The Holocaust
Nick Sorensen (Odds)
and Jerin Smith (Evens)

1. Summary

a. The holocaust was a bad thing that happened during world war II. Hitler was the start of this horrible event, due to his creation of the Nazi’s and becoming dictator of Germany. His hatred of the jews is a result of widespread anti semitism in his environments, which he built onto in order to create a scapegoat. The Holocaust is generally thought of as the genocide of roughly 6 million Jewish people during World War II. He also murdered basically any person that wasn’t ‘perfect’ by his standards.

b. Genocide - The deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.

2. Buildup: Nuremberg Laws

  • The Nuremberg Laws were a pair of two laws announced at the Nuremberg Rally of the Nazi Party in 1935.
  • These laws were titled “Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour” and the “Reich Citizenship Law.”
  • The former outlawed marriage between Germans and Jews. It also forbade the employment of German women under 45 in the households of Jewish people.
  • The latter declared that only those of German blood were able to be citizens, stripping Jews and others of their citizenship rights.

Buildup: Prior discrimination

  • Even before the holocaust, many people had disliked Jews. This is known as anti semitism.
  • Anti semitism was widespread where Hitler grew up. Hitler grew up in Vienna, where the mayor was extremely anti semitic.

Buildup: Kristallnacht

  • The Kristallnacht was triggered by the murder of Ernst Vom Rath, a German diplomat, at the hands of Herschel Grynszpan, a Jewish teenager.
  • After hearing of the assassination, propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels announced that “the Führer has decided that... demonstrations should not be prepared or organized by the party, but insofar as they erupt spontaneously, they are not to be hampered."
  • Police were instructed not to interfere with the riots unless they violated certain guidelines which protected foreigners and the property of non-Jewish citizens.
  • Police were also instructed to detain “healthy male Jews, who are not too old," who would eventually be transferred to concentration camps.

3. Labor Camps:

a. Most known ones and locations - Auschwitz is possibly the most known labor camp due to the sheer amount of deaths that happened there. Another well known labor camp went by the name of ‘Schutzhaft’.

b. Conditions of labor camps - Poor, many people died just due to lack of food and dehydration, along with the amount of diseases that thousands of undisposed dead bodies can cause.

c. Types of work performed at the labor camps - No matter the weather, prisoners had to work until they dropped. They were rarely fed or given water to drink. Many people in the holocaust ended up looking like sticks, and if they did escape they wouldn’t make it far.

4. Methods of Mass Murder

  • Methods of the execution of Jews during the Holocaust were varied. Some of the methods included exhaustion, starvation, and disease within concentration camps. Extermination camps, which were designated with the sole intention of quick, efficient mass murder, used gas chambers.

Who was killed

  • While only Jews were specifically targeted to be killed, others, considered to be enemies of the Reich, were imprisoned in concentration camps, and many eventually died. Some of these others imprisoned included gypsies and communists.
  • Usually, the camp’s doctor would examine and select a small percentage of the prisoners who were deemed fit. These were sent to work in slave labor camps, as opposed to being immediately executed.
  • Horrific experiments were also performed on some people. Those who participated did not do so of their own accord, and were usually coerced or forced into participation.
  • The experiments almost always resulted in death, disfigurement, or disability. They are considered to be an example of medical torture.
  • Experiments were performed on twins to discover similarities and differences between the genetics of twins. Almost 1500 pairs of twins were used in the experiments, while only about 200 people survived in total. The experiments, led by Josef Mengele, included the injection of dyes into the eyes of twins in an effort to change their color, and the sewing together of twins in an attempt to create conjoined twins.
  • One other experiment conducted included freezing experiments, in which subjects were put in very cold temperatures or water or air. These experiments were intended to discover how to prevent and treat hypothermia.

5. The amount of Jewish people that died was 5,933,900, or 67% of the population. The amount of non-jewish people that died in the holocaust was about 5 million.

6. Another genocide which has taken place is the Armenian Genocide. This genocide was committed by the Ottoman Empire against various minority groups, including Assyrians and Ottoman Greeks, but primarily the Armenians. Like the Holocaust, mass murder was used to kill, but unlike the Holocaust, gas chambers were not used. Large amounts of people were killed with death marches, or were taken to one place and burned. Many people were also taken to sea and thrown overboard. Others were killed with poison or drug overdoses. One difference between the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust is the amount of people killed; while about 6 million died in the Holocaust, it is estimated that 1.5 million Armenians were killed in the Armenian Genocide. Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, denies the Armenian Genocide.

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