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10.1 HIST 295, November 13th

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HIST 295
Gordon Dueck

HIST 306 Holocaust Problems and Interpretations Tuesday, November 13 2012 For the quiz  He might ask for a specific date, but it’s unlikely – but know chronology o Which came first? Certain events caused the ones that came after  Watch the documentaries he’s sent links to on Moodle o Recent ones o Night and Fog  He’s trying to assess how much you’ve absorbed in terms of basic facts of the Holocaust  Review the books that you’ve already read (especially Wistrich – read it again)  Things that are or should be common knowledge will be fill in the blank  Harder questions will be multiple choice  Bonus points for exact dates…but questions like ‘which came first’ Documentary – Auschwitz: Liberation and Revenge * Link will be sent on Moodle  When the Germans knew that the Allies would be arriving anytime they started burning and destroying documents, trying to hide what had happened  Knew it would be better to conceal what had happened and not draw much attention to themselves  Many prisoners had been marched Westwards towards the Reich when the Nazis anticipated the liberation of Auschwitz  In the confusion, the prisoners who had been left behind (thought to be too sick to march) with the orders to be shot, were not killed and there were a couple thousand prisoners were waiting when the Soviets arrived  The proof of the genocide that had been committed lay around despite the rushed SS attempt to conceal the evidence  Rudolf Hoess went to a conference in Northern Germany that he believed would determine his own fate o They were told to hide themselves amongst the armed forces o The leaders of the SS were mostly present o Hoess hid amongst the navy sailors o Himmler was captured by the Allies a couple days later  Former SS soldiers were often identified because their blood-type was tattooed under their arm – but not all the members of the SS who were present at Auschwitz were identified  Many of the people who were directly involved in the crimes at Auschwitz hid themselves throughout Germany  British forces found Hoess’ family and they imprisoned his wife o For the first 5 days they interrogated her, she claimed that he was dead th o On the 6 day they tried to trick her – they threatened to send her son to Siberia if she didn’t tell them where Hoess was (they gave her 10 minutes to decide) – she revealed the truth, thinking she was saving her son  British forces captured Hoess at the farm he had been working at – they beat him nearly to death to get him to confess his identity o Was interrogated both locally and at Nuremburg (for the war trials – along with many other Nazi elite)  Nuremburg Trials o According to a member of the prosecution team, he seemed like a completely normal person who did his war duty  He acted like a normal, unimportant individual, and told what happened without emotion or any sense of guilt  Wasn’t even slightly apologetic  Almost showed a certain pride in his accomplishment  Stalin’s Soviet Union now mostly controlled previous Nazi Germany  Many refugees were now trying to return to Germany  Soviet soldiers were a new source of terror – they constantly raped female refugees o There were cases of women being raped to death o Thought was that if the Germans hadn’t killed them, the Russians now would  Many Russians suffered at the hands of the Russian soldiers o 10 000 Russian POWs were sent to build Auschwitz Birkenau o They were then persecuted for being spies for the Stalin regime o They tormented the men they suspected of being spies – and went about trying to coerce confessions out of them – confessions that would have often been false  Former inmates were struggling to rebuild their lives o Met resistance from those who had taken over their homes o Pogroms in Poland – there was much resistance from regular Polish people  German soldiers were arriving in Britain o Were in camps o They were no longer POWs, but German workers o They worked, had sufficient good food, could make extra money working for farmers – had a good, comfortable life in the camps  Krakau was somewhat less comfortable o Hoess wrote his autobiography here – offering u
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