The Holocaust

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Evil Acts
Holocaust.jpg
Perpetrator: Nazi Party
Adolf Hitler
Imperial Japan
Arrow Cross Party
Ustaše
Slovak People's Party
Italian Social Republic
Nasjonal Samling
Republican Fascist Party
Belarusian Central Council
Vichy France
National Legionary State
Iron Guard
Hellenic State
Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists
Government of National Salvation
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Date: 1941 - May 8, 1945
Location: Nazi Germany, Greater Germanic Reich
Motive: To exterminate all European Jews in order to favor the "Aryans" of Germany.
Crimes: Genocide
Crimes against humanity
War crimes
Ethnic cleansing
Use of Concentration camp
Torture
Mass murder
Mass Slavery
Mass Kidnappings
Homophobia
Polonophobia
Anti-Semitism
Persecution of Christians
Slavophobia
Negrophobia
Islamophobia
Misogyny
Rape
Antiziganism
Ableism
The Holocaust was the most evil crime ever committed.
~ Stephen E. Ambrose

The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah and the Final Solution to the Jewish Question (or simply the Final Solution) was a government-orchestrated mass genocide that affected approximately eleven million people including six million Jews during the final years of World War II. The Holocaust was orchestrated by the Nazi German dictator, Adolf Hitler, and it advocated the idea of doing away with several fragments of society. This included other groups such as: Black people (including African immigrants), LGBT people (including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender); Slavs (including Russians, Ukrainians, Serbians, Poles, Czechs, and Slovaks), Romani, Greeks; various Christian denominations (primarily Jehovah’s Witnesses and Catholics); Brown people (including Mulattoes and Mamelukes); communists, socialists, capitalists, anarchists, feminists, and other dissidents and Allied POWs, especially Soviet POWs.

The Holocaust ran concurrently alongside the Nazi Party’s two other genocide programs, the Porajmos (targeting Romani) and Generalplan Ost (targeting Slavs.)

Though the Nazis were the primary perpetrators of the Holocaust, the wider network of regimes that comprised the Axis Powers (such as Benito Mussolini's Italy, the Croatian Ustaše, and, to a lesser extent, Imperial Japan, among others) also participated in the genocide. Even the Soviet Union was briefly involved.

Everyone of these people was seen as "sub-humans", people that was not fit for the Nazi Party's ideology of what they referred to as the Aryans, that was seen as the "master race" of Germany. Also that the Jews was seen as "responsible" by the Nazis that Germany lost World War I and causing the country's economy to collapse, the so-called "Stab-in-the-back myth".

Prelude

If international finance Jewry inside and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, the result will be not the Bolshevization of the earth and thereby the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!
~ Adolf Hitler
The Holocaust was established through stages. At first, the German government passed laws that excluded Jews from social affairs, such as the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, which stripped German Jews of their citizenship and forbade Jews to marry non-Jewish Germans.

In August 1938 the German authorities announced that residence permits for foreigners were being cancelled and would have to be renewed. This included German-born Jews of foreign citizenship. Poland stated that it would renounce citizenship rights of Polish Jews living abroad for at least five years after the end of October, effectively making them stateless.

The deportees were taken from their homes to railway stations and were put on trains to the Polish border, where Polish border guards sent them back into Germany. This stalemate continued for days in the pouring rain, with the Jews marching without food or shelter between the borders. Four thousand were granted entry into Poland, but the remaining 8,000 were forced to stay at the border. They waited there in harsh conditions to be allowed to enter Poland. A British newspaper told its readers that hundreds "are reported to be lying about, penniless and deserted, in little villages along the frontier near where they had been driven out by the Gestapo and left." Conditions in the refugee camps "were so bad that some actually tried to escape back into Germany and were shot", recalled a British woman who was sent to help those who had been expelled.

Genocide

It all happened so fast. The ghetto. The deportation. The sealed cattle car. The fiery altar upon which the history of our people and the future of mankind were meant to be sacrificed.
~ Elie Wiesel
The Holocaust was set off with an event known as Kristallnacht, or the "Night of Broken Glass", a pogrom carried out by both the Sturmabteilung and the Schutzstaffel, as well as the Hitler Youth and German civilians, on November 9 and 10, 1938. Jewish homes, hospitals and schools were ransacked, looted, and vandalized as the attackers demolished buildings with sledgehammers. The rioters destroyed 267 synagogues throughout Germany, Austria and the Sudetenland. Over 7,000 Jewish businesses were damaged or destroyed, and 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps. Following the violence, police departments recorded a large number of suicides and rapes. The whole event was overseen by Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels.

This event was followed by mass deportations of Jews to German concentration camps at Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen. At this time the camps were merely used as prison camps as deportation to Palestine or Madagascar as a final solution was under consideration and the majority of the prisoners were released by the end of the year; however, anti-Jewish laws were ramped up and Jews were stripped of all remaining rights.

With the outbreak of World War II and the invasion of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union, paramilitary death squads, dubbed the Einsatzgruppen, were established, with the job of eliminating all "anti-German elements". Jews were rounded up and placed in ghettoes, areas constructed to confine them until they could be deported to another location. These ghettoes had deliberately poor conditions, leading to thousands of deaths. The Nazis then begun the construction of death camps in Poland, most infamously Auschwitz Birkenau, Majdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka. Meanwhile, France, Denmark, Norway, Yugoslavia and Greece were annexed by Germany and Jews in those countries were either exterminated or deported to the German camps depending on the country. During the 1941 - 1942 invasion of the Soviet Union, the Wehrmacht were ordered to exterminate all male Jews; this was later amended to all Jews at the order of Heinrich Himmler. Walther von Reichenau's Severity Order mandated that all Jews on the Eastern Front be treated as enemy partisans and either shot or handed over to the Einsatzgruppen for execution. The main method used was to force them to line up in front of a trench to be shot, a method devised by Friedrich Jeckeln.

In January 1942, Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Reich Security Main Office, hosted the Wannsee Conference in Wannsee, a suburb in Berlin. The purpose of the conference was to coordinate the German government's response to the Jewish Question. After 90 minutes of discussion, the conference ended with the conclusion that the Jews were to be deported to the "labour camps" in Occupied Poland. Later that year, Hitler's personal secretary Martin Bormann signed an order that the Jewish problem was to be solved via "employment of ruthless force in the special camps in the East"; i.e., extermination in the camps. As a result, many European Jews were forcibly taken to the various camps set up in Nazi territories on freight trains. If any Jewish person was fortunate enough to survive the trip to the death camps, they would almost always find themselves being executed in gas chambers disguised as shower rooms. This was inspired by the use of gas chambers in the concurrent Action T4 program. Others would be put to work doing extremely difficult forced labor with little to no food, and often died from overwork or starvation. This was part of the so called "Final Solution to the Jewish Question", to exterminate all the Jews in Europe.

During the genocide, SS-Hauptsturmführer Amon Göth, who served as the commandant of Płaszów concentration camp in Poland from 1943 to 1944, personally executed over 500 people, arguably the most murders committed by one man in Nazi Germany.

These systematic mass murders continued until the end of WWII in 1945.

Aftermath

The Holocaust is very much alive. The wounds are still there. The scars are still there. The influence is still there.
~ Avner Shalev
After all the concentration camps were liberated by the Americans, British/Canadians, and the Soviets; most of highest members of the Nazi party and the SS were standing on trial in the Nuremberg trials. Many that were involved in the Holocaust were sentenced to death for war crimes and crimes against humanity, only a few were sentenced to prison, for example August Becker, Albert Speer and Rudolf Hess (who committed suicide in Spandau Prison in 1987 at age 93.)

Other Nazis that were involved in the genocide, such as Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler, committed suicide before they even got to trial; others such as Amon Göth were captured and put into Soviet gulags or were executed. Still others, such as Adolf Eichmann, Franz Stangl, and Klaus Barbie, remained on the lam for decades before being captured.

Some Nazis were able to evade capture entirely. Here are several notable Nazis who were never captured:

  • Josef Mengele managed to stay in hiding and died in Brazil in 1979 without ever facing justice.
  • Martin Bormann would die shortly after the war ended but his remains would go unidentified for three decades. It is believed that he was killed by Soviet troops as he tried to flee Berlin.
  • Heinrich Müller vanished completely and was never seen alive again; his ultimate fate remains unknown to this day.
  • Alois Brunner fled into exile in the Middle East, first going to Egypt then later to Syria, where he was allegedly protected by President Hafez al-Assad, and then by Bashar al-Assad when he succeeded Hafez. He died either in 2001 or 2010.
  • Aribert Heim settled in Cairo, Egypt and lived there in hiding until his death in 1992.
  • Kurt Becher was never charged with any offence and was only called as a witness at the Nuremberg Trials due to his having accepted bribes to ignore Jews escaping.

Legacy

For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.
~ Elie Wiesel
The Holocaust is believed to be the most horrific example of humanity at its worst. The Holocaust was also the most significant genocide to have ever occurred in the 20th century, leading to the deaths of approximately 11 million people, including children. Many people were killed in absolutely deplorable ways, including various forms of sadistic torture. Many victims of the Nazi Party's campaign of carnage would either be burned to death in the various ovens scattered throughout the camp, or some would even be forced to dig their own graves, and then be shot into said graves after they were finished digging. Many Jews were starved beyond recognition, and some of the Jewish people would be so weakened from malnutrition, that they would often fall into ditches whenever they escaped their captivity from the hands of Hitler and the Nazis. Many Jewish people were also used as human guinea pigs in various experiments. For example, many Nazi doctors, such as Josef Mengele (who was perhaps the most infamous of the Nazi doctors) attempted to change their eye and hair colors to match what they considered to be the superior race, and these experiments would often lead to failure. Many people of Jewish descent were killed from these failed experiments. Because of this fact, many Nazi doctors were found guilty for crimes against humanity, and were executed.

Many people, including former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and American white supremacist David Duke, among others, try to claim that these mass murders never happened, and that the government most likely made them up in order to acquire sympathy from their listeners; this is, in fact, a very common belief in the anti-Semite, white supremacist, and Alt-Right communities of the modern era. This is mostly because they believe Hitler was a good leader and will not admit that the Holocaust occurred because it would paint him in a negative light.

Badges given to concentration camp inmates

In addition to Nazis giving inmates tattoos of numbers at concentration camps, they also gave certain inmates badges in the form of a triangle or star shall they be Jewish. If a Jew was of another description listed below, the badge would be a combination of a yellow star and the triangle color specified.

  • Yellow - Given to Jewish people.
  • Blue - Described all Slavic ethnic groups. Also to Black people.
  • Pink - LGBT people, as well as other people who the Nazis considered sexually immoral, namely rapists, pedophiles, zoophiles, necrophiliacs, incestuous etc.
  • Green - Mundane criminals: low profile and high profile. People with these badges were often assigned "kapo" roles by concentration camp staff, giving them overseer-esque authority over other inmates.
  • Red - Political opponents such as, but not limited to communists, socialists, liberals, anarchists and feminists.
  • Purple - Jehovah’s witnesses, Catholics and other pacifistic religious groups.
  • Brown - Adult Romani men.
  • Black - Used for other prisoners who were deemed "antisocial" by Nazis.
    • Romani women and children. Boys would eventually be given the brown triangle shall they reach adulthood.
    • Mentally ill and disabled.
    • People with addictions, examples include substance abuse and gambling.
    • Homeless prisoners.
    • Prostitutes
    • Lesbians.
    • Drug users and dealers, suspected and confirmed.
    • People with developmental disabilities such as Autism and Down syndrome.
    • Illegal immigrants.