Profile Holocaust Essay

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The events in the aftermath of World War 1 had unquestionably contributed to the development of the Holocaust and the degree of the contribution of the event was extensive. Germany took the worst hit from the aftermath of the war. The Holocaust was a horrific occurrence that happened during 1941 - 1945 and resulted in the death of 6 million Jews. The main events that contributed to the Holocaust were The Weimar Republic, the Treaty of Versailles, Concentration Camps, and the Berlin Olympics.

The Weimar Republic era was during a difficult time both economically and socially. It was Germany’s government during the period after WW1 (1919 to 1933) and until the rise of Nazi Germany. Throughout the war, the value of the German currency, the Reichsmark, decreased incredibly. In an attempt to fix this, the government printed more money but this caused the value of the Reichsmark to decrease even more. During this economic crisis, Germany continued to try and pay the reparations as stated by the Treaty of Versailles. Germany requested permission in 1922 to halt their payments whilst their economy recovered but the Allies declined their request. Source 1 is an American political cartoon of a man (Germany) being crushed by a giant bag (reparations) demanded by the Treaty of Versailles. Germany was on the verge of collapse by 1923 and was unable to continue paying reparations. This led to France and Belgium invading Ruhr, a region in Germany. Both France and Belgium wished to use resources from Ruhr to compensate for the unpaid reparations. This demonstrates how much of a severe impact it left on not only the German people but also its economy.

The Treaty of Versailles worked well in the favor of the Allies but not Germany. The treaty quite clearly blamed Germany for the damages and forced them to disarm & become defenseless, make territorial grants, and pay a tremendous amount of $5 billion. Germany reacted very negatively to this. Protests took place outside the German Parliament and on the streets. Some historians referred to it as ‘history’s most hated treaty’ and blamed it for paving the way for the Second World War whereas others disagreed and said that the negotiators did the best they could in the challenging circumstances. Source 2 is the perspective of a Canadian Military Historian, Terry Copp, and his view on the Treaty in his book, No Price Too High. It was stated in his book that, “This view of the Great War and the peace settlement was never accepted within Germany and quickly became unfashionable among liberal and leftwing intellectuals in Britain, the United States, and Canada. This history of the origins of the war was “revised” to argue that Germany had been drawn to the war by her allies. The real causes of the war were said to be rival imperialism, the naval race, the armaments industry, or simply capitalism.

If Germany was no more “guilty” than France or Britain, the moral basis for restraining German military power or requiring reparations did not exist. The development of “revisionist” ideas about the causes of the war was paralleled by a growing disillusionment with the heroic image of the soldiers.” In that specific paragraph, he is indicating that the Treaty wasn’t as bad as people insist it to be. He pointed out that over the course of history, people just made the terms of the treaty sound overly extreme. He even argued that the Allies would not have imposed strict military restrictions and reparations on Germany if they were not guilty. Therefore he implied that Germany must have been extremely destructive during the war and deserved the punishment they received.

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Once a Jew was placed into a concentration camp, they were guaranteed to have a rough time. They detained people under extremely harsh conditions without them even being indicted of a crime or going through a judicial process. The first camp was built in Dachau on March 22, 1933. In Nazi Germany, concentration camps became a critical way in which Nazis subjected their control. Source 3 is snippets of a transcript from a Holocaust Survivor, Theodore Haas. “The horror of Dachau was known throughout Germany” yet no one ever tried to intervene but it wasn’t that simple, Hitler had immense support and influence. Theodore was asked “How did you accept the fears of Dachau?” to which he replied, “Due to the constant hunger and extremely cold weather, one becomes too numb to even think of fear. A prisoner under these conditions becomes obsessed with survival; nothing else matters.” This just goes to prove how once a Jew ended up in a concentration camp, it would be nearly impossible to get out. The situation was very traumatizing for the survivors. Even to this day, they can’t sleep in peace without the past coming back to haunt them and this is when he says “I have nightmares constantly.” He also mentioned that as punishment, he got stabbed and shot several times. From his perspective, America wasn’t what it seemed like and there was more anti-semitism there. “Now, due to the curse of Liberalism, America is in a period of moral decline….. police officials who don’t give a damn about the Bill of Rights. They just want to control people, not protect and serve. When you study history, you see that when a country becomes an immoral manure heap, as America is rapidly becoming, all minorities suffer, and ultimately, all the citizens.” This source showed that an innocent 21-year-old got thrown into the camp but he was lucky enough to make it out.

The Berlin Olympics was a powerful propaganda tool. The Holocaust was still years away but Jews and non-Aryans in Germany were already being targeted a while before the Olympics took place. Rallies and boycotts happened, Jewish books were burned, and Intermarriage was banned. There was just so much happening against the Jews because of the Nuremberg Laws which had been the start of the Holocaust. At first, these laws were only relevant to Jews but were soon extended to other groups such as Gypsies. Due to pressure from other nations, they stopped their activities for the duration of the games. Source 4 is an image of Lustgarden at night and many Berliners and tourists were strolling. This source presents one of the ways Germany tried

to leave the foreigners with a good image of Germany and for the rest of the world to see while Hitler devised domination and war. By using many different methods to appeal to foreigners, the games were a success and many left Germany with a positive image of the country.

The main events that occurred after World War 1 did contribute to a great extent to the development of the Holocaust. If Germany wasn’t forced to sign the terms, then their economy wouldn’t have suffered so much and the rise of the Nazi party would have been difficult meaning that the Holocaust could have been prevented or at least decreased its impact on the modern world.

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Profile Holocaust Essay. (2023, November 20). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from
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