Imagine being shoved off of an old, dirty train and not having a clue where you were headed. Everyone on the train is in incredible shock, and not much is heard except horrifying screams and cries from those around you. No one has access to food or water. Believe it or not, that is what you would have experienced if you lived in Germany, Poland, or Hungary about seventy years ago. Nearly six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. The Holocaust was much more than a cruel, belittling era; it was an atrocity beyond measure.
On September 11, 2001, three thousand people were killed from a terrorist attack at the World Trade Center in New York City. That is not even a comparison to the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were murdered. The word “holocaust” has multiple meanings. In the early times, it meant a burnt offering to the gods (Downing 4). Middle Age citizens referred to it as a huge sacrifice or destruction (4).
Between June 1941- March 1945, there were approximately four thousand Jews murdered each day (4). There is no way anyone can grasp how bad it must have been. Death, around camps, was expressed in many ways; starved, froze or worked to death, gassed in death chambers, or even shot for no reason at all. As the death rates rose, finding a place to bury everyone was becoming a perplexing challenge.
With Hitler’s wish for living space, his goal for world domination and World War II as a cover, Hitler and his Nazi regime were able to carry out one of the greatest crimes in human history with about three and half million Jews being murdered at the death camps. All Hitler wanted was to eliminate defective genetic diseases, which in the end could endanger his wish for the Aryan race worldwide.
Once taken from the ghettos, Jews were shipped off to the death camps. Believe it or not, if you were one that was able to get on a train, you were considered lucky. Although no one was exactly lucky in any of these situations, you had a chance of survival. Around one hundred and fifty people were usually in one boxcar (Downing 4). There were no toilets on board, only small buckets that were never emptied. Along with the atrocious smell, no one was given anything to drink or any food. Several people even died on train rides, due to the smell and lack of oxygen. Therefore, they also had to deal with dead bodies scattered about them. There was nowhere for anyone to lie down or even getting somewhat comfortable. Most trips were at least 300 miles or more and took days to complete. During “peak time,” March 1942-November 1944, trains arrived daily with loads of people.
After arriving at the camps, although many were already dead, everyone was either told to go to the right or left. Most women and children, who looked unfit for work, were sent to the left, which meant immediate death. All pregnant women were also sent to the left. Most young men and others, who looked fit for work, were sent to the right,...