Jews were so called "inferior" or "life unworthy of life." You would probably  guess by all the attention the Jews got during the Holocaust, that hardly anyone else was persecuted. Well, you're wrong. The Nazis' targeted  many others because of "racial inferiority" including; Gypsies, the handicapped, Slavic people, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and so many others that it added up to 5,ooo,ooo without the Jews included. The Holocaust just wasn't the annihilation of the Jews, it was much, much more.





               Many children experienced something most people can't understand. They were killed just as much as adults were. Parents tried hard to find  a safe spot for their children, and a lot were successful, but others were not. Children being sheltered in a Children's Home in Iziez wrote letters and prayers to parents and God. Small, little Georges Halpern wrote to his mother saying, "Chere Maman, I send you 10,000,000,000 kisses. your son who loves you very much." A lot of secret children's home were never found by the Nazi's but some did. April 6, 1944, the Children's Home in Izieu was raided. The Nazi's threw crying and terrified children onto trucks and deported them all to Auschwitz were every single one was killed. This is the story for almost all kids who were found.


ROMA (GYPSIES)                                 

         Roma, or otherwise known as Gypsies, were a nomadic people. They had been persecuted for many centuries before the Holocaust. Gypsies had the same treatments as the Jews had during the Holocaust; at first they were deprived of their civil rights, then deportation to camps, and finally murder. Most Gypsies were sent to live in ghettos and had to face firing squads. Some were even used as guinea pigs and had lethal substances injected into them. Many Roma that were from the East, like Russia, Poland, and Balkan, were shot by the Einsatzgruppen. At Machsenhausen, a concentration camp, Gypsies were tormented with " special experiments"  to scientifically prove that their blood was different than Germans, the perfect race. For efficiency, Gypsies were shot naked looking at their pre-dug graves. According to many Nazi shooters, Jews were easier to shoot than Gypsies because Jews stood still, but Gypsies would run around constantly howling and crying out, some would even jump into the graves and pretend to be dead. Even the ones hat were exempted from this treatment because of marriage to a German were sterilized. The end result; hundreds of thousands of Gypsies were killed during the Holocaust because they were considered "work-shy" and "asocial" by the Germans. 




              Before World War 1 there weren't very many Black people in Germany. During ww1, France brought Black soldiers in during France's occupation of Germany. Since there were different colored people living in Germany, the Nazis forcibly sterilized offspring between black men and white women because it held back the campaign for the perfect race. Children that had a black father and a white mother were mulatto  children because of their color. Mostly every Germans despised them and called them ugly names. Hitler wrote," These mulatto children came through rape or their mother was a whore. In both cases there is not the slightest moral duty regarding these offspring of a foreign race." This is what happened to children because of the color of their skin.






               According to Hitler's new way of thinking, many people were persecuted, tortured, and executed because the master race had no room for these "impure" people. Hitler even looked through his very own men and found suspected homosexuals, they were sent to concentration camps wearing medals and S.S. uniforms. Homosexuals were forced to wear pink triangles for further humiliation in camps and easy identification.






The picture to the right is a picture of Soviet prisoners of war at Mauthausen.



             In the beginning of WWII, Jews were, at first, restricted from going to cinemas, theaters, swimming pools and resorts. Jewish papers were suspended and Jews had to have identification cards including having to wear the Star of David. Jewish children were banned from schools and curfews were put on the Jews to cut of traveling time. Over all Jews were banned from most public places. Six million Jews died from being in ghettos, by being killed by mobile squads, or being sent to concentration and death camps because of one single reason; they were Jewish. At the end of 1945, close to 2 out of 3 European Jews had been killed because of the "Final Solution."






          Not every person believed in Nazi ideology. They even were willing to die for what they believed in. Some like the Jehovah Witnesses were so strong in their beliefs, that Hitler felt threatened by them. They refused to sign any documents of loyalty towards "Nazi Ideology" because they believed in only one God. Witnesses were forced to wear purple armbands and thousands were sent to prisons because they believed in something different than what Hitler was thought. Jehovah Witnesses who refused to salute Hitler or refuse to serve in the German army were killed. These people believed so strongly in their beliefs that they died for them. 






           Christian Poles and many other Slavic people were also targets for Nazi hatred during WWII. To the Nazi's they were considered ,subhuman, nothing more than a thing in the way for a superior German Race. They were sent to forced labor camps and sentenced to annihilation. No matter your stance in public views, you were sent to camps if you were of Slavic people. The Nazi's thirst for more living space ended up as a disaster to Polish, Ukrainian, and Byelorussia populations.






              There was no room for people who had obvious problems. Many were sterilized because of their imperfection. The "Euthanasia Program" was made for this certain killing project. Hitler thought there wasn't a need to waste money and time to support the handicapped. This "cleansing program" put these men and women to death like cats and dogs. The whole plan was to be secret but word got out that their relatives were being killed. Doctors were told to kill off patients with disabilities by starvation, poisoning, and injection with deadly chemicals. These totally innocent people died because of their disabilities that they were born with. 







                                      JEANINE BURK                                   


              "I was a hidden child, from ages three to five. I am grateful to her (meaning the woman who hid her) but I do not know her name. I will never be able to thank her publicly." 

              Burks' father took her to a woman's house one day when Hitler started to kill the Jews. She lost a great deal of her childhood because she was a Jew being persecuted. She remembers always being scared. No toys, huge, or kisses that was her life for two years. "I was never allowed to have a father. I don't have a picture of my family except for one little picture of my father and me. Her father was sent to Auschwitz. "And all because he was a Jew. He never killed anyone. Never robbed anyone, yet they murdered him. They exterminated him simply because he was a Jew."

            After the war they were very poor. Her mother died in February 1950 from breast cancer. Jeanine was only ten. After her brother and sister wanted to send her to America so she could have a better life. "Leaving Belgium was the most traumatic thing that had ever happened to me. I was close to my brother and sister. To me it looked as if they did not want me anymore now that they were married." She had a wonderful life, got married twice and had six kids. "People ask me can I forgive? I can't. I cannot forgive. I blame the German people a great deal because I feel they were passive. They turned away. They may have the audacity to say they did not know. That is not acceptable. Until they can own up to it , I can't forgive."






        Isak is from Radom, Poland. He had a big family. They owned cattle and butchered them at their home, which is illegal. When the Germans went invaded Poland, Isak ran away to Russia, where he joined the army after Hitler invaded Russia. The army sent him to a town where they were captured. When they surrendered he changed his name to Broniewski, which was a Polish name. When he was marching to a camp he escaped and a woman took him in. Then he joined the Partisans, but before he got a chance to fight, a good friend got drunk and he told the Nazis' many names. Isak was arrested. Since he looked like a Jew, he was sent to the death chamber. In there a girl, Ira Pogorlskaja, kept him alive by giving food and protected him against the other prisoners when he was ill. One day they took her out of the chamber and she never returned. After the war he tried to find her, but she was never seen again.    

            In the death chamber he was tortured. Given cold showers, beat with leather straps until his skin turned the color of wood. Then they started believing he was just a Russian soldier so they put him in a regular cell. The Army was coming near so they sent them to Auschwitz, but they didn't have any room for them to Auschwitz, but they didn't have any room for them there. So they went to Mauthausen were he was sent to the camp hospital because he was sick. In the hospital a Pole noticed that he was a Jew and wanted to help him. He sent him to a sub-camp where he worked at a factory. Then one day the factory exploded. So he was sent to Linz III to cut out tank wheels. "They made you feel like an animal. It was a slaughterhouse. Absolutely not describable." While he was working, a guard was going to shoot him to make the other workers work harder. Then another guard said," He is a soldier just like you, a soldier who wants to go home to his family." They soon put him in a Bomb Kommando, where he had to dig up unexploded bombs. When the American Army got near the guards had to get rid of the workers. So they decided to take them back to camp. When they got to Wels they were set free by the Americans. Then he started home but was told to join the Army. When he got out of the Army he went back home. Everything looked exactly like he left it. He found his brother, but could barely recognize him. "Hoe do I deal with it? By just going and praying. I get up at 5:30 a.m. I go to work. I make myself busy. I remember nothing." Sometimes I try to go back to my past, and it's unbelievable for me. Sometimes I think I am just dreaming."

                  Some people forget times like those, but the people who survived it, never will. The Holocaust has many memories that cannot just fade away from time, but will live as long as there are people who remember it. The Holocaust just wasn't a time in history that teachers teach about, it was a living nightmare for the many people who experienced it.




Chelsea Amack

7th Social Studies

Rossville Jr. High

Holocaust Project