II. The 3rd Reich & the Holocaust Era, Jan 1933-May 1945

A. The prewar period, 1933-39: Nazism - A Monolithic Culture
Domestic Policy. Obedience, authority, conformity versus conscience

SG # 8c The War against Other "Undesirables"
Resisters: Jehovah’s Witnesses - Conformity vs. Conscience

Bauer, 228-29; 142-46; http://www.ushmm.org/education/forstudents/resource/

Scope. “Another consequence of Hitler's ruthless dictatorship in the 1930s was the arrest of political opponents and trade unionists and others the Nazis labeled "undesirables" and "enemies of the state." While Jews were the primary target, Gypsies, Slavs, homosexuals, the handicapped & political dissidents were also trapped in the deadly grip of Nazi ideology.”1 Responses. German public reactions & reactions of the churches to the Nazi persecutions.

Students will be able to identify other groups that have been singled out for persecution and dehumanization based on prejudice, bigotry, and stereotyping, and describe the responses to Nazism.

I. Define/Identify

Collaborators. Aryan. Life unworthy of life; weed out; eugenics; sterilizations; euthanasia. Black, Gypsies. Homosexuals; Jehovah’s Witnesses, purple triangle. Concordat.

II. Multiple-Choice Questions

1. ________ are those who were chosen for persecution and or/extermination. Approximately 11.5 million people were killed because of Nazi genocidal policy.
a) Victims b) collaborators

2. It was the explicit aim of Hitler's regime to create a European world both dominated and populated by the "Aryan" race. The Nazi machinery was dedicated to eradicating millions of people it deemed undesirable. Some were Nazi victims because of what they did. These victims of the Nazi regime were _________, homosexuals, the dissenting clergy, Communists, Socialists, asocials, & other political enemies; as ‘enemies of the state’ they were banished to the camps.
a) Jehovah's Witnesses b) Slavs

3. Inside the concentration camps, prisoners were forced to wear various colored _______, each color denoting a different group.
a) triangles b) squares

4. _________are those who were present in the midst of the nazi terror and the Holocaust, but did not participate in its execution. They did nothing to prevent or stop it either. Ordinary people who play safe, comply with law, stay involved, fearful to make a choice, docile
a) bystander b) resister

The War against Other "Undesirables" and "Enemies of the State"

5. Germany under Nazi rule emphasized the primacy of _______ ideology, which stressed the descent of the German people from the superior Aryan race, & the superiority of the ‘Germanic race,’ -the "master race." Hitler’s close confidant Rudolf Hess made this clear when he defined National Socialism as applied biology.
a) racial b) democratic

6. For Hitler, the ideal "___________" was blond, blue-eyed, healthy, hetereosexual and tall. When Hitler and the Nazis came to power, these beliefs became the government ideology and were spread in publicly displayed posters, on the radio, in movies, in classrooms, and in newspapers.
a) Aryan b) Slav

7. The advancement of German culture, in Nazi doctrine , required to limit those who were not "productive" in work or who would otherwise not advance the goals and objectives of the State. Nazis believed that the "useless mouths" (the chronically ill and the physically and mentally defective) had no right to live.’ The Nazi phrase, "_____________" was used to describe such people, as well as criminals, the insane, and the physically challenged/handicapped. This characterization was soon extended to include Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, and homosexuals.
a) Life unworthy of life
b) Life without useless people

The Deadly Philosophy: Racial Purity

8. The application of genocidal policies did not start with the Jews; from the moment the Nazis took power in 1933, they introduced the racial hygiene programs to __________ those deemed ‘_________’ for German society - to assure that the blood of the German "master race" remained "pure" of any contamination by people with undesirable features.
German scientists & physicians were in the forefront of the _______ movement (selective breeding), which was popular on both sides of the Atlantic.
a) weed out, unfit; eugenics
b) include, fit; antisemitism

9. In 1933, the Nazis began to put into practice their racial ideology (that the Germans were "racially superior" & that there was a struggle for survival between them and "inferior races;" saw Jews, Roma -Gypsies, and the handicapped as a serious biological threat to the purity of the "German (Aryan) Race." German physicians who believed that the human race could be improved by limiting the reproduction of people considered ‘inferior,’ ‘undesirables,’ ‘mentally deficient’, were allowed to perform forced _________
a) sterilizations b) abortions

10. A July 14, 1933 law legalized sterilization for persons judged too defective to have children, with certain _______________,
a) hereditary diseases b) mortal diseases

11. Judges approved the sterilization & _____________ of Germans deemed unfit to live in the world of Aryan excellence.
a) euthanasia
b) imprisonment

12. Among the targets of this public program were Roma, & handicapped individuals, including the mentally ill & people born ___________. The intent of the program to eliminate possibility that these people & their potential offspring be a burden to society.
a) deaf and blind
b) healthy

13. By 1937 some _______ people had been sterilized for reasons such as schizophrenia, alcoholism & a range of physical deformities.
a) 1000
b) 200,000

14. Once sterilization became accepted, it was only a matter of time until the Nazis went one step further in approving a program of __________ ‘mercy killing;’ mentally and physically handicapped persons were rounded up and sent to special facilities for ‘treatment,’ a euphemism for the murder of ‘defective’ persons
a) euthanasia,
b) forced starvation

15. Support for racial hygiene courts and programs of sterilization reached a climax, when on September 1, 1939, Hitler signed an _____ authorizing a euthanasia program (mercy-killing) for the purpose of eliminating from Germany ‘life unworthy of living’
a) order
b) letter

16. The families of the victims would often receive telegrams informing them that their loved one had died of a __________. Early victims of this program were given fatal injections. These facilities were soon equipped with gas chambers.
a) heart attack
b) food poisoning

17. Scores of medical doctors, participated in the sterilization & euthanasia programs. Each had taken the ______ Oath, pledging to heal the sick, protect life, & refrain from harmful actions to their patients. And each had violated that Oath to the fullest degree possible.
a) Hippocratic
b) Doctor

18. It was devised by Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician, & is taken by persons who receive an M.D. degree (Doctor of Medicine) & sets the standards of medical ethics.
a) Hippocratic Oath
b) Hippocratic Law

19. The Nazi regime persecuted, viewing the Roma both as asocial and as racially inferior to Germans. Under the July 1933 sterilization law, many of Germany’s 30,000 Roma (Gypsies), were sterilized, against their will. By the summer of 1938, large numbers of German and Austrian Romani were rounded up and sent to concentration camps ... they wore ____ triangular patches.
a. black
b. purple

20. Also sterilized were about 500 __________, offspring of German mothers & African colonial soldiers in the Allied armies that occupied the German Rhineland after World War I. The Jews, mentally ill, handicapped, Poles & Slavs, Blacks, and Gypsies were persecuted, because of WHO they were.
a) African-German children b) Vietnamese children

21. Homosexuals blamed for undermining racial community by failure to produce children, were sometimes sent to regular concentration camps; they wore ___ triangle.
a. pink b. black

Responses - Resisters: Jehovah’s Witnesses

22. During the Holocaust era, 1933-45 __________ was any group action consciously taken in opposition to known or surmised laws, actions or intentions directed against the Jews by the Nazis or their supporters.
a) resistance b) collaborators

23. Jehovah's Witnesses endured intense persecution, because they were resisters who opposed
a) the Nazi regime
b) the French regime

24. The Hebrew name of God
a) Jehovah b) Hashem

25. Members of a Christian group also called Bible Students, who opposed Nazism from the beginning, & were the 1st religious association to be banned
a) Jehovah’s Witnesses b) Christian Germans

26. Christian theology of the Witnesses rejected
a) racism
b) ultra-nationalism
c) the deification of state and Fuhrer
d) all the above

27. Jehovah's Witnesses were banned as an organization as early as April 1933, since the beliefs of this religious group prohibited them from
a) swearing any oath to the state
b) serving in the German military.
c) a & b

28 There was no other resistance organization: Jehovah’s Witnesses took a consistent, organized stand against the Nazi regime; they refused to
a) to make the Hitler salute - heil Hitler
b) join the Nazi party
c) display the swastika flag
d) all the above

29. Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW) were persecuted by repressive Nazi measures:
a) they were banned from civil service jobs
b) their children were expelled from schools or raised in reform schools
c) their businesses were seized; bibles burnt; members beaten
d) all the above

30. For their refusal to conform to Nazi ideals, thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses were sent to
a) prisons & concentration camps b) exile

31. The Witnesses were the only Christian group designated by a separate uniform symbol
a) a purple rectangle b) a purple triangle

32. In the Buchenwald camp, Witness inmates
a) never abused or mistreated other prisoners
b) shared their bread rations with Jewish prisoners
c) a & b

33. Jehovah’s Witnesses were offered a choice: a document offered repeatedly to Witness prisoners - _____________; in exchange for a signature, a Witness could walk away free from camp or prison
a) a renunciation of their faith and a pledge of loyalty to the fatherland
b) asking forgiveness from the Pope

34. Jehovah’s Witnesses spoke out with one voice; and they spoke out with a tremendous courage; on December 12, 1936 secretly distribute 200,000 copies of the Lucerne Resolution, a protest of Nazi atrocities detailing the Nazi regime’s human rights abuses. The Witness literature became an instrument of spiritual resistance exposing
a) the criminal actions of the Nazi regime and its human rights abuses
b) its antisemitic agenda & reports of camp conditions
c) a & b

35. One of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the 1st conscientious objector of the war to be executed, dies by firing squad at Sachsenhausen
a) August Dickmann b) John Smith

Christianity & the Nazis. Dissenting Clergy

36. Hitler secured the cooperation of the __________ by guaranteeing the liberties of the Catholic Church in Germany; in July 1933, he signed a concordat, or treaty, with Pope Pius XI.
a) Vatican b) Italy

37. Hitler violated the concordat; dismissed Catholic teachers from schools; opposition clergy were arrested. 1000s of priests & nuns arrested & deported to
a) concentration camps b) Italy

38. In 1937 the Pope issued an encyclical called ‘With Burning Concern.’ It criticized Hitler for breaking their agreement; there was __________ to Nazi antisemitic policy.
a) opposition b) no opposition

39. Pastor of the church at Dahlem, near Berlin, refused to recognize control of secular authorities, & in 1937 was arrested.
a) Martin Niemoller b) Martin Pascal

40. With few exceptions, most Germans ____________with the boycott of all Jewish businesses, on April 1, 1933.
a) complied b) did not comply

Copyright Fall 1999, November 2003, January 2004 Edith Shaked


1 http://www.ushmm.org/education/history.html, p. 5