WHEN TIME NAMED HITLER MAN OF THE YEAR
for 1938, our cover showed "Organist Adolf Hitler playing his hymn of hate
in a desecrated cathedral while victims dangle on a St. Catherine's wheel and the Nazi hierarchy looks on." Hitler's hymn grew louder and louder as he led Nazi Germany toward his "final solution,
" the extermination of the Jewish people. Some excerpts from TIME's coverage of the Holocaust:
With her plump, black-eyed brood, Jewess after rich Jewess scuttled out of Germany last week, filling trains de luxe with wails and confusion. Mother-instinct knew the meaning of Jew-Baiter Adolf Hitler's election victory fortnight ago, when his Fascist 'Brown Shirts' leaped fearsomely from ninth to second place among German parties.
From "Strap Helmets Tighter!"
Sep. 29, 1930
Outside the Palace, thousands of Hitlerites roared guttural victory cheers. 'Heil Hitler! Deutschland erwache! Juda verrecke!' they bellowed as he emerged waving his black felt hat. 'Hail Hitler! Germany awake! Perish Juda!' Wasting not a second, Chancellor Hitler piled into his Mercedes beside the chauffeur, shot off between lines of police to form his Cabinet with record speed.
From Hitler Into Chancellor
Feb. 6, 1933
With Jews still being beaten and Jewish stores raided or closed throughout the Reich last week, non-Jews gradually recovered a feeling that any further Nazi violence would almost certainly not be directed against them, unless they happened to be Marxists.
From Scared to Death
Mar. 27, 1933
Despite world protests over anti-Semitic outrages in Germany and boycott murmurings that offer grave threats to German commerce and industry (see below), German business seemed to approve the Nazi dictatorship last week. In Berlin tycoons of the Reichs Federation of Industry signed a manifesto promising the Government their fullest support.
From Hitler Enabled
Apr. 3, 1933
For a few days the Hitlerite Government ignored all stories of Jewish oppression, but the promptness and violence of world protest seemed to take them by surprise. Handsome Adolf's invaluable assistant, Minister Without Portfolio Hermann Goring, summoned foreign correspondents to his apartment for an angry, hour-long speech to the effect that the Jewish reign of terror had not taken place —but that it would stop at once.
From Prayers & Atrocities
Apr. 3, 1933
For weeks Germany has had orders to play down all forms of anti-Semitism in view of the flood of tourists expected for the winter Olympics. After the murder of Nazi Gustloff there was no holding the Nazi Press. Roared Julius Streicher's Frankische Tageszeitung: 'The assassination of Gustloff is another in the long series of Jewish ritual murders which began with the slaughter of the Aryans by Jews thousands of years ago and is now celebrated annually in the feast of Purim.'
From Jew Kills Nazi
Feb. 17, 1936
Fearing Nazi oppression, about 30% of the Jewish population of the Free City of Danzig were announced to have fled abroad last week. Danzig Nazis of the Hitler Youth raided a synagogue, trampled and tore up the sacred Hebrew scrolls.
From Troubles of Jews
Sep. 12, 1938
Nazi bigwigs have often said off the record that if a Jew should ever assassinate the Fuhrer, 'next day not a single member of the Jewish race would be left alive in the Reich.' Last week only a handful of Jews were reported killed in the avenging of Ernst vom Rath. But in every part of Germany mobs smashed, looted, burned Jewish property. The purpose was to wreak final ruin on a section of the German population which had already been systematically persecuted to the brink of ruin. Synagogues were everywhere fired or dynamited. Numberless Jews of both sexes were beaten by mobs from the Baltic to the Brenner and from Sudetenland to the North Sea.
From "These Individuals!"
Nov. 21, 1938
How 62 prosperous German Jews were forced to run a bloody gantlet at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was reported last week in the Liberal News Chronicle of London. Two long ranks of Adolf Hitler's personal Schutzstaffel formed the gantlet, down which the 62 Jews were forced to run. 'As they approached between the ranks, a hail of blows fell on them,' said the News Chronicle. 'As they fell, the Jews were beaten further. The orgy lasted half an hour. . . . Twelve of the 62 were dead, with skulls smashed. All the others were unconscious, some with eyes out and faces flattened in. ... Police, unable to bear the cries, turned their backs.'
From Ad Nauseam!
Dec. 5, 1938
The figure of Adolf Hitler strode over a cringing Europe with all the swagger of a conqueror. Not the mere fact that the Führer brought 10,500,000 more people (7,000,000 Austrians, 3,500,000 Sudetens) under his absolute rule made him the Man of 1938.... More significant was the fact Hitler became in 1938 the greatest threatening force that the democratic, freedom-loving world faces today.
From Man of the Year
Jan. 2, 1939
Much the same sense of relief was evident last week after the Dictator finished his annual Reichstag address. Because he announced no troop movements, made no mention of forthcoming invasions and delivered his address in rather more subdued tones than usual, many correspondents, editorial writers, even statesmen called the speech 'mild.' Those who took the trouble to wade through the long, formless address, however, discovered that it was actually one of the most sensational and threatening talks ever made by the head of a State.
From Reactions to Hitler
Feb. 13, 1939
A sexy, Jew-hating, frankly brutal sheet is Das Schwarze Korps (the Black Guard), official organ of Nazi Germany's blackshirt, elite SS Guards. Publisher is Heinrich Himmler, Gestapo chief.... Das Schwarze Korps is not out to drum up low-grade circulation. Rather, it teaches young Nazi troopers to believe in the destiny of a German master race. To give his theory a 'scientific' background, Publisher Himmler maintains a large research staff which analyzes and breaks down into racial groups the gallons of human blood it has collected. The staff's novel 'findings' are usually aired in Das Schwarze Korps.
From Black Guard Isms
Feb. 12, 1940
The arithmetic that Hitler has taught to Jews in the Third Reich has been the misery of subtraction. From all of them he has taken something: privileges, property, homes, life. Simplest subtraction has been the decrease of the Reich's Jewish population by emigration, deportation and death.... Hitler's final solution to his problem in subtraction is zero—to be reached, according to the most sanguine reports from Germany, in just six more weeks.
From Problem in Subtraction
Mar. 3, 1941
Fortnight ago a Soviet correspondent described the Nazi murder camp near Lublin. Last week TIME'S Moscow Correspondent Richard Lauterbach visited Maidenek with a party of non-Russian newsmen.... There was no horror left in Maidenek. It had evaporated with the Germans. We rode a little distance to some cabbage patches. The big, leafy cabbages were covered with a sooty, grey dust and next to them were high mounds of grey brown stuff. 'This,' said Kudriavtsev, 'is fertilizer. A layer of human bones, a layer of human ashes, a layer of manure. This is German food production. Kill people; fertilize cabbages.'
From Murder, Inc.
Sep. 11, 1944
When all other German prison camps are forgotten the name of Dachau will still be infamous. It was the first concentration camp set up for Hitler, and its mere name was a whispered word of terror through all Germany from the earliest days of Nazi control. It was one of the largest of the camps to which opponents of Naziism were sent. And here, too, was concentrated the flower of Nazi sadists whose business was torture and death. Last week the U.S. Seventh Army entered Dachau and liberated 32,000 of its still living inmates. With them went TIME Correspondent Sidney Olson.
May 7, 1945
The lawyers tried again to tell the untellable story. These Nazis had killed 6,000,000 Jews. This was no report from a refugee agency. Here it was, right out of the Nazi files. The Gestapo's chief Jew catcher, Adolf Eichmann, said that 4,000,000 died in concentration camps and 2,000,000 were killed by extermination squads.
From The Untellable Story
Dec. 24, 1945
Anne, her sister Margot, and her father and mother were first taken to Westerbork prison in The Netherlands, then shipped by cattle car to Auschwitz.... At Auschwitz, Anne's long hair was clipped and her eyes seemed to grow larger and larger as she grew thinner. Her gaiety disappeared but not her indomitable spirit.
From Diary of Anne Frank: The End
Feb. 17, 1958
Eichmann scoured the Continent for Jews, who were jammed into cattle cars and sent east to Auschwitz, Belsen, Treblinka, Buchenwald. Majdanek, Sobibor. In his fanatic dedication, he seemed to have no interest in the fact that Germany was fighting a war.... Pale-eyed Rudolf Hoess, commandant of Auschwitz, begged Eichmann to ease up because he was receiving more human 'freight' than he could conveniently kill. At Majdanek, the tall, tapering crematorium chimneys belched flame day and night until 'a light dust lay over the whole city' of Lublin. At Auschwitz, even Eichmann noted that the smell of burning flesh 'was not very pleasant.'
From The Man in the Cage
Apr. 21, 1961
Bergen-Belsen was one of some 100 camps created to effect Hitler's Final Solution, the extermination of the Jewish people. The terrible roster of major concentration camps includes Auschwitz in Poland, where 4 million people were murdered; Treblinka, also in Poland, which had the capacity to kill 25,000 people a day; Buchenwald, near Weimar in eastern Germany. The assembly-line exterminations of the Jews began by the summer of 1942; by the end of the war in May of 1945, 6 million Jews had died, nearly two-thirds of the entire European Jewish population. At least 4.5 million Gypsies, Poles, Czechs, Russians and others had also perished in the death factories.
From "A Gigantic Death Camp"
Apr. 29, 1985
Wiesel spent time in Auschwitz, where his mother and youngest sister were killed, and later in Buchenwald, where his father died. 'The child that I was,' he later wrote, 'had been consumed in the flames. There remained only a shape that looked like me. A dark flame had entered into my soul and devoured it.'... After the war Wiesel settled in France.... His first novel, Night (1958), was an indelible account of the Nazi atrocities as seen through the eyes of a teenage boy. The hell inside the death camps is described in austere, intense prose that became the author's emblem.
From Lives of Spirit and Dedication
By Richard Zoglin
Oct. 27, 1986
Adolf Eichmann seemed quite normal, a man like other men -- he slept well, ate with good appetite, deliberated coolly, expressed himself clearly and was able to smile when he had to. The architect of the Final Solution was banal, just as Hannah Arendt had said. Will the same now be said of Klaus Barbie, who was less important but whose work was no less cruel? Barbie's trial is bound to attract worldwide attention. People are already saying this will be the last great courtroom drama to result from the Holocaust. They may be right.
From Was He Normal? Human?
By Elie Wiesel
May 11, 1987
And yet, 50 years later, some less familiar faces are beginning to emerge from the terrible history of the Holocaust. They belong to the handful of ordinary people who not only saw the horror around them but also risked their lives out of compassion for its victims: those under Nazi rule who dared to hide Jews in their houses and apartments and on their farms.
From A Conspiracy of Goodness
By Christine Gorman
Mar. 16, 1992
The American-led crusade for financial restitution and a fresh reading of history has by no means reached its end. In April, Under Secretary for International Trade Stuart Eizenstat will unveil a potentially explosive examination of American wartime records, including the controversial U.S. role in tracing Nazi assets.
From Echoes of the Holocaust
By Johanna McGeary
Feb. 24, 1997
The Holocaust not only lies beyond compensation; it also lies beyond explanation, reconciliation, sentiment, forgiveness, redemption or any of the mechanisms by which people attempt to set wrong things right. In a way, that fact is as much a sign of its unique enormity as the monstrosity itself. All moral thought is grounded in the possibility of correction. Yet here is a wrong that will never be set right, and people are left groping for something to take the place of the irreplaceable.
From Paying for Auschwitz
By Roger Rosenblatt
Apr. 12, 1999