World Wars have always been an event which spread shock across the world and scarred it. Holocaust remains an inseparable part of the World War! and is a bitter memory. Here are some of the facts about Holocaust which you probably wouldn’t have known.
#1. The term ‘Holocaust’ comes from the Greek word – ‘holo’ which means whole and ‘kaustos’ which means ‘burnt’ and refers to animal sacrifice.
#2. An SS Guard fell in love with a Jewish prisoner in the camp and saved her life multiple times. After the war ended, she testified on his behalf when he was tried post-war.
#3. A Polish soldier, Witold Pilecki voluntarily offered to be imprisoned in Auschwitz so that he can gather information and expose the world to the horrors of Holocaust.
#4. Bayer, the famous pharmaceutical company predominantly known for producing aspirin often bought prisoners from the Auschwitz concentration camp as guinea pigs to experiment the effects of new drugs.
#5. Almost one – third of Jews who were alive during the holocaust were murdered.
#6. Anne Frank’s concentration camp was captured and liberated by the British troops a couple of weeks after she died.
#7. Hitler planned on collecting numerous artifacts post war, in order to build a museum called – Museum of an Extinct Race.
#8. The Leica camera company saved lives of hundreds of Jews before Holocaust by hiring them and sending them abroad.
#9. During WWII, the mosque of Paris gave Muslim Ids to many Jews and helped them escape the Nazis.
#10. A Muslim family saved many Jews during the Holocaust. The same family later was saved by Israel during the Genocide in Bosnia. The family then converted to Judaism.
#11. In Treblinka concentration camp more than 870,000 Jews were killed. This mass killing was carried out merely by 150 people.
#12. Sigmund Freud, the famous psychoanalyst lost four of his sisters during the Holocaust in concentration camp.
#13. Two Polish doctors saved lives of almost 8000 Jews from the Holocaust by faking a Typhus Epidemic that prevented Nazis from entering the town.
#12. The first Nazi concentration camp, Dachau in Germany was opened six years before WWII began!
#13. In 1945, Alfred Hitchcock filmed a documentary about the Holocaust and hid it till 1984.
#14. Hitler offered Great Britain, The United States of America and other nations a chance to take Jewish refugees before the Holocaust. Unfortunately, the nations refused to accept them.
#15. The company which created Zyklon B, the gas which was used in the gas chambers in the extermination camps still exists as a pest control company.
#16. A Japanese consul saved lives of almost 6,000 Jews from the Holocaust by giving them visas in spite of being told otherwise by the government.
#17. Young children were particularly murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust as they were the new future generations of Jews.
#18. Initially, carbon monoxide was used in gas chambers instead of the insecticide – Zyklon B.
#19. More people died in Auschwitz than the British and American losses of WWII combined.
#20. Hitler himself never visited any of the concentration camps.
#21. There was a process of ‘selektion’ or selection followed at the beginning of the death camp where pregnant women, sick or handicapped, elderly people and young children were immediately given death.
#22. In 1845, when the Soviet troops entered Birkenau concentration camp they found almost 358,000 men’s suits, 15, 400 human hair and almost 837,000 women’s clothing which the Nazis were saving for future use.
#23. The hair of the Holocaust victims were processed into felt and thread and used to make socks, ropes, cords, stuffing for mattresses and ignition mechanisms in bombs etc.
#24. Nazis in Bergen – Belsen had conducted experiments where they used human skin as lampshades.
#25. After the liberation of the concentration camps, thousands of people died within the first week of their freedom. Some died by overeating sweets.
#26. The dirt at the Treblinka concentration camp as observed by one person was not brown but grey, sharp, filled with the fragments of human bones and coarse.
#27. The genocide in the extermination camps initially were carried out through mass shooting but it was observed that it deeply affected the psyche of the shooters. Ultimately, it was decided that the prisoners will be gassed.
#28. Dr. Josef Mengele a doctor at Auschwitz camp, was infamous for conducting medical experiments. He was particularly interested in identical twins, dwarfs and people with physical abnormalities etc. He even attempted to create his own conjoined twins by sewing a pair of twins together.