How did organisations respond?

Catholic women join with Jewish New Yorkers to protest against the Nazis outside the German Consulate, New York. Why did the Catholic leadership not follow their example? Discover more by reading this section.
© 2011 Yad Vashem The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority.

From the late 1930s through to 1945, there were many calls, from Jewish communities and groups across the world, for diplomatic and military action to be taken to halt the activities of the Nazis and their accomplices.

However, as you will have seen in previous sections of The Holocaust Explained, governments across the world were far from supportive of the plight of the European Jews.

How did organisations respond?

By reading and looking at the resources within this current section, you will learn how a variety of non-governmental organisations responded to the atrocities that were being carried out by the Nazis and their accomplices. These groups include the International Red Cross and the Christian Churches within Germany and across Europe.

You will also learn how the actions of a group of Christians known as the Quakers, in addition to those of the Jewish community of Shanghai, China, helped many thousands of Jews escape from Nazi occupied Europe.

You might want to consider:

  • Why did some groups and organisations make a positive choice to help the Jews?
  • Why did some organisations simply choose to stand by and watch the Nazis carryout their plans to wipe out the Jews of Europe?
  • Why did some groups initially show support for the Nazis, but then change their mind and oppose some of their policies and actions?