Witnessing Extermination: Using Diaries to Understand the Final Solution in Poland

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Based largely upon diaries and memoirs, this case study of Poland questions when various peoples in Poland understood what the “Final Solution” was. By January 1942, the “Final Solution” had been finalized as extermination, mainly through the gas chambers. As violence to the Jews grew more extreme, the populace started to take notice of events. As Poland was the center of the “Final Solution” and the extermination centers. This article analyses when people in Poland understood the deadly nature of the “Final Solution.” Through analysis based largely on diaries, this article details how those in Poland noticed the horrors of “Final Solution” within the first year of its enaction.
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