The Economic and Social Conditions That Led to the Holocaust

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A Ticking Timebomb
Post World War I Germany was plagued with a brutally weak economy, a lack of national unity, and an unstable government. This generation of German’s was constantly forced to cope with harsh conditions, wartime, and impoverishment. These circumstances, rooted within the economy and the government, undoubtedly led the German people to turn their allegiance towards something new. From the time after the war, up until Hitler’s reign, the people faced constant compounding problems. Perfectly separating the social, political, and economic factors in this situation proves difficult because each one augmented the others. It is imperative to explore and understand what conditions and issues triggered the devastations of the Holocaust in order to identify these types of situations in the future.

When a country’s economy is strong, the population generally maintains faith in the government. World War I cost Germany unspeakable amounts of money, leading to monumental inflation problems. Additionally, the government was forced to pay reparations, which contributed to Germany’s economic downfall during these two decades. At first the middle class, who faced the most hardships, was infuriated with other European countries because of the reparations (Gilbert, 2007). Quickly however, the public quickly turned against the republic. After a series of crises, the dawn of the Great Depression unequivocally led to the most dramatic uprising the world has ever seen. “In Germany the widespread poverty and wretched conditions caused by the depression had an especially devastating psychological effect because they came so soon after the hardships of the inflation” (Gilbert, 2007). Hyperinflation and unemployment have serve as a deadly combination throughout history. Even recent examples such as the situation in Egypt demonstrate that these conditions can easily result in political and social uprising.

The political system in Germany during this...
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