The Allies and the Holocaust: What they knew, when they knew it, and what they did about it

The idea that Germany, during World War II, would attempt to completely eradicate the entire Jewish population of the territories under their control was initially inconceivable to the Allies. Even though the Nazi’s hate of Jewish people and other groups of “undesirables” was well known, nobody could have imagined that Germany – a modern nation of cultured people, would perpetrate such a base, primitive crime against humanity. Additionally, from a warfighting standpoint it made no sense to the Allies that the Nazis would waste the immense amount of manpower and resources that they did in such an effort.… Read More The Allies and the Holocaust: What they knew, when they knew it, and what they did about it

Holocaust History: Auschwitz – Evolution of a Killing Factory

In Claude Lanzmann’s famous documentary film Shoah he interviewed SS guard Franz Suchomel who called Auschwitz a “killing factory.” There could not be a more adequate description of the hell that was Auschwitz-Birkenau. However as with most events of the Holocaust its purpose as a killing center did not emerge overnight. Rather, it evolved in response to circumstances and the whims of the Nazi leadership.… Read More Holocaust History: Auschwitz – Evolution of a Killing Factory

Holocaust History: A Sinister Organization

By the time Operation Barbarossa kicked off in June 1941 and rolled across the East, Heinrich Himmler’s Schutzstaffel, or SS for short, controlled law and order in the police state that was the Third Reich. It all began in 1936 when Hitler appointed Himmler Chief of the German Police; he also retained his position as head of the SS. Himmler immediately set about creating new ministries under the umbrella of the SS that eventually controlled all aspects of policing in the Reich.… Read More Holocaust History: A Sinister Organization

Holocaust History: Legislation – Propaganda – Intimidation, the Nazi Trifecta of Persecution 1933-1939

The conditions in Germany at the time of Adolf Hitler’s ascension to power were ripe for exploitation to advance the sinister causes of National Socialism. Hitler and his high-ranking Nazi associates were acutely aware of existing sentiments and prejudices; they moved quickly as soon as they took power to exploit them as far as was possible through legislation, propaganda, and other unofficial means. A prime example of this are the dealings of the Nazi Regime with the Protestant churches in Germany.… Read More Holocaust History: Legislation – Propaganda – Intimidation, the Nazi Trifecta of Persecution 1933-1939

Film Review: Sobibor (2018)

As an avid student of Holocaust history, I anxiously awaited the release of the 2018 film Sobibor, directed by Konstantin Khabenskiy. Unfortunately, after viewing the movie, I cannot recommend it to anyone who wishes to watch for educational purposes. While all films are artistic expressions, the makers of this Sobibor in my opinion went too far. I do not fault them for attempting to tell the story of what happened at Sobibor (the most successful revolt of Jewish death camp prisoners during World War II). However, it was an injustice to take so many creative liberties. Stories as serious as these should not be rewritten, embellished, or modified, rather they should be told as accurately as possible. Unlike works of fiction made into screenplays, these are real stories about real people who lived through horrific historical events. … Read More Film Review: Sobibor (2018)

Holocaust History

One of the most significant yet little known events of the Holocaust took place on October 14, 1943 when the Jewish prisoners of the Sobibor death camp revolted, killed several of their SS and Ukrainian guards, and escaped. Approximately 250,000 innocent men, women, children, and infants were murdered at Sobibor between May 1942 and October 1943. Of the three hundred that escaped during the revolt only forty-seven survived the war. Aside from the perpetrators they are the only eyewitnesses to the horrors that took place inside Sobibor.… Read More Holocaust History