The Colors Of The Holocaust Essay Research

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The Colors Of The Holocaust Essay, Research Paper The holocaust was the mass murder of European Jews by the Nazis during World War II. Adolf Hitler planned to wipe out the entire population of the Jews as part of his plan for world domination. The Nazis killed approximately 6 million Jewish men, women and children by the end of the war in 1945. Many members of other ethnic groups were also killed. In 1933 Adolf Hitler began his 12-year dictatorship of Germany. With little or no delay, repressive measures were taken against groups that did not submit to Nazism. The government imposed many laws and restrictions that deprived many their rights and possessions. On November 9, 1938, known as Kristallnacht, the Nazi Party killed dozens of Jews and sent nearly 30,000 others to

concentration camps.(1) They destroyed over 200 synagogues and about 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses. The Concentration Camps Concentration camps, were set up by the Nazi regime as part of the “Final Solution” of systematically torturing and killing not only Jews but political prisoners, homosexuals and other “undesirables” by means such as gassing, execution style killing and medical experiments. Auschwitz was the most notorious of the concentration camps, for claimed the lives of over two million Jews from all over Europe during the course of WWII. Bergen-Belsen, did not fit the mold of most concentration camps, as death came not from gassing or mass executions, rather from starvation, malnutrition and the rampant diseases that hit the camp in the final stages of the war.

The camps held three types of prisoners. The politicals were the Communist, Social Democrats, and Jehovah s Witnesses. The second group were the asocials , primarily habitual criminals and sex offenders. The last group were members of inferior races , the Jews and the Gypsies. Prisoners of the camps were given distinctive insignia for identification purposes. All prisoners were prescribed markings on their clothes to indicate their category. These were a serial number and a colored triangle pointing down, sewn on the left shirt breast and the right trouser leg. Red denoted politicals; green, criminals; purple, Jehovah s Witnesses; black, vagrants; pink, homosexuals. The classification for the Jews was yellow. It was sewn on point-up, so that if a Jew were placed in another

category, the two triangles would form a six-pointed Star of David. (2) The Purple Triangle Jesus said: Because you are no part of the world, . . . on this account the world hates you. This has applied to Jehovah s Witnesses not just in Nazi Germany but all around the world because they have stood by Christ s principles and teachings. In Germany, there were approximately 20,000 Jehovah s Witnesses. Sticking to Jesus command of being separate from the world, Jehovah s Witnesses in Nazi Germany refused to vote in any elections. The Nazis subjected them to public humiliation. Hitler saw them as a rival ideology to nazism. He seized their literature and sought to wreck their organization. Conditions in Nazi camps were generally harsh for all inmates, many of whom died from hunger,

disease, exhaustion, exposure to the cold and brutal treatment. Witnesses were uniquely sustained in the camps by their faith, loyalty to their God Jehovah and by their support they gave to each other. Individual Witnesses astounded their guards with their refusal to conform to military-type routines like roll call or to roll bandages for soldiers at the front. At the same time, Witnesses were considered unusually trustworthy because they refused to escape from camps or physically resist their guards. For this reason, Witnesses were often used as domestic servants by Nazi camp officers and guards The children of Jehovah’s Witnesses also suffered. In classrooms, teachers ridiculed children who refused to give the “Heil, Hitler!” salute or sing patriotic songs. Classmates