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“And so, within seven months, I lost my father, my brother, and my mother. I am the only one who survived. This is what the Germans did to us, and these are things that should never be forgotten. On the other hand, we had our revenge: the survivors were able to raise magnificent families – among them myself. This is the revenge and the consolation.”
The Holocaust was the murder by Nazi Germany of six million Jews. While the Nazi persecution of the Jews began in 1933, the mass murder was committed during World War II. It took the Germans and their accomplices four and a half years to murder six million Jews. They were at their most efficient from April to November 1942 – 250 days in which they murdered some two and a half million Jews. They never showed any restraint, they slowed down only when they began to run out of Jews to kill, and they only stopped when the Allies defeated them.
There was no escape. The murderers were not content with destroying the communities; they also traced each hidden Jew and hunted down each fugitive. The crime of being a Jew was so great, that every single one had to be put to death – the men, the women, the children; the committed, the disinterested, the apostates; the healthy and creative, the sickly and the lazy – all were meant to suffer and die, with no reprieve, no hope, no possible amnesty, nor chance for alleviation.
Most of the Jews of Europe were dead by 1945. A civilization that had flourished for almost 2,000 years was no more. The survivors – one from a town, two from a host – dazed, emaciated, bereaved beyond measure, gathered the remnants of their vitality and the remaining sparks of their humanity, and rebuilt. They never meted out justice to their tormentors – for what justice could ever be achieved after such a crime? Rather, they turned to rebuilding: new families forever under the shadow of those absent; new life stories, forever warped by the wounds; new communities, forever haunted by the loss.
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Gypsies in the Holocaust.
via Gypsies in the Holocaust.
“For Nazi Germany the Gypsies became a racist dilemma. The Gypsies were Aryans, but in the Nazi mind there were contradictions between what they regarded as the superiority of the Aryan race and their image of the Gypsies…
At a conference held in Berlin on January 30, 1940, a decision was taken to expel 30,000 Gypsies from Germany to the territories of occupied Poland…
The reports of the SS Einsatzgruppen [special task forces] which operated in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union mention the murder of thousands of Gypsies along with the massive extermination of the Jews in these areas.
The deportations and executions of the Gypsies came under Himmler’s authority. On December 16, 1942, Himmler issued an order to send all Gypsies to the concentration camps, with a few exceptions…
The deported Gypsies were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where a special Gypsy camp was erected. Over 20,000 Gypsies from Germany and some other parts of Europe were sent to this camp, and most of them were gassed there…
Wiernik described the arrival of the largest Gypsy group brought to Treblinka, in the spring of 1943:
One day, while I was working near the gate, I noticed the Germans and Ukrainians making special preparations…meanwhile the gate opened, and about 1,000 Gypsies were brought in (this was the third transport of Gypsies). About 200 of them were men, and the rest women and children…all the Gypsies were taken to the gas chambers and then burned…
Gypsies from the General Government [Poland] who were not sent to Auschwitz and to the operation Reinhard camps were shot on spot by the local police or gendarmes. In the eastern region of the Cracow district, in the counties of Sanok, Jaslo, and Rzeszow, close to 1,000 Gypsies were shot…”
[Excerpted from Arad, Yitzhak. Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka—The Operation Reinhard Death Camps. IN: Indiana University Press, 1987, pp. 150153.]
According to The Institut Fuer Zeitgeschicthe in Munich, at least 4,000 gypsies were murdered by gas at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
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New online database lists Nazi loot for repatriation – Americas, World – The Independent.
via New online database lists Nazi loot for repatriation – Americas, World – The Independent.In this April 12, 1945 photo released by the U.S. National Archives, U.S. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, accompanied by Gen. Omar N. Bradley, left, and Lt. George S. Patton, Jr., inspects art treasures stolen by Germans in a salt mine in Merkers, Germany. Holocaust survivors and their relatives, as well as art collectors and museums, cango online beginning Monday, Oct. 18, 2010 to search a historical database of more than 20,000 art objects stolen in German-occupied France and Belgium from 1940 to 1944.
In this May 13, 1945 photo released by the U.S. National Archives, “The Graces in the Gardens of the Hesperides” by Peter Paul Rubens painting taken by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), is shown. Holocaust survivors and their relatives, as well as art collectors and museums, can go online beginning Monday, Oct. 18, 2010 to search a historical database of more than 20,000 art objects stolen in German-occupied France and Belgium from 1940 to 1944.
In this April 24, 1945 photo released by the U.S. National Archives, an American soldier stands among German loot stored in a church at Elligen, Germany. Holocaust survivors and their relatives, as well as art collectors and museums, can go online beginning Monday, Oct. 18, 2010 to search a historical database of more than 20,000 art objects stolen in German-occupied France and Belgium from 1940 to 1944.
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The Auschwitz Album is the only surviving visual evidence of the process of mass murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau. It is a unique document and was donated to Yad Vashem by Lilly Jacob-Zelmanovic Meier.
Visit the online exhibition: http://bit.ly/2Fi0aO