LARISSA GREECE

  • A City with around 2,000 Jews invaded by Germans in April 1941
  • To avoid captured, Larissan Jews fled to the mountains outside of the city as partisans
  • Many of the Jews played a significant role in the resistance by joining the Greek People’s LIberation Army (ELAS)

AL'S EXPERIENCE

After he graduated, Al was made a lieutenant in the resistance (ELAS). In December 1943 Al’s sister became sick with typhoid fever, and his family left the mountains to take her to the hospital. The family felt safe and comfortable in their home so they decided to stay there for the winter. On March 23, 1944 at 4am the Germans arrived and arrested all the Jews. They spent 2-3 weeks in a camp in Larissa, Greece. They were packed into cattle cars to head to Auschwitz, unable to sit down for 7 days.

Ghettos

Ghettos were created at the start of World War II as Jewish cities and dwellings (temporary housing developments.) The Jewish population was forced to live under miserable conditions. Germans used ghettos as a way of segregating the Jews until they knew exactly how they wanted to systematically exterminate the Jewish population known as the Final Solution.

Forced Labor Camps

The establishment of forced labor camps was due to labor shortages in the German war economy. This led to the increased use of prisoners as forced laborers and establishment of hundreds of camps in or near industrial plants. In labor camps Jews were subject to brutal and harsh conditions, starvation, and beatings sometimes even worked to the death.

Death March

The forced transport of prisoners in Nazi Germany. These took place at various points throughout the holocaust to move evidence of concentration camps away from the Allied forces. Many prisoners died on these marches due to hunger, starvation, and illnesses.

Death Camp

A.K.A. “Extermination Camp”. These camps were developed by the Nazis and were primarily used for killing millions of prisoners during WWII. There were multiple systems put into place to conduct the mass genocide including gas chambers with carbon monoxide, crematoriums with massive ovens to burn the bodies, and they also conducted shooting lines where prisoners would line up and be shot by guards.

The Holocaust

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of millions of Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators during World War II. Germans believed they were "racially superior race" and that Jews, were "inferior." Other groups affected by the Holocaust were: Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals.

World War II

A war between the Axis (Germany, Italy, and Japan) and the Allies ( Britain, the Soviet Union, and the US), beginning on September 1, 1939, with the Hitler and German invasion of Poland and ending with the surrender of Germany on May 8, 1945, and of Japan on August 14, 1945.

Jew

A member of the people and whose traditional religion is Judaism. They trace their origins through the ancient Hebrew people of Israel to Abraham. Religion is extremely important in their cultural beliefs and practices.