Thursday, December 4, 2008

Non Jews Were Persecuted Also

There were five million non-Jews that were persecuted as well, but who were they? Whose children, whose mothers and fathers were they? How could five million human beings have been killed and forgotten?

After the careful study of several documented books, I found more information about the five million forgotten than I had ever imagined, information that most people are not aware of. Polish citizens suffered enormously during the Holocaust Jews and non Jews alike.

On September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland from three directions. Hitler's invincible troops attacked from the west, north and south, Poland never had a chance. By October 8, 1939, Polish Jews and non Jews were stripped of all rights and, were subject to special laws. Rationing, which allowed for only bare minimal food and medicine was quickly set up. Young Polish men were forcibly drafted into the German army, the Polish language was forbidden only the German language was allowed, all schools and colleges were closed, the Polish press was liquidated, libraries and bookshops were burned, Polish art and culture were destroyed, Polish churches and synagogues were burned, most of the priests were arrested and sent to concentration camps, street signs were either destroyed or changed to new German names and Polish cities and towns were renamed in German.

Hitler's goal was to terrorize Polish people into subservience. Hundreds of Polish community leaders, mayors, local officials, priests, teachers, lawyers, judges, senators and doctors were executed in public and much of the rest of the so-called, Polish leading class, were sent to concentration camps where they later died.

While there is no argument that Hitler abhorred the Jews and caused almost six million to be ruthlessly killed, often non-Jewish victims are tragically forgotten from Holocaust remembrances. Eleven million precious human lives were lost during the Holocaust. Five million of these were non-Jewish. Three million were Polish Christians and Catholics. It would be very sad to forget even one precious life extinguished so ruthlessly. It would be a tragedy to forget five million.

The first mass execution took place in Wawer, a town near Warsaw, Poland on December 27, 1939 when 107 Polish non-Jewish men were taken from their homes in the middle of the night and shot. This was just the beginning of the street roundups and mass executions that continued throughout the war.

At the same time, on the eastern border of Poland, the Soviet Union invaded and quickly conquered. Germany and the Soviet Union divided Poland in half. The western half, occupied by the Nazis, became a new German territory: "General Government". The eastern half was incorporated within the adjoining Russian border by Soviet "elections". This new border "realignment" conferred Soviet citizenship on its new Polish inhabitants. And all young Polish men were subject to being drafted into the Soviet army.
Just like the Nazis the Soviets also reigned terror in Poland. The Soviets took over Polish businesses, Polish factories and destroyed churches and religious buildings. The Polish currency was removed from circulation and all Polish banks were closed and savings accounts blocked.

During the period of the Holocaust Poland lost:45% of her doctors, 57% of her attorneys, 40% of her professors, 30% of her technicians, more than 18% of her clergy and most of her journalists.
Poland's educated class was purposely targeted because the Nazis knew that this would make it easier to control the country. Non-Jews of Polish descent suffered over 100,000 deaths at Auschwitz. The Germans forcibly deported approximately 2,000,000 Polish Gentiles into slave labor for the Third Reich. The Russians deported almost 1,700,000 Polish non-Jews to Siberia. Men, women and children were forced from their homes with no warning. Transferred in cattle cars in freezing weather, many died on the way. Polish children who possessed Aryan-looking characteristics were wrenched from their mother's arms and placed in German homes to be raised as Germans.

The Polish people were classified by the Nazis according to their racial characteristics. The ones who appeared Aryan were deported to Lodz for further racial examination. Most of the others were sent to the Reich to work in slave labor camps. The rest were sent to Auschwitz to die. Polish Christians and Catholics were actually the first victims of the notorious German death camp. For the first 21 months after it began in 1940, Auschwitz was inhabited almost exclusively by Polish non-Jews. The first ethnic Pole died in June 1940 and the first Jew died in October 1942. Because of the obliteration of the Polish press by the Nazis, most of the world was not aware, including many parts of Nazi-occupied Poland, of the atrocities going on. Even to this day, much documentation of the Holocaust is not available. The entire records of Auschwitz were stolen by the Soviets and not returned. It was Hitler's goal to rewrite history.

The Nazis destroyed books, monuments, historical inscriptions. They began a forceful campaign of propaganda to convince the world of the inferiority and weakness of the Polish people and likewise, their invincible superiority and power.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

About This Blog

~Over the past several years I have been studying about the Holocaust and the things I have learned have broken my heart. I don't think that people know enough about this horrible time in our history, so that is what I plan on doing here.

~I want to warn you ahead of time that the things that are going to be written here and the pictures that I am going to share may be to disturbing for some people, but I think that we all need to see and read about what really happened to the Jews and others that were tortured and killed by the Nazi's. Maybe by us reading and studying about the past we won't repeat these horrible acts in the future.