The Holocaust

Topics: Nazi Germany, World War II, Adolf Hitler Pages: 5 (1696 words) Published: February 23, 2014
The Holocaust

The Holocaust is recognized as the most significant tragedy of the modern era. The phenomenon was driven by religious discrimination, dictatorship, and the general hatred toward Jews by the Nazi party. The term “Nazi” is an acronym for “Nationalsocialistishe Deutsche Arbeiterpartei” which means National Socialist German Workers’ Party. It was the only political party thriving in Germany at the time. The mass murder defined the furthest boundaries of evil known to mankind by the guiltless genocide of nearly an entire ethnic race. Within a matter of years, over nine million innocent people were massacred.

The term “Holocaust” is of Greek origin. Broken down, the word means a “sacrifice by fire”. The name for the mass murder is a fitting description of the fate of most Jews that were under Nazi control. The Holocaust was called “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question” by Hitler. Whichever way they were killed, it was a horrible way to end their lives, but they were helpless against the overwhelming German presence.

German propaganda and Anti-Semitism views existed before the time of the Holocaust. Jews in Nazi Germany suffered abysmally after January 1933. After that month, they were considered merely “sub-humans”. The official start of World War II happened when Germany invaded Poland on September 1st, 1939. Britain and France declared war on Germany within the following week. Soon after, Adolf Hitler’s infamous rise and rule began, and so did the depreciation of the Jewish population in the countries near and surrounding Germany. Hitler firmly believed that Jews were directly responsible for the German poverty that was increasing at the time and wanted to exterminate the race from the face of the Earth. In the end, when it was clear that Germany would not win the battle, the dictator used the excuse of poor economic stability as the scapegoat for their loss of the world war.

The genocide of the Jewish nation is widely heard-of, but a fact less acknowledged is Hitler’s endeavor to wipe out all ethnic groups other than those that were fair-haired and blue-eyed. In addition to Jews, hundreds of thousands of Polish, Slovakians, Russians, and prisoners-of-war were also killed at the hands of the Nazis. They were labeled as a minority race which was considered a weakness, for not possessing the features that the Chancellor felt determined superiority. The limit not stopping at Jews, Hitler’s orders were to persecute every race of humans that did not satisfy his dream of a Master Race. Adolf Hitler’s first action in his attempt to conquer most, if not all, of Europe began the war. In addition to invading Poland, the Nazi military force took over approximately ten to twelve European countries with the help of the Axis Powers. The Axis Powers was a union of military powers made up of Japan, Italy, and Germany. The United States was a part of the Allied Powers, an alliance of nations that opposed the Axis Powers during the Second World War. As a result, the U.S. and Germany found themselves engaged in a global conflict, and the Jewish race was the one feeling the consequences.

On Hitler’s say so, Nazi forces rounded up Jews, saying they were helping them escape from the evils of the war. The Jews were put on crowded trains for days at a time with no more room than to stand up until they reached their destination. Unbeknownst to them, they were headed to one of thirty-nine concentration or extermination camps stationed in Europe, all the while believing the Nazis were their protectors in the war. The camps were places of torment for those the Nazis viewed as unworthy of life. The undesirables received the most inhuman treatment the Nazi soldiers could deliver. Within the first couple of days at any given camp, thousands died of starvation, fatigue, and disease. The people who lived through the horrible journey no longer wanted to be alive.

By 1942, the Germans had built six death camps. The death camps...

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