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Patrick Morsch

Prof. Wertz-Orbaugh
UWRT 1102-009
4/15/15
The frequency of death; a research review
This research review covers things I learned about with executions and other
random acts of torture inside the Holocaust. One of the reasons the Holocaust is such a
big event in history is because of the absurd amount of inhumane deaths that occurred.
Hitler and the German Nazis controlled the Jews by putting them inside concentration
camps and ghettos. Although that sounds bad enough, the torture and things they saw in
the camps were even more devastating. No one in the camp was safe from death, people
starved, women, man, and child. They were killed if they werent able to work and
contribute to the Nazi movement. In this paper, I will talk about the things the Nazis did
to torture the Jews and use to eye witness accounts to really show the things that
happened that might not come up with a common Google search. The sources I used are
162356 by Michael Englishman andThe History of Hitlers first death camp by Patrick
Montague. In Englishmans piece of work he talks to a man who lived through the death
camp and has eerie stories to follow it. In Montagues work he talks more about full-scale
executions that came in large numbers.
In my Inquiry I wanted to incorporate some kind of live testimony of someone
who lived through the real traumatic events of the Holocaust. Englishman, a holocaust
survivor who recently passed, talked about his numerous times escaping death and
participating in underground resistance. All of this resistance was done under the
watchful eye of the Nazis who ruled through fear and violence. The lowest class of

human beings, the Nazis, were now the masters, and they ruled with terror, including
guns.(Englishman) One of the ways Hitler and the Nazis gained power was isolating the
Jews and giving them little to feed themselves and fight back. The Jews were deprived
and forced to work for the Nazis in whatever way they could contribute or else they
would be killed. Jews who were mentally incapable, had deformities, or were too old
were killed on the spot in ruthless action. Anyone who spoke out again them [Nazis]
were shot on the spot or deported to face a much slower death (Englishman). In
Englishmans testimony he talks about how frequent death became. He describes it as
becoming a normality to walk around the camp and seeing bodies starved into there last
breathe. Jews were shot on the spot or hung for their actions, such as talking back to a
Nazi soldier or stealing a cigarette. It was clear as I read about this that the Nazis ruled
through fear and only used the Jews as slaves to better the Nazi regime. To the Nazis the
Jews were worthless, and there lives didnt matter for anything besides work.
Through my high school studies of the Holocaust I thought the Nazis were in it
more for land in Poland. As I was severely mistaken, the Nazis picked on Jews of all
types, such as Englishman who was a Dutch Jew. As Englishman talks in his testimony
there was no sympathy for any Jews, and all were killed regardless. It gave me a
prospective as I went further into the testimony and realized all Jews were theyre for the
same reason and all would live in just as much fear as the other. It shocked me thinking
about how someone who survived the holocaust would even want to bring back those
memories of so much death being seen and then goes ahead and talk about it. My most
fond memory was lining up for count in the camp and a officer throwing his cap next to
the wall and telling a fellow Jew to retrieve the hat. As the Jew ran to retrieve the hat he

was shot in the back (Englishman). As I read further into it, I was shocked at the
reasoning behind this. The Nazis did this to obviously put fear into the Jews, and show
power but only for a day off and a carton of cigarettes. Englishman talks about how the
Nazis were rewarded for killing Jews who looked like they were trying to escape. By
throwing the cap to the wall it looked like the Jew was making a run for the wall in an
attempt to escape the camp. As in inquirer this is exactly the information I wanted to find
out in order to see the real deep and almost unheard of things that went onside inside
different Holocaust camps. With Englishmans testimony I was able to learn about how
common death was and how almost soulless it would seem, that the Nazis were.
Since my inquiry was on death in the camps I also wanted to incorporate the mass
killings that are more commonly known for happening in the Holocaust. For my research
I used Montague article that talked about different ways of mass killing. He talks about
gas vans, chambers, and firing squads that could execute hundreds of Jews at a time. The
first ever mass killing site was Chelmno. According to Montague, Chelmno was the first
facility established exclusively to perpetrate mass murder, stationary facility using gas
vans to kill most directly linked to the mass murder of people with disabilities living
inside the institutions (Montague). As an inquirer its pretty heart breaking to hear people
were killed just because they didnt have the capabilities to work and prosper the Nazis.
In a society thats reverse now as we treat people with special needs with much respect,
Hitler had no remorse for people who couldnt contribute to the cause.
These death camps orchestrated by Hitler and the Nazis meant almost certain
death if you were attending. Seven work-Jews escaped Chelmno, and six of them
survived the war(Montague). With over the thousands of people that attended these

camps its almost absurd that the Nazis only lost tract of seven people in the 2 years it
was running. In my research I found some of the Jews that were sent to the camps stayed
alive for weeks while others were killed immediately, just based off how the Nazis could
use them. One thing that ties in all my research is how the fate of the Jews lied on how
productive and useful they could be for the Nazis. In every article I read, the survivors
had some kind of skill that wasnt commonly seen in other Jews, making the Nazis need
them for there work. Others without a certain skill, like the mentally ill, were killed in an
instance.
The dead bodies of the Chelmno death camp were driven to mass graves and
others were stuffed alongside the bodies into gas vans that killed them on the way to the
graves. SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Hans Bothmann, killed between 152,000 and 172,200
people at Chemno, and the majority of the victims were Jews (Montague). Since the
camp was primarily used between 1941 and 1942 its stunning to see the number of death
close to the 200,000s. When Hitler decided to close the camp he had Jewish laborers
demolish the house, exhume and burn the rest of the bodies. The reasoning behind the
closing was because the camp was too small and they were going to relocate before being
close in on by the Soviet troops causing the Chelmno to no loner be in use. If it wasnt for
the Soviets moving in on the Nazis, I couldnt imagine what the number of deaths at
Chelmno would be. Reading about Chelmno really put into perspective the number of
Jews that were just eliminated from the earth. For only one camp to do as much damage
as Chelmno would do, its quite horrifying.
When it comes to life, everyone knows there will be death. For some it can be a
scary reality that one day, all life has to come to an end, but no one lives life expecting to

die like hundreds of thousands of Jews did. Death to me is always an interesting topic,
making me want to pursue it in my inquiry about the Holocaust. What I took from this
was how ruthless and inhumane the Nazis really were, and almost how brainwashed
Hitler and other leaders made the soldiers. The Nazis were looking to building an empire
and took the Jews in as slaves. I came in knowing that death was common in the camps
but really didnt know the types of deaths the Jews faced. I learned a lot about small
killings with Englishmans testimonys where they would kill a worked for stealing a
piece of bread or a cigarette. I learned that people were taken to death camps based on
their abilities and skill levels in different areas of the work force. They didnt just kill
anybody, they found the best for the jobs they needed done and then killed the rest that
were useless to the Nazis.

Works Cited:
Englishman, Micheal. "163256." Project MUSE. Wilfred Laurier University, 03 Feb.
2007. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.
Black, Peter. "Project MUSE - Chemno and the Holocaust: The History of Hitler's First
Death Camp by Patrick Montague (review)." Project MUSE - Chemno and the
Holocaust: The History of Hitler's First Death Camp by Patrick Montague (review).
Chapel Hill North Carolina Press, 2012. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.