How much did the everyday German know about the Holocaust?



The everyday German knew the Jews were being oppressed/persecuted. They knew Hitler was blaming Jews and they soon came to realize Jews were being rounded up and relocated. Suspicion was high the fate of the Jews was severe ... perhaps even death. Rumors are simply that. The Nazi's controlled the press and there weren't many witnesses willing to talk about extermination.


The Nazis made a propaganda movie about camps for Jews showing them all clean and eating well who were enjoying life much better than when they were forced to live in Ghettos. It was made to make the Jews happier about going to the concentration camps believing life would be better there than the persecution they suffered in German society. Most Germans believed this was a reasonable life for the Jews and believed it was all true. The Jews used in making the film were murdered as soon as the filming was finished. At the end of the war people living near the camps were forced to walk through them and see what many locals knew was happening but as long as it was happening to Jews they did not care. Many were sickened beyond belief when they finally had to face what the government they supported had been doing and some even committed suicide when they got home as they could not face what had been allowed to happen in the name of Germany. Those who did not live near a camp were forced to go to cinemas and see films on the camps as many had no idea this was happening. Many Jews were so believing that the Nazis had these lovely camps where they would be fed well and treated with some respect they willingly went only to realise the truth when it was too late. Some had heard whispers about these camps and resisted going but most were caught and sent. Remember many Germans had been brainwashed with Nazi propaganda that Jews were the Vermin of society and believed Jews should all be exterminated but were unaware it was actually going on. Living in Germany during the 1930s and 40s under the Nazis was a dangerous thing. As with any dictatorship the secret police (the Gestapo) were ruthless in weeding out any Germans with any sympathies for Jews or others considered enemies of the state. Nearly all Germans feared the knock on the door as maybe it was the Gestapo who would be taking you away and likely once in there hands you would never see home or family and friends again. The Nazis used fear to keep their power over the German people and the people desperately tried to look good loyal Germans so the Gestapo would leave them alone. Even listening to a foreign radio broadcast could end up with you being arrested by the Gestapo. About 70,000 Germans were arrested and killed because they spoke up against the Nazis or did something to help the allies. Those who knew about the death camps were cautious who they told as likely even talking about them could see you end up in one.

Jimmy C

They knew that jews were being rounded up and taken away, because that happened all over Germany, and the houses of jews were identified. Most did not know what happened to them. Nobody did until the end of the war when the allies liberated the concentration camps and disovered what was going on inside.


There's no way people could have not known what was going on. The Germans (and it was not all of them, but too many of them at the time) agreed with what was going on, as Adolf Hitler convinced them of it, partly by requiring all Germans to be drafted into the military, or else they, themselves, could face bad consequences, which I think included being killed. So, they didn't have any choice but to participate, and so, there's no way they could have not known. Besides, it was a world war, not just some scuffle between Germany and one other country, or two other countries. A world war brought knowledge of it, even without every German being forcefully drafted into the military. They may not have known every detail, but they knew enough to say they knew. That's why we have people like Schindler. That's why we have movies like Valkyrie.


Most Germans were aware that Jews were being rounded up and moved; many Germans saw this happening, many Germans realised that the trains they saw passing slowly through local railway stations contained starving, desperate human beings. Most Germans managed to persuade themselves that the Jews were merely being transported east to be put to work there. It took a long time for stories about mass exterminations to filter through, and not surprisingly many people simply couldn't believe them. But by late 1944 most Germans, even they didn't admit it aloud, even if they didn't know the precise details of HOW, had a fairly good idea that huge numbers of Jews were being killed.


Why would they know? The death camps were in remote locations in Poland.


I was i9n Germany after WW2 with the RAF the German Navy and Luftwaffe Knew nothing about the camps the German civilians did there were 25,000 camps they say the jews and others removed in 1940 and they never came back Yes they Knew about 40% if the Civilian population Knew


Most (if not even all) knew about the oppression and discrimination, fewer than that knew about the concentration camps, very few (around 300,000: usually the political Nazi elite, top bureaucrats, and SS guards and Wehrmacht soldiers) knew about the death camps at least to some extent.


The German people knew all about the Holocaust from the very outset, they voted for it, by electing Adolf Hitler as their dictator and the Nazi Party. Every town and every village had it's Gestapo and SS police commanders and etc. Young German children in school were taught to hate what the Nazis called the 'untermenchen' the subhumans, the Jews, the Gypies, Slavonic Folk and so forth. Here in UK we began learning about the Holocast very quickly since captured German PoWs were monitored and their every conversation recorded by hidden microphones in the rooms where they were being held. From them we learned about the mass murder the Nazis were doing in Christian Russia and worse, the wholesale destruction of whole communities which the Nazis did not approve of. Here in London six unknown victims of the Holocaust have been buried a few days ago. The liberation of Bergen Belsen by the British Army WE WILL REMEMBER THEM The Innocent Victims of Nazi Oppression Shalom Israel

John Robbins

Even if they did know, what could they have done?


They didn’t


Little to nothing.......


More than they will admit, they were happy to move into the apartments of jews that were thrown out, where did they think the jews were going? and towns near the prisons knew all about it.




I think people knew something bad was happening but could not imagine the reality of it. There were documented cases where people from towns near to the death camps were later escorted by U.S. soldiers to actually SEE what was being done in their name. Most of them broke down and cried at the horror because they had not and COULD not understand it without actually seeing it. My father-in-law was there, coming ashore at Normandy Beach in the 3rd wave on D-Day. His unit ended up taking the south-eastern route that went into Austria and found the camps. That unit liberated several camps and forced the nearby citizens to learn what had been done in their name. They were sick over it. Even now you have holocaust deniers who simply can't imagine that anyone would have done what was actually done. They don't believe that people can be so cruel to other people. But it happened.

Blue nose

They probably knew what was going to happen


Yes, many people knew what was going on.


More than will be admitted, even in 2019.


Question is... did it really happen?


Is that in their textbook?

Jerry S

most knew a lot about it.


Probably most of them since the jewish owned businesses were closed down and they were publicly austrisized out of Germany, but I dont think any of them will admit to that.


Depends on what you mean by"know". Hitler used the word "Vernichtung" meaning "Genocide" as early as in the book he published, "Mein Kampf" in prison right after the failed Muenschen Putsch (coup) in 1923. Hitler used the word Vernichtung (Genocide) in his speeches in the early Thirties. By the time Hitler was Reich Chancellor around 1932 or 1933 every German and Jew had heard him say that; however, they passed it off as rhetoric. A lot of people do that about anything uncomfortable, and they'll just tell you, "That'll never happen", when, in fact, they have no idea. Most Jews were in denial also, of course more dangerously. Hitler had Jews compete in the 1936 Olympics to extend the illusion that they were safe for years. The hatchet fell VERY slowly from the Election to the sealing off of the Lodz ghetto in 1941 after he'd been in power since around 1933. Sometimes ignoring a Dictator's own words in favour of smug complacency is foolish.


Nothing at all.


just wow


They knew everything but were made to believe it was acceptable economic model. Anyone who complained was written off as mentally ill and used for experimental purposes.

[email protected]

Skin heads are forgotten perhaps.

Midnight Run

According to a radio broadcast made on Aug 6, 1933, the entire world should have known about the "Holocaust". This was the day that Zionist leader Samuel Untermyer encouraged the Jews of the world to join the holy war against Germany - because "Jews were being exterminated". This broadcast came, by the way, just 188 days after Hitler became Chancellor. Another interesting aspect that no one wants to mention is that the "persecuted Jews being threatened with extermination" theme had been playing an almost daily gig in the media since around 1915 and it continued through January of 1939. So what does this mean? It means that the world was being conditioned to believe that the Jews were in a constant state of suffering, with threats of extermination over their heads. It wasn't a precursor to accuse Hitler since Hitler was an unknown foot soldier at the time. It was designed to generate sympathy to get world support in their efforts to get their hands on Palestine. The fact that Hitler was accused of extermination in 1933 came as a kind of "perfect storm". After 18 years of constant appeals in the media to help the "persecuted Jews", the concept was supported by the public who was suckered into donating money for "the cause". Thus, when the accusations went against Hitler they were quickly absorbed into the minds of those supporters. All it took was to create a name and a face to the previously unknown entity behind the persecutions and the Zionists had their poster child to represent evil. And because the claims have been pushed ever since, it has become a historical "fact". "A lie told often enough becomes the truth." - Vladimir Lenin Maintaining the lie is just as easy: "Public sentiment is everything. WITH public sentiment, nothing can fail; WITHOUT it, nothing can succeed." - Abraham Lincoln Expose the lie and you're labeled "antisemitic". The "homeland for the Jews" claim was nothing but a ploy. The Jews were tools that they used to justify a political base in the Middle East. The Treaty of Versailles illegally violated Germany's internationally-recognized right of self-determination. As Chancellor, Hitler had the same right to establish Germany's laws in whatever way was best for the Germans as the United States or Britain had to establish their own laws without outside interference. One of the laws Hitler chose to implement was in the area of immigration. He had his reasons and the legal right to pick and choose whomever he wanted to be citizens of Germany. If he only wanted 5-foot German women with blonde hair, he had that right. People are passing judgment on Hitler's policies based on emotion - what Hitler did may have been morally wrong in the eyes of the world, but "morally wrong" is nothing more than an opinion - it has nothing to do with the legal aspects of anything. One commenter claimed that proof of Hitler's intentions of genocide lay in the use of the word "Vernichtung" in his book Mein Kampf - this is simply not true. This claim is falsely cited many times - by people who have never picked up Mein Kampf. They only pass along the same incorrect narrative that they've heard from others. In other words, they let others do their thinking for them. The word is mentioned 51 times - and not a single one is in reference to Jewish genocide. Just as there are various uses for the word "Vernichtung", so too, are there other uses for the word "holocaust". The capitalized form of the word denotes the so-called "Jewish genocide". But this form of the word was never used until around the mid-to-late 1950s. Use of the word right after the war was always as the lowercase form. It was used not as a reference to intentional genocide, but as a reference to the general carnage that was left in the aftermath of the war. It described not just the conditions of the prison camps, but also Germany as a whole. The civilian population would not have known of intentional genocide, even if it had actually been going on - there would have been no evidence of it. Contrary to many claims, when a body is cremated, the temperatures needed are so high that there is no smoke nor any odor from burning flesh. Thus there would have been no outward indications that anyone would have noticed.

even the top Nazis like Hermann Goering, etc didn't know. why? because it was invented post war propoganda