Essay submitted by Unknown
Of all the examples of injustice against humanity in history, the Jewish Holocaust has to
be one of the most prominent. In the period of 1933 to 1945, the Nazis waged a vicious
war against Jews and other “lesser races”. This war came to a head with the “Final
Solution” in 1938. One of the end results of the Final Solution was the horrible
concentration and death camps of Germany, Poland, and other parts of Nazi-controlled
Europe. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, people around the world were shocked by
final tallies of human losses, and the people responsible were punished for their inhuman
acts. The Holocaust was a dark time in the history of the 20th century.
One can trace the beginnings of the Holocaust as far back as 1933, when the Nazi
party of Germany, lead by Adolf Hitler, came to power. Hitler’s anti-Jew campaign
began soon afterward, with the “Nuremberg Laws”, which defined the meaning of being
Jewish based on ancestry. These laws also forced segregation between Jews and the
rest of the public. It was only a dim indication of what the future held for European
Anti-Jewish aggression continued for years after the passing of the Nuremberg Laws.
One of these was the “Aryanization” of Jewish property and business. Jews were
... oppressed Jews. Therefore, the Holocaust had serious irreversible impacts since most Jews were ... was painful experience to the Jewish woman although it was considered ... dictatorial leadership imposed by the Nazis. Few Jews were, therefore, left in Germany ... government then established new laws known as Nuremburg Laws which further led to ... designing a final plan or solution to eliminate all the Jews from ...
progressively forced out of the economy of Germany, their assets turned over to the
government and the German public.
Other forms of degradation were pogroms, or organized demonstrations against Jews.
The first, and most infamous, of these pogroms was Krystallnacht, or “The night of
broken glass”. This pogrom was prompted by the assassination of Ernst von Rath, a
German diplomat, by Herschel Grymozpan in Paris on November 7th, 1938. Two days
later, an act of retaliation was organized by Joseph Gobbels to attack Jews in Germany.
On the nights of November 9th and 10th, over 7,000 Jewish businesses were
destroyed, 175 synagogues demolished, nearly 100 Jews had been killed, and thousands
more had been injured, all for the assassination of one official by a Jew (“Holocaust,
the.” Microsoft Encarta 96).
In many ways, this was the first major act of violence to
Jews made by the Nazis. Their intentions were now clear.
The Nazi’s plans for the Jews of Europe were outlined in the “Final Solution to the
Jewish question” in 1938. In a meeting of some of Hitler’s top officials, the idea of the
complete annihilation of Jews in Europe was hatched. By the time the meeting was
over, the Final Solution had been created. The plans included in the Final Solution
included the deportation, exploitation, and eventual extermination of European Jews.
In September 1939, Germany invaded western Poland. Most, if not all Jews in
German-occupied lands were rounded up and taken to ghettos or concentration camps.
The ghettos were located inside cities, and were a sort of city/prison to segregate
Jews from the rest of the public. Conditions in the ghettos included overcrowding, lack
of food, and lack of sanitation, as well as brutality by Nazi guards. Quality of life in a
ghetto was probably not much above that in a concentration camp.
In June 1941, Germany continued it’s invasion of Europe by attacking and capturing
some of the western U.S.S.R. By this time, most of the Jews in Europe now lived in
lands controlled by Nazi Germany. The SS deployed 3000 death squads, or
... the concentration camps and the Gestapo. By 1934, Hitler was in complete control of Germany, and his campaign against the Jews was in action. Nazi ... concerning their fate. This way people transported from ghettos and concentration camps to the death camps were unaware of what was about to happen ...
“Einstagruppen”, to dispatch Jews in large numbers (“Holocaust, the.” Microsoft Encarta
In September 1941, all Jews were forced to wear yellow Stars of David on their
arms or coats. A Jew could be killed with little repercussions for not displaying the Star
of David in public.
Some of the first Jewish resistance to the Final Solution came in 1943, when the
process of deportation to concentration and death camps was in full swing. The
Warsaw ghetto in Poland, once numbering over 365,000, had been reduced to only
65,000 by the continuing removal of Jews to camps in other lands (“Holocaust, the.”
Microsoft Encarta 1996).
When the Nazis came to round up the remaining inhabitants of
the ghetto, they were met with resistance from the small force of armed Jews. The
revolt lasted for almost three weeks before being subdued.
Between the years of 1941 to 1945, the main destination for Jews to be transported
camps, innocent Jews, along with Gypsies, Slavs, Jehova’s Witnesses, Communists, and
P.O.W.s, were brutally beaten and abused, fed meager rations of poor food, worked to
death, or simply shot. The first of these camps were established in the mid 1930s and
were originally designed for prisoners. But, numbers of concentration and death camps
grew steadily for years until nearing the end of the World War II.
Quality of life in a concentration camp was substandard, to say the absolute least.
Jews and other deportees were transported via railroad boxcars similar to those used
for cattle. Some of these cars were so crowded that people actually died standing up,
there being no place for them to fall. Once at the camps, the prisoners were unloaded
and stripped of everything of value. Clothing, jewelry, eyeglasses, shoes, and even gold
... their ghettoization scheme wherein Jews present in German concentration camps were placed tightly inside ... official immigration beacon for the Jewish people, which eventually led to the assimilations ... with Zyklon B (cyanide) and man-made death camps with installed human incarcerations and cyanide ... of Holocaust The notoriously famed Nazi leader – Hitler – only aimed his destructive concentration among ...
teeth were confiscated from the arriving captives. After unloading, the people were
separated into two groups. One of these groups would be lead to firing squads or, in
some camps, gas chambers, to be dispatched as soon as possible. These people were
usually women, children, and the elderly. The second group would be lead to the
barracks or used for slave labor. This group was usually comprised of able-bodied men.
The prisoners were given little food and forced to live and sleep in filthy, overcrowded
bunks where disease ran rampant. Thousands of prisoners in concentration camps died
simply of exposure, starvation, or disease.
As the war progressed, more and more concentration camps were transformed into
extermination or death camps, some of which were equipped with gas vans or gas
chambers and crematoria for quick and easy extermination and disposal of the bodies of
the captives. Some of these camps also had facilities for scientific research, where men
like Josef Mengle, also known as “The Angel of Death”, preformed barbaric medical
experiments on twins, dwarves, and other genetically different subjects in hopes of
advancing and breeding the so-called “Aryan” race of perfect Germans for Hitler.
Some of the most notorious of the death camps were located in Poland. Some of these
include Auschwitz (1 million Jews killed), Treblinka (700,000-800,000 Jews gassed),
Belzec (600,000 Jews gassed), and Sobibor (250,000 Jews gassed).
These camps were
the major centers for the slaughter of Jews and other groups (The Holocaust: An
Historical Summary. Article on the Internet).
In 1945, the great World War in Europe came to an end, with the Axis powers
surrendering before the Allied invasion of Europe. When the concentration camps were
liberated and the body counts tallied, the resulting numbers appalled people the world
over. Millions of people lay dead, and dozens of top Nazis faced punishment for
unspeakable war crimes.
When the allied powers liberated the concentration camps in Germany, Poland, and
other areas of Europe, what they found there was beyond belief. Piles of bodies lay
... concentration and death camps. One of the more infamous of these was Auschwitz where it is said that over one million Jews alone died ... are executed. The senseless slaughter of millions of innocent people at the hands of Nazi ... the holocaust of then was so significant that another instance will not be able to advance to a point where millions of people ...
rotting in pits and sheds. The gaunt, sickly prisoners wandered about, barely alive after
the ordeal they had faced. Some of the camps had few prisoners remaining, the
majority of the others led on a final death march to Germany (“Concentration Camps.”
Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia 1996).
Those who remained at the camps were
rescued and taken to hospitals or to shelters to recuperate from their terrifying
experience at the hands of the Nazis.
All told, the toll that the Holocaust took on the people of Europe, especially Jews, was
staggering. By the time it was all over, an estimated 12 million people lay dead, nearly 6
million of which were Jews (“Jewish Holocaust.” Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia
It is believed that 3 million of these Jews died in concentration and death
camps, such as Auschwitz, alone (“Holocaust, the.” Microsoft Encarta 1996).
additional 1.5 million died by the bullets of the mobile death squads, and over 600,000
died in the ghettos of the cities (“Holocaust, the.” Microsoft Encarta 1996).
I find it incredible that such a loss of human life could have occurred in a period of just
For the vicious atrocities carried out by some of the top men in Hitler’s Nazi regime,
dozens were killed or imprisoned. In the trials at Nuremberg, Germany in 1946-47, a
multinational allied commission called 22 of Hitler’s highest ranking Nazis. The end result
of these trials were eleven men being sentenced to hang, one of which committed
suicide in his cell, seven men were imprisoned for life, and only three were acquitted of
the crimes they were accused with. Other trials were held in subsequent years that
successfully convicted hundreds of Nazis for atrocities carried out in wartime.
The Holocaust is one of the most famous events in modern history. The senseless
... & Row, 1976 Rossel, Seymour.The Holocaust. New York: Franklin Watts, 1981 ' U. S. Congressmen at Death Camp' The Associated Press. April 22, 1945 ... from all over Europe. There are estimates that over three million non-Jews were murdered.' Hitler's method of killing the Jews ... would not go near, to hide men whose names had come up on the death lists.The Nazis physically abused the prisoners in many ...
slaughter of millions upon millions of innocent people at the hands of Nazi butchers was
incited when a man by the name of Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933. The Nazis
wrought terrible death and destruction on Europe in the following years, beginning with
Aryanization and ending with the Final Solution in a maniacal plot to exterminate and
purify the human race. The Holocaust should be remembered by all as a dark point in