The Holocaust was the systematic murder by Nazi Germany of approximately six million European Jews in ghettos, concentration camps, mass shootings and extermination camps. 1.5 million of those murdered were under the age of 16. This represented one-third of world Jewry at the time. Roma, Sinti, gay people, the disabled, trade unionists and other minority groups were also persecuted and killed by the Nazis.
What led to the murder of Jews started with Hitler first voicing his anti-semitic views when he was living and working in Vienna in 1918. In the 1930s, Nazi propaganda became more overt and insidious, aimed to exploit people’s fear of uncertainty and instability in the German economy which cited Jews as enemies of the German people. On 30 January 1939, Hitler announced the extermination of European Jewry if war were to break out. In January 1942, the Nazis began the deportation of Jews and Roma from Lodz Ghetto to Chelmo extermination camp. The systemic annihilation of Jews continued until, on 27 January 1945, Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp finding 7,000 prisoners. This depraved racist ideology stole the futures of millions of individuals and their families.
Jews relied on non-Jewish ‘rescuers’. Rescuers risked not only their own lives but the lives of their own family and children. Many paid with their lives but many Jews survived as a result of the efforts of allies and rescuers.
‘For the dead and the living we must bear witness’Elie Wiesel
Decades on, the horrors of the Holocaust are unimaginable but the stories of the survivors live on. Holocaust history must continue to be told if future generations are to learn the lessons of this gross inhumanity and prevent future genocide.
This 55-minute video is the recording of the precious life and times of the holocaust survivor Jack Gun from Rozyszcze, Poland. This is a rare recording of an unknown history. The idea is to make a documentary from this video interview recorded at Michigan State University by Swarnavel Eswaran, Peter Johnston and Max Gun, the grandson of Jack Gun.
We must remain vigilant against fascism and racism and stand together.
Aratrust commemorates the victims of the Holocaust and gives thanks for the survivors and their families who have enriched the culture and economy of Britain. Aratrust stands in unity with all Jewish people as allies and ‘rescuers’ in challenging and eradicating anti-semitism and all forms of racism wherever they arise.