Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


            On this date, October 10, 1944, 800 children were gassed to death in Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Let us remember those children in the holocaust.

 Ghetto Litzmannstadt: Children rounded up for deportation to the Kulmhof death camp

Children were especially vulnerable to Nazi murder or death in the era of the Holocaust. It is estimated that 1,500,000 children were murdered during the Holocaust, either directly or as a direct consequence of Nazi actions.

The Nazis advocated killing children of "unwanted" or "dangerous" groups in accordance with their ideological views, either as part of the "racial struggle" or as a measure of preventive security. The Nazis particularly targeted Jewish children, but also targeted Romani (Gypsy) children, and also children with mental or physical defects. The Germans and their collaborators killed children both for these ideological reasons and in retaliation for real or alleged partisan attacks. Early killings were encouraged by the Nazis in action T4, where children with disabilities were gassed using carbon monoxide, starved to death, phenol injections to the heart, or by hanging.

Those killings started officially in 1939 and grew steadily throughout the war. But many warning signs were already present in Germany well before the war started, such as persecution of the Jews, the notorious Nuremberg laws and Kristallnacht in 1937. Jews were forced out of the country, their property stolen and they were increasingly deported to concentration camps.

This article deals with those 1,500,000 children who were killed by the Nazis. A very much smaller number were saved. Some simply survived, often in a ghetto, very very occasionally in a concentration camp. Some were saved in various programs like the Kindertransport and the One Thousand Children in which a child fled his homeland. Other children were saved by becoming Hidden Children in their homeland. And see the important work done by Œuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE)

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