The Holocaust in the sense of the genocide of the Jews lasted from 1941-45.
Although, it is evident that ever since Hitler came to power in 1933, Jews had been persecuted and surely tortured. First in Germany and then in the various countries annexed and invaded by Germany. Important ‘milestones’ on the road to the holocaust include the establishment of ghettos such as Warsaw, Lodz, and Krakow, where Jews were forced to live in unbearable conditions.
The Nazis started putting people in camps as early as 1933. Many died in those camps before the “Final Solution” was developed which entailed of leaving groups of Jews in Gas Chambers and having them wait their death. The innocent victims misunderstood the purpose of their being put into chambers as opportunities to shower because the NAZIs had asked them to remove their clothing, but they did not assume that those were amongst the last moments of their treacherous lives.
It is argued that those earlier years, 1933 to 1941, should be included in what is considered as the years of The Holocaust. Other targeted groups such as Gypsies, Slaves, the mentally retarded, and political prisoners, with whom Hitler too had issues tolerating, should also be included.
“[Since] Hitler had suffered severely from stomach pains and eczema in 1936–37, he made a remark to the Nazi Party’s propaganda leadership in October 1937 that because both parents died early in their lives, he would probably follow suit, leaving him with only a few years to live… About the same time, Dr. Goebbels noted in his diary Hitler now wished to see the “Great Germanic Reich” he envisioned in his own lifetime rather than leaving the work of building the “Great Germanic Reich” to his successors.“
The Foreign Minister, Baron Konstantin von Neurath, the War Minister, Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg, and the Army Commander, General Werner von Fritsch, protested against Hitler’s intentions that any German aggression in Eastern Europe was bound to trigger a war with France due to the French alliance system in Eastern Europe:
“Fritsch, Blomberg and Neurath all argue that Hitler was pursuing an extremely high-risk strategy of localized wars in Eastern Europe that was most likely to cause a general war before Germany was ready for such a conflict, and advised Hitler to wait until Germany had more time to rearm.” It is thought provoking that Neurath, Blomberg and Fritsch had no moral objections to German aggression or against Hitler’s ‘Racial Hygiene’, but rather based their protest on the issue of timing, which was to determine the best time for aggression.
The concept of Racial Hygiene was one of the foundations of Hitler’s social policies. “It was based on the ideas of Arthur de Gobineau, a French count; eugenics, a pseudo-science that advocated racial purity; and social Darwinism. Applied to human beings, “survival of the fittest” was interpreted as requiring racial purity and killing off “life unworthy of life.” The first victims were children with physical and developmental disabilities. After a public outcry, Hitler made a show of ending this program, but the killings continued. Then followed the genocide of Jews and a majority of consist support for Hitler.
Between 1939 and 1945, the SS systematically killed between 11 and 14 million people, six million of which, were Jews.
“In addition to those that were gassed to death, many died as a result of starvation and disease while working as slave labourers. Along with Jews, non-Jewish Poles, Communists and political opponents, members of resistance groups, homosexuals, Roma, the physically handicapped and mentally retarded, Soviet prisoners of war (possibly three million), Jehovah’s Witnesses, Adventists, trade unionists, and psychiatric patients were too killed.”
“One of the biggest centres of mass-killing was the industrial extermination camp complex of Auschwitz-Birkenau. As far as is known, Hitler never visited the concentration camps and did not speak publicly about the killing in precise terms.”
The video attached below narrates a more detailed outlook on the extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The video also displays The Auschwitz Album. It is the only surviving visual evidence of the process of mass murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau. “It is a unique document and was donated to Yad Vashem by Lilly Jacob-Zelmanovic Meier.”
This tragic mass murder brings about great emotions those of which inspire many to write poetry on behalf of them. An example is shown below.
We Will Never Know Their Pain by Rose Louse
Body up on body, the smell of death in the air,
Pain and suffering, too much for humans to bear.
Family’s torn apart, the strong to live and work,
The weak to face the chambers, god how they hurt.
Women stood in shame, their naked bodies filled with pain,
A shower was their promise; the gas was their gain,
Their prayers went unanswered, their cries went unheard,
Soldiers gave no mercy, hatred in their words,
Shouting out their orders, death was their’s to give,
Not even your childhood, gave you a right to live.
Babies clung to mothers, until they breathe their last,
Their further was now other, yet they never lived a past.
Girls robbed of their honour, their bodies were abused,
Death was their only answer, to how they could refuse.
Ugliness was a blessing, for beauty brought them pain,
For there’s worse than dearth and that is what they gained.
Their suffering is now just words in a history book.
I say thanks to god that we will never no their pain,
For as a gypsy I know their life could have been mine to gain.
For more poetry, visit: http://romaniroots.webs.com/holocaustpoetry.htm