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The Holocaust

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					The Holocaust
   Holocaust
    by Barbara Sonek

    We played, we laughed
    we were loved.
    We were ripped from the arms of our
    parents and thrown into the fire.
    We were nothing more than children.
    We had a future. We were going to be lawyers, rabbis, wives,
    teachers, mothers. We had dreams, then we had no hope. We were
    taken away in the dead of night like cattle in cars, no air to breathe
    smothering, crying, starving, dying. Separated from the world to be
    no more. From the ashes, hear our plea. This atrocity to mankind
    can not happen again. Remember us, for we were the children
    whose dreams and lives were stolen away.
   The Holocaust is the term used to
    describe the persecution and mass murder
    of millions of Jewish people in Europe
    during World War II.
   While the Nazis killed nearly 6 million Jews
    they also persecuted Gypsies,
    Homosexuals, and Slavic peoples, along
    with other groups they saw as inferior
         Hitler’s Policies
   Once Hitler gained power in Germany he began
    to institute many of the idea’s he had presented
    in his book Mein Kampf
   Discrimination against Jews was very common in
    Europe-often Jewish people were forced to live
    in secluded ghettos and had many restrictions
    on land ownership
   However the Nazi’s would take these policies
    much further-To them all Jews were EVIL no
    matter what their religion, occupation or
    education
            Hitler’s Policies
   The Nazis under Hitler began to take away basic rights that had
    been granted to Jewish people for centuries
   The Nuremberg Laws took citizenship away from Jewish Germans
    and banned marriage between Jews and other Germans. Other
    laws defined Jews as any one with at least one Jewish grandparent
    (Hitler) and prohibited them from holding public office or voting.
   Jews with German sounding names were forced to change them to
    Jewish names and there passports were marked with large red J’s to
    signify their ethnicity.
   By 1938 at least half of the German Jewish population was
    unemployed-they were not allowed to own businesses, be doctors,
    lawyers or any other type of service position
   Despite these conditions many Jews remained in Germany, unwilling
    to give up their lives they had fought so hard to establish-little did
    they know the terror that was to come.
                      Kristallnacht
   In response to an enraged Jewish man killing a German official in
    Paris-Hitler and his minister of propaganda-Joseph Goebbels
    organized a series of attacks on Jewish people that seemingly
    appeared to be public acts of retaliation
   German storm troopers invaded Jewish homes in Poland and
    Germany destroying property attacking families-these actions were
    also carried out by roving bands of thugs.
   The destruction and violence would become known as Kristallnacht
    or the night of broken glass
   At the nights end 7,500 businesses were destroyed, 180 synagogues
    and 90 people were killed with hundreds of injured
   Nazi interior minister Herman Goering added insult to injury by
    stating that Jewish people had to pay for the damages stating they
    were the reason for the destruction and violence-he would state-”I
    would like to say that I would not like to be a Jew in Germany.”
   After these violent events many German Jews
    would leave the country-as many as 350,000
    Jews escaped Nazi controlled Germany-including
    scientist Albert Einstein
   Thousands applied for visas everyday, but most
    were denied
   Most countries were not willing to take in these
    immigrants
   The United States had immigration quotas and
    was not willing to raise them for people that
    were literally leaving their homes with nothing
   Jewish people tried to escape to many
    destinations in Central and South America
   One example was the SS St. Louis that carried
    930 Jewish passengers to Havana, Cuba-there
    the immigration director-fueled by Nazi
    propaganda refused to let the people stay-most
    of these people were returned to European
    countries that shortly fell under Nazi rule-most
    of them would die in the Nazis FINAL SOLUTION
      THE FINAL SOLUTION
   On January 20, 1942 Nazi leaders met at the
    Wannsee Conference held in a Berlin suburb to
    determine the “final solution for the Jewish
    question”
   Previous solutions had included rounding up
    undesirable people, shooting them and pilling
    them in mass graves
   Another solution was loading them in trucks and
    pumping in toxic fumes-both methods were
    considered to slow and inefficient
                   Joseph Goebbels
   Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels was
    a German politician and Reich
    Minister of Propaganda in Nazi
    Germany from 1933 to 1945. As
    one of Adolf Hitler's closest
    associates and most devout
    followers, he was known for his
    zealous oratory and anti-Semitism.
    He played a hand in the
    Kristallnacht attack on the German
    Jews, which historians consider to
    be the beginning of the Final
    Solution, leading towards the
    genocide of the Holocaust.
   http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/
    ww2era.htm
                            Josef Mengele
   Josef Rudolf Mengele also known as the
    Angel of Death was a German SS officer
    and a physician in the Nazi concentration
    camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. He earned
    doctorates in anthropology from Munich
    University and in medicine from Frankfurt
    University. He initially gained notoriety for
    being one of the SS physicians who
    supervised the selection of arriving
    transports of prisoners, determining who
    was to be killed and who was to become a
    forced labourer, but is far more infamous for
    performing grisly human experiments on
    camp inmates, including children, for which
    Mengele was called the "Angel of Death".
      THE FINAL SOLUTION
   The new plan called for
    concentration camps that
    were detention centers
    were those that were
    able would work until
    they died of malnutrition,
    disease or fatigue
   The others including the
    elderly, women and
    children were sent to
    extermination camps to
    be executed in massive
    gas chambers
     THE FINAL SOLUTION

   The first concentration camps were
    established in 1933 to jail political
    enemies.
   Buchenwald was one of the first and
    largest-here men worked 12 hour shifts as
    slave laborers in factories.
   Hundreds died every month as a result of
    exhaustion and terrible conditions.
      THE FINAL SOLUTION
   Extermination camps were built mostly in Poland
    to kill Jews more efficiently
   Two of the more famous camps include the
    infamous Treblinka and Auschwitz
   Auschwitz housed 100,000 people in 300 prison
    barracks. It had gas chambers built to kill 2,000
    people at a time. Sometimes as many as 12,000
    would be killed a day.
   1,600,000 people would be killed at Auschwitz
    alone
      THE FINAL SOLUTION

   Healthy prisoners would be sent to labor camps-
    disabled people, sick, elderly, mothers and
    children were sent straight to the gas chambers
   The sights, sounds and the smell of burnt
    human flesh from the crematoriums used to
    burn dead bodies will forever haunt those that
    survived or witnessed the horror
     The Impact on Jewish
            Society
   In only a few years Jewish culture, which had
    existed for over 1,000 years was almost entirely
    destroyed by the Nazis in the lands they
    conquered. Over 6 Million Jewish people would
    die.
   There is still great debate on how something so
    terrifyingly horrible could have happened-many
    point to Germany’s humiliation after World War
    I, The Germans peoples fear of the secret
    police, Hitler's ability to manipulate information
    and a long tradition of anti-Semitism in Europe
   "... in spite of everything, I still believe that
    people are really good at heart. I simply can’t
    build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of
    confusion, misery, and death. I see the world
    gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear
    the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy
    us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and
    yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it
    will all come right, that this cruelty too will end,
    and that peace and tranquillity will return
    again." - Anne Frank

				
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posted:10/3/2011
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