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The Holocaust

By: Kimberly Cardwell

During World War II, many lives were lost due to combat. There were also lives lost during this time outside of combat. The Holocaust was a time of persecution. Adolf Hitler, dictator of Nazi Germany, was determined to wipe out the entire Jewish population.

A term associated with the holocaust is genocide. Genocide refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious or national group. Today, the term holocaust refers to the systematic, planned extermination of about six million European Jews by the Nazis between 1933-1945. Millions of non-Jews also perished during the Holocaust.

Racism is what lead to the Holocaust. Adolf Hitler believed that the Jews were responsible for inflation, the Depression, and other German problems because many German Jews were economically successful, had good jobs, and owned nice houses.
The picture states Into Dust with All Enemies of Greater Germany!

There were also many other people that believed that the Jews were to blame for the problems in Germany, but what caused them to take such extreme measures? There are several ideas as to why the Germans went a long with the extermination. One of the ideas was that Hitler was so charming, charismatic and manipulative with his arguments that it was impossible not to agree with him. Another idea is that in order to save their own lives, the Germans did what they were told to do.
The Picture states: Yes! Fhrer, we will follow you!

In order to eliminate the Jewish problem, Hitler built walled prisons called concentration camps in Germany, Poland, and Austria. A concentration camp is a prison where the Jews were held captive. Some of these camps were working camps and the Jews were forced to make supplies for the German army during the war.

Upon their arrival at a camp, prisoners clothing and belongings were taken away. Their heads were shaved and numbers were tattooed on their arms for identification. Conditions at these camps were dreadful. Many people froze to death; others died from disease or starvation. Some were killed when they were no longer able to work.

Death camps were another type of concentration camps. Here the Jews did not work, but were simply killed. Death camps are Nazi extermination centers where Jews and non-Jews were brought to be put to death as part of Hitler's Final Solution. The Final Solution was another name for the Holocaust because Hitler and his followers believed that this was the last hope for the Germans.

Anne Frank was thirteen when her and her family went into hiding. We know this because we are left with the diary she wrote during the two years that she hid in an old office building before it was raided. Her story allows us to understand what the Jews went through at that time.

There are several things we can learn from the Holocaust. It is important to look back at the mistakes that were made, the reasoning behind those mistakes, and what can be done to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again.

In all, over six million Jews were killed. That was 2/3 of the Jewish population in Europe and that number represented 40% of the worlds Jewish population. Additionally, five million disabled, homosexuals, Gypsies, and political opponents of the Nazis were eliminated. The Holocaust was a dark period in history. It is one tragedy that must be learned from and avoided.