The word “holocaust”, originally comes from the Greek adjective “holokaustos”, “holo” meaning whole and “kaustos” meaning completely burnt. In other words, it referred to an animal sacrifice, which was completely burnt, as a sacrifice to a god. In Hebrew, it refers to as the “Shoah”, meaning catastrophe, and was a genocide where over 6 million European Jews were killed, on the orders of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi collaborators. The period of the Holocaust can be narrowed down, to the years 1941 to 1945.
Here are some interesting and startling facts about the Holocaust:
- Stanislawa Leszczynska was a Polish Catholic midwife. She and her daughter were prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp. She was a skilled and resourceful midwife and delivered about 3000 babies into the nightmare camp. Though most of these babies perished at the hands of the Nazis, either through being murdered or from malnourishment, she provided a ray of hope that the imprisoned new mothers, clung to.
- Nazi physician and SS officer, Josef Mengele, conducted various deadly experiments on Jewish victims. He conducted genetic and anthropological research on human subjects, focusing particularly on twins and had no regard for the safety and health of his patients. It has been noted, that in one night, he personally killed fourteen twins, whilst conducting gruesome experiments on them. Pregnant women were also a favourite subject for his experiments. It is unknown the number of victims that were killed at his hands. One man, however, managed to survive his kidney removal without anaesthesia and also survived the gas chamber, as his queue was number 201 and the final number in the gas chamber was 200.
- During the Evian conference in France in July 1938, Hitler offered to hand over all the Jewish “criminals” to any country willing to take them. The US, Britain, Canada and every other country refused to make any definite commitments. Only Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic offered to take refugees. The result of the failure of this conference was that the Jews were at the mercy of what became known as, Hitler’s “Final Solution” program.
- The Dominican Republic’s dictator, Rafael Trujillo, offered to accept up to 100 000, Jewish refugees in 1938. Approximately 700 Jews made it to the Dominican Republic. Each Jewish family was given about 80 acres of land, 5 to 10 cows, a mule, a horse and a 10,000 US Dollars loan at 1% interest. This, however, was done to avert attention from the western nations. In 1937, he had massacred thousands of Haitian migrants. He also, had a desire to “whiten” the people of his country, hoping that the young Jewish men would marry the local women, making a lighter skinned offspring.
- The final Solution refers to the program designed by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi, where every single Jewish man, woman, and child was to be exterminated. Special camps and sealed ghettos were created solely for the purpose of killing Jews. The reasoning was simply that they were enemies of the Aryan nation. The most inhumane, brutal and violent methods were used to accomplish horrific death on a mass level. 1/3 of the whole Jewish population in the world, were exterminated during the Holocaust.
- 99% of Danish Jews managed to survive the Holocaust. When Hitler ordered the deportation of Jews in Denmark, the Danish resistance together with the assistance of Danish citizens, then organised a massive evacuation of their Jewish population, to neutral Sweden, thus saving them from the Holocaust.
- Polish doctor, Eugene Lazowski, saved 8000 Jews in the Holocaust, by creating a fake epidemic which played on the Nazi phobias. He did this by injecting dead typhus cells, in the bodies of Jewish patients, making them test positive for typhus. They were, however, all healthy. Fearing this highly contagious disease, the Nazis then refused to send the “infected” Jews to the concentration camps, in case of infection spread, during the transportation process to the camps. The infected Jews were rather quarantined, thus sparing their lives in the process.
- Hitler’s goal was to finally open a museum, using Jewish artefacts confiscated or stolen by the Nazis during WWII, to show the evidence of a now “extinct” race. It was an art museum to be built in the Austrian city of Linz, near his birth place. The ultimate plan was to create a cultural capital of the Third Reich and the greatest museum in Europe.
- The aftermath of the Holocaust, made such an impact on the world, that “Denial” of it, is considered to be a crime in up to 17 countries, which include Austria and Germany
- Tesch and Stabenow [Testa] were two partners of a pest control company, integral in the gassing of Jews. They supplied a massive supply of the deadly liquid Zyklon B, to the concentration camps, for the purpose of delousing. In 1946, a British Military Court convicted and hanged the two for their part in this genocide. Their argument was that they must have realized the supply of the deadly poison was far too massive, just for delousing.