8 Posters on the History of the Holocaust

A poster exhibit about Holocaust history:

These 8 posters (in PDF format) may be downloaded and used for not-for-profit educational purposes All of the personal narratives in this exhibit are from people who live or who have lived in Victoria, BC, Canada - where the HopeSite originates. (Funding for this exhibit was contributed in part by BC Multiculturalism and the Department of Canadian Heritage)

  • From the exhibit's introduction
    From the exhibit's introduction

    " Victoria, BC, Canada is many kilometres, and many years, from the horrors of the Holocaust. For most of us, the murder of six million European Jews between 1933 and 1945 is an event whose sharpness is now blurring into the sepia-toned images of a history lesson. Yet, our parents, our grandparents, our great grandparents, witnessed what happened.

    The people of Victoria knew what was happening in Europe. Accounts of anti-Semitic riots and attacks on Jewish businesses and places of worship were printed in large type in our local newspapers during the 1930s and 1940s....."

  • The Rise of Nazis in Germany
    The Rise of Nazis in Germany

    "Anti-Semitism had been a part of European culture for hundreds of years. Jews had experienced persecution and exclusion in many parts of Europe. But in the 1930’s, the National Socialist — or Nazi — Party in Germany made anti-Semitism their official policy. The Nazi Party came into being after the social, political and economic unrest following the First World War. And when the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was elected Chancellor in 1933, the world of the German Jews began to fall apart..."

  • Kristallnacht

    "I was in Breslau on Kristallnacht. My grandmother woke me up, 'Kurt, leave the house, the synagogue is burning, get out of the house.' My grandfather already disappeared, he had German friends to hide him. He was gone. We lived close by the synagogue. It was a beautiful building, many meters high, with two domes, and had been newly renovated. So I ran out, but before I ran out, I grabbed my army pass and put it in my pocket. I thought it wouldn’t hurt.bout 50 meters, I ran into two Gestapo. SS men. They stopped me. 'Are you a Jew?' 'What are you talking about,' I replied. I took out my army pass and showed it to them, but not the inside page. On the street I passed only the smashed stores, a liquor store with everything poured on the street. Everything smashed, a crystal store. I went to my girlfriend. It was November and it was snowing...

  • The War Begins
    The War Begins

    "After the invasion of Poland, Canada declared war on Germany on September 10, 1939... Anti-semitism in Canada was a significant force. Within Canada, fascist groups in Ontario and Quebec tried to keep Canada from fighting against Germany. Canadian anti-Semitic groups tried to label Jewish citizens as 'enemy aliens'..."

  • Jewish Refugees and Canada
    Jewish Refugees and Canada

    "Prime Minister MacKenzie King and Immigration Director F.C. Blair kept the number of Jewish refugees small. As the influence of Nazi-inspired hatred threatened the Jewish communities of Europe, Jews tried to head to safety in the United States, Canada, Australia, and even Cuba. Between 1933 and 1945, less than 5000 Jews were accepted into Canada..."

  • Resistance

    "Many individuals resisted Nazi rule. Although many nations fell to Nazi occupation, some citizens fought against oppression. In February of 1941, the people of Amsterdam held an anti-Nazi general strike. In Denmark, 7200 Jews were secretly ferried to Sweden and safety. Risking their own lives and the lives of their families, Europeans of many religious and cultural backgrounds hid Jews in their homes, sometimes for years at a time..."

  • The Concentration Camps
    The Concentration Camps

    "Entire communities were taken to their destruction. Trains pulling cattle cars, devoid of air, water, light and toilet facilities, transported the Jews of Europe away from their homes to places with names we have come to associate with evil: Buchenwald, Auschwitz, Ravensbruck, Bergen-Belsen. On arrival, families were separated. There, people were used as slave labour or sent directly to their deaths...”

  • In Victoria
    In Victoria

    "Within Jewish families, the Holocaust was usually not talked about. The children of survivors of the Holocaust, the ‘second generation’, often have many questions about what their parents experienced. It is a difficult journey, exploring a tragedy that helped to shape these families in so many ways... Many people, Jewish and non-Jewish, work diligently in this community to overcome anti-Semitism, to educate students about racism and tolerance issues, and to build bridges of understanding..."