Summary War and Genocide A Concise History of the Holocaust

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This is the summary of the book "War and Genocide A Concise History of the Holocaust". The author(s) of the book is/are Doris L Bergen. This summary is written by students who study efficient with the Study Tool of Study Smart With Chris.

Summary - War and Genocide A Concise History of the Holocaust

  • 6 Expansion and Systemisation: Exporting War and Terror, 1940-1941

  • Following the experimental phase of 1939 the Nazis expanded and systematised their expansionism and killing programmes.
  • During the period between 1940 and 1941 the German empire expanded dramatically, conquering Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Yugoslavia, Greece and parts of the Soviet Union.
  • By late 1941 German killing units had already killed almost a million Jews in eastern Europe, many shot into mass graves.
  • The preparation of mass killing centres was underway and millions of Soviet prisoners of war were already dead or dying in German captivity.
  • During this period the Nazis brought Europe under their control and became ever more efficientin mass killing.
  • 6.1 War in the North and West

  • On what day did Britain and France declare war on Germany following the invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939?
    3 September 1939
  • What did the British refer to the early, inactive phase of the war as?
    The phony war
  • What did the Germans call the war, in comparison to the Blitzkreig (lightning war) that occurred in Poland?
    Sitzkrieg (sitting war)
  • For many Germans this early period of inactivity seemed to be a triumphant conformation of German superiority.
  • However, in mid-1940 the phoney war came to an abrupt halt. Germany advanced rapidly to the north and west. In order to dominate in Europe Hitler knew that France and Britain would have to be crushed through war.
  • War in the west was a prerequisite for what?
    War in the east in order to gain the desired lebensraum (living room)
  • Hitler and the Nazis' believed that war in the west would be the most difficult fight faced by the Germans, as the eastern powers were viewed as racially inferior. Thus, the war in the west would also be less vicious than the war in the east.
  • As "racially valuable" peoples, north and west Europeans would be treated with far greater humanity than those in the east.
  • 6.1.1 German Victory over France

  • In May 1940 the Germans invaded France through Belgium. The French had prepared for an attack from the north but were surprised when the Germans sent troops from both the north but also the south, through the Ardennes Forest.
  • By early June the Allied forces had been pushed to the seaport of Dunkirk from where 338,000 Allied troops were evacuated to Britain, while under constant attack from the Germans.
  • West African soldiers serving in the French army were separated from white soldiers captured and abused. Many were murdered. German racial ideology was evident in their treatment of the POWs.
  • The massacre of 3,000 black POWs in May and June 1940 hinted at the massacres of Soviet POWs that would follow a year later.
  • On 22 June 1940 the French government signed an Armistice Agreement that divided the country into an occupied and unoccupied zones.
  • Who was the head of Vichy France?
    Marshal Henri Philippe Petain
  • Who was the leader of the Free French forces in exile?
    General Charles de Gaulle
  • For many years France had been a haven for refugees from Nazi Germany and occupied territories and fascist Spain. Now these Jewish and Communist refugees were in Nazi hands.
  • 6.1.2 The Battle of Britain

  • With the fall of France, Germany turned its attention to Britain. At this point Britain was the only major power still fighting Germany (the United States and the Soviet Union joined the war in 1941) with support from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and South Africa.
  • For many Europeans Britain became the last hope. Governments-in-exile and refugees flooded the island.
  • Even prior to the outbreak of war in 1939 some 10,000 Jewish German children were sent to Britain from Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria and Poland.
  • What were the transports of Jewish children to Britain called?
    Kindertransports
  • Following France's defeat, Hitler now saw Britain as his main enemy.
  • In an attempt to rouse public morale, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave one of history's most famous speeches, telling his country that "we shall go on to the end... we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

    Meanwhile Hitler began to prepare for an invasion of Britain.
  • Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goring ensured Hitler that the German air force was capable of destroying the Royal Air Force.
  • In July 1940 the Nazis launched massive waves of aerial attacks on British naval and air installations. Yet they failed to gain the decisive superiority they had expected.
  • By mid-September 1940 Hitler had postponed the invasion of Britain. He hoped that the planned invasion of the Soviet Union would further isolate and weaken Britain for a later invasion.
  • What was the period of mass aerial bombing of Britain called?
    The Battle of Britain
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