Brief Look at the Holocaust


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. There were many other 
great crimes and murders, such as the killing of the Armenians by the 
Turks, but the Holocaust stood out as the "only sysmatic and organized 
effort by a modern government to destroy a whole race of people." 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 

 Dating back to the first century A.D. the Jews and Christians 
were always at war. The Jews were considered the murderers of Christ 
and were therefor denounced from society, rejected by the 
Conservatives and were not allowed to live in rural areas. As a 
result, the Jews began living in the cities and supported the 
liberals. This made the Germans see the Jews as the symbol of all
they feared.

 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 the war 
was officially declared, emigration ended and 'the final solution to 
the Jewish problem' came. When Germany took over Poland, the Polish 
and German Jews were forced into overcrowded Ghettos and employed as 
slave labour. 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 murdered and killed in 
poisonous gas chambers in Auschwitz and many other camps. 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 Vatican condemed racism in general but 
did hardly anything to stop the German actions.

 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 Baltics, Ukrainee's and white Russians gladly 
joined the Nazi's. France and Italy sent 100,000 Jews to Germany but 
refused to send any of it's Jews. Holland and Belgium were Anti-Nazi's 
and refused to co-operate with Germany. Denmark protected it's Jews 
from Germany and Norway sent it's Jews to Switzerland for protection.

 Unaware that they will be gassed, the Jews kept quiet until 
the last moment. When their fate was clear, the first Jewish uprising
came in April 1943 in Warsaw Ghetto, when more than 60,000 pitifully 
armed Jews decided to resist. The battle took 28 days before the 
heavily equipped German forces put down this violent uprising. 
Individual Jews also resisted by joining partisan groups. Jewish 
resistance, however, was mainly spiritual.'The Jews prayed, wrote, 
observed festivals and also refrained.'

 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.'' An aspect of human cruelty was exposed more brutal 
than the civilized world could admit.' In Israel, the Holocaust day is 
celebrated on Nisan 27, the date that marked the Warsaw Ghetto 
uprising of 1943. Although the Germans had lost the war, they won 
their war on the Jews of Europe. 


1.) Rossel, Seymor. The Holocaust, Toronto: Canada. 1981 edition.

2.) Britanica Publishing Company. Britanica Vol.6, Toronto: Canada. 
1984 edition.

3.) Americana Publishing Company. Americana Vol.14 Washington: 
America. 1988 edition.


Seymor Rossel. The Holocaust, Toronto:Canada. 1981 edition.

Britanica Publishing Company. Britanica Vol.6, Toronto:Canada. 1984

Americana Publishing Company. Americana Vol.14, Washington:America.
1988 edition.


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