The Holocaust was one of the worst moments in world history. Millions of people suffered and were sent to concentration camps. Adolf Hitler the leader of the Germans and the Nazi’s was the main reason all of these people groups suffered. He believed that people with disabilities, mental disorders, and certain people groups like the jews or Jehovah’s witnesses should be annihilated. Not only is this savage and evil but it is also something that should never happen again. The purpose of this paper is to prove that many people groups suffered during the Holocaust, especially the Jewish people.
Not only was there suffering but also from 1933 to 1945, 17 million people were murdered brutally from Adolf Hitler's ideology. Additionally one of the main things the Nazi’s believed in was survival of the fittest. “The Nazis also adopted the social Darwinist take on Darwinian evolutionary theory regarding the survival of the fittest. For the Nazis, survival of a race depended upon its ability to reproduce and multiply, its accumulation of land to support and feed that expanding population, and its vigilance in maintaining the purity of its gene pool, thus preserving the unique racial characteristics with which nature had equipped it for success in the struggle to survive. Since each race sought to expand, and since the space on the earth was finite, the struggle for survival resulted naturally in violent conquest and military confrontation. Hence, war—even constant war—was a part of nature, a part of the human condition.” (Victims of the Nazi Era, October 12 2012) The Holocaust is an issue according to many historical scholars because it shows how genocide can get out of hand. “This makes the Holocaust a contemporary issue because it demonstrates the atmosphere in which genocide can take place.”(Cohan, May 11 2012) Another problem with this train of thought is the amount of labeling it puts on people. For example Nazi’s believed that they needed to cleanse the earth and that Jewish people were monsters and a complication and since the Nazi’s were the “fittest” they believed it was their responsibility to do the cleansing. But why should we even remember the Holocaust the event took place such a long time ago? Well anyone who does not know history is doomed to repeat it. “The Holocaust is what happened when discrimination and hatred got out of control. The truth is, these things continue to happen on a much smaller scale every day. The survivors at the Holocaust Centre here continually tell school kids who visit, "Hatred is a cancer, and it kills. It will kill the one who harbours it, too. Don't ever hate. We all bleed the same colour if we're cut. We're all people. When you see someone being bullied, stand up and DO something - whether you get help or say something yourself, but don't just stand idly by. This is how tragedies happen." (Cohan May 11 2012) The main thing people can learn from the pain and suffering these people endured is that everyone is a human and created equal and should be treated as such.
There were several other groups that were targeted during the Holocaust. Some of the other people groups to suffer during the Holocaust include Gay people, Priests, People with mental disabilities and even twins. An estimated one hundred thousand gay people were arrested during the Holocaust and five thousand to fifteen thousand were sent to concentration camps. One man’s testimony about how he was taken to a camp was not told for over forty years due to the memories and terror that it brings him. Not only is this unimaginable but how can these people not be scarred for life after seeing things like that. Another group that suffered would be Jehovah’s Witnesses. An estimated ten thousand were arrested and taken to concentration camps and about two thousand to five thousand were killed in those camps. In concentration camps all people groups were recognized by a certain symbol. For example the Jews were pinpointed by the yellow star. Jehovah’s Witnesses were identified by purple triangles. All people in concentration camps suffered but for some reason Jehovah’s witnesses were given special treatment because they were deemed trustworthy. “ Witnesses were considered unusually trustworthy because they refused to escape from camps or physically resist their guards. For this reason, Witnesses were often used as domestic servants by Nazi camp officers and guards.”:(Victims of the Nazi Era January 14 2014) Concentration camps were typically harsh according to The National Holocaust museum “Conditions in Nazi camps were generally harsh for all inmates, many of whom died from hunger, disease, exhaustion, exposure to the cold, and brutal treatment.”(Victims of the Nazi Era, January 14 2014) This honestly just shows what is wrong with the Nazi’s ideology special people are the ones who should rule the world and the rest should be treated as animals. But these two groups are only some and not all who suffered during the Holocaust.
One of the bigger questions of the tragedy of the Holocaust is why did six million Jewish people have to die during the Holocaust? There are many reasons on why Hitler loathing the Jews and one of the major reasons is that he blames the Jews for Germany’s the loss in World War I. Adolf Hitler actually says in his book that he wrote in 1926 that he had no special hatred for the Jews until after the war. “Hitler himself explains that he had no special feelings about Jews before he moved to Vienna, in 1908, and that even then, initially, he thought favorably of them. He saw the light only after Germany’s loss in World War I, for which he held the Jews responsible.”(Green D.B., April 11th 2016) Others believe that Hitler's hatred came because his mother died in the care of a Jewish doctor who gave her medication that just caused her great pain. A historian D.B Green someone who came up with reasons on why Hitler hated Jews said this “Another well-known theory concerns the Jewish physician, Eduard Bloch, who cared for Hitler’s beloved mother, Klara Hitler, before her death from breast cancer, in 1907, at age 47. By the time Klara’s condition was diagnosed, it was incurable, but Dr. Bloch, at her son’s insistence, treated her for more than a month with a quasi-experimental medication called iodoform. The medication caused her excruciating pain, but did not extend her life.” (Green D.B. ,April 11th 2016) This could be the cause of the many deaths in Holocaust or maybe Hitler was just a very messed up man. However no matter the reason the evil that the Nazis put this people group through was terrible. The Jews were treated like cattle and lesser humans. “Jewish children were thrown out of Hungarian schools, so right away we had no choice but to concentrate on hunkering down and trying not to bring attention to ourselves. We couldn’t ride the trains and we had to wear the yellow star. It was a free for all. With no law to protect us, it was common for Jews to get beaten up or thrown off the train.” (Connoloy K., January, 26th 2016) Jewish people’s rights were also taken away and then when all their money was taken and their possessions were taken they were hauled off to Concentration camps like Auschwitz. A older woman who survived Auschwitz gave her personal account on what had happen to her and her family. “Even though we were victims of discrimination at that stage that’s all it was, as we had no clue then that this was a very carefully orchestrated plan of genocide. We could not have imagined that they would kill little children, until we realised that killing children was their primary goal to prevent any new generations. Because desperate people will always look to find some sign of hope, we thought to ourselves even if we have to work, at least we’ll see each other occasionally.But the German system was full of this sort of deception. It counted on people’s normal perception of things. Thinking we were going to a work camp. Thinking that you were going to take a shower when in fact you were going to the gas chambers – that was the ultimate deceit.” (Connonly K., January 26th 2016) The Jewish people were meant to believe that they were just being taken to work camps to just live their lives when in reality these camps were made so the Jews would suffer and be wiped off the face of the earth. Unfortunately Jews were not the only people groups that were targeted during this tragic time period.
The Holocaust was tragic, and not only does it cause one to feel these people’s pain but it should also bring understanding to people on why being kind is so important. During this time many people were killed but also many people were saved because of the kindness of others. Therefore the importance of loving and helping others in the times we live in has never been so important. What if a situation like this were to arise again, as bystanders can not sit by like some did in the Holocaust. “Bystanders were, in many cases, essentially passive offenders, because without their silent consent, the Nazis would have had a much harder time in doing as much damage as they did. The amount of good that rescuers did is testament to the fact that we have a choice, and that choice really does matter.” (Em josie, May 11th 2012) If this were to happen again people must stand up and protect their fellow humans. The deaths caused in the Holocaust must be remembered and it is important that the world commends them. Joseph Stalin another man who caused Genocide among his people once said this “The death of one person is a tragedy. The deaths of a million people is a statistic." (Em josie, May 11th 2012) The problem with this way of thinking is the death of millions of people should be a tragedy. Killing people is like taking a star out of the sky ; it is not as beautiful. The world must remember so that the suffering of millions of people wasn't in vain so that people can make this a better world, one person at a time.