adolf hitler adolf hitler [  t h e   f i n a l   s o l u t i o n  ]
adolf hitler
[ 1 9 4 1 - 4 5 ]




the final solution


introduction | operation barbarossa | the final solution: the decision
the final solution in the ussr | the fate of the german jews | the start of gassing
the wannsee conference | operation reinhard | economic considerations
auschwitz | end of auschwitz | other deaths | forced labour in germany | the situation in 1945 | conclusion
dvds on 2nd world war | shoah 4-disc dvd set



[  t h e   f i n a l   s o l u t i o n  ]

1 9 4 1 - 4 5

the final solution
Jews Executed in Nazi-Occupied Ukraine

    The Final Solution | 1941-5

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

    Source:
    Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust


      Forced Labour in Germany

      By 1944 there were an astonishing eight million foreign workers in Germany - 25 per cent of the workforce. While some of these workers came voluntarily from countries which were Germany's allies, most came involuntarily from occupied countries. Foreign workers' treatment was largely determined by their racial origins. The 600,000 French workers, for example, were treated better than the 1.7 million Poles who, in turn, suffered less than the 2.8 million Russians. Many Poles and Russians worked in forced labour camps. Discipline in these camps was harsh, food and medical provision in short supply, and the tempo of work murderous.

      Some Poles and Russians were hired out to private industry. Others were employed in agriculture and as domestic servants. (Half the Polish and Russian workers were women.) Working conditions depended on the type of job. Those employed in mining were far more likely to die than those working on farms. Some Germans treated their workers better than others. Most, it should be said, treated them savagely. Foreign workers stood a much greater chance of survival in country areas than in towns, where there was the constant threat of a bombing raid. Eastern workers were not allowed to enter public air raid shelters. Indeed, as far as possible the 'sub- human' Russians and Poles were isolated from Germans.

      Such was the labour shortage by 1944 that Hitler even agreed to allow 100,000 Hungarian Jews to be brought to Germany to build huge underground bunkers in the Harz Mountains in which rockets and other important armaments were produced. The mortality rate among the Hungarian Jews was very high. The slogan of SS Dr Kammier was: 'Don't worry about the victims. The work must proceed ahead in the shortest time possible'.


      The Situation in 1945

      the final solution As the Soviet army advanced, the Germans were forced to abandon their labour camps in the east and move the inmates to camps further west. At least a third of the 700,000 inmates recorded in January 1945 probably lost their lives on these marches. About half the victims were Jews. The evacuees perished from cold, hunger, disease and periodic shootings. Some of the suffering may be explained by the chaos of the last days of the Third Reich. The destruction of road and rail links meant that it proved difficult to feed the prisoners. But the German guards, women as well as men, remained faithful to Nazi ideology, and, although not given orders to murder Jews, were quite happy to do so.

      By 1944-5 Dachau and other German concentration camps, hitherto used primarily for non-Jewish prisoners and not equipped to kill large numbers of people, were used to house Jews evacuated from the east. While not systematically murdered, many Jews perished from starvation and disease. Conditions in the camps deteriorated considerably in the last weeks of the war as Germany collapsed. Allied soldiers who liberated the camps in west Germany (some of which contained few, if any, Jewish inmates) were appalled at what they found. American correspondent Edward Murrow delivered a famous radio broadcast describing conditions at Buchenwald in April 1945 on the day of its liberation.

        There were 1,200 men in it [the barracks], five to a bunk. The stink was beyond all description. ...I asked how many men had died in the building during the last month.They called the doctor. We inspected his records. ... 242 out of 1,200, in one month ... We went to the hospital. It was full. The doctor told me that 200 had died the day before. I asked the cause'of death. He shrugged and said: 'TB, starvation, fatigue, and there are many who have no desire to live.' ... [Another man] showed me the daily ration: one piece of brown bread about as thick as your thumb, on top of it a piece of margarine as big as three sticks of chewing gum. That, and a little stew, was what they received every 24 hours.

      A British reporter, Patrick Gordon Walker, reported similarly on Belsen camp which was also liberated in April 1945:

        Corpses in every state of decay were lying around, piled up on top of each other in heaps.... People were falling dead all around, people who were walking skeletons.... About 35,000 corpses were reckoned, more actually than the living. ... There was no food at all in the camp, a few piles of roots - amidst the piles of dead bodies.


      Conclusion

      the final solution The exact number of Jews who died in the Holocaust will never be known. There are no precise figures for those who were gassed, let alone for those who were massacred in the USSR or who died from malnutrition, disease or maltreatment. Gilbert's estimates are probably as good as any. Most of the killing was in 1942. In mid-March 1942 some 75 per cent of all the eventual victims of the Holocaust were still alive: 25 per cent had already died. Less than a year later the situation was exactly reversed. Under 25 per cent still clung to a precarious existence. 'This is a page of glory in our history that has never been written and that is never to be written', Himmler told a group of SS officers in October 1943. In April 1945 Hitler declared that the killing of Europe's Jews was the most significant work he bequeathed to the German people. The fact that Hitler (who ordered the Holocaust) did not own up to it until the last days of the Third Reich, and Himmler (who ensured that Hitler's orders were carried out) said that details of it were 'never to be written', may simply be proof that both men were uncertain about the reaction of the German people. Or it may be that Hitler and Himmier, despite their intense anti-Semitic convictions, felt some unease about the morality of their actions. Whether their intense convictions lessen their guilt is a debate which is likely to continue as long as there are people on this planet. ...first page

1 | 2 | 3 | 4


introduction | operation barbarossa | the final solution: the decision
the final solution in the ussr | the fate of the german jews | the start of gassing
the wannsee conference | operation reinhard | economic considerations
auschwitz | end of auschwitz | other deaths | forced labour in germany | the situation in 1945 | conclusion
dvds on 2nd world war | shoah 4-disc dvd set



rudolf hess
adolf hitler | josef goebbels | triumph of the will | leni riefenstahl | josef mengele | martin bormann

the final solution

Dachau

[ h o l o c a u s t   s h o p   b o o k s ]


[ h o l o c a u s t   s h o p   d v d s ]


[ h o l o c a u s t   s h o p   v i d e o s ]




adolf hitler | josef goebbels | triumph of the will dvd | leni riefenstahl | josef mengele | martin bormann


the final solution