Experiencing the Holocaust
Experiencing the World's Most Horrific Event
Introduction to the Holocaust
Hostility in Eurpoe
As the Nazis continued their way through Europe, groups of Jewish resistance formed. Major allies being France, Belgium, Poland, Ukraine and Belorussia, alongside others such as Italians, Yugoslavs, Greek and Soviet resistance units sided with the Jews. Some may argue that the uprising and real resistance did not begin until 1943, when larger battles took place. One highly significant clash was in Warsaw, when thousands of men fought against the Nazis, freeing thousands of Jews in return. Although those numbers might seem large, in reality, it was nothing in comparison to the millions still in German hands. With lack of training and an obvious disadvantage, these occurrences did little in to stop the capture and punishment of those they knew.
Life in Concentration Camps
The aftermath of rebellion in Europe resulted in the escape of Jews, but also the capture of many. If one was to be held under Nazi control, they would be taken to a camp to be punished. There were several types of camps such as concentration, transit, work, and extermination camps. At these “konzentrationslagers,” victims would be set to work, starved, beaten, dehydrated, and in many cases, murdered. Upon arrival, one would undertake dehumanization, followed with what would become daily life. Daily life in these places of horror included roll call, rations of soup, bread, and coffee for a meal, and work. It was also known to be true that prisoners washed in unclean water without soap, and shared toilets. Examples of work in camps were processing of belongings, working in outlying farms, factories, and mines, and working as a Sonderkommando. Sonderkommandos or “Special Work Units” were chosen based upon their physique to work in the camp’s crematorium. The life expectancy with this task was cut down to a mere four months.
In conclusion, the Holocaust was a horrific event, with many layers to it. Most have heard stories about the tragic event, but did not know the entire story. Through rebellion, capture, and daily life, the Holocaust was an event killing millions of people, surely never to be forgotten or repeated.