A German mom says to Israeli HS students visiting Auschwitz “I want you to know you are not alone,” & hands out to each of them, heart stickers to symbolically replace the yellow stars that Nazis used to identify Jews for restricting their movements in Europe and to tag them for murder.
Auschwitz was one of the detention camps where Jews were made to live in isolation from the rest of European society during the Nazi Holocaust without adequate food, shelter, clothing or healthcare. Jews not able to serve Hitler as laborers – women, children, the elderly and infirm – were immediately put to death. At least 6 million Jews and as many as 20 million civilians overall were killed by Hitler during the Holocaust.
Ha’aretz points out that the overall destruction of human life was much greater:
Historians estimate that military casualties on all sides, in both the European and Pacific theaters, reached up to 25 million, and that civilian casualties ranged from 38 million to as high a figure as 55 million – meaning that somewhere between 3 and 4 percent of the world’s total population died in the conflict.
and also comments on the unique intentionality of Hitler’s regime to obliterate Jews from the world.
…the murder of the Jews of Europe is in a class by itself – not because of the numbers, but because of the ideology behind it, which placed the elimination of an entire people and their culture from the earth as one of its primary goals. It was unique because Nazi propaganda focused so intently on the Jews as an almost supernatural cause of evil, and the German war machine remained devoted to killing Jews up to the very last day of the war, long after it was clear that that war was lost.