Children were specifically vulnerable to Nazi persecution. Some were targeted on supposed racial grounds, such as Jewish youngsters. Others to be targeted for organic reasons, such together patients v physical or psychological disabilities, or because of your alleged resistance or politics activities. As numerous as 1.5 million Jewish children alone to be murdered or died at the hand of Nazi officials or your collaborators. 


The Nazis did not single out youngsters specifically because they were children, but because of your alleged member in attention racial, biological, or political groups.

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Along with elderly people, children had the lowest price of survival in concentration camps and killing centers. World over fifty years of age, pregnant women, and also young youngsters were instantly sent to the gas chambers in ~ Auschwitz-Birkenau and also other killing centers.


Thousands that Jewish children survived, however, many due to the fact that they to be hidden. Through identities disguised, and often physically surprise from the external world, these youngsters faced consistent fear, dilemmas, and also danger.

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Children were specifically vulnerable in the era the the Holocaust.

The Nazis advocated killing kids of “unwanted” or “dangerous” groups either as component of the “racial struggle” or as a measure of preventative security. The Germans and also their collaborators killed youngsters for this ideological reasons and in retaliation for actual or alleged partisan attacks.

Nazi Germany and also its partners killed about 1.5 million Jewish children and tens of countless Romani (Gypsy) children, 5,000–7,000 German children with physical and also mental disabilities life in institutions, as well as many polish children and also children residents in the German-occupied Soviet Union. Jewish and also non-Jewish teens (13–18 years old) had actually a higher chance of survival, as they might be offered for forced labor.

The fates that Jewish and non-Jewish kids can be categorized in the following ways:

children killed automatically after birth or in institutionschildren killed during reprisal operations

In the Ghettos


In ghetto settings, Jewish children died native starvation, disease, and also a lack of enough clothing and also shelter. The German authorities were indifferent come the high death rates. They thought about most that the younger ghetto youngsters to it is in unproductive and also hence “useless eaters.” because children were typically too young to be supplied for compelled labor, German authorities often selected them, the elderly, ill, and disabled, for the an initial deportations to death centers, or as the first victims led to mass tombs to be shot.

These trucks bode no good, i mean particularly for the little girl. —Brigitte Friedmann Altman


Only later on did I uncover out that my mother had gone the end of the ghetto, sold a diamond and also pearl ring to get me one orange. That was the last birthday gift from my parents.—Gerda Weissmann Klein


In the death Centers


Camp authorities sent the vast majority of young Jewish youngsters directly come the gas chambers upon arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau and also other death centers. SS and also police forces in German-occupied Poland and also the German-occupied Soviet Union shot thousands of youngsters at the leaf of mass graves in addition to their parents.

Sometimes the choice of youngsters to fill the first transports to the death centers or to administer the first victims of shoot operations resulted from the agonizing and controversial decisions of Jewish the supervisory board (Judenrat) chairmen. The decision through the Judenrat in Lodz in September 1942 to deport children to the Chelmno killing center was an example of the tragic choices made by adults when challenged with German demands. Janusz Korczak, manager of one orphanage in the Warsaw ghetto, however, refused to give up the youngsters under his care when they to be selected for deportation. He accompanied castle on the move to the Treblinka death center and also into the gas chambers, sharing their fate.

Non-Jewish Children

Non-Jewish children from particular targeted teams were no spared. Instances include

Romani (Gypsy) kids killed in AuschwitzChildren shot together civilians in the German-occupied Soviet Union in addition to their parents.

In Concentration and Transit Camps

The German authorities additionally incarcerated a variety of children in concentration camps and also transit camps. SS physicians and medical researchers supplied a variety of children, including twins, in concentration camps and killing centers prefer Auschwitz for medical experiments which regularly resulted in the deaths the the children. Concentration camp authorities deployed adolescents, particularly Jewish adolescents, at forced labor in the concentration camps, where numerous died because of conditions.

The German authorities organized other youngsters under appalling problems in transit camps and also concentration camps. They additionally interned non-Jewish orphaned kids whose parental the German military and police units had actually killed in so-called anti-partisan operations. Several of these orphans were hosted temporarily in the Lublin/Majdanek concentration camp and other detention camps.

In inhabited Poland and also the inhabited Soviet Union


In their "search to retrieve "Aryan blood"" in German-occupied areas, SS race specialists ordered hundreds of youngsters in populated Poland to it is in kidnapped and transferred to the Reich. The children were to be embraced by racially an ideal German families. Back the basis because that these decisions to be allegedly "race-scientific," regularly blond hair, blue eyes, or same skin was enough to merit the "opportunity" to it is in "Germanized."

Resistance and Rescue

I was very lucky, and now and then ns would lug a slice of bread, ns would lug a carrot, or a potato, or one egg, and these were very, very great achievements. My mom made me promise that ns wouldn"t execute it anymore, however I disobeyed.—Charlene Schiff


In spite of your acute vulnerability, some youngsters discovered methods to survive. Since of their small size, kids could smuggle required food, medicines, and supplies from the exterior into ghettos in German-occupied eastern Europe. Youngsters in youth movements later participated in underground resistance activities. Many kids escaped v parents or other relatives—and sometimes on your own—to family members camps operation by Jewish partisans.

Kindertransport (Children"s Transport) to be the informal surname of a rescue effort between 1938 and also 1940 which lugged thousands of refugee Jewish kids (without your parents) to safety in great Britain native Nazi Germany and also German-occupied territories.


Some non-Jews hid Jewish kids and, together in the case of anne Frank, entire families together well. In France, nearly the entire Protestant population of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, as well as many Catholic priests, nuns, and lay Catholics, hid Jewish youngsters in the town from 1942 to 1944. In Italy and Belgium, many children survived in hiding.

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After the War

After the surrender that Nazi Germany, ending people War II, refugees and also displaced people searched transparent Europe for missing children. Thousands of orphaned children and also juveniles found themselves in displaced people (DP) camps. Numerous surviving Jewish youngsters fled east Europe with or there is no their households as part of the massive exodus (Brihah) come the western zones of inhabited Germany, en route to the Yishuv (the Jewish negotiation in Palestine). V Youth Aliyah (Youth Immigration), thousands migrated to the Yishuv, and then to the state the Israel ~ its facility in 1948.