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The
holocaust was a brutal time in history no one can forget. Especially those with
a Jewish background, it was a brutal genocide which took the lives of many
while leaving the survivors starving and infected with various diseases. The
holocaust took the lives of six million Jews and discrimination of millions more
by the Nazi and its cooperators. However, this brutality towards the Jewish
race started once the German country was introduced to Adolf Hitler who at the
time was Chancellor of Germany.

Adolf
Hitler and the rest of the Nazis believed that Germans were “racially superior”
and that the Jewish race was an alien species that were a threat to the German
community. This belief lead Hitler to brainwashing the German people into
believing this too and it worked. Soon all of Germany felt the same way and
that’s when they started treating their Jewish neighbors like trash. Everything
started off not so brutal but eventually lead to the murder of these innocent
Jews. The German people started off by boycotting any shops/businesses owned by
Jewish. We all know how tough it can get if your business does not do well.
Hitler saw this as an opportunity and persuaded the German people to stop
shopping at these places and they listened. So, these businesses failed, and
these Jewish people couldn’t make enough to support their family. It didn’t
just stop there. Laws were set in place which stripped the Jewish people of
certain rights. One law stripped East European Jewish immigrants the right to a
German citizenship. Another law prevented Jewish people from holding civil
service, university, and state positions. I think this really must have had a
major impact on these Jewish people because they went from being just disliked
to having laws that prevented you from doing or receiving certain things. I
really tried to put myself in their shoes and imagine how I would feel if I
were of the Jewish race and to be honest I would have felt so low about myself
and where I come from. However, laws weren’t the only thing that had an impact
on Jews. There were public burnings of books written by Jews or had anything to
do with them. Little did the Jewish know that this was all just the beginning
and that the up coming year they would finally see Hitler’s plans come to life.

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On August 2, 1934
Germanys president dies and so with the help of Germanys armed forces Hitler
then becomes president of Germany. From this point on is where everything goes
downhill for the Jews. Once Hitler was in power he established these concentration
camps which held many Jews captive and anyone who resisted German rule. These
camps were so brutal that the prisoners held captive were literally worked to
death. These camps forced these prisoners to do back breaking and dangerous
labor no matter what age you were. Thousands of prisoners died from exhaustion
and starvation. The very first concentration camps in Germany were set up as
“detention” centers to stop those who were against the Nazis. The main purpose
for the concentration camps was to kill all Jews and any other people who were
considered “outcasts”. For lunch prisoners were given a watery soup and in the
evening, they were given bread, a tiny piece of sausage, and cheese. Once they
arrived in the concentration camps they had their clothes taken away and given
a striped uniform. But finally, there was a glimmer of hope. The Allied Powers
finally got a hold of the location of these camps and set off to free these
prisoners but the horrific things they were about to witness would surely leave
them astounded. Once the Allied Powers entered the concentration camps, they
discovered piles of corpses, bones, and human ashes. Imagine going into this
camp hoping for the best and to retrieve all the prisoners but to walk in and
have some of them dead and their corpses and bones just lying around. This to
me was really messed up to see what happened to all those innocent lives. Luckily,
they did find thousands of survivors both who were Jewish and Non-Jewish, but
they were suffering from starvation and many diseases. These survivors were
homeless, so they were housed in displaced persons camp since they didn’t have
anywhere else to go. Now finally justice would be served to those killed during
this horrific tragedy and to those who suffered in the concentration camps for
months and months.

 After the war, those who were responsible for
crimes committed during the holocaust were brought to trial in Nuremburg
Germany from 1945 to 1946. Held for bringing Nazi criminals to justice, the
Nuremburg Trials were a series of 13 trials which decided the type of
punishment the criminals would face. Whether it be a prison sentence or
sentenced to death. Judges from the Allied Powers (Great Britain, France, the
Soviet Union, and the United States) listened to the hearing of twenty-four
major Nazi criminals.  A year later twelve
Nazi criminals were sentenced to death while others just severed a brief
sentence in prison. Most of the defendants admitted to their crimes but claimed
that they were just following the orders of higher authority. The trials were
held in Nuremburg Germany because the Nuremburg had witnessed the Nazi party
rallies and by holding the trials there it emphasize the party’s end. Although
the start of the holocaust was Adolf Hitler’s doing, he committed suicide and
was never brought to trial. So, these trials continued to take place but now in
other countries as well and the people who lost their lives during this horrific
tragedy finally got some justice.  

Overall,
learning about the holocaust really opened my eyes as to what discrimination
really was but at a very brutal level. These Jews were wrongly killed and
punished for…well just being Jews. The holocaust really had an impact on not
just society back then but also society today. Nowadays you can still find
discrimination but towards other ethnicities too. So, in a way the
discrimination the Jews faced in the early 1900s had an impact on the way
people think today too. My overall thoughts on the holocaust is that it was
brutal discrimination towards the Jewish race and had a negative impact on the
lives of many – those killed for being Jewish and those tortured for being
Jewish. 

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