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An Unforgotten Event Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by cms-megan, United States Mar 31, 2008
Human Rights   Opinions
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Holocaust Project Final

The Holocaust is an event in history that will not be forgotten or ignored. In the beginning it was only Hitler’s malevolent idea of genocide to wipe out the Jewish citizens. Innocent people were not allowed to living in their homes, work at their jobs, walk in their cities, or basically live their lives at all. There were mass killings of Jews for almost 5 malicious years, until the suicidal death of Hitler. This haunting time of our past probably began with the Jewish registration in the Netherlands. The most inhuman bruise on that epoch of time was the gassing chambers, specifically at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Overall, Auschwitz and its concentration camps are suspected to have slaughtered 1-4 million innocent people, Jews and other unwanted people as well. The anti-Jew era officially ended after Hitler’s suicide, and the new leader surrendered – known as the German Surrender. The lives these people were ripped from will never be returned, but hopefully such a horrific event will never happen again.

What is Auschwitz? Auschwitz is what many consider to be the worst of the concentration camps during the Holocaust, and possibly the most evil crime against humanity yet. Jews (and other races of smaller proportions) were sent there to be burned to death, experimented on, and go through hard and laborious work, sometimes until they died. The construction of Auschwitz began in Poland on April 27th, 1949, on the orders of Heinrich Himmler. The Nazis evacuated this camp in 1945. The entrance held a sign that bore the infamous phrase ‘Albeit Macht Frei’, or ‘Work Makes One Free’. Auschwitz has three main camps: Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II, and Auschwitz III. Additional to that were about 45 sub camps, where the number of prisoners ranged from several dozen to several thousand.

Jewish people weren't the only people the SS (Nazis who served for Hitler/ the German army) wanted to get rid of. Gypsies (Roma), homosexuals, criminals and prisoners of war were gathered there to die. Children were often killed upon arrival. Many people were also automatically sent to gassing chambers. After getting off the cramped cattle cars (which was how most captives had been sent to Auschwitz in) prisoners were directed to a ramp. SS officers would send people to one of two lines; people sent to the left line were to be gassed immediately. Most often women, children, and unhealthy hostages were placed there. Young men and fit looking people were sent to the right line. These ones would most likely die of starvation, too much work, or disease eventually. But did the Germans cares? No, this only made the process of annihilating all Jews easier. There are also stories of people switching lines to join family members. They may have unknowingly doomed themselves to an untimely death, or months of demandingly hard labor.

The gassing chambers were the most hideous idea the Germans designed for mass killings. These underground rooms were camouflaged as showers. Prisoners deemed to weak to be good workers were led to believe that they were going to be taking showers for their own personal hygiene. After being locked into these ghastly rooms, prisoners only had about ten more minutes until the gas suffocated them. The most commonly used gas was zyklon b. This poisonous gas was made from hydrogen and cyanide crystals. Originally it was manufactured as a strong disinfectant and for pest control. Hundreds of thousands of victims of this cruel gas were shown no clemency.

There was another horrible death the captives of Auschwitz could have been convicted of. The odious scientist Josef Mengle used inmates to experiment on. He used Siamese twins or dwarves most often. In his revolting projects he would cut out organs, try to create Siamese twins, freeze, inject with drugs, and place children in pressure chambers. The list of traumas Mengle performed could go on, along with the work other ‘doctors’ did. Although before their ‘surgery’ children were fed and housed better, they didn’t fare any better in the end. They most likely died from blood loss, an infection afterwards, or even from being murdered for dissection. Josef Mengle was later nicknamed ‘The Angle of Death’.

After almost 5 years under the rule of the autocrat Hitler, the Holocaust came to an end. Know as the German surrender, the Holocaust officially ended on May 7th, 1945. This event would be the least horrible time period of the Holocaust because the killings were coming to an end. The estimated death toll ranges from 1 to 4 million. It is impossible to know the exact number of how many people shared such unfair punishment because all records were destroyed.

On April 30th, 1945, Hitler’s suicide began the German retreat. It has been accepted that he shot himself, and may have even poisoned himself with cyanide. After admitting in a conference that defeat was imminent, Hitler made arrangements for the end of his life. After writing his will he married a woman. They lived together for less than 40 hours. Having obtained some cyanide capsules from the SS, he tested them on his dog to check their potency. The dog died, and Hitler’s death soon followed.

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