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How did the Nazis conduct mass killings?


Shooting proved inefficient. The Nazis decided they could kill many more people — and much more efficiently — using gas chambers. The four main gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau held 2,000 people each.

Did you know?

Babi Yar is the name of a ravine near Kyiv, Ukraine. Over two days in September 1941, German soldiers, police, SS and Ukrainian collaborators shot and killed 33,771 Jews.

Art imitates life

In Roger’s play Germans along with Lithuanian and Ukrainian “auxiliaries” carry out a mass shooting in Bialystok, Poland.



In addition to those serving in the Nazis paramilitary organization, the SS as well as local anti-Semitic collaborators, the Germans also conscripted hundreds of “ordinary” German men. These men were not regular soldiers, many were too old to serve in the army. They were not Nazis, per se, but dockworkers, truck drivers, waiters and teachers brought to occupied territories to kill. Why do you think they did it?

Further discussion

A handful of these ordinary men refused to become murderers and they were sent home. Why do you think more of them didn’t refuse?

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