The Holocaust

What was the Holocaust?

The Holocaust was one of the most horrific events to ever take place in our world history. It all started when Adolf Hitler had taken power of Germany and decided to plain all of Germany’s problems on the Jews. Hitler had decide kill off all the Jew; this all involved the ‘Final Solution’, concentration camps, gas chambers, Ghettos and of course the Nazis party. By the end of it all over 6 million Jews were gruesomely killed.

Who was involved with the Holocaust?

The Holocaust was not only the murder of over 6 million Jews, but also the Germans who were considered to have ‘tainted’ German blood. They were 200,000 Romans (Gypsies), at least 200,000 mentally or physically disabled patients (mainly Germans). Hitler had created this whole project.

What events led up to the Holocaust?

Before the Holocaust had actually begun, certain events had started to light the fuse. The match was lit in 1933, January when Hitler had become the chancellor of Germany and the Nazi party had taken over. Hitler had wanted to make sure that the citizens of Germany would only believe in the Nazi party and only believe that Germany was superior to all others. So in May, 1933, Hitler had ordered that all books that were opposing Germany or showing the Jewish community was good were publicly burned. Once Hitler had put into the heads of Germans that they were the superior race he wanted to make the Jewish community to look like a bunch of criminals. He did this by creating books saying that it was their fault that Germany had lost World War 1 and why many Germans were on the streets. Jewish children had to wear the Star of David to show that they were Jewish. The star was also put on Jewish stores and other Jewish owned properties. Jews were seen to be dangerous, ugly looking criminals. Soon Hitler took further action into making the life of Jews miserable and created the ‘Nuremberg’ laws, which stated that the Jewish were no longer official citizens of Germany and lost all their rights. It also stated that the marriage between a German and Jew was forbidden and so were any sexual relations between the two. The Jews weren’t the only ones that Nuremberg laws were appointed to; there were Romanies ("Gypsies"), Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals. This was the start of Hitler’s planned to separate Jew from German and “tainted” German blood from ‘pure’ German blood. On July 1938 the Evian convention took place, which is when 32 countries are called to and discuss the issues happening. Franklin.D.Rosevelt had called this one to discuss the matter of the many Jewish refugees who were fleeing Hitler’s regime. Hitler had secretly arranged an unofficial representative to attend the conference because he wanted to sell his Jews to other countries. The prices were $250 per person or $1,000 per family. Hitler used this to try and get rid of Jews and to also in the purpose gain some money from it. Things eventually got worse for the Jews. November 1938, Kristallnacht ‘the night of broken glass, had occurred. This was when all the Nazi German citizens had went through and attacked all Jews and things owned by them that they could get their hands on. The end result was, 30,000 Jews were arrested or deported, 91 Jew were killed, 500 shops and businesses were looted, and more than 1,000 synagogues were set on fire. Jewish children were also expelled from public schools. The Holocaust had officially started in 1939 when WWII began.

What events had occurred during the Holocaust?

20th of September 1939, the Holocaust was triggered when Hitler had decided that Germany should invade Poland, which had begun WWII. Than Hitler had ordered the Polish Jews to be forced into Ghettos and be used for slavery and hard labor. Many died in the Ghettos through malnutrition, diseases and being worked to death. When the Jews were deceased they would be dumped on cart that was pushed by a Nazi member, then they were dumped in giant mass burial pits. The Jews were actually put in there so that when Hitler wanted to start deporting Jews it was easier because they were all in one place and easier to deport(refer to source 2). October 1939, the ‘Euthanasia’ program was carried out. This meant that any German or Austrian citizens that were mentally or physically disabled would be executed, as Hitler believed that their blood was tainted with an incurable disease, therefore their blood was no longer pure German.In February 1940 Hitler had decided to start deporting the Jews to Poland so that he could be rid of them.December 1940 was the month that the first mass murder of Jews had been carried out. Hitler had decided that it was to time to make sure that the future generations had never even heard of a Jew let alone whom they were. It was carried out in Treblinka. The Jews and the Germans who Hitler had believed that their blood was ‘tainted’ would be lined up in a single file line, and then a Nazi member would take them out one by one in the middle of nowhere and shoot them execution style. This was the start of many mass murders for the Jews and the ‘tainted’ blood of Germans.June 1941, Hitler had created mobile killing unites to invade parts of Europe and kill all those he thought were not counted as Germans. Hitler went and first attacked the society unions. It was the first step of quickly and painfully killing the Jews. In September 1941, Hitler had moved the mobile killing squad to Ukraine to kill all Jews in Babi Yar. Within two days the squad viciously killed 33,771 Jews. So many Jews were killed within such a short amount of time that it became classified as the largest single massacre to ever have occurred. In December, 1941 Hitler had created the first death for the Jews and ‘tainted Germans in Chelmno. This is the time when Hitler had created the most productive and inhuman ways of murdering off all of the non-Germans. In, January 1942 the Wansee conference is held to discuss the issues in Germany. The Nazis discuss the different solutions to exterminate the Jewish race. Hitler and the Nazis party had come up with the ‘Final Solution’. Hitler had gone through with the plan as soon as he could. Six death camps were created; Majdanek, Chelmno, Sobibor, Treblinka, Belzec, and Auschewitz-Birkenau, all containing massive gas chambers. Thousands and thousands were killed a day in each death camp.May 1945, the U.S along with allied forces decided that enough is enough and this horrific event must end. They invade Germany and defeat the Nazis forces and save the concentration camp survivors.

What were the concentration camps and what occurred in them?

The concentration camps were also known as death camps as they were the ‘Final Solution’ for the extermination of Jews, Romanies ("Gypsies"), Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals. Hitler had created six of these camps. They were Majdanek, Chelmno, Sobibor, Treblinka, Belzec, and Auskenau. All this was decided in January 1942. It all started with getting all the non-Germans into the camps. This was done through trains that were built to carry Jews and ‘tainted’ Germans from all over Europe. The trains would cross through the middle of the camps so it was easy for the SS officers to get them off and straight into their camps. As soon as all the Jews and other Germans were loaded off the train they were split into two groups. One of the groups was sent to the crematorium (a place where bodies are cremated). Afterwards there was the selection process’. First all the Jew’s valuables are piled up in a big heap and Nazis officers will take them away to keep. The women, children and men are separated into different camps and as this is done you could hear the screams and cries of the mothers and children being separated. With the men the young and healthy were sent to labor camps to work non-stop. The men chosen to live and work were tattooed with an identification number so that he Nazis knew who was working and whom they were. The women had it bad as well; the strong and healthy ones were taken to have their heads shaven and clothes taken off them. Their clothes and hair were sold. The weak and elderly had unfortunately no use for Hitler so they were terminated they were told they were told that they were going to be ‘showered’ but in actuality were going into gas chambers filled with the deadly chemical Zyklon.B(refer to source 3). There were selected Jewish prisoners who were there to calm the Jews down and prepare them for death (even though they didn’t know that they were going to die). After they died the SS officers would go through the bodies for any valuables and cremated them. All the Jews wore stripped pajamas because it would symbolize that they were Jew and ready for exterminations. Everybody in this camp felt hopless and lost (refer to source 1).
Adolf Hitler talks about the Jews and the Allies