Why did Nazis strip Jews naked before executing them during the Holocaust?

I often saw many Jews entering gas chambers in a row, stripped naked, in films set in the Second World War.
And lots of naked Jewish women and men were forced to run through streets to a hill and were all shot dead there. And some anti-Semitic citizens and children were yelling at the naked Jews.
I wonder why the Nazis stripped Jews naked before killing them?
Is it because they wanted to humiliate Jews by stripping them naked, as a sign of hatred?
Or is it because naked dead bodies were easier to throw away?
The poor victims were not killed honourably.

The warm showers before the gas opened up the pores on the body allowing them to be killed quicker.

I’m not entirely sure but I believe it’s for lots of reasons – like you said, as a form of degradation, easier disposal of bodies, maybe they kept the clothes for some purpose. Plus they made the gas chambers look like showers to trick the Jews into not panicking, so that may have something to do with it.

I’m feeling sick just thinking about it now 🙁

Partly it was to shame and dehumanize them, reducing their image to that of an animal would also reduce the sympathy that others may have for them. The salvaging of personal items, property and money just shows the callousness and greed that is constantly flowing beneath the thin veneer of what we call civilized behavior!

They thought they were being taken to shower, but the showers were gas chambers.

Den Toten zur ehr den Lebenden zur Mahnung

They probably wanted to use the clothes and if they had their clothes in the chamber they could strap it over their mouth and survive a little bit longer

Well the paper outfits they wore could be reused and put on other prisoners. Why waste a perfectly good outfit on a corpse (I’m using Nazi logic here obviously).

Obviously they weren’t killed honorably. Before they were killed, they were being tortured and experimented on; do you really think the Nazis cared about killing them with honor?

For a jew that is most humiliating torture which they could go through. If people were not such prudes about art, they would probably portray JC naked on the cross rather than with a cloth.

It was so they could re use the clothing right away on other jews.

It was not the humiliation alone, as you can well imagine, it was unthinkable in those days and to a point still is, that one would be required to remove ones clothes. At the ‘death camps’ the men were immediately separated and so were the women and children. Given that the whole operation of getting these people to undress and supposedly go for their shower was expertly organized by the Nazis by means of having selected prisoners of war as well as male Jews help in the process of murdering there fellow human beings in exchange for their lives. For instance, at the height of the killings at Auschwitz concentration camp closer to 10,000 people were sent to their death’s every day. The task of doing this was performed by the ‘specially selected’ Sondercommando which at this stage numbered 900, mostly Jews who helped people coming off the trains to prepare for their shower and deceiving them to believe that after their shower they would be settled into the camp and served ‘soup of the day’. But the Nazis had run into a lot of trouble in forcing the separation of the children from their mothers. The Nazis realized that if they wished to be successful to avoid a panic this practice had to stop and they did do this. So once again, the men were taken elsewhere because a lot of them were kept alive for hard labor in the camp meaning that those with qualification especially in carpentry, bricklaying and building in general lived longer and the rest were executed.
Unfortunately, no such chance was given the the women and children because they were considered to be useless in regards to physical strength and trade experience so they were the first to go to their deaths in the gas chambers.
The amount of people arriving at Auschwitz (especially during the summer months) was staggering.
People were offloaded, selected quickly to determine who lives and who does not and then taken to the undressing rooms which was basically situated right next to the gas chambers. The Sondercommado’s would politely speak to them, help them undress and reassure them as much as they could by telling them that the showers are a necessary part of the camps procedure to avoid disease and epidemics breaking out in the camp. In fact, they would also be addressed by Nazi SS officers in regard to this urgency. Once the people were in that chamber the door was hermetically sealed off as they had previously discovered that without fitting a ‘rubber seal’ on the inside of that door some of the Zyclone-B prussic acid fumes may escape. A final touch to avoid suspicion was to ensure that the door in question was kept wide open until such time that everybody was inside because otherwise they may have questioned why it was that a normal shower door has such ‘heavy duty’ locks and side shifting bolts on it. Most people inside were all dead inside 10 minutes and the panic inside that chamber was incredible. The doors were not opened before 30 minutes had passed and the bodies were all intertwined because these people were literally choked to death.
To undress them after the bodies had been removed was an impossible task, ‘ work detachment’ members had a hard time separating the entwined bodies. Also, most of these clothes had the pockets lined with some food which always helped those prisoners who found it whilst searching to ease their horrific hunger. Sewn-in pockets often delivered a lot of cash money and jewelery as everybody was encouraged to take what-ever they could reasonably carry as they were being transported to their new land. If there was any suspicion from any individual who was becoming too loud voicing his opinion waiting in those selection lines after they had disembarked off the trains, that person would be asked politely to follow a few SS guards and possibly a couple of ‘camp capo’s’ who were notorious for their brutalities) to help with a minor task. Once they got him around a corner out of sight from the main lines they would grab him by force and cover his mouth to stop him from yelling out. Then, one of the SS guards would produce a small caliber pistol, hold it too his temple and pull the trigger. given the nature of the small pistol used for this procedure there was hardly enough noise coming from it to alarm anybody in the ‘line up’ to realize a man had just been ruthlessly murdered. Clothes and anything found in them, including all valuables were (except what had been pilfered by the Nazi guards themselves) was sent back to the Reich. During the time that Auschwitz concentration camp existed no less than 30,000,000 Reich-marks had been produced on profits as the camp had over 40 sub-camps for the use of slave labor. Most of these profits were derived from the goods produced in the camp as well as prisoners being sent back to the Reich in exchange for funds.

They weren’t killed “honorably”? What is your problem? Was there an “honorable” way of killing them?
Why are you even asking this?

As a Jew, and as a person who has family and friends who survived the holocaust, I find this insanly offensive. What is your problem?!
I understand curiosity, but this is downright disgusting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *