By Fallon and Bailey Huss
The Causes and Consequences of the Holocaust
Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer of Germany who unjustly viewed the Jewish people as an inferior race that was a threat to German racial purity and community, initiated the Holocaust. As the Jews began to be mercilessly persecuted, World War II became a cover for enormous killing centers and concentration camps located in Poland. This hatred towards the Jewish people became known as anti-Semitism and rapidly spread amongst those under Hitler’s reign. Like many others, Adolf Hitler placed the blame of Germany’s World War I defeat in 1918, on the Jews.
Adolf Hitler’s main goals were racial purity and spatial expansion. His idea of a “pure” human race was called Aryan. Unbeknownst to many, the Holocaust and persecution towards particular races extended past the Jewish people alone and included other persecuted groups, such as Gypsies.
The long-term negative effects of the Holocaust were that it destroyed society. Approximately eleven million people were killed and thousands of people were left in physical or mental pain. These survivors who were able to escape would be traumatized for the rest of their lives. The cities where the brunt of the Jewish populations were eliminated have seen lower wages and lower economic growth. Many educated and productive people were killed.
Mr. Hugo Eichelberg lived in Hamburg, Germany. He went to school next to their synagogue . The day after Christmas, their synagogue was destroyed with the inside being burnt out. He saw many of his neighbors and friends taken away and sent to death camps. He and his mother left Germany by order of the Gestapo and went to Italy, later sailing to the U.S.
SS officer, Kurt Gerstuin, visited the death camps Belzec and Treblinka in August of 1942, and saw the mass gassing of Jewish children, women, and men. He knew that he had to expose what was happening to the world. He wrote a report regarding what he saw in the Jewish death camps. He risked his life many times to tell the world about the atrocities that he saw, trying to stop the killing. He even accidently met the Secretary to the Swedish Legation in Berlin, Baron Goran von Otter, and explained the whole story of the Nazi death camps. He asked him to get the word out to the world. Kurt even went as far as destroying shipments of Zyklon B Gas used in the extermination of thousands of Jews. He was arrested on alleged war crimes in 1945, but was cleared of all charges on January 20, 1965.