Review Of The Perception Of The Holocaust History Essay
The history of Jews tragic event in Germany will always be a painful memory. The Holocaust, which means sacrifice by fire in Greek, was a bureaucratic persecution of millions of Jews by the Nazi government in Germany. This mission towards the Jews was the result of a well-organized plan, which purpose was to annihilate the Jews because of their ethnic identity. Moreover, under Adolf Hitler’s rule, “the Germans designed a plan called ‘the “Final Solution”, which was the government policy to murder innocent civilians—the Jews (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2010a, para. 3). Thus, millions of Jews lost their lives because of cruel racial bias. The following characterizations are based on the Holocaust outlook: prejudice, discrimination, and massacre. Although Adolf Hitler was an extremely influential leader in Germany, why did he intentionally develop an escalation of hate against innocent people?
Initiation of the Holocaust
After the affliction caused by the Great Depression, Adolf Hitler (1889 – 1945), who became Germany’s leader in 1933, blamed their misfortune after World War I on the socialist members, which consist of Jews. Consequently, Hitler decided that Germany was in need of a new racial order beginning with the removal of its alleged enemies. Hence, Hitler eliminated a vast amount of Jews because of racism and hate. (See figure 1)
Figure 1: Adolf Hitler –Dictator of Germany from 1933-1945 (Culturazzi, 2010)
The aftermath of World War I, which lasted from 1914 – 1918, ended in disaster for Germany. The peace pact —Treaty of Versailles held Germany liable for starting the war. Most importantly, although their wealth was spent fighting the rivals, Germany was required to pay for the damages caused by the war. Since the German funds were diminished and their military was destabilized, “Germany slipped into the Great Depression” (Bentley et al, 2008, p. 593, para. 6). Germany had lost everything; their economy declined, and they experienced a high degree of job losses. Consequently, the German residents lost hope in their democratic organization and started looking for a reason for their defeat and embarrassment. With plans already set in motion against the German’s ineffective democracy, (Bentley et al, 2008) state, “In 1933, President von Hindenburg called on Adolf Hitler to form a new government and to become the head of the German political system” (p. 593). Hitler and his followers, the Nazis, took advantage of this position to gain electoral votes for a new regime to help Germany bounce back from their adversities.
Subsequently, Adolf Hitler became the dictator of Germany (1933 – 1945) and as the new German leader, came up with a new order to rebuild their nation. To eliminate the problems in their society, Hitler proclaimed anti-Semitism as a scapegoat for the trouble the German people were facing. The inferior races, namely the Jews and other unwelcome residents, such as homosexuals, Gypsies, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, was held responsible for Germany’s defeat during World War I. Accordingly; Germany's humiliation after losing World War I was the key reason for the formation of the Holocaust, which involved the persecution of millions of victims, the Jews.
Hitler's policy of anti-Semitism in the German regime caused Germans to begin to detest the Jews. According to the new German realm, known as The Reich, deprived the Jews of many privileges. Under the Nuremburg Laws in 1935, the Germans controlled the state by a new decree, which deprived the Jews of their rights as citizens. Therefore, they no longer had any legal rights. The Jews were not allowed to vote, and they were denied to work in the civil service, in the media, and in the stock exchange. In addition, “Jews were forbidden to marry within or outside their culture” (The Nizkor Project, 2009). Overall, this decree in Germany clearly victimized the entire Jewish race.
Since “the official goal of the Nazi regime was Jewish emigration” (Bentley et al, 2008, p. 595), some Jews decided to leave the country to escape the insanity that occurred in Germany. However, “the majority [of the Jews] stayed in Germany, hoping that the "madness" would pass” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2008, para. 3). Unfortunately, the future for the Jews who stayed behind was not pleasant. The Nazi regime decided to separate the Jews from the German population by transporting them to ghettos and labor camps in Poland (established by the Nazis during World War II) to live under poor living conditions. Thus, these camps are where horrific events occurred.
Subsequently, the Jewish population were hated, isolated, and then persecuted. During World War II, which Germany started with the invasion of Poland, Germans build ghettos in Poland for the Jews. Ghettos were a place where Jews were isolated from non-Jews and forced to live under depressed surroundings. In other words, this isolated neighborhood, known as the ghetto, was where the Nazi leaders controlled the segregated Jew population. Moreover, life in the ghettos was a place to separate the Jews from the rest of society and to dehumanize them as well. Although there were Jews who tried to resist the Nazis, the Jews were eventually punished or executed. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (2010b) confirms that “[t]he Germans…either shot ghetto residents…or deported them, usually by train, to killing centers where they were murdered” (para. 3). As an added disgrace, the undesirables were required to wear symbols for classification purposes. The Nazis used badges or symbols to recognize the prisoner in the camps. (See figure 2.)
Figure 2: Symbols to identify the prisoners in the concentration camps (Christian Churches of God, 2003).
Overall, this badge coding system helped the Nazis identify the prisoners by triangular color signs.
In general, the following horrible event occurred because of Adolf Hitler’s hatred and bias stance toward the European Jews and other unwelcome residents, such as homosexuals, Gypsies, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Since Hitler was a supporter of anti-Semitism, his goal was to remove all of the Jews from the German society. Apparently, Hitler was not content with the Jews living in the ghettos. Since the Jews were the blame for Germany’s misfortune during the Great War, to avoid future mishaps, the German regime decided to destroy the entire Jewish community. “In 1941, Hitler’s ‘final solution’ plan was implemented, which was created to persecute all European Jews” (Bentley et al, 2008, p. 629, para. 3).
Ultimately, the final solution consists of transporting Jews to concentration camps in Poland where many died from starvation or murdered. After the arrival to the camps, enslavement, forced labor, torture and killing became a routine affair. Overall, Adolf Hitler's new order, "The Final Solution", which was a policy to murder every Jew in Europe, led to the annihilation of the Jews. In essence, these camps were used for one final solution or purpose—high volume of murder—the Jews, which was called the Holocaust era. As a result, millions of Jews were slaughtered; however, “there were a small portion of survivors” (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2010a).
The current year, “…2010, marks the 65th anniversary of [the Jews’] liberation”. (Elderly survivors mark horrors of the Holocaust, 2010). Although there are some victims who endured the Holocaust, most victims have not forgotten the painful ordeal. Moreover, (Elderly survivors mark horrors of the Holocaust, 2010) points out that every year the “survivors recount their personal experience during the Holocaust by gathering by the site of the death camps that was created by the Nazis”. Indeed, the Holocaust was a dreadful era in history with painful memories.
In summary, the Holocaust was an absolute tragic event in history. The annihilation of the Jews and the undesirables alike, were victimize due to the racial, religious, and political policies of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. The suffering and deprivation were enormous. To emphasize Hitler’s mission to get rid of all the Jews, the Nazi party developed the ‘final solution’. The German regime set up ghettos where living conditions were horrible, and the camps made it possible to eliminate of the Jews existence. On a final note, Bentley et al (2008) notes,” Even though Jews put up fierce resistance throughout the war, by 1945 approximately 5.7 million Jews perished in the Holocaust (p. 630). In essence, in today’s liberated society, a nation can decide to challenge exclusion with fairness, especially when the remembrance of the Holocaust comes to mind.
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