The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank was written during World War II, otherwise known as the Holocaust. It is a journal that Anne Frank wrote while she was in hiding with her parents and family friends. The journal outlines the hardships that Anne and her family faced. It was a very emotional time as many Jewish people encountered from the fear of being caught, bombed, or the excitement of having butter. The war was a major role in the whole journal, considering it was the reason they were in hiding. It also brings to light the difficulty of living with so many people in a small confined area.
Adolf Hitler formed the political group that was later called the National Socialists (Lawton 47). Adolf Hitler wanted to eliminate all the Jewish people or those who did not fit his perspective of the perfect person (47). In addition to eliminating Jewish people, he also tried to eradicate Germans, Gypsies, Slavs, or anyone else that was viewed as politically dangerous or racially inferior (Byers 296). During this time of World War II, at least six million Jewish people were killed (296). The Diary of a Young Girl helped to show what Jewish people experienced in ghettos and concentration camps during the Holocaust.
When the Holocaust was beginning, Nazis, or the political party that Adolf Hitler formed, forced the Jewish people to live in specific areas of big cities (Lawton 6). This forced the Jewish people to act in ways that the Nazis wanted them to and also let the Nazis keep tabs on how they would act (Grant 5). The ghettos were fenced in like prisons so nobody could escape (Lawton 8). The people needed to have a permit to leave for reason (8). If a person was found outside of the ghetto without a permit, they would be immediately shot and killed (8). All these people were confined in the ghetto until they were taken to transit camps (Byers 296).
Jewish people were held in transit camps until room was made for them at one of the concentration camps (Bauer 82). The people would have no supplies at all, they were stripped of all the necessities that they had brought with them by the Nazi guards (Lawton 45). Most often, there would not be a bathroom for anyone either, so they would have to relieve themselves wherever they could find a spot (Grant 15). When there was room for them in a concentration camp, the Jewish people would be crammed into a boxcar on a train (Altman 25). In most of these trains, it was standing room only because of the need to take so many people in one trip (Grant 15). If anyone would even try to jump from one of the barbed wire covered openings in the train, they would be shot and left to die on the side of the train track (Byers 65). Almost eighty percent of people died before reaching the concentration camp (65). When the trains would arrive at the camp, a physician would quickly examine each person (Lawton 60). If the person was older than forty, under eighteen, or looked weak, they were sent to the crematorium immediately (Lace 25).
Outside of these ghettos there were many Jewish people would stay in hiding, similar to how Anne Frank and her family did. The people who chose to stay in hiding would have to be extremely secretive about anything they did (Bauer 81). Most people that were in hiding had someone that they knew that was not Jewish and were completely against what Adolf Hitler was doing (Grant 31). They would help supply them with food and other necessities, and even sometimes let the family hide in their home (82). In the Annex, Anne's family had Bep Voskuijl and Miep Gies to help them stay hidden in Otto Frank, who was Anne's father's, workplace.
Concentration camps were not built just for Jews in the beginning (Byers 21). They were actually built for Hitler so he could start eliminating people who would get in the way of him coming to power (21). These people would originally have been put into jails and prisons across Germany, but Hitler was putting so many people into them...
Cited: Altman, Linda Jacobs. Impact of the Holocaust. Berkeley Heights NJ. Enslow Publishers. 2004.
Bauer, Yehuda. A History of the Holocaust. Danbury CT. Franklin Watts. 2001.
Byers, Anne. The Holocaust Camps. Springfield NJ. Enslow Publishers. 1998.
Grant, R.G. The Holocaust. Austin TX. Raintree Steck Vaughn. 1998.
Lace, William W. The Death Camps. San Diego. Lucent Books. 1998.
Lawton, Clive A. Auschwitz. Cambridge MA. Candlewick Press. 2002.
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