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The Holocaust and It's Reasons

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The Holocaust (and it's reasons)

One might ask "Why did the Nazis project all of their anger and blame of all of their problems on the Jews?" Well the answer rests in the fact that Europe had a strong anti-Semitic tradition, which predated the Nazis' rise to power. This was not just a "Germany Thing." A widespread hatred of the Jews can be found in the works of Martin Luther and it was an important in the perception of many Christians. At the end of the 19th century, a racist-biological anti-Semitism was developed, where the Jews were perceived as a 'deformity on the body politic'. The Jews were a 'problem to society' that needed solving.

Different solutions were tried: voluntary immigration, forced immigration, and several plans for deportation. All of these plans were dropped due to the war that started in 1939. The result of the frustrations with the unsuccessful deportation plans, of the experiences with the euthanasia actions, of the war with the Soviet Union, and least not of the wish to find the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question"- all of these elements led to the mass murder of 6 million Jewish people. These killings are also known as the Holocaust.

The word 'Holocaust' comes form the Greek words "holos" (whole) and "kaustos" (burned),was historically used to describe the sacrificial offering burned on the alter. Since 1945 the word has taken on a new meaning: the mass murder of about 6 million Jews, Gypsies, and Homosexuals by the Nazi regime during WWII. To Hitler, Jews were an impure race and a threat to German racial purity and community. Beginning in 1941, Jews from all over the continent, as well as hundreds of thousands of European Gypsies, were transported to the Polish ghettoes. Mobile killing units called Einsatzgruppen would murder more than 500,000 Soviet Jews and others (usually by shooting) over the course of German occupation. In late 1941, the Germans began mass transports from the ghettos to the concentration camps, starting with those viewed as the least useful: the sick, old and weak, and the very young. The first mass gassings began at the camp of Belzec on March 17, 1942. Five more killing centers were built in occupied Poland, including Chelmno, Sobibor, Treblinka, Majdanek, and the largest of all Auschwitz-Birkenau. From 1942-1945, Jews were deported to camps from all over Europe. The heaviest deportations took place during the summer and fall of 1942, when more than 300,000 people were deported from the Warsaw ghettos alone. The Nazis tried to keep the camps a secret but the scale of the killings made this basically impossible. Though the Allied governments knew about the Nazis' actions, the lack of response was most likely due to the Allie want to win the war at hand and people were in denial about the whole thing. At Auschwitz alone, more than two



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