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1942: The "Final Solution"
 pg. 396 
Founder of the Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging (National Socialist Movement), engineer Anton Mussert sought to steer a middle path within the right wing in the Netherlands. He was grudgingly rewarded for his loyalty to the Reich in late 1942 when the Nazis appointed him "Leader of the Dutch People," a position of no real authority. Mussert was never fully trusted by the Nazi authorities, partly because he was opposed to Nazi measures against the Jews. At the same time, he was hated by his own people because he collaborated with the Nazis.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
The Nazis murdered their victims in a variety of ways, not just by shooting and gassing. This Jewish man, an inmate at the Belzec extermination camp, was forced into an ice hole, where he froze to death. Many camp guards became notorious for their cruelty, trying to outdo each other in devising fiendish methods of killing their victims.
Photo: Yad Vashem / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Kurt Gerstein

Kurt Gerstein remains an enigma. A devout Christian with backgrounds in medicine and engineering, he joined the Nazi Party in 1933. Three years later he was dismissed for anti-Nazi activity and sentenced to a concentration camp.

After the murder of his sister-in-law during the "euthanasia" program, Gerstein wanted to learn the truth about such killings. He joined the Waffen-SS in 1941 and studied the effects of Zyklon B. Gerstein became head of the Technical Disinfection Department within the Institute of Hygiene.

However, when he was ordered to transport killing agent Zyklon B to camps, he witnessed the mass killings of Jews by carbon monoxide at Belzec. Horrified, Gerstein resolved to tell the world, approaching diplomats, church leaders, and even the papal nuncio in Berlin--but with little success.

Arrested by the French at the end of the war, Gerstein was imprisoned as a suspected war criminal. He died mysteriously, probably a suicide but perhaps at the hands of SS officers who feared his testimony.
Photo: AP/Wide World

 December 7, 1942: British official John Cecil Sterndale Bennett is upset because Bulgarian Jewish children may be allowed into Palestine based on Jewish Agency appeals.
 December 8, 1942: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, president of the World Jewish Congress, meets with other Jewish leaders and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt to discuss the recently revealed plight of European Jews.
 December 9, 1942: German troops in Tunis, Tunisia, seize 128 Jews and march them to a labor camp. One young Jew who drops from exhaustion is shot and killed.
1942: The "Final Solution"
 pg. 396 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.