The Holocaust was a direct result of Hitler’s communist
dictatorship and fascist rise to power. Adolf Hitler ordered the annexation of
Austria and the Sudetenland in 1938. Then Hitler’s army invaded Poland on
September first 1939. Therefore causing England and France to officially
declare war on Germany. Blitzkrieg, (also known as “The lightning war”),
compiled of German infantry and tanks that swept through most of Western Europe
as country after country fell to Germanys superior military power.
Several victories early in World War II after the
invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, were completely reversed with
devastating defeats at Moscow (December of 1941) and Stalingrad (winter of
1942-1943) (1). These early victories caused Germany to become over-confident
and eventually led to the fall of the “superior German power”.
Germanys post World War I experiment in democracy, (“The
Weimar Republic”), was politically and economically destroyed by The Great
Depression of the early 1930’s (3). The German economy was especially fragile
due to the simple fact that it relied solely on foreign capital. These loans
suddenly became due and the world market for German exports became almost
non-existent. The well-oiled strictly disciplined German industrial machine
quickly came to a halt, causing disastrous effects. Overnight, the middle class standard of
living everyone was once so used to, was completely ruined by events located
outside of Germany’s borders beyond their control. The Great Depression
cascaded over the world while Germans were propelled into deep misery and
poverty. They soon began looking for a solution, any solution. Adolf Hitler
immediately seized this opportunity.
Hitler decided to reign in power constitutionally rather
that by the force of military actions. Using “demagogic oratory” (2), (the way
one speaks publicly, the influence you have when voicing your opinion orally).
He popularized the ideology that Germans were the “master race of the earth” in
his speeches, and that everyone who was not considered an “Aryan” were
completely inferior. Hitler also envisioned Jewish followers as Germany’s
problems. Therefore, using Jews as their solution to every problem in Germany.
This was the basis of the anti-sematic, narcissistic uprising in Germany.
Hitler’s chief assets were his demagogic oratory and a
keen sense of what the people wanted to hear. The German people were tired of
political controversy causing them to have to wait longer and longer for help
from the government. Hitler and the Nazis knew that their time for campaigning
had finally arrived. Hitler was officially elected President of Germany on
March fifth 1933s (6).
Hitler and the Nazis began a systematic takeover of the
states governments throughout Germany. Armed Nazi Gestapo swept throughout
local government offices forcing out legitimate office holders and replacing them
with Nazi Reich commissioners or simply arresting them. They used the State of
Emergency Decree as their excuse for such actions.
Under Hitler’s command, the state, not the individual,
was supreme. The moment of birth, one existed only to serve the state and obey
the dictations of the Fuhrer, and if you disagreed then you were disposed
of. In Germany, there now were constant
Nazi marches, meetings, parades and rallies. Along with the relentless
propaganda of the Nazi party and the omnipresent swastika. Those who remained
in Germany were overwhelmed by an odd aura of optimism and fear. For the first
time as a dictator, Adolf Hitler turned his attention back to what propelled
his popularity and propelled him into politics to begin with, his hatred of the
Jewish community. At the beginning, a simple boycott on April first 1933 was
the start, but would only end many years later as the greatest tragedy in all
of human history.
Nazi ideology was very radical, especially anit-semitism
which was the basis of The Holocaust. These ideas also included the creation of
a “Herrenrasse” (Master race ruled by the Third Reich) (7). As well as the
fascism and belief in the superiority of the white, Germanic, Aryan or Nordic
races. Anti-semitic prejudice was adopted by Hitler and the Nazi to gain
popularity for the movement. Anti-semitic prejudice was very common among the
masses of the German empire.
According to Adolf
Hitler, Jews were responsible for everything he did
not like, including modern art, pornography and prostitution. Hitler also
alleged that the Jews had been responsible for losing the First World War. Hitler also claimed that Jews, who were only about 1% of
the population, were slowly taking over the country (5). They were doing this
by controlling the largest political party in Germany, the German Social Democrat Party, many of the leading companies and several of the
country’s newspapers. The fact that Jews had achieved prominent positions in a
democratic society was, according to Hitler, an argument against democracy:
“a hundred blockheads do not equal one man in wisdom” (5).
hostility of towards Jews increased in Germany. This was reflected in the
decision by many shops and restaurants not to serve the Jewish population.
Placards saying “Jews not admitted” and “Jews enter this place
at their own risk” began to appear all over Germany. In some parts of the
country Jews were banned from public parks, swimming-pools and public
transport. During Crystal Night over 7,500
Jewish shops were destroyed and 400 synagogues were burnt down. Ninety-one Jews
were killed and an estimated 20,000 were sent to concentration camps. Up until this
time these camps had been mainly for political prisoners. The only people who
were punished for the crimes committed on Crystal Night were members of the Sturm Abteilung (SA) who had raped Jewish women (they had
broken the Nuremberg Laws on sexual intercourse between Aryans
and Jews). After Crystal Night the numbers of Jews wishing to leave
Germany increased dramatically. It has been calculated that between 1933 and
1939, approximately half the Jewish population of Germany (250,000) left the
country. This included several Jewish scientists who were to play an important
role in the fight against fascism during the war. A higher number of Jews would
have left but anti-Semitism was not restricted to Germany and many countries
were reluctant to take them (3).
the greatest tragedy in human history, The Holocaust. First the Jews in Germany
and Austria, then the Jews throughout Nazi controlled lands during WWII were
forced into concentration camps. However not only the Jews but other people
from different ethnical and religious groups such as Slavs, Gypsies, and
Russian captives were sent straight to Auschwitz. Others who were not sent to
camps such as Auschwitz were sent to other camps and were forced to do back
breaking work through very harsh conditions.
Nazi officers showed absolutely no mercy, pity, or compassion to the captives.
These innocent people were used as guinea pigs for disgusting experiments, were
forced to undress completely and stand before Nazis during their mass murders,
as well as be barely fed while being forced into back breaking labor for their
the notorious “doctor” of the worst concentration camp of all, Auschwitz (4). He
is known for carrying out horrid tests and experiments on unwilling adults and
children among the captives. He used them to explore the limits of the human
body. In extremely cold winter, Holocaust victims were soaked in ice-cold water
were used to see how many minutes a person could survive before painfully
freeze to death. Mengele is also known to have carried out anesthesia-free
operations on the victims; he amputated their legs, arms or even stomachs
without any anesthesia. These were just a few examples of the disgusting
torture and de-humanizing of the Holocaust victims.
of innocent people lost their lives in concentration camps, which was condoned
by Hitler and his Nazi party, as well as a majority of the Germanic people. Due
to the systematic Nazi murders by means of gassing, shooting, physical, mental
and emotional torture.
subjugated to a despicable genocide during WWII by Hitler and the Nazi party.
Millions of Jews – as well as other people of different backgrounds – became
the target of Nazi brutality. During the Holocaust an estimated eleven million
innocent people were murdered, (approximately six million Jews and five million
others collectively) (5). The Holocaust was a direct result of Hitlers
anti-semitic demagogic oratory and his fascist rise to power.