Hitler delivered a speech to the Reichstag in which he
threatened the annihilation of the Jews, and if war comes it will result in the
destruction of the Jewish race in Europe.
2 September 1939
Poland invaded - Hitler’s hatred of the Jews – saw polish Jews were the biggest
threat, large Jewish population became subjected to violence
all Jews in Poland were ordered to wear a yellow star to
identify them. This regulation was later extended throughout all German-controlled
lands (IMPACT ON EUROPE)
Jewish inhabitants of major towns and cities began to be
herded into ghettos – disease, overcrowding. Warsaw ghetto was the largest –
where thousands died from starvation.
Almost all of Poland’s 3.5 million Jews were dead
PARAGRAPH 1 K. S. Pinson – German historian says...
Nazi ideology saw the Jew as the root of all their problems and their
PARAGRAPH 2 Gypsies
*Were labelled as ‘non-Aryan’
*Sent to ghettos in Poland and special gypsy camps in Auschwitz – where many became the subject of medical experimentation
*It is estimated over 200 000 of a total of almost 900 000 European Gypsies were victims of the Holocaust.
PARAGRAPH 2 The Disabled
*Were the subject of the sterilisation law and the Nazi definition of ‘handicapped’ for sterilisation was very loose, and included prostitutes and alcoholics
*The beginning of the war saw the introduction of a euthanasia program which was designed to give a ‘mercy death’ to unproductive people, thus disguised as aiding Germany in its war effort
PARAGRAPH 2 Homosexuals
un-German and unnatural – designated life unworthy of life
PARAGRAPH 2 Adolf Hitler – Mein Kampf
Hitler clearly states in his book that Jews are inferior compared to the Aryan race and are seen as parasites. He also outlines his plans for a pure Aryan race, untainted by Jews.
Russia invaded by Hitler – measures against Jews were intensified
PARAGRAPH 3 Einstazgruppen
*Groups of about 3000 men whose orders were to kill all Jews:
men, women and children, and other undesirables in occupied territories in the
*no attempt at hiding activities and most victims were shot and buried in
*Special units formed within the SS under the authority of Reinhard Heydrich
PARAGRAPH 3 Historian Daniel J. Golghagen believes
The mass murder of the Jews was a consistent plan of Hitler’s. Without the Nazis there never would have been a Holocaust, but they came to power in a country with a long history of anti-Semitism and so the killing of Jews was not forced upon the German people, and many ordinary German’s saw it as right and just.
PARAGRAPH 4 1942
new laws were introduced that stripped Jews of even more of their remaining rights –couldn’t travel beyond local community without police permit
20 Jan 1942
* Wannsee conference
*Heydrich called a secret conference where selected Nazis decided on the arrangements for the ‘Final Solution’ to the ‘Jewish Problem’
*Jews were to be removed from homelands/ghettos and taken to the east in overcrowded freight wagons
*Those who were unfit/old were taken to extermination camps & those who were fit were sent to concentration camps to be worked to death
1942 - camps
6 extermination camps were set up in occupied Poland (IMPACT ON EUROPE), including Auschwitz, where more than 4 million people were murdered between 1941 an 1944
*The extermination in camps continued until 1944, when the advancing Russians overran the camps. *Number of Jews who died at Nazi hands – approx 6 million
PARAGRAPH 4 Alan Bullock – British historian
Believes Hitler didn’t have the ability or interest to properly organise the final solution, so instead he left it to Himmler and Heydrich
Modern History - Nazi Racial Policy
notes for Nazi racial policy (1939 - 1945) and it's impact on Europe