The Holocaust was the state-sponsored systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, between 1933 and 1945.
Children of the Holocaust
Children were especially vulnerable during the Holocaust. Hitler along with his collaborators killed children of "dangerous" groups. They murdered as many as 1.5 million children. Those included Jews, Gypsies, German children with physical/mental disabilities, Polish children, and children living in the Soviet union. They did, however, have mercy for very few children ages 13-18 so that they could be put to work. In the ghettos, Jewish children also died from starvation and exposure along with lack of necessary clothing and shelter. The children who were too young to be put to work were counted as "useless" and were the first chosen to be killed. When they arrived at one of the many killing centers, the camp instructors immediately sent the majority of the children to the gas chambers. The children were also used in experiments often resulting in their death. Despite their vulnerability, some children found ways to survive. They smuggled food and medicines into the ghettos, which they used their personal belongings to trade for, and hid. Many children survived in hiding. Others managed to escape with their parents/relatives.
Deportation often took days. Individuals and families were packed on to cattle trucks with their personal belongings. They were then locked in and transported for days at a time. They had no clue as to where they were going, how long it would take to get there, or what would happen to them when they arrived. The conditions on the cattle trucks were beyond belief. Finally after days of traveling in cramped trucks, the prisoners arrived at their destination, where the doors were opened and they were given their first glimpse of daylight.