Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Holocaust

The Holocaust
The Holocaust, a very interesting historical event, took place from January 30, 1933 through May 8, 1945. During this time period, many Jewish people were killed in painful ways. It wasn’t just Jews that were killed, but also Gypsies, the disabled, and several Slavic people.
In 1933, the population of Jewish people in Europe was over nine million. Most of the Jews lived in parts of Germany that Nazis had controlled at the time. Nazis were people lead by Adolf Hitler. Hitler was the leader of The Nazi Party, and he also was the Chancellor of Germany. His strong hatred towards Jews influenced other people to hate them too.
The reasons behind his hatred towards Jews, the disabled, and Slavic people had proven that he was an insane and abnormal man. There are several reasons, and some are still unknown, why Adolf had a strong hatred towards Jews. He blamed Jews for almost all of the evil in the world because they were supposedly untrustworthy, unloyal, and not able to be true German citizens. He had also thought that Jewish people were the reason for Germany losing World War I.
When Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, he started to make Jewish people become more noticeable to Germans. They had to wear the Star of David on their clothing and had to hang them up on their business’ windows. Due to the star being on the windows, Hitler hoped that the Jewish businesses would become bankrupt.
The violence towards Jews started up around 1935. Jewish people lost their rights and weren’t allowed to marry any non-jews. Those who paid fines were able to flee the country and start a new life somewhere else, but those who didn’t have enough money had to stay in Germany and live in horrible conditions. Foods were denied by shops and medicines could not be sold to Jews.
In 1938, a Jew started a riot and shot at a Nazi diplomat. This caused Hitler to become even more angry at the Jewish people in Germany. He ordered Nazis to go burn down and destroy houses, businesses, and synagogues. Jews suffered with the amount of damage that was caused, yet they still had to pay for their homes and businesses to get fixed and also had to scrub public streets.
Soon after that event, Nazis formed Ghettos in many German cities. They gathered all of Jews they could and put them in the Ghettos. Ghettos become places where Jewish people lived. They were fenced in and guarded by Nazi soldiers. There was very little food, water, and no medicine available. It was also crowded with many families. Sometimes, some families had to share a single room to live in.
A year or so later, Nazis drew Jews into concentration camps. Jewish people were told that they were relocating to a new and better place, but that was not the case. The camps that they were sent to were like prison camps. People were forced to work in fields for hours. Those that were weak were quickly killed or starved to death. Jews that did not die while working usually died in gas chambers. Overall, concentration camps were horrible places.
Due to many people getting sent to concentration camps, Jews started to hide. They would join non-Jewish families and act like they were related to them, or they went and hid in their attics, basements, and barns. Many were able to escape the country and live a happier life, but some were not so successful, some Jews ended up just living in one room for several years.
In 1945, when World War II ended, Americans entered the concentration camps for the first time. They discovered piles of bones, corpses, and human ashes. American soldiers also found thousands of Jewish survivors suffering from disease and starvation. Jews were allowed to go home after all that time. Some started rebuilding their lives, but some remained feared for their lives. Near one hundred thousand homeless Holocaust survivors migrated to other European territories where they wouldn’t have to worry about anything else happening. Groups were formed to help Jews get back to their natural selves. They provided them with food and clothing. They also offered to help with vocal training.
A couple months or so before the war ended, Hitler could tell that Germany was not going to win the war. He had a nervous breakdown, and he asked his physician for an appropriate way to commit suicide. His doctor insisted a gunshot to the temple.
The day before he died, he married his mistress. They spent no longer than forty hours together in the underground bunker. On April 30, Hitler had shot himself in the head, and people assumed that his wife had poisoned herself.  
When survivors found closure after the Holocaust, they began to write books and give speeches about their experiences in concentration camps and just living in Germany at the time. Some books for example are “The Diary of a Young Girl”, “Survival in Auschwitz”, and “Yellow Star”. These stories are well known around the world and have helped people understand what Jews had went through.

Overall, the Holocaust was one of the darkest periods in history. It was the mass murder of eleven million innocent people. There were many survivors, and those who are still alive have yet to forget all of the pain they went through.

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