Children During the Holocaust

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Children During the Holocaust
Children and the Holocaust
• Approximately one million Jewish children
under 15 were murdered by the Nazis
• The experience of children varied
The Kindertransport
• Followed Kristallnacht
• The British
government allowed
an unspecified number
of children under the
age of 17 to enter
Great Britain from
Germany and German
territories
The Kindertransport
• Private citizens had to pay for each child’s
care, education, and emigration
• parents or guardians could not accompany
children
• last transport from Germany was in
September 1939, just before the war started
The Kindertransport
• Last transport left the Netherlands on May
14, 1940
• In all, 9,000-10,000 children were brought
– some 7,500 were Jewish
• Most of these children would never see their
parents again
Children and the Holocaust
• In Poland and Eastern
Europe, children went
with their parents to
the ghettos
– Many became
smugglers and beggars
Children and the Holocaust
Children and the Holocaust
• Children in Western Europe were sent with
their families to the transit camps.
• In the end, children were deported with
their parents to concentration camps
Children and the Holocaust
• Parents who refused to be separated from
their children were sent at once to the gas
chambers.
Children and the Holocaust
• Many parents forced to make “choiceless
choices”
– Should they stay and face the future or go into
hiding?
– If they go into hiding, should they go together
or individually?
– Should a child be given to non-Jewish friends
or strangers?
Children and the Holocaust
• Young children often endangered their
parents
Children and the Holocaust
• Should a child be hidden in a convent or
monastery where they might be protected,
but cease to be a Jew?
• Some Jewish children could pass as nonJew and took on new names
• Led to confusion about their religion and
their identity.
Two Types of Hiding
• Physical hiding- an attempt to hide one’s
complete existence from the outside world.
– Where would you hide?
• Identity Hiding
– changing who you were in order to blend into
society
Children and the Holocaust
• Gypsy children and
twins were subject to
medical experiments
by Dr. Josef Mengele
– Trying to create the
Master Race
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