The Holocaust Essay, Research Paper
Nearly six million Jews were killed and murdered in what historians have called “The
Holocaust.” The word ‘holocaust’ is a conflagration, a great raging fire that consumes in it’s path
all that lives. In the years between 1933 and 1945, the Jews of Europe were marked for total
annihilation. Moreover, anti-Semitism was given legal sanction. It was directed by Adolf Hitler
and managed by Heinne Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich and Adolf Eichmann. The Germans under
Adolf Hitler believed that the Jews were the cause of all the German troubles and were a threat to
the German and Christian values.
Following the defeat of the Germans in WW1, the Treaty Of Versailles and the UN
resolutions against Germany raised many militaristic voices and formed extreme nationalism.
Hitler took advantage of the situation and rose to power in 1933 on a promise to destroy the
Treaty Of Versailles that stripped Germany off land. Hitler organized the Gestapo as the only
executive branch and secret terror organization of the Nazi police system. In 1935, he made the
Nuremberg Laws that forbid Germans to marry Jews or commerce with them. Hitler thought that
the Jews were a nationless parasite and were directly related to the Treaty Of Versailles.
When Hitler began his move to conquer Europe, he promised that no person of Jewish
background would survive. Before the start of the second world war, the Jews of Germany were
excluded from public life, forbidden to have sexual relations with non-Jews, boycotted, beaten
but allowed to emigrate.
When Germany took over Poland, the Polish and German Jews were forced into
overcrowded Ghettos and employed as slave labor. The Jewish property was seized. Disease and
starvation filled the Ghettos. Finally, the Jews were taken to concentration camps in Poland and
Germany were they were forced to work as slaves to make military products. They were only
given small amounts of food and had to work all day doing hard labor. Many Jews were killed at
the camps. Auschwitz and many other camps were death camps. There was labor and the
Germans would murder many Jews at these camps. The Jews were taken to showers were they
would be gassed.
Despite the harsh treatment of the Jews, little Germans opposed this. When the news
reached the allies, they all refused and put down any rescue plans to aid the Jews. American Jews
were warned against seeking any action for the benefit of the European Jews although Zionists
managed to save small groups of young Jews and brought them to Palestine. The victories of the
Germans in the early years of the war brought most of the majority of the European Jews under
the control of the Nazi’s.
The war in Europe ended on May 8th, 1945. The following years tended to heal a few wounds,
but the damage caused to the Jews of Europe could not be fully repaired. A great deal of the
Jewish culture and learning perished. Deep mental scars plagued the survivors and their children.
In Israel, the Holocaust day is celebrated on Nisan 27, the date that marked the Warsaw Ghetto
uprising of 1943.