The holocaust happened during the Second World War for many different reasons. These include Hitler wanting to annihilate Jews from Europe, to punish the other European countries for the clauses put in place through the treaty of Versailles.
Anti- Semitism, the religious and racial prejudice against the Jews, led to the “final solution.” This was the name of the Nazis’ plan to kill all the Jews of Europe. It was carried out mainly by mobile killing squads and in ghettos, concentration camp and death camps.
Anti-Semitism towards Jews has been around for hundreds of years dating back to even before 1500 but one of the earliest written views on Jews was written by a German monk called Martin Luther this source below shows that the Jew has been victimized through out history because of their beliefs and how they chose to live.
Martin Luther was a German monk. His views on Jews written in 1543 were shared by many Christians
“The Jews are nothing but thieves and robbers
and everything which they eat or wear has
been stolen from us. Thus they live from day to
day together with wife and child, by theft and robbery.
We let them get rich on our sweat and blood,
while we remain poor and they suck the marrow
from our bones. What shall we Christians do
with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews
First set fire to their synagogues (places of worship) or schools and bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn. Second, I advise that their houses also be destroyed.”
The lines highlighted show that the Jews have been victimized for hundreds of years and that during the Second World War this victimization made it easier for Hitler to put the thought of the Jews as undesirables into the German people’s minds. The amount of text highlighted shows just how forceful the hatred towards the Jews was.
Nazi propaganda against the Jews started gradually before the war so that the Germans became used to it, even before war.
To make Germany fit for war, one thing the Nazis did not overlook was the need to ensure full support on the home front, as one of their beliefs was that the first world war had been lost as a result of weak moral among German civilians. Hence the enormous attention they paid to propaganda. Broadcasting, the press and education were used to break down any resistance to their ideas which individual Germans might cherish. Nazi totalitarism was original, indeed, because of the intensity of its attack on the human mind. The Nazis believed that they could shape minds as they saw fit.
The Nazis used propaganda through newspapers and magazines and on the radio. Before the Second World War the German leader, Adolf Hitler, understood how useful propaganda
could be. He was a marvelous speaker who could make his audience believe anything. He himself said that
“To be a leader means to be able to move the masses”
Hitler’s speeches were propaganda of the spoken world. He thought the ordinary people in a crowd were very stupid. A leader only had to stick a few ideas about what he wanted his followers to do.
“Only constant repetition will succeed in imprinting an idea on the memory of a crowd.”
In his speeches Hitler would repeat words like “smash”, “ruthless” and “Hatred” until the crowd had no other thoughts in their minds. The posters produced by Hitler’s Nazi party would repeat the same few ideas.
Propaganda does not have to be true to be believed. Hitler worked on the principle that,
“When you lie, tell big lies.”
Hitler’s Germany already had a ministry of propaganda. By 1937 the ministry had a budget of 55.3 million Reich marks to spend on propaganda. In addition, the German foreign ministry spent 49.4 million Reich marks on propaganda aboard.
The Einsayzgruppen was a secret German force whose job it was to round up and kill the Jews and other undesirables. To get rid of the Jews (to kill them) they would line them up in front of a pit/trench which the Jews themselves had dug then shot them so that they fell into the pit then the bodies were covered in lime- water and then had soil thrown on top till you would be able to tell where the graves were. The Germans forced the Jews to dig the pits/trenches which turned into their own graves.
Ghettoes were introduced during the Second World War because before hand the Jews were just killed into mass graves and this was done of several years but after a while the soldier developed a form of insanity as they witnessed and killed the Jews, so the nazi party came up with concentration camps/ death camps. Yet before the Jews could be sent there they were rounded up like animals and put in ghettoes. These Ghettoes where the filth that the filth wouldn’t touch, they often didn’t have running water and there were no toilet facilities and then the nazi party ordered that Jewish children could no longer receive an education as they thought that they weren’t worthy of one.
In the evacuation of a ghetto Nazi soldiers would go into the ghettoes may be 100 – 150 soldiers and then go into every house and clear everyone out of it on the way out of the house the Jews would have to show the soldiers their papers (ID) if they did not have them they were shot there and then. Men and women were separated Men on one side women and children on the other the women and children were then put onto cattle wagon trains like animals as the nazis thought that they were scum and animal vermin. The Jews had to pay for there own train ride to the concentration camps it was like they were paying for the right to die.
What happened in the concentration camps was that they came up with cyclone b which was originally used on vermin; at first they used 2 farm houses for gas chambers as it took up to 2 days for the gas to be cleared out (vented). The Jews taken to the gas chambers were told that they were going for a shower they were told that they were to remember the number which their clothes were hanging. They were then led to the gas chambers they were packed into them, and then the gas was released until all the Jews were dead. When they were all dead the chamber was vented then nazi soldiers would come in and put all of the bodies on to a lift which went up to the crematoria where the fire was always on through the amount of bodies being burned. The ashes from the bodies were then used as land fill.
The gassing process
1. Separation into
Fit / healthy + Sick
Worked to death or finally gassed Gassed immediately
2. Taken to the shower room and gassed using Cyclone b
3. Bodies cremated and ashes dumped
Those who weren’t gassed were worked to death in slave labor they were forced to work in building factories were the usual life expectancy for the concentration camps was 2-3 months. The final solution was put in place by families told that they were going to stay together to avoid panic and confusion and basically to keep the Jews under control.
This show how focused the Nazis were on destroying the Jewish population and all other undesirables from Europe I also think that if they hadn’t have been so focused on destroying the Jewish communities and more focused on the war then the may have won and then they could have dealt with the Jews accordingly but they were more focused on destroying Jews than wining the war so they were bound to fail.