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5 Million Forgotten Victims of the Nazis

jan peczkis|Thursday, October 9, 2014

As far as the Holocaust is concerned, most people think of the Jews, and mistakenly think that anyone who was a victim of the Nazis was a Jew. Such was the author's experience relative to her relatives. A few people, hard pressed, may remember the homosexuals and the Communists, but very few people are aware of the fact that three million Polish gentiles were murdered by the Nazi Germans.

Otherwise, when non-Jewish victims of the Nazis are brought up, we often hear the refrain that, "Jews were killed because they were Jews; non-Jews were killed because it was war." Schwartz repudiates this misconception, and often shows how Nazi ideology functioned to justify the murders of non-Jews as well as Jews. For instance, Schwartz quotes Heinrich Himmler, who said that all Poles must disappear from the face of the Earth.

In the introduction, Dr. Danusha Goska recounts how she asks her university students which group was the first and last victims of the Nazis. Almost no one gets it right. It was the handicapped. To the Nazis, they were "useless eaters".

Other victims surveyed by Schwartz include the Jehovah's Witnesses, Gypsies (Sinti and Roma), homosexuals, peoples of African origin, and Nazi resisters of all nationalities. The author includes descriptions of each victim group, as well as short testimonies of representatives of many of the targeted groups. For instance, a Polish guerrilla who participated in the ill-fated Soviet-betrayed Warsaw Uprising recounts his experiences. So does a former inmate of a Nazi concentration camp.

There is also a description of Zegota, the one-of-a-kind Polish organization that assisted Polish Jews in German-occupied Poland. The ten million forced laborers in the Third Reich are also remembered.

The only shortcoming of this book is its brevity. However, for the reader who wants a quick overview of the non-Jewish victims of the Nazis, it serves quite well. Those interested in learning more about the 3 million Polish non-Jews murdered by the Nazis should see the Peczkis Listmania here on Amazon: FORGOTTEN HOLOCAUST...
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