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  • Subject area(s): Philosophy
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  • Published on: 21st September 2019
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   The Holocaust

My paper Is about life in the concentration camps, before and after effects of the holocaust and how the holocaust affected the other countries.

     The Holocaust was a devastating event. Adolf Hitler, the president of Germany, lead the Nazis to commit a horrible massacre that took millions of innocent lives.The reason behind these atrocious crimes was racism. The main target group for persecution were Jewish people, but there were also other victims.  The other groups were gypisies, people with disabilities, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, Afro-Germans, Jehova’s witnesses and homosexuals.  The Nazi’s believed they were the superior race and needed to eliminate all the other races that they deemed inferior. In 1933, Hitler began establishing numerous detention centers that were later known as concentration camps.  German officials instituted concentration camps all over Germany. These could be found as far as Poland. There were many concentration camps spread along that area in Europe. The deadliest one being Auschwitz killing 1.1 million people and therefore being titled the death camp by many. The Holocaust lasted five years from 1940 to 1945.  The Nazis were told to show no sympathy to the prisoners. They needed to be fully committed to the SS, which was the elite guard of the Nazi party.  

“Stormtroopers” were also part of the Nazi party. They were trained German soldiers on infiltration tactics.  One of their functions was to protect Hitler and the Nazi party. They protected their meetings and surroundings.

The Nazis started doing their extermination of the Jews on the night of Kristallnacht, where jews hundreds of Jews were killed. Many male Jews were sent to the concentration camps, and this leaded to many German-Jews to immigrate out of the country. They had no mercy whether they were children, women, male, or elder they would go to the concentration camps.  After the night of Kristallnacht,  more and more Jews started being sent to the concentration camps.  Before that, they started relocating  all the Jews to the ghettos to keep them in one place. The Nazis were so brutal that getting off the transport if they were too slow; they would hit them and sometimes even kill them on the spot.  Everyone was very scared of the officers.  If they did something wrong they would get a punishment.  The most common punishment was getting hit with objects, mostly sticks. They would take Jews to block 11 and would do horrible things to them.  An example was  testing different torture methods on the inmates.

Auschwitz was never meant to be such a deadly camp to kill all those people. In the beginning, it was intended to be a research camp.  Obviously, it did not turn out to be that way.

The Nazis also forced their victims to work. The forced labor was to humiliate and demanded to be completed without the necessary tools, improper clothing, without nourishment, and very little rest.

Even under these horrific circumstances, Jewish people still wanted to work because it meant they would qualify to survive the implementation of “The Final solution”.  This plan was the murder of all European Jews. If they seemed physically unfit to work, they would be killed or deported first.

There was also a policy in place where Jews were literally worked to death. This was called “annihilation through work”. They were forced to carry out tasks that would cause illness, injury or death.  

Many were being beaten while they were working for no reason.  

At first, they wouldn\'t use gassing.  They would use numerous ways to kill.  One of the methods being putting them against a wall with a gun to their head and shooting them.  Other methods were beating them.  The most long and painful method was putting them in block 11 and starving them to death.

 In July 1941, the inmates at Auschwitz were about to get death by gassing for the first time. A member of one of the SS infantry units Hans Fredriech  said that he thought of nothing as he stood a couple of meters in front of the Jews.The only thing he said he thought he needed was “ a calm hand to aim and hit” the prisoners.

     The Nazis tried to keep the operations going on in the camps a secret to the rest of the world. With all the murders going on everyday it became impossible to do so. The Nazis tried to keep the people from not knowing not by not telling about the concentration camps.  The people knew about them, but they misled the public doing propaganda on television showcasing the concentration camps as fun. They stated the prisoners were healthy and unharmed.

 For years, and during world war 2,  the countries were unaware of what was going on in the camps.

  The rates of death increased rapidly when the gas chamber killings were introduced. The ones who were weak and unable to work would be gased, along with the elderly and the new born babies because even if they were healthy they were still unable to work. The concentration camps were the so called “final solution” by hitler and his deep hatred for the Jews. He would exterminate anything that had the ethnicity of the Jews. By 1942, all the jews were exterminated from the ghettos and sent to extermination camps that were used only to exterminate the people that got there. Six of these extermination camps were organized around Poland and they were Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, Treblinka, and Auschwitz. By 1942, Hitler’s goal was  only to exterminate as many Jews as possible.

One of the most painful aspects of the holocaust was the separation of Jewish families. Mothers often hid their children as long as they could.

Fathers were killed and the children would not see them again They were often told they were working elsewhere.

Children were also beaten and killed. They were seen as a race threat and had to be exterminated.

Many of these children witnessed their parents being tortured. The tried to take them food or water and they were savagely beaten. Many of these mothers were subjected to having their children taken from them. To starve them, hang them or to deport them to make the parents suffer.

    This movement that Hitler and the Nazi did had very little effect on the rest of the population because Hitler brainwashed most people and made something called the “Hitler youth”.Hitler youth was made for boys and girls and they were separate organizations for both genders. Boys from 13-18 was said to be put in army training and they learned all sorts of “army things”, and girls were put into another separate thing where they would learn motherhood. By 1936, almost all the kids wanted to join the Hitler youth as It had grown to four million people so many people did not think that what was going on In the holocaust and the discrimination of the Jews was an ok thing to do because that’s what they were taught since they were little. The hitler youth seemed to be affecting school attendance so the teachers started complaining that the nightly classes were having the kids fall asleep In the middle of the class. With all the complaints by 1938 the attendance rates at the school went down to a 25%. With the 1939 law making the attendance compulsory which made the attendance go right back up again.

    Most of the world,  had no idea what was going on in these concentration camp and these extermination camps. In the past, when the newspapers were being printed and reporting about the mass murders of the Jews the reports were being either not accepted or ignored.  At the time, there wasn’t any solid evidence that these things were happening.  This lead the United States  government to ignore It. What has been asked frequently is:  If he United States wouldn’t have ignored the reports,  could the Holocaust be stopped earlier? Many people say yes.

    As Germany was crumbling and coming to an end, the Germans continued continued to execute Jews. By 1944, they were killing up to 12,000 Jews per day. Killing off most of the Hungarian Jew population. They started getting evacuated in the fall, they would do death marches all the way up until the German surrender. These German death marches lead to the death of 275,000 to 300,000 Jews.

Prior to the allies coming to save the people at the camps, their goal was to  kill as many Jews as possible. Before they would get close to the camps and they would have to flee.

On January 27, 1945, Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet armed forces. Today that day is the Holocaust remembrance day across the world.

Auschwitz is a place now where people visit from all parts of the globe. They visit to see the place where all these horrors took place. They visit to pay their respects to the millions who fell victims to this terrifying regime. The words “work sets you free’ are still embedded in the infamous gates. Millions were never set free through work or their endless pleas.

Barbed wires line the facility and is a powerful marking of how entrapped they were.  Auschwitz also had a crematorium which burned the bodies of the victims. These “ovens’ are still on display today. A painful reminder of how many victims were destroyed in silence. Evidence of these monstrous acts was eliminated at the camp . The world had no idea how many had been executed and cremated at the hands of the German government. Hitler’s philosophy of superiority led to World War II. Germany’s strongest allies were Japan and Italy. Italy at the time was led by Benito Mussolini and followed a totalitarian ideology. Japan was led by Hirohito and was a nationalistic state. Hiltler also supported the Iraquis against the United Kingdom.

 Countries participate each year in the anniversary of the holocaust. Each honoring the memory of so many lives lost.

    The Holocaust was a slow healing process for the Jews and the rest of the people affected by the events that happened In the death and concentration camps. Whoever that survived In the camps had no way to go home. Most people had most of their families murdered In the camps or their neighbors reported them to the government. This made the amount of refugees in europe increase rapidly due to many of the survivors having no family and nowhere to stay.  Soon the allies were pressured to make a homeland for the Jews live. This resulted in a mandate for the creation of Israel on May 14th,1948.  Our president at the time, Harry S. Truman recognized the new nation on the same day.

The holocaust cast a negative view on Germans all over the world, and they faced a lot of criticism.

German reparations were implemented to help compensate the immense suffering the survivors endured. These payments were called restitution.  There were also properties that were distributed to survivors. As recent as 2012, Germany was still searching for victims that had not claimed compensation.

    Whether the holocaust has happened or not has been debated for many years by conspiracy theorists. For instance, Iran’s former leader and his opinion.

The former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had a strained relationship with Israel. He  did not say the Jews  hadn’t gone to the camps. However, he did state he thought the number of deaths that occurred in the camps, was exaggerated.

Other conspiracy theorists stated that the gas chambers, if they even existed, were not powerful enough to kill so many people.

These prisoners were led to believe these gas chambers were “bath houses”.  Perhaps the most disturbing feature of these facilities was where the mass killings took place. To add insult to injury, this horrible crime has been debated.  

Even though history proved those people wrong,  they still insisted that the gas chambers would do such damage.

The survivors have lived to tell their devastating journey. There are pictures and books. Hoever I think the most remarkable proof is Auschwitz itself. There is no denying the purpose of this detention center.  The “showers”, the “ovens”, the deplorable conditions in which prisoners were held. It’s all there for the world to see.  

All these pieces put together,  solve the most atrocious puzzle in our history.




Auschwitz by Laurence Rees

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