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1941: Mass Murder
 pg. 281 
All three members of this family from Minsk, Belorussia, lived through the Holocaust. A Russian family protected the daughter, Alia, throughout the war. A German officer named Schultz risked his life to save the father and mother, along with other Jews. The righteous German soldier later joined the anti-Nazi underground.
Photo: Yivo Institute for Jewish Research / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
The Germans drive 7000 Jews from the Minsk (Belorussia) Ghetto to a pit dug into the still-frigid soil outside the city. The Nazis murdered them with firearms. Not satisfied with killing the adults, the Germans tossed the children into the pit alive and suffocated them.
Photo: Yivo Institute for Jewish Research / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
The Jews of Finland

The Jews of Finland found themselves in a bizarre situation with the outbreak of World War II. Despite the Nazis' war on Europe's Jews, Finland's alliance with Germany caused over 300 Finnish Jews to fight alongside German soldiers on the Eastern Front, while Jewish women served in the country's civil defense corps.

Finland's Jewish community numbered only about 2000 (including almost 300 refugees from Germany and Austria), and antisemitism was practically nonexistent in the country. Finnish Jews had full rights as equal citizens. Most of the refugees were housed in labor camps, where they lived in barracks.

When Heinrich Himmler broached the subject of Finnish Jews, the country's prime minister, Johann Wilhelm Rangell, curtly replied that Finland had no "Jewish problem." Valuing Finland's military cooperation against the Soviet Union, the Nazis applied no further pressure.

In the autumn of 1942, however, eight Jewish refugees were handed over to the Gestapo. Transported to the extermination camp at Auschwitz, Poland, all but one of the refugees perished. Lengthy negotiations with the Swedish government secured the transfer of 160 other refugees to that neutral country. The remaining refugees, along with almost all Jewish-Finnish citizens, survived the war--except for a few Jewish soldiers who died in battle fighting for the German cause.

 November 7-9, 1941: Close to 5000 Jews are killed in Pogulanka, outside Dvinsk, Latvia.
 November 8, 1941: A Jewish ghetto at Lvov, Ukraine, is established.
 November 13, 1941: Warsaw diarist Chaim Kaplan writes that his wife has been stricken with typhus.
 November 14, 1941: Nine thousand Jews from Slonim, Belorussia, are murdered at Czepielow.
 November 17, 1941: Eight Warsaw, Poland, Jews, including six women, are executed for leaving the ghetto without permission. The executioners, pressed into service, are Polish policemen.
 November 20, 1941: Approximately 7000 Jews from Minsk, Belorussia, are killed at nearby Tuchinka.
 November 23, 1941: Thirty thousand Jews are killed at Odessa, Ukraine.
 November 24, 1941: A large "model ghetto"/concentration camp is established at Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, 35 miles from Prague. To prepare for the imminent arrival of inmates, 342 young Jewish men from Prague are brought in as forced laborers.
1941: Mass Murder
 pg. 281 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.