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Causes Of The Holocaust Essay

849 words - 4 pages

The Holocaust (or Shoah in Hebrew) was the annihilation of the Jewish population by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. The Jewish people were persecuted by Hitler and the Nazis before and during World War Two. The Nazis believed that the Jewish people were an inferior race and did not want them "contaminating Aryan blood". The Holocaust lasted for 12 years (January 30th, 1933 - May 8th, 1945) and was one of the most brutal events of the twentieth century. The Holocaust included the death and torture of almost 6 million Jews, as well as 5 million Gypsies, Poles, Russians, Jehovah's Witnesses, political prisoners and male homosexuals. The Holocaust was made possible due to anti-Semitism worldwide, isolationism politics, fear of the Nazis and the appeasement of Hitler by leaders of other countries.

Anti-Semitism played a large role in the Holocaust. Anti-Semitism is defined as “discrimination against, or prejudice, or hostility toward Jews”. (dictionary.com) The Jewish people were accused of many things including the extreme opposites of being militant aggressors and cowardly pacifists. Hitler’s Nazi party put in place many anti-Semitism laws, rules, regulations and guidelines that greatly restricted the civil and human rights of Jewish people. Some laws passed between March 31st 1933 and November 15, 1938 included: Jewish doctors being suspended from charity services; Jews being removed from government service; Jewish officers were expelled from the army; Jews were banned as teachers; Jews were required to adopt an additional name: "Sara” for women and “Israel” for men; assets were transferred from Jewish to non-Jewish Germans; Jewish owned shops were closed; and all Jewish children were expelled from schools. (from http://goo.gl/CPNrxu) All of these laws treated Jews as though they were not human beings. This made it easier for Nazi soldiers to kill Jews because they did not believe that Jews were human beings. Events like Kristallnacht (Crystal Night) where Germans were given free rein and were told they could loot any Jewish shop they want, as well as beat or kill any Jew that they wanted to without repercussions demonstrated this anti-Semitic trend. Even Americans were anti-Semitic due to the fact that they did not want Jews coming to America and taking what few jobs were left as they were just recovering from the great depression.

The United States especially and also the Vatican tried to stay out of the war for as long as possible. Unfortunately,...

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