The Holocaust By Courtney C
What is the Holocaust? Dictionary Definition-The genocide of European Jews and others by the Nazis during World War II under Hitler The Holocaust refers to the time period from January 30, 1933 when Hitler became chancellor of Germany, to May 8, 1945 when the war ended in Europe. Hitler was a horrible man who hated Jews. He came up with the “Final Solution”. The final solution refers to the Germans' plan to physically liquidate all the Jews in Europe, it was first brought up at the Wannasee Conference in Berlin on January 20, 1942.
Even though Hitler had already brought up his plan of the final solution he didn’t just start going around killing Jews. He first started a boycott of all Jewish owned shops "All Jews' businesses are closed. SA men are posted outside their entrances. The public has everywhere proclaimed its solidarity. The discipline is exemplary...The boycott is a great moral victory for Germany." Josef Goebbels, Diary. April 1, 1933 Then eventually he started sending Jews, and other people such as handicaps, gays, and gypsies to the death camps or concentration camps. A concentration camp is a camp with special apparatus specifically designed for mass murder. Six such camps existed: Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, Treblinka. All of them were located in Poland.
Approximately six million Jews , and five million non Jews were murdered in the camps. Either by starvation, being put in the gas chambers, shot, and burned The Germans classified people as Jewish if they had three Jewish grandparents; someone with two Jewish grandparents who belonged to the Jewish community on September 15, 1935 or married to a Jew or Jewess on September 15, 1935.
Why The Jews? The Nazi’s considered the Jews a race whose goal was world domination and who, therefore, were an obstruction to Aryan dominance. They believed that all of history was a fight between races which should culminate in the triumph of the superior Aryan race. Therefore, they considered it their duty to eliminate the Jews, who they regarded as a threat. In their eyes, the Jews' racial origin made them criminals who could never be rehabilitated and were, therefore, hopelessly corrupt and inferior. “During the time of my struggle for power. the Jewish race received my prophecies with laughter when I said that I would one day take over the leadership of the State...and that I would then, among other things, settle the Jewish problem." Adolf Hitler, January 30, 1939
An End To a Horrible Era • The Holocaust finally ended May 8, 1945, when the Germans unconditionally surrendered and all remaining concentration camps were accessed by Allied forces, after news leaked about what was happening in the camps.
Life After Concentration Camps • Survivors of the Holocaust had to rebuild their lives and also rediscover their very reason for living; so much was gone, missing and because of the Holocaust. The Jewish people had lost an important part of their heritage. The elders and rabbis, the traditions of thousands of years were gone. And the youth,was also gone. While two out of ever three European Jews had been murdered, children and the elderly were especially vulnerable and few had survived. The people did not know where to go or how to get on with their lives. • People like me don't need houses. We lost more than houses. We lost more than families--we lost belief in humanity, in friendship. in justice, and without these, I could not begin anew." Simon Wiesenthal, 1945. • The Jews suddenly faced themselves....They saw that they were different from all other inmates of the camp. For them things were not so simple. To go back to Poland? To Hungary? To streets empty of Jews, towns empty of Jews, a world without Jews. To wander in those lands, lonely, homeless, always the tragedy before one's eyes...and to meet again a Gentile neighbor who would open his eyes wide and smile, remarking with double meaning 'What, Yankel! You're still alive.'"Meyer Levin, Author, June 1946
Take heed...lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and...teach them to your children and to your children's children."Deuteronomy 4:9
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