ROLE OF THE UNITED STATES IN WW2 AND THE HOLOCAUST
World War II (WW2) was a military conflict that began in 1939. It came to be the worst war in human history based of the loss of lives and material destroyed. Though it began as a European conflict between Germans and the French coalition, it spread to include other nations of the world like the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the United States of America (US). Boundaries and lines between combatants and non-combatants blurred with wars being waged on entire enemy territories and their populates’. Nations fought against each other with Germany, under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler, being on the forefront. Germany’s aggression continued to rise but the US was impaired against acting against any aggression by the passing of a neutrality law. This law prevented them from offering assistance to any country involved in foreign conflict.
The worst act against human kind and the most memorable one was the holocaust in Germany. The German Nazi party ordered the killing of over 5.7 million Jews during WW2. 1.5 million of them were children. Before the holocaust, there was already hatred toward the Jewish population in Europe. Many Germans put blame on Jews for their defeat in WW1 and, Hitler blamed Jews for his country’s short-comings. He referred to them as a plague that needed to be eradicated and believed that they were pulling down the modern society (Microsoft Encarta, 2008). Also, he strongly opposed the Bolshevik leadership that most of the Jews of USSR practiced. Jews were forced to move and live in concentration camps and Jewish reservations. Also, they were forced to carry out German orders, labor without pay and wear yellow stars on their clothing to distinguish them. They did all this while living in atrocious conditions. They had very little to eat, lived in dirty areas and they did not have access to medical supplies.
Soon afterwards, Hitler decided to exterminate what he thought of to be the biological source of Bolshevism. A military campaign started in 1941 with masses of Jews shot in front of mass graves that they had dug themselves. By late 1941, the target extended from USSR Jews to those in Serbia and Poland. They were asphyxiated in storage areas with poisonous gases. Jews were not the only victims. The Nazi regime moved from cultural racism to scientific racism. This broadened the span of victims to include the Roma, homosexuals, soviet soldiers and those with physical or mental disabilities (Microsoft Encarta, 2008). The Nazi doctors murdered over 70,000 disabled people in their euthanasia program. Also, some 200,000 Roma were murdered and 3.5 million soviet soldiers.
While the genocide was taking place, the US did not make serious attempts to stop it. Eugenics (proposed improvement of the human species by allowing reproduction between people whose traits are considered desirable) played a major role in contributing to the holocaust. The practices and attitudes of doctors in Nazi Germany allowed them to slaughter over 300,000 patients. Psychologists and psychiatrists in the US mirrored the same attitudes and practices. Organizations rooted in eugenics were cited as a defense against the so called ‘cleansing’ of humanity. The Rockefellers’ Kinsey-based Model Penal Code is one such organization (Messall, 2005). This organization was founded by the Rockefeller family who owned Standard oil which was a giant in the oil industry. The senior member of Rockefeller had wealth peaking at just under $ 1 billion.
Rockefeller money had been funding eugenics long before Hitler decided to turn the theories into practical solutions. They influenced mainstream coalitions to support eugenic practices. The wealth they possessed gave them great political influence and by convincing influential figures to join their cause, they further advocated eugenic policies (Messall, 2005). Using these ideas and policies, the Nazis killed even their own...
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Messall, Rebecca. “The Long Road of Eugenics: From Rockefeller to Roe v. Wade” October 11, 2005 http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles5/MessallEugenics.php
Feingold, Henry. Bearing witness how America and its Jews responded to the Holocaust. Syracuse, N.Y: Syracuse UP, 1995. http://jessicadillon.wordpress.com/about/world-war-ii-how-much-did-americans-know-about-the-holocaust-as-it-was-happening/
Bankier, David. "Holocaust." Microsoft® Encarta® 2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2008.
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