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Research Paper Holocaust Overview

Devon Bennett

Mr. Neuburger English Comp 102-118 9 May 2013

Bennett 2 When one thinks of the Jews they very rarely can hold back the thought of the Holocaust, and furthermore, the memory of twelve million people should not go away. Adolf Hitler formed and executed the largest mass murder in human history, which most people are aware of. However, most cannot wrap their minds around how the Nazis systematically murdered so many people in such a short amount of time. A series of events unfolded which spelt doom for the Jews of Europe, and it all began with rise of the Nazi party. Nazi rise to power The end of World War I really caught Germany off Guard. False propaganda being portrayed to the German people gave them false hope to a not so pretty end to the war. According to an article on the University of South Floridas website, German military and political officials claimed to be stabbed in the back by its leftwing politicians, Communists, and Jews. Furthermore, the Treaty of Versailles put all the blame on Germany making them pay France and Great Britain referendums, and disarming them. This really embarrassed the people and made a young corporal Adolf Hitler angry. He joined the small political Nazi party in 1919 and worked his way up to the top quickly. He was jailed a short time later after trying to over throw the local authorities in Munich in the famous Beer Hall Putsch. While in Jail,
Nazi Rise to Power Source:

the book that would forever change Germany and would be the

foundation of the Nazi party for the next 20 years, was written by Hitler titled Mein Kampf (The Rise of the Nazi Party). Vad Vashem says Hitler quickly resurrected the Nazi party after he was freed from jail and the group grew from 27,000 in 1925 to over 100,000 in 1929. In July 1932, with 230 mandates, the Nazis became the largest portion in the house; this led to a

Bennett 3 government that was legitimate and powerful. President Paul von Hindenburg granted Hitler the ability to form a government, and Hitler became Chancellor on January 30, 1933 (Rise of the Nazis and Beginning of Persecution). Nazis views on Jews anti-Semitism According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the word antiSemitism means prejudice against or hatred of Jews. In 1879, German journalist Wilhelm Marr originated the term anti-Semitism, calling it the hatred of Jews, and also hatred of various liberal, cosmopolitan, and international political trends of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries often associated with Jews. Adolf Hitler has a new plan on what he wants in Germany in his book Mein Kamph, where he calls for the removal of Jews from the country. The voelkisch movement states the Jewish spirit as alien to basic German beliefs causing the people to believe Jews are non-German. Furthermore, quickly after the Nazis rise to power, government officials order anti-Jewish boycotts,
Mein Kamph Source:

book burnings, and create anti-Jewish legislation. In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws define Jews by blood and call for a complete separation of Aryans and non-Aryans, which leads to a complete racial hierarchy ("Anti-Semitism"). Nuremberg Laws According to the Jewish Virtual Library (JVL), Nuremberg Laws by their general nature formalized the unofficial and particular measures taken against Jews in the year 1935 (The Nuremberg Laws). September 15, 1935 starts the continual downfall of Jews in Germany and other surrounding countries. The Germans put two strict laws onto the Jewish population

Bennett 4 starting in Germany. The USHMM explains how Jews soon find themselves without citizenship, 5the ability to marry anyone of German blood, and the ability to participate in government elections. Moreover, they could not be a worshiper of Jewish beliefs and still fall under these laws due to their grandparents blood. The Nazis state that a person is considered a Jew if they have three or more grandparents that are Jewish. A German citizen could fall under these harsh laws even if they have not practiced the Jewish faith in their entire life due to the blood of
Nuremberg Laws Source:

their grandparents. Aryans that have married a Jew are considered

inferior and lose their rights as well (Anti-Jewish legislation in pre-war Germany). JVL says the Nuremburg laws allow Hitler to gain momentum in his push to obtain an Aryan race. The citizens of Germany and any Jewish people are now accepting this as an everyday occurrence due to the fact that they cannot do anything about it without finding themselves in trouble (Nuremberg Laws). Propaganda Soon after Hitler finds himself as Fuhrer, he establishes complete control of all social media from newspapers to posters, to radio. This allows him to completely lock out any kind of negativity towards the Nazi party. USHMM says Hitler sates in his book Mein Kampf, propaganda tries to force a doctrine on the whole people... Propaganda works on the general public from the standpoint of an idea and makes them ripe for the victory of this idea" (Nazi Propaganda). History Learning Site tells how Hitler involves people in the effort by appointing Joseph Goebbels as head of propaganda. Goebbels uses the power to his advantage and makes sure that no negativity or question is portrayed on the Nazi party and that the people who dont

Bennett 5 believe have no reason to try and question the moves of the Nazi party. People who believe in the Nazis use this propaganda to back up there opinion and validate their decision to be a Nazi party follower. Moreover, Hitler and Goebbels begin to start

burning books that do not support the Nazi beliefs. They also set up special radio sells that will allow the people to purchase radios which in return let them be able to hear Hitler speak as well as build elaborate stadiums that could hold 400,000 people for the yearly rallies at Nuremburg showing the power of the Nazi party (Propaganda in Nazi Germany). Hitler uses propaganda to the highest level to ensure the world that his
Nazi Propaganda Source:

efforts are to better the world. He covers up all of the negative things going on in Germany and other parts of Europe to allow him to gain the power he needs to fulfill his goal of an Aryan race. Kristallnacht Kristallnacht or (night of broken glass) to the people of central Europe is the event that marks a turn for the worst in Nazi Jewish relations. This is the first time the Nazis take force on the Jews and put a sense of fear in their lives. The article Kristallnacht: A Nationwide Program, November 9-10, 1938, states the Nazis blame a 17 year old boy named Hershel Grynszpan. While in Paris after he and his parents were deported from Germany like all other Polish Jews that had Reich citizenship decides to shoot the German embassy official to get revenge. The Nazis use this to their advantage immediately publishing propaganda to revenge the crime
Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) Source:

against an innocent embassy official. Moreover, Vom

Bennett 6 Rath the German embassy official died on the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch which allows for a commemoration in Munich allowing for an instant rally to retaliate against the Jews. The Nazis would rally people to break windows to Jewish owned shops, homes, and synagogues. The following days bring the Jews to face harsh new laws that are to take over control of all Jewish owned businesses and turn them over to the Aryan race. The aftermath of the Night of Broken Glass shows devastation of Jewish buildings as well as 91 people dead and 30,000 men transferred from prisons to concentration camps that mark the first real movement of Jews into concentration camps (USHMM). Rounding Up Jews - Ghettos The use of ghettos for Jews is something that dates back many years. The first recorded uses of the ghetto according to The Ghettos of the Holocaust arrived in mid-evil times when Jews find themselves confined to ghettos in central Europe. The Nazis intent is to keep the Jews until the decision is made as to the final solution to the Jewish problem (Holocaust Education Archive and Research Team). USHMM states that on November 23, 1939 all Jews should have a Star of David on them identifying themselves as a Jew. This allows for easier identification when the Nazis begin to round up the Jews. There are 356 ghettos built in central Europe in over six countries in seven years with no set design to them. In the cities the ghettos are sealed off so the Jews cannot escape and in the country there is not a defense system to them but the plan is to
Jewish Ghettos Source:

only to keep the Jews for a small amount of time before shipping them off to the larger ghettos in towns. Furthermore, the ghettos have terrible living conditions. The camps are dirty and have

Bennett 7 very poor sanitation. Disease and lack of warm clothing is a problem that the Jews face for many years. The real problem and reason for the high volume of deaths is the lack of food. The Jews were not fed adequately, only eating very small meals and not knowing whether they would get one every day (The Ghettos). The Ghettos are the first stop on a long ride for the Jews that end with the killing of thousands. Wannsee Conference The Final Solution Wannsee is a town just outside of Berlin. The town is home to one of the single most significant decisions ever made in human history the final solution of the Jewish question. According to the Wannsee Conference and the Final Solution, fifteen high ranking Nazi officials gather in a villa to discuss what the final solution would be. The Final Solution is code name for the systematic, deliberate, physical annihilation of the European Jews. Hitler has already made the decision for the killing before the meeting takes place so the meeting persists of informing the high ranking officials of the plan and informing them of their role, as well as coming up with a plan of how to systematically murder the 11 million people Heydrich, the SS general, plans on murdering. Moreover, Heydrich announces that the Jews will be forced into labor camps before the killing process starts. At these camps the Jews will be separated by gender. The able
The Wannsee Conference Source:

body Jews will be sent to work on the rail roads and many will be lost

through natural reduction. The ones who survive this will be dealt with accordingly. The last thing discusses at the meeting is the different camps from the elderly camps to the decorated and disabled veterans camps as well as what is to be done to the ones that married a Jew that was

Bennett 8 punishable under the Nuremberg Laws (USHMM). The Wannsee conference has one clear goal and that is the mass murder of 11 million people. Selection Deportation from ghettos to the concentration camp marked the last voyage for the Jews. According to the Holocaust Explained, the Jews are immediately separated by gender as they get out of the cattle cars and put into lines that allow the SS doctors to take a farther look at each individual to see if they are fit to work. Those deemed fit to work went to one side of the camp and while the others went to the other side. The article farther explains that the elderly and women with children are sent directly to the gas chambers. Those deemed fit to work are put through registration were they are stripped of their clothing, have all body hair shaved, are tattooed with their registration number, put through a shower that could be either really cold or really hot, then given a pair of stripped pajamas hat and wooden clogs that would be their uniform for the remainder of their time there. This is the step in the process where most see their family for the last time ever (Selection). Extermination Methods The Nazis had several ways of killing the Jews. This is necessary due to the high volume of murder being carried out. Methods of Murder states there are four different categories that the murders fall under, those being overwork starvation and disease, shootings, gas chambers, and medical experiments. The article continues saying the starvation and disease traces back to the start of the ghettos when the Jews are forced to be put in such a close proximity to each other and
Jewish Selection Source:

Bennett 9 have little food to come by. SS officers have a problem with moral due to the fact that they are shooting so many Jews on a daily basis totaling more than one million. The most extreme method however is the Gas Chamber. Poland gets the rap when it comes to most deaths. The
Jewish Death Camp Gas Chamber after Gassing Source:

Nazis have seven camps that offer them the ability to be

able to carry out this type of murder the majority of them are in Poland. This type of murder proves to be the most effective to the Nazis on a time and effort standpoint. The last method they use and one of the cruelest is the medical experiments. The camps use the inmates to experiment on useless procedures even using babies. The babies are put through some of the worst pain imaginable and are generally killed after this process (holocaust-history). The Death Camps Death camps are the final solution to the Nazis to attain their goal of an Arian race. Holocaust-History explains that there are seven death camps all found in Poland. The camps are set up as extermination camps to easily get rid of the Jews (Methods of Murder). Eye Witness History explains that inside the camp is a shower that is inside one of the barracks that is comprised of concrete wall with shower heads sticking out all over the walls. This is an inviting thing to most Jews as they have just been traveling on cattle cars and are dirty, tired and sick. Beyond the shower are the gas chambers. This is something most Jews dont know but as they are pushed from the shower to the
Nazi Extermination Camp Treblinka Source:

chambers they start to realize something is not right. The chambers consist of rooms that are

Bennett 10 built with concrete and have only two holes in them that light comes in. The rooms can hold up to 250 people and can kill all these people in two to ten minutes (Inside a Nazi Death Camp, 1944). The Nazi death camps will forever shape the way the world looks at genocide and the ability to annihilate millions of people. Liberation Liberation to the Jewish people could not come fast enough. According to the Jewish Virtual Library as Allied forces march across Europe, they find themselves amazed. The things they find are nothing like they thought they would encounter. The Nazis would finally surrender in May of 1945 and this would lead to more findings of the worst genocide in human history. The article continues to say that the troops find themselves sick with the destruction of human life. Ditches are found full of bodies, chambers were gassing occurred were found
Jewish Liberation Source:

stacked with corpses, and others that were alive are so

mall nourished that they stand no chance of survival. The troops have no choice but to leave some of the Jews behind to attend to others farther ahead (Liberation). Liberation means the end of the war but just the start of the battle as now the world for the first time can see the real horror that went on inside the Nazi death camps. The Holocaust will forever be felt as an event that shapes world history. The events that take place during this murderous rampage are still being felt in society today. The world has to be aware of potential signs of genocide and protect itself from future attacks. The Holocaust is a lesson that cost society over twelve million people but is something that the world can learn and grow from and prevent future generations from this terrible type of murder. With the help of all

Bennett 11 countries across the globe working together as neighbors to help look for potential signs of genocide the world stands a chance to prevent this type of selfless act again.

Bennett 12 Work Cited "The Aftermath of the Holocaust." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. N.p., 11 May 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. "Anti-Jewish Legislation in Prewar Germany." Holocaust History. N.p., 11 May 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. "Anti-Semitism." The Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. "Antisemitism." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. N.p., 11 May 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. Bacon, Josaphine. "Jewish Ghetto's During The Holocaust" Jewish Ghetto's During The Holocaust Holocaust Research Project, 2006. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. "Holocaust Timeline: The Rise of the Nazi Party." A Teachers Guide to the Holocaust. N.p., 2005. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. "The Holocaust." Vad Vashem. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. "Inside a Nazi Death Camp, 1944." Inside a Nazi Death Camp, 1944. N.p., 2004. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. "Jewish Virtual Library." The Nuremberg Laws. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. "Kristallnacht: A Nationwide Pogrom, November 910, 1938." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. N.p., 11 May 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. "The Liberation of Nazi Camps." The Liberation of Nazi Camps. The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2013. Web. 17 Apr. 2013.

Bennett 13 "Liberation of Nazi Camps." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. N.p., 11 May 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. "Methods of Murder." Methods of Murder. N.p., 3 Jan. 2004. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. "Nazi Propaganda." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. N.p., 11 May 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. "The Nuremberg Race Laws." Holocaust History. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. "Propaganda in Nazi Germany." History Learning Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. "Selection." At the Concentration Camps. London Jewish Cultural Centre, 2011. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. Vogelsang, Peter, and Brian Larsen. "Methods of Mass Murder." The Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. N.p., 2002. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. "Wannsee Conference and the "Final Solution"" United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. N.p., 11 May 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. "Warsaw Ghetto Uprising." Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2013.