The Holocaust

Focus Questions:

  1. What was the Nazi government's "Final Solution?"
  2. How did the world to Hitler's attempt to destroy European Jews?
  3. What was the history of Nazi Antisemitism during the 1930s?

Questions to think About:

  • What makes some people resist and others obey authority?
  • How was it possible for the whole world to stand by without halting the destruction?
  • How can we ensure that laws and rules are applied to everyone in the same way?
  • Where does one draw the line between obeying the law or obeying one’s conscience?
  • Under what conditions are most people likely to feel more responsible for helping others?

Appearing before the Nazi Reichstag (Parliament) on the sixth anniversary of his coming to power, Adolf Hitler made a speech commemorating that event and also made a public threat against the Jews...
"In the course of my life I have very often been a prophet, and have usually been ridiculed for it. During the time of my struggle for power it was in the first instance only the Jewish race that received my prophecies with laughter when I said that I would one day take over the leadership of the State, and with it that of the whole nation, and that I would then among other things settle the Jewish problem. Their laughter was uproarious, but I think that for some time now they have been laughing on the other side of their face. Today I will once more be a prophet: if the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevizing of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!" Hitler January 30, 1939

Holocaust Victim Identity Chart


The Wannsee Conference - January 1942 Minutes from Conference
In a suburb of Berlin January of 1942, Hitler's top advisers gathered to discuss how to facilitate Hitler's plan for destruction of Europe's entire Jewish population. Reinhard Heydrich second in command of the Gestapo or SS was the chairman of the conference. Also present was Adolph Eichmann whose is credited for the use of Zyklon B for the "more sanitary" method of genocide and officers of the Einsatzgruppen units active in occupied areas of the Soviet Union.Einsatzgruppen in Latvia

What is meant by the Final Solution?

Schoschana Rabinovici,Thanks to My Mother, Dial Book (Division of Penguin Putnam Books)New York 1998.
An Excellent Memoir - the female counterpart of the classic work of Elie Weisel's Night. The title implies that someone did survive.

Robert Goldston, Next Year in Jerusalem A Short History of Zionism, LIttle Brown and Company, Boston 1978
A great overall source with tons of footnotes so you know this guy has done his research & it shows.

List of the camps

Gerda Weissman Link
One Survivor Remembers

Some Were Neighbors Worksheet