Children Of The Jewish Holocaust Essay

1128 words - 5 pages

"The actual number of children who died during the Holocaust will never accurately be known. Estimates range as high as 1.5 million, including more than 1.2 million Jewish children. In addition, tens of thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of handicapped German, Polish French, and Eastern European children were also murdered while under Nazi rule." (http://www.humanitas-international.org/holocaust/children.htm)Although children were rarely the targets of Nazi violence simply for the fact that they were children, they were persecuted along with their families for racial, religious, or political reasons. Children cannot be considered a single unified group because of the enormous and complex variations in their situation and ages. The chance of survival and the ability to perform physical labor varied enormously by the age of the child. Chances of survival were somewhat higher for older children, since they could potentially be assigned to forced labor in concentration camps and ghettos. (http://www.humanitas-international.org/holocaust/children.htm)Jewish youth were subject to deportations from ghettos to concentration camps. Infants and young children were more likely to be deported than teenagers, as teens could be used for forced labor, whereas younger children just took up room because they were not useful to the Nazis. The only chance children had to escape the horrors of the ghettos and later concentration camps was the kinder transport. The kinder transport allowed children to leave their country, for a certain period of time, to go to Britain to escape the terrors of their homeland. But in order to do so, paper work had to be approved and the children would be forced to leave behind their families.Besides the kinder transport, the only chance of survival for children was through organizations like, Jewish schools such as Youth Aliya School in Vienna, the youth movement from inside the ghettos, the Jewish Underground Youth Movement, and the Zionist Movement.The Zionist Youth Movement played a huge role in the lives of Jewish youth. Its purpose was for these youth, many of whom had lost their families to the Nazis and were left with only each other, to help Jewish people escape the horrors of their reality and lead them to the Jewish homeland, Israel. Through this organization, the youth worked together in order to strive for this common goal. However, March of 1942 became the last day of the Zionist movement in Berlin, Germany. In a letter written to other countries, by the Zionist movement in Berlin, the situation of the Zionist movement was addressed, "For we are living in very difficult times. Many of our members are no longer with us. They have already been taken to Poland, a place where an unknown fate awaits them." (69, p.154) This statement not only alerted the other countries as to why their chapter of the organization must disaffiliate, but explained to the reader the thoughts and feelings of the terrorized people. They were...

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