himself with a small clique of fanatical, ruthless henchmen - a violent
group of outsiders who rose to power in the Third Reich and established
political and economic institutions of legitimized terror.
Men wore black
uniforms with a skeleton's head on their hats, the motto Unsere Ehre
heisst Treue on their belts and their symbol was the double S-rune.
These masterminds of death had sworn eternal faith to Hitler and they were men often seen as the
very personifications of evil.
Hitler's henchmen were found to be quite psychologically normal.
They were men of fine standing, husbands who morning and night kissed
their wives, fathers who tucked their children into bed.
But inhuman acts were an everyday occurrence
mass gassing of men, women and children, brutalities, cruelties, tortures,
atrocities, medical experiments ..
In 1933 approximately nine million Jews
lived in the countries of Europe that would be occupied by Germany during
the war. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been killed by
the SS Men. The
Holocaust was the systematic annihilation of six million Jews.
But Jews were not the only group singled out for persecution by Hitler’s
Nazi regime. As many as one-half million Gypsies, at least 250,000
mentally or physically disabled persons, and more than three million
Soviet prisoners-of-war also fell victim to Nazi genocide. Jehovah’s
Witnesses, homosexuals, Social Democrats, Communists, partisans, trade
unionists, Polish intelligentsia and other undesirables were also
victims of the hate and aggression carried out by the Nazis.
The number of children killed during the Holocaust is not fathomable and
full statistics for the tragic fate of the children will never be
known. Some estimates range as high as 1.5 million murdered children. This
figure includes more than 1.2 million Jewish children, tens of thousands
of Gypsy children and thousands of handicapped children.
Plucked from their homes and stripped of their childhoods, the children
had witnessed the murder of parents, siblings, and relatives. They faced
starvation, illness and brutal labor, until they were consigned to the gas
Project statistics derived from
Yad Vashem and Fleming, Hitler
and the Final Solution.
Holocaust is a history of enduring horror and sorrow. It seems as though
there is no spark of human concern, no act of humanity, to lighten that
dark history. In his book Sheltering The Jews the Holocaust historian Mordecai
Paldiel later wrote:
before in history had children been singled out for destruction for
no other reason than having been born. Children, of course, were no
match for the Nazis' mighty and sophisticated killing machine
The Holocaust survivor, the author Elie Wiesel, has dedicated his life to
ensuring that none of us forget what happened to the Jews. The Nobel Prize
those times there was darkness everywhere. In heaven and on earth,
all the gates of compassion seemed to have been closed. The killer
killed and the Jews died and the outside world adopted an attitude
either of complicity or of indifference. Only a few had the courage