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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores how historians, at least since the late 1980s, have subjected the experience of children to more searching analysis, without making their fate any less shocking. Nazism had a special interest in children, both in shaping the next generation of German children and in eliminating the offspring of Jews, Sinti, Roma, and other so-called degenerates. At every stage of persecution, children were targeted in specific ways, from ‘Jew benches’ in schools, through the medical killing of children in psychiatric asylums, to selection in the death camps. Children, however, were anything but passive victims. New research has revealed much about their experience of ghettoization, in particular their adeptness at smuggling, hiding, and adopting new identities, languages, and religious beliefs.

Keywords: Nazism, Jewish children, ghettoization, Jew benches, medical killing, death camps

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