children of the holocaust

Children of the Holocaust
Teachers Guide: Children of The Holocaust
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The Holocaust

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Children of the Holocaust
Background

The children's stories are filled with fear and suffering, both emotionally and physically. Every Jewish child was marked for destruction simply because he or she was Jewish. The Nazis murdered Jewish children because they wanted to create a biologically pure "Aryan" society.

Although the Nazi plan for the murder of all Jews was introduced in each occupied country at different times, the steps in this ruthless scheme were essentially the same. The mass annihilation was always preceded by a carefully coordinated sequence: violation of human rights, expropriation of property, removal from employment and ejection to designated areas, usually sealed ghettos or transitory camps. Everywhere, throughout this tragic period, Jewish children were confronted by overpowering, destructive forces.

Sometimes Jews were fortunate to find good people who said "no" to the Nazis. Although rescuers represented only a very small number of people in Nazi-occupied Europe, they could be found everywhere. Most countries had special sections of their underground resistance movements devoted to saving Jewish children. But, most often, those who helped acted as individuals. Ordinary people risked horrifying punishment and the safety of their families to rescue Jewish children. Whatever their reasons for helping -- out of friendship, religious conviction, patriotism, or for money -- they risked execution or deportation to a concentration camp for doing so.




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2001 Anti-Defamation League