While Hitler was coming to power, the Nazis orchestrated a massive propaganda
campaign to win the loyalty and cooperation of Germans. All media whose viewpoints
threatened Nazi beliefs were either censored or eliminated altogether. In May of 1933,
more than 25,000 books written by both Jewish and non-Jewish authors including Helen
Keller were burned. On December 5th in 1930, Joseph Goebbels disrupted the premiere of
“All Quiet on the Western Front” with smoke and sneezing bombs because its views were
considered “un-German.” Even schoolbooks were censored from classrooms. The Nazi’s
controlled the media so they could integrate Nazi racism and ideas into it. On March 13th,
1933, Goebbels was appointed head of the Reich Propaganda Ministry. As the head, he
condemned works written by Jews, liberals, leftists, pacifists, foreigners, and many
others. New textbooks were put into classrooms praising Hitler and anti-Semitism.
Hence, people were taught blind obedience to the Nazi party.
Jewish people have been faced with prejudices and discriminations throughout
history. They were isolated in Christian societies, which, if you can remember, were
almost everywhere. The Church taught that the Jews were responsible for Jesus’s death,
and that they also caused the “Black Death,” which was the plague that killed thousands
of people. The ignorance of people never ceases to surprise me. Because of these
accusations, Jews couldn’t hold certain jobs or own land. It must’ve been hard not being
able to express yourself the way everyone else did. Jews either had to convert to
Christianity, leave the country, or be persecuted. Influential people mistakenly defined
them as a race, which ultimately meant that even if they did convert to Christianity, they
were still Jews by blood. The government either organized or didn’t prevent violent
attacks on Jews, which involved murder and then looting. Why was so much hate
projected towards the Jews?
When educated people hear “Auschwitz,” a pretty picture does not come to mind.
Auschwitz was the largest concentration camp established by the Germans in the 1940s.
It was altogether a concentration, extermination, and forced-labor camp. In just five
years, over one million innocent people lost their lives. If they could work or were some
use to the Germans, their lives were spared. If they couldn’t work, this includes the sick,
the elderly, children, et cetera, they were sent to gas chambers. Auschwitz’s four
LARGEST gas chambers could hold and kill 2,000 people at once. Afterwards, their
bodies were burned. As mentioned earlier, the workers were left alive, but had live in
unbearable conditions. They were not insulated from the heat or cold; they wore the same
clothes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They were malnourished and were often fed
rotten, molded food. Dr. Josef Mengele performed cruel experiments on twins, dwarves,
as well as the sick, and then killed them if they didn’t die during the experiments. It really
is no surprise that most prisoners survived only a few weeks to months in Auschwitz.
Returning to life before the Holocaust was impossible for victims. Not only was it
impossible, but it was also dangerous. People would think that after all the Jews had been
through, that they’d learn to take it easy on them. But still, there were anti-Jewish riots
and pogroms when survivors returned. Rumors spread about Jewish people killing Polish
children and using their blood for rituals. Due to these rumors, even more riots broke out,
one in particular where 41 people were murdered, and 50 more were wounded. Even if
the people had been peaceful to the survivors, they wouldn’t have had a place to live.
Many came home to find that their homes had been looted...