Immediately upon Hitler’s rise to power in Germany in 1933, anti-Semitism, known as the longest hatred, hatred of the Jews, was established as a foundation in the hearts and minds of his followers. Nazi racial ideology viewed Jews as “parasitic vermin worthy only of eradication,” and unleashed violent persecution and policies of direct hatred against them through:
Thousands of Jews were forced to immigrate and flee in search of refuge, but most nations of the world turned them away.
September 1, 1939–Hitler Invaded Poland – World War II began…
Ghettos were a central step in the Nazi process of control, dehumanization, and mass murder of the Jews. Human slavery, brutality, filth, starvation, deprivation, disease, and overcrowded conditions in over a thousand ghettos throughout Europe were the breeding grounds of death–the Nazis called this process “natural wastage.” Millions of Jews were deported on trains to their deaths in Nazi killing centers.
Ghettos and Deportation Collections include:
The railroad system was one of the largest collaborators with the Nazis in deporting millions of Jews to ghettos and concentration camps; the system was operated by over 1.4 million workers.
Drancy Concentration Camp was located in the suburbs of Paris, France; over 64,000 Jews were deported to death camps and the first transport of over 4,000 children to the gas chambers at Auschwitz came from Drancy.
1933-1945 – Franklin D. Roosevelt – U.S. President
“On November 25, 1942...The New York Times carried the first authenticated report that the Nazis had established a policy to exterminate Jews...The story of the slaughter of the Jews–a report confirmed by the State Department that more than two million Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe had already been systematically murdered...[report] appeared on page 10.”
On October 6, 1943, 400 rabbis stood on the steps of the United States Capitol and begged America for help… “America was our last great hope…” – 1943 “America and the Holocaust: Deceit and Indifference” - PBS
World War II Collections include:
“I do not know what we can do to save the Jews in Europe…but I know that we will be the sufferers if we let great wrongs occur without exerting ourselves to correct them.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, 1943
The "Final Solution" was the systematic, deliberate, physical annihilation of the European Jews. The Nazis established over 20,000 camps to carry out this calculated program of mass extermination. At the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942, 15 top Nazi bureaucrats met for 1 ½ hours to coordinate the full implementation of the “Final Solution.” Einsatzgruppen, specialized mobile killing units, killed 1.5 million men, women, and children, and 3 million more were exterminated in the concentration camp system.
Hitler and his Nazi regime occupied 22 nations of Europe and implemented anti-Jewish policies and programs of mass annihilation in all of these nations; the Danish resistance to the “Final Solution” was known as the “Danish Solution,” the rescue of Denmark’s Jews.
“The things I saw beggar description… The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering… I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations to propaganda.” – General Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 15, 1945
Liberation and Aftermath Collections include:
Upon hearing of the mass slaughter of the Jews in 1941, Prime Minister Winston Churchill expressed, “We are in the presence of a crime without a name." The crimes of the Holocaust were given a legal name, genocide, which refers to: violent crimes or actions committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.
“The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated.” – Chief Prosecutor Robert Jackson, Nuremberg Trials, 1945
As Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion proclaimed in Israel’s Declaration of Independence:
“The Jewish people arose in the land of Israel and it was here that its spiritual, religious and political character was shaped. Here they attained their sovereignty, and here they bequeathed to the world their national and cultural treasures, and the most eternal of books.” – David Ben-Gurion in Israel’s Declaration of Independence, 1948