Synopsis of 1942

Hitler was evil. He was despicable, and quite possibly mentally unstable. Most importantly, though, is that he was smart, cunning. People believed his lies as he rose to power, many stood by as he committed heinous crimes. He said he'd bring order and power to Germany. All he brought, however, was the death of thousands of innocent people. 1942 was about the start of genocide, and the responses to it.


Ghettos and Extermination Camps

January 1942 entailed Germans deporting Jews and Roma to ghettos. Many deportations to the ghettos Riga, Warsaw, Lodz, Minsk, and Bialystok occured. However, the ghettos became overcrowded, so a portion of 1942 was exterminating all the male Jews in ghettos. The Germans then moved the Jews to extermination camps such as Belzec (whose killings began on March 17th, 1942).

Ghettos Built in 1942

Pinsk Ghetto

Thursday, April 30th 1942 at 2pm

Pinsk, Belarus

This was the first ghetto built in 1942.


Later that year, on June 30th, Heinrich Himmler ordered all of the Jewish men to be killed in Pinsk Ghetto. The women and children were ordered to be sent to the swamps but couldn't be because of shallow swamps. This caused the Germans to bring trucks to transport the men to another area to be killed. This will be one of the many signs of overcrowdedness in the ghettos.

Heinrich Himmler

Himmler was a Military Commander of the Nazis, and he was a leader of the Nazi Party. He controlled the concentration camps and he built extermination camps. Himmler noticed that the Nazis were losing and he tried to talk peace with the Allies without Hitler's knowledge. Once Hitler found this out, he ordered arrest on Himmler. He attempted to go into hiding, but then he was captured by the British. While he was under British custody, he committed suicide.

Completion of Auschwitz III (Monowitz) Concentration Camp

Tuesday, Sep. 1st 1942 at 1pm

Oswiecim, Poland

Oswiecim, Lesser Poland Voivodeship

This is the third part of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp construction. Jews were being sent here to produce synthetic rubber and liquid fuels.

Too Crowded in Terezín Fort

In July, Terezín Fort needed more space to hold Jews. The fort, primarily consisting of Jews, was home for some foreigners as well. They were moved out to make more room for Jews. Even though it was not an extermination camp, 33,000 were killed.

Reinhard Heydrich

Born on March 7, 1904, Reinhard Heydrich was the chief of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA). He was the one to present the plans to coordinate the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” to officials from the German State and the Nazi Party. (The "Final Solution" was, essentially, the complete annhilation of all the European Jews.) Reinhard was the highest-ranking Nazi official in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

Wannsee Conference and The Final Solution

Picture This: Hitler's followers are sitting at a table in a suburb outside Berlin. The meeting is run by Reinhard Heydrich. They are discussing the plan to get rid of all the Jews. People are agreeing with everything Heydrich is saying. He says that the ghettos are cramped and people must be removed. He talks about the "cleansing" of all of Europe, this means exterminating all of the Jews. Although the meeting only lasted 90 minutes, this is a crucial event in the year 1942.

The Matter at Hand - The Wannsee Conference

Assasination of Reinhard Heydrich

When Heydrich was assasinated on May 27, 1942 by Czech agents, Adolf Hitler personally ordered for the destruction of Lidice in retaliation. The village of Lidice was set on fire, the remains of the buildings destroyed. All men over the age of 16 were shot by German units, and most of the women and children were deported to camps in Germany. This barbarity and destruction became a rallying cry for all opponents of the Nazi regime. The village was rebuilt after the fall of Nazi Germany.

Yellow Badges

In November on 1938, Reinard Heydrich recommended Jews be required to wear identification badges with different symbols. These badges were yellow and represented the Star of David. Each country had a different yellow badge they were required to wear. Poland was the first country to be required to wear these badges in 1939. If there were Jews who didn't wear these badges on the front and back of their shirts were severely punished. These badges allowed German officials to identify, starve and murder Jews.

French Jews Get Badges

Sunday, June 7th 1942 at 3pm


Jews in France are now required to wear yellow badges for identification.

Dutch Jews Get Badges

Wednesday, April 29th 1942 at 4pm


Jews in the Netherlands must wear yellow badges for identification.

Taking the Offensive (for both sides)

German forces attacked the Soviet Union in Stalingrad on June 28th. The Soviet forces stopped their advance and began a counteroffensive in mid-November. They circled a German army of more than 220,000 soldiers. After months of fighting and many casualties, the 91,000 remaining German soldiers surrendered. In response, the Nazi state called for fanatic devotion from Germans and the cruelest treatment for their enemies. Nonetheless, the German forces had begun the long retreat west that would lead up to the surrender of Germany and the end of the war.

George Mandel-Mantello

Jews who had official documents from other countries were often able to escape deportation. George Mandel was one such lucky Jew. He was a Hungarian businessman appointed as Genevas, Switzerland's Consulate's first secretary by a friend he made leading up to WWII--a Salvadoran diplomant named José Arturo Castellanos. Castellanos was also El Salvador’s Consul General, and the one who appointed Mandel his position.

Using his diplomatic position, George Mandel issued documents identifying thousands of European Jews as citizens of El Salvador. He sent notarized copies of these certificates into Europe, in the hopes of saving the holders from the Nazis.

Example Certificate

This is a certificate George Mandel sent to leaders of the Children’s Aid Society (Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants; OSE), Julien and Vivette Samuel. Mandel would send many certificates to Jews who took active roles in rescue and resistance in Europe.


German Poster

September 5th, 1942

This picture is of a German-issued poster detailing that anyone aiding the Jews will be laden with the death penalty. Here is a translation...


Death Penalty for Aid to Jews who have left the Jewish residential areas without permission.

Recently, many Jews have left their designated Jewish residential areas. For the time, they are in the Warsaw District.

I remind you that according to the Third Decree of the General Governor's concerning the residential restrictions in the General Government of 10/15/1941 (VBL; abbreviation for Verordnungsblatt Generalgouvernement, p. 595) not only Jews who have left their designated residential area will be punished with death, but the same penalty applies to anyone who knowingly provides refuge to such Jews. This includes not only the providing of a night's lodging and food, but also any other aid, such as transporting them in vehicles of any sort, through the purchase of Jewish valuables, etc.

I ask the population of the Warsaw District to immediately report any Jew who resides outside of a Jewish residential area to the nearest police station or gendarmerie post.

Whoever provided or currently provides aid to a Jew will not be prosecuted if it is reported to the nearest police station by 4 pm on 9/9/42.

Likewise, those who deliver valuables acquired from a Jew to 20 Niska Street or the nearest police or gendarme post by 4 pm on 9/9/42 will not be prosecuted.

The SS- and Police Leader in the Warsaw District

Warsaw, September 5, 1942

On November 24th, knowledge of the extermination of the European Jews was publicly announced by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise.


In conclusion, 1942 was the start of the extermination of Jews. The Wannsee Conference, that started off the year impacted so many things that happened that year. It is important that we take the time to look at the important events of this year, because it mostly was the massacre of thousands of innocent people.

Works Cited

"A Forgotten Suitcase: The Mantello Rescue Mission." Ushmm.org. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2013. https://ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/focus/mantello/.

Gigatel. Treblinka Cremation Pit Memorial. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Treblinka_Memorial_05.jpg>.

"Jewish Badges During The Holocaust: Photographs & Overview." Photographs & Overview of Jewish Badges in the Holocaust. Jewish Virtual Library, n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2013. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/badges.html.

"The Jewish Community of Pinsk." The Jewish Community of Pinsk. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2013. <http://www.pinskjews.org.il/eng/history03.asp>.

"Timeline of Events - 1942-1945." Ushmm.org. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2013. http://www.ushmm.org/learn/timeline-of-events/1942-1945.

USHMM. "Treblinka." USHMM. USHMM, n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. <http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005193>.

9, Boston. Treblinka Memorial. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Nov. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Treblinka_Memorial_05.jpg>.