The Holocaust Alex Springs

Doris Bergen's House Burning Analogy

Antisemitism- Hostility or prejudice against Jews. In Doris' Analogy, hatred of a group is considered to be "Dry Timber".

Eugenics- A set of beliefs or practices that aims at improving the genetic quality of the human population. In Doris' Analogy, the political leadership and choices made by the ones in charge is also considered to be the "Dry Timber" because the hatred against Jews that came with it.

The Nazi party/ Hitler played a role in Doris' analogy because she stated that the political leadership is considered to be the "Spark" in her analogy. Without the "Spark", the house couldn't burn down.

The war acted as "Favorable Weather" in Doris' analogy because she stated that "the war was very, very crucial in bringing target populations into the hands of the killers.” Without the war, the Holocaust simply couldn't have happened.

Key Understandings

USHMM's definition:

"The Holocaust refers to a specific genocidal event in twentieth-century history: the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945. Jews were the primary victims—6 million were murdered; Gypsies, the handicapped, and Poles were also targeted for destruction or decimation for racial, ethnic, or national reasons. Millions more, including homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war, and political dissidents, also suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi tyranny."

"State Sponsored" -

Terrorism practiced by a government against its own people or in support of international terrorism.

Three Pieces of Evidence:

  1. "Although Jews, whom the Nazis deemed a priority danger to Germany, were the primary victims of Nazi racism."
  2. "At least 200,000 mentally or physically disabled patients, mainly Germans, living in institutional settings, were murdered in the so-called Euthanasia Program"
  3. "During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived "racial inferiority.""

"Systematic persecution"-

It is when the persecutions are carried out in a methodical manner, not just a few isolated incidents.

Three pieces of evidence:

  1. "In the early years of the Nazi regime, the National Socialist government established concentration camps to detain real and imagined political and ideological opponents."
  2. "To concentrate and monitor the Jewish population as well as to facilitate later deportation of the Jews, the Germans and their collaborators created ghettos, transit camps, and forced-labor camps for Jews during the war years."
  3. "The German authorities also established numerous forced-labor camps, both in the so-called Greater German Reich and in German-occupied territory, for non-Jews whose labor the Germans sought to exploit."

"Systematic AnnihilatioN"-

The condition of having been annihilated; utter destruction.

Three pieces of evidence:

  1. "In the 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 Allied liberation of large numbers of prisoners."
  2. "In the aftermath of the Holocaust, many of the survivors found shelter in displaced persons (DP) camps administered by the Allied powers."
  3. "The crimes committed during the Holocaust devastated most European Jewish communities and eliminated hundreds of Jewish communities in occupied eastern Europe entirely."

William Joyce- A Collaborator Of Nazi Germany
"In death as in life, I defy the Jews who caused this last war, and I defy the power of darkness which they represent. I warn the British people against the crushing imperialism of the Soviet Union. May Britain be great once again and in the hour of the greatest danger in the West may the standard be raised from the dust, crowned with the words – "You have conquered nevertheless". I am proud to die for my ideals and I am sorry for the sons of Britain who have died without knowing why." - William Joyce

Primary Victims

The Nazis believed that Germans were "racially superior" and that the Jews, deemed "inferior," were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community. We know Jews are the primary victims of the war because by 1945, two out of every three European Jews has been killed due to the belief that they were inferior. In total, 6 million Jews were murdured.’s-rationale-for-hating-Jews

As you can tell in this map, the Jews were the primary victims. The number of Jews that were murdered were extremely high everywhere you look. Millions of Jews had their lives taken from them, this is only few.

This map clearly shows how many extermination/ concentration camps that were set up, even in such a small area for the holding of the Jews. They seem like they were everywhere, and each one you see had vast number of Jews upon Jews living and suffering there.

Perpetrator quote-

"The Jew always lives from the blood of other peoples, he needs such murders and such sacrifices. The victory will be only entirely and finally achieved when the whole world is free of Jews." - Julius Streicher

JewIsh Victim Quotes-

"While not all victims were Jews, all Jews were victims..." -Elie Wiesel
"Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions." -Primo Levi

This photo shows two SA members blocking the entrance to a Jewish-owned shop so that no customers can go inside. The banner reads: "Germans beware! The owners of this shop are parasites and gravediggers of German trade

Inmates of Auschwitz concentration camp liberated by Red Army troops in January 1945.

Jews bring rounded up in Mlawa.

Nazi soldiers parading through Warsaw after the invasion of Poland 1939.

Jews in Przeworsk being humiliated by Germans.

Non-Jewish Victims

  1. Poles- During World War II Poland suffered greatly under five years of German occupation. Nazi ideology viewed “Poles”- the predominantly Roman Catholic ethnic majority- as “sub-humans” occupying lands vital to Germany. As part of the policy to destroy the Polish resistance, the Germans killed many of the nation’s political, religious, and intellectual leaders. They also kidnapped children judged racially suitable for adoption by Germans and confined Poles in dozens of prisons and concentration and forced labor camps, where many perished.
  2. Handicapped- "Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases.” This law, one of the first steps taken by the Nazis toward their goal of creating an Aryan “master race,” called for the sterilization of all persons who suffered from diseases considered hereditary, such as mental illness, learning disabilities, physical deformity, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism.
  3. Homosexuals- The Nazis believed that male homosexuals were weak men who could not fight for the German nation. They saw homosexuals as unlikely to produce children and increase the German birthrate. The Nazis held that inferior races produced more children than "Aryans," so anything that diminished Germany's reproductive potential was considered a racial danger.

A writer who was arrested for homosexuality in Germany, 1938.
A prisoner who was accused of homosexuality, arrived at the Auschwitz concentration camp on June 6, 1941. He died there a year later in Poland.

Rescue & Resistance

In April-May 1943, Jews in the Warsaw ghetto rose in armed revolt after rumors that the Germans would deport the remaining ghetto prisioners to the Treblinka killing center. As German SS and police units entered the ghetto, members of the Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB) and other Jewish groups attacked German tanks with cocktails, hand grenades, and a handful of small arms.

Jewish partisans, survivors of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, at a family camp in Poland, 1944.

The house in Amsterdam where Tina Strobos hid over 100 Jews in a specially constructed hiding place. Her house was raided eight times, but the Jews were never discovered.

Lessons Of This History

I think the Holocaust is a very important topic that we all should be informed and educated about. I think so often when the Holocaust is mentioned, we know that it is something bad that happened, but we don't truly understand how terrible and extreme it actually was. If I had to choose three lessons that I feel are the most important to know about, it would definetly be how and when the Nazis took power, the suffarage not only Jews, but so many other people suffered through in concentration camps, and the rescue that came with it. The Holocaust was a devistating time and millions of people lost their lives, and I think it's important that we take the time to learn and process what real people, like you and I, had to live with during the Holocaust.

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