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Holocaust Educational Web Sites

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         Last week’s anniversary of Kristallnacht reminded us that the Shoah happened in a relatively cultured society. Not only has it happened in the past generation, even today there is a popular movement of Holocaust denial. The results of this denial and misinformation lead to the possibility that any future genocidal act can be disbelieved or ignored.


 


         The best way to fight this wave of ignorance, and outright denial of facts, is through education. Not everybody has access to lecturers or museums but, in today’s computer age, the Internet has become an excellent teaching tool for the truth. Sadly the deniers also use it to spread their lies that lead to hate.

 

         This week I present a list of web sites that offer the truth of what happened:

 


http://www.galiciajewishmuseum.org/  - The Galicia Jewish Museum In Krakow.




http://www.holocaustresearch.pl/index1(en).htm -  Polish Center for Holocaust Research.




http://www.beisolam.jewish.org.pl - The Warsaw Jewish Cemetery.




http://fzp.jewish.org.pl/english/engind.html - The Polish Jews Forum.




http://www.jewishmuseum.org.pl/index  - Museum Of The History of Polish Jews.




http://jewish.sites.warszawa.um.gov.pl/  -Jewish historical sites in Warsaw.




http://www.jewish.org.pl/wroclaw/english  - The Jewish Community in Wroclaw.




http://www.dialog.org/main.html  - Platform for Jewish-Polish Dialogue.




http://www.npajac.org/mission.html  - National Polish American – Jewish American Council.




http://www.jewish.org.pl/english/foundati/TSKZ.html  - Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland.





 


http://www.ajcf.org/  - Auschwitz Jewish Center.




http://www.jewishinstitute.org.pl/ - Jewish Historical Institute.




http://www.jewishgen.org  - Jewish Genealogy Society




http://www.yorku.ca/tftf/ - The Mark and Gail Appel Program in Holocaust and Antiracism Education.




http://www.judaica.pl  - Judaica Foundation Center for Jewish Culture.




http://www.rslfoundation.org/ - The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation – Poland.




http://www.yivoinstitute.org/ - YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.




http://www.jewishgen.org/Galicia/ - Special Interest Group For Jews whose roots originate in Galicia.




http://www.routestoroots.com/ - Tracing Jewish Roots in Poland, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus.




http://www.jewishfestival.pl/ - Jewish Culture Festival In Krakow.




http://www.wiesenthal.com - Simon Wiesenthal Center.






http://www.midrasz.pl/ MIDRASZ.




http://www.ushmm.org/ - U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.




http://www.belzec.org.pl/ - The Museum of the Belzec Death Camp.




http://www.fodz.pl/ - The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland.




www.jdc.org - American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.




www.wjc.org.il - World Jewish Congress.




www.jdc.org - American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.




http://www.jafi.org.il/ - The Jewish Agency for Israel.




http://www.ecjc.org/ - The European Council of Jewish Communities.




http://www.jewishgen.org/cemetery/e-europe/poland.html - International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies – Cemetery Project.




http://www.avotaynu.com/ - Avotaynu, Inc.




http://www.nizkor.org/ - Holocaust education site.




http://www.yadvashem.org/ - Yad Vashem.




http://www.mznet.org/chamber/ - Chamber of the Holocaust.




http://www.claimscon.org/ - The Claims Conference/Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

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The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

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September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

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In September 1939 the Germans started establishing ghettos in the occupied territory of Poland. Ghettos played an important role in the Jewish extermination policy. They were filled with Polish and Western European Jewish deportees. The ghettos differed in times of existence, size, internal organization, and living conditions. The Germans called them ” death boxes” (Todeskiste). The city of Lodz belonged to the Wartheland District and the Germans changed its name into Litzmannstadt.

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Growing up in the U.S. during the second half of the 20th century, I, along with most people, know very little about the First World War. The little that I did know was about the trench warfare in France and Belgium. The Eastern Front was barely, if ever, mentioned and usually stated that it ended with the Russian Revolution and overthrowing the Czar.

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