The Holocaust

Amanda Barnes

German dictator, Adolf Hitler wanted a new order for Germany and his so-called Aryan race. As apart of achieving his ultimate goal, he would have to eliminate any and all other inferior races. This evil plan later became known as the Holocaust. Hitler, with the aid of the Nazis and concentration camps, brought terror and devastation to the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe.

Anti-Semitism had deep roots in early European history. Hitler?s passionate hatred for Jews began to flourish, as evidence showed in his propagandist attempt to publicly blame Jews for Germany?s failures and economic problems. Beginning in 1933, Nazis passed persecution laws denying Jews the right to obtain any official public office. Later they would be deprived of the rights of German citizenship, to have jobs, and to own property. One infuriated Jewish teen, Herschel Grynszpan, decided to shoot an employee of the German Embassy in Paris after receiving a postcard that his father had been exiled to his homeland in Poland. When the Nazis heard, they decided to attack the Jewish community. Hundreds of Jews were shot and murdered in their own homes. Jewish businesses were ruined, and glass display windows were shattered all over the streets. That is why November 9, 1938 became known as Kristallnacht; ?Night of Broken Glass?, and marked the beginning of the worst of what would surely come.

Many Jews, realizing that they were in danger, started to flee to other countries for their safety. Those who did not want to move were made to be moved by way of force into emigration. Other countries took over 245,000 Jews into refuge. Getting countries to accept all of these people became a problem for Hitler. His next attempt to exterminate Jews would be to set them aside in small isolated areas called ghettos. While there, Hitler planned to have them deprived of food and hoped that they would catch diseases and die. Families watched each other slowly dwindle, and corpses would be found in the middle of the roads. Despite all of this, the Jewish held strong, and Hitler?s plan of isolation became evidently too slow for him.

As a result of Hitler?s impatience with the Jews, he decided to act more directly and come to a ?Final Solution?. He developed a plan to totally wipe out the Jewish population, in which he would have them murdered. This program is called genocide. Not only Jews would be exterminated, but Poles, Russians, homosexuals, the mentally impaired, the physically impaired, and the incurably ill would fall as victims to Hitler?s plan. Jews were hunted down by Hitler?s SS men to have them shot in pits that would become their graves. Those who were not reached by the SS were ordered to concentration camps, where they would be brutally beaten and killed if their work was not fast enough, or did not meet the standards of camp leaders. Later camps started receiving gas chambers. These chambers would kill as many as 6,000 people a day. The dead bodies were burned in an oven, and their ashes were often used to fertilize crops.

Out of 7,640,000 Jews in Eastern Europe, 5,202,000 were killed during the Holocaust. The fortunate who survived in these death camps would be changed for the rest of their lives. One man possessed evil stronger than 5,202,000 people did. One man sentenced 5,202,000 people to their deaths based solely on who they were, and what they believed. This man will be remembered throughout history for the evil things that he set forth among millions of people. He will be remembered as ?one man who came too close to achieving his ultimate dream?; destroying the Jewish population, and controlling Eastern Europe. This one man, Adolf Hitler, will never be forgotten.