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Research Paper Holocaust Overview

Anne DeCamillo

Mr. Neuburger English 102-120 9 April 2013

2decamillo Throughout history there are many memorable events that one cannot forget, some of them may be happy historical events while others one could only wish that they could be forgotten. The historical events of the Holocaust and the deaths of so many makes this one of the most well-known and unforgotten events in history. As the Nazi party grew so did their hatred towards the Jewish people. Once Adolf Hitler is appointed chancellor, this eventually leads to the deaths of nearly six million Jews and six million more people of different ethnicities in Europe. Very few understand how the Holocaust could take place, and to truly comprehend the Holocaust one needs to understand the series of events and methodologies used to systematically murder over twelve million people. Nazi rise to power According to the article, Rise of the Nazi Party Timeline, the Nazi party began as a gang of unemployed soldiers in 1919; they were called the German Workers Party. Adolf Hitler joined this party in 1919 and rose to leadership through his ability to publically speak. The article explains how he encourages national pride, militarism, racially pure Germans; all while condemning Jews and exploiting anti-Semitic feelings. Furthermore, Hitler changes the name of the party to national socialist workers party called for short the Nazi Party. According to this timeline article, by 1920 the Nazi Party had roughly 3000
Hitler and followers

numbers, a year later Hitler became the official leader. The article further explains, in 1923 Hitler attempts to over throw local authorities

known as the Beer Hall Pustch. Although, this act fails and Hitler and the other

3decamillo participants are sentenced to jail, this is also a huge breakthrough for Hitler as he realizes he is not going to be able to overthrow the government by force, he decides to take a more political approach. Although Hitler is sentenced to five years, he is released after just one year. However, Hitler uses the time in jail to organize his thoughts and plans for Germany and writes the book Mein Kampf. The article goes on to further explain, after Hitler is released he begins rebuilding and reorganizing the Nazi party. After a short while Hitler becomes sole leader of the Nazi party and all final decisions rest with him. Furthermore, Hitler hopes to create a bureaucracy that he envisions as the gem of future state. In addition this article explains, the Nazi part begins a mass movement from roughly 27,000 members in 1925 to 108,000 in 1929. This party becomes known for its strong arm tactics of street brawling and terror, eventually the Nazi party becomes the legal Government of Germany by 1933 and Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany. (The Rise of the Nazi Party.) Nazi view on Jews Anti-Semitism In the article written by Dr. Steve Paulsson it states, the Nazis were the heirs of a centuries old tradition of Jew-hatred.(A View of the Holocaust) Another article written by Arno Schickedanz explains, how the Nazis think Jewish Zion religion is part of the general Jewish plot to control the world. (Zionism) In addition, an article found on the United States Memorial Museum(ushmm) goes onto explain how Hitler and other Nazi leaders view the Jews not as a religious group but a poisonous race which feeds off other races and weakens them. (Nazi Racism) Furthermore on the Ushmm web site, the Holocaust is histories most extreme example of anti-Semitism. The most common acts of anti-Semitism throughout history are called pogroms they are violent riots launched

4decamillo against Jews and encouraged by Government authorities. The article further explains most pogroms were often started by blood libels, which are false rumors that Jews are using the blood of Christian children for ritual purposes. In addition, modern antiSemites add politics into their hatred and falsely denounce Jews as disloyal citizens which is a potent component of political anti-Semitism. (Anti-Semitism) Moreover, according to the article Anti-Semitism In
Nazi anti-Semitism poster

History: Nazi Anti-semitism after the Nazi party gained popularity and legitimately seizing power partially by portraying the Jews as the source for many different political, social, economic, and ethical problems the country is facing, the Nazi party begins ordering anti-Jewish boycotts, staged book burnings, and in 1935 the Nuremberg laws a mandate for total separation of Aryans and non Aryans. (Ushmm) Nuremberg Laws According to the Jewish Virtual Library, a conference was held August 20, 1935 by Adolf Hitler and the party representatives to discuss the economic effects of party actions against Jews. The party argued that the actions making the economy fall would cease once the Government made a firm policy against the Jews. Within the next month two laws are announced at an annually party in Nuremberg making this known as the Nuremberg Laws. Furthermore, the article goes on to explain the first Law is The Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor. This Law prohibited marriage, extra-marital intercourse between Jews and Germans, and employment of German women under forty-five in Jewish households. The second law, The Reich Citizenship

5decamillo Law, This law was put in place to strip Jews of German citizenship and made a new distinction between Reich citizens and nationals. It is said the Nuremberg Laws formalized the unofficial measures taken against Jews up to 1935. In addition, the Nazi Party was consistent
Newspaper article about new Laws

in enforcing this legislation by demanding that

Jews are deprived of their rights as a citizen. (The Nuremberg Laws) Nazi Propaganda

In 1924 the start of Nazi propaganda began. Adolf Hitler wrote a book that clearly expressed his thought and ideas on National Socialism--among them racism, antiSemitism, and anti-Bolshevism. Adolf Hitler wrote "The function of propaganda is to attract supporters, the function of organization to win members... Propaganda works on the general public from the standpoint of an idea and makes them ripe for the victory of this idea." (qtd in Nazi Propaganda.) This was the beginning of the biggest horror Germany and the Jewish people would ever face. Nazi propaganda helped many Nazi soldiers and Adolf Hitler carry out racism as a whole country. The point to the Nazi propaganda was to convey certain thoughts or ideas against the Jews. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Hitler appointed Joseph Goebbels the head of a Reich ministry for public enlightenment and propaganda just to ensure messages were being communicated through all avenues such as art, music, theatre, films, books radio, and educational materials, and of course through the media. (Propaganda Timeline) With so much being controlled by the Nazis it was very difficult for the German people to know what was really going on. The Germans and the Jews were being very much

6decamillo misled through this propaganda. Once Goebbels was appointed head of the Reich ministry it was nearly impossible for the German people to receive anything other than the propaganda the Nazis were presenting. Stated in the propaganda timeline in 1927 the Nazi party begins producing propaganda films to show in film mobiles in rural areas. (USHMM) Germans were reminded of the struggle against foreign enemies and Jewish subversion constantly. To the Nazis this is there threat to the German people. According to the propaganda timeline on September 23, 1939 all Jews were required to surrender radio sets to authorities. By May of 1940 all German radio stations were synchronized. (USHMM) Goebbels was very serious about his position in controlling the media and educational material. According to the Propaganda Principles, Goebbels propaganda materially aided Hitlers rise to power in 1933. Goebbels used all media of education, communications to further Nazi propagandistic aims, Goebbels was trying to install in the Germans the
Nazi Propaganda Poster

concept of their leader as a veritable God and of their destiny as the rulers of the world. (Joseph Goebbels) Through the media and educational material the Nazi propaganda had the Germans deceived. Furthermore, through that deception the Nazis were able to exterminate more than six million Jews and six million non Jewish nationals not only without notice but with the support of a blinded country. In addition, according to the USHMM, propagandist cast Germany as the victim or potential victim of foreign aggressors, as a peace loving nation forced to take up arms to protect its populace. (Deceiving the Public)

7decamillo Kristallnacht

The article Kristallnacht, explains the events leading up to the horrifically memorable night of November 9, 1938. According to the article a seven-teen year old Polish Jewish student was enraged by the deportation of his parents to Poland from their home town in which they lived since 1914. The young man named Hershel Grynszpan shot Ernst vom Rath, the Third Secretary of the German Embassy in Paris. The young mans assasanation attempt was successful as vom Rath died the night of November 9th, however, this attack gave Josseph Gobbels the urgency to deliver what was described as an inflammatory speech urging crowds to take to the streets and make the Jews pay for the death of vom Rath. Furthermore, this growing rampage led to the destruction of 7,000 Jewish businesses, fire to more than 900 synagogues, the deaths of 91 Jews and deportation of some 30,000

Burning Synagogue

Jewish men to concentration camps. In addition the article further explains the next day Goebbels

announced, "We shed not a tear for them" He went on to mention the destruction of the synagogues saying, "They stood in the way long enough. We can use the space made free more usefully than as Jewish fortresses. It is said Kristallnacht provided the Nazi government with an opportunity at last to totally remove Jews from German public life. (qtd in Kristallnacht The American Experience)

8decamillo Rounding up Jews ghettos According to British Library web site the Germans found a way to keep the Jews separated from the general German population by creating what is called Ghettos, These ghettos are made in run down parts of the cities and enclosed with barbed wire or walls surrounded by guards spread throughout the occupying countries. The ghettos allowed the Nazis more control by restricting the rights of the Jews. The ghettos are overcrowded and the living conditions are extremely poor. In addition the article further explains not only were the living conditions extremely poor but there was a major shortage of food in which caused mass starvation that many people died from. Within the ghettos the Nazis set up Jewish councils which were called Judenrat. They appointed the Jewish council officials to follow through with Nazis orders during the time in the ghettos. Moreover any refusal to carry out Nazi orders was punishable by death. Although to some extent the Jewish councils helped to alleviate the suffering of the Jews by setting up soup kitchens, orphanages and hospitals. Establishing nutrition, health and housing departments. However, the council members were still puppets to the Nazis. They were required to round up fellow Jews for deportation to slave labor and death camps. Once the Jews were round up, the railway provided the transportation to their next destination. Many camps were made close to a major railway station so transporting was more convenient. None the less the article states, approximately 1.5 million children died during the Holocaust. Children not only had to adapt to their
Barbed wired Jewish Ghetto

9decamillo surroundings but take on adult responsibilities such as savaging for food, helping with finances, and in most cases taking care of siblings after their parents were either deported or had died. Overall the ghettos made it possible for Nazis to easily and conveniently murder millions of Jews people. (Background ghettos and deportation) Resistance In an article called Unarmed Jewish Resistance, it explains the many different types of ways Jews resisted, for example many groups were put together, even in the ghettos and camps the Jews tried to preserve their culture and religion by organizing prayer groups, underground schools, and even artistic groups. It is said in the article in the Warsaw ghetto there was a great teacher who set up an orphanage and taught the children, put on plays, and tried to make their lives as normal as possible. In addition it is said this teacher even accompanied them to their deaths in Treblinka so that they would not be afraid of the dark. (The Holocaust Explained) Although, there were many resistance groups out

Jewish Resistance

there with the purpose of helping fellow Jews while placed in the ghettos there are also

resistance groups out there for the purpose of fighting back with hopes of freedom once again. According to Yadvashem web site, the ghettos were filled with rumors about the mass murders of the Jews once they were transported from the ghettos. However, the information was vague and at the time seemed unreliable, not to mention it was difficult to absorb the information that an entire race was trying to be exterminated which was unheard of throughout history. Moreover, once reliable information was received by the

10decamillo Jewish officials from outside sources that the rumors of this mass extermination was true an armed and underground operation began. According to the article the war of self defense was carried out in three levels, such as armed uprisings in the ghettos and camps, the escapes and smuggling of Jews from towns and ghettos to go to the forests for partisan warfare, in addition individuals hid in various hiding places, and there were collective rescue efforts to rescue children as well. Furthermore rebellions took place in the death camps as well. The article states in August 1943 an uprising in Treblinka broke out when three groups of prisoners working the burning bodies of their fellow Jewish people and sorting through the their belongings started killing some of the camp commanders and guards, they took over the armory, and in addition, they set the gas chambers and camp barracks on fire. Furthermore, in Sobibor it is said prisoners rose up and several managed to escape, also in Auschwitz a group of prisoners blew up a crematoria. (Jewish Armed Resistance and Rebellion) However, even with their resistance efforts it made little impact on the overall situation. Wannasee Conference According to the article The Wannasee Conference, this conference was held on January 20,1942 , It is said that the conference was presided over by SS-Lieutenant General Reinhard Heydrich, Chief of the Security Police and Security Service. Heydrich summoned fourteen men representing the governmental and military branches most involved in implementing the aspects of the Final Solution of the Jewish Question. Furthermore, this article explains, the various options of what the Final solution was, which included voluntary emigration, confinement to ghettos in cities located along rail lines, forced to concentration camps, and finally, extermination. The Nazis wanted to be

11decamillo certain there was no confusion within the group that now, the term referred specifically to the murder of all the Jews. Moreover, during a trial in 1961 it is said the conference was rather brief only lasting and hour or so, it was done over a luncheon and the members who attended the

Location of the Wannasee Conference

conference agreed to the extermination of an entire race. (Holocaust History)

Although, there are many details and countless testimonies of the horrific events that took place during the Holocaust, one may never come to fully understand how the Germans publically and systematically murdered more than twelve million people in such a short amount of time. However we can see how the Nazis used political parties, propaganda control, ghettos, and death camps to start what the most horrifying historical event is known to mankind.

12decamillo "Holocaust Timeline: The Rise of the Nazi Party." Holocaust Timeline: The Rise of the Nazi Party. A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology, College of Education, University of South Florida 2005. Web. 11 Apr. 2013.

"Jewish Virtual Library - Homepage." Jewish Virtual Library.

"The Rise of Nazi Party." A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust. The Florida Center for Instructional Technology,, 2005. Web. 11 Apr. 2013.

"Welcome to PsyWar Society, Thursday, 19 April 2012." The PsyWar Society. Web. 19 Apr. 2012. <>.

"German Propaganda Archive (Guide Page)." Calvin College. Web. 19 Apr. 2012. <>.

"Holocaust Educational Resource." Holocaust Educational Resource. Web. 19 Apr. 2012. <>.