Holocaust victims

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Rough approximation of Holocaust victims by criteria.
Shades of light blue represent varying Jewish victims (Polish Jews, Soviet Jews etc.); orange represents Eastern European victims (Polish, Ukrainian and Belarusian people, not including Yugoslavians); red represents Soviet prisoners of war; etc.
Click on image for more detail.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the United States' official memorial to the Holocaust, says that: "The Holocaust was the murder of six million Jews and millions of others by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II."[1] While the term Holocaust victims generally refers to the victims of a systematic genocide against the Jewish people in Nazi Germany, the Nazis systematically murdered a large number of non-Jewish people that were considered subhuman (Untermenschen) or undesirable. The non-Jewish (gentile) victims of the Holocaust included: Poles, Ukrainians, Slavs, Serbs, Romanis (often known in the English-speaking world by the ethnonym gypsies), lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) individuals;[a] mentally or physically disabled people;[b] Soviet POWs, Roman Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses,[c] Spanish Republicans, Freemasons,[d] people of color (especially African-German mischlinge, who Hitler and the Nazi regime called the "Rhineland Bastards"); the Deaf, leftists, Communists, trade unionists, social democrats, socialists, anarchists, and every other minority or dissident that wasn't considered part of the Aryan race or Herrenvolk ("master race").[e][2][3]

Taking into account all of the victims of persecution, the Nazis systematically killed an estimated 6 million Jews and mass murdered an additional 11 million people during the war. Donald Niewyk suggests that the broadest definition, including Soviet civilian deaths would produce a death toll of 17 million.[4]

Despite often widely varying treatment (some groups were actively targeted for genocide, while others were not), these victims all perished alongside one another, some in concentration camps such as Dachau and, some as victims of other forms of Nazi brutality, but most in death camps, such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, according to the extensive documentation left behind by the Nazis themselves (both written and photographed), eyewitness testimony (by survivors, perpetrators, and bystanders) and the statistical records of the various countries under occupation.

Ethnic criteria[edit]

See also Names of the Holocaust

Jews[edit]

The paramilitary campaign to remove certain classes of persons – but above all, Jews – from Germany and other German-held territories during the Second World War, often using methods of extreme brutality, is commonly known as the Holocaust. The Holocaust was carried out primarily by German forces and certain collaborative persons, both German and otherwise. As the war started, millions of Jews were concentrated in ghettos. In 1941, massacres of Jews took place and by December Hitler had decided to exterminate all of the Jews living in Europe at that time. In all, more than 30% of the Jews in Europe were murdered in the Holocaust. The world's Jewish population was reduced by a third, from roughly 16.6 million in 1939 to about 11 million in 1946.[5] Even sixty years later, there are still fewer Jews in the world today than there were prior to 1940.[6]

In January 1942, during the Wannsee conference, several Nazi leaders discussed the details of the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" (Endlösung der Judenfrage). Dr. Josef Bühler, the State Secretary for the Central Government, urged Reinhard Heydrich, the conference chairman, to proceed with the Final Solution in the General Government. They began to systematically deport Jewish populations from the ghettos and all occupied territories to the seven camps designated as Vernichtungslager, or extermination camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Maly Trostenets, Sobibór and Treblinka. The author Sebastian Haffner, published the analysis in 1978 that Hitler, from December 1941, accepted the failure of his goal to dominate Europe on his declaration of war against the United States, and that his withdrawal thereafter was sustained by the achievement of his second goal—the extermination of the Jews.[7] Even as the Nazi war machine faltered in the last years of the war, precious military resources such as fuel, transport, munitions, soldiers and industrial resources were still being diverted away from the war towards the death camps.

Poland, home of the largest Jewish community in the world before the war, had 3,300,000 (90%) of its Jewish population killed.[8] The Germans had issued the death penalty for hiding Jews[9][10] and this law was carried out fully.[11] Some Poles hid Jews and saved their lives despite the risk to them and their own families.[12] Although detailed reports on the Holocaust had reached western leaders, public awareness in the United States and other democracies of genocidal mass murder of Jews in Poland was extremely poor at the time; the first references in The New York Times in 1942 were not front-page news, these articles were more in the nature of unconfirmed reports.

Greece, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Lithuania, Bohemia, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Latvia each had over 70% of their Jewish population destroyed. Belgium, Romania, Luxembourg, Norway, and Estonia lost around 50% of their Jews, the Soviet Union over one third; even countries such as France and Italy had each seen around 25% of their Jewish population killed. Denmark was able to evacuate almost all of its Jews to nearby Sweden, which was neutral during the war. The Danish resistance movement, with the assistance of many ordinary Danish citizens, managed to evacuate 7,220 of Denmark's 7,800 Jews by sea to Sweden (a neutral country),[13] using everything from fishing boats to private yachts. The rescue allowed the vast majority of Denmark's Jewish population to avoid capture by the Nazis.[13] Some Jews outside Europe under Nazi occupation were also affected by the Holocaust, such as in Italian Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Iraq, Japan, and China.

Although Jews are an ethnoreligious group, Jews were defined by the Nazis purely on racial grounds. The Nazi party regarded Jewish religion as irrelevant and persecuted Jews on antisemitic stereotypes, and put it down to what they perceived to be biologically determined heritage that drove the Jewish race. While it defined Jews as the main enemy, Nazi racial ideology was used against other persecuted minorities.[14]

Romani[edit]

Main article: Porajmos

The Nazi genocide of Romani people was ignored by scholars until the 1980s; opinions continue to differ on its details. Historians Donald Niewyk and Francis Nicosia write that the genocide of the Romani began later than the genocide of the Jews and that a smaller proportion was killed.[15] Hitler's campaign of genocide against the Romani population of Europe involved an application of Nazi "racial hygiene" (a type of selective breeding for humans). Despite discriminatory measures, some Romani groups, including some of the Sinti and Lalleri of Germany, were spared deportation and death, the remaining Romani groups suffered much like the Jews. Romani were deported to the Jewish ghettos, shot by SS Einsatzgruppen in their villages or deported and gassed in Auschwitz-Birkenau and Treblinka.

Estimates of the death toll of Romani people in World War II range from 220,000 to 1,500,000.[16] The genocide of the Roma was formally recognised by West Germany in 1982 and by Poland in 2011.[17]

Slavs[edit]

Slavs were one of the most widely persecuted ethnic groups, with many Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, Czechs, Sorbs, and others exterminated.

According to British historian Ian Kershaw, the genocide and extreme brutality used by the Nazis was their way of ensuring the Lebensraum ("living space") for the people who met the strict requirements of being part of Hitler's Aryan Herrenvolk ("master race") and the elimination of the Bolsheviks and Slavs, he wrote that:

The Nazi revolution was broader than just the Holocaust. Its second goal was to eliminate Slavs from central and eastern Europe and to create a Lebensraum for Aryans. ... As Bartov (The Eastern Front; Hitler's Army) shows, it barbarised the German armies on the eastern front. Most of their three million men, from generals to ordinary soldiers, helped exterminate captured Slav soldiers and civilians. This was sometimes cold and deliberate murder of individuals (as with Jews), sometimes generalised brutality and neglect. ... German soldiers' letters and memoirs reveal their terrible reasoning: Slavs were 'the Asiatic-Bolshevik' horde, an inferior but threatening race. Only a minority of officers and men were Nazi members.[18]

Ukrainians[edit]

Between 1941 and 1945, approximately 3,000,000 Ukrainian and other gentile victims were killed as part of Nazi extermination policies in the territory of modern Ukraine.[19][20] More Ukrainians were killed fighting the Wehrmacht than American, British, and French soldiers combined.[21] Original plans of genocide called for the extermination of 65% of the nation's 23.2 million Ukrainians,[22][23] with the remainder of inhabitants to be treated as slaves.[24] Over 2,000,000 Ukrainians were deported to Germany for slave labour.[25] In ten years' time, the plan effectively called for the extermination, expulsion, Germanisation or enslavement of most or all Ukrainians.

Poles[edit]

Public execution of Polish priests and civilians in Bydgoszcz's Old Market Square, 9 September 1939. The Polish Church suffered a brutal persecution under Nazi Occupation.

The Nazi occupation of Poland was one of the most brutal episodes of the war, resulting in more than three million deaths, not including some three million Polish Jews. The six million Polish citizens who were killed were Jewish, Roman Catholic and Orthodox. These deaths accounted for nearly 17% of the country's population.[26] Poles were one of Hitler's first targets of extermination, as outlined in the speech he gave to Wehrmacht commanders before the invasion of Poland in 1939. The intelligentsia and socially prominent or influential people were primarily targeted, although mass murders were committed against the general Polish population, as well as against other groups of Slavs. Hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholic and Orthodox Poles were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau and the other concentration camps, the intelligentsia were the first targets of the Einsatzgruppen death squads.[27] The anti-Polish campaign culminated in the near-complete destruction of the capital Warsaw, ordered by Hitler and Himmler in 1944.

Soviet Slavs and POWs[edit]

During Operation Barbarossa, the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, millions of Red Army prisoners of war (POWs) were arbitrarily executed in the field by the invading German armies (in particular by the Waffen SS), died under inhumane conditions in German prisoner of war camps and during death marches, or were shipped to concentration camps for execution. The Germans killed an estimated 2.8 million Soviet POWs through starvation, exposure and execution, in eight months over 1941 and 1942.[28] According to the USHMM, by the winter of 1941, "starvation and disease resulted in mass death of unimaginable proportions". Up to 500,000 were killed in the concentration camps.[29] Soviet civilian populations in the occupied areas were also heavily persecuted (in addition to the treacherous conditions of the Eastern Front front-line warfare manifesting itself in episodes such as the siege of Leningrad in which more than 1.2 million civilians died). Thousands of peasant villages across Russia, Belarus and Ukraine were annihilated by German troops. During the occupation, Russia's Leningrad, Pskov and Novgorod region lost around a quarter of its population. Some[who?] estimate that as many as one quarter of all Soviet civilian deaths (five million Russian, three million Ukrainian and 1.5 million Belarusian) deaths at the hands of the Nazis and their allies were racially motivated.[30] The Russian Academy of Science in 1995 reported civilian victims in the USSR, including Jews at German hands, totalled 13.7 million dead, 20% of the 68 million persons in the occupied USSR, including 7.4 million victims of Nazi genocide and reprisals; 2.2 million deaths of persons deported to Germany for forced labour; and 4.1 million famine and disease deaths in occupied territory. There were an additional estimated 3.0 million famine deaths in the territory not under German occupation. These losses are for the entire territory of the USSR in its 1946–1991 borders, including territories annexed in 1939–40.[31] The deaths of 8.2 million Soviet civilians including Jews, were documented by the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission[32]

People with disabilities[edit]

Main article: Nazi eugenics

Following a eugenics policy, the Nazis believed that the disabled were a burden to society because they needed to be cared for by others; they were also considered an affront to Nazi notions of a society peopled by a perfect, superhuman Aryan race. Around 375,000 individuals were sterilised against their will because of their disabilities.[33]

People with disabilities were also among the first to be killed by the Nazis; the USHMM notes that the T-14 Program, established in 1939, became the model for future exterminations by the Nazi regime, and set a precedent for their attempted genocide of the Jewish race.[34] The T-4 Program was established in order to maintain the "purity" of the Aryan race by systematically killing children and adults born with physical deformities or suffering from mental illness; this included use of the first gas chambers. Although Hitler formally ordered a halt to the program in late August 1941, the killings secretly continued until the end of the war, resulting in the genocide of an estimated 275,000 people born with disabilities.[35]

Non-Europeans[edit]

The Nazi regime promoted xenophobia and racism of all "non-Aryan" races. African (black sub-Saharan or North African) and Asian (i.e. East Asian and South Asian) residents in Germany, and black prisoners of war (such as the French colonial troops captured during the Battle of France), were also victims of Nazi racial policy.[36] When the Nazis came to power there were hundreds of African-German children living in the Rhineland. They were the offspring of German mothers and African soldiers brought in during the French occupation.[37] In Mein Kampf, Hitler described children resulting from marriages to African occupation soldiers as a contamination of the white race "by Negro blood on the Rhine in the heart of Europe"[38] and that they were "bastardising the European continent at its core".[39] He also believed "Jews were responsible for bringing Negroes into the Rhineland, with the ultimate idea of bastardising the white race which they hate and thus lowering its cultural and political level so that the Jew might dominate."[40]

Japan signed the Tripartite Pact on September 27, 1940, with Germany and Italy and was therefore part of the Axis Pact; no Japanese people were known to be deliberately imprisoned or killed as they were considered "Honorary Aryans". In The Political Testament of Adolf Hitler, Hitler stated,

I have never regarded the Chinese or the Japanese as being inferior to ourselves [...] and I admit freely that their past history is superior to our own. They have the right to be proud of their past, just as we have the right to be proud of the civilisation to which we belong.[41]

South Africans, white people and Europeans of gentile ancestry from other continents were exempt, as were many Latin Americans of "evident" Germanic or "Aryan" ancestries, but not mestizos.

Lesbians and gays[edit]

Non-heterosexual people were also targets of the Holocaust, as male homosexuality was deemed incompatible with Nazism as the Nazis believed that gay men were weak, effeminate men who could not fight for the German nation and saw homosexuals as unlikely to produce children and increase the German birth-rate. The Nazis held that inferior races produced more children than "Aryans," so anything that diminished Germany's reproductive potential was considered a racial danger because of their supposed failure to reproduce the "master race", which was considered a duty.[42] This was combined with the belief among the Nazis that homosexuality could be contagious.[43] By 1936 Heinrich Himmler led an effort to persecute gay men under existing and new anti-gay laws. More than one million gay Germans were targeted, of whom at least 100,000 were arrested and 50,000 were serving prison terms as convicted homosexuals.[44] An additional unknown number were institutionalised in state-run mental hospitals. Hundreds of European gay men living under Nazi occupation were chemically castrated under court order.[45] It is estimated that between 5,000 and 15,000 gay men were imprisoned in concentration camps,[45][46] but it is difficult to put an exact number on how many perished in them. According to Heinz Heger, an Austrian survivor, gay men "suffered a higher mortality rate than other relatively small victim groups, such as Jehovah's Witnesses and political prisoners."[47] Gay men in Nazi concentration camps were identified with a pink triangle on their shirts, as well as those convicted of sexually assaulting children and those who committed bestiality.[48] Lesbians were not normally treated as harshly as homosexual men; they were labelled "asocial", but were rarely imprisoned on sexual orientation grounds and were usually designated a black triangle in the concentration camps, as opposed to gay men who were given the pink triangle (which has since been used as a symbol of LGBT pride).[49]

According to the website of the USHMM, "Nazi Germany did not seek to kill all homosexuals. Nevertheless, the Nazi state, through active persecution, attempted to terrorise German homosexuals into sexual and social conformity, leaving thousands dead and shattering the lives of many more." [45]

Many homosexuals who were freed from the concentration camps continued to be persecuted in post-war Germany. Many survivors were re-imprisoned under Paragraph 175 (which forbade "lewdness between men"), with time in the concentration camps deducted from their pensions. While other victims of the Holocaust received compensation for the loss of family members and even educational opportunities, homosexuals were still regarded as deviants in post-war society, much as they had been before the war. In fact in Germany many more men were prosecuted under Paragraph 175 in the years preceding the Nazi regime.[50]

Political criteria[edit]

Political prisoners[edit]

Another large group of the victims were various German and foreign civilian activists opposed to the Nazi regime from all over the political spectrum, as well as captured World War II resistance fighters (a great many of whom were executed during or immediately after their interrogation, especially in occupied Poland and France); sometimes also their families. German political prisoners were, for example, a substantial group among the first Dachau inmates, (the prototype Nazi concentration camp). The political People's Court became infamous for the enormous number of death sentences handed down.[51]

Political leftists[edit]

German Communists were among the first people to be sent to concentration camps.[52][53] They concerned Hitler due to their ties with the USSR and because the Nazi Party was intractably opposed to Communism. Rumours of pending communist violence were started by the Nazis as justification for the Enabling Act of 1933, the law which gave Hitler his original dictatorial powers. Hermann Göring later testified at the Nuremberg Trials that it was the willingness of the Nazis to repress German Communists that prompted Hindenburg and the old elite to cooperate with them. Hitler and the Nazis also hated German leftists because of their resistance to Nazi racism. Many leaders of German leftist groups were Jews who were especially prominent among the leaders of the Spartacist Uprising in 1919. Hitler referred to Marxism and "Bolshevism" as a means of "the international Jew" to undermine "racial purity" and survival of the Nordics or Aryans, as well as stirring up socioeconomic class tension and labour unions against the government or relevant businesses. Whenever the Nazis occupied a new territory, members of communist, socialist, or anarchist groups were thus normally among the first to be repressed, including summary executions. An example of this is Hitler's infamous Commissar Order in which he demanded the summary execution of all political commissars captured among Soviet soldiers.[54]

Other religious persecution[edit]

Further information: Kirchenkampf

The Nazis also targeted some religious groups for political and ideological reasons. Thousands of Christian clergy were killed by the Nazis, including some who had a Jewish background, as in the case of Edith Stein, as the Nazis believed in the idea of a Jewish racial group (making secular people and people of other religions who have Jewish heritage be considered Jewish), a belief some Jews still hold today.[55]

Jehovah's Witnesses[edit]

Historian Detlef Garbe, director at the Neuengamme (Hamburg) Memorial, writing about Jehovah's Witnesses, stated that "no other religious movement resisted the pressure to conform to National Socialism [Nazism] with comparable unanimity and steadfastness." [56] Between 2,500 and 5,000 died in the concentration camps,[57] as they weren't willing to fight for any cause, and therefore refused to serve in the army.[58]

Roman Catholics[edit]

The Mortal Agony of Christ Chapel at Dachau recalls the clergy who were imprisoned in the concentration camp.

The Catholic Church suffered persecution in Nazi Germany.[59] The Nazi leadership hoped to dechristianise Germany in the long term.[60] Political Catholicism was a target in Hitler's 1934 Night of the Long Knives purge.[61][62][63] German clergy, nuns and lay leaders were targeted following the Nazi takeover, leading to thousands of arrests over the ensuing years.[64] Various priests associated with the Catholic resistance to Nazi Germany were killed. Hitler's invasion of Catholic Poland in 1939 ignited the Second World War and the Nazis targeted clergy, monks and nuns in their terror campaigns to eliminate Polish culture.

From 1940, the Priest Barracks of Dachau Concentration Camp was established.[65] Of a total of 2,720 clergy imprisoned at Dachau, the overwhelming majority, some 94.88% were Catholic.[66] Kershaw noted that around 400 German priests were sent to Dachau.[67] The Holy See concluded a concordat with Germany in 1933, which theoretically protected Catholicism's place in the Reich, but the Nazis frequently violated the treaty, in their "Struggle with the Churches".[68] They shut down the Catholic press, schooling, political parties and youth groups in Germany amid murder and mass arrests.[69][70][71] In March 1937, Pope Pius XI issued the Mit brennender Sorge encyclical - accusing the Nazi Government of violations of the 1933 Concordat, and of sowing the "tares of suspicion, discord, hatred, calumny, of secret and open fundamental hostility to Christ and His Church".[64]

The German nun, St Edith Stein. Ethnically Jewish, she was arrested at a Netherlands convent and gassed at Auschwitz, following a protest by Dutch bishops against the abduction of Jews.

The Church was particularly harshly treated in annexed regions such as Austria under the Gauleiter of Vienna, Odilo Globocnik, who confiscated property, closed Catholic organisations and sent many priests to Dachau; and in the Czech lands where religious orders were suppressed, schools closed, religious instruction forbidden and priests sent to concentration camps.[72] Various Catholic bishops, clergy, nuns and laypeople at times protested and attacked Nazi policies in occupied territories. In 1942, the Dutch bishops protested against the mistreatment of Jews.[73] When Archbishop Johannes de Jong refused to relent to Nazi threats, the Gestapo rounded up Catholic-Jews, sending 92 to Auschwitz.[74] Among the Catholics of the Netherlands abducted in this way was Saint Edith Stein who died at Auschwitz, as did Poland's Saint Maximilian Kolbe. Numerous other Catholic victims of the Holocaust have been beatified, including Poland's 108 Martyrs of World War II, the Blessed Martyrs of Nowogródek, Dutch theologian Titus Brandsma and Germany's Lübeck martyrs and Bernhard Lichtenberg.

The Polish Franciscan, St Maximillian Kolbe, died at Auschwitz.

Poland[edit]

According to Norman Davies, the Nazi terror was "much fiercer and more protracted in Poland than anywhere in Europe."[75] Polish Catholic victims of the Third Reich is numbered in the millions. Nazi ideology viewed ethnic "Poles" - the mainly Catholic ethnic majority of Poland - as "sub-humans". Following their 1939 invasion of West Poland, the Nazis instigated a policy of murdering or suppressing the ethnic Polish elites: including Catholic religious leaders.[76] The Nazi plan for Poland entailed the destruction of the Polish nation, which necessarily required attacking the Polish Church, particularly in those areas annexed to Germany.[77] Of the brief period of military control from 1 September 1939 – 25 October 1939, Davies wrote: "according to one source, 714 mass executions were carried out, and 6,376 people, mainly Catholics, were shot. Other put the death toll in one town alone at 20,000. It was a taste of things to come."[78]

Subsequently, in the Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany a severe persecution was launched. The Nazis set about systematically dismantling the Church - arresting its leaders, exiling its clergy, closing its churches, monasteries and convents. Germanization of the annexed regions began in December 1939 with deportations of men, women and children.[79] In the Wartheland, Evans wrote, "Numerous clergy, monks, diocesan administrators and officials of the Church were arrested, deported to the General Government, taken off to a concentration camp in the Reich, or simply shot. Altogether some 1700 Polish priests ended up at Dachau: half of them did not survive their imprisonment."[80] Among clergy who died at Dachau were many of the 108 Polish Martyrs of World War II;[81]

In 1940, Hitler proclaimed: "Poles may have only one master – a German. Two masters cannot exist side by side, and this is why all members of the Polish intelligentsia must be killed."[76] According to Craughwell, between 1939 and 1945, an estimated 3,000 members (18%) of the Polish clergy, were murdered; of these, 1,992 died in concentration camps.[82] (the Encyclopedia Britannica cites 1811 Polish priests died in Nazi concentration camps[83]). Among the resistors to suffer was the head of children's section of the Zegota Council to Aid Jews, Irena Sendlerowa, who placed more that two thousands five hundred Jewish children in convents, orphanages, schools, hospitals and homes. She was captured by the Gestapo in 1943, and crippled by torture.[84]

Protestants[edit]

Further information: Protestant Reich Church
Further information: Confessing Church

The Nazis attempted to deal with Protestant dissent over their teachings by creating the Reich Church, which was a unified state church of the existing 28 Protestant groups that espoused a single doctrine compatible with Nazism. Non-Aryan ministers were suspended and Church members called themselves German Christians, with "the Swastika on their chest and the Cross in their heart."[85][86] The Protestant opposition to Nazi teachings established a rival Church called the Confessing Church, an umbrella organization of independent regional churches in Germany, who were persecuted by the Nazis.[85]

Bahá'í Faith[edit]

The Bahá'í Faith was formally banned in the Third Reich. In 1937 Heinrich Himmler signed an order disbanding the Bahá'í Faith's institutions in Germany[87] because of its 'international and pacifist tendencies'.[88] In 1939 and in 1942 there were sweeping arrests of former members of the National Spiritual Assembly. In May 1944 there was a public trial in Darmstadt at which Dr. Hermann Grossmann was allowed to defend the character of the religion but the Bahá'ís were instead heavily fined and its institutions continued to be disbanded.[89]

Freemasons[edit]

The Nazis claimed that high degree Masons were willing members of "the Jewish conspiracy" and that Freemasonry was one of the causes of Germany's defeat in WWI. The preserved records of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (the Reich Security Main Office) show the persecution of Freemasons during the Holocaust.[90] RSHA Amt VII (Written Records) was overseen by Professor Franz Six and was responsible for "ideological" tasks, by which was meant the creation of antisemitic and anti-Masonic propaganda. While the number is not accurately known, it is estimated that between 80,000 and 200,000 Freemasons were killed under the Nazi regime.[91] Masonic concentration camp inmates were graded as political prisoners and wore an inverted red triangle.[92]

The small blue forget-me-not flower was first used by the Grand Lodge Zur Sonne, in 1926, as a Masonic emblem at the annual convention in Bremen, Germany. In 1938 a forget-me-not badge—made by the same factory as the Masonic badge—was chosen for the annual Nazi Party Winterhilfswerk, the annual charity drive of the National Socialist People's Welfare, the welfare branch of the Nazi party. This coincidence enabled Freemasons to wear the forget-me-not badge as a secret sign of membership.[93][94][95]

After World War II, the forget-me-not flower was again used as a Masonic emblem at the first Annual Convention of the United Grand Lodges of Germany in 1948.[96] The badge is now worn in the coat lapel by Freemasons around the world to remember all who suffered in the name of Freemasonry, especially those during the Nazi era.[96]

Esperantists[edit]

Speakers of the international auxiliary language of Esperanto were regarded with suspicion by the Nazis. The language was considered by Hitler to be a language of the Jewish conspiracy due to the fact that its creator L. L. Zamenhof was Jewish.[97]

Enemy nationals[edit]

Thousands of people (mostly diplomats) belonging to certain nationalities associated with the Allies (e.g. China and Mexico), as well as Spanish Civil War refugees in occupied France, were also interned or executed. After Italy capitulated in 1943, many Italian nationals, including partisans and Italian soldiers disarmed by the Germans, were sent to concentration camps.

Others[edit]

The SS and police troops often unleashed mass actions against civilians with alleged links to resistance movements, their families, and even whole villages or districts of a city. In numerous cases resulting in wholesale slaughter of entire villages or towns, such as in the infamous cases of Lidice, Khatyn, Sant'Anna and Oradour-sur-Glane; one whole district of Warsaw was massacred. In occupied Poland, Nazi Germany formally imposed the death penalty on anybody found sheltering or helping Jews. "Social deviants" – prostitutes, vagrants, alcoholics, drug addicts, open dissidents, pacifists, draft resisters and common criminals were also often imprisoned in concentration camps. The common criminals frequently became Kapos, the inmate-guards policing other prisoners.

In the late 1930s, the Nazi program to punish many rich German persons as "enemies of the state" confiscated properties and placed thousands of them in concentration camps. According to Nazi policies formulated in part by Goebbels, the rich elite manipulated the German economy and held seditious liberal views contrary to Nazism. The Nazis had targeted other groups to be imprisoned for their political views deemed threatening by Hitler or the party; such as the members of women's rights groups who were accused of spouting "Jewish-led" "communist-socialist" dogmas of gender equality.

Some of the Germans and Austrians who had lived abroad for a significant proportion of their lives were also deemed to have too much exposure to foreign ideas; many were put into concentration camps. These prisoners were called "Emigrants" and marked with a blue triangle.[98]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Animated Map". Ushmm.org. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  2. ^ Berenbaum, Michael. The World Must Know, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, pp.125ff.
  3. ^ "Non-Jewish victims of Nazism," Encyclopædia Britannica.
  4. ^ A figure of 26.3 million is given in Service d'Information des Crimes de Guerre: Crimes contre la Personne Humain, Camps de Concentration. Paris, 1946, p. 197-198. Other references: Christopher Hodapp, Freemasons for Dummies, 2005; Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, 2003; Martin Gilbert, Atlas of the Holocaust, 1993; Israel Gutman, Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, 1995.
  5. ^ American Jewish Committee, Harry Schneiderman and Julius B. Maller, eds., American Jewish Year Book, Vol. 48 (1946–1947), Press of Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia, 1946, page 599
  6. ^ "Jewish Virtual Library, American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  7. ^ Sebastian Haffner, The Meaning of Hitler ISBN 0-674-55775-1, translated from Anmerkungen zu Hitler, Publishing house. Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main. ISBN 3-596-23489-1.
  8. ^ "The "Final Solution": Estimated Number of Jews Killed". Jewish Virtual Library. Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "Death Penalty for Aiding Jews". ushmm.org. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 5 September 1942. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  10. ^ Jan Grabowski (9 October 2013). Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland (illustrated ed.). Indiana University Press. p. 77. ISBN 9780253010872. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  11. ^ David S. Wyman; Charles H. Rosenzveig (30 September 1996). The World Reacts to the Holocaust. JHU Press. p. 107. ISBN 9780801849695. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Precious few: Poland's rescuers of Jews". The Economist. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Leo Goldberger: The Rescue of the Danish Jews: Moral Courage Under Stress, NYU Press, 1987, preface pages XX-XXI Linked 2014-04-29
  14. ^ http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007457. US Holocaust Memorial Museum.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  15. ^ The Columbia guide to the Holocaust By Donald L. Niewyk, Francis R. Nicosia, page 50-52, Columbia University Press, 2000
  16. ^ Hancock, Ian (2005), "True Romanies and the Holocaust: A Re-evaluation and an overview", The Historiography of the Holocaust, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 383–396, ISBN 1-4039-9927-9 
  17. ^ Recognition for Justice International Roma Youth Network
  18. ^ Ian Kershaw.Stalinism and Nazism: dictatorships in comparison. Cambridge University Press, 1997, p.150 ISBN 0-521-56521-9
  19. ^ Magocsi, Paul Robert (1996). A History of Ukraine. University of Toronto Press. p. 633. 
  20. ^ Dawidowicz, Lucy S. (1986). The war against the Jews, 1933–1945. New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-34302-5. p. 403
  21. ^ "Putin’s Project". Timothy Snyder. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
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