How did the Holocaust affect the world?

"Time does not heal all wounds; there are those that remain painfully open." –Elie Wiesel

Over six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. Although some were able to survive through the awful conditions, they will be traumatized for the rest of their lives.

The survivors of the Holocaust left the Concentration camps not knowing where to go next. They had lost homes, families and possessions, and were faced with no other choice but to start their lives over. Because of this, several survivors moved across Europe. "Survivors still face the long term affects from the holocaust. 'Like an atom bomb that disperses its radioactive fallout in distant places, often a long time after the actual explosion, the Holocaust continues to contaminate everyone who was exposed to it in one way or another.'

As Jewish survivors began moving to different cities in Europe in search for wealth and property, ordinary Germans struggled with the Holocaust’s legacy. "Beginning in 1953, the German government made payments to individual Jews and to the Jewish people as a way of acknowledging the German people’s responsibility for the crimes committed in their name."

Not only did the Holocaust affect individuals, but large Jewish Communities as well.

Jewish communities which were the center of Torah study and Jewish thought are no longer existent. Compared to 81% of all Jews living in Europe in 1900, only few communities remain standing. Most Jews living in America have enjoyed freedom of religion and peace. "America is known for its technology, quality of civilization, its compassion and justice. The Jews of America have thrived and done well here – they have become a strong community. Yet even here, the Jews fear...Could it happen again? It remains to the corridors of time as to the eventual outcome of the American Jewish community."

The Holocaust gave survivors a new perspective on life.

The Holocaust brought many people to or close to death. Because of this, survivors came to a realization of what was most important and what they should cherish in life. They were committed to their family, community and faith, and felt strongly about creating new families. The Jewish Rabbis had to change a Jewish Law over remarriage because it was almost impossible to find evidence of a spouse's death due to the secrecy of the Holocaust. This change allowed remarriage for survivors whose spouses were sent to death camps or death. Newly married couples began to have children in attempt of increasing the low population of Jews. "One Jewish community put up posters proudly reporting an increase in birth rates. Many Jewish couples deliberately had a lot of children, eager to increase the population of Jews that had been decimated during the war."

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Countries ended any trace of segregation to ensure nothing like the Holocaust would ever happen again.

The Holocaust revealed how such practices such as racial or religious segregation could lead to extreme measures. Nations around the world began creating new laws to forbid any kind of racism to make sure nothing like the Holocaust would ever happen again. In 1949, Germany's constitution forbade discrimination based on race. The United States adopted the Civil Roghts Movement in the 1950s and 1960s and South Africa's apartheid began to disappear. "In 1964 US President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights act. It banned discrimination based on race, sex, religion, or national origin in employment practices and public facilities. In the 1980s and 1990s, In South Africa the practice of apartheid began to erode. In 1944 the country elected Nelson Mandela president in its first multiracial and democratic elections. The UN General Assembly adopted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948."

Overall, the Holocaust was a brutal genocide where millions of innocent lives were lost. Several who survived were faced with fear and new beginnings for the rest of their lives. It is easy to say that this event had a negative affect on our world, but in a way it also made us better. Several countries were brought together in attempt to aid those who had lost everything. In addition, nations all over the world ended segregation and racism to avoid another extreme event like this one. s. The Holocaust showed the world to accept all religious, sexual, and racial groups. Therefore, to conclude, the Holocaust affected our world both positively and negatively by killing millions yet teaching the world how cruel and foul actions can lead to destruction and chaos.

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