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The Holocaust

Katrina Logan

College English

Mr.Neuburger

February 19, 2009


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According to Answers.com the term holocaust originally derived from the Greek word

holokauston, meaning a “completely burnt” sacrificial offering to a god. It has been primarily

used to refer to disasters or catastrophes. In the Oxford English Dictionary, the word holocaust

was first used to describe Hitler’s treatment towards the Jews. According to 2007 schools

Wikipedia Selection, The Holocaust was characterized by the efficient and systematic attempt

on an industrialized scale to assemble and kill as many people as possible, using all of the

resources and technology available to the Nazi state. Millions of people died in this tragic period

all because of one man, Adolf Hitler.

According to About.com: 20th Century History website, Klara and Alois gave birth to a

young man on April 20, 1889 in Austria, who would soon be known as history’s greatest villain,

Adolf Hitler. When Hitler turned six, his father retired from the civil service which created a

strict, tense atmosphere at home. When Hitler was 13, his father passed away. At this time, things

were beginning to get tough in the Hitler household. When Hitler turned sixteen, he quit school,

and never went back. In 1907, Hitler decided he wanted to go to a painting school because he

had always had been interested in art. Hitler applied to Vienna Academy of Art, but he did not

get accepted. In 1908, one year later, he tried to apply again, but he could not take the exam

again. About two months later, Klara Hitler his mother, died of breast cancer. Hitler then spent

the next four years living off what little money he had earned from selling postcards, drawings he

had done, and little inheritance he received from his mother’s death.

By this time, Hitler began getting involved with politics and became influenced by the

pan-Germanism. He did not want to go to the military, so to avoid it he packed his little things he

had and moved to Munich, Germany in May 1913. Soon World War I broke out; he asked for and

received special permission to serve in the Bavarian-German army. He quickly proved his that he
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could be a courageous, brave, and a strong man. While lying in the hospital recovering from the

gas attack that temporarily caused him to go blind, he heard the war had ended, and Germany’s

defeat. He felt so betrayed by the Germans after everything he had put out there. This shaped his

and the world’s future.

Phil’s World War II Pages state that in 1919, Hitler had joined an army organization. At

this job, he would check-up on the increasing local political groups. While spying on many of

these groups, he soon had found one that he liked. He then joined that group, and soon after he

knew it he became the leader of it. Hitler thought with him being the leader, he could bring

strength and prestige back to Germany. On January 30, 1933, Hindenburg appointed Hitler as

chancellor of Germany. In less a year and a half, Hitler had enough power to able to take over

both the positions of president and chancellor and combine both of them into one position of

supreme leader, Fuhrer.

After he gained all of that power in Germany, Hitler did not waste anytime using his

power. He began putting people in concentration camps who didn’t agree with him. With Hitler

having knowledge on the pan-Germanism, he then combined German people with other people

in Europe. With all people scared that another war would begin, Hitler easily took Austria

without any battle. But, whenever he tried to force into Poland, he could no longer just stand and

watch, World War II began.

According to the Overview of Adolf Hitler, it mentions that with the cover on World War

II, the Nazis created an elaborate and intensive system to work the Jews as slaves, and eventually

kill them after they removed them from the German society.

How many Jews were actually murdered? According to the Peace Faq, averages of 5.29

million to six million were killed. That reflects only the number of Jews though; many other
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people were tortured, and killed including, communist, homosexual men, Jehovah’s Witnesses,

people with disabilities, and Freemasons.

Many people say Hitler is the one who made the decision on murder the Jews, and other

people, but he was not alone. The German society was known by anti-Semitism, racism, a

utopian vision of humanity under German hegemony. The atmosphere was unclear whether

Hitler instigated these actions, or just simply let his men allow this to happen. Over the next half

year, plans for many concentration camps were made clearly into their heads. The idea of

murdering all Jews was clear, concise, well thought out and planned as it mentions in Hitler’s

book Mein Kampf.

According to the Nazi Genocide, 1.5 million children were murdered during the

Holocaust. This figure includes more than 1.2 million Jewish children, tens of thousands of

Gypsy children, and thousands of handicapped children. The Nazi’s didn’t care which Jewish

family they persecuted, or however old the children were. They took the children one by one

from their homes, family, and belongings. Some children would even witness the murder of their

parents, siblings, and relatives. Until the children would go to the gas chambers, many had to

over come starvation, illness, and brutal labor. A girl named Anne Frank is one of the millions

who survived. Anne not only had to survive harsh punishment, starvation, and brutal labor, she

also had to overcome hiding out in a house for many months.

Many people today still ask why Hitler killed as many people as he did. The answers vary

from; Hitler thinking it was the Jews that caused Germany’s defeat in World Was I, and he was in

for revenge, or just plainly because he wanted to. The answer to this question will still be talked

about many years from now, but we will never know the truth.
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Adolf Hitler. 5 Mar. 2009

<http://history1900s.about.com/cs/hitleradolf/p/hitler.htm>.

Hitler and The Holocaust. 5 Mar. 2009

<http://schikelgruber.net/holocaust2.html>.

The Holocaust. 5 Mar. 2009

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_holocaust>.

The Holocaust. 5 Mar. 2009

<http://schools-wikipedia.org/wp/t/The_Holocaust.htm>.

The Holocaust, the Shoah. 5 Mar. 2009

<http://www.peacefaq.com/holocaust.html#whatwa>.

Nazi Genocide. 5 Mar. 2009

<http://www.annefrank.dk/Default.htm>.

Phil's World War II Pages. 9 Mar. 2009

<http://www.secondworldwar.co.uk/ahitler.html>.