Many historical events took place in the 20th century that will be remembered forever, but the one occurrence that everyone knows of and will forever be remembered was World War Two. World War Two, the greatest tragedy that has ever happened on the face of the earth, the genocide of Jewish people, a complete nightmare. When people think of WW2, many of the time the image of “those poor Jewish people” comes to mind. Many ask themselves how this could have happened. It just doesn’t make sense to them. Did people around the world at the time of WW2 have these kinds of deliberations? If they did have this kind of reflection then how did six million people perish? During the time leading up to the outbreak of World War II, the Western Press consistently carried numerous reports of the German’s anti-Jewish policies and their purposeful victimization of the Jews living in Nazi Germany as well as the annexed territories. The general public cannot claim that they did not know what was going on, that they were uninformed. Whether or not they chose to believe it however, is a completely different story. The public were indeed outraged in many of the cases but the governments of the major European democracies felt that it was not for them to intervene for they felt that the Jewish problem classified as an internal affair within a sovereign state. The attempt to discover what exactly the people around the world did to save the Jewish race is not going to be an easy task but it is going to be a worthwhile one which should uncover a lot of unknown facts to many people.
The thing that interested me the most in this topic is basically outlined in the introduction paragraph but it can be further progressed as follows. All around the world there is some kind of sympathy towards the Jewish race. People feel bad for what happened, many go out of their way to do something nice for someone who is Jewish and there are actually some that dedicate their life to making Jewish peoples lives more pleasant. What exactly is it that drives them to think like this? And what exactly is it that didn’t drive the western world to think like this sixty years ago. The termination of six million people over a period of 6 years would be just preposterous if it happened in today’s world. Averaging over a period of 6 years or 2076 days to be exact a total of 120 Jewish people were killed every hour! The numbers projected are extreme and to most people would be unheard of. The first question that pops up in my mind is if the western world did all they could have possibly done to help the Jewish race. Who exactly helped the most into saving the lives of Jews and how did they do it? Those are the questions I hope to have answered throughout my study of this period in history.
The main focus of this inquiry is discover what is so different in today’s time compared to 60 years ago which would have made the difference of 6 million lives. I would like to learn about the Jewish people in WW2 and how the could have been saved but weren’t. Did Western Europe do all they could to save the Jews.
I am going to look through newspaper articles from the Laurentian Library microfiche section, look up holocaust facts on the internet and put all info together into one piece of data. I also plan on searching to holocaust survivors throughout different internet sites and books and note when and where their lives were spared and find out exactly why. Next, I am going to find something in common among these facts.
Documents being used:
Hiding to Survive: Stories of Jewish Children Rescued from the Holocaust by Maxine B. Rosenberg
This book offers on-hand accounts of 14 people who were rescued by the Gentiles, couldn’t ask for a better narrative. This book is crucial because it contains very detailed information.
Rescue: The Story of How Gentiles Saved Jews in the Holocaust by Milton Meltzer
For in the horror that was the Holocaust, some human decency could still shine through.
This book provides good information on how some Danish people saved Jewish lives. Very good.