Essay questions about the holocaust

The IRC requested permission to investigate the situation, but the Germans only agreed to allow the visit nine months after submission of the request. This delay provided time for the Nazis to complete a "beautification" program, designed to fool the delegation into thinking that conditions at Terezin were quite good and that inmates were allowed to live out their lives in relative tranquility. The visit, which took place on July 23, , was followed by a favorable report on Terezin to the members of the IRC which Jewish organizations protested vigorously, demanding that another delegation visit the camp.

Such a visit was not permitted until shortly before the end of the war. In reality, the majority were subsequently deported to Auschwitz where they were murdered. Moreover, in their occupied areas of France, Greece, and Yugoslavia, the Italians protected the Jews and did not allow them to be deported. However, when the Germans overthrew the Badoglio government in , the Jews of Italy, as well as those under Italian protection in occupied areas, were subject to the "Final Solution. The Japanese were also relatively tolerant toward the Jews in their country as well as in the areas which they occupied.

Despite pressure by their German allies urging them to take stringent measures against Jews, the Japanese refused to do so. Refugees were allowed to enter Japan until the spring of , and Jews in Japanese-occupied China were treated well. In the summer and fall of , refugees in Japan were transferred to Shanghai but no measures were taken against them until early , when they were forced to move into the Hongkew Ghetto.

While conditions were hardly satisfactory, they were far superior to those in the ghettos under German control. Although he stated that the myths of "race" and "blood" were contrary to Christian teaching in a papal encyclical, March , he neither mentioned nor criticized antisemitism. Although as early as the Vatican received detailed information on the murder of Jews in concentration camps, the Pope confined his public statements to expressions of sympathy for the victims of injustice and to calls for a more humane conduct of the war.

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Despite the lack of response by Pope Pius XII, several papal nuncios played an important role in rescue efforts, particularly the nuncios in Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Turkey. It is not clear to what, if any, extent they operated upon instructions from the Vatican. In Germany, the Catholic Church did not oppose the Nazis' antisemitic campaign.


Church records were supplied to state authorities which assisted in the detection of people of Jewish origin, and efforts to aid the persecuted were confined to Catholic non-Aryans. While Catholic clergymen protested the Nazi euthanasia program, few, with the exception of Bernhard Lichtenberg, spoke out against the murder of the Jews.

In Western Europe, Catholic clergy spoke out publicly against the persecution of the Jews and actively helped in the rescue of Jews.

The Holocaust: 36 Questions & Answers About the Holocaust

In Eastern Europe, however, the Catholic clergy was generally more reluctant to help. Jozef Tiso, the head of state of Slovakia and a Catholic priest, actively cooperated with the Germans as did many other Catholic priests. The response of Protestant and Eastern Orthodox churches varied. In Germany, for example, Nazi supporters within Protestant churches complied with the anti-Jewish legislation and even excluded Christians of Jewish origin from membership. Pastor Martin Niem"ller's Confessing Church defended the rights of Christians of Jewish origin within the church, but did not publicly protest their persecution, nor did it condemn the measures taken against the Jews, with the exception of a memorandum sent to Hitler in May In occupied Europe, the position of the Protestant churches varied.

In other countries Bulgaria, Greece, and Yugoslavia , some Orthodox church leaders intervened on behalf of the Jews and took steps which, in certain cases, led to the rescue of many Jews. We do not know the exact number of Nazi criminals since the available documentation is incomplete. Those who committed war crimes include those individuals who initiated, planned and directed the killing operations, as well as those with whose knowledge, agreement, and passive participation the murder of European Jewry was carried out.

Also included are hundreds of thousands of members of the Gestapo, the SS, the Einsatzgruppen, the police and the armed forces, as well as those bureaucrats who were involved in the persecution and destruction of European Jewry. In addition, there were thousands of individuals throughout occupied Europe who cooperated with the Nazis in killing Jews and other innocent civilians.

We do not have complete statistics on the number of criminals brought to justice, but the number is certainly far less than the total of those who were involved in the "Final Solution.

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Afterwards, the Allied occupation authorities continued to try Nazis, with the most significant trials held in the American zone the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings. In total, 5, Nazi criminals were convicted between in the American, British and French zones, in addition to an unspecified number of people who were tried in the Soviet zone.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp Reel 2 (1945)

In addition, the United Nations War Crimes Commission prepared lists of war criminals who were later tried by the judicial authorities of Allied countries and those countries under Nazi rule during the war. The latter countries have conducted a large number of trials regarding crimes committed in their lands. The Polish tribunals, for example, tried approximately 40, persons, and large numbers of criminals were tried in other countries.

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In all, about 80, Germans have been convicted for committing crimes against humanity, while the number of local collaborators is in the tens of thousands. Special mention should be made of Simon Wiesenthal, whose activities led to the capture of over one thousand Nazi criminals. Courts in Germany began, in some cases, to function as early as By , almost 80, Germans had been investigated and over 6, had been convicted.

In , the Federal Republic of Germany FRG; West Germany established a special agency in Ludwigsburg to aid in the investigation of crimes committed by Germans outside Germany, an agency which, since its establishment, has been involved in hundreds of major investigations.

40 Questions, 40 Answers About the Holocaust

One of the major problems regarding the trial of war criminals in the FRG as well as in Austria has been the fact that the sentences have been disproportionately lenient for the crimes committed. Some trials were also conducted in the former German Democratic Republic GDR; East Germany , yet no statistics exist as to the number of those convicted or the extent of their sentences.

The term "Nuremberg Trials" refers to two sets of trials of Nazi war criminals conducted after the war. It consisted of the trials of the political, military and economic leaders of the Third Reich captured by the Allies. While the judges on the NMT were American citizens, the tribunal considered itself international.

36 Questions & Answers About the Holocaust

Twelve high-ranking officials were tried, among whom were cabinet ministers, diplomats, doctors involved in medical experiments, and SS officers involved in crimes in concentration camps or in genocide in Nazi-occupied areas. Download our mobile app for on-the-go access to the Jewish Virtual Library. Basic History.

Introductory History to The Holocaust. Could We Have Stopped Hitler? Life for Jews in Pre-War Germany. Simon Wiesenthal's 36 Questions. Why is the Holocaust Unique? Displaced Persons. Glossary of Terms. Holocaust Maps. Resistance to the Holocaust. Concentration Camps. Euthanasia Program. Final Solution. Forced Labor. Medical Experiments. Nuremberg Laws. Nazi War Crimes. Yellow Badges. Timeline of Jewish Persecution. The Nazis. Nazi Party Platform. Non-Jewish Rescuers in the Holocaust.

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The Rescue of Bulgaria's Jews. Righteous Among the Nations. Allied Liberators. Jewish Victims. Jews in Occupied Countries. Nazi Perpetrators. Adolf Hitler. Non-Jewish Victims. Jehovah's Witnesses. Resistance Fighters. Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini.

World Reaction. Allied Declaration on Persecution of the Jews.