Unwanted people: Jewish WW2-era History - How western unwillingness to help sealed countless lives.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Hitler & Jews, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Nazi Death Camps, Nazi leaders, Schindler's List.
The Jews Who Fought Back: Jewish partisans were among the deadliest resistance fighters
According to one familiar narrative about the Holocaust, millions of Jews passively went to the Nazi death camps likes lambs to the slaughter, unable to fight back against oppression and genocide. The problem is—that story isn`t true. More than 30,000 Jews joined armed resistance movements throughout occupied Europe during World War II. Not only did they face death from the Germans and their European allies, they often endured dangerous anti-Semitism within their own partisan groups. Yet despite these obstacles, Jewish partisans were among the most successful resistance fighters of the war.
How the Jews Defeated Hitler: Exploding the Myth of Jewish Passivity in the Face of Nazism
The apparent lack of Jewish resistance to the Holocaust has long been troubling. Political science professor Benjamin Ginsberg proposes a new way of understanding what actually happened: Jews did resist, not so much in the impossible environments of Nazi-occupied Europe but from elsewhere. Jews took leading roles in Britain`s codebreaking program and America`s nuclear project, eagerly served in the U.S. and Soviet military and designed some of Russia`s best weapons, including the T-34 tank.
Amsterdam forced Jews to pay rent while in WWII concentration camps
Amsterdam council has vowed to probe revelations that it forced Jews returning from concentration camps to pay rent arrears, even if their homes had been destroyed or occupied by Nazis. The scandal, involving an unknown number of Jews and non-Jews living in city-owned properties, was uncovered by an art history student in Amsterdam`s archives. Less than a quarter of Amsterdam`s Jewish population survived the war, with the Netherlands occupied by the Nazis from 1940 to 1945. `On their return, Jews received letters from Amsterdam council demanding the settling of their back rent,` the art historian, Charlotte van den Berg, 23, explained.
Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include Axis Balkan Campaign, D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, and the Battle of Bulge. In addition to WWII some other time periods include Korean War, American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War. The more complex campaigns like Operation Sea Lion, Invasion of Norway, and Invasion of Japan 1945, include Naval element and handling logistics of supply flow.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store since 2011)
Destination Shanghai exhibit recalls Shanghai as World War II refuge for European Jews
Hunched and weary, the "stateless refugees" lined up out the door of a soup kitchen in China during the winter of 1937. Peering anxiously at the place that would soon become their home, the men, women and children who gathered that day in search of a meal were the most recent group of German and Austrian Jews to flee Nazi-occupied Europe for the promising shores of the Far East. The moment is immortalized in a photo included in Destination Shanghai: The Jewish Community of Shanghai, 1936-1949, at the Center for Jewish History in New York. The exhibit tells the story of a far-flung outpost of the post-WWII Jewish diaspora. But the real subject of Destination Shanghai, says curator Renata Stein, isn`t only the plight of European Jews but also the hospitality and empathy of their Chinese hosts.
Jews fled to the UK as servants: If 15-hour workday is too much for you, I`ll send you back to Hitler
As the Nazis tightened their grip on power in the late 1930s, Jews began to fear for their safety. 20,000 Germans and Austrians, mostly women, to take advantage of the domestic service visas being issued by the British government in the late 1930s. When Natalie Huss-Smickler arrived in England in 1938 as a 26-year-old, she found her new job as a domestic servant something of a shock: "My first job in England was very, very hard. I had to work from 8am to 11pm with an hour`s break, cleaning and scrubbing... After a few weeks I complained. The lady of the house said, `If it`s too much for you, I`ll send you back to Hitler.`"
The War against the Jews 1933-1945 by Lucy S. Dawidowicz (book review)
Jews have been assaulted throughout history, but National Socialism was something new. It took a long time for even its victims to realize how different it was. Not until 1942 – by which time many more than a million Jews had been murdered – did the captives begin to discern that the goal of the Nazis was to do them all to death. Until then, the old motto of "hold on and hold out" had seemed likely to serve the community, if not the individuals within it, as well as it had always done through the centuries.
Documentary film Paper Nazis explores prewar anti-Semitism in Winnipeg, Canada, in the 1930s
Filmmaker Andrew Wall wanted to know the answer to the question "were Jews discriminated against at Victoria Beach in the 1940s"? The result: "Paper Nazis", a documentary film that explores the rise and fall of two anti-Semitic extremist groups in Winnipeg in the 1930s: the Nazi movement and the Canadian Nationalist Party.
"The anti-Semitism of that time struck me as unbelievable. I couldn`t believe it happened in Canada."
And what about that rumor about Victoria Beach? In 1943, when a Jewish family tried to buy a cottage, a local newspaper published an article: "Unwanted people: A Reminder to Property Owners and Agents".
Unfortunately, not many people realize how much there was anti-Semitism in the North America in the 1930s. For example in the United States Jews, like the Black, were the last to be hired and the first to be fired. Anti-Jewish restrictions in ads reached their highest level in history in the US in the 1930s. The subject is rarely brought up, since it reveals the nasty fact that while the Nazi Party was just trying to gain power, the freedom loving democracies were fully engaged in racist practices.
Italy`s treatment of Jews reconsidered: Italians took the wealth but sheltered from Nazi camps
Italians seized everything from Ursula Korn Selig`s family, but they also sheltered her family from being sent to the Nazi camps. The two faces WWII Italy had have become the focus of recent historical research.
10 Absurd Holocaust remarks with informative and educative comments
(1) The only meaningful way to save the intended victims of Adolf Hitler`s murder machine was to win the war as quickly as possible. (Answer) Ways to help: Use empty troop supply ships returning from Europe to bring refugees to the US. Bomb the Nazi death camps or the railway lines leading to them. Pressing the British to open Palestine to Jewish refugees. (2) The German army controlled everything after 1940. Nobody could get out. (Answer) 26,000 Jews escaped to Palestine 1941-1944. 8,000 escaped from Denmark to Sweden in 1943. Thousands were smuggled out of Vichy Francy in 1940-1941 by Varian Fry`s network.
Flight From the Reich: Refugee Jews, 1933-1946 [book review]
Compared to the termination of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, the fate of the few hundred thousand Jews who fled Third Reich before WWII can seem like a footnote. In "Flight From the Reich: Refugee Jews, 1933-1946" Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt recall that they once gave a speech at a conference, only to be asked, "What does the history of Jewish refugees have to do with the Holocaust?" the story of the refugees - the Jews who fled Germany and Austria 1933-1939, for destinations as close as Belgium and as far away as the Dominican Republic and Shanghai - is key to understanding of the Nazi war against the Jews. They were Hitler`s first victims.
A Dominican haven for Jews fleeing the Nazi Regime (Article no longer available from the original source)
In 1940, the Dominican Republic welcomed Jews fleeing Hitler - and in all the world, this was the only haven offered to them. In the 3 years since the Nuremberg laws canceled Jewish citizenship in 1935, 150,000 Jews had fled Nazi Germany. Then the Anschluss made 200,000 more Jews stateless. President Franklin Roosevelt had come under pressure to push Congress to liberalize U.S. immigration laws. But America was stuck in isolationism, which took on an anti-Semitic stripe in the 1930s. Finally, the State Department acted on the Dominican plan: The bloody dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo returned to Jewish refugees the very rights Hitler had taken away.
Rochla Trachtman survived the Holocaust, Battle of Stalingrad, Stalin`s oppression
Rochla Trachtman survived the Holocaust, but she isn`t a Holocaust survivor. She and her husband fled from Kishinev on the eve of the Nazi invasion of Soviet Union in June 1941 on a cattle wagon, which took them to Stalingrad. Her baby died in her arms, but they were among the very few people who survived the Battle of Stalingrad. After the war, her husband was arrested for being a Zionist and he served 8 years of a 10-year sentence in a prison, cut short only by Stalin`s death in 1953. A story of survival, if there ever was one. But the hundreds of thousands of Eastern European Jews have never got recognition or reparations for their suffering and loss of property.
Britain`s Holocaust shame: Using force to place survivors back to German camps (Article no longer available from the original source)
When British soldiers freed the concentration camps of Nazi Germany the survivors hailed them as saviours. British leaders promised that the world would never forget their agony. 2 years later the British governmemt was charged of mistreating thousands of survivors, who, when kept from fleeing to Palestine, had been forcibly sent back to barbed-wire camps in Germany, staffed by Germans. Secret files published at the National Archives show the fate of Jewish immigrants aboard the 1947 refugee ship Exodus and the propaganda battle that ensued when Britain used force to return them to Germany.
Forgotten Transports: 4 part documentary maps the fates of Czech Jews (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Czech 4-part documentary film "Forgotten Transports" deals with the fates of Czech Jews who were transported to WW2 concentration camps. Part II focuses on the Jews who were sent to camps to Belarus in 1941-1942. Out of the 7000 deported, 22 survived. Most of the survivors in the film have spoken about their wartime traumas for the first time. Their interviews are accompanied by authentic photos and film fragments found in archives, private collections, and in the possessions of former SS officers. 80,000 Jews from the Czech Lands (Bohemia and Moravia) died in camps or in transports.
Dark days of World War II concentration camp
Israel Geller waited inside the rail box car filled with prisoners. Starving, he was on his way to another camp, Dachau. It was July 1944. Geller had spent years doing forced labor at Auschwitz, and in the ghettos of Lodz, Benchen and Warsaw. They were sweating and itching with lice from infested blankets. They begged Nazi officers for water. "They opened up the doors and threw water at us. I squeezed the blanket and sucked out everything I can." In Auschwitz Geller lost his identity and became "159320." "Dachau was 88437," he said with tears. When liberated by American troops, Geller’s friend ran towards them, but was shot dead by U.S. soldiers who could not id him.
She fled Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler`s reign of horror
Helga Jonas’s father Martin Jonas found it hard to believe that his family would ever be caught up in Hitler’s genocide. He was a loyal German, fighting for his country in World War I. But that meant little to Hitler, himself a WWI veteran. The Jonases were Jews and hence doomed for a camp. Helga says: "We felt protected as Germans... I remember seeing many Nazi parades, and one where I saw Hitler standing in his Mercedes, the people lining the streets in adoration, saluting and shouting Sieg Heil. But when I was in about 7th grade... they pulled us out." By a chance, she was saved from the camps by the Kindertransport plan.
Lost world: Roman Vishniac`s images of Jewish life in Eastern Europe
Roman Vishniac is a man much honoured for his documentary photos of traditional Jewish life in Eastern Europe on the eve of World War Two. On the walls of McMaster Museum of Art are 70 of the photos that made his reputation: images of Jewish families, children, rabbis and students and labourers, in places such as Berlin, Warsaw, Lublin, Bratislava, Vilna and Mukachevo - all cities he saw in 1936-1938 photographic expeditions. In those days the Polish government was anti-Semitic and they were not happy about someone photographing these poor communities. He had to be careful: concealing the camera within his overcoat, taking pics through an enlarged button hole.
Refugee Werner Kleeman became a GI to bring down his Nazi nemesis
It is a story of wartime payback which has gone untold - until now. A refugee who fled Adolf Hitler in 1939 came back to occupied Germany as an American soldier at the end of the World War II to arrest the Nazi who had persecuted his family. Werner Kleeman`s memoir of his search for justice, From Dachau To D-Day, is now the subject of a Hollywood bidding war. Kleeman was the third of 5 children of a grain merchant in the Bavarian village of Gaukoenigshofen. He was a schoolboy when Hitler came to power in 1933. At 14 he was booted out of school under Nazi race laws. By 1936, the Kleeman family business had been wrecked.
World War II documentary: Hitler`s Jewish Soldiers by Larry Price
Adolf Hitler`s mighty wehrmacht had a fair number of men with Jewish ancestry as thousands of so-called mischlinge filled the ranks of various German armed forces. These half-, quarter-, eighth- and so-on Jews were eagerly drafted by the Germans in late 1930s to speed up rearmament. The interviews provide a certain amount of self-justification and rationalization with just as much cold, calculated observation about what life was really like for them. Some of them were actual poster faces for the wehrmacht; others lied about their "race"; others simply put up by a policy that later become famous in the U.S. military: don`t ask, don`t tell.
After the Nazi defeat, Polish citizens started pogroms
Professor Jan T. Gross has written a book, "Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz", it shows in detail how Polish citizens of all classes set upon the remaining Jews in their communities and murdered them outright. During the 1946 Kielce pogrom, soldiers who were called to the scene to restore order instead tossed women out of windows. Townspeople finished off those not yet dead. He supplies witnesses, court testimony (most of the killers got off), letters, diaries, films. All tell the same story: Anti-Semitism was so embedded in Poland that even the outrages of Auschwitz did not dissuade Polish population from the murderous project.
Last pogrom, in 1946 by Polish, still casts dark shadow
Air-raid sirens echoed across the small town of Kielce to mark the 4 July, 1946, when a mob armed with firearms and angered by rumours a child had been kidnapped, attacked a building housing Jewish refugees. When the violence ended, 40 persons, many of them Holocaust survivors, lay dead. The bloodletting in Kielce prompted thousands to flee Poland, with an estimated 60,000 leaving in the 3 months. A book, Fear, by professor Jan Gross, examines racism in Poland in the months following the end of the WWII, concludes that the reasons lay in a vicious Polish hatred of Jews. He claims that up to 1,500 died in related violence in Poland during this period.
French state fined: Not Gestapo but French state took action (Article no longer available from the original source)
In the first case of its kind, the French state and the SNCF national rail operator were fined 62,000 euros for their role in the deportation of two Jewish men in Second World War. Previous attempts to condemn the SNCF in criminal and civil courts have failed, and the current case rested on claims that the French state authorities, the police and the SNCF failed in their duty to provide services to citizens. Lawyer said that "in the round-ups, it was not the Gestapo but the French authorities who took action".
Stamp to honor WWII envoy who defied US no-help policy
66 years ago, Hiram Bingham IV, a blue-blood US diplomat in France, defied U.S. policy by helping Jews escape the Nazis in the early years of World War II. His actions cost him his career but won him the undying gratitude of the more than 2,000 refugees he helped save by issuing them false documents, and even at times sheltering them in his home. Only in recent years has his heroism been officially recognized by his own country. His own children did not learn the extent of his wartime deeds until 1996, when a son found a cache of old journals and correspondence stashed in a hidden closet.
France to Shine a Light on Its Notorious Camp
A memorial marking the role of France`s Vichy government in shipping Jews and others to Nazi death camps will be created at Rivesaltes, an internment facility near France`s border with Spain. It will be the first official Holocaust memorial in Southern France, the stronghold of the Vichy government, which collaborated with the Nazis from 1940 to 1944. Rivesaltes was the most active way station for persecuted Jews and political opponents. In 1941, the height of its operation, Rivesaltes had a population of 8,000, an estimated 3,000 of whom were children.
Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Fame and France
By 1938 Louis Darquier was the head of the Anti-Jewish Union, the most prominent anti-Semitic organisation in France. Obsessed by racial purity, he was in eager agreement with the Nazis, whose influence he cultivated assiduously. For some years, the Third Reich supported many of his activities from a distance. In 1942, after the fall of France, he became head of the Vichy CGQJ, devoting less time to his administrative duties than to tracking down and seizing Jewish assets, a process known as "economic Aryanisation". When the Final Solution gathered pace, he helped send 32,000 Jews to Auschwitz.
Sweden`s Lutheran church applied Nazi race laws (Article no longer available from the original source)
Sweden`s Lutheran church applied Nazi race laws to stop Germans living in Sweden during World War II from marrying Jews. The Swedish state church applied German laws that forbade "Aryan" German citizens from marrying Jews, and stopped at least 5 such marriages from taking place. The church acted on the recommendation of the foreign ministry as Sweden, which was officially neutral, sought to appease Nazi Germany to stave off an invasion. Over 400 Swedes who married "Germans of so-called Aryan heritage" were forced to sign a written assurance that their parents or grandparents did not have Jewish roots.
"French Eichmann" Louis Darquier - Villain of Vichy France
By focusing on Louis Darquier, an overlooked villain of the Vichy regime who acted as Commissioner for Jewish Affairs, biographer Carmen Callil says she used the "underbelly of history" to expose the truth. In 1978, Darquier gave an interview to "L`Express" in which he called the Holocaust a "Jewish invention" and said the reason for the gas chambers was to get rid of lice. In the end the Vichy state deported 75,000 Jews. Of 70,000 sent to Auschwitz only 2,500 survivors returned to France.
Nazi Govt. Wanted to Deport Jews to Soviet Union
A document found in a Moscow archive suggests that the Soviet leadership rejected a Nazi proposal to deport Jews to the Soviet Union. The letter discusses a German proposal - maybe written by Adolf Eichmann and Alois Brunner - to move more than 2 million Jews to the Soviet Union. But the Soviet leadership rejected almost immediately the idea: "We cannot take these Jews. We have an awful lot of our own already," Chekmenyov wrote in the letter to Molotov. Nazi officials had also proposed other ways of evicting Jews, such as deporting them en masse to the island of Madagascar, as a territorial solution to what the Nazis referred to as the “Jewish question”.
Spanish Nazi victims` chief says was never in camp (Article no longer available from the original source)
The former head of a Spanish association of Nazi concentration camp victims said on Wednesday he was never actually a prisoner in any camp and had lied for almost 30 years about his past. Enric Marco, who published a book entitled "Memories of Hell" in 1978 about his experiences, confessed he had invented his account of suffering in Germany`s Flossenburg concentration camp.
Hitler`s murderous obsession to annihilate the Jews
Adolf Hitler waged all-out war on the Jews, proclaiming as the Nazis marched through Europe and into Africa and Asia that his empire would be cleared of Jews. The Holocaust saw the systematic murder by the Nazis of an estimated six million Jews, which wiped out two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe. Purpose-built concentration camps with gas chambers and crematoria were devised. Most of the slaughter took place in Poland, the Baltic states, the Balkans and Soviet territory occupied by the Nazis. Hated SS death squads advanced with the German army to exterminate Jews in conquered lands.