Life in the ghettos was harsh. The main causes of death were malnutrition, the exposure to the cold, and the cruelty from the soldiers. They would beat, torture, shoot Jews on the streets and there were also mass executions. The Germans also tried to restrict them of any rights they had. The Jews were not allowed to write, teach, study, or participate in any religious activities or ceremonies. And if any were caught doing such an act, many were thrown in jail, beaten, or even killed. Some though took the risk and smuggled journals in, hoping they might get some attention from anybody outside the ghetto. The ghetto was no place for any human life. The ghettos tried to break down the Jews in every possible way and it was especially hard on the children. One writes, “But the thing that bothers me the most—the worst thing the Germans did to me in Warsaw was to deprive me of a childhood. I had no school, no friends, no life other than watching those around me die.” In the end more than 85,000 people died in the ghetto.
Hitler had two goals he wanted to accomplish during his ruling. First he wanted to create a superior race which was called the Aryan race. They were considered anyone who fell under strict regulations such as blond haired and blue eyed. Anyone who didn’t qualify was considered subhuman or Untermenschen. Jews were ranked the lowest according to the Germans. They were called by Germans, “maggots, parasites, vampires, spiders sucking blood, and vermin.” The other goal Hitler wanted to accomplish was to provide ‘living space’ for the Aryan race, or Lebensraum. The way he was going about that was to take land by force from neighboring countries. He believed they needed living space because that was how they would be able to thrive and prosper.
On August 23, 1939, Hitler signed a pact with Stalin so he wouldn’t interfere when Hitler invaded Poland and in return Stalin would receive half of the land that was conquered. Germany invaded Poland in September 1939 and it was called a Blitzkrieg, or ‘lightning war’ because how fast they attacked and all the destruction that was created. One of the most powerful weapons used was the stukas, which were warplanes with a screaming device. This helped wipe out Poland’s force and many of their supplies. Even though much of Poland was destroyed, the capital Warsaw was not going to give up. There were over one million in the city and a third was Jews. “Time after time German infantry stormed the city, only to be driven back by the rifles and machine guns of stubborn defenders.” The Germans attacked areas in Warsaw that were highly populated with Jews and had air strikes during the major Jewish holidays.
As the battling continued the conditions in the city worsened. Bodies started piling up due the bombing everyday and they resorted to using public parks as mass graves. Food also started to become scarce. The only sources of food sometimes were the animals that were killed, which were lying on the sides of the streets. Finally on September 27...