The Holocaust remains the world’s greatest and most tragic event that targeted a specific group of the human race. The absolute inhumanity of the Holocaust still confounds people, even today. People were systematically killed, tortured, and murdered. It was one of the twentieth century’s most unfortunate events that had occurred by prevalent anti-Semitism and outright fear.
The Germans blamed the Jews for Germany’s defeat in World War I, some even claiming that German Jews had betrayed the nation during the war. The Jews had previously been subject to all kinds of earlier religious prejudices. From the 1870s onwards a new, racial anti-Semitism was added to this. Thus began the widespread demonization of the Jews.
There were many conspiracy theories about the Jews being the reason for Communism. The Nazis were claiming that the Jews were enemies of Germany. But most German Jews were actually pro-German and had fought for Germany in World War I. Many Jews were hesitant to leave Germany even if they were able to. The fear of Communism was a powerful force which worried many people, in parts of Central Europe and Southern Europe. This was brutally exploited by politicians.
Adolf Hitler, Nazi leader, attacked the well established roles the Jews in German society. Hitler referred to the Jews as a plague and a cancer.
He accused Jewish population for the state Germany was left in at the end of World War I. It was then terms such as extermination and extinction began being used in relation to the Jews. Hitler claimed that the Jews had gained economic. He claimed that the Jews had achieved economic supremacy and the ability to manipulate and command the media to their own advantage. He talked about the need to destroy their powerful economic positions and if necessary by physical means. Hitler also wanted to purify Germany; he wanted to populate Germany with the Aryan race, this goal couldn’t be reached unless all Jews were gone which also included Hispanics, Blacks, gypsies, Socialists, German Communists, Social Democrats, Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as homosexuals.
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The Germans concentrated the regional Jewish population and forced them to live under miserable conditions in city districts called Ghettos. The Ghettos isolated Jews. They were separated from Jewish communities and from the non-Jewish population. The Germans established at least 1,000 ghettos in German, Poland and the Soviet Union alone. The Germans believed that the establishment of ghettos was a temporary measure to segregate and have power over the Jews. They reckoned that the Jews would only stay there while the Nazi leadership in Berlin debated options and ways to reach the goal of removing the Jewish population.
On November 9, 1938, the Nazis unleashed programs against Germany Jews. Jews were attacked and Jewish property was vandalized and almost every synagogue in Germany was either damaged or destroyed. The treatment of Jews, was questioned when the Nazis invaded Poland, where about two million Jews resided. This was the first time; Jews were arrested in large amounts and transported to Nazi concentration camps. They were only released if they promised to move out of the area soon, or transferred their property and valuables goods to the Nazis.
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Approximately 20,000 concentration camps were established by the Nazis between the years of 1933 and 1945. The Jews in the concentration camps were led to believe that they would stay for a while, but these camps were primarily used as extermination camps for mass murder. The cHYPERLINK “http://the-world-wars.helium.com/topic/7687-concentration-camps”oncentration camps were used as forced labor camps, prisoners suffered from starvation, exhaustion, and exposure. Most prisoners died under cruel and painful labor conditions.
Children were especially vulnerable in the Holocaust. The Nazis Germans killed as many as 1.5 million Jewish children. They killed Jewish children with disabilities living in institutions, the physically and mentally ill. Polish Jew children were also killed as well as children living in the Soviet Union. Jewish adolescents had a greater chance at survival because they could be sent to work at a labor camp.
Forced labor camps were where prisoners underwent exhausting labor conditions, famine, starvation and exposure to very low or extremely high temperatures. Horrible medical experiments were conducted in forced-labor camps, primarily aimed to reinforce the German military personnel, but also to develop and test vaccines for the prevention and treatment of contagious diseases and to promote the racial and ideals of the Nazi theory. All experiments conducted in the concentration camps were done without the prisoner’s consent, and typically resulting in loss of life.
The Nazi doctors performed outrageous and shocking surgical procedures. Prisoners were tested on while they were being held in concentration camps. Most of these experiments had to do with the improvement of the German military. Some experiments that were conducted for the Nazi high command are: Hypothermia experiment- Dr. Sigmund Rascher at Birkenau, Dachau and Auschwitz were going to attempt freezing some of the victims. To establish how long it would take to lower the body temperature to death and second how to best resuscitate the frozen victim. The person was put in an icy vat of water or to put outside naked in sub-zero temperatures. Sun lamp- victims were placed under sun lamps which would burn the skin. Genetic experiments- females were being impregnated by genetically modified specimen. Transplants- victim’s body parts were removed and attached to other parts or grown elsewhere.
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