Thursday, February 24, 2005

Analysis of the Holocaust

Analysis of the Holocaust. This is an essay which examines the big picture of the Nazi Holocaust. It is a little weak on the references but it is a worthwhile read for someone who wants a basic introduction to the topic.

From the site:

Of all the examples of injustice against humanity in history, the Jewish Holocaust has to be one of the most prominent. In the period of 1933 to 1945, the Nazis waged a vicious war against Jews and other "lesser races". This war came to a head with the "Final Solution" in 1938. One of the end results of the Final Solution was the horrible concentration and death camps of Germany, Poland, and other parts of Nazi-controlled Europe. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, people around the world were shocked by final tallies of human losses, and the people responsible were punished for their inhuman acts. The Holocaust was a dark time in the history of the 20th century.

One can trace the beginnings of the Holocaust as far back as 1933, when the Nazi party of Germany, lead by Adolf Hitler, came to power. Hitler's anti-Jew campaign began soon afterward, with the "Nuremberg Laws", which defined the meaning of being Jewish based on ancestry. These laws also forced segregation between Jews and the rest of the public. It was only a dim indication of what the future held for European Jews.

Anti-Jewish aggression continued for years after the passing of the Nuremberg Laws. One of these was the "Aryanization" of Jewish property and business. Jews were progressively forced out of the economy of Germany, their assets turned over to the government and the German public. Other forms of degradation were pogroms, or organized demonstrations against Jews. The first, and most infamous, of these pogroms was Krystallnacht, or "The night of broken glass". This pogrom was prompted by the assassination of Ernst von Rath, a German diplomat, by Herschel Grymozpan in Paris on November 7th, 1938. Two days later, an act of retaliation was organized by Joseph Gobbels to attack Jews in Germany. On the nights of November 9th and 10th, over 7,000 Jewish businesses were destroyed, 175 synagogues demolished, nearly 100 Jews had been killed, and thousands more had been injured, all for the assassination of one official by a Jew ("Holocaust, the." Microsoft Encarta 96). In many ways, this was the first major act of violence to Jews made by the Nazis. Their intentions were now clear.

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