Holocaust

The Holocaust remains, and will continue to remain as one of the most horrific things that has happened to a group of people. The absolute inhumanity of the Holocaust puzzles people even today. Contemporary people wonder just how it happened, how could a people be systematically killed, tortured, murdered. The answer will probably never be found, but future generations can avoid something like the Holocaust by studying it, and never forgetting
The Nazi’s did not start out with “The Final Solution”, which did not come till later. The first step on the path to that solution was the Nazi decree defining a non-Aryan as “anyone descended from non-Aryan, especially Jewish, parents or grandparents. One parent or grandparent classifies the descendant as non-Aryan…especially if one parent or grandparent was of the Jewish faith.”. The distinction of who was “Aryan” and who were not was very important to Hitler. This distinction allowed the Jews and others to be discriminated against. At this time the German people probably have no idea what these laws will lead to. Next came the exclusion of the Jew from the arts by the Reich Chamber of Culture, every time a right was stripped away from a Jew it was easier to view them as not human. In September of 1933 the Nazis prohibit Jews from owning land, the rights of the Jewish people were being taken away at a frightening pace. In 1934 more was done to the Jewish race. Jews are banned from the German Labor Front, not allowed national health insurance, and prohibited from getting legal qualifications. The following year Nazis ban Jews from serving in the military, force Jewish performers/artists to join Jewish Cultural Unions, and the Jew Codes (Nuremberg Race Laws) were established. These Jew Codes prohibited many things, not only was it against the law for an Aryan to marry a Jew, it was against the law to have sexual relations between Aryans and Jews also. Jews were also no longer considered to be citizens of Germany, they were now subjects. In 1938 things continued to get worse with the order for Jews to register wealth and property, Jewish owned businesses were to register, Jews were prohibited from trading and providing a variety of specified commercial services, the Nazis ordered Jews over age 15 to apply for identity cards from the police, Jewish doctors were prohibited by law from practicing medicine, and Jewish passports to be stamped with a large red “J.”. The world community noted this obvious anti-Semitism, but nothing was done. Another slap in the face was Kristallnacht or the “The Night of the Broken Glass”. This was an organized Nazi raid upon Synagogues, Jewish homes, and even Jews themselves. Many synagogues were burned to the ground, and fire departments did nothing, or they made sure the fires did not spread to nearby non-Jewish homes. Any insurance claims that were made, the state of Germany confiscated, and the Jews were ordered to actually pay one billion marks for that night. The continuing slide to the final solution continued in 1939 when Jews had to hand over all gold and silver items, they lost rights as tenants and are relocated into Jewish houses, denied the right to hold government jobs, are forbidden to be outdoors after 8 p.m. in winter and 9 p.m. in summer. Himmler in this year also issues instructions to the SS in Poland regarding treatment of Jews, stating they are to be gathered into ghettos near railroads for the future “final goal.”. Jews are forbidden to own wireless (radio) sets, a forced labor decree issued for Polish Jews aged 14 to 60, and yellow stars are required to be worn by Polish Jews over age 10. In 1940 Jewish Ghetto’s are being utilized more and more by the Nazi’s and many Jews are forced to live in them. The concentration camp is also being used more and more, new ones are being put up, and old ones are being expanded. In 1942 the final solution begins, at Auschwitz in Bunker I Zyklon-B was used in the mass killings. Zyklon-B originally was just an insecticide and disinfectant; only through experimentation did the Nazi’s learn about its lethality to humans. Jews were told they were to get “a shower” and were herded into sealed rooms. Special holes in the ceiling allowed Germans to drop the Zyklon-B tablets in, it was a very painful death. The Wannsee Conference also occurred in this year, it was a discussion about how to kill the Jewish race on a larger scale, to coordinate the extermination of the Jewish Race. The SS begins to cash in the possessions of the murdered Jews at Auschwitz. Clothes, watches, pens, anything confiscated from the Jews is confiscated, and distributed wherever the Nazi’s see fit. Many mass murders of begin to take place in Germany and its conquered territory. One example is in the Ukraine, women are stripped, taken to a ravine and shot. Atrocities like that really show how inhuman man can be. By 1943 over 1 millions Jews have been killed, and its only the beginning. One interesting note of resistance that took place was in the Warsaw Ghetto. 1200 Jews armed with pistols, grenades, and Molotov cocktails, fought the SS squads that had been sent to liquate the ghetto. Though they were unsuccessful, the resistance group took out 300 German soldiers, and wounded 1000. In 1944 one atrocity that took place was the raid on children’s home at Izieu. 44 Children were arrested, and only 1 eventfully survived. These kids had been sent to France to escape the death that was the Nazi menace, but they could not get away from it. A record was set this year too, Auschwitz records its highest-ever daily number of persons gassed and burned at just over 9000. Six pits are used to burn bodies, because the ovens were all full. Later in the year though, as the Russians advanced upon the camps, the Jews were forced to go on “Death Marches”, these forced marches were made so the advancing Russians would not catch the Germans. Most of the inmates on these marches either dropped dead from exertion or were shot by the SS when they failed to keep up with the column. As World War II came to a close, many Nazi officials tried to hide the evidence of the death camps, but they were unsuccessful, the horrors that had taken place there were revealed to the world.
In the end around 6 million Jews died as a result as the Holocaust. “Holocaust” is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.”. The people that died in it did not have to. Only through the participation of the German and other people did it occur. Today we say that something like the Holocaust could never happen again, but it can. If groups of people are dehumanized like the Jewish race was in these times, another Holocaust could easily happen. Its important to look at the early laws that were passed in Germany, how easy it was to start the machinery that allowed 6 million people to die. It’s the duty of every citizen, of every country to make sure that it does not happen again. Future generations need to keep the events that happened during World War 2 and before it, or they are doomed to repeat them.

Holocaust

More than fifty years have passed since the end of the Second World War and the Holocaust, yet the events of this time continue to be of great significance to people the world over.

What was the Holocaust?
The Holocaust was the murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators. Between the German invasion of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941 and the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, Nazi Germany and its accomplices strove to murder every Jew under their domination. Because Nazi discrimination against the Jews began with Hitler’s accession to power in January 1933, many historians consider this the start of the Holocaust era. The Jews were not the only victims of Hitler’s regime, but they were the only group that the Nazis sought to destroy entirely.
Is the Holocaust a singular event in history?
There are other historical events similar to the Holocaust, but the Holocaust has characteristics that, in the opinion of many scholars, make it unique. Mass murder, sometimes on a scale of millions and targeting specific religious, ethnic, or social groups, has occurred in history. Governments other than that of Nazi Germany have used camp systems and technology to serve deadly plans, and the Jews have been persecuted throughout much of history. However, the Holocaust may be considered unique for two main reasons: 1) unlike their policies toward other groups, the Nazis sought to murder every Jew everywhere, regardless of age, gender, beliefs, or actions, and they invoked a modern government bureaucracy to accomplish their goal; and 2) the Nazi leadership held that ridding the world of the Jewish presence would be beneficial to the German people and all mankind, although in reality the Jews posed no threat. Grounded in a spurious racist ideology that considered the Jews “the destructive race,” it was this idea, more than any other, that eventually led to the implementation of the murderous policy known as the Final Solution.
How many Jews were murdered in the Holocaust? How do we know? Do we have their names?
There is no precise figure for the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust. The figure commonly used is the 6 million quoted by Adolf Eichmann, a senior SS official. Most research confirms that the number of victims was between five and six million. Early calculations range from 5.1 million (Professor Raul Hilberg) to 5.95 million (Jacob Leschinsky). More recent research, by Professor Yisrael Gutman and Dr. Robert Rozett in the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, estimates the Jewish losses at 5.59-5.86 million, and a study headed Dr. Wolfgang Benz presents a range from 5.29 million to 6 million.
The main sources for these statistics are comparisons of pre-war censuses with post-war censuses and population estimates. Nazi documentation containing partial data on various deportations and murders is also used. Yad Vashem, which has been seeking to collect all the victims’ names, has gathered 2.5 million records, 1.75 million of which are based on Pages of Testimony submitted by survivors.
When and How did the Nazis come to power?
Contrary to a common misconception, Hitler did not come to power through a terrorist coup against a democratically elected government. Nor was he voted into office by a clear-cut decision of the German electorate. Rather, he attained power because President Hindenburg appointed him as Chancellor on January 30, 1933. Until that fateful day, neither the Nazi Party nor Hitler personally had ever come close to winning the ballot. In the last democratic elections, on November 6, 1932, the Nazi Party, though the strongest, actually declined from the 37.3 percent of the total vote that it had earned in the previous elections, on July 31, 1932, to 33.1 percent.
Once in power, Hitler and his accomplices lost no time in broadening their base of power and dismantling the democratic constitution piece by piece. A crucial landmark was the so-called “Law of Empowerment,” which authorized the government to enact laws without recourse either to the parliament or to the president. The autonomy of the individual German States (Lnder) was abolished in by law passed on March 31, 1933. The Nazi seizure of power was completed, in a sense, with the “Law Against the Establishment of New Parties” on July 14, 1933, by dint of which the Nazi Party became the only legal political party in Germany.
Berenbaum, Michael ed, The Holocaust and history: The known, the unknown, the disputed, and the reexamined. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1998

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Holocaust

Holocaust The Nation of Germany should be assessed damages and reparations made to survivors and or their heirs for the Nazi crimes which included, property theft, wrongful injury and wrongful death. The monetary compensation will never heal the wounds inflicted by the depraved actions of the Nazi on their fellow man. The mere claim that not all Germans participated willingly should not be a viable defense for their liability. Does the concept that the nation should pay for the pain and suffering a few caused seem foreign? Our present day judicial system invokes punitive and actual damages in comparable situations and it should access damages against Germany. Ford Motor Corporation made a choice to leave their Pinto vulnerable to explosion and fire in a certain type of rear end collision.

This conscious decision was made after risk assessment and cost analysis were conducted. The managers concluded that it would be cheaper to settle the lawsuits than reengineer the vehicle. Not every employee of Ford nor every stockholder participated in the decision. Nevertheless, the company as a whole was responsible. The fateful decision to place their cost base ahead of human life was considerably more expensive than they estimated. Numerous people lost their life to Ford’s profits before the problem was rectified.

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Even in this modern example, the human life was not spared until the courts assessed damages for the deaths caused by Ford. The German population has criminal guilt because of a number of reasons. Hitler was a freely elected leader promising to restore Germany to the greatness it enjoyed prior to World War One. Hitler and his henchmen could not have achieved their repugnant goals for the Master Race without the support of the German public. The social contract between Hitler and the German people that empowered him to rule also transferred vicarious liability to the population.

The United Nations Convention on the Crime of Genocide concluded that complicity in genocide was a prosecutable criminal act. The general population of Germany should bear the consequences for their actions or lack of action in empowering Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich. The accomplishments of Oskar Schindler bear witness that some actions could have been preformed to circumvent the Nazi’s insatiable desire to exterminate the non-Aryans. It can be argued that because of intimidation the Germans did not act. The duress defense has not been very successful in criminal trials. Even under the threat of torture and death, a resistive population would have produced more martyrs attempting to circumvent the reprehensible actions of the S.S.

and the Third Reich’s depraved leaders. The World Court and our judicial system are both founded on many of the same fundamental principles. There may be a question in a potential jurors mind if the general population of Germany truly were involved in the commission of the criminal acts of genocide and therefore are responsible for reparations to their victims. The burden of proof is much higher for conviction of a criminal offense. The prosecution would have to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that the Germans were guilty.

To assess civil liability the burden of proof is merely more likely than not. An example of an individual found not guilty but being liable for wrongful death damages has been recently and vividly presented to us by the news media. O.J. Simpson was not convicted for the murders of Nichole Simpson and Ron Brown but in a civil suit filed by the bereaved parents of Ron Brown, he was found liable for their death and damages assessed. According to Bruce Ottley, Associate Dean of the Depaul University Law School, the average award for wrongful death is 3.5 to 6 million dollars.

This could easily lead to an award of $ 33 trillion dollars, and that is only for the actual people killed. As large as that number is it still does not account for pain suffering, injuries, stolen art, and gold. Considering that the Nazis would open the deceased’s mouth and pry out any gold dental work before burning the body, restitution for this stolen gold seems justified. It is estimated that between the banks, personal ownership, and dental gold the Nazis stole over $5.6 billion dollars at today’s gold value. An award of $33 trillion dollars pales when compared to the wholesale abuse of humanity the Nazis engineered In the history of humanity, our cruelty to our fellow man has been demonstrated many times. Terms like the spoils of war are used without negative connotations for the looting the Romans committed.

The enlightened philosophers that originated our system of governmental values clearly meant only to bestow rights to their contemporaries. No consideration was given to women or African slaves. There are even Biblical references to the victims of the holocaust, the Jews, indiscriminately slaying men, women, children, and even the animals when entering Canaan in the Book of Joshua. Since the first time man killed his brother to modern times, we have been ruthless with our brothers and neighbors. Do we have to continue being barbaric merely because society in the past was? The rise of modern times lead to huge advances in science and medicine.

If we do not make similar advances in our human sprit, we are not much more than primitives with larger and better clubs. Our values should evolve as our technology does. During the Renaissance with merely a 10x power telescope Galileo changed the way we view the universe. Now hundreds of years later, we can use the Hubble Telescope to look at the fringes of space and time. In our ever-shrinking global community, shouldn’t we desire justice? Shouldn’t we demand our fellow cultures to cease following in the footsteps of barbarism? Merely because hate, torture, and murder were once practiced is not justification to continue. A judgment for the survivors will announce that the world has evolved, and persecution, torture, and murder of our fellow inhabitants will not be tolerated. Sociology Issues.

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