Rescue: Was it Possible to Save the Jews?

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Rescue: Was it Possible to Save the Jews?

A rescue is effected when a danger to life is perceived

When was danger to life perceived?

Prior to 1938: there was no explicit danger to life

1930s rescue: property, community, future?

German Jews and their Christian Wives

Protested outside Gestapo headquarters for a week, husbands are returned home

Immigration? Where to go?

Jewish nationals outside Germany – regulated, limited, or prevented

“Our” Jews vs. “Foreign” Jews – esp. France, Fr. Jews seen as not as bad as other Jews

Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Latin America, Asia, U.S.

Antisemitism and the Jewish problem is a minor issue compared to THE WAR

Types of covert rescue

Supplying identity/ration cards, finding employment, smuggling people, food, shelter

Why? – humanitarian views, religious conviction, political ideology, personal friendships

Types of overt rescue

Polish Social Aid Committee, Zegota, Catholic Scouts – gave money, food, jobs, hid Jews, spoke out against Nazis

Old Bulgaria – Nazi satellite nation, fascist government – took Jews property and rights, but did not deport their own Jews

Soviet Union

Disregard for the murder of the Jews, but no official antisemitic policy (250,000 flee to the interior)

Denmark, conquered April 9, 1940

“Aryan” = “Nordic” to Germans

Government is allowed to function

Resistance to the Nazis – military rule by August 1943

Decision to deport the Jews – synagogue index card registry

October 1-2: 7229 Jews and 686 Non Jews smuggled to Sweden

Jewish property and synagogues protected by Danes

Food to Theresienstadt and questions about welfare

Attack on the Jews is seen as an attack on Danish national integrity

France, conquered June 1940

Vichy region seen as safe

Contradictory information (dead children v. leading a decent life) – again postcards (Nazi propaganda)

June 1942: deportation and the hidden children (108)

Passeurs – (border smugglers)

2/3 French Jews were saved including 7000 children

Le Chambon Sur Lignon – village with population of 5000

Pastor Andre and Magda Trocme

3000 children saved

Great Britain

Struggle to save Britain

Palestine (denied refugees), enemy nationals (German) and Nazi agents

Avenue of the Righteous – Yad Vashem

Less than ½ % of the European population were rescuers

Ex. Otto Busse – German factory owner – helped in the ghettos

Paul Grinninger – Swiss border policeman- let the Jews through the border

Anna Masczewska – Polish woman, saved children in orphanages

Sempo Sugihara – Japanese consul in Lithuania – gave passes to Jews to go to Japan

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