The Holocaust

By Andrew Brodman and Zach Conn

Causes and Consequences

The causes of the Holocaust can sometimes be unclear and misunderstood, but if you look closely it can be easily determined of the reason for the mass genocide. German Jews were some of the best assimilated into society. Some experts say that it was the Nazis plan from the start others say that it was slowly radicalized as time went on. Some people asked how the German allowed for a mass extinction of their countrymen. The answer is simple, the Jews were often linked to communism and the German middle class was so scared of communism that it was willing to go to the extremes to prevent it. Other reasons within the German government also made a much easier justification of exterminating the Jews at least for them. The German for a time a that point had practiced Euthanasia by killing older people and cripples who they thought were degrading to society. This also helped pave the way for the genocide of the Jews or as we know it the Holocaust. Before the war Jews mostly lived in separated communities and spoke than own language. Most Jews lived in Eastern Europe in countries like Poland, the Soviet Union, and Eastern Germany. The Germans called this the Final Solution.

Eyewitness Testimony: Solomon Radasky

He lived in the Ghetto city of Warsaw in Poland. Out of 78 people in his family he was the only one to survive the holocaust. His mother was killed in the end of 1941 when the Germans came and demanded for jewelry and gold and furs. "When she told them that she had none, the Germans shot her and my sister on the spot. My father was killed in April 1942 when he went to go buy bread from a boy who was smuggling bread. When the Germans caught him he was shot in the back. The deportations started in July 22, 1942 when my two sisters and my two brothers went to Treblinka. On May 1 1943 I was shot in the right ankle the bullet went through the meat but not the bone so I didn't lose my leg. Treblinka camp could only take 10,000 a day so half of our train was sent to Majdanek which was another death camp. A French doctor operated on me in the camp with a knife that he kept which I do not know how he was able to keep it.. They made us walk 3 km to work and after a few days many collapsed because they couldn't take it. The Germans would often just kill the weak because they couldn't work. After are camp was captured by the Soviets we were allowed to leave it was like a whole another world outside, it was not normal being treated like actual human beings"

The United States' Response

The United States really had no idea that such cruelty was going on until the middle end part of the war. Even though they did know or if they knew earlier their was no way for them to go attempt some large scale rescue operation with the German army in the way. The US at first did not allow a overly amount of immigrants because of the depression just being over and anti-Semitism was even more high. Their were more than 200,000 Jewish immigrants to the United States between 1933 and 1945 even though the later years it died out because of the Germans extermination intensified. Sometimes reports came through that made told the US State Department of what was going on but it was often deemphasized and therefore downplayed. In the news in the US the newspapers downsized what was happening to European Jews. They did cover the allies statement condemning the Germans for what they were doing to the jews. Even though they covered the story, it was on page ten minimizing its importance.

Survivors Living in the United States

Many Jews that survived the holocaust immigrated to the United States after the War to find a new place to live. The US could only allow a certain amount of people in at a time so many Jews lived in Western Europe for a majority of the time till Israel was created in 1948. This made a place were the jews could call their own homeland but struck future problems for Isreal and other Western nations. In 1952 the US passed the displacement persons act which allowed for the immigration of almost 68,000 Jews.

Actions to Prevent Genocide

Their are multiple actions that could happen to help possible prevent another genocide like the holocaust. The first thing that we could do is try to prevent radical people like Hitler from rising to power in the world. This would help stop the spread of radical ideas of mass genocide. The next thing we could do is make sure that populations under persecution have somewhere to go. Not necessarily has to be in our own country but at least refugee camps away from the violence. The last thing that we could do is send in troops to help protect the people from being massacred. Although in a situation like WW2 where the persecution is taking place behind enemy line and your enemy is just as strong as yourself, then you cannot just go in and save them because there is a whole military defending its territories.