The Jewish Holocaust

by UHRC on 22/12/10 at 8:15 pm


By Nora Injeyan

The history of anti-semitism in Europe stretches back far before the Holocaust and took on three forms. The original roots of this hatred is religion-based.  Early Christian writings charge Jews with the crime of deicide, ignoring the facts that the Gospels were written over 60 years after the fact and by men who wanted to gain favor with the Romans, consequently blaming the Jews for the killing of the Christian messiah.  The second form, taking place during the Middle Ages, grew in its oppression by actively seeking conversion of the Jews.  Adding to the accusation of deicide came the charge of Blood Libel, a widespread belief that Jews killed Gentile children and used their blood for Matsuh.  However, during this time, conversion was an “acceptable escape” from Jewry.  It was not until the late nineteenth century where the third stage, racial anti-semitism, began to develop.  Following the popular concept of social-darwinism, the Jews began to be looked at not as followers of a religion but as an inferior race.  Moreover, whereas during the Middle Ages the Jew was seen as pathetic but not a source of fear, beginning in the late nineteenth century, the Jew was seen as a threat which needed to be eradicated.  This fear only further developed during World War I where the Jews were conveniently blamed for Germany’s war-time losses.  Adding to this was post-war inflation which wiped out the middle class who had their money in savings, leaving those who sold products, many being Jewish, less affected.  This financial gap only exacerbated the situation for the Jews of the Weimar Republic.

The fact that there was already a clear feeling of anti-semitism in Germany and Europe allowed for a man like Adolf Hitler to manipulate this hate to his benefit.  Like the Young-Turk idea of Pan-Turanism, Turkey for the Turks, Hitler adhered to the idea of Lebensraum, living space for Aryans.  This living space, in his eyes, was polluted by the genetically unfit, namely Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and the mentally deficient.  With his election in 1933, anti-semitism officially found its way into German politics.  This began first with legal attacks on Jewry such as the Nuremberg Laws that officially defined who was a Jew, and in doing so gave rise to a bureaucracy that began searching into family histories.  This legal attack on Jews took a sharp turn on the November 9, 1938, by a move known as Krystallnacht or “Night of Broken Glass.”  This was not only the first openly violent attack on German Jewry but there was no punishment or repercussion by the German government for those who took part in the assault.

The Holocaust had premeditated systems of isolation and destruction.  As mentioned before however, Jews were not the only victims of the Holocaust.  The Nazis put into place the T-4 program, a policy of euthanasia which sought out the “genetically unfit.”  The first target of this program was disabled children.  Because “racial purity” was a cornerstone to Nazi ideology, it became normal to eliminate genetic disease through sterilization and other means.  There was also a ghetto structure which allowed the Germans to confiscate Jewish property while they were relocated, isolate the Jews from the general population, use them as forced labor and ultimately, the ghetto system was used as propaganda to confirm the Nazi image of the Jews.  Because so many were forced to live in such small, confined areas, the living conditions inevitably became unsanitary and disgusting, a situation the Nazis used to illustrate their stereotypes of the “filthy Jew.”  There was also an extensive concentration camp system in place.  All concentration camps were built near railroads in order to facilitate convenient transportion of the victims.  Although there were over 10,000 camps, only six were death camps, many were either transit or labor camps.  Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest, although two separate camps, they were very close to one another and one-sixth of all Jews brought were killed.  This camp also engaged in brutal medical experiments in Block 11 by Dr. Joseph Mengele who was most interested in experimenting with twins where he subjected them to extreme temperatures or injected dye into their eyes to change the color.

Although the circumstances were bleak in the camps, it should be noted that there were instances of armed resistances in the ghettos.  The most notable example is that of the Warsaw ghetto.  A unique characteristic of this uprising was that the intent was not to free the ghetto or to escape death.  Those involved in the uprising knew their resistance was futile but did so only for the sake of fighting back.  It was an acknowledged fact that the members of the ghetto were fated for death yet they staged one of the most successful uprisings for no other reason than to fight back.  Other revolts include the Treblinka camp revolt, the Sobibor revolt and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Sondercommando revolt.

As with other genocides there are still pseudo-academics and academic organizations which proliferate genocide denial

The history of anti-semitism in Europe stretches back far before the Holocaust and took on three forms. The original roots of this hatred is religion-based.  Early Christian writings charge Jews with the crime of deicide, ignoring the facts that the Gospels were written over 60 years after the fact and by men who wanted to gain favor with the Romans, consequently blaming the Jews for the killing of the Christian messiah.  The second form, taking place during the Middle Ages, grew in its oppression by actively seeking conversion of the Jews.  Adding to the accusation of deicide came the charge of Blood Libel, a widespread belief that Jews killed Gentile children and used their blood for Matsuh.  However, during this time, conversion was an “acceptable escape” from Jewry.  It was not until the late nineteenth century where the third stage, racial anti-semitism, began to develop.  Following the popular concept of social-darwinism, the Jews began to be looked at not as followers of a religion but as an inferior race.  Moreover, whereas during the Middle Ages the Jew was seen as pathetic but not a source of fear, beginning in the late nineteenth century, the Jew was seen as a threat which needed to be eradicated.  This fear only further developed during World War I where the Jews were conveniently blamed for Germany’s war-time losses.  Adding to this was post-war inflation which wiped out the middle class who had their money in savings, leaving those who sold products, many being Jewish, less affected.  This financial gap only exacerbated the situation for the Jews of the Weimar Republic.

The fact that there was already a clear feeling of anti-semitism in Germany and Europe allowed for a man like Adolf Hitler to manipulate this hate to his benefit.  Like the Young-Turk idea of Pan-Turanism, Turkey for the Turks, Hitler adhered to the idea of Lebensraum, living space for Aryans.  This living space, in his eyes, was polluted by the genetically unfit, namely Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and the mentally deficient.  With his election in 1933, anti-semitism officially found its way into German politics.  This began first with legal attacks on Jewry such as the Nuremberg Laws that officially defined who was a Jew, and in doing so gave rise to a bureaucracy that began searching into family histories.  This legal attack on Jews took a sharp turn on the November 9, 1938, by a move known as Krystallnacht or “Night of Broken Glass.”  This was not only the first openly violent attack on German Jewry but there was no punishment or repercussion by the German government for those who took part in the assault.

The Holocaust had premeditated systems of isolation and destruction.  As mentioned before however, Jews were not the only victims of the Holocaust.  The Nazis put into place the T-4 program, a policy of euthanasia which sought out the “genetically unfit.”  The first target of this program was disabled children.  Because “racial purity” was a cornerstone to Nazi ideology, it became normal to eliminate genetic disease through sterilization and other means.  There was also a ghetto structure which allowed the Germans to confiscate Jewish property while they were relocated, isolate the Jews from the general population, use them as forced labor and ultimately, the ghetto system was used as propaganda to confirm the Nazi image of the Jews.  Because so many were forced to live in such small, confined areas, the living conditions inevitably became unsanitary and disgusting, a situation the Nazis used to illustrate their stereotypes of the “filthy Jew.”  There was also an extensive concentration camp system in place.  All concentration camps were built near railroads in order to facilitate convenient transportion of the victims.  Although there were over 10,000 camps, only six were death camps, many were either transit or labor camps.  Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest, although two separate camps, they were very close to one another and one-sixth of all Jews brought were killed.  This camp also engaged in brutal medical experiments in Block 11 by Dr. Joseph Mengele who was most interested in experimenting with twins where he subjected them to extreme temperatures or injected dye into their eyes to change the color.

Although the circumstances were bleak in the camps, it should be noted that there were instances of armed resistances in the ghettos.  The most notable example is that of the Warsaw ghetto.  A unique characteristic of this uprising was that the intent was not to free the ghetto or to escape death.  Those involved in the uprising knew their resistance was futile but did so only for the sake of fighting back.  It was an acknowledged fact that the members of the ghetto were fated for death yet they staged one of the most successful uprisings for no other reason then to fight back.  Other revolts include the Treblinka camp revolt, the Sobibor revolt and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Sondercommando revolt.

As with other genocides there are still pseudo-academics and academic organizations which proliferate genocide denial




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