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The Romani Holocaust

The Romani (once referred to as “Gypsies”) were declared by Heinrich Himmler on this date in 1943 to be “on the same level as Jews and [to be] placed in concentration camps.” This intensified the incarceration and obliteration of Romani people that Himmler had ordered the previous December. Romani losses in the Porajmos (“Devouring” or “Destruction” […]

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Operation “Harvest Festival”

The Nazis launched a killing spree, Aktion Erntefest (Operation Harvest Festival), on this date in 1943. In response to Jewish uprisings in Sobibor, Treblinka, and the Bialystok ghetto, Heinrich Himmler ordered the SS to murder the remaining Jews in all the forced labor camps of the Lublin District of Poland. In what was the single most murderous German […]

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The Descendants of Nazis

by Dusty Sklar WE LEARNED through war-crimes trials at the end of World War II that most officials in Nazi organizations had no sense of shame or remorse about their barbarous deeds. They either denied their crimes altogether, or rationalized whatever moral qualms they may have felt. That was not the case with some of […]

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September 17: Death March from the Bor Mines

Nearly 4,000 Hungarian Jews who had been conscripted into forced labor since 1941 were led on a death march towards Hungary from the Bor mines in Yugoslavia, where the labor camps were concentrated, on this date in 1944. About 1,300 of them were shot or killed by exhaustion en route; the others were deported to […]

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December 28: Mass Sterilization

Nazi doctor Carl Clauberg began to sterilize Jewish and Roma women with formaldehyde injections and X-rays at the Auschwitz concentration camp on this date in 1942. Clauberg had been a respected gynecology researcher and fertility doctor who became a committed Nazi and sought permission from Heinrich Himmler to pursue sterilization experimentation upon captive women “so […]

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The Uncivil Servant: “The Decent One”

by Mitchell Abidor IT’S CERTAINLY A TRUISM that no one is only one thing, and even if there is some element that dominates a person’s existence, or our vision of that existence, people have multiple facets and are viewed differently by all who know them. The most caring of husbands and loving of fathers can […]

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February 6: The Inventory

SS chief Heinrich Himmler received an inventory from SS-Obergruppenführer Oswald Pohl on this date in 1943 of the materials taken from Jews in Auschwitz and its satellite camps. Cited items included 155,000 women’s coats, 15,000 children’s coats, 132,000 men’s shirts, 11,000 boys’ jackets, 22,000 pairs of shoes, and 6,600 pounds of women’s hair, enough to […]

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January 20: Planning the Holocaust in 90 Minutes

Nazi Germany committed itself to “the Final Solution of the Jewish Question” — mass murder — on this date in 1942 at the Wannsee conference, a meeting of some fifteen Nazi bureaucrats convened and chaired by Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler’s second-in-command. The meeting, held in a Berlin suburban villa, determined that deportation and slave labor […]

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