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The Effects Of The Holocaust Essay, Research Paper

The Effects of the Holocaust

Never shall I forget the faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames consumed my faith forever . Never shall I forget those moments, which murdered my god and my soul and turned my dreams to dust . Never. (Wiesel, quoted in Night 19) Many Jews experienced this same feeling of emptiness and loneliness during the Holocaust. The Holocaust was the twelve years of Nazi persecution of Jews, which was marked by increasing barbarization of methods and by expansion of territories terrorized by German rule and which climaxed in the final solution (die Endlosung), the attempted extermination of European Jewry. (Britannica). The severe punishments of the Holocaust began in 1933, and would mark twelve hard and suffering years for Jews. On October 28, 1938 the Gestapo rounded up the Polish Jews within Germany, put them on transports, and then dropped them off on the Polish side of the Poland Germany

border (near Posen) Thousands died. (Terror on Kristallnacht 12) By 1938, the Nazi s had been in power for five years and were trying to get rid of the Jews in Germany, attempting to Germany Judenfrei (Jew free) But for the Jews, the worst was yet to come. The Holocaust affected the way Jewish people lived in the past.

Many Jews were deported and sent back to their original home of Poland. Among these Polish Jews were the parents of seventeen year old Hershl Grynspan On November 7, 1938, Hershl shot Ernst vom Rath, the third secretary in the German Embassy in Paris The day vom Rath died, Goebbels announced a government approved reprisal against the Jews Jewish shop windows were broken, Jews were beaten, raped, arrested, and murdered The damage to shop windows was guessed at four million U.S. dollars. 91 Jews were murdered. (Terror on Kristallnacht 22) Kristallnacht is a German word that consists of two parts: Kristall translates to crystal and refers to the look of broken glass and Nacht means night. The accepted English translation is the Night of Broken Glass. (Terror on Kristallnacht 26) On November 9, storm troopers came into towns across Germany and attacked all the Jewish buildings, including synagogues, which were burned to the ground. (McDougal Littell 5) The Jewish community was in an uproar and hundreds were being killed because Hitler s hate. The Jewish citizens feared for their lives, and soon would begin to be thrown into concentration camps.

Towards the end of 1939, many Jews in Germany began to flee to other countries for safety, fearing that it would become worse. (McDougal Littell 10) Getting other countries to let the Jews in was beginning to become a problem. France had already admitted 25,000 Jewish refugees; the British admitted 80,000 Jews; some Jews even fled to Latin America who had already admitted 40,000 Jews; and the United States let in around 100,000 Jews (including German scientist Albert Einstein).

People were beginning to get tired of these Jews, and the doors to other countries soon shut. We all want to get rid of our Jews. The difficulty is that no country wishes to receive them. (Germany s foreign minister; McDougal Littell 17) Hitler was becoming very tired of not being ale to get rid of the Jews through emigration, so he found another way to do so; ghettos, or segregated Jewish areas. Even the strongest of the Jews were beginning to fear Hitler now.

The ghettos were then sealed off with barbed wire and stonewalls, by the Nazi s. A survivor wrote, One sees people dying, lying with arms and legs outstretched in the middle of the road. Their legs are bloated, often frostbitten, and their faces distorted with pain. (McDougal Littell 27) Also inside the ghettos Jews struggled to hang on to their religion. Ghetto threaters produced plays and concerts. Teachers taught lessons in secret schools. Scholars kept records so that one-day people would find out the truth. (McDougal Littell 30)

After Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, it was still not clear that the Fuhrer meant to eliminate Jews totally. When the Nazi armies swept across Eastern Europe, Hitler sent SS units from town to town to hunt Jews down. The SS (Hitler s elite security force) and some thousands of helpers rounded up Jews-men, women, young children, and even babies-and took them to isolated where they were shot. The place at which they were shot would become their grave. (McDougal Littell 35) The Jewish people that were not captured by the SS soldiers were taken to concentration camps, or slave-labor prisons.

As we approached the outskirts of town the Germans pulled six Jews from the crowd and shot them freshly prepared graves leaders of the community I was standing next

to his son who stopped to say Kaddish for his father and he was shot too (Lerer) The prisoners worked seven days a week as slaves, and the guards nearly beat them to death for not working fast enough. (Bueller interview) With meals of thin soup, a scrap of bread, and potato peelings, most prisoners lost 50 pounds the first month. It was like hell on earth for them; many people would not have been able to survive this type of cruel punishment.

The most effective method for mass extermination became gassing in specially constructed gas chambers, from which the bodies were taken crematoriums across the way. (Britannica) The Jews were led to a chamber with fake showerheads, and the doors closed. The prisoners were then poisoned with cyanide gas that poured from the showerheads. The huge gas chambers in the camps could kill 6,000 human beings a day. (McDougal Littell 45). So Stadie, the sarge showed us the camp from end to end. Just as we went by, they were opening the gas-chamber doors, and people fell out like potatoes. Naturally, that horrified and appalled us. SS Unterscharfuhrer Franz Suchomel, 1985 (The Holocaust History Project) The fear of choking and the fear of not being able to breathe were horrifying experiences for the Jews. Not many Jews compared what they started with, survived.

The subsequent years tend to heal a few individual wounds, but the damage suffered by organized Jewry on the continent of Europe could not be fully repaired. (Britannica) Holocaust day, a day of commemoration, is observed on Nisan 27 and elsewhere on April 19 or 20.

The date is considered the anniversary of the beginning or the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (q.v.) of 1943. (Britannica) My thesis statement as correct, the holocaust did affect the Jews lives because many, in some cases, lost friends, family, and homes; many were killed at the hands of murderous many.

Works Cited

An Illustrated History of the Holocaust. Copyright: 1996 3 April 1984

Hidden Children. Copyright: 1995 16 May 2000

Lerer, Gertie. The Young Soapmaker. Canada: Bantam Books 1983

Littell, McDougal. The Holocaust. Illinois: McDougal Littell inc.; 1999

Swanson, Charles E. The Holocaust The New Encyclopedia Britannica.1986ed.

Terror on Krisallnacht Copyright: 1998 15 May 2000

The Holocaust History Project Copyright: 1998 16 May 2000


Matthew Morrow

2 – 20 01

Period 1

English 3

Mrs. Rodi

The Effects of the Holocaust Outline

I. Krisallnacht-Novemebr 1938

A. On November 7, wishing to avenge his father s deportation, Grynszpan shot an employee of the German Embassy in Paris.

B. On November 9 Nazi storm leaders attacked homes, business, and synagoques across Germany and murdered around 100 Jews

II. The Flood of Refugees

A. Jews did not want to leave Germany were forced to emigrate.

B. Jews were beginning to flee to other countries for refuge, but the other countries were becoming very crowded.

III. Isolating the Jews

A.Hitler ordered all jews in all countries under his control to be moved into dismal, over crowded ghettos.

B.Some Jews formed resistance organizations withing the ghettos. They smuggled in food and other items.

IV. The Mass Killings Begin

A. The SS and some thousands rounded p Jews-men, women, young children, and even babies too.

V. The Mass Extermination

A. The Nazi s built extermination camps equipped with gas chambers for mass murder.

B. They were led to the camps to die.

VI. The Survivors

A. Fewer than 4 million Jews survived the Holocaust

B. Those who survived the camps were changed forever for what they saw in the camps.

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