The Holocaust, Samantha Matousek Essay

1204 words - 5 pages

Taken out of their homes, killed, put to work in unimaginable conditions, and if lucky living the rest of their lives with the awful images of the ghettos and the concentration camps. Jews during World War II had to deal with all of these things. The Nazis, led by Adolf Hitler, held no compassion for the Jewish people of Germany, Poland and the other countries that the Nazis had taken over at that time. Jews throughout the Holocaust had to deal with unfair laws, terrible living conditions, unreasonable working conditions, and after being released from the camps, the pictures in their minds of the horrors they had been through.During the Holocaust, Jews had to deal with many unfair laws passed and false crimes put against them. On September 16, 1935, two Jewish girls, named Eva and Mally Heimann, living in Germany were no longer citizens of Germany. They also had no chance of being part of the future of Germany. They had to wear the Jewish star of David and were “classified as Jews in accordance with §5, section 2 of the first Ordinance to the Reich Citizenship Law.” (18), that said “Jew is he who is descended from at least three grandparents who are fully Jewish by race.”(14.) After the passage of the Nuremberg Laws, the explicit harassing of the Jews intensified in Germany. On November 7, 1938, a young German Jew, Herschel Grynszpan, shot an officer at the German embassy in Paris. Grynszpan’s family had just been moved from Germany to Poland and Hershel was furious about their treatment. On November 9, a terrifying wave of organized violence broke out against Jews living in Germany. This was called the Kristallnacht, or night of broken glass, and during this time thousands of Jewish synagogues, houses, and businesses were wiped out all through Germany. The Jews who weren’t slaughtered were forced to pay large fines in return for damages caused that night. (12-28)Terrible living conditions are another thing that the Jewish people had to live with during the Holocaust. The creation of the ghettos was caused by the Nazi procedures. A vast number of Jews fled Germany and this was encouraged by the German government. It was said to be an answer to what was called by the Nazis, “the Jewish problem”. When Hitler gained control of most of Europe in 1940, Nazi officials searched for other ways to eradicate Jews from Europe. More than three million Jews in Poland were driven out of their homes against their wills to make housing and jobs vacant for Germans and the evicted Jews were forced into separate areas in the large cities, called ghettos. Ghettos were really just work camps and holding areas for Polish Jews who were put to work to create materials for the German army. “Week by week during 1940, the number of enforced ghettos grew…” (35). Healthy Jews, sent out to do slave labor, were worked to death inside the ghettos by the construction of concentration camps. The Germans assembled...

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