitz Sub-camps  An SS “economic development zone”  Basically a free for all for industries and the SS to make money  SS did not care how companies treated workers  If the workers died the companies would just pay to lease more  Ex. Coal Mine at Auschwitz  I.G. Farben brand supplied it  Ex. Experimental Agricultural station  Experiments in growing rubber plants  Had concentration camp prisoners running the farm  Ex. Production of arms, railroad, coal, tar  ALL FORCED LABOR BEING USED TOWARDS WAR EFFORT  Jews who did not survive Auschwitz  Were not given those opportunities to live Lecture 18: Camps III- Survival The World Post 1945  That everything happened during the war had moral and historical value Liberated Prisoners at Buchenwald  Concentration camp created in 1934 o Originally camp for politically prisoners  Towards end of WW2 o Many prisoners in Poland were forced to march West to camps in Germany  Ellie Bizel  Survivor of Auschwitz  Wrote the book Night  In the picture at Buchenwald  Why was he in Buchenwald in May 1945?  What made him get there  What did the US solider learn from this photograph? What might he have learned about the Nazi regime  What happened to men like the ones in the picture? What happens next?  How did they get to Buchenwald  Height of Nazi power was 1942  In 1945 Nazi Germany has shrunk  Because it was attacked on 3 sides  Slow advance of the Red Army on the eastern front  By Summer of 1944 Red army is in Poland  As German empire shrinks, Nazis are forced to as What to do about the concentration camps and what to do with the prisoners  Decide to march the prisoners West  Vast forced migration of prisoners  Prisoners themselves named these marches “Death Marches”  Why are they moving prisoners West?  The Nazis wanted to cover up what had been done  This was a massive scaled exercise in CYA  If there was some kind of reckoning after the war was over and Germany is in a losing position, then there very well may be accusations and prosecutions  Nazi officials remain loyal until the bitter end  Had tried to cover their traces well before 1945  Operation 1005 (1942-1943)  Code name for this operation that Himmler thought of  Idea was to eliminate all traces of the Einsatzgruppe shootings  Might not be a good idea to have these massive bodies with decaying bodies  SS goes around and digs up bodies from the graves, and burn them on site  Extends to some of the death camps  In 1943 Some death camps are closed  Treblinka, Sovibord  Closed because there were uprisings there  The Sondercommando units were responsible for taking the jewelry from bodies, stacking and sorting through valuable, taking bodies from gas chambers to crematorium  In 1943 the men of the special command revolted and tried to destroy the crematorium in Treblinka  Hill Reichmann escaped  Himmler and other officers shut down camps  They are completely destroyed, all buildings leveled, bodies burned  General sense that traces of murder have to be erased  Nazi regime is still continuing to fight and NEED the labor  Many people cant imagine a world without Nazi Germany  Trying to mobilize every bit of last resource they can  Decide if they can bring all these workers to labor camps and concentration camps in Germany  Prisoners will continue to work for the German war effort allowing them to keep fighting  Death Marches  Absolutely punishing marches  Taking place in absolute chaos  Bombs are falling, Germans in full retreat  Often the guards would escape themselves so that they would not be caught in a German uniform  If the Red Army caught a German in uniform they would reap horrible repercussions or even death  No thought on how to feed, clothe, or give any shelter to the prisoners  These people are already starved and now they are being given nothing to eat  Freezing winter of 1944-1945  Exposed without shelter  Marching in unhygienic conditions  When they get to their camps they are being forced again where order is beginning to deteriorate  Mortality in these camps sky rocket  Buchenwald  Was never a death camp, but became one because so many people were too weak to live and died off  To deal with the high death rates Germans built crematoria to try and deal with some of the bodies  Dora-Mittelbau Concentration camp  In Germany  Built into a hill, underground  Built because it was one of the last factory that was building aircrafts and rockets  Everywhere in Germany was being bombed  If Germans were going to keep anything functioning they had to move production underground  V2 missile program (“miracle weapon”)  The most advanced jet technology  Rockets that are going to change the war because they are going to land on London and the Nazis believe they would be able to win the war  Underground assembly line at Dora  Where prisoners work  US soldier inspecting bodies from death march o Suggests that the US soldiers saw very horrible things and took an exact visual picture of them  Did not necessarily know what it was they were seeing  As a result made conclusions about the Nazi regime that was not exactly accurate  In the West, it took a very long time for the distinction between concentration camp and death camps to be known  Soldiers saw camps and dead bodies and thought that’s what happens in Nazi concentration camps  People knew what a concentration camp was  Nazi concentration camps built in 1942 were very well known  There were books out that recounted what happened in camps like Dachau  However there had never been a camp that existed solely to kill people  This was something new  Ex. Birkenau and Treblinka  The idea of Death camps was hard to grasp for many people  What army was where in 1945?  Liberation of Nazi Europe determined how word about the camps go out  The US and British were in West and Soviets were in the East  It was the Soviets that got to Auschwitz, Treblinka, and everywhere in Poland  US liberated placed like Buchenwald and Dachau  This means that Soviets investigated  Some of the information went into archives in Moscow and stayed there for a very long time  Stayed there until 1989  US cameras that would get into news reels were taken of concentration camps of dead and dying people, but had never actually been death camps  The concentration camps had larger number of survivors  Therefore larger number of witnesses  In general, survival rate in concentration camps was much higher than in death camps  At first survivors were few and scattered  Those who tried to write memoirs had very little audience  Eli Bezel  Wrote Night in 1959 but did not become so popular until much later  After the war  In many places, US soldiers forced German civilians to see the dead who had died on the death marches  They do this because they are so horrified at what had happened  Often would force the German population to dig graves for these bodies  Take a lot of photographs for wider distribution in the US  Fact-finding missions  US senators go and see what is to be seen in the concentration camps  Take information and go back to congress  Not only is there an inaccurate sense of what is going on at the camp, but there is also a vagueness of who is in the camp  Prisoners from all places being brought to these camps  Jews, Polish forced laborers, political prisoners  Margret Bourke-White  Famous photographer  Goes to Germany to do a photo spread for LIFE magazine  It comes out that there are many different kinds of victims at places like Buchenwald  What does not come out until much later is that the central enemy was the Jew  Death camps were set up strategically for Jews  Concentration camps were set up for people who against Germany    Memorials at Vanished Death Camps  Treblinka and Auschwitz  Destroyed by Nazis  Process of evaluating and interpreting


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