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1942: The "Final Solution"
 pg. 399 
Gerd von Rundstedt was general field marshal and commander-in-chief of the Western Theater from 1942 to 1945. A veteran of the First World War, Rundstedt was relieved of his duties in 1938, when the leadership of the German Army was reorganized. He was reactivated during the Polish campaign, took part in operations in Western Europe in 1940, and returned east for the invasion of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941. Although not a participant in the Generals' Plot to assassinate Hitler, Rundstedt was aware of the conspiracy and urged Field Marshal Erwin Rommel to participate.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
The battle for Stalingrad became the turning point of the war, pitting the heretofore victorious, but overextended, German Army against exhausted Soviet forces (pictured) committed to defending the city at all costs. The struggle approached a bitter climax in the final days of 1942, as Red Army troops swept toward Stalingrad from the south and west. Hitler's dream of opening up the Soviet Union for German plunder and expansion was about to be dealt a crushing setback.
Photo: Archive Photos/Hackett 4226
Internment Camps in the U.S.

Paranoia and panic followed the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. Japanese Americans living in the western United States--including those born in the States--were rounded up at government decree, often with little warning, leaving behind their homes, businesses, and most of their belongings.

Some 110,000 people were imprisoned at ten camps, including Heart Mountain in Wyoming and Manzanar in the Owens Valley of California. Conditions at the camps were primitive and harsh. Manzanar, located west of Death Valley, was surrounded by barbed wire as well as guards on watchtowers. The crude barracks provided little relief during the intense heat of the summer or the bitter cold of the winter.

Isolated from their friends and relatives, demeaned and robbed of their rights, some committed suicide. Many young men sought to escape the camps and prove their loyalty by volunteering for service in the armed forces. Despite winning numerous medals for heroism in the European Theater, Japanese-American soldiers were told upon their return to American shores, "We don't serve Japs here." American-government reparations for these illegal internments did not begin in earnest until the 1990s.
Photo: Archive Photos F1159WW

 December 16, 1942: A Jewish ghetto is established in Kharkov, Ukraine.
 December 16, 1942: Germany decrees that German Gypsies must be deported to Auschwitz and destroyed. Exceptions include former Wehrmacht soldiers, important war-industry workers, and those who are "socially adapted."
 December 17, 1942: Pressure from members of Parliament, from Jewish groups in England, from the Anglican Church, from the British press, and from the Polish government-in-exile persuades the Allied governments to publish their first official recognition of atrocities in Poland. The Allied nations--Great Britain, United States, Soviet Union, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway, Poland, Yugoslavia, and the French National Committee--officially condemn the Nazis' "bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination." They vow to punish those responsible. Several U.S. State Department officials try to block this declaration. All previous and following declarations neglect to mention Jews.
1942: The "Final Solution"
 pg. 399 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.