Sinti and Roma, formerly called ‘gypsies’, have their historical-geographical origin on the Indian continent and came to Europe between the 8th and 12th century, where they were first welcomed in a friendly way. People integrated quickly and many converted to Christianity. From the 16th century on, however, people began to discriminate, persecute, expropriate and expel them. To this day the Sinti and Roma minority is met with distrust and prejudices.
The Nazis took advantage of the basic hatred against this group and persecuted the Sinti and Roma for racist reasons. In their world, this minority belonged to the category of Untermenschen (subhuman being).
In the winter of 1932/33 Stalin starved the Ukrainian people to death in order to undercut any attempts at independence. Ukrainians call this event Holodomor – ‘death by hunger’.
The Holodomor has not much in common with the Holocaust, however, Raphael Lemkin described it as genocide. He noted that at first it wasn’t planned to exterminate the entire Ukrainian population, but the intellectual, political and religious elite, which was relatively small and therefore easy to eliminate. In the 1920s and 1930s, many teachers, writers, artists, thinkers, clergymen and politicians were arrested, deported or even liquidated.
‘This isn’t just a case of mass murder. It’s a case of genocide, of destruction, not just of individuals, but of a culture and a nation.’ – Raphael Lemkin
Despite homosexual activities being punishable acts in the Weimar Republic, the homosexual scene in Germany flourished. The social acceptance of gay men and lesbian women grew: associations were founded, bars and clubs were opened, and magazines were published. The Nazis viewed this as decadent and felt responsible for eradicating the vice of homosexuality. Beginning with the take-over of power in 1933, the Nazis started to persecute homosexual men. Hundreds were sent to concentration camps, associations and societies were disbanded, bars and clubs were closed, any gay publications were prohibited and homosexuals were forced into hiding.
#The destruction of the European Jews 1941 – 1945
Read Part 1 here
#The destruction of the Jews in …
In 1939, Poland was home to more Jews than any other European nation – approximately 3.3 million. All Jews living in areas occupied by Germany were forced to live in ghettos, and later deported to various concentration camps.
The Nazis set up the first concentration camp on Polish soil in Chelmno. It was in operation intermittently between December 1941 and January 1945. Mainly Jews from ghettos in the Polish town of Lodz were brought there. Approximately 300,000 Jews, as well as 5,000 Sinti and Roma, were killed with only three gas vans.
Th destruction of six million Western and Eastern European Jews occurred steadily over the course of the Second World War. Concrete evidence of any annihilation order written by Adolf Hitler has never been found. As such, the assumption is that the decision to commit genocide was made gradually.
You can find the first part of this article here.
The autonomous region Kosovo, whose population is approximately 90% of Albanian descent, was not included in the Dayton Agreement, and was therefore still subjected to repressions by the Serbs. Consequently, the UÇK (Kosovo Liberation Army) started a guerrilla war aiming to unite Kosovo and Albania. The Serbs launched their cleansing campaign once again in order to free their Serbian home country – this time from the Albanians.
Hundreds of Albanians were killed and roughly 200,000 fled to the neighbouring countries, threatening the region’s stability. The European Economic Community sent an observation team (the Kosovo Verification Commission) to assess the situation and to call for a ceasefire. The team came to the conclusion that both sides were committing serious crimes and that a ceasefire would be highly unlikely.
The former Balkan state of Yugoslavia was the victim of an “ethnic cleansing campaign” and genocide, during the Bosnian War (1992–1995), marking the first genocide in Europe since the end of the Second World War.
In March 1939, Adolf Hitler placed the region known as Rest-Tschechei (also known as “rump” of Czechoslovakia) under administration of the German Reich as the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. In November 1941, they converted the garrison town of Theresienstadt into an assembly and transit camp as part of the solution to the Jewish problem. The camp was to predominantly fulfil the following four purposes:
# act as a Gestapo prison (small fortress)
# be used as an assembly and transit camp (main fortress)
# used to aid in the extermination of Jews
# employed as a propaganda tool
During the Third Reich, sick people and people with physical or mental disabilities were viewed as “parasites to the nation’s body” or as “lives unworthy of life”. In accordance with the principle of racial hygiene, people suffering from a variety of illnesses and those with reduced social adaptability were eradicated. The racial doctrine adopted by the National Socialists was based on the theory of social Darwinism, which derives from Darwin’s principle of “survival of the fittest”. By extinguishing all lives unworthy of life, the Nazis looked to accelerate the natural selection process, thereby creating a true master race with pure hereditary material.
Photo: creative commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6652471