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Mariela Baeva
Mariela Baeva
Member of the European Parliament for Bulgaria
2007 - 2009
(first direct EP elections in Bulgaria);

LEED to OECD partner (Nanotech)

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Anyone interested in fundamental rights in the European Union (EU) can now have easy access to the text of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in all official languages on their mobile device: http://fra.europa.eu/en/charter4mobile



Holocaust – Part II

On November 12, 1938, Field Marshall Hermann Göring convened a meeting of Nazi officials to discuss the damage to the German economy from pogroms. The Jewish community was fined one billion Reichsmarks. Moreover, Jews were made responsible for cleaning up the damage. German Jews, but not foreign Jews, were barred from collecting insurance. In addition, Jews were soon denied entry to theatres, forced to travel in separate compartments on trains, and excluded from German schools. These new restrictions were added to earlier prohibitions, such as those barring Jews from earning university degrees, from owning businesses, or from practicing law or medicine in the service of non-Jews. The Nazis would continue to confiscate Jewish property in a program called “Aryanization.” Göring concluded the November meeting with a note of irony: “I would not like to be a Jew in Germany!”

From Kristallnacht to the “final solution” > Non-Jewish victims of Nazism    

Photograph:Roll call of Roma (Gypsy) prisoners at the Dachau concentration camp in Germany.Roll call of Roma (Gypsy) prisoners at the Dachau concentration camp in Germany.

© Lydia Chagoll/United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

While Jews were the primary victims of Nazism as it evolved and were central to Nazi racial ideology, other groups were victimized as well—some for what they did, some for what they refused to do, and some for what they were.

Political dissidents, trade unionists, and Social Democrats were among the first to be arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps.

Germans of African descent—many of whom, called “Rhineland bastards” by the Nazis, were the offspring of German mothers and French colonial African troops who had occupied the Rhineland after World War I—were also persecuted by the Nazis.

The Nazis also singled out the Roma (Gypsies). They were the only other group that the Nazis systematically killed in gas chambers alongside the Jews.

In 1939 the Germans initiated the T4 Program—framed euphemistically as a “euthanasia” program—for the murder of mentally retarded, physically disabled, and emotionally disturbed Germans who departed from the Nazi ideal of Aryan supremacy. The Nazis pioneered the use of gas chambers and mass crematoria under this program.

Following the invasion of Poland, German occupation policy especially targeted the Jews but also brutalized non-Jewish Poles. In pursuit of Lebensraum(“living space”), Germany sought systematically to destroy Polish society and nationhood. The Nazis killed Polish priests and politicians, decimated the Polish leadership, and kidnapped the children of the Polish elite, who were raised as “voluntary Aryans” by their new German “parents.”

Historians differ on the date of the decision to murder Jews systematically, the so-called “final solution to the Jewish question.” There is debate about whether there was one central decision or a series of regional decisions in response to local conditions; but in either case, when Germany attacked the Soviet Union, its former ally, in June of 1941, the Nazis began the systematic killing of Jews, incl. in Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia.

*excerpts from the survey article of Dr. Michael Berenbaum, the former director of the Holocaust Research Institute at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and author of The World Must Know and Witness to the Holocaust, among other books, is the principal author of Britannica’s extensive coverage of the Holocaust.

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