The Jewish Holocaust Essay

2220 words - 9 pages

The Holocaust The Holocaust has been called the most terrible catastrophe in modern history: a hideous nightmare that came true, a hell on Earth, the hidden battlefront of World War II, and the war against the Jews. It has also been called Shoah, a Hebrew word meaning " a whirlwind of destruction".The Holocaust was the systematic murder of 6 million Jews during World War II. Before the Holocaust, 9 million Jews lived in Europe. They populated about twenty European countries. Some were artists, playwrights, architects, and writers. Others were wealthy business people, doctors, lawyers, and etc. But most European Jews were average people with average incomes. By the end of World War II, two thirds of them were dead.German scientists, businesspeople, industrialists, and other German Workers contributed to the killing effort. This way, the Nazis created a machinery for mass murder. It gained power very fast. The Jews, however, were not the only victims of Nazi hatred. The Nazis also murdered 5 to 6 million Gypsies, people with handicaps, Communists, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, labor unionists, political prisoners, and prisoners of wars.The Jews, however, suffered such sad losses that a new word was created to describe what happened to them: genocide. Genocide means the systematic murder of a whole group of people because of their race, religion, or nationality.And the person who led these brutal attacks was Adolf Hitler. Hitler had been called a monster, the devil, and the most evil genius in the twentieth century. He was elected chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. For twelve years, he led his country on a rampage of war, destruction, and death.A hypnotic speaker, Hitler used fear, hate, lies, and violence to grab and hold attention and power. He understood the value of propaganda, the use of lies and half-truths to get people to go along with certain ideas or attitudes. To build support, Hitler held huge parades and rallies. Nazi party members waved giant swastikas, the Nazi symbol. And they raised their right arms in the nazi salute and chanted "Hail Hitler".The Nazis were members of Hitler's party, the National Socialist German Workers' Party. The Nazis wanted to rid Germany of all the Jews. They dreamed of making Germany a world power. They also wanted to do away with the Treaty of Versailles, which turned over land to France and Poland that many Germans believed was theirs.Hitler had joined the Nazi party in 1919. At that time it was a small, marginal group. Soon, Hitler took charge in the group. Hitler and his party went through ups and downs over the next ten years. In December 1924, they received less than 1 million votes. Most people believed that Nazism had no future.By July 31, 1932, however, Hitler's vote was 13.7 million. The Nazi party was Germany's largest party in the Reichstag, the German parliament. Although Hitler did not have a majority, his opposition remained divided. Always, a master politician, Hitler...

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