*** war and social upheaval: World War II -- the Holocaust countries A-G

War and Social Upheaval: The Holocaust in Individual Countries (A-G)

Figure 1.--Germany launched the killing process we now call call the Holocaust began when Hitler and Stalin lunched world War II (September 1939). The killing was, howevr, done largely outside the Reich. It wa a major German war aim. The NAZI Holocaust killing process began in occupied Poland. The first step was ghettoization. There behind the walls the NAZIs as part of their Hunger Plan decided to starve Polish Jew like these children to death. Only the Jews did not die fast enough for Hitler. Thus after launching the invasing the Soviet Union, SS Eisatzgruppen shot some 1 million Jews in the open with out the ghettoization process (June 1941). Next the SS opened death camps where indistrial mthods were devloped for rapidly murdering the Jews in the Polish ghettoes and in other occupied countries (December 1941).

The history of the NAZI Holocaust is vast and varied greatly from country to country. Some countries cooperated with the NAZIs. Others resisted with varying degrees of success. We have collected the following information on the Holocaust in the mostly European countries that were occupied by Germany and Italy or came under Axis influence. We have also added several countries that were threatened by the Axis, but not actually occupied.

Albania (1939-44)

Albania is unique in that it is the only European country that ended World War II with a larger than before the War. The Albanian response to the Holocaust is especially nogtable because it was Europe's only largely Moslem country. Over 70 percent of Albanias are Moslem. The conduct of the Albanian people was nothing short of heroic. Albania was one of the first countries occupied by the Axis in World War II. Mussolini invaded and occupied the country in April 1939, while the world was focused on the German actions in Czecheslovakia and Poland. While the Italians did not initially conform to German policies on Jews, as the Germans became incresasingly dominate, Italian authories began complying with German demands. Even so, not a single Jew was deported or killed in NAZI occupied Albania. Not only did the Albanians protect their own Jews, but they provided a refugee for Jews from neighboring ountries. The Albanians refused to compile and hand over lists of Jews. The Balkans was a dangerous place for Jews after the Axis occupation in 1941. Authorities in neighboring Greece, did comply with its NAZIs and compile lists. As many as 90 percent of Greek Jews were killed in the death camps and the long-established Sephardic community of Salonika virtually destroyed. The situation was even worse in Yugoslavia where local authorities not only handed Jews over but engaged in the actual killing. Albania's Moslems are Bektashi, a liberal form of Islam begun in the 17th century when the Ottomans conquered Albania. The Ottomons wre more successful in converting Albanians than any other area of the Balkans. I am not sure just why this was. Albania has not only a history of religious moderation, but also tloeration and hospiltality. There was considerable inter-marriage between Christians and Moslems and this included the smaller number of Jews as well. The Jews were saved mostly by individual Albanians sheltering individuals and whole families.

Algeria (1940-42)

Algeria in 1940 was a French colony. There was a majority Arab population, a substantial number of French settlers, and a very small Jewish population. After the fall of France, a French Goverment was established in an unoccupied zone with a capital at Vichy. This Government while not totally controlled by the Germans, collaborated with them in many ways. One of these was the Holcaust. A Vichy law provided that "foreign nationals of the Jewish race" would be detained in "special concentration camps" (October 4. 1940). [Laskier, North Africa, p. 65-66.] Vichy authorities proceeded to persecute Jews and deny civic rights. It is not entirely clear to what extent these actions were the result of German pressure or French anti-semitism. Presumably a combination of the two. It is clear that not all Vichy actions were forced on them. Committees for Aryanization were established. Jews lost the French citizenship they had enjoyed since the 1870s. [Ward] Accounts vary some what, but about 16 camps were set up in Algeria for roughly 2,000 Jews. We know of no deportations to the European death camps. The Allied landings as part of Operation Torch prevented any further actions against Algerian Jews (November 1942). Anti-Jewish regulations, however, were not immediately rescended.


The NAZI conquest of Europe resulted in entrapping a number of Argentine citizens living in occupied countries, most ominously about 100 Argentine Jews mostly living in Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Italy and Greece. Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop after the War began to turn against Germany, attempted to maintain friendly relation with a dwindling number of countries that had not declared war on Germany. One country which was sympathetic with the Axis was Argentina. Col. Peron was an admirer of Musolini and many influential Argentines were NAZI sympathizers. Argetinawas use to the NAZIs both by harboring intelligence agents and as a place where war booty could be laundered. Ribbentrop appears to have confronted SS chief Himmler on the issue. Jews with Argentine passports were as a result given special treatment. Ribbentrop apparently took a specil interest in their welfare and on several occassins gave the Argentine Embassy in Berlin the opportunity to repatriate its Jewish nationals. German diplomats in Vichy, France discussed the situation of Argentine Jews there with Ricardo Olivera, Argentina's ambassador in Vichy. They gave Olivera 3 months to arrange for their repatriation. Olivera did nothing. Ribbentrop even after receiving no response from Argentine diplomats to his entrities sent a memo to SS Holocaust coordinator Adolf Eichman, reminding him of the importane of protecting the Argentine Jews (January 1943). The German Foreign Ministry called in Luis H. Irigoyen, the Secretary of the Argentine Embassy, to inform him that there were still 59 Argentines in Krakow, 7 in the Netherlands, and many others in Greece. The Germans showed Irigoyen 16 Argentine identity cards to proven that these people were Argentine citizens. Irigoyenreportedly glanced perfunctorily at the documents and told the Germans, "They are fake. The Argentine Embassy is not interested in the bearers of these apocryphal documents" (March 1943). The United States put pressure on Argentina and other Latin American conutries to join the war effort. By 1944 it was clear that Germany had lost the War. Argetina broke diplomatic relations with NAZI Germany (January 26, 1944). This meant that the Argentine Jews no longer were useful to the Germans. Most were reportedly transported to the Bergen-Belsen camp. Few details exist on their fate, but it is believed that all or almost all were killed. One author writes, "Argentina thus became the only country in the world to refuse the repatriation of its own citizens." Apparentlt Argentine diplomats were following secret Directive 11 issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José María Cantilo on July 12, 1938,. Without referring specifically to Jews, Directive 11 instructed Argentine consulates to "reject visas, even those of transit or tourism, of all those people who abandoned their country of origin because they were undesirable or because they had been expelled, whatever the reasons". [Goñi]


Australia before World War II had a small Jewish community of some 30,000 individuals. Australia had a White Only immigration policy. And there was some opposition to even white immigration, especially Jews. Anti-semitism was wide spread and played a role in this feeling. The Depression and unemployment furthered these deelings. Even so, Australia at the Evian Conference agreed to accept 15,000 Jewish refugees (July 6-15, 1938). Although inadequate, it was a larger effort percapita than made by any other country. This was just before the Munich Crisis and Kritalnacht. The Australian Government only recognized NAZI Germany as a source of endangered refugees. Very few Jews were actually admitted. We are not sure why. Hitler and Stalin launched World War II by invading Poland (September 1939). At this point escape became exceedingly difficult, both from the Reich and NAZI-occupied territories. During the pre-mass murder phase of NAZI rule (1933-40), some 7,000-8,600 Jews refugees appear to have arrived in Australia. This does not include the unfortunate number of Jews aboard HMT Dunera (1940). We are not enturely sure how this worked, wether there was a kind of Ausralian diplomatic mission in Berlin or it occurred after Jews got to Britain. A few Kindertransport children seem to have been cared for in Austraklia, we think by the Jewish community in Australia. Even when the dimensions of the Holocaust became known after the War, continued resistance to Jewish immigration existed. A Liberal politician (Henry Baynton Gullett) in 1946 insisted, "We are not compelled to accept the unwanted of the world at the dictate of the United Nations or any one else. Neither should Australia be a dumping ground for people whom Europe itself, in the course of 2,000 years, has not been able to absorb." In all, Austrlia admitted some 35,000 Jews, mostly refugees (1938-61), more than doubling the country's Jewish population. Among the Jews admitted were a diverse mix of Holocaust survivors, refugees from Arab countries after the the Israeli-Arab conflict flared up, and some in transit, such as those taking temporary refuge in such places as Shanghai. While Australian troops did not liberate the NAZI camps in Europe, they played an imprtant role in deffeating the NAZIs and ending the Holocaust, primarily their role in defedating the Afrika Korps in North Africa.

Austria (1938-45)

Vienna was one of the mot cosmopolitan cities in Europe. There was a long established and lsargely assimilated Jewish population. Hitler ordered the Wehrmacht to cross the border and seize his native Austria (March 1938). The Anchluss was a widely popular step in both Germany and Austria. The country was annexed to the German Reich. Thus the full force of German law was immediately brought into force. This included the Nuremburg and many regulations implementing those laws. German Jews had had 5 years in which to adjust as much as possible to NAZI race laws. Austrian Jews had no such adjustment period. They immediately found themselves subject to these laws as well as the whim of local NAZIs all to eager to enforce them and publically humiliate as many Jews as possible with their new found authority.

Belarus/Eastern Poland (1941-44)

Belarus is a country that was certainly affected by the Holocaust. It is, however, a difficult country to classify any account of the Holocust organized on a national basis. The country was until World War I apat of the Russian Empire with a mixed population pf Poles, Ukrainians, Lituanians, Jews, and others. After the War much of Belarus was acquired by the newly independent Polish nation and the Soviet Union trying to regain the territory of the old Soviet Union. At the onset of World War II, the NAZIs and the Soiviet Union cooperated in the invasion of Poland and partioned the country (September 1939). The Soviet sector was in large part modern Belarus. This meant the Holocaust evolved very differently in the two sectors of pre-War Poland. The NAZIs moved to concentrate Jews in their sector of occupied Poland where they later could be transported to the death camps. The Jews in the Soviet sector of occupied Poland were at first spared NAZI depridations, but were engulfed by the Holcaust with Barbarossa--the NAZI invasion of the Soviet Union (June 1941). The NAZI as part of Barbarossa made only a limited attempt at creating gettos (mostly in the Baltics). Rather the basic approach ussing especially prepared Einzatgruppen was to kill Jews when and where they found them. This was done largely by mass shootings, in many cases at specially dug pits.

Belgium (1940-44)

There were about 90,000-100,000 Jews in Belgium at the time World War II broken out in Europe, many were foreign Jews that had already fled the NAZIS from their own countries. During the first months of the occupation, thousands of Jews, especially foreign Jews, fled from Belgium or were deported to neighboring France. As a result, as of late 1940 about 52,000-55,000 Jews remained in Belgium. Hitler apparently had no marked plans for Belgium in the NAZI "New Order" in Europe. This thus had a marked effect on the administration that the Germans established in Belgium. NAZI suppression of Jews in Belgium followed a familar pattern. The NAZIs issued the first anti-Jewish measures in the Fall 1940. These measures suceeded in robbing Belgian Jews of their property. Inpoverished and concentrated it cities, they were now ready for the next step, transport east and the death camps. The killing of Dutch, Belgian, and French Jews began in July 1942 when the Polish death camps became fully operational. Most accounts suggest that the NAZI anti-Semetic campaign which began soon after the occupation had little impact on most Belgians. It was virtually impossible to contront the NAZIs openly. Many Belgians, however, quierly and effectively opposed the NAZIs quiettly and effectively. One author explain that it was these "slent rebels" that saved many Belgian Jews. Belgian clerics were some of the most effective in Europe in helping to rescue the country's Jewish population. The most notable cleric was Father Bruno who saved hundreds of children. There was only so much the Resistance could do in Belgium. Unlike Denmark there was no easy to get to sanctuary. The English Channel and North Sea is difficult waters. mined, and heavily patrolled by the Germans. The NAZIs succeeded in killing about 25,000 Jews who were living in Belgium. Here accounts vary. Some are as high as 40,000. Only 1,271 survived and retuned after the War. Despite the appaling total, the number of Jews saved is a testimony to the support of the Belgian people to their non-Jewish countrymen.


Bolivia as the NAZIs began even more terrible repression of Jewsd began to admit an expanded number of refugees. The Bolivians admitted more than 20,000 Jewish refugees(1938-41). Mauricio (Moritz) Hochschild, a German-Jewish mining magnate, played a critical role. He controlled one-third of Bolivia's mineral production and had political ties to Bolivian President Germán Busch. Following the terrible Chaco War with Paraguay (1932-35), Busch believed that he could help reinvigorate the devestated Bolivian economy with European immigrants, some of whivh would be Jews. A steady stream of German and Austrian Jewish immigrants followed. They were issued visas at five Bolivian consulates in Europe (Zurich, Paris, London, Berlin, and Vienna). The refugees reached Bolivia by ship. Tey landed in Arica, Chile, and then took atrain to La Paz, Bolivia. The route became known as the Express Judio (Jewish Express). The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee assisted in the effort. Hochschild set up facilities to support the immigrants. Some once safely out of Germany, illegally cross Bolivia's unpatrolled borders into neighboring countries, especially Argentina. Hochschild's Sociedad de Protection a los Immigrantes Israelitas or SOPRO had offices in La Paz, Cochabamba, Potosi, Sucre, Oruro, and Tarija.) Bolivia despite this effort, joined Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay agreed not to accept Jewish immigrants that had not legally immigrated. By this time, the Germans had already begun the killing phase of the Holocaust. At the time, the Germans had begun the killing phsThis essentially meant that these countries were demanding Jews get NAZI exit permits in the middle of the Holocaust. German immigrants had some influence in Bolivia, particularly in Army circles. Bolivia was one of the countries where NAZI spy rings were able to opertate. We do note one Austrian Jewish family that obtained a Bolivian entry visa--the Popper family. We believe this was because the Bolivian Army needed doctors for its units stationed in the Chaco.


The Inquisition attempted to prevent Jews from reaching Portugal's Brazil colony. But over time a small some Jews managed to reached the colony, although they had to hise their faith for centurirs. Brazil as a result has a small Jewish population. It was increased by about 30,000 Western European Jews who managed to find refuge in Brazil from rising anti-semitism in Europe after World War I. One reports indicated that 27 Jewish schools were operating in the country. The Government adopted a strict immigration policy, largely to restrict Jewish immigration (1930s). Rabbi Isaiah Raffalovitch of the Jewish Colonization Association (JCA) attempted to organize Jews, but this proved difficult because of their diversity in political, social, and religious outlook. The Brazil Government began an assimilation effort (1938). The Government closed both the Yiddish newspapers and Jewish organizations, including both Jewish secular and religious organizations. A range of anti-Semitism acts followed. Several editions of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were published in Brazil. Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay agreed not to accept Jewish immigrants that had not legally immigrated from their countries of origin (November 1941). This essentially meant that these countries were demanding Jews get NAZI exit permits in the middle of the Holocaust. There were, however, no coordinated attacks on Brzilian Jews. And the Brazilian Government, unlike neigboring Argentina, was not sympathetic to the Fascist powers. Brrazil declared war on NAZI Germany and played a modest role in World War II. Brazil adopted a new, more democratic constitution (1945). This allowed organized Jewish religious and secular activities to resume. Brazil supported the partition of Palestine and for the creation of a Jewish state in the United Nations General Assembly vote (1947).

Britain (1938-45)

Britain is not normlly thought of as a country affected by the Holocaust. The country had very restrictive immigration policies, but did provide sanctuary for thousands of European Jews including the Kindertransport children. It was the first country to successfully defy Hitler and the German military. There was a small part of Britain that was occupied by the NAZIs after the fall of France--the Channel Islands. Here there were a small number of foreign and British Jews. Most of the Channel Island Jews evacuted, but officials did not permit foreign Jews to leave for Britain. Soon after the German occuption the NAZI occupation officials issued the first anti-Jewish Order (October 1940). They instructed the police to idetify Jews as part of the registation process. Island authorities identified the Jews. Their registration cards were marked with red "J"s. Authorities also compiled lists of Jewish property which was turned over to German authorities. [Fraser] The process developed differently on the four islands, Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, and Alderney. Jersey Jews and 22 Jersey islanders died in concentration camps. Officials made some effort to mitigate anti-semitic measures the NAZIs demanded. They refused to require Jews to wear yellow stars. They did formally Aryanise businesses, but they were returned after the war. Even so, Jewish families had to struggled to survive after being deprived of their livelihoods. Police officials on Jersey and Guernsey did investigate Jewish ancestry for the Germans. Curfews were imposed on Jews. Shopping was limited to 3-4 pm. Two Jersey Jews committed suicide. One was admitted to an asylum where he subsequntly died. There were heros. Albert Bedane hid Mary Richardson, a Dutch Jewess who married a British sea captain, for 2 1/2 years. Guernsey police handed over three East European Jewish women to the NAZIS who deported then first to France where they were rounded up and transported to Auschwitz. The Duquemin fmily, including an 18-month-old baby girl, were deported but urvived. Alderney was the site of the only SS camp on British soil--the Norderney Camp. The camp was for the French Jews and other prisoners who worked on the island. The JHews were kept separated from the other prisoners. The islands were used by NAZI propaganda. Hitler ordered elaborate fortifications belt on the islnds to prevent British efforts to liberate the islands. The result was an ennormous effort to fortify the islands, efforts that made little military sence and would have been more useful as part of the Atantic Wall along the French coast. The NAZIs transported over 16,000 slave workers to the Channel Islands to build the fortifications. Among these workers were 1,000 French Jews. [Cohen] Many of these slave laborers died from exhaustion and malnutrition. Nicholas Winton is known as England's Schindler. He managed to save 669 children from the Nazis. Two Jews were killed by the British Navy when their ship was sunk attempting to enter Palestine (1939). the British interned 1,500 Jews destined for Palestine on Mauritius (1941-45). There were 124 who perished there.

Bulgaria (1941-44)

The Bulgarians were nominally a German ally in World War II. The Bulgarians under King Boris III were one of the few peoples in NAZI-dominated Europe to defy Hitler. They refused repeated NAZI demands that the Bulgarian Jews be handed over for deportation to the death camps in Poland. Bulgaria's 48,000 Jews were thus saved. The Bulgarians did cooperate with the round up and transport of Jews in the northern area of Greece and southern Yugoslavia (Macedonia) that they occupied in 1941, although Bulgarian civil authorities do not appear to have beenninvolved.


Canada like 31 other countries participated in the Evian Conference which was held to address the problem of Jews attempting to find refuge from NAZI oppression (1938). Canada, a huge lightly populsted country, refused to offere any additional level of Jewish immigration. Just before the War, both Canada and Amrica refused to allow Jewish refugees aboard the SS St. Louis to land (1939). The ship was fiorced back to the Netherlands which was soon overrun by the Germans (May 1940). Canada during the War accepted only about 5,000 Jews. A very small number given the country's ability to accimodate refugees. Canada played a very important part in the Allied Workd War II victory, loyally supporting Britain during the War and assiting in the liberation of France and the Low Countries. This of course saved countless Jewish lives. A Canadian reader tells us that during the War, German Jewish civilians were interned in the same camps as Axis POWs. There are report that after the War, the Canadian Government made it difficult for Jewish refugees who survived the Holocaust to enter Canada. Some Jewish refugees were admotted. The Canadian government issued the Order in Council #1647 granting permission for 1,000 Jewish war orphans to enter Canada (1947). Canada's began liberalizing its immigration policies (1948). About 2 million immigrants were admitted to Canada in the decade following the War to assist in tghe country's booming economy. This included several thousand Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. The Germans during the War had committed a number of war crimes against Canadian soldiers. SS units had shot Canadian POWS in Normandy. The Canadians began some procecutions, but this was turned over to the British and there were no actual convictions. This was part of the shift toward resisting the Soviets by 1948. In fact some of the individuals involved managed to emigrate to Canada. One report suggests that Soviet agent Kim Philby working in British inteligence dreamed up an idea of using former NAZIs and NAZI sympathizers to set up an anti-Communist ring in Canada and then sabatoge their activities. As part of that effort the Canadians were incouraged to allow in Germans and displaced Balts with little scrutiny of their background. The result was that a number of war criminals obtained sanctuary in Canada, including individuals who had committeda range of war crimes. [Tesher] These charges were investigated by the Deschenes Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals (1986). Canada finally started to look into people's past connections to the Nazi party and especially the SS (mid-1990s). The Government went to court to have NAZI war criminals them forcefully returned to France or Germany.


Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, and Bolivia agreed not to accept Jewish immigrants that had not legally immigrated from their countries of origin (November 1941). This essentially meant that these countries were demanding Jews get NAZI exit permits in the middle of the Holocaust. The Chilean Consul in Prague, Gonzalo Montt Rivas, expressed considerable sympathy to German actions against Jews. He reported to the Foreign Ministry in Santiago that Jews were attempting to obtain Chilean visas Prague. He rported that some of these Jews claimed that their relatives or acquaintances in Santiago had succeeded in getting the Foreign Ministry to authorize visas for them. He expressed the NAZI view that even a "baptized" Jew remained a Jew: "baptismal water can cleanse original sin, but not the filth accumulated during centuries in ghettos everywhere." [Breitman] Montt develoed close ties with NAZI officials and appears to have had a basic understanding of the Holocaust as well as plans to deport Czechs and replace them with with German settlers. He reported his findings to the Foreign Ministry along with comments expressing his approval of the NAZI operations and plans. Montt appears to have concluded that Germany was going to win the War. While he included his opinions about Jews in his reporting, he does not seem to have used hin insights into NAZI operations to report how a NAZI victory would affect Chile. After the War there were reports of Chile offering regue to NAZI war criminals.


China was a country little touched by Christianity until the 19th century and thus anti-Semitism was unknown in China. The Chinese like the Japnese saw Jews as Uropeans and did not understand the NAZI obsession with Jews. There were pparently some historic Jewish comminities in China such as Persian Jews in Mukden (Shenyang). By the 20th century these communities hd largely disappeared. This changed with the Russo-Japanese War (1905-06). Many Russian Jewish orisoners chose to remain in China rather than return to Russia and pogroms. And very few Jews lived in China except for a few along with the European community in the port cities. As a result there were small Jewish communities in Haitar, Harbin, Hengdaohezi, Kaifeng, Manzhouli, Mukden, Qiqihar, Shanghai, and Tientsin. The largest community was in Shanghai. China adsorbed with its domestic issues as European anti-Semitism developed into a virulent and deadly form during the 1930s. The Japanese after seizing Manchuria concocted a plan to encourage Jewish immigrtion, in part because they believed Jews possessed great wealth. After Japan invaded China and began to move toward the Germans, Japanese censors discouraged reports criticizing the Germans in Chinese newspapers, including reports of attacks on Jews. More attemtion was given in Nationalist newspapers, but the repoting was very limited. The only Holcaust related event in China that we know of was in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. The Japanese opned a kind of Asian ghetto in the forner International Settlement they seized (December 1941). Despite being an German ally, the Japanese flatly rejected German requests that the Jews there be eliminated. Conditions in Shanhahi were difficult for the non-Axis Europeans, but the Jews do not seem to have been singled out for for especially severe mistreatment. After the war as reports of the Holocaust emerged, the Chinese media gave little attention to them. The enormity of Japanese war crimes in Chinawere just too overweakming. The Chinese death toll, perhaps exceeding 30 million people, far exceeded that of the Jews or even the Soviet Union. After the Chinese Communist victory in the Civil War (1949), the country's new Communist rulers followed the Soviet appoach to the Holocaust, namely that the destruction of Europen Jewery was merely part of fascism’s racist murder, and not the most important part. And since fascism was depicted as the ultimate form of capitalism, capitalism was made to be the the root cause of the terrible killings committed during the War. The terrible Sovier record of attrocities and killing as well well as the Chinese Communist record was expunged from the historical record or not allowed to enter it. After the war, the United states eased immigration regulations, allowing Jews in Shanghai and other Chinese cities to enter America. Thus most of the Jews in China had left by the time the Communists seized power (1948).

Czechoslovakia (1938-45)

Czechoslovakia was the first non-German country occupied by the Germans. First the Sudetenland was occupied under the Munich Accord (October 1938). Hitler in total violation of the Munich agreement ordered the Wehrmacht to seize the rest of Czechoslovakia--Bohemia and Moravia. German troops marched into Prague on March 15, 1939. Later Hitler ordered the rest of the country occupied in violation of the Munich Agreement (March 1938). Britain and France protested diplomatically, but took no action. The Germans established a "protectorate." The Slovaks succeed from Czechesoslavakia and set up slavishly compliant pro-NAZI state. The Czechs people suffered during the German occupation. Losses during World War II, however, were not as great as in many other countries, especially Poland to the north. The major exception were the Czech Jews. I have little information on actions against the Czech Jews at this time. The Einsatzgruppen which murdered so ruthlessly in Poland and the Soviet Union were to my knowledge not employed in Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia was, however, the foreign country occupied by the NAZIs for the longest period. Few Czech and Slovakian Jews survived. More than 70,000 were killed by the NAZIs. A concentration camp was set up at Thereisenstadt which the NAZIs used as a model camp to show the Red Cross and Western journalists on fact-finding missions. Hitler appointed Heydrich Reichsprotector when he preceived that Neurath was being too lenient. [Michaelis and Schraepler, p. 244.] The SS conducted operations against Slovakian Jews and were assisted by the Slovakian puppet government (March-September 1942).

Danzig (1933-45)

Gdańsk is one of oldest Polish cities. It was founded by the Polish King Mieszko I (10th century). The city was a part of Polish Piast state either directly or as a fief. Danzig was part of the Duchy of Pomerelia. It had a Polish-Kashubian (a West Slavic ethnic people) population. The German Teutonic Knights seized the city (1308) and became part of their Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights until the 15th century. Durig this time the German population began to grow an the city became part of the Hanseatic Lague (1358). The Poles reseized the city (1457) The Second Peace of Thorn (1466) made Royal Prussia including Gdańsk part of the Polish Kingdom, with substantial autonony. It was od considerable importance to Poland, a major port for the export of Polish grain. As an important commercial center, it attracted many merchants, includinhg Germans, Jews, and Scotts. As Poland declined as a major power, it was partioned by its more powerful neighbors, especially Russia. Prussia seized Danzig in the Second Partition (1793). From this point, the city began losing its importance as an important trading port. After defearing the Austrians and Prussian, Napoleon made Danzig a free city. Prussia resetablished its controlafter defeating Napoleon (1813). And with the rest of Prussia became part of the unified German Empire (1871). After Germany's defeat in World War I and the resulting Versailles Peace Treaty, Danzig was made a free city under the supervision of the new League of Nations (1920). The population was largely German, but it was thought necessary to give newly indendent Poland access to the Baltic Sea. While independent, Danzig was included in the Polish customs area. Danzig was not llowed to remain part of Germany and the Poles were gicven access to the Danzig port. The Free City of Danzig was created with the Danzig port city and some 200 towns and villages in the surrouning area. As in Germany, anti-Semitism began to grow in Danzig. And with the NAZI seizure of power in Germany, the city NAZI Party won the Volkstag (1933 and 1935). The city government pursued its own campaign against Jews. They were dismissed from Government jobs including teaching and descriminated agaiunst in an effort to drive them from public life and the city itself. League efforts to curtail the anti-SEmryic laws wee ineffectual. Most of the Jewish population fled, especially after Kristallnacht (November 1938). The German naval attack on the Polish military depot at Westerplatte were the first shots fired in World War II (September 1939). Germamy immeditely annexed the city to the Reich. The local Polish, Jewish and Kashubian, and Polish minorities were persecuted and murdered as part of the Holocaust.

Denmark (1940-45)

The Danes managed to sprit most of their Jews away to saftey in Sweden. The NAZI occupation authoritiers planned a nation-wide round up all of Danish Jews and to then send them to the Polish death camps. The Danish people came to the aid of their Jews. Advanced warning of the roundup was leaked to the underground. Thousands of Danes stepped in to help the Jews escape to nearby Sweden. Before World War II there were 8,000 Jews in Denmark. Miraculously 7,500 of them successfully managed to get to Sweden with the assistance of their non-Jewish countrymen (October 1942). The NAZIs only manage to capture a few.

Dominican Republic

As NAZI persecution of the Jews became increasingly severe, Preident Rafael Trujillo offered to accept 0.1 million Jewish refugees. Trujillo while admiring Spanish Generalismo Francico Franco and Axis leaders Hitler and Mussolini, also admitted Spanish Republican refugees from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). This relatively open immigration policy was part of the Dominican anti-Haitaian policies. Trujillo pursued a policy of Baquismo, whitening the population through European immigration. Dominican diplomats issued about 5,000 visas, but only 645 Jews actually reached the country. We are not sure why so few Jews reached safty in the Dominican Republic. By 1938, NAZI policy was changing from encouraging Jewish emigration to a new more sinsiter policy and it became increasingly difficult to emigrate. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Dominican Republic declared war on Japan and Germany, entering World War II (December 1941). This meant that Dominican embassies and consuls were closed, except in Vichy France (until November 1942) and Portugal and Spain. The Jewish refugees that made it to the country were settled in a small coastal village of Sosua on undeveloped land. Trujillo obtained funding from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. The settlers received 80 acres of land, 10 cows, a mule and a horse. They were mostly German and Austrian Jews with professional or artisan skills. They quickly and successfully adapted to farming. They estanlished the Jewish cooperative—Productos Sosua. Today the copperative makes an important contribution to the Dominican Republic's meat and dairy production


Egypt during World War II was an independent monarchy which because of Suez was still essentially a British protectorate. The British as a colonial power were not popular. Had Rommel's Afrika Koprs broken through at El Alemaine and reached Cairo, they probably would have been greeted as liberators by many Egyptians. The country was a largely Muslim country with a Christian minority and an even smaller Jewish minority. Unlike the other North African Arab countries, Egypt except for the lightly populated western areas was not occupied by the Italians (1940) and Afrika Korps (1942). Thus the NAZIs never gained access to the bulk of the Jewish population. The Free Officers movement was strongly influenced by the NAZIs, in part because the NAZIs threatened the British, the colonial power in Egypt. To varying degrees the Free Officers were influenced by NAZI ideology, including anti-Semitism. The other important political movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, was also stridently anti-Semetic. Anti-Semitism was in part generated by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who during World War II made propaganda broadcasts from Berlin for the NAZIs. These trends grew increasingly shrill after World War II with the development of the conflict in neighboring Palestine between the Palestinian Arabs and Jews. The Grand Mufti managed to avoid arrest after the NAZI collapse and reached Egypt where he was sheltered by Egyptian authorities. Egypt moved to expel its Jewish citizens which was done without any kind of legal process. Their property was confiscated and theyvwere not allowed to leave with money or valuables.

Estonia (1941-44)

Estonia had the smallest Jewish population of the three Baltic republics. The Jewish population was small. One estimate reports 4.400 Jews in 1934. Another source estimates about 6,000 Jews in Estonia. The Soviets seized Estonia (1940) and the process of Sovitization included closing all independent cultural organizations. This Jewish cultural autonomy was ended. Among the arrests and deportments of Estonians was a group of 400 Jews (June 14, 1941) just before the NAZI invcasion. The Germans launched Operation Barbarossa--the invasion of the Soviet Union (June 22, 1941). Army Group North quickly occupied Lithuania and Latvia, but it took longer to get to Estonia. Estonia is the most easterly of the three Baltic Republics. As a result, the Estonian Jews had more of a chance to escape east. About 5,000 Estonian Jews fled east to Russia before the Wehrmacht reached Estonia. Only about 1,000 Jews remained. They were quickly rounded up by the NAZI security forces. The small number involved made the destruction of Estnian Jewery rather simpe for the NAZI killing machine. Of those Jews who fell into NAZI hands, only seven persons are known to have survived. I'm not sure where they were killed. One report indicated that they were deported to Auschwitz. I am not sure about that. The NAZIs also killed 7,000 other people, including 6,000 ethnic Estonians, mostly Comminists or others known to be critical of the NAZIs. Some Estonians worked with the NAZIs in the Holocaust. Some Estonians participated in actions against Jews and as concentration camp guards. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has provided the Estonian Security Police Board with the names of 16 Estonians it claimed helped murder Jews during August 1942 in what is now Belarus where there was a much larger Jewish poplation.


After the signing of the NAZI-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, Stalin as a virtually ally of Hitler embarked on a series of aggressions of his own. After dividing Poland with Hitler in 1939, Stalin's next target was Finland. The country valiantly resisted in the Winter War (1940-41). The Allies were unable to help the Finns, by NAZI diplomatic support may have been a factor in limiting the peace conditions Stalin imposed on the Finns. As a result, when Hilter invaded the Soviet Union (June 1941), Finland joined the Germans in an effoirt to regain their lost territory. The Finns became a co-beligerent but not an ally or member of the Axis. This led to the paradox of Finish Jewish soldiers fighting with the Germans. Finland's record with regard to its small Jewish community is one of the most laudable in Europe. Finland was dependent upon Germany for food and arms during the War. Even so, the Finish Government refused repeated orders by Heinrich Himmler to deport the 2,000 Finnish Jews to the NAZI death camps. Finland's Field Marshal Karl Gustav Mannerheim reprtedly told the Germans that if but one of Finland's Jews were seized, Finland would turn around and declare war on Germany. The Field Marshal would not stand for the murder of any of their citizens. The only exception was eight Jews. We do not yet have details on these eight individuals who apparently fell kinto German habds, Finish police refused to cooperate with the Gestapo which demanded the Jews be turned over. As a result, nearly all the Finnish Jews survived the War.

France (1940-44)

The first action taken against French Jews after the 1940 invasion was the expulsion from Alsace. To my knowlege, this was the only non-lethal expulsion conducted by the NAZIs. Presumably the master plan for killing the Jews had not yet been fully worked out. Another early action involving German Jews was deporting Jews in Western Landen (Baden, the Saar, and the Palatinate), including some of the oldest German Jewish families, in October 1940 to camps in the French Pyrenees (Gurs, Noé, Récébédou, and Rivesaltes). Gurs was the largest. The death rate was very high because there were not even the most basic facilities. The camps were run by Vichy authorities. The killing of Dutch, Belgian and French Jews began in July 1942 when the death camps in Poland became operational. Vivian Fry before American entered the War worked tirelessy in Vichy to build up a rescue network working with the Emergency Resue Committee, arivate relief organization. The NAZIs had inserted a "suuender on demand clause" in Article 5 of the Franco German Armistace of 1940. Fry succeeded in resucing more than 1,500 artists, musicians, politicams, scientists,and writers, many but not all Jewish.

Germany (1933-45)

The Holocaust was conducted by NAZI Germany. Germany had one of the most assimilated Jewish communities in Europe. This was initially a proble for the NAZIs. After Germany's defeat in World War I, virulent anti-semitism was a major feature of many right-wing nationalist groups. The worst features of these groups becamce German government policy after NAZI leader Adolf Hitler seized power in Germany. President Hindenburg named NAZI leader Adolf Hitler Chancellor of Germany (January 1933). Hitler almost immediately on April 1, 1933, launched the nationl campaign against the country's Jews on April 1, 1933. [Berenbaum, p. 21.] The NAZIs in the following 6 years before launching World War II introduced over 400 different laws to percecute Jewish Germans. The laws were carefully crafted to isolate, excluded, degrade, rob, and disinfranchise German Jews. Geman Führer Adolf Hitler at the Nuremberg Party Congress on September 15, 1935 announced three new laws that were to be cornerstones of German racist policies and the supression of Jews and other non-Aryans. Organization genius Heinrich Himmler and his brutally efficient SS were Hitler's tools to carry out the Holocaust. A necessary step in both Hitler's seizure of power and the Holocaust was the creation of concentration camps. These lead directly after the start of World War II to the Death Camps opened in occupied Poland. The NAZIs gave particularly attention to education and control of the German educational system. They were well aware that it would be difficult to convert many adults and only a minority of Germand had ever voted for the NAZIs in democratic elections. The children were a different matter. In this regard the Hitle Youth program was a valuable tool. Even the NAZIs, before World War II, hesitated at genocide. World War II changed this and removed the last inhibitions. The swift conquest of Poland left the NAZIs in control of Poland's large Jewish population (September/October 1939). The collpase of the Fench Army esentially left the NAZIs in contriol of Western Europe (June 1940). The NAZIs and much of the ret of Europe thought that the Germans had won the War. Reservations and inhibitions that some Germns might have felt had been reduced or eliminted by NAZI anti-semetic propaganda and education and the belief that NAZIism was Europe's future for th next 1,000 years.

Greece (1941-44)

The indigenous Jewish communities of Greece are the oldest Jewish communities in Europe. It was in Greek comminities (in modern Greece and Turkey) that St. Paul preached the Gospel to Jewish communities. More Jews settled in Greece (at the time part of the Ottoman Empire) after their expulsion from Spain. The NAZIs succeeded in almost entirely destroying these communities. Mussolini seized Albania in 1939. Without consulting Hitler, he launched an invasion of Greece, which had a Fascist Government, in 1940. The Greeks not only resisted the Italian invasion, but drove the Italians back into Albania. The Italian invasion was a miscalculation of imense proportions. It rurned a neutral Fascist Government into a regime sympathetic to the British. This and subsequent events in Yugoslavia forced Hitler to postpone the invasion of the Soviet Union and secire his exposed southern flank in the Balkans. The Germans defeated the Greek and British armies and occupied Greece (April-May 1941). Greece was divided into three zones of occupation. Bulgaria annexed Thrace. Germany occupied Greek Macedonia, including Thessaloniki, Piraeus, and western Crete. Italy occupied the remainder of the mainland and the islands. Where Jews resided in these different occupation zones to a large degree determined their subsequent fate and their possibility of escape.


Abitbol, Michel. History of the Jews of Arab Lands (In Hebrew, Merkaz Shazar).

Breitman, Richard. "What Chilean Diplomats Learned about the Holocaust" (National Archive/Interagency Wrking Group, 2001). Breitman is a Professor of History at American University and the IWG Director of Historical Research. His article is in part based on Chilean diplomatic reports.

Cohen, Frederick. The Jews in the Channel Islands during the German Occupation.

Eizenstat, Stuart. Imperfect Justice.

Fraser, David. The Jews of the Channel islands and the Rule of Law, 1940–1945.

Gilbert, Martin. A History of the Twentieth Century Vol. 2 1933-54 (William Morrow and Company, Inc.: New York, 1998), 1050p.

Goñi, Uki. The Real Odessa (London, 2002).

Gumble, Peter.

Laskier, Michael. The Jews of the Maghreb in the shadow of Vichy and the Swastika (Hebrew, Univ. of Tel Aviv, 1992).

Michaelis, Herbert and Enst Schraepler. eds. Ursachen und Folgen, Vol. 18. (Belin Dokumenten-Verlag Dr. Herbert Wendler & Co, undated).

Noakes, Jeremy and Geoffrey Pridham. ed. Documents on Nazism, 1919-1945.

Tesher, Ellie. "How Nazi War Criminals Got Into Canada," The Toronto Star (November 12, 1997).

Ward, Seth. "The Holocaust in North Africa," May 10, 1999.

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