The Holocaust

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What is the first thing that comes to mind when World War II is mentioned? The typical response will most likely always be Hitler and his cruelty toward Jews. What is strange about this answer is the fact that the majority of people do not realize what actually occurred in Europe during this time. To most people, the Holocaust was an event where many Jews were killed by Nazis. (www.ushmm.org) In fact, the Holocaust was a tragic point in history which many believe never occurred, or do not realize the suffering behind the widespread destruction. The pain and conditions experienced by the victims is unimaginable by any standards. (spicenter.org) In the early 1930’s, Eastern Europe was on the verge of power, and in a small western European country called Germany, trouble was occurring. In 1933, Europeans had no worries beyond their daily struggle to earn money, put food on their family's table, and clothes on their children's backs. This would all change in a matter of months. Whatever type of life a person had built for themselves, it was all to come to a crashing down, if they did not conform to Hitler’s specifications. (www.ushmm.org) On January 30, 1933 Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany. In March 1933, with the building of the Dachau concentration camp, (thinkquest.org) Adolf Hitler's rising became one of the most destructive leaderships in recorded human existence. After his inception as ruler of Germany, Adolf Hitler had one thing on his mind, a pure Aryan race with complete world domination. Jews were subjected to humiliation through the Anti-Jewish Laws. (theholocaustexplained.org) The seven most established laws in Germany were: Jews were forced from jobs in civil service and history, Jews were barred from most other professions, Jews were excluded from schools and universities, Jews were forced to carry cards identifying themselves as Jews, Jews were forced to have a J stamped on their passports, Jews were excluded from dining and sleeping cars on German trains, and Jews were barred from public areas such as parks, sporting arenas, and baths. (theholocaustexplained.org) Hitler’s goal was to eliminate all of the things he did not desire for Europe. (worldpress.com) This included: Jews, mentally and physically ill, non supporters of Nazism, gypsies, homosexuals, and anyone else who did not fit the mandatory code. (www.ushmm.org) He wanted to create a “superior race” called the Aryan Nation. To accomplish his mission he had concentration camps created. (library.thinkquest.org) The most significant sign of the troubles looming ahead was the “Kristallnacht-night of the broken glass.” On November 9, 1938, Nazis attacked Jewish communities; destroying, and burning over 1000 synagogues. (theholocaustexplained.org) Over 700 businesses were wrecked, as were hospitals, schools, cemeteries, and homes. From Poland, Czechoslovakia, eastern European provinces, and of course Germany, a great migration was going to begin. (worldpress.com)Nazis transported victims to concentration camps by means of railroad, which was the cheapest and easiest method. The trip was horrible. People were packed in as tightly as possible. In the summer, the cars became sweaty, smelling, and seriously hot. Many died of heat stroke. On the other hand, winter was even worse. When the temperatures decreased, these cars were sent place to place without heat. Death from hypothermia and starvation was common. (spicenter.org) Camps were set up for various purposes. These included labor, medical experiments, and death. Transition camps were set up as holding places for death camps. (Saucher) At the beginning of camp, prisoners usually had marks on their clothes or numbers on their arms to identify them. Things such as: jewelry, clothes, shoes, gold fillings, eyeglasses, shawls, baby bottles, and anything with value was taken and sold. (Saucher) They were then put into the inhumane conditions of the camps. Many...
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