The Holocaust

.Prewar & Events Leading to the Beginning of the Holocaust.

When did the Holocaust Actually begin?


The Holocaust was a widespread extermination of Jews, Germans, and anyone disagreeing with Nazi rule. The definition of Holocaust itself means to execute with fire. It was a gruesome period of time, resulting in millions of deaths. Many historical documents pertaining to the Holocaust often state that the Holocaust started at the time the first concentration camp was opened; however, there were many events that took place prior to the Holocaust to lead us to believe that it actually started upon the ending of WWI. A few events that lead us to believe this include, the end of WWI, Adolf Hitler coming to power, and the early discrimination of Jews.

After the War

In early November 1918, Germany surrendered and WWI came to an end. This left Germany with plenty of dues to pay to victorious allies including, food, money, and land. The way WWI ended played a large role in Hitler’s reasoning for madness. The economic downfall, that was a product of the war. The end of the war may have been just what Germany needed to spark the start of the Holocaust. The war left both Germany’s economy and military weak. Germany’s power as a whole was declining and that had to change. Without WWI, here may not have been a need for the Holocaust. WWI played a very large role in the start of Holocaust. Without the loss of power the war created, there would have been no need to gain back power, this being said, the end of WWI was infact the beginning of the Holocaust.

Hitler's Rise to Power

Germany was in need of a new leader this is where Adolf Hitler stepped in. Adolf Hitler, an interesting character, was a former German soldier during WWI. He was hungry for power and nothing was going to stand in his way. His speeches were often listened to and he was a highly respected public figure. He was able to pull individuals in with his speeches and make them desire change. Change is exactly what he promised, although maybe in a different way than expected. After many people were lured in by his speeches Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany in January 1933. Everyone believed that Hitler was the change Germany needed. Many would say the Holocaust started once Hitler was elected, but there had to have been some prior planning, Therefor, the Holocaust had to actually start before Hitler was elected.

Anti-Jewish Legislation

In the time leading up to the opening of the first concentration camp many laws were put in place against Jews. These laws were the first physical action of Jewish extermination. The legislation prevented Jews from owning businesses, working in insurance offices, and it also prohibited them working any job having anything to do with public life for non Jews. These laws were the first large step of action against Jews; however, they were not the last. These laws had been planned out months in advance. This tells us that the Holocaust did not begin when the first camp opened.

Concluding Thoughts

Although it is often believed that the first concentration camp opening was the start of the Holocaust, prior planning was a necessity. Without it, the Holocaust wouldn't have been very successful in killing so many people. The planning had to have begun at the end of WWI, and Adolf Hitler was definitely part of the prior planning. Legislation leading up to the opening of the first concentration camp played a major role in the start of the Holocaust. The aforementioned series of events most definitely illustrates that the Holocaust had already been conceptualized, and actually began just after WWII ended.

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