From: S & J Szybalski <julsta@...
Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 12:42:57 -0500
Subject: Holocaust - Non-Jewish Victims
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List of over 700 Names of Polish men, women and children killed while
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Destined to Witness: Growing Up
in Nazi Germany
By Hans J. Massaquoi
Of mixed African-German parentage, Hans, came of age in Nazi Germany. He
depicts the trauma of his childhood, and his improbable survival of it, in a
startling memoir. As a small boy, he was fascinated and moved by Hitler and
seduced by Nazi busywork and organized pageantry. He felt betrayed upon
realizing that there was no place for a non-Aryan such as himself in the
NEW on VHS & DVD!
Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport
Acadamy Award winning documentary about 10,000 children saved from Hitler's
Survivors of the Holocaust
Starring: Steven Spielberg, et al.
VHS - Video
Jewish Roots in Poland
Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories, by Miriam Weiner, is a big and
beautiful book... illustrated with hundreds of antique and contemporary
photographs of Polish cities and towns; The depth and scope of its
genealogical resource lists will help many Jews find amazing truths about
their heritage. Michael Joseph Gross
Award-winning book. Extensive documentation. Excellent source for students.
Gives much more understanding of the complicated issues of this volatile
time than available in the media.
Yad Vashem in Jerusalem Rescuers Honored
Young nurse hid Jews in a German officers' villa. <Opdyke.htm>
Read more about non-Jewish victims at:
The Holocaust History Project
Responses - Personal stories and letters from other people who visited
Jews in Poland - Historical and Current Information.
Enigma Cipher Machine: History of solving.
Find more on the Holocaust at
Terese Pencak Schwartz <mailto:historiene@...
2899 Agoura Rd., Suite 794
Thousand Oaks, California 91361
How Could 5,000,000 Be Killed and Forgotten?
Growing up in a Polish-American community, raised by parents who survived
I heard many stories about the atrocities of this World War II horror. I
learned how one of my family's homes in Poland <info.htm> was burned to the
ground by Nazis. I learned that my uncle was
shot in the head by Nazi soldiers because his family was hiding a Jewish
woman. Painful as it was for them to speak about it, my parents [Frank and
Ewa Pencak <ewa.html> ] felt it was important that I knew the stories of the
<pole.htm> Polska Versja
It was only after I moved to the Los Angeles area several years ago that I
realized that many people were not aware that millions of victims of the
Holocaust were NOT Jewish. Outside the Polish community, I heard very little
mention about the five million non-Jewish victims -- usually referred to as
Whenever I would say that my parents were survivors of the Holocaust, people
would look at me oddly and say, "Oh, I didn't know you were Jewish?" I
realized that most people were not aware of any other Holocaust victims
except Jews. This concerned me.
I am Jewish. I converted in 1978 after studying at the University of Judaism
one year before marrying a Jewish man. I belong to a temple where my
daughter attends religious school. I love the Jewish religion and I admire
the Jewish community. In no way do I want to diminish the enormous magnitude
of the victimization and murder of the 5,860,000 Jewish people. The Jews
were singled out by the Nazis for total extermination -- a significant fact
that I do not repudiate, nor want to diminish in any way. The Jewish people
have done an extraordinary job of making the younger generation around the
world aware of their persecution and the immense tragedy of the Holocaust.
But what about "the others"? There were five million of them. Who were they?
Whose children, whose mothers and fathers were they? How could five million
human beings have been killed and forgotten?
After studying carefully-documented books, and interviewing non-Jewish
survivors, 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.
Eleven million precious lives were lost during the Holocaust of World War
II. Six million of these were Polish citizens. Half of these Polish citizens
were non-Jews. On August 22, 1939, a few days before the official start of
World War II, Hitler authorized his commanders, with these infamous words,
to kill "without pity or mercy, all men, women, and children of Polish
descent or language. Only in this way can we obtain the living space
[lebensraum] we need".
Heinrich Himmler echoed Hitler's decree: "All Poles will disappear from the
world.... It is essential that the great German people should consider it as
its major task to destroy all Poles."
On September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland from three directions. Hitler's
invincible troops attacked from the west, the north and the 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 legislation. Rationing,
which allowed for only bare sustenance of 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 secondary
schools and colleges were closed. The Polish press was liquidated. Libraries
and bookshops were burned. Polish Art and culture were destroyed. Polish
churches and religious buildings were burned. Most of the priests were
arrested and sent to concentration camps. Street signs were either destroyed
or changed to new German names. Polish cities and towns were renamed in
German. It was Hitler's goal to obliterate all traces of Polish history and
Hundreds of Polish community leaders, mayors, local officials, priests,
teachers, lawyers, judges, senators, doctors were executed in public. Much
of the rest of the so-called Intelligentsia, the Polish leading class, was
sent to concentration camps where they later died.
The first mass execution of World War II 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. The goal of these executions, deportations, and the
ruthless domination of citizens was to terrorize all Poles into docile
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 Gouvernment". 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 (zloty) was removed from
circulation. All Polish banks were closed and savings accounts were blocked.
During the war, 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
Non-Jews of Polish descent suffered over 100,000 deaths at Auschwitz
<journey.htm> . 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
<Lodz.htm> 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 their invincible superiority
and power and likewise the inferiority and weakness of the Polish people.
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. © 2002 Terese Pencak Schwartz
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endeavors. (c) 1997 - 2002
Research for this article was taken from The Forgotten Holocaust
Dr. Richard C. Lukas <lukas.htm> , and Jews and the Poles in World War II by