Causes and Effects of the Holocaust: Analytical Essay

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Terror was the most elementary way to draw the obedience of German citizens. Since Hitler already had previously gained the majority of the nation, he maintained the community that he had gained and started his “final solution” through terror leaving a ‘one way’ road for the population to respond. If the Semitic folk rebelled they would be executed. Terror is a tool that Hitler implemented to create the holocaust, having control over all the German citizens and getting rid of the ones that didn’t fit the criteria. He was able to change the scene in Germany by creating concentration camps, shooting people in the streets, giving intrusive and militant speeches, death marches, and countless murders along the way.

It interests me how Hitler could be so insensitive about millions of families and can only purely see the Jewish people as “aliens”. He implemented terror to help with his ”final solution”, which was the extermination of the Jewish community. I think Terror influenced the Holocaust as it was how he was able to make the people comply with him. If they decided to contest they would simply be shot. The Jewish convicts had no way out and had eyes on their every movement. This topic of terror is extremely broad as there are so many ways Hitler used terror and intimidation during the holocaust. The holocaust is also a world-known event and is known for being such a destructive story that made a dent in history. Techniques of demoralization were used as an instrument to help Hitler with his vision of a pure and healthy country. I chose this topic as it didn’t only affect the millions of people that died but also the surrounding countries and people today. Choosing terror as my topic has left a lot of research options, as there were many events that have been documented providing information from secondary and primary sources allowing a clear analogy of perspectives and reliability. My research question is going to investigate how the Nazis produced the holocaust. The questions that will help me answer this are:

- How did the holocaust start and what was the main motive?

The word holocaust in Greek means “holos” which means whole and “kaustos” which means burned. ( The holocaust was practically marked when Hitler started implementing the instrument of terror to construct his plan. He had already gained power by persuasion of propaganda and promises to the German people. He painted a golden picture in their heads of what he could do for their country. One promise he made was to advance the amount of unemployed Germans. In 1933, 6 million people living in Germany were unemployed. In 1939, only 302,000 people were unemployed. (Unemployment in Germany) The secondary source is an example of how Hitler gained the people’s trust and there can’t be any contestability or bias as it is a statistic. Hitler was able to fill out the promise he made resulting in the Germans praising him as he took them out of a financial rut. Hitler painted Germany in gold for the Aryans making them want to join youth camps and become a part of the Nazi cult. He had a lot of thought go into this chilling plan.

At the start of the holocaust, only Jewish men were murdered in front of the community. The motive behind this was to make sure the barbarous behavior wasn’t going to ruin Hitler’s reputation by being seen shooting women but eventually, it didn’t seem to matter to him. If they were Jewish they were dead (Nux). This displays the progression of their plan, which then could rapidly increase their desired results of killing the Jews. With the large killing grounds, they were now capable of slaughtering tons of guiltless Jews, after finding a method that didn’t take an immense mental toll on the soldiers (Nux). They also created a more efficient way to transport the convicts, giving the “final solution” a clear finish line. If they arrived at the camps and weren’t exterminated instantly they were put to work as slaves operating in diabolical and cruel conditions with as much food as the rats that were living on in their bunkers.

The Jewish never stayed sedentary. They would eventually collapse from fatigue or exhaustion. (Nux) This shows how restricted the Jews were. This source shows bias towards the Jewish but does give accuracy of what happened and is useful to prove the insensitive side of Hitler. It also represents the higher achy of the Jewish to the Nazis, with the Jewish being at the bottom.

- What was Hitler’s perspective of the Jewish and what were his plans from the start? What does this say about the Nazi's values and beliefs?

“For us, this is not a problem you can turn a blind eye to one to be solved by small concessions. For us, it is a problem of whether our nation can ever recover into thinking you can fight a disease without killing the carrier, without destroying the bacillus. Don't think you can fight racial tuberculosis without taking care to rid the nation of the carrier of that racial tuberculosis. This Jewish contamination will not subside, and this poisoning of the nation will not end, until the carrier himself, the Jew, has been banished from our midst. Source: D Irving, The War Path: Hitler's Germany 1933-1939. Papermac, 1978, p.xxi “ (Statements by Hitler and Senior Nazis Concerning Jews and Judaism) This primary source of Hitler’s speech displays how much of a problem he thought the Jews were. Showing that he thought they were affecting their whole country’s health saying that they are poisoning the nation. He thought nothing else of them but some sort of disease. This first-person perspective from Hitler himself is useful to show his intentions and his criminal side and is relevant to the other sources in the manner that the audience would perceive him as an evil man, just as the other sources did showing how well they collaborate. There can be no contestability with the source as it has only been dictated and no one has formed an opinion on it. This source is reliable as it is from a trusted historical site.

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This conversation with a journalist asking Hitler what he intended on doing:

'If I am ever really in power, the destruction of the Jews will be my first and most important job. As soon as I have power, I shall have gallows after gallows erected, for example, in Munich on the Marienplatz-as many of them as traffic allows. Then the Jews will be hanged one after another, and they will stay hanging until they stink. They will stay hanging as long as hygienically possible. As soon as they are untied, then the next group will follow and that will continue until the last Jew in Munich is exterminated. Exactly the same procedure will be followed in other cities until Germany is cleansed of the last Jew!' (quoted in John Toland, Adolf Hitler. London: Book Club Associates, 1977, p.116) (Statements by Hitler and Senior Nazis Concerning Jews and Judaism). In this source, he explains how he’s going to hang the Jews in the streets. Not only is this going to be horrifying for the Jewish families and community but also for the Aryan Germans making their way around town. His plan was so clear. He wanted one thing and it was to remove the so-called ‘racial parasite’: the Jewish. This source is extremely reliable as it is just a document that has been recorded. The first mass gassing began in 1942 ( before World War II, 9.5 million Jews lived in Europe, by the end of World War II, Nazis had killed 6 million European Jews in concentration camps. (Lorraine Boissoneault). This statement from a secondary source provides a clear representation of what mass killings are. This proves how prominent the Nazi's impact on Germany was. This is a historical speech that was recorded and is an opinion from Hitler himself. The primary source is displaying his plans to the public, hearing this speech would bring undeniable fear to the people. Leaving them anxious and extra vigilant awaiting Hitler’s next move. This source is reliable as Lorraine Boissoneault the journalist has been recognized for many awards with her writing leaving her sources to be credible. The website also has topics on history, science, smart news, and plenty more showing that it is well set up, rational, and reliable.

- What were the perspectives from outside countries and the Jewish and how were they affected?

Now a perspective from overseas from an American journalist present the time, named Dorothy Thompson. She urged her fellow Americans to pay attention to the threat that Nazi Germany posed to Europe’s Jews. Thompson got a chance to interview Hitler herself. Now that she had a good insight into what was happening in Germany she was able to spread the news across her country alerting the unknown and awakening people of the destruction. In 1939 she disrupted a rally of American Nazi sympathizers and laughed during their speeches. After previously being asked to leave Germany by Hitler himself because of her criticism towards him in the interview. Thompson states that “the offense was ultimately for thinking that Hitler was an ordinary man”. (Dorothy Thompson) It was displayed that she was going to risk her life to stand up for what she believed in. This helps us piece together the chilling personality of Hitler. This source shows how other countries were affected. Dorothy and many other people risked their lives to rebel at the horrifying event. Having this primary perspective coincides with my other sources as it presents him as a horrific man. This source is useful for showing the audience how people outside were being affected, this represents the enormity of the event.

The antonym perspective from a biased source shows the love for Hitler. Mr. Misch was the last surviving member of Hitler’s entourage. He spoke fondly of Hitler until his later years, describing him as a “wonderful boss” and “no brute”. (The Independent) This shows what happened to the people’s minds. They were brainwashed into thinking that what was happening was, an exception and crucial function. Hitler’s actions would definitely not be described as ‘awesome’. The Nazi's beliefs and values prove to be engraved and taught. Their loyalty to him was from being petrified of the consequences if they were to disobey. The Jewish had no choice, if they hadn’t already fled the country they were going to die. A similarity between both sides is that they were scared of Hitler and were blackmailed with death to do as he said. This source and the previous source contradict each other as they are polar-opposite opinions. One side states that he’s great, while the next says he’s awful. This shows how Hitler had the power to make people perceive him differently. The Nazi only said he was great because his thoughts were brainwashed and if he thought otherwise he would have been killed. This is another exhibit of Hitler’s effect on his own people, they didn’t have their own minds to think with. Whereas other countries looking in could see a clear view of what was happening and it seemed obvious he was a villain.

- What caused the Holocaust to end and why is the symbolism of the holocaust collapsing significantly?

Ultimately in 1945, Germany was defeated in world war II. The Soviet Union and Russia were closing in on German society forcing them to flee. They took the Jewish crowd from each concentration camp with them demanding them to walk kilometres in cold weather and having thousands murdered or dying of exhaustion along the way. If the Russians were to invade previous concentration camps the Nazi crimes would be revealed so they dragged the Jews with them. This was known as the death marches. The marches could last up to weeks at a time, 250,000 people died from the conditions and 15,000 people were murdered by the guards. This experience for the Jewish was brutal and unforgettable. By this time 6 million Jews had been annihilated. The same year, Hitler committed suicide showing that he had admitted defeat himself. By him killing himself It symbolises that no one else could bring him down. The next month Germany surrendered causing the end of; the Third Reich. (What were the death marches? – The Holocaust)

- How are people affected in the present?

Studies have shown that the children who survived the holocaust are now developing PTSD. (The impact of resource loss on Holocaust survivors facing war and terrorism in Israel, 2009) Exhibiting how traumatic this historical event was. This represents the horrifying events involved in the holocaust and the effect it has on people even years after. The reliability of this source is contestable as it is a survey done in Israel although with it being a study Israel is only one small country in the world. There is no contestability with the fact that people grew PTSD from the event. It is world known that people got PTSD from wars and this is just another version of a war. This source helps to show the impact of Hitler’s terror even when he wasn’t around. Whoever had to live through that time could never be the same again.

When the holocaust started Hitler was already in control. He had the Germans following his every move and then when he started to use terror Hitler could make them do anything he wanted. His evil plans and many methods of torture lead to the deaths of millions of people. The terrors lead to the mass destruction of Germany’s people. The Nazis wanted a clean slate and thought the Jews weren’t worthy of living, very different values compared to the Jewish as they thought everyone deserved a chance to live and were more peaceful. The outside perspectives proved to show that what the Nazis were doing was wrong. Many people risked their lives to try and put a stop to what the Aryan Germans were doing.

The change of the country's borders was also significant An estimated 11,000,000 people remained displaced in Europe in the wake of the Second World War. After the war, The Jews had nowhere to go. Their families and communities had been destroyed (the era of the holocaust). The sources prove my hypothesis as they showed how the holocaust started, what was involved in the Holocaust, and how it all ended giving a picture of what life was like during this battle. The sources were accurate examples of how Hitler implemented terror with words and actions and were reliable as they came from historical websites. These sources also displayed the enormous effect the Nazis had internationally.

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