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Free «Life in Ghettos during the Holocaust» Essay Sample


Such cruel and inexplicable event as the Holocaust is unparalleled in history. Millions of innocent Jews, Gypsy and other minorities were torment and killed in concentration camps, ghettos, prisons and other institutions. This work explains what were the methods and results of the Nazi movement against the Jews. Also, it presents how horrific the events in the ghetto during the Holocaust were. The paper tells the story of the large number of victims and how cold and brutally people who called themselves allies acted with Jews.

Life in Ghettos during the Holocaust

European Countries Preferred Not to Interfere in the Nazi Plans

Human history is full of tragedies. However, those tragedies cannot be compared in their cruelty with the tragedy of the Holocaust. The horrors of those times are second to none by the number of victims or their cruelty. Deportation trains, gas chambers, death camps, brutal and cold-blooded murder of more than six million Jewish men, women and children will forever remind us of how inhuman and cruel man can be. It is impossible to believe what the Nazi soldiers made during the execution of their bloody mission, which had to ensure the result. At the time, when persecution of innocent European Jews has begun, all the other nations have chosen not to intervene and silently watched. At the same time, they call themselves civilized. The foundation of civilization based on respect for man's life rights and dignity was destroyed. Inactivity and indifference replaced it.



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America Also Has Not Become Involved in Jewish Genocide

We believe that the United States is the state, which not only supports but also based on the concepts of freedom and inter-ethnic equality of all people. However, the mass murder of Jews broke the American principles. America has chosen not to be involved in the rescue of victims of the Nazis just like the rest of the world. If, at that time, the government did not close their eyes to what was happening and would provide a refuge for Jews from the countries, which were occupied by Nazi troops, many people would be still alive. The lack of help today called a "conspiracy of silence." Because of the callousness, which was shown by America and its allies, the number of sad events in the history of mankind has increased. Though, even now people cannot boast that they have made a conclusion from a lesson of the tragic events.

History and Development of the Ghetto

The word "ghetto" was established in 1516. Ghetto is the name of the Jewish quarter, which first appeared in Venice. During the Second World War, the Nazis practiced internment of Jews and drove them into the ghetto. Naturally, the conditions there were not much different from the concentration camps. The main goal, which has been pursued by the Nazis, was to isolate Jews from the rest of the population and the fragmentation of the Jewish community. Throughout the Holocaust, the Nazis created over 800 of these isolated settlements. Some of them have existed for several years. The Germans isolated the Jews in the ghettos as anti-social and hostile to the same people. Due to the fact that in 1933 the Jews declared war on the Germans and at the beginning of World War II Jews came to the side of Great Britain, they were regarded as totally unreliable in Germany.

The Reason of Nazi Enmity to the Jews

As the practice in many countries shows, enemies of the people should be interned in separate camps or ghettos, where they can not harm the country. “Darwinism by itself did not produce the Holocaust, but without Darwinism... neither Hitler nor his Nazi followers would have had the necessary scientific underpinnings to convince themselves and their collaborators that one of the world’s greatest atrocities was really morally praiseworthy.”(Weikart, 2004, p. 164). The Nazis blamed the Jews for undermining the German national traditions, the German state and the foundations of the economic life of the German nation. Extensive international connections of the Jewish capital and Jewish politicians including the industrial and political circles that the Nazis declared ancestral enemies of Germany gave Hitler and his rise to wide propagation of the thesis of the "World Jewish-Masonic conspiracy" that allegedly seeks to establish Jewish domination over humanity.

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The Truth About Nazi Plans

The Sole Purpose of Ghettos Is to Destroy the Jews

The first ghettos were established in Germany to isolate individuals suspected of resistance to the Nazi regime. However, most of these actions were measures of suppression, oppression and murder of millions of people. Unfortunately, Jews were not the only nation, whom Nazis did not like. The Germans sent Jews to the ghetto with families and even communities. In most cases, there was a lack of food, necessary sanitary conditions, and clothing in the ghetto. After cold winters and due to the soiling of household waste, the ghetto soon became a source of epidemics. Therefore, mortality sharply increased. Ghetto survivors could not recover and suffered during their lives from fear and loneliness. In many places, the residence of the Jews in the ghetto lasted a relatively short time. Soon, the Germans began to liquidate the ghettos and camps. They were shot or gassed the inhabitants of these settlements. A certain number of Jews were sent to special camps for forced labor where people were dying in bulk, because of starvation and exhaustion. Despite the oppression, the people of the ghetto have made some attempts of the resistance. Underground activity had a significant place in the camps. Among the responses, there were the smuggling of weapons, medicines and food, and even the organization of cultural events.

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The Holocaust in the Soviet Union

The holocaust in the Soviet Union would give to German and other Nazis countries the chance to destroy the greatest place in the world of Jewish settlements. With the beginning of World War II, Nazis invaded regions densely populated by Jewish people: Poland, the Baltic States, Ukraine, and Belarus. In the occupied territories of the Soviet Union, the Nazis began their monstrous experiments of physical, economic and spiritual genocide on millions of people. The Holocaust of the Jews of the USSR can be understood only in the context of a carefully planned by the Nazis "total war" that they wage from the first days of the attack on the USSR. The Jewish population is a special category of victims of Nazi persecution and undergoing total destruction. The Nazi occupation regime represented a potential threat to the life of all the civilian population without any exceptions. All the Jews of the USSR have been declared "political" and racial opponents of the Nazi regime subject to total destruction. The Soviet Jews were the ones who experienced the most intricate tactics of mass murder.  The fighting guerrillas punitive tactics of the population of the so-called guerrilla zones are very similar to the methods of destruction of the Jewish population. Thus, the universality of the Holocaust first appeared in the Nazi extermination of other categories of the Soviet population, especially in the 1942 - 1944 years. Particularly large losses in percentage terms - less than 4% of those who find themselves in the occupied territories survived.

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The Mass Killings of Prisoners

The Decision of Wannsee Conference

 “We were masters of nature, masters of the world. We had forgotten everything - death, fatigue, our natural needs. Stronger than cold or hunger, stronger than the shots and the desire to die, condemned and wandering, mere numbers, we were the only men on earth.” (Wiesel, 2000, p. 58). The unfolding genocide was not a secret to the governments of the United States and Britain. Recently, the American press (New York Times Magazine, The Jewish World, etc.) described in detail the summer of 1941. The British Secret Service was able to establish a radio intercept messages sent to Berlin from the Eastern Front, and there was an evidence of the mass murder of the Jewish population. In January 1942, the Wannsee Conference endorsed the program of the final solution “of the Jewish question.”

The U.S.A. and Britain Are Still Indifferent

”I told him that I did not believe that they could burn people in our age, that humanity would never tolerate it…” (Wiesel, 2000, p.21). The decision of Wannsee Conference was not advertised and few at that time could not believe that this is possible in the XX century including the future victims. Jews from Germany, France, Holland, Belgium were sent to the east, to the camps and ghettos in Poland and Belarus. They were convinced that this is a temporary measure. In Poland, the Nazis created the death camps that could not even accommodate a large number of people. The main purpose of the camps was the rapid destruction of the newcomers. The U.S. president was shocked by this decision and assured that America and its allies will take all possible steps to put an end to Nazi crimes against the Jews. However, no action followed. Crematoriums of Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Treblinka and other mechanized death factories were already steaming from the workload of the victims. In many Soviet cities: Lviv, Kiev, Kharkov, Vilnius, Borisov, Slutsk, Polotsk and other, Jews were exterminated. One of the writers in London took his own life, expressing their anger against the government inaction in relation to the mass extermination of Jews. However, this time London and Washington turned a deaf ear. Omission of one of the countries led to omission of the rest. Like under the effect of "mob mentality" all prefer to stay away from the problems of the Jewish nation. The scholars who write about the Holocaust continue to debate about how the U.S. and the UK could save at least some of the innocent victims. However, the facts showed only that, during the Second World War, these countries have done virtually nothing to save the Jews from total annihilation.

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 The Results of Cruel Nazi Actions

The ratio of Jews to the Holocaust

However, Jews were even able to take advantage of the Holocaust. According to them, the Holocaust has no place in the human mind. It was unique, phenomenal, extraordinary, incomprehensible, incredible, amazing, extraordinary, unusual, weird, extraordinary, unparalleled, unprecedented, out of the ordinary, and can be described as an event of the cosmic scale; it cannot be explained and understood. At least, Jews have managed to turn the death of their people during the war in victory and learn its benefits.

We Should Always Remember

“We are alive. We are human, with good and bad in us. That's all we know for sure. We can't create a new species or a new world. That's been done. Now we have to live within those boundaries. What are our choices? We can despair and curse, and change nothing. We can choose evil like our enemies have done and create a world based on hate. Or we can try to make things better.” (Matas, 1993, p. 70). One way or another we will never forget the people, who were victims of the Nazi desire to lead. Future generations should also know what terrible things happened in the ghetto during the Holocaust. In addition to states and their institutions, the responsibility for this lies on each of us. As the Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel warned years ago, “to forget a holocaust is to kill twice.” (Chang, 1997, p. 16).


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