Monday, July 17, 2017

Facts About The Holocaust

Derived from the words, 'Holos' which means whole and 'Kaustos' which means burned, The Holocaust is the term used for horrific series of events or to be more specific, as a Mass Murder that happened in Germany between 30th January 1933 to 8th May 1945. The Holocaust is an historical term which initially describes the sacrificial offering burned on an altar, but since 1945 is referred to the mass execution of more than six million European Jews, who were massacred by the German Nazi regime. The Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had always considered Jews to be inferior race. For him, the Jewish community was sort of an alien threat to the pure racist community of Germany. Hence throughout German occupied Poland, various mass killing centers under the pretext of concentration camps were constructed where in the Jews were killed on large numbers. The Holocaust was indeed considered to be the 'Final Solution' of Hitler and was kept hidden from the Allied Powers until the end of the war.

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What were Concentration Camps

Concentration camps usually refers to camps that are built to detain prisoners. These camps endow harsh treatments and conditions on the confined people and work against the normal rules and regards for legal norms. During the German Nazi regime, these concentration camps formed the structural part of the control and leadership from the year 1933 to 1945. On these concentration camps which were constructed all over the German occupied Poland, atrocities and torture were imposed on the prisoners. One of the first concentration camp was constructed in Germany soon after Adolf Hitler was appointed as the Chancellor in January 1933.

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The first regular concentration camp particularly meant for Political prisoners was Dachau, established by the German Coalition government of National Socialist Workers Party and the Nationalist People's Party. With the beginning of the Second World War, millions of ordinary people were confined in these concentration camps where they were tortured, starved and killed in the name of imprisonment. Life in concentration camps during the Holocaust was torturous and ugly.

What triggered The Holocaust

Germany was defeated in World War I. It faced humiliation by the Versailles Treaty which added to it's woe. The Versailles Treaty had a great impact on Germany as it not only reduced its existing power but also cutback it's armed forces. Germany also had to compensate the Allied Powers. The Worldwide Depression caused due to New York Stock Market Crash in 1929 further added to it's economic volatility. There was major unemployment and monetary unsteadiness.

Versailles Treaty
Source - Google

The leader of the National Socialist German Workers, Adolf Hitler was appointed as the Chancellor of Germany by President Paul Von Hindenburg on 30th January 1933. Adolf Hitler had been hostile and prejudiced when it came to Jews and inferior classes. He considered Jews to be an inferior race and an alien threat to German's pure race. The killings thus began in the names of the 'Final Solution' or The Holocaust. Killing centers in the form of concentration camps were constructed all over the German occupied Poland and thus began the mass murders of the European Jews. More than six million Jews were horribly killed with various attack types such as genocide, ethnic cleansing, gassing and burning alive. Building the concentration camps in Poland held logistic importance. Millions of Jews lived in most part of Poland before the war. This location of concentration camps also made it convenient for the Nazis to remove the German Jews from within Germany proper.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

27th January is remembered as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day when thousands of people all over the world pay homage to the millions of Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

Facts About The Holocaust

1. Once Adolf Hitler came into power in Germany, the Holocaust began in the year 1933. It ended in the year 1945 only after the Allied powers defeated the Nazis.

2. Adolf Hitler made it a point to hide the Holocaust from the Allied powers and rest of the world.

3. More than six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust

4. Though Jews were the main target for Nazis, yet more than five million non-Jewish people were victim of the Holocaust.

5. These non-Jewish victims who were considered as inferior race included the Roma(gypsies), Blacks and mixed African-Germans

6. Half of the German Jews and more than two third of Austrian Jews fled Germany between 1933 to 1939. They seek refuge in United States, Latin America, Japan occupied Shanghai and elsewhere in Europe.

7. When the Second World War started, the Jewish were made to wear a yellow Star of David with the word 'Jude' written on it so that Nazis would identify them as Jewish.

8. Jewish people were used for performing medical experiments during the Holocaust.

9. In the Auschwitz concentration camp were given tattoos with numbers so the Germans could identify them.

10. Around two-third of Jewish population within Europe was destroyed by Nazis during the World War II.

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