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Introduction to the Holocaust and Anne Frank


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Title: Introduction to the Holocaust and Anne Frank

Introduction to the Holocaust and Anne Frank
Literature 8 Mrs. Munnier
What was the Holocaust?
Answer Holocaust means total destruction,
usually by fire. When we refer to the Holocaust,
we mean the mass murder of millions of Jewish
people and others under Nazi rule under Adolf
Who was Adolf Hitler?
Answer Adolf Hitler was the creator of the Nazi
Party, ruler of Germany from 1933 1945. He was
directly responsible for the massacre of millions
of men, women, and children.
Who was Anne Frank?
Answer Anne Frank went to school. She had
friends and had crushes on boys. She fought
constantly with her mother, did not understand
her father, argued with her sister. She got in
trouble in school for talking. She was a kid
just like you.
Why is it important to study the Holocaust?
Answer It is part of everyones history, not
just people in Europe, not just Jewish people,
not just people a long time ago. It is so, so
important that we learn from the events of the
Holocaust so that we dont make those mistakes on
a global level, or even on a local level.
Why is it important to study the Holocaust in
Literature 8? After all, this is not a social
studies class
Answer Some of the words we use today were
derived during this period in time. Some of the
words we speak were made more globally common
during this period in time.
Also Anne Frank, her diary, and the play based on
Anne Franks life and her diary are very
frequently alluded to in other literature.
Indiana Standards relating to vocabulary
importance of setting to mood, tone, and meaning
analysis of author attitudes analysis of setting
relevance understand the influence of historical
events on vocabulary compare/contrast
motivations of characters from different
historical eras
The Hitler Youth was formed in 1926. It gave
young people of Germany hope, power, and the
chance to make their voices heard.
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  • Adolf Hitler admired the natural energy and
    ambition that young people have. He understood
    that young people could be a powerful political
    force that could help shape Germanys future. It
    was Hitlers goal to harness the enthusiasm,
    loyalty, and potential power of the young people
    of Germany.

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  • The people of Germany were humiliated after
    losing World War I. The Treaty of Versailles
    forced the German people to accept full
    responsibility for starting World War I. Germany
    had to give up its territories. The German people
    had to pay an enormous sum of money about 32
    billion dollars for war damages (called

  • The German people craved a strong leader who
    promised them jobs, a better life, and national
    pride, even if he did have extreme ideas. Tired
    of poor living and working conditions, they
    wanted a simple but drastic solution.

  • As Hitler rose to power, the German people felt
    grateful for his leadership. He promised to
    rebuild Germanys military, unite all Germans
    into a Greater Germany and vowed to end the
    reparation payments.

  • Germany was suffering from a weak, unstable
    government, high unemployment, and widespread
    poverty. Hitlers Nazi party promised young
    Germans a wonderful future in a new strong and
    powerful Germany if they joined the Hitler
    Youth. By the end of 1933, Hitler Youth
    membership increased to nearly 2.3 million young

Hitler Youth Flag
Young adults sometimes display their
misunderstanding or insensitivity of the horror
of the Holocaust. How do they do this?
Answer Drawing swastikas, making anti-Semitic
(disrespectful of Jewish people) jokes and
comments, pretending that Adolf Hitler was a
hero, making statements to the effect that the
Holocaust did not happen, etc. NOTE
Occasionally, uninformed adults do these things
  • German boys and girls were inducted to the Hitler
    Youth in a ceremony that always took place on
    April 20th, as a birthday present to Hitler.

  • The Nazis defined the Aryan race as Caucasian
    people with no mixture of Jewish ancestry. The
    Nazis considered the Aryan race to be the Master
    Race. They claimed that blonde hair and blue
    eyes distinguished the purest Aryans. Hitler
    Youth members were taught that the Aryan race was
    superior to all other races.

Hitlers Ideal Aryan Race
  • The boys and girls also had to prove that they
    were healthy and had no hereditary diseases.
    Some German children with physical disabilities
    were allowed to join a separate section the
    Disabled and Infirm Hitler Youth as long as
    they could prove that their disabilities were not

  • Mentally handicapped children could not join the
    Hitler Youth, no matter how loyal their parents
    were to the Nazi party.

  • Jews were not allowed to join the Hitler Youth,
    not even a child who had one non-Jewish parent,
    no matter how Aryan the child looked. Even Jews
    who had converted to Christianity or did not
    otherwise practice the Jewish faith could not

  • Some children were rejected if their parents were
    not good enough Nazis or if they had
    objectionable political attitudes. These
    parents included those who were not members of
    the Nazi party or who had friends who were Jews
    or practiced the Jehovahs Witness faith.

Jewish Children
  • At Hitler Youth meetings, young people sang
    patriotic songs, played games, learned slogans,
    listened to readings, and read propaganda
    leaflets all intended to teach them how to be
    good Nazis. The children also listened to
    special Hitler Youth broadcasts on official Nazi
    radios, called the Peoples Radio.

  • The Nazis knew what appealed to kids uniforms,
    flags, bands, parades, badges, weapons, and
    stories about heroes and they offered plenty.

  • The Hitler Youth did not tolerate originality or
    individuality. They learned, through stringent
    military-type exercise and propaganda, to think
    and act as one. Most importantly, they learned
    to obey their leaders, no matter what.

  • Hitler Youth boys received training that prepared
    them for military life. Girls were trained to be
    good wives and mothers. Physical fitness was
    stressed for both groups. Hiking, camping, and
    certain competitive activities toughened up kids,
    building their endurance and determination.

  • Every athletic event became an exercise in
    patriotism. Said one former Hitler Youth member,
    We ran for Germany. We did the long jump and
    the high jump for Germany.

  • At fourteen, the boys received military
    instruction military formations, how to shoot,
    throw hand grenades, how to storm trenches. The
    boys earned prestigious Hitler Youth merit badges
    for outstanding performances.

  • From the ages of 14 through 21, girls worked on
    efficiency badges in sports, Nazi ideology,
    nursing, household training, social work, and
    later, air-raid training.

  • In addition, girls could join the Faith and
    Beauty group, which promoted physical grace
    through dancing, hygiene, and charm. The Faith
    and Beauty group was intended to make young
    German women strong, beautiful, proud, and

  • One of Hitlers mottoes was that the German
    woman does not smoke, does not drink alcohol, and
    does not paint herself with make-up.

  • Hitler Youth members learned to embrace the ideas
    of patriotism and self-sacrifice for a better
    Germany. As Hitler rose to power in the late
    1920s and early 1930s, the Hitler Youth
    campaigned to get Nazis elected to positions of
    power in Germany.

  • At first the outside world was impressed with
    Hitler and the Hitler Youth because they saw that
    Germanys young people were motivated and
    disciplined. An American of that era remarked,
    They Hitler Youth have no time for cigarettes,
    dancing, alcohol, lipsticks, automobiles, or

  • Many German parents admired what they saw in
    their children the physical fitness,
    discipline, diligence, pursuit of excellence,
    pride in national heritage, and a sense of

  • Other parents saw the Hitler Youth as too
    militaristic they didnt want their children
    drilled in hand-grenade throwing, rifle shooting,
    and other warlike activities. For some families
    the required Hitler Youth uniform and the monthly
    dues were a financial hardship, and objected to
    the mandatory meetings that often interfered with
    chores and church services.

  • Some German teens and pre-teens joined the Hitler
    Youth because they wanted to. Others joined
    because it was dangerous not to. Hitler
    eventually eliminated all other youth groups in

  • Hitlers regulations conflicted with the beliefs
    of the Catholic Church as well. Hitlers secret
    police, the Gestapo, instructed priests and nuns
    what to say in their sermons and in their
    classrooms. Catholics who criticized the Nazi
    party were sent to prison or concentration camps
    or were murdered outright.

  • A priest who told an anti-Nazi joke was arrested
    and executed.

  • Eventually it became dangerous for Germans
    children or adult -- to have friends who were
    Jewish or who belonged to the Jehovahs Witness
    faith. Those who dared to give up such
    friendships were fined or jailed. Calling them
    unfit parents, the Nazis threatened to take away
    their children.

  • Eventually, parents who prevented their children
    from joining the Hitler Youth were threatened
    with heavy prison sentences. By 1939, nearly 8
    million German children were Hitler Youth
    members. (New York City has about 8 million

  • The image of Adolf Hitler was everywhere in Nazi
    Germany. His picture hung in classrooms,
    offices, railroad stations, and street corners.
    Teachers were given a choice either join the
    Nazi party and train students in National
    Socialism, or lose their jobs.

  • From the first day of school, children were
    taught to greet each other with, Heil Hitler!,
    swear allegiance to Hitler, and use his name in
    their prayers. Eventually Nazi law forbade
    Jewish children to attend German schools and then
    forbade them to attend any school at all.

  • Hitler stressed the importance of physical
    training. By 1938, all German school children
    were required to have five hours a day of
    physical fitness training.

  • Under the Nazis, normal life became impossible
    for all German young people and their families.
    The Nazis censored every newspaper, radio
    broadcast, movie, sermon, and classroom lesson.

  • The Nazis also censored conversation anyone who
    dared to criticize Hitler or the Nazi Party faced
    imprisonment or execution. Telephone operators
    helped the Gestapo by listening in on
    conversations between people. Even personal
    letters were not private.

  • The Nazis forbade any kind of music that was not
    German --particularly American music. Books that
    were considered un-German were blacklisted and
    yanked from school and public libraries. The
    banned books included titles by Jewish authors.

  • Hitler and the Nazis blamed the Jews for
    Germanys defeat in World War I and for the
    economic troubles that followed. They claimed
    that the Jews were plotting to take over Germany.

  • In reality, Jews numbered about 523,000 out of a
    population in 67 million people in Germany, less
    than 1 of the population. Jews were law-abiding
    citizens who had helped Germany to grow through
    their economic, educational, and cultural
    contributions. Jewish soldiers fought for
    Germany in World War I. Many were decorated for
    their bravery.

  • Foreign newspapers printed stories of Jew hunts
    where Hitler Youth and Storm Troopers raided
    nightclubs, theaters, and restaurants, dragging
    out every customer who looked like a Jew and
    beating them bloody on the sidewalk.
    Anti-Semitism (hatred of Jews) became Nazi
    government policy.

  • The Nazis passed a series of laws called the
    Nurrenberg Race Laws. These laws stripped German
    Jews of their citizenship, declaring them

  • According to these laws, Jews were not allowed to
    use public parks, swimming pools, concert halls,
    and transportation. The laws forbade them from
    employment in certain professions. The Jews
    identity cards and passports were marked with a
    J for Jude, the German word for Jew.

  • In November of 1938, the Hitler Youth, the
    Gestapo (the official secret police of Nazi
    Germany), and the German SS (another particularly
    brutal law enforcement group) coordinated an
    attack on Jewish people, their homes, and their
    businesses. The raid became known as
    Kristallnacht, or the Night of the Broken Glass.

Kristallnacht Night of the broken glass
  • Many Jews wanted to leave Germany, but they
    couldnt afford to emigrate. It meant starting
    over from scratch. It meant giving up friends,
    family, home, shops, businesses, pensions, and
    life savings. Jews leaving Germany were only
    allowed to take a small sum of money the rest
    of their money and valuables had to remain in

  • In 1941 the Nazis forbade Jews between the ages
    of 18 and 45 to emigrate. They intended to use
    the healthiest Jews as slave labor in their
    factories. The rest would be shipped to
    concentration camps, where they were murdered.

  • Also in 1941, the Nazis forced Jews to wear the
    yellow Star of David. The Star law made every
    Jewish man, woman, and child bait for attack.
    All of a sudden, everyone could tell what you
    were they could spit on you, beat you to death
    Jews wearing their Stars of David were totally

  • Parents of Hitler Youth often could not speak
    openly in their own homes for fear that their
    children would report them to their youth
    leaders. Many parents got picked up by the
    Gestapo because their children turned them in.

  • The Nazis bombarded the general public with
    propaganda to persuade them that the money spent
    on the physically and mentally unfit could be
    put to better use. Nazi doctors filmed patients
    and produced documentaries to convince the public
    that the patients lives were not worth living.
    Theaters showed these documentaries before the
    main features.

  • The physically and mentally disabled interfered
    with the Nazis plan to create a master race.
    To prevent such birth defects, Nazi doctors
    forcibly sterilized men and women considered too
    mentally or physically unfit to produce
    desirable children.

  • These patients also included those who suffered
    from epilepsy, mental illness, blindness,
    deafness, learning disabilities of every kind,
    and physical deformities. In the eyes of the
    Nazis, these people were a burden to German
    taxpayers it simply cost too much to care for

  • 200,000 such patients were killed by the Nazis.
    Victims disappeared from hospitals and other
    institutions, never to be seen again. Other
    enemies of the Nazi party included Communists,
    homosexuals, and itinerant people, whom the Nazis
    called Gypsies. The Nazis killed over 500,000
    such people.

  • By 1941, the practice of rounding up Jews and
    other enemies of Germany and packing them into
    cattle cars to be delivered to concentration
    camps became routine. The Gestapo often assured
    their victims that they wanted to help them in
    this way, the Gestapo who were rounding up Jews
    and others were able to get them to go along

  • The Jews also knew they would be shot if they
    caused a scene or tried to run.

  • Jews were forced into boxcars, packed so tightly
    that it was difficult to breathe. The only light
    filtered through narrow ventilation slats. They
    were given no food, no water, and no toilets
    just an overflowing bucket in the middle of the
    box car. Many people died, often from

  • The surviving Jews had no idea what to expect
    when they arrived at the camps. Armed SS guards
    lined the people up, men on one side, women and
    children on the other. The camps were surrounded
    by chain-link fences topped with coils of barbed
    wire. Enormous chimneys belched black smoke and
    stench filled the air.

  • The prisoners were marched past an SS doctor who
    quickly assessed them. Babies, young children,
    pregnant women, the elderly, the disabled, weak,
    and sick were sent to the left in a line that
    ended at the gas chambers. The rest somewhere
    between 20 and 40 -- went to the right, to the
    labor camps.

  • The concentration camp inmates who were not
    killed upon arrival were slowly worked to death.
    They slaved fourteen hours a day, from six
    oclock in the morning until eight or nine
    oclock at night, with starvation-level rations,
    little sleep, beatings and other forms of
    torture, and daily executions.

  • Towards the end of World War II, as Germany was
    facing almost certain defeat, Hitler created a
    homeland militia. Every available German male,
    aged sixteen to sixty, was drafted. In many
    cases, Hitler Youth were appointed as leaders,
    giving teenagers the responsibility of training
    men old enough to be their fathers and

  • Eventually, every available man and boy in
    Germany were rounded up to defend the country
    SS officers and Hitler Youth even took sick and
    wounded men out of hospitals and forced them to
    serve the country in this way. Any man who
    refused was shot on the spot or hanged from a
    lamppost without question.

  • As Hitler realized that Germanys defeat was
    absolutely inevitable, he shot himself. Over the
    radio, the German people were told that Hitler
    had been killed at the head of his troops. On
    May 7, 1945, one week after Hitlers suicide,
    Germany surrendered unconditionally to the

  • After Germanys surrender, American soldiers took
    a group of captured Hitler Youth to Dachau, one
    of the liberated concentration camps. They
    passed the electrical fences topped with coiled
    barbed wire, the guard towers, and the red brick
    building with huge chimneys.

  • Within minutes, concentration camp survivors
    surrounded the boys. It was impossible to
    believe that these people could still speak, let
    alone walk, said an unidentified Hitler Youth.
    I thought they the concentration camp survivors
    would tear us to pieces, but a word was never
    uttered, a hand was never raised.

  • The boys were taken to a stretch of railroad
    tracks where fifty freight cars stood. They were
    ordered to open the doors. The first thing that
    fell out of one of the cars was the skeleton of a
    woman. The cars contained badly decomposed
    bodies packed so tightly that they were still
    standing, one body supporting the next.

  • Next the Hitler Youth boys were taken to the red
    brick building with the huge chimneys. A
    sickening smell filled the air. Inside they saw
    rows of crematorium ovens filled with the charred
    remains of burned bodies, including the bodies of
    several children.

  • It took years for many Hitler Youth to digest the
    truth they had served as a mass murderer. In
    so doing, they had contributed to the deaths of
    millions of people. Estimates vary, but most
    sources state that six million Jews and six
    million non-Jews who were considered enemies of
    Germany died during Hitlers rule.

  • More people were killed in World War II than in
    any war in history. The war left 53 million
    dead, mostly young men in their late teens and
    early twenties. Millions more were crippled
    physically. Others suffered emotionally from
    their combat experiences.

  • In October of 1932, when Adolf Hitler praised the
    Hitler Youth for their loyalty, bravery, and
    readiness to create a new Germany, he asked them,
    What can happen to a people whose youth
    sacrifices everything in order to serve its great

  • On that day, no one could have predicted the
    answer to that question. No one could have
    predicted the extent and degree to which a person
    such as Adolf Hitler could exploit the idealism
    of children and teenagers.

  • Many years have passed since the bloodiest war in
    history ended. Some people wonder Could
    another man like Hitler rise to power on the
    shoulders of young people? Only young people of
    today can answer that question. What are YOU
    willing to do to prevent such a thing to happen