Destruction (Holocaust) As a teenager of the year 3000 I want to take you back into a certain period of time. A time when people had their dreams and hopes stripped away from their future. The children of this period did not have the chance for freedom and equality. Like every historical event, the Holocaust evokes certain specific images. When the Holocaust is mentioned most people immediately think of concentration camps. People immediately envision emaciated victims in dirty striped uniforms staring in comprehensibly at their liberators or piles of corpses, too numerous to bury individually, being bulldozed into mass graves.
Those are accurate images and the horrific scenes are real. Only one thing they are not the entire Holocaust. They are merely the products of the systematization of the genocide committed by Third Reich. The reality of the genocide began not in camps or in the gas chambers, but with four small groups of murderers. Known as the Einsatzgruppen formed by Himmler an Heydrich immediately before the invasion of the Soviet Union. They operated in the territories captured by the German army during the invasion of the Soviet Union and, with the cooperation of German army units and local militias, murdered over a million men, women, and children.
It was the story that did not end until 1952 when Otto Ohlendorf, the last surviving commander of an Einsatzgeuppe, climbed the steps of the gallows to pay for the 90,000 murders his command committed. There have been many genocides in human history, but only one Holocaust. I believe the Holocaust was the destruction of millions of Jews by Nazis. Between 1933 and 1945 about six million Jews and five million of non-Jews were removed from their homes, humiliated, and murdered in cold blood. How could this conceivable have been accomplished At first, with conventional means, mainly, riffles and machine guns in the hands of special army units or othe armed representatives of the Nazi regime.
The Holocaust was the effort of Adolf Hilter and the Nazi party in Germany to exterminate the Jews and other people that they considered being inferior. As a result twelve million people about half of them Jews were murdered. The murders were done by every means imaginable, but most of the victims perished as a result of shooting, starvation, disease, and poison gas. Others were tortured to death or died in horrible medical experiments. Adolf Hilter was the leader of the National Social party that dislikes Jews and Arab. Hilter, argue that the destruction of Jews had to come.
He blamed the Jews for decaying the Western society, which consisted of Europe. Hilter took power in Germany in 1933 and almost immediately began the chain of events that led to the Holocaust. During this period, while Hilter built his power, Jews were persecuted and brutalized. Still there was no organized effort to systematically murder them.
In 1933, Jewish books and books by non-Jewish opponents of Nazism were destroyed in huge public bon fires. On November 14, 1935, the Nazis issued the following definition of a Jew. A Jew was anyone with three Jewish grandparents, someone with two Jewish grandparents who belonged to the Jewish community on September 15, 1935 or join thereafter and was married to a Jew. The Jews were fired from their civil service jobs and restricting their access to public clubs, sport facilities, and other places. By 1938, most Jews had been deprived of economic means of existing and having been expelled from the professions, arts, schools and unions. Business, marriage, real estate and other legal obligations between Jew and non-Jew could be legally broken whenever the non-Jewish partner wished to do so.
In late 1939, Hilter invaded Poland, beginning the World War II. In 1939, laws came about that pressured Jewish people. Not to own a business or have their children attend public schools. On September 1, 1939, Hilter took the first step toward his dream of building a "master race". The German attack on Poland was the first step in the offical slaughter of Jews outside Germany. While at home; in Germany itself, the authorized "mercy killing" of deformed and mentally ill people began.
In 1941, Hilters' colleagues drafted up plans called the "Final Solution", to get rid of all Jews and invaded the Soviet Union. Military groups known as the SS and a security service known as the SD mainly carried out the Final Solution. The security service arrested Jews and other victims, ran the concentration camps and organized the murder squads. During the first part of this extermination over one million Jews and other people were mass murdered by military groups, which rounded them up and shot them. Gradually the emphasis changed to concentration camps, where the prisoners were worked to death as slave laborers, and extermination camps, where they were murdered in the gas chambers.
The most famous of these was Auschwitz, which was both a labor camp and an extermination camp. The Nazis targeted many groups for persecution among them Catholics, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Communists. Only three groups were targeted for systematic exterminations, which were Jews, the handicapped, and the Gypsies. Sometime in 1944 it became obvious the leaders of the Nazis that they would soon be defeated and put on trial for what they had done. Several, including one of the worst of the criminals, Heinrich Himmler, tries to make deals with the Allies closing in on the Nazi Germany. As a result the actual extermination stopped in November of 1944, although thousands of people continued to die in the concentration camps.
By that time most of the Jews who lived in Europe before the war, and millions other innocent people, were dead. The war in Europe ended six months later in May 1945. As the Holocaust recedes further into the past, historical distance threatens to obscure and abstract our understanding of this devastating event. The work of memory in our lives is so mush a part of human existence that we easily take it for granted. We share the memories of love ones, of kin, of close friends. Without such sharing, a person loses its way.
The comparatively small proportion of survivors made their way for the most part to Israel or to the United States. Whether the victims new lives in any way a commentary on their past experiences is a job-like question, that your new generation can address to each other. Learning about the Holocaust should make you realize what a struggle it was for Jews and their families.