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The Holocaust was the systematic, state‐sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.
“Holocaust” is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.“
The Nazis, Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jews, deemed “inferior,” were an alien threat to the so‐called German racial community.
Causes of Hatred
Christianity ‐ Before a Christian authority declared that “Jews were not guilty for the death of Jesus Christ
Church fathers decided that Jews as a group should be persecuted because they ‘killed Jesus.’
This became an excuse to abuse the Jews for more than a thousand years. The Nazi Leaders who had been misguided by those myths considered Jews as their enemies.
Threat of Communism ‐ It was widely assumed around the Europe the then time that Jews were the communists and most of them were the supporters of Marxism. Communist group attempted to carry out a Bolshevik‐type revolution in the German state of Bavaria. Most of the leaders of that failed attempt were Jews.
Extreme Nationalism ‐ The Nationalist leaders of Germany used to consider the Jews for the shameful defeat of Germany in the First World War. The Jews were blamed for not supporting the German military during the war. It was held that Germany had been betrayed by Jewish who were working to defeat Germany.
Economic Theory – Hitler and Nazis assumed the Jew businessmen were responsible for the depression era of 1929 and so on as Germany was hit the hardest by the economic devastation.
Racial Theory – Hitler wanted to purify Germany racially. He wanted only the Aryan Race which couldn’t be obtained unless all Jews were gone.
Personal Reasons – Some argue that Hitler’s Hatred towards Jews was because of his bitter experiences with Jews in the past. Besides, he also used to live in the Jew settlement for many years of his struggling career, and experienced bitter truth.
Initially, Nazi had the policy of social and economic displacement of Jews and their removal from German soil
They did it through discriminatory legislation, economic deprivation, administrative harassment, and social exclusion rather than physical torture and murder.
As soon as the Nazis assumed power, they made racism and anti‐Semitism central components of their regime.
Many harboured a prejudice against Jews that is known as anti‐Semitism.
Some scholars view anti‐Semitism as a religious prejudice. Others regard it as an anti‐Jewish variety of a general hatred directed against ethnic minorities.
Historians and sociologists have come up with several theories to explain anti‐Semitism the prejudice against Jews, including hateful feelings.
Anti‐Semitic riots and campaigns of terror that climaxed on April 1, 1933, in a countrywide boycott of Jewish‐owned shops and Jewish professionals, such as physicians and lawyers.
On April 7, 1933, the Reichstag enacted a law that allowed the government to dismiss Jews from the German civil service.
Piecemeal regulations as insufficient, and implement a comprehensive legal framework for their anti‐Semitic policies. January 30, 1933, the Nazis established concentration camps for the imprisonment of all “enemies” of their regime.
Sentences could be a few months or a few years. Such camps were built on railroad lines for efficient transportation.
Before the outbreak of war, SS (special German police force at the time of Hitler) and police officials confined Jews, Roma, and other victims of ethnic and racial hatred in these camps.
From November 1935 German churches began to collaborate with Nazis by supplying records indicating who is Christian .
The Nazis also used samples of human hair developed by Nazi scientists to determine ancestry.
End of the Holocaust
Final months of the war, SS guards moved camp inmates by train or on forced marches, often called “death marches,” in an attempt to prevent the liberation of large numbers of prisoners by the Allied forces (Germany’s
Offensives against Germany, they began to encounter and liberate concentration camp prisoners, as well as prisoners en route by forced march from one camp to another.
The marches continued until May 7, 1945, the day the German armed forces surrendered unconditionally to the Allies.
In the aftermath of the Holocaust, many of the survivors found shelter in displaced persons (DP) camps administered by the Allied powers. Between 1948 and 1951, almost 700,000 Jews immigrated to Israel,
including 136,000 Jewish displaced persons from Europe.
Other Jewish displaced persons emigrated to the United States and other nations. The last displaced persons camp closed in 1957.