Jewish Children During The Holocaust Essay

1386 words - 6 pages

"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children" (Nelson Mandela). If this statement is considered true, then it's fair to say that during times of the Holocaust, the German society was at an all time low. Children during the Holocaust did not have a carefree childhood, like they should have, but instead were placed under strenuous conditions. They had to go through being separated from all family and friends, being chosen the first to go to, and in most cases a permanent loss of family members. The Holocaust was undoubtedly a horrific experience for everyone involved but for children it must have been traumatizing.
It is in a child's nature to be dependant of its parents and family members. They rely on them to protect and take care of them, so when they are suddenly ripped out of that comfort and protection, imagine the impact it would have on them. During the Holocaust, there was nothing the parents could do to protect their children; it was inevitable if they were Jewish they were always at risk. But on top of their vulnerability, children were frequently separated from their family and loved ones. Whether it be going into a concentration camp or going into hiding, the Holocaust has many examples of families being torn apart. One example would be with twins. Twins we often used for scientific experimentation, and when they were brought into concentration camps they were immediately identified and separated. The children that were used for these experiments very rarely survived them, and if they did they never saw their twin again. In just a short amount of time they were ripped away from their families and comfort and thrown into this chaos and unbearable setting (Nancy Segal). Another example is when children went into hiding. There was a great deal of "...separation from parents, grandparents, and siblings. For a variety of reasons - the lack of space, the inability or unwillingness of a rescuer to take in an entire family, or the decision of the parents not to abandon other family members in the ghetto - many Jewish children went into hiding alone" (Berman 14). For their protection, children were being sent away by their families to go into hiding and they very rarely knew who they were staying with. They were being taken in by strangers and had no idea what was going to happen to their other family. The stress of not knowing if their parents or siblings were even alive was something that they thought about constantly and they always had the agonizing fear that they would get caught and killed. (Hidden Children of the Holocaust).
Not only was separation hard for the children, but they were often times killed first. Before the war, there was approximately 1.6 million Jewish children living in the area and by the end of the war at least one million of them were dead (Hidden Children of the Holocaust). Someone had to go first to the killing centers and it was always a tough decision. But...

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