Six million. This is a large number by anyone's
account, whether it be dollars, days, or human lives.
How could one measure the significance of six
million lives, it would be impossible to. "The
intentional annihilation of six million people has
affected the world in ways that we will never know,
maybe the person who could have discovered the
cure for Cancer or AIDS died in the gas chambers at
Auschwitz." (Remembrance, 1) Six million people is
fully one fifth of one per-cent of the world's population.
This may not sound like a huge number, but it is. Six
million lives, gone. Whole families, wiped out. All this
in the span of only five short years. These five years
are now known as the holocaust. These five years
were possibly the worst in human history, to consider
the effects of this event and learn to never repeat it is
The holocaust was the principle part of Adolf Hitler's
master plan to have the white Aryan race dominate
the world. All other life was unimportant. It was to be
used as either slavery, or be exterminated.
(Auschwitz) Most minorities were counted as the
peoples that must be wiped out, but primarily Jews.
The holocaust was not only Jews however. An
estimated 5.5 million other Slavs, gypsies,
homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, mental defects,
socialists, communists, and any other groups that did
not fit into his vision of the master race were
murdered in the same concentration camps in the
same manor as the Jews. The main difference
between Hitler's killing of the Jews, and these cases,
is that there was no intention to kill all of them, or
cause a genocide, as was true with the Jews
(Landau 117). Whether or not Hitler would have killed
them all given the proper time is an interesting
question, however there is not sufficient evidence on
which to base an answer to it.
Almost all of the killing during the holocaust was done
in prison like facilities called concentration camps.
These large camps were guarded my German SS
officers who were told to kill any inmates they
deemed necessary. The largest, and perhaps most
well known concentration camp during the holocaust
was located in north Poland in the small town of
Zasole. There were actually two camps to be built
here. The first was built right after Poland was
annexed into the Axis Empire in 1939. This camp
held only ten thousand people. It was named
Auschwitz. Two years later, a second camp was built
approximately one and one half miles from the
original camp. This is what is now generally referred
to as Auschwitz as it was
much larger and had many times the number of kills
as the original. It was named Birkenau (McVay 2).
Later the camps were grouped together and
collectively called Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The majority of killings in the concentration camps,
especially in Auschwitz, were done in gas chambers.
German SS officer Böck describes a gassing at
Auschwitz. "There was a sign 'to disinfection'. He
said 'you see, they are bringing children now'....