Modern History Oral Personal Account Of The Holocaust I Did An Account Of A Jewish Woman Sharing Her Experiences With A History Class.

1644 words - 7 pages

Good morning, I have come to visit you today to share with you my experiences from my earlier years as a young Jewish woman during the Holocaust. As many of you should already know, the Holocaust occurred during the late-thirties to mid-forties and brought the persecution of millions of European Jews. During class, you would have learnt about World War II, Nazis and many of the horrors of the Holocaust such as the concentration camps and gas chambers and I am here to help you achieve a greater understanding of what it was like for me and my family.Life in Germany when I was growing up had always been full of cultural and historical tradition, and I was proud of my Jewish ancestry. I felt safe in my country and Jews such as myself were well integrated into German society. I grew up in a small mostly Jewish neighbourhood and had much in common with many of my friends. Things were very good then, if only it could have remained that way.My father David managed a small store nearby and my mother stayed home to care for myself and my two older brothers Francis and Johannes. Unfortunately my mother passed away when I was only ten years old, shortly after giving birth to my younger sister Greta, leaving me to take care of my family. I stopped attending classes and taught myself to cook and sew, but it was very hard without my mother there. I had never experienced any racism towards me and didn’t fully understand the term until I had reached my teenage years.The persecution began when Hitler assumed the chancellorship of Germany in 1933 and it still pains me today to mention his name. There was a one-day boycott declared against all Jewish shops and soon after a law was passed against the butchering of kosher meat. It wasn’t rare to pick up a newspaper and see antisemitic caricatures of Jews exhibited on the front page. In public, we were only allowed to sit on yellow benches designated for Jews and we were all treated as second class citizens. I didn’t understand why any of this was happening; what had we done wrong? I could only wonder how long this discrimination could have continued and prayed that it would all end soon so that Greta could grow up happily and go to school with the rest of the children, proud of her Jewish heritage.However it continued to worsen. I was not much older than you are now when I witnessed the extreme racism and destruction of Kristallnacht, or in English, the night of broken glass. It was called this you see, because many gangs of Nazi youth torrorised Jewish neighbourhoods such as my own, vandalising and breaking the windows of businesses and homes. They showed no respect for my people and went so far as to burn and loot our sacred and religious synagogues. The temple I used to go to every Saturday had been reduced to nothing more than a burnt-out shell. It was then that I realised how unsafe my world had become.I remember that night so clearly although I often wish that I couldn’t. Then I wouldn’t...

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