Holocaust: Nazi Propaganda, Anti-Semitism, Auschwitz, Survivors, and Rescue in Denmark
Nazi Propaganda and Censorship While Hitler was coming to power, the Nazis orchestrated a massive propaganda campaign to win the loyalty and cooperation of Germans. All media whose viewpoints threatened Nazi beliefs were either censored or eliminated altogether. In May of 1933, more than 25,000 books written by both Jewish and non-Jewish authors including Helen Keller were burned. On December 5th in 1930, Joseph Goebbels disrupted the premiere of “All Quiet on the Western Front” with smoke and sneezing bombs because its views were considered “un-German. Even schoolbooks were censored from classrooms. The Nazi’s controlled the media so they could integrate Nazi racism and ideas into it. On March 13th, 1933, Goebbels was appointed head of the Reich Propaganda Ministry. As the head, he condemned works written by Jews, liberals, leftists, pacifists, foreigners, and many others. New textbooks were put into classrooms praising Hitler and anti-Semitism. Hence, people were taught blind obedience to the Nazi party. Anti-Semitism Jewish people have been faced with prejudices and discriminations throughout istory. They were isolated in Christian societies, which, if you can remember, were almost everywhere. The Church taught that the Jews were responsible for Jesus’s death, and that they also caused the “Black Death,” which was the plague that killed thousands of people. The ignorance of people never ceases to surprise me. Because of these accusations, Jews couldn’t hold certain jobs or own land. It must’ve been hard not being able to express yourself the way everyone else did. Jews either had to convert to Christianity, leave the country, or be persecuted.
Influential people mistakenly defined them as a race, which ultimately meant that even if they did convert to Christianity, they were still Jews by blood. The government either organized or didn’t prevent violent attacks on Jews, which involved murder and then looting. Why was so much hate projected towards the Jews? Auschwitz When educated people hear “Auschwitz,” a pretty picture does not come to mind. Auschwitz was the largest concentration camp established by the Germans in the 1940s. It was altogether a concentration, extermination, and forced-labor camp.
In just five years, over one million innocent people lost their lives. If they could work or were some use to the Germans, their lives were spared. If they couldn’t work, this includes the sick, the elderly, children, et cetera, they were sent to gas chambers. Auschwitz’s four LARGEST gas chambers could hold and kill 2,000 people at once. Afterwards, their bodies were burned. As mentioned earlier, the workers were left alive, but had live in unbearable conditions. They were not insulated from the heat or cold; they wore the same clothes 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
They were malnourished and were often fed rotten, molded food. Dr. Josef Mengele performed cruel experiments on twins, dwarves, as well as the sick, and then killed them if they didn’t die during the experiments. It really is no surprise that most prisoners survived only a few weeks to months in Auschwitz. Survivors Returning to life before the Holocaust was impossible for victims. Not only was it impossible, but it was also dangerous. People would think that after all the Jews had been through, that they’d learn to take it easy on them.
But still, there were anti-Jewish riots and pogroms when survivors returned. Rumors spread about Jewish people killing Polish children and using their blood for rituals. Due to these rumors, even more riots broke out, one in particular where 41 people were murdered, and 50 more were wounded. Even if the people had been peaceful to the survivors, they wouldn’t have had a place to live. Many came home to find that their homes had been looted and/or taken over. With nowhere to live, the Jewish people were put into Displaced Persons’ camps. After being ejected by many countries, the United Nations finally voted to divide Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state. Even the United States changed their immigration policy to allow more Jews to enter. I guess the survivors had found hope after all. Rescue in Denmark Not everyone actively supported and collaborated with the Nazi Germans. Yet again, nor did they take a stand on what was happening and help the Jewish and minority groups. Millions of people nationwide stood by as the Holocaust occurred. People told themselves that it was none of their business. Many others were just frightened.
Helping Jews was punishable by death, after all. Only one country stood up for their Jewish people, and that was Denmark. They had help from many outside forces to help smuggle almost 8000 Jews, almost the entire Jewish population in Denmark, out before the Nazis could come. Even with all the combined efforts though, about 500 Jews were still deported to a concentration camp. Still, all but 51 survived due to the Danish government pestering the Nazis about the welfare of their people. A French clergyman smuggled about 12,000 Jewish children into Switzerland and Spain.