Nazism 4 Essay, Research Paper
In December 1929, the German government faced a total financial crisis, facing a short fall of 1.5 billion marks in anticipated revenues. It occurred then that the world would lie in darkness, where deaths would override births dramatically, and where the lives of those of a different race, those opposed to the Nazi rule would lie.
In the 1920 s, Germany encountered a great mired in an economic depression. Millions of citizens suffered hunger and many remained out of work. The national spirit of the once-proud people became low. The Germans became enraged by their loss of World War I and stood humiliated by the terms they had to accept in 1919 the treaty of Versailles. The War had a destruction of millions of deaths. Germany had to give up territory, slash its military, and pay billions of dollars in reparations for the damaged it caused during the war. Hitler used his nation s despair and humiliation as fuel for a new political monument, which took shape as the Nazi party (Schoenbaum 8).
In 1933, Hitler achieved his goal of gaining political power. In January 30, President Von Hindenburg swore Hitler as Germany s new chancellor. Hitler then took charge of the armed forced the police, and other institutes. By 1934, upon the death of Von Hindenburg, Hitler became president as well as chancellor. Eventually he would become called leader (Dallin 64).
Nazis became brainwashed. They became manipulated in to believing that the Germans exsisted as the best the best and that their blood was the purist and that no one would be greater than they would. Nazi were formed as well to believe that all Jews were the enemies of all Germans. Some though were forced to become Nazis because their families had no money and they had no other way of making a living during the depression. Once at the training sessions they would, without knowing become brainwashed. Nazis were formed to form a totalitarian government, a government where all of human affairs were controlled by the government (Dallin 68-9).
Th National Socialist Party came to power in Germany in 1933, and they brought with them sweeping social changes. They sought to control all aspects of life within the German Reich. By January 1939, the Nazis had a large, well-armed military. The Nazis created a powerful system of propaganda to mold and manipulate people s beliefs and attitudes. The Nazi government controlled radio stations, theatres, and movie houses, and all the print media. Officials banned books, magazines, and newspapers that promoted ideas they disliked, along with their approval. In response thousands of artists, scientists, writers, musicians, and professors, both Jewish and non -Jewish, fled from the country. Many however, got arrested or killed. Even worse violence followed. Nazi officials had long planned a massive program, a group or mob attack, against Jews and their property. The Nazi found an excuse to launch this program when in October 1938; a teenager named Herschel Grynszpan shot a Nazi official in Paris. Because of this his parents and other polish Jews were sent to camps. On the night of November 9, Nazi stormtroopers groups throughout Germany and Austria were ordered to destroy as many Jewish homes, stores, and businesses (Hermans 21).
The Nazis based their intentions and policies throughout on an articulated, shared understanding of Jews, namely their eliminations, racial antisemitism. When it recognized that the eliminationist ideology-which provided a diagnosis of the perceived problem and which implied a variety of possible practical solutions to it underlay the nazis thinking and actions, then the contours of their policies towards Jews appear far less enigmatic, far more deliberate, far easier to undersstand for what they had a concerted yet flexible and necessarily experimental attempt, born of conscious intent, to iliminate putative fewish power and influence and finally made possible germany during the nazy period had a political system that was both dicatorial and consensual, dicatorial in that no formal mechanism such as elections existed to check Hitlers power or to remove him from office, consensual in that the people who staffed the institusions of the political system and hitlers authority as desirable and Hitler s authority as desirable and legitimate (Schoenbaum 14).
Finally, regarding Nazi jewish policy as if these three feactures of the political system did not already promise to produce inconsistence, the eliminationist ideology seemed compatible with a variety of solutions and virtuallity all of them were unprece dented and difficult to implement. These feactures of the Nazi system complicate the attempt to understand what the Nazis intentions had for disposing of German and European Jews and, whatever their intentions they hold, what considerations moved them to adopt the actual policies and measures that they chose (Hermans 12-3).
The Nazis moved quickly to exploit the land and its people. As Hitler envisioned it, Poland had to provide the Third Reich with more Leben sraum, or living space . The poles (mostly Gentiles), whom Hitler had long despiced and whom the Nazis viewed as Subhuman would be used as a suorce of cheap or slave labor. Jews and their communities had simply to disapear (Dallin 46).
Violence flared as the invaders burned down synagogues and businesses. In one town, Nazis started burning a Jewish home for the poor. Angri (Zechs worked to put out the fire and took turns guarding the home before they were overpowered by armed Nazis. Non-Jewish (Gentile) czechs also showed their support by continuing to shop in Jewis owned stores after the Nazis required these places to display an important Jewish symbol, the six-pointed Star of David. Aproximately 3.3 million Jews lived in Poland before the German invasion of western Poland and the subsequent soviet invasion of eastern Poland. Centuries of harsh antisemitism had forced these people to rely a great deal on their own resources. At times during the Middle Ages, when Jews were not allowed to own land or enter most professions, landowners hired Jews to serve as their merchants, moneylenders, and tax collectors. As they carried out these orders, Jews aroused the anger of the lower classes. There existed a widespread mistrust of ethnic minorities in general, but feelings toward the Jews always seemed to jave the most negetive. The catholic church fortified its powerful position by exploiting these prejudices and critizing Jews and their faith (Fischer 262).
The process of Nazification began at once. Polish cities turned into German cities with new names, new street signs, and adorned with German Flags, slogans, and posters. All around them, Poles heard German being spoken. When people shopped for fuel or food, they had to make their requests in German or they might get denied service or sent to the back of the line. Groups of armed Nazis took charge of local governments. As they had elsew here, they created an atmosphere of fear and violence. Stuffhof concentration camp, for example, was set up in Poland on September 2, one day after the invasion began (Fest 28-30).
The Nazis did not hesitate to try new killing methods on children. In 1940, a group of 250 Romani children from Brno, Czechoslovakia, jad thaken from their familiers and sent to an extermination center in Germany. They had murdered with a gas called Ziclon B. Nazi scientists wanted to fest the efficiency of this new popson. A long with Jews, the Romani wjad targeted for destruction by the Nazis. These people, from two tribal groups called Roma and Sinti, had come to Europe from India in the 1300s, spreading both east and west. Like Jews, they had persecuted for centuries and banned from joining craftsmens guilds that would enable them to get jobs. To some people from the Nazis, Jews in Palestine organized sea voyages, conducted in secrecy. In Novenber 1939, a group of 1,500 German and Austrian refugees boarded one of these secret ships. They had come by riverboat down the Danube River to the Blak Sea, where they boarded an oil tanker in Kladovo on the coast of Yugoslavia. Vichy leaders debated what type of Jewsh policy to enforce. Some wanted to pass laws against Jews and to deport those foreign-born. French Nazis wanted all Jews out of the country. At first the government allowed foreign Jews to leave. In 1941, on its own, the vichy governement passed anti-Jewish laws. It would later helped the Nazis round up Jews to and then deport them (Dallin 81-108).
Jews in the ghettos suffered new hard ships early in 1941. During this time, the Nazis announced that ghetto residents must now give up all their coats and warm woolen garments to benefit German troops and civilians. People in the ghettos had already suffered from the icy weather. Lacking coal and other fuel most had to chop furniture and destroy buildings for their fires. They stuffed their clothing with paper and rags. People of all ages freezed to death. Disease and starvation in the ghettos continued to claim lives, as did unsanitary conditions. With, no soap or hot water, people could not bathe, wash their hair, or clean their meager clothing. Toilets had been used beyond their limits and no longer worked; other plumbing equipment also broke down. Foul-smelling garbage piled up on the streets. The filth only increased the suffering of the Jews of the ghetto (Merkl 152-6).
The Nazis no longer bot hered to single out individuals or small groups for extermination; they massacred entire communities. After reaching a place where Jews lived, the Nazis told them they had to rounder up for resett lement . One firing-squad commander later described how Nazi treated Jews during these round-ups: They requested Jews to hand over their valuables to the leaders of the unit and shortly before the execution to surrender their outer clothing. The men, women, and children were led to a place of execution which in most cases found lacated next to a more deeply excavated… ditch. There they got shot, kneeling or standing, and the corpses thrown into a ditch. During these massacres, the victims became usually machinegunned to death (Merkl 203-6).
They got Killed either incide the huge pits or along the edges. Some though got buried alive. Some executions lasted for hours, other Einsatzgruppen Killen victims inside special vans that funcioned as moving gas chambers. People were locked inside and gas fumes piped in, causing death by a faithful process of suffocation. As spread about these vans, Jews began to hide when they spotted on the road. The cruelty and sadism of the execution tactics now reached oven more severe levels. An eyewitness later described the barbarism he witnessed in a region of the Soviet Union. There, Jews got shot in trenches and sprayed with powdered lime, a caustic substance that burns flesh and causes bodies to decay. Row upon row of human beings got forced tolie on to of the dead so that they, too, could be shot. Children s heads got beaten against stones. Many were still got burried alive (Michel 98-100).
Crimes against persons can got grouped into five broad categories: (1) slave labor, (2) abise of prisoners of war, (3) torture and execution of hostages, (4) cruel and unusual medical experiments, and (5) organized atrocities. Once the possibility of a potracted confict had become reality, the Nazi leadership decided to wage an economic war as brutal as the military one they had been fighting (Neumann 93).
The use of forture in the Interrogations had almost a general rule the tortures usually applied beating, whipping, chaining Nazi for several days without a moment of rest for nourishment or hygienic care, immersion in ice wather, drowing in a bath tub, charging the bath weather with electricity, electrification of the most sensitive parts of the body, burns at certain places on the body and the pulling out of fingernails (Schoenberner 142).
It took at least thirty minutes to extract the mass of bodies, which got glued together like pillars of basalt, still erect, not having any space to fall ; legs were covered with faces and menstrual bloud. An other special crew, the tooth commandoes , sprang into action and extracted the fillings from the victims. Such valuables got collected by Odilo Globocnik, one of the chief agents of Action Reinhard, as the gassimgs of the Jews now got called after the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich; Globocnik was responsible for roundingup the loot (money, gold, diamons, watches, and so on ) and sending it to the Deutsche Reichsbank (German Reichsbank). For purposes of identifucation, prisoners at all vamps had to display makings of diffrent colors on their uniforms, consisting of a serial number and a colored triangle. Prisoners were awakened at dawn and had to report to roll call, which mught last for hours. They were then ariven owt of work by Nazis with constant screams, insults, and harassment. Most was petty manual labor in quarries or btickyards, but at some of the larger camps like Auschwitz prisoners worked in a cement plan, a cole mine, a steel factory, a shoe factory, and in the I.G. Farben plant that produced synthetic rubber (Fest 231-3).
At all the camps, were inadequate and the food was bad; in the death camps, where the object was to work people to death, the aaily food allowance, usually given to prisoners after they returned from work, included a watered-down soup and a little bread, augmented by a little extra allowance of margarine, a slice of bad sausage, a piece of cheese, or a bit of honey of watery jam the Survival depended on the black Market and on sheer ingenuity (Michel 190-2).
A Nazi agent was sent to spy on the people s thoughts and behavior. Everyone in Germany-child youth, or adult-was touched somehow by the vast party network. Nazi propaganda, which had unrelentingly anti-Semitic, prepared theway for dividing the Jews from the rest of the population. With his party in power, Minister of propaganda Goebbels had the means to barrage the public daily with complaints and threats against the Jews. The next step was open terror. For a whole week in March 1933, Jude verrecke! . Rang through the streets while storm troopers beat, robbed, and murdered Jews at will. The police, on orders, stuod by and watched. At railway station, SA bollies met each train, shouting in cadence, To hell with the Jews! Nazi thugs stormed into hospitals and courts, ousting Jewist doctors, lawyers, and judges. Then, on April 1, the Nazis sprang the first offocial governmental act against the Jews-a boycott. SS and SA men picketed Jewish stores, factories, and shops-keeping people from entering. Across shop windows was smeared the word Jude . The Nazis intent was to cut off Jewish enterproses from their customers and suppliers, and thys face the owners to transfer their businesses-cheaply to non-Jews (Allen 163-184).
The Nazi leaders took aduantage of the events to get rid of their rivals, the military leaders, once and for all. The Nazis first of all had the delight of seeing the military tear oach other into pieces (Neuman 341).
Nazi leaders took over command ofthe armies. Himmler was pat in charge of the Home Army; at last the Nazis were going to be able to transform the aristocratic wehramacht into a people s army, inspired the pure spirit of Nazism. The first measure concerned potential deserters:theis families wowd beshot; an y soldier absent withowt leave wowd be executed. But even here it might be argued that these were the consequences of war and difficult to avoid. But in addition, the war allowed the Nazis to apply a system of coercicn with complete impanity, a system built up on ther dreams of power and the logical consequences of their racialist doctrines of vidence and inhumanity. Concentration camps were the old people, children, pregnant women, and mentaly ill people. Before being sent to gas chambers, the Jews had been covered with scorn, stripped off ther possessions and outlawed from Hitler s Germany because they represented the counter myth to the triumphs of Nazism (Fischer 173-179).
The Germans estimated that about 11 million Jews now remained under their control. Millons of these Jews lived in big cities, where the Killing squads could not operate in secreted. Top Nazi afficials now pondered more efficient, impersonal, and less costly methods of killing. The use of poison gas was discussed more and more frequently. Auschwitz commandant Rudolf H ss later say that, in the summer of 1941, Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, told him that Hitler had decided to use the labor camp at Auschwitz as the site for the mass destruction of European Jews. Hitler, he said, had given an order for a final solution of the Jewish question; H ss was assigned to work out the details. To test new methods of killing gas, the Nazis constructed a special building at the camp in cheimno. Several hunderd Jews from small towns in that region were secretly killed there. That same summer, at Auschwistz-Birkenau the Nazis tested pellets of cynicle gas called Zyklon B, used to kill rats. The victims of this experiment were approximatery 250 hospital patients and 600 soviet prisoners of war. The Nazis now began turning several concentration camps into outright death camps (Dallin 89-94).
There are forces at work in the wald which eat off human responce. They make it possible for people to commit terrible crimes withowt knowing or feeling they are doing wrong. The machine destraying inhuman object, the Jews. They were doing their daty, it was said. They were the product of a totalitarian state. The shame and horror of our century have to do with the conduct of the European powers, the Gentile world. Even if not one Jew had resisted, there would be no justification either to condemn the victims or to devert attention from the crimes of the murderers. The central issue must not be forgotted. It is a moral issue, the issue of what the world has done and permitted to be done. To insist upon making the world uncomfortable with the memory of its guilt is a necessity for that moral reconstrucction which may alone prevent a repetition of the cruel horrors of the Nazis.
Allen, william Sheridan, The Nazi; Siezure of power: The Experience of a Single German Town, 1930- 1935. New York: Franklin watts, Inc. , 1961.
Dallin, Alexander, German Rule in Rusia 1941-1945: a study of occupation policies. New York St.
Martin s Press, Inc. , 1957.
Fest, Joachom C. Hitler New York, NY Houghtun Mifflin co. , 1974.
Fischer, klaus P. Nazi Germany: A New History, New York, New York, The Continaum Publishing
Hermanns, William. The Holocaust: From a Survivor of Verdun, New York, NY, Harper and Row
Publishers, Ine., 1972.
Merkl, Peter H., Political Violence Under the Swastika. Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1975.
Michel, Henri. The Second World War New York, NY, Praeger Publishers, Inc. , 1975.
Neumann, Franz, Behemath: the structure and practice of national socialism. New York: Harper and
Row, Publishers, Inc. 1966
Schoenbaum, David, Hitler s Social Revolution: class and status in Nazi Germany, 1933-1939. New
York: Doubleday and co. , Inc. , 1967.
Schoenberner, Gerhard, The Yellow Star: The Persecution of the Jews in Europe, 1933-1945. New
York: Bantam Books, Inc. , 1973.