The Holocaust: Catastrophic Violation Of Human Rights

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The Holocaust was a time when Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, prostitutes, and beggars were kicked out of their homes to be sent off to work hard labor or sent to death. German SS officers showed no remorse to the prisoners by constantly torturing them. These actions by the Germans show that they had no solicitude about Human Rights. They violated various rights such as the freedom of race, liberty, life, privacy, and freedom from torture or inhuman treatment. Therefore, the Holocaust was a violation of Human Rights. For the purpose of this research paper, sources from textbooks, websites, and personal testimonies will be used.

According to the Bill of Rights, Article 2 states that “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or another opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or another status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional, or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing, or under any other limitation of sovereignty. Labor and death camps such as Auschwitz Birkenau violated various of these rights such as the right to sex, and property. Upon entering the death camp, SS officers would strip the prisoners off their clothes, and separate them based on their gender and health.

The Jewish race is a religious group of people. They often pray and read the Torah in their free time. In labor and death camps, they were not allowed to do such as it was banned by the Germans. They are beaten and often shot to death by the SS officers by performing their religious beliefs. this violates their freedom of religion.

Article 3 of the Bill of Rights states, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person. Nazi Germany performed a massive genocide on thousands of Jewish prisoners by placing them in gas chambers and killing them by the dozen. This event is a massive blow to their right to life as their main purpose in the camp was to be placed in the gas chambers. Nazi Germany showed no remorse and sympathy to the prisoners as they were also forced to dig their own graves.

There was also no way of leaving the death camps. These Jews were kept prisoners for the duration of World War 2 in Germany. With this, the Holocaust had taken their right to liberty. SS officers also had the power to search through the remaining belongs of the prisoners and often the prisoners themselves. This event massively violated their security of person as they had no privacy in the death and labor camps.

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The Book Inheriting the Holocaust: a Second-Generation Memoir expresses the hardship and suffering the Jewish race had to endure during their stay and the Lodz Ghetto, and Auschwitz Birkenau. The book stated that Bluma Sieradzka and Chain Harry Fass survived cruel torture during the Holocaust. They were degraded by the SS police along with their fellow prisoners in Auschwitz. (Fass, Paula S. Inheriting the Holocaust: a Second-Generation Memoir. Rutgers University Press, 2009.). This violates article 5 of the Book of Rights, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The Book Night by Elie Wiesel is a biography of a Holocaust survivor by the author himself who tells his story and experiences during the bloodshed that is the Holocaust. Throughout the book, Elie states the sequence of being captured and shipped to various labor/death camps to being set free at last. He expresses his emotions towards his experiences in the German death camps, along with some visual representations of how the Jews suffered during World War 2. Ultimately, Elie Wiesel wanted to share his past experiences of being a Holocaust survivor by telling the story of how he survived the Holocaust during World War 2.

Article 12 of the book of rights states that “ No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.” (“Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” United Nations, United Nations, Elie’s father was killed while he was still young. This meant that Elie is left alone without a father or any type of family as he was also separated from his mom and younger sibling upon arriving in Auschwitz. The SS officers interfered with Elie and his family by separating them upon arriving in Auschwitz and beating his father to death.

According to The Holocaust: Racism and Genocide in World War II, there was immense racism against Jews and Gypsies, while also having an intense judgment against homosexuals, prostitutes, and beggars. In today’s modern world, racism and judgment are extremely prohibited due to the mass variety of races and occupations we have today. The Holocaust showed just how cruel and unforgiving the Nazis were to these people. It was to the point that they built death/extermination camps just for the sake of performing mass genocide on them.

Article 4 of the Bill of Rights states that “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”. The Nazis built labor camps and took Jewish prisoners as slaves and forced laborers. On the gate of Auschwitz, there’s a quote saying, “Work shall set you free.” This gave prisoners hope by knowing that if they worked hard enough, they would have the chance to be set free. Little did they know that thousands of Jewish slaves and prisoners were sent to gas chambers and shot while digging their graves daily. This violates their right from slavery and forced servitude.

Human Rights are without a doubt very important especially in times of wars such as World War 2. The Holocaust proved just how cruel and inhumane some people can be. It violated the rights of life, liberty, race. sex, religion. social origin, property, privacy, family, protection, interference, etc. The impact on the survivors has been a burden for the most part but has also been an accomplishment, considering they endured so much pain and suffering yet they are still here to share their experiences and stories. Holocaust survivors are a testimony of how strong the spirit of the human race is despite the immense pain and suffering they had endured in the past.

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The Holocaust: Catastrophic Violation Of Human Rights. (2022, February 26). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 19, 2024, from
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