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1944: Desperate Acts
 pg. 547 
This drawing by Holocaust survivor Gyorgy Kadar conveys the extremes of life in the concentration camps: Emaciated and downcast prisoners contrast with the well-fed and arrogant camp guard. While some guards did not overtly abuse the inmates, others used their positions of power to inflict sadistic punishments and humiliations on the men and women under their control. Behavior of this sort, although fueled by antisemitism and fanned by years of war, arose also from some dark crevice of the human consciousness where brute force, a lust for dominance, and complete disdain for the dignity and lives of a powerless "enemy" had taken root.
Photo: Vanderbilt Univ. Holocaust Art Collection
British Policy in Palestine

British policy in Palestine during World War II was predicated on the White Paper, published in May 1939. This official government document reversed Britain's long-standing support for a Jewish state and placed stringent regulations on land transfers in Palestine. The provision of the White Paper that had the greatest impact on European Jewry was the limit placed on Jewish immigration.

Fearful of escalating violence in Palestine, the British government capped Jewish immigration at 75,000 people over a five-year period. After five years, further immigration was contingent on Arab approval. Although Britain paid lip-service to the notion of providing Europe's Jews with a place of refuge, it never pursued a deliberate policy that would allow such a haven to be created in the Middle East.

During the first two years of the war, Britain barred the escape routes for Jewish refugees. Boatloads of people fleeing Nazi persecution were refused entry into Palestine and returned to the perilous lands from which they came. British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden was particularly adamant in his refusal to designate Palestine as a place of refuge for Jews. At least indirectly, the British contributed to the deaths of tens of thousands of Jews.
Photo: Yad Vashem

 Late July 1944: French Jew Maurice Löwenberg, founder of the National Liberation Movement resistance group, is tortured to death by the Gestapo.
 Late July 1944: SS General Richard Baer becomes the new Auschwitz commandant.
 Late July 1944: 46,000 Jewish inmates are gassed and cremated at Auschwitz.
 August 1944: Religiously nonobservant Jews freed in Berlin early in 1943 are rearrested and deported to Auschwitz.
 August 1944: Auschwitz III (a synthetic-rubber plant) is bombed by Allied air forces based in Italy.
 August 1944: Jewish uprisings occur at Castres and Mazamet, France.
 August 1944: By this date, only 4000 Gypsies remain alive in Greater Germany.
1944: Desperate Acts
 pg. 547 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.