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Forced labor played a crucial role in the wartime German economy. Many forced laborers died as the result of brutal treatment, disease, and starvation.
Forced Labor In German-occupied areas, the Nazis singled out Jewish laborers for cruel treatment. Jewish laborers were also subjected to humiliating treatment, as when SS men forced religious Jews to submit to having their beards cut. The ghettos served as bases for utilizing Jewish labor, as did forced-labor camps for Jews in occupied Poland. In the Lodz ghetto, for example, the Nazis opened 96 factories. The ability to work could save one's life, but most often only temporarily. Jews deemed unproductive…
Forced labor, often pointless, humiliating, without proper equipment, clothing, nourishment, or rest, was a core feature in the Nazi camp system from its beginnings in 1933.
Learn about the network of camps that the French collaborationist Vichy authorities established in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and French West Africa.
Military Campaign against the Soviet Union Hitler expected a quick campaign against the Soviet Union. In this regard he and his military planners were caught in their own ethnic and racial stereotypes. They thought of Slavs as stupid and incompetent and believed that the Communist Soviet Union was in the grip of Jews, whom they regarded as cowardly and perfidious. Such attitudes caused the German leaders to make some severe miscalculations. Initial German military successes were indeed impressive; German…
Sami Dorra working at dam construction in the Im Fout labor camp. The camp was approximately 59 miles southwest of Casablanca, and housed a group of foreign workers. Im Fout, Morocco, 1941-42.
In September 1939, the Germans launched a campaign of terror intended to destroy the Polish nation and culture. Learn more about the German occupation of Poland.
Frances Perkins was FDR's secretary of labor. Learn about her role in the rescue of European Jews whose lives were threatened by the Nazi regime.
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