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Jul 03

Ten Interesting Facts . . . . The Holocaust

Ten Interesting Facts . . . . The Holocaust

  1. Raoul Wallenberg, the First Secretary to the Swedish Embassy in Budapest in July 1944, is credited for rescuing more Jewish people during the Holocaust than any other person or nation. He rescued around 100,000 people by issuing “protective passports.” Wallenberg also rented over 30 buildings to house Jewish refugees. In front of these buildings, he flew the Swedish flag and put up fake signs reading “The Swedish Research Institute.”

 

  1. Giovanni Palatucci, an Italian police official and lawyer, used his authority as Chief of the Foreigners’ Office to forge travel papers for Jewish people. This permitted hundreds of Jews an escape to Fiume where they settled. Palatucci also destroyed documented records for 5,000 Jewish refugees which prevented them from being sent to concentration camps.

 

  1. Extermination camps

Camp name Killed
Auschwitz II 1,000,000
Belzec 600,000
Chełmno 320,000
Jasenovac 58–97,000
Majdanek 360,000
Maly Trostinets 65,000
Sobibór 250,000
Treblinka 870,000
  1. Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist, had originally hired Jewish slave laborers for his ammunition factory in Poland. When he witnessed innocent people packed onto trains heading for concentration camps, he began smuggling children out of the ghettos to work in his factory. He spent millions bribing and paying off the Nazis to allow Jewish women and children along with disabled and unskilled workers to work in his factory. He even moved the workers several times to keep them out of harm’s way. Schindler died penniless because he spent his wealth helping the Jews.

 

  1. Andre Trocmé, a French Protestant pastor, arranged for the rescue of between 3,000 to 5,000 Jews.  He asked private families to take in the refugees and children.

 

  1. Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker, began helping Jewish families by producing thousands of false documents. She joined a resistance group Zegota (Council for Aid to Jews). She was appointed head of the children’s department. Sendler organized 2,500 children to be smuggled out of the Warsaw ghetto. She gave these children new identities and placed them with Polish families and in orphanages and convents.

 

  1. Nicholas Winton, British Stockbroker, was visiting Prague when he saw a large number of refugees. A group of British had set up camps for the elderly and vulnerable but nothing was being done for the children. Winton organized the Czech Kindertransport, train transport, saving 669 children by bringing them to England and Sweden. He found foster parents for these children but had to stop with the outbreak of World War II.

 

Winton’s Prague Memorial by Flor

Winton’s Prague Memorial by Flor

 

 

 

  1. Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat, began issuing visas to help refugees leave Lithuania. When the Soviets took over Lithuania, he was reassigned to Berlin. As Sugihara headed to the train station, he discovered a mob of refugees with unstamped passports. Sugihara threw the official stamp into the crowd saving between 2,000 to 10,000 Jews.

 

  1. Varian Fry, an American Journalist, witnesses the Nazi treatment of the Jews on his trip to Berlin in 1935. Fry raised funds for a European anti-Nazi movement. After France was invaded in 1940, Fry went to Marseille to run his network. Fry was able to secure visas for around 3,000 anti-Nazi and Jewish refugees. Many were prominent artists and intellectuals.

 

  1. An estimated eleven million people were killed during the Holocaust. Hitler’s plan was to eliminate any population of people he felt was inferior.

     

    Concentration Camps

    Victims Killed
    Slavs 10.547 million
    Jews 5.9 million
    Soviet POWs 2–3 million
    Ethnic Poles 1.8–2 million
    Romani 220,000–1,500,000
    Disabled 200,000–250,000
    Freemasons 80,000–200,000
    Slovenes 20,000–25,000
    Homosexuals 5,000–15,000
    Jehovah’s Witnesses 2,500–5,000
    Spanish Republicans 7000

     

    Information Sources

    http://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/people/victims.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust

    http://www.shalomshow.com/holocaust_heroes.htm

     

    Photo Credits

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wintons_Prague_memorial_by_Flor_Kent_-_1.jpg

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:13cwik.jpg

     

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