Causes & Effects of the Holocaust
There are times in history when desperate people plagued by desperate situations blindly give evil men power. These men, once given power, have only their own evil agendas to carry out. The Holocaust was the result of one such man's agenda. In short simplicity, shear terror, brutality, inhumanity, injustice, irresponsibility, immorality, stupidity, hatred, and pure evil are but a few words to describe the Holocaust.
A holocaust is defined as a disaster that results with the tremendous loss of human life. History, however, generally identifies the Holocaust to be the series of events that occurred in the years before and during World War II. The Holocaust started in 1933 with the persecuting and terrorizing of Jews by the Nazi Party, and ended in 1945 with the murder of millions of helpless Jews by the Nazi war-machine. "The Holocaust has become a symbol of brutality and of one people's inhumanity to another." (Resnick p. 11)
The man responsible for the Holocaust was Adolf Hitler and his Nazi war-machine. As an Austrian born soldier-turned-politician, Hitler was fascinated with the concept of the racial supremacy of the German people. He was also a very bitter, very evil little man.
In addition, having lost the war, the humiliated Germans were forced by the Allies to sign the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 that officially ended World War I. According to the harsh terms of the treaty, Germany had to hand over many of its richest industrial territories to the victors, and was made to pay reparations to the Allied countries it devastated during the war. Germany lost its pride, prestige, wealth, power, and the status of being one of Europe's greatest nations. (Resnick p. 15)
However, these events infuriated Hitler who refused to believe that the Germans had been defeated fairly on the battlefield. Instead, he believed that the betrayal and trickery of Communists and Jews, the "evil partners" of the Allies, had defeated Germany. (Resnick p. 16) But, "Exactly when Hitler's eliminationist hatred of the Jews took form in his mind is still a matter of debate." (McFee p. 2)
Hitler was obsessed with the racial superiority he believed the German peoples had over all other inferior peoples. He wanted to rule the world, but in order to carry out his solution, he needed to convince the German people to listen to him. Perhaps Hitler would never have been able to do what he did had World War I never occurred. As Resnick said in his book, The Holocaust; After World War I, Germany was trying to rebuild and recover…Both the Treaty of Versailles and the Great Depression severely afflicted Germany. "In many respects, these terrible conditions made Hitler's rise to power possible." (Resnick p. 15) People in desperate situations will listen to anyone offering a way out. Hitler offered not only a way out of Germany's turmoil, but also someone to blame for it; he pointed at the Jews.
The Jews were not...