Sonderkommando Auschwitz Revolt

Today in Holocaust History —> On this day in 1944, the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz-Birkenau—a group of Jewish prisoners tasked with removing corpses from gas chambers and burning them—rose up against their Nazi captors. Using gunpowder smuggled by young Jewish women forced to work in munitions factories, a group of Sonderkommando prisoners blew up one crematorium and killed some of the guards.

250 of the revolt’s participants died fighting the SS and police, and 200 more were shot by the SS after the fighting ended. Although the SS quashed the uprising, the Auschwitz-Birkenau revolt remains an example of bravery in the face of extraordinary oppression.

#AuschwitzRevolt #Resistance

Babi Yar

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Today in Holocaust History —> Today, we remember one of the largest single mass murders of the Holocaust. Beginning on September 29, 1941, German forces and their auxiliaries rounded up and killed the Jews of Kiev, Ukraine, at a ravine called Babi Yar. In just two days, 33,771 Jewish men, women, and children were shot.

The Babi Yar massacre remains a harrowing example of Nazi atrocities during the invasion of the Soviet Union. In the months following the massacre, German authorities stationed at Kiev killed thousands more Jews at Babi Yar, as well as non-Jews including Roma (Gypsies), Communists, and Soviet prisoners of war. It is estimated that some 100,000 people were murdered at Babi Yar.

#Holocaust #Remembrance #BabiYar

Adolf Eichmann Sentenced

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On February 5th 1961 Adolf Eichmann is sentenced to death for war crimes in Israel.

Charged with managing and facilitating the mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and killing centers in the German-occupied East, he was among the major organizers of the Holocaust.

Eichmann admitted during his last day of testimony, that he was in fact responsible for sending millions to their deaths, co-coordinating the plans down to the last detail, from removing the people from their homes and deporting them to extermination camps, to dividing and plundering their assets, – however, he maintained that he did not feel guilty about his actions, or the consequences.

#Holocaust #Israel #Eichmann

Anne Frank’s Last Diary Entry

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On August 1st 1944, Anne Frank penned her last entry into her diary.

“… Believe me, I’d like to listen, but it doesn’t work, because if I’m quiet and serious, everyone thinks I’m putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke, and then I’m not even talking about my own family, who assume I must be ill, stuff me with aspirins and sedatives, feel my neck and forehead to see if I have a temperature, ask about my bowel movements and berate me for being in a bad mood, until I just can’t keep it up any more, because when everybody starts hovering over me, I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if … if only there were no other people in the world.”

Three days later, Anne was arrested with her family in the “secret annex” of a house in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where they had hidden for two years. She later died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when she was 15.

(Anne Frank at the Sixth Montessori School, Amsterdam, 1941)

Ursula von Kardoff on Sophie Scholl and the White Rose

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On Sophie Scholl and the White Rose:

“I will never forget the excitement when a leaflet was pressed into my hand by somebody in the editorial room of the Allgemeine Zeitung. The leaflets were being circulated by White Rose followers in Hamburg. Something inflammatory, heartening—yes, magical!—emanated from these typewritten and hectographed [mimeographed] lines.

We copied them off and passed them on. A wave of enthusiasm swept over us—we who risked so damned little in comparison.”
~ Ursula von Kardoff (reporter at Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, 1945)

Sophie Scholl: An Introduction

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“How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause? Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?”

~ Sophie Scholl, Her last words before execution.

Sophie Scholl (1921-1943), German student and anti-Nazi political activist, active within the White Rose non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany.  Convicted of high treason after having been found distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich (LMU). As a result, she was executed by guillotine.

In 1942, five young German students and one professor at the University of Munich (LMU) crossed the threshold of toleration to enter the realms of resistance, danger and death. Protesting in the name of principles Hitler thought he had killed forever, Sophie Scholl and other members of the White Rose realized that the ‘Germanization’ Hitler sought to enforce was cruel and inhuman, and that they could not be content to remain silent in its midst…

#SophieScholl #WhiteRose #WorldWarII #ProtestAuthoritarianism #Resist