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1943: Death and Resistance
 pg. 498 
Kurt Waldheim

The career of Kurt Waldheim demonstrates the ease in which some individuals moved between civil society and Nazism. When the United States Justice Department put him on its Watch List as a suspected war criminal in 1987, the shroud of secrecy Waldheim had placed over his past quickly unraveled.

Kurt Waldheim entered law school at the University of Vienna in 1937. Following the Anschluss, he joined the Nazi Students' Association and became a Storm Trooper. Waldheim participated in the French and Russian campaigns as a Wehrmacht soldier and was wounded in December 1941.

Waldheim's service in the Balkans from 1942 to 1945 provided him with direct knowledge of the atrocities committed against Yugoslav partisans. Although he personally did not participate in the killings, an Austrian commission investigating his role ruled that he was close to persons who issued and carried out atrocities and that he did nothing to disrupt them.

After the war Waldheim immediately distanced himself from his Nazi past. He joined the Austrian diplomatic service in 1945, served as foreign minister from 1968 to 1970, and was named the secretary general of the United Nations in 1971. Although publicly discredited, Waldheim has yet to openly confront his past.
Photo: World Jewish Congress / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive

This circular encourages Palestinians to make contributions to rescue efforts of European Jews. An excerpt of the text: "Children of Israel, listen! Listen to the voice that cries out for help. Remember our brothers at every moment, when you study and when you rest, when you eat and when you play. Join together as one individual to rescue and support [our brothers]."
Photo: Central Zionist Archives / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Jews seeking to emigrate to Palestine without permission had to evade a British Navy intent on preventing their entry. In late November 1943, Jews aboard three ships seeking to enter Palestine were detained and sent to a camp on the island of Mauritius. Committed to caring for their own, the detainees established a hospital. The nurses and doctors faced many challenges, including an outbreak of typhus.
Photo: Beth Hatefutsoth
 November 10, 1943: Arthur Liebehenschel replaces Rudolf Höss as commandant of Auschwitz.
 November 11, 1943: At the Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, camp/ghetto, on the 25th anniversary of Germany's defeat in World War I, the Germans assemble all 47,000 Jews in a large square for an ill-organized census. It lasts for 18 hours in a chilly rain. Some of the Jews die during the census or soon after.
 November 13, 1943: A Jew named Fritz Lustig makes an unsuccessful attempt to escape from the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.
1943: Death and Resistance
 pg. 498 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.