The Holocaust had a deep effect on society in both Europe and the rest of the world.
The after effects are still evident today in children and adults whose ancestors faced this horrible scene.
German society largely responded to the enormity of the evidence for and the horror of the Holocaust with an attitude of self-justification and a practice of keeping quiet. Germans attempted to rewrite their own history to make it more palatable in the post-war era. For decades, West Germany and then unified Germany refused to allow access to its Holocaust-related archives in Bad Arolsen, citing privacy concerns. In May 2006, a 20-year effort by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum led to the announcement that 30–50 million pages would be made available to survivors, historians and others.
The Holocaust and its aftermath left millions of refugees, including many Jews who had lost most or all of their family members and possessions, and often faced persistent antisemitism in their home countries. The original plan of the Allies was to repatriate these "displaced persons" to their countries of origin, but many refused to return, or were unable to as their homes or communities had been destroyed. As a result, more than 250,000 languished in displaced persons camps for years after the war ended.
With most displaced persons being unable or unwilling to return to their former homes in Europe, and with restrictions to immigration to many western countries remaining in place, the British Mandate of Palestine became the primary destination for many Jewish refugees. However, as local Arabs opposed their immigration, the United Kingdom refused to allow Jewish refugees into the Mandate territory. Countries in the Soviet Bloc made emigration difficult. Former Jewish partisans in Europe, along with the Haganah in British Mandate of Palestine, organized a massive effort to smuggle Jews into Palestine, called Berihah, which eventually transported 250,000 Jews (both displaced persons and those who had been in hiding during the war) to Mandate Palestine. After the State of Israel declared independence in 1948, Jews were able to emigrate to Israel legally and without restriction. By 1952, when the displaced persons camps were closed, there were more than 80,000 Jewish former displaced persons in the United States, about 136,000 in Israel, and another 10,000 in other countries, including Mexico, Japan, and countries in Africa and South America.
The few Jews in Poland were augmented by returnees from the Soviet Union and survivors from camps in Germany. However, a resurgence of antisemitism in Poland, in such incidents as the Kraków pogrom on August 11, 1945, and the Kielce pogrom on July 4, 1946, led to the exodus of a large part of the Jewish population, which no longer felt safe in Poland. Anti-Jewish riots also broke out in several other Polish cities where many Jews were killed.
An important reason for the atrocities was a widespread Polish belief that the Jews were supporters of the new communist regime and the new oppressors of the Polish state. This belief, termed "Żydokomuna", was fuelled by the fact that two of the three Communist leaders who dominated Poland between 1948 and 1956, Jakub Berman and Hilary Minc, were of Jewish origin. The attitude of Christian Poles towards Polish Jews hardened significantly and hundreds of Jews were killed in anti-Jewish violence. Some were simply killed for financial reasons. As a result of the exodus the number of Jews in Poland decreased from 200,000 in the years immediately after the war to 50,000 in 1950 and 6,000 by the 1980s.
Lesser post-war pogroms also broke out in Hungary.
As of May 6, 2016 45,000 Holocaust survivors are living below the country’s poverty line and need more assistance. Situations like these result in heated and dramatic protests on the part of some survivors against the Israeli government and related agencies. The average rate of cancer among survivors is nearly two and a half times the national average, while the average rate of colon cancer, attributed to the victims' experience of starvation and extreme stress, is nine times higher. The population of survivors that now live in Israel has now dwindled to 189,000.
There has been a recent resurgence of interest among descendants of survivors in researching the fates of their relatives. Yad Vashem provides a searchable database of three million names, about half of the known Jewish victims. Yad Vashem's Central Database of Shoah Victims Names is searchable over the internet yadvashem.org or in person at the Yad Vashem complex in Israel. Other databases and lists of victims' names, some searchable over the internet, are listed in Holocaust (resources).
In the decades preceding World War II, there was a tremendous growth in the recognition of Yiddish as an official Jewish European language, even a Yiddish renaissance, in particular in Poland. On the eve of World War II, there were 11 to 13 million speakers of Yiddish in the world. The Holocaust destroyed the Eastern European bedrock of Yiddish, though the language was rapidly declining anyhow. In the 1920s and 1930s the Soviet Jewish public rejected the cultural autonomy offered to it by the regime and opted for Russification: while 70.4% of Soviet Jews declared Yiddish their mother tongue in 1926, only 39.7% did so in 1939. Even in Poland, where harsh discrimination left the Jews as a cohesive ethnic group, Yiddish was rapidly declining in favour of Polonization. 80% of the entire Jewish population declared it mother tongue in 1931, but among high school students this number fell to 53% in 1937. In the United States, the preservation of the language was always a unigenerational phenomenon, and the immigrants' children quickly abandoned it for English.
Starting with the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939, and continuing with the destruction of Yiddish culture in Europe during the remainder of the war, Yiddish language and culture were almost completely rooted out of Europe. The Holocaust led to a dramatic decline in the use of Yiddish, as the extensive Jewish communities, both secular and religious, that used Yiddish in their day-to-day lives were largely destroyed. Around five million victims of the Holocaust, or 85% of the total, were speakers of Yiddish.
Holocaust theology is a body of theological and philosophical debate concerning the role of God in the universe in light of the Holocaust of the late 1930s and 1940s. It is primarily found in Judaism; Jews were drastically affected by the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were murdered in a genocide by Nazi Germany and its allies. Jews were killed in higher proportions than other groups; some scholars limit the definition of the Holocaust to the Jewish victims of the Nazis as Jews alone were targeted for the Final Solution. Others include the additional five million non-Jewish victims, bringing the total to about 11 million. One third of the total worldwide Jewish population were killed during the Holocaust. The Eastern European Jewish population was particularly hard hit, being reduced by ninety percent.
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have traditionally taught that God is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), and omnibenevolent (all-good) in nature. However, these views are in apparent contrast with the injustice and suffering in the world. Monotheists seek to reconcile this view of God with the existence of evil and suffering. In so doing, they are confronting what is known as the problem of evil.
Within all of the monotheistic faiths many answers (theodicies) have been proposed. In light of the magnitude of depravity seen in the Holocaust, many people have also re-examined classical views on this subject. A common question raised in Holocaust theology is "How can people still have any kind of faith after the Holocaust?"
Orthodox Jews have stated that the fact that the Holocaust happened does not diminish the belief in God. For a creation will never be able to fully grasp the creator, just as a child in an operating theater can not fathom why men are cutting up a live man's body. As the grand Lubavitcher Rebbe once told Elie Weisel that after witnessing the holocaust and realising how low man can steep, who can we trust, if not God? Nevertheless, Orthodox Judaism does encourage us to pray and cry out to God, and complain to him how he lets bad things happen.
Theodor Adorno commented that "writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric," and the Holocaust has indeed had a profound impact on art and literature, for both Jews and non-Jews. Some of the more famous works are by Holocaust survivors or victims, such as Elie Wiesel, Primo Levi, Viktor Frankl and Anne Frank, but there is a substantial body of literature and art in many languages. Indeed, Paul Celan wrote his poem Todesfuge as a direct response to Adorno's dictum.
The Holocaust has also been the subject of many films, including Oscar winners Schindler's List, The Pianist and Life Is Beautiful. With the aging population of Holocaust survivors, there has been increasing attention in recent years to preserving the memory of the Holocaust. The result has included extensive efforts to document their stories, including the Survivors of the Shoah project and Four Seasons Documentary, as well as institutions devoted to memorializing and studying the Holocaust, including Yad Vashem in Israel and the US Holocaust Museum. The historic tale of the Danish Jews fleeing to Sweden by fishing boat is recounted in an award-winning American children's novel.
Huge amounts of works of art were looted by the Nazis from Jewish art collectors and dealers, either through outright theft or fire sales under extreme duress. Thus, any work of art that existed prior to 1945 has a potential provenance problem. This is a serious obstacle for anyone who currently collects pre-1945 European art. To avoid wasting thousands or even millions of dollars, they must verify (normally with the assistance of an art historian and a lawyer specializing in art law) that potential acquisitions were not stolen by the Nazis from a Holocaust victim. The highest-profile legal case arising from this problem is the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Republic of Austria v. Altmann (2006), in which the Court held that U.S. courts could retroactively apply the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 to Austria for torts that allegedly occurred before 1976.
In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the Jewish Agency led by Chaim Weizmann submitted to the Allies a memorandum demanding reparations to Jews by Germany but it received no answer. In March 1951, a new request was made by Israel's foreign minister Moshe Sharett which claimed global recompense to Israel of $1.5 billion based on the financial cost absorbed by Israel for the rehabilitation of 500,000 Jewish survivors. West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer accepted these terms and declared he was ready to negotiate other reparations. A Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany was opened in New York City by Nahum Goldmann in order to help with individual claims. After negotiations, the claim was reduced to a sum of $845 millions direct and indirect compensations to be installed in a period of 14 years. In 1988, West Germany allocated another $125 million for reparations.
In 1999, many German industries such as Deutsche Bank, Siemens or BMW faced lawsuits for their role in the forced labour during World War II. In order to dismiss these lawsuits, Germany agreed to raise $5 billions of which Jewish forced laborers still alive could apply to receive a lump sum payment of between $2,500 and $7,500. In 2012, Germany agreed to pay a new reparation of €772 millions as a result of negotiations with Israel.
In 2014, the SNCF, the French state-owned railway company, was compelled to allocate $60 millions to American Jewish Holocaust survivors for its role in the transport of deportees to Germany. It corresponds to approximately $100,000 per survivor. Although the SNCF was forced by German authorities to cooperate in providing transport for French Jews to the border and did not make any profit from this transport, according to Serge Klarsfeld, president of the organization Sons and Daughters of Jewish Deportees from France.
These reparations were sometimes criticized in Israel where they were seen as "blood money". The American professor Norman Finkelstein wrote The Holocaust Industry to denounce how the American Jewish establishment exploits the memory of the Nazi Holocaust for political and financial gain, as well as to further the interests of Israel. These reparations also led to a massive scam where $57 millions were fraudulently given to thousands of people who were not eligible for the funds.
While the restitution movements of the mid-1990s reunited some families with their stolen property, Holocaust remembrance also served as an important part of the reparation and restitution movement. The main idea of Holocaust remembrance comes from Dan Diner's article "Restitution and Memory: The Holocaust in European Political Cultures" which is the idea that Europe is now bound together by a collective memory of the Holocaust. This unified memory is one of the main reasons Diner lists for the flourishing of the restitution movement of the mid-1990s, following that of the initial movement immediately after World War II. This unified memory allowed for all European countries to come together after such a tragic event to establish the Holocaust at its center as one the most damaging occurrences of the 20th century leading to a greater consciousness and awareness of this horrific event, in addition, to beginning countless discourses on the topic. Immediately after the Holocaust, countries such as the United States were preoccupied with the Cold War, whereas countries like Germany were controlled by foreign powers, and the Holocaust was not the main concern. Only as time went on did Europe begin to understand the importance of restitution and reparations. As the restoration of property increased, an increase in the memories for Holocaust survivors was found to be a direct correlation. The connection between property and memory proved to be a key in unlocking more details about the Holocaust, further adding to this collective European memory, and thereby increasing and furthering the restitution movement.
The United Nations General Assembly voted on November 1, 2005, to designate January 27 as the "International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust." January 27, 1945, is the day that the former Nazi concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated. The day had already been observed as Holocaust Memorial Day a number of countries. Israel and the Jewish diaspora observe Yom HaShoah Ve-Hagvora, the "Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and the courage of the Jewish people," on the 27th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, which generally falls in April. Starting in 1979, the United States' equivalent commemoration is similarly timed to include the 27 Nisan date as well in a given year, beginning on the Sunday before the Gregorian calendar date that 27 Nisan falls on, and onward for a week to the following Sunday.
Key elements of this claim are the rejection of the following: that the Nazi government had a policy of deliberately targeting Jews and people of Jewish ancestry for extermination as a people; that between five and seven million Jews were systematically killed by the Nazis and their allies; and that genocide was carried out at extermination camps using tools of mass murder, such as gas chambers.
Many Holocaust deniers do not accept the term "denial" as an appropriate description of their point of view, and use the term Holocaust revisionism instead. Scholars, however, prefer the term "denial" to differentiate Holocaust deniers from historical revisionists, who use established historical methods.
Most Holocaust denial claims imply, or openly state, that the Holocaust is a hoax arising out of a deliberate Jewish conspiracy to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other peoples. For this reason, Holocaust denial is generally considered to be an antisemitic conspiracy theory. The methods of Holocaust deniers are often criticized as based on a predetermined conclusion that ignores extensive historical evidence to the contrary.
According to German-British journalist Alan Posener, "...failure of German films and TV series to deal responsibly with the country’s past and to appeal to younger audiences feeds a growing historical amnesia among young Germans. ... A September 2017 study conducted by the Körber Foundation found that 40 percent of 14-year-olds surveyed in Germany did not know what Auschwitz was."
A survey released on Holocaust Remembrance Day in April 2018 found that 41% of 1,350 American adults surveyed, and 66% of millennials, did not know what Auschwitz was. 41% of millennians incorrectly claimed that 2 million Jews or less were killed during the Holocaust, while 22% said they had never heard of the Holocaust. Over 95% of all Americans surveyed were unaware that the Holocaust occurred in the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. 45% of adults and 49% of millennials weren't able to name a single Nazi concentration camp or ghetto in German-occupied Europe during the Holocaust.
Documentaries that have to do with life after the Holocaust:
External links, references, and other resources are listed at Holocaust (resources).Bricha
Bricha (Hebrew: בריחה, translit. Briẖa, "escape" or "flight"), also called the Bericha Movement, was the underground organized effort that helped Jewish Holocaust survivors escape post–World War II Europe to the British Mandate for Palestine in violation of the White Paper of 1939. It ended when Israel declared independence and annulled the White Paper.
After American, British and Soviet armed forces liberated the camps, survivors suffered from disease, severe malnutrition and depression. Many were displaced persons who were unable to return to their homes from before the war. In some areas the survivors continued to face antisemitic violence; during the 1946 Kielce pogrom in Poland 42 survivors were killed when their communal home was attacked by a mob. For many of the survivors, Europe had become "a vast cemetery of the Jewish people" and "they wanted to start life over and build a new national Jewish homeland in Eretz Yisrael."The movement of Jewish refugees from the Displaced Persons camp in which they were held (one million persons classified as "not repatriable" remained in Germany and Austria) to Palestine was illegal on both sides, as Jews were not officially allowed to leave the countries of Central and Eastern Europe by the Soviet Union and its allies, nor were they permitted to settle in Palestine by the British.
In late 1944 and early 1945, Jewish members of the Polish resistance met up with Warsaw ghetto fighters in Lubin to form Bricha as a way of escaping the antisemitism of Europe, where they were convinced that another Holocaust would occur. After the liberation of Rivne, Eliezer and Abraham Lidovsky, and Pasha (Isaac) Rajchmann, concluded that there was no future for Jews in Poland. They formed an artisan guild to cover their covert activities, and they sent a group to Cernăuţi, Romania to seek out escape routes. It was only after Abba Kovner, and his group from Vilna joined, along with Icchak Cukierman, who had headed the Jewish Combat Organization of the Polish uprising of August 1944, in January 1945, that the organization took shape. They soon joined up with a similar effort led by the Jewish Brigade and eventually the Haganah (the Jewish clandestine army in Palestine).
Officers of the Jewish Brigade of the British army assumed control of the operation, along with operatives from the Haganah who hoped to smuggle as many displaced persons as possible into Palestine through Italy. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee funded the operation.
Almost immediately, the explicitly Zionist Berihah became the main conduit for Jews coming to Palestine, especially from the displaced person camps, and it initially had to turn people away due to too much demand.
After the Kielce pogrom of 1946, the flight of Jews accelerated, with 100,000 Jews leaving Eastern Europe in three months. Operating in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia through 1948, Berihah transferred approximately 250,000 survivors into Austria, Germany, and Italy through elaborate smuggling networks. Using ships supplied at great cost by the Mossad Le'aliyah Bet, then the immigration arm of the Yishuv, these refugees were then smuggled through the British cordon around Palestine. Bricha was part of the larger operation known as Aliyah Bet, and ended with the establishment of Israel, after which immigration to the Jewish state was legal, although emigration was still sometimes prohibited, as happened in both the Eastern Bloc and Arab countries, see, for example refusenik.Cyprus internment camps
Cyprus internment camps were camps run by the British government for internment of Jews who had immigrated or attempted to immigrate to Mandatory Palestine in violation of British policy. There were a total of 12 camps, which operated from August 1946 to January 1949, and in total held 53,510 people.Great Britain informed the United Nations (UN) on February 14,
1947, that it would no longer administer the Mandate for Palestine.
This prompted the UN General Assembly to recommend partition of Palestine into
independent Jewish and Arab states on November 29, 1947. Some
28,000 Jews were still interned in the Cyprus camps when the
Mandate was dissolved, partition was enacted, and the independent
Jewish State of Israel was established at midnight Palestinian time
on May 14, 1948. About 11,000 internees remained in the camps as
of August 1948, with the British releasing and transporting the
internees to Haifa at the rate of 1,500 a month. Israel began the final
evacuation of the camps in December 1948 with the last
10,200 Jewish internees in Cyprus mainly men of military age, evacuated to
Israel during January 24–February 11, 1949.Föhrenwald
Föhrenwald (German: [ˈføːʁənˌvalt]) was one of the largest displaced persons camps in post-World War II Europe and the last to close, in 1957. It was located in the section now known as Waldram in Wolfratshausen in Bavaria, Germany.The camp facilities were originally built in 1939 by IG Farben as housing for its employees at the several munitions factories that it operated in the vicinity. During the war it was used to house slave laborers. In June 1945, the camp was appropriated by the US Army administration of postwar Germany's American sector, for the purpose of housing international refugees. The camp's initial population comprised refugees of Jewish, Yugoslavian, Hungarian, and Baltic origin. On 3 October 1945 General Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered that Föhrenwald be made an exclusively Jewish DP camp, after he had found living conditions at the Feldafing DP camp unacceptable.
From 1946 to 1948, Föhrenwald grew to become the third largest DP camp in the American sector, after Feldafing and Landsberg. By January 1946, its population had reached 5,600. Many couples got married there. The birth rate in 1946 stood at 70-80 births per thousand, about double that of countries in the developing world.
As part of the network of Displaced Persons camps, Föhrenwald operated under the auspices of UNRRA. The camp's director, Henry Cohen, was a young US army veteran who went to great lengths to provide for the residents' welfare. Assisting Cohen in the camp's administration and operation was a Camp Committee whose members were elected from among candidates representing a range of political parties.
As director, Cohen fostered the rehabilitation of the camp's residents, encouraging adult education and vocational training. A school was established for youngsters, with extracurricular activities arranged largely through the efforts of local chapters of the Jewish youth movements. The camp's autonomous cultural life included musical and theatrical performances. It published an internal newspaper, Bamidbar ("In the wilderness", the Hebrew name for the Book of Numbers), that in 1947 issued a 100-page almanac documenting the camp's activities.
Residents enjoyed freedom to practice their religion. A yeshiva (rabbinic seminary and Torah academy) was established within the camp. With the presence of Rabbi Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam, founder of the Sanz-Klausenberg Hasidic sect, and his followers, Föhrenwald became the center for Hasidic Jewry in the American sector.
During the early years of the camp's operation, residents mounted several protest campaigns against Allied policy, particularly regarding the restrictions on Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine. The Zionist youth movements organized communal groups called kibbutzim for training young pioneers. A number of residents who attempted clandestine immigration to Mandatory Palestine in violation of British restrictions, were apprehended by the authorities and sent back to Föhrenwald.
A tuberculosis epidemic swept the camp in the summer of 1946, prompted the establishment of a "Committee of Jewish Tubercular Patients". The committee became an advocate for those residents who were unwilling or unable to leave.
In 1951, the West German government took over administration of the camp, while the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee maintained a presence there until 1954. By that time, the remaining residents of other camps that were closed were transferred to Föhrenwald which continued in operation until it closed on 28 February 1957.Since then, the camp site was renamed Waldram and is a residential area. Streets in Föhrenwald were typically named for American states and individuals, but these have been renamed. For example, Rooseveltstrasse is now Thomasstrasse; Pennsylvianastrasse has become Faulhaberstrasse, etc.Jewish orphans controversy
The Jewish orphans controversy was a dispute about the custody of Jewish children after the end of World War II. Some Jewish children had been baptized while in the care of Catholic institutions or individual Catholics during the war. Such baptisms allowed children to be identified as Catholics to avoid deportation and incarceration in concentration camps, and likely death in the Holocaust. After the end of hostilities, Catholic Church officials, either Pope Pius XII or other prelates, issued instructions for the treatment and disposition of such Jewish children, some but not all of whom were now orphans. The rules they established, the authority that issued those rules, and their application in specific cases is the subject of investigations by journalists and historians.
In 2005, Corriere della Sera published a document dated 20 November 1946 on the subject of Jewish children baptized in wartime France. The document ordered that baptized children, if orphaned, should be kept in Catholic custody and stated that the decision "has been approved by the Holy Father". Two Italian scholars, Matteo Luigi Napolitano and Andrea Tornielli, confirmed that the memorandum was genuine although the reporting by the Corriere della Sera was misleading, as the document had originated in the French Catholic Church archives rather than the Vatican archives and strictly concerned itself with children without living blood relatives that were supposed to be handed over to Jewish organisations.Angelo Roncalli, later Pope John XXIII, was serving as Nuncio for France, and reportedly ignored this directive.A related case was the Finaly Affair, which occurred in France between 1945 and 1953. Cardinal Pierre-Marie Gerlier and abbé Roger Etchegaray attempted to settle a dispute over the custody of baptized Jewish children by transferring the Finaly children back to Spain and to Israel, where Jewish relatives were able to raise them.Pius XII personally intervened when a Polish Catholic woman, Leokadia Jaromirska, later honored as one of the Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, wrote him a letter seeking his permission to keep a young Jewish girl she had sheltered during the war. Pius denied her permission to do so and ordered the child returned to her father. He described it as her duty as a Catholic to return the child and to do so in goodwill and friendship.Abe Foxman (born 1940), the national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), who had himself been baptized as a child and had been the subject of a custody battle, called for an immediate freeze on Pius's beatification process until the relevant Vatican Archives and baptismal records were opened. He wrote that opening archives could
allow orphans "an opportunity to discover their true origins and possibly a return to their original faith while providing a magnificent story of courage by Catholics. In the hell that was the Holocaust, this is one bright shining light." Foxman omitted this in later statements and ADL press releases concerning Pope Pius XII.Yad L'Achim, an Israeli Jewish organization, has inquired into the orphans controversy and has demanded that Pope Benedict XVI act to reveal the "hidden Jewish children" of the Holocaust.Labyrinth of Lies
Labyrinth of Lies (German: Im Labyrinth des Schweigens) is a 2014 German drama film directed by Giulio Ricciarelli. Based on true events, it was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was selected as the German submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, making the December shortlist of nine films, but it was not nominated.List of villages and towns depopulated of Jews during the Holocaust
Below is a partial list of selected villages and towns (shtetls) depopulated of Jews during the Holocaust. The liquidation actions were carried out mostly by the Nazi Einsatzgruppen and Order Police battalions as well as auxiliary police through mass killings. The German "pacification" units of the Einsatzkommando were paramilitary forces within the Schutzstaffel, under the high command of the Obergruppenführer. The Einsatzgruppen operated primarily in the years 1941–45.Miluj blížneho svojho
Miluj blížneho svojho ("Love thy neighbor") (2004) is a Slovak-language documentary by filmmaker Dušan Hudec about the September 1945 Topoľčany pogrom, a post-Holocaust anti-Jewish riot in which more than 40 Jews were injured.National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism
The National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism, German: Nationalfonds der Republik Österreich für Opfer des Nationalsozialismus, is a fund created by the Republic of Austria to seek to apply restitution for property confiscated by the Nazis during World War II. The fund was established in 1995.The fund maintains databases of property, including the Art Database of the National Fund, held in the Wiener Stadtbibliothek.ODESSA
The ODESSA is an American codename (from the German: Organisation der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen, meaning: Organization of Former SS Members) coined in 1946 for a possible Nazi underground escape plan at the end of World War II by a group of SS officers with the aim of facilitating secret escape routes. The idea has been widely circulated in fictional spy novels and movies, notably Frederick Forsyth's best-selling 1972 thriller The Odessa File. The routes are also called ratlines. The goal was to allow the SS members to escape to Argentina, Brazil, or the Middle East under false passports. This goal was in fact achieved by 300 Nazis with support from Juan Perón after he came to power in Argentina in 1946.Though an unknown number of wanted Nazis and war criminals did in fact escape Europe, the existence of an organisation called ODESSA is rejected by most experts. However it is widely accepted that there were escape organisations for Nazis. Uki Goñi maintains that archival evidence paints a picture that "does not even include an organization actually named Odessa, but it is sinister nonetheless, and weighted in favour of an actual organized escape network." Guy Walters, in his 2009 book Hunting Evil, stated he was unable to find any evidence of the existence of the ODESSA network as such, although numerous other organisations such as Konsul, Scharnhorst, Sechsgestirn, Leibwache, and Lustige Brüder have been named, including Die Spinne ("The Spider") run in part by Hitler's commando chief Otto Skorzeny. Historian Daniel Stahl in his 2011 essay stated that the consensus among historians is that an organisation called ODESSA did not actually exist. Uki Goñi's book "The Real Odessa" describes the role of Juan Peron in providing cover for Nazi war criminals with cooperation from the Vatican, the Argentinean government and the Swiss authorities through a secret office set up by Peron's agents in Bern. Heinrich Himmler's secret service had prepared an escape route in Madrid in 1944. In 1946, this operation moved to the Presidential palace in Buenos Aires. Goñi states that the operation stretched from Scandinavia to Italy, aiding war criminals and bringing in gold that the Croatian treasury had stolen.Ratlines (World War II aftermath)
Ratlines comprised a system of escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe at the end of World War II. These escape routes mainly led toward havens in Latin America, particularly Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Bolivia, as well as the USA and Switzerland. There were two primary routes: the first went from Germany to Spain, then Argentina; the second from Germany to Rome to Genoa, then South America. The two routes developed independently but eventually came together to collaborate. The ratlines were supported by clergy of the Catholic Church, and historian Michael Phayer claims this was supported by the Holy See.Secondary antisemitism
Secondary antisemitism is a distinct kind of antisemitism which is said to have appeared after the end of World War II. Secondary antisemitism is often explained as being caused by the Holocaust (as opposed to in spite of it). One frequently quoted formulation of the concept, first published in Henryk M. Broder's 1986 book Der Ewige Antisemit ("The Eternal Antisemite"), stems from the Israeli psychiatrist Zvi Rex, who once remarked: "The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz." The term itself was coined by Peter Schönbach, a Frankfurt School co-worker of Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer, based on their Critical Theory.An alternative explanation was proposed for the spate of postwar anti-Semitic violence in Eastern Europe. In 1946, the Slovak writer Karel František Koch argued that the anti-semitic incidents that he witnessed in Bratislava after the war were "not antisemitism, but something far worse—the robber’s anxiety that he might have to return Jewish property," a view that has been endorsed by Czech-Slovak scholar Robert Pynsent. It has been estimated that only 15% of Jewish property was returned after the war, and restitution was "negligible" in Eastern Europe. Property not returned has been valued at over $100 million in 2005 dollars.Adorno, in a 1959 lecture titled "Was bedeutet: Aufarbeitung der Vergangenheit" (published in his 1963 book Eingriffe. Neun kritische Modelle.) addressed the fallacy of the broad German post-war tendency to associate and simultaneously causally link Jews with the Holocaust. According to Adorno's critique, an opinion had been readily accepted in Germany according to which the Jewish people were culpable in the crimes against them. Jewish guilt was assumed to varying extents, depending on the varying incarnations of that antisemitic notion, one of which is the idea that Jews were (and are) exploiting German guilt over the Holocaust.
Sometimes the victors are declared to be the cause of what the defeated have done when they were still in charge, and for the crimes of Hitler those are declared guilty who acquiesced his rise to power, and not those who hailed him. The idiocy in all this is in fact an indication of something mentally uncoped-with, of a wound, although the thought of wounds should be dedicated to the victims.
Initially, members of the Frankfurt School spoke of "guilt-defensiveness anti-Semitism", an antisemitism motivated by a deflection of guilt.The rehabilitation of many lower and even several higher-ranking Third Reich officials and officers appears to have contributed to the development of secondary antisemitism. These officials were rehabilitated in spite of their considerable individual contributions to Nazi Germany's crimes. Several controversies ensued early in post-World War II Germany, e.g., when Konrad Adenauer appointed Hans Globke as Chief of the Chancellery although the latter had formulated the emergency legislation that gave Hitler unlimited dictatorial powers and had been one of the leading legal commentators on the Nuremberg race laws of 1935. However, according to Adorno, parts of the German public never acknowledged these events and instead formed the notion of Jewish guilt in the Holocaust.Sh'erit ha-Pletah
Sh'erit ha-Pletah (Hebrew: שארית הפליטה, lit. 'the surviving remnant') is a biblical (Ezra 9:14 and 1 Chronicles 4:43) term used by Jewish refugees who survived the Holocaust to refer to themselves and the communities they formed in postwar Europe following the liberation in the spring of 1945.
Hundreds of thousands of survivors spent several years following their repatriation in Displaced Persons (DP) camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy. The refugees became socially and politically organized, advocating at first for their political and human rights in the camps, and then for the right to immigrate to British Mandate of Palestine, most of which became the Jewish State of Israel where the majority ended up living by 1950.Stille Hilfe
Die Stille Hilfe für Kriegsgefangene und Internierte (English: "Silent assistance for prisoners of war and interned persons"), abbreviated Stille Hilfe, is a relief organization for arrested, condemned and fugitive SS members, similar to the veterans' association HIAG, set up by Helene Elisabeth Princess von Isenburg (1900–1974) in 1951. The organisation has come under criticism for its encouragement and support of Neo-Nazis. The organization has garnered a reputation for being shrouded in secrecy and thus remains a source of speculation.The German Doctor
The German Doctor (Spanish: Wakolda) is a 2013 Argentine historical drama film directed, produced, and written by Lucía Puenzo, based on her own novel Wakolda (2011). The film stars Àlex Brendemühl as Nazi SS officer and physician Josef Mengele, infamous for performing human experiments in the Auschwitz concentration camp. It also stars Florencia Bado, Natalia Oreiro, Diego Peretti, Elena Roger, and Guillermo Pfening.The Lemberg Mosaic
The Lemberg Mosaic, subtitled the "Memoirs of Two who Survived the Destruction of Jewish Galicia," is a book on the Holocaust by Jakob Weiss. This work brings to light the relatively obscure history of the systematic and total destruction of Jewish Lemberg (Lwów, now Lviv in Ukraine). It is presented in the format of a biography, detailing the struggle for survival of four families in the backdrop of two back-to-back invasions of the city and surrounding region by both the Soviets (1939) and the Germans (1941).The People vs. Fritz Bauer
The People vs. Fritz Bauer (German: Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer) is a 2015 German drama film directed by Lars Kraume. It was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.The film won the awards for Best Film, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, and three more at Deutscher Filmpreis (″Lola″) 2016. The film also won the Best Documentary Audience Award at the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival 36. It was listed as one of eight films that could be the German submission for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards, but it was not selected.Tilhas Tizig Gesheften
Tilhas Teezee Gesheften (commonly known by its acronym TTG) was the name of a group of Jewish Brigade members formed immediately following World War II. Under the guise of British military activity, this group engaged in the assassination of Nazis and SS conspirators, facilitated the illegal emigration of Holocaust survivors to Israel, and smuggled weaponry for the Haganah.Walk on Water (film)
Walk on Water (original Hebrew title: ללכת על המים; English transliteration: Lalekhet Al HaMayim) is a 2004 Israeli film directed by Eytan Fox and starring Lior Ashkenazi, Knut Berger, and Caroline Peters. The screenplay was written by Gal Uchovsky. Most of the dialogue takes place in English, although there is much in Hebrew and German. Its name derives in part from Jesus' walking on water.Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art
The Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, formally the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art and sometimes referred to as the Washington Declaration is a statement concerning the restitution of art confiscated by the Nazi regime in Germany before and during World War II. It was released in connection with the Washington Conference on Holocaust Era Assets, held in Washington, D.C., United States, on 3 December 1998.