HOLOCAUST

A liberated children in one of the Holocaust concentration camp after the Second World War. Source : wikimedia.org

Holocaust was a mass killing of over six million Jews during the Second World War (1939-1945) by the Nazi Government of Germany under Adolf Hitler.

During the Holocaust genocide almost two-thirds of the Jews in Europe were killed.

Background

Before the Holocaust, there were at least nine million Jews living in Europe. Most of these Jews lived in the Eastern part of the European continent.

For hundred of years, Jews had been facing discriminations in different parts of the world more especially within Europe. This discrimination was known as the ‘Anti-Semitism’ whereby Jews faced different kinds of prejudice due to their race, behavior and religion. By the mid-19th century many Europeans opposed the Jews as unpatriotic who considered their personal interest above the national interest.

By the early 20th century, the anti-semitism sentiment began to get momentum more especially in Germany. In 1935, the Nazi Government of Germany under Adolf Hitler passed a law called Nuremberg Race Laws in which a marriage between Jews and the Germans were prohibited. Since then, different laws were passed in which Jews were denied the rights to vote, banned from getting a professional job, enrolling into higher education, and others. Gradually, these laws reduced the status of the Jews in Germany into a sub-human.

Holocaust 1941-1940

Adolf Hitler was known as racist who considered his German Aryan race as the most superior of all others. On the other hand, he hated Jews and considered them as an undesirable elements in Germany needed to be purge away.

By 1941, the German army have occupied or annexed nearly all the countries in which most of the Jews lived.

GHETTO

Initially, during the War, the Nazi Government began segregating the Jews into a quarter or area known as the ‘Ghetto’. In this area, the Jews were segregated in a bad condition with no food or health care. For example, over fifty Jews shared a single small room. In these ghettos, many Jews died as a result of the hardship condition.

CONCENTRATION CAMPS

The concentration camp also known as the labor camp was a special area in which the Jews received hard labor and eventually being killed. The concentration camps included Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek, and others. For example, one of the method of killing in the concentration camp was that of the use of poison gas.

Aftermath

The Holocaust came to an end with the end of the Second World War. Immediately, the army of the Allies powers that included United States, Great Britain, and Russia, stormed and freed all the Jews held in concentration camps.

On the other hand, some of the war crime leaders of the Nazi Germany were jailed. While others were sentenced to death.

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