Anti -Semitism

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Stop and think about this for a second. What if someone was torturing and killing other innocent human beings by the millions using methods of starving, shooting, gassing, burning, and hanging. You might say, Oh, that could never happen. Well it has. During World War II, millions of innocent human beings were killed, all because of one man who had an obsession for power and supremacy. This man that I speak of is an anti-Semitist, meaning someone who is prejudiced against Jews or another race. This man along with his many other followers thought Jews were an alien race. Throughout this paper you will find out who this man is, what he did, why he did it. Also, you will learn about what life was like for the Jews during this time. After reading this I hope that you will have a better idea of what anti-Semitism is and how one man s obsession turned to millions of lost lives. The man I mentioned in the first paragraph obviously had a name. His name was Adolf Hitler. Let me give you some background information on him. He was born on April 20, 1889 in Braunau am Inn, Austria. His father was a minor customs official and his mother was a peasant girl. He never completed high school and was a poor student. He twice applied to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, but was not accepted for lack of talent. He read large amounts of books which helped him develop an anti-Jewish and anti-democratic attitude. Hitler fought in World War I for the Bavarian army. Although a courageous soldier he was never promoted above private first class because he was lacking in leadership qualities. In September 1919 he joined the nationalist German Workers Party. In April of 1920 he went to work full time for the newly renamed National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party. In 1921 he was elected party chairman and given dictorial powers. By this time he had developed extreme racist qualities and an extreme hate for Jews. In 1923 he tried to seize Bavaria but had no success. There was an increase in the number of Nazi s between the years of 1929 and 1930. Hitler was then appointed Chancellor of Germany. Hitler started a campaign to destroy world Jewry. He met with high ranking officials and created the final solution to the Jewish problem, and in 1933 the first of many German concentration camps was built. This one was at Osthofen. A concentration camp is a place where the Jews were tortured intensely, and by 1939 there were many of these camps in places across Europe, mainly Germany. There were camps in Buchenwald, Flossenburg, Mauthausen, Ravensbruck, and Sakenhausen. There were many other camps such as Natzweiler, Gross-Rosen, Stutthof, Hinzert, Vught, Dora, and Beranen-Belsen. In Poland there were camps called Auschwitz. Majdonek, Birkenau, Natzweiler, Plaszow, Gross-Rosen, Kulmhof, Belzec, Sobidor, and Treblinka. Auschwitz was the largest camp where Jews were routinely gassed, shot, starved, and died of disease. Over 1,000,000 people died here. Kulmhof majored in gassing killing over 150,000. In Majdonek 50,000 people died either being shot or gassed. Ravensbruck was the largest concentration camp for women in Nazi Germany. 92,000 women and children died here. My Grandfather is Polish and was in a concentration camp. I don t remember which one but I do remember him saying that it was horrible. He said that they were given one loaf of bread every week and his family had to split it among themselves. He said that everyone was weak because they were being starved to death. My Grandpa said, A Gestapo ( Hitler s Secret police ) threatened to shoot me. I begged him not to so he didn t. He beat me instead. (My Grandpa)He said that they also used to kick him. My Grandpa has had bad memories of World War II, concentration camps, and Adolf Hitler. Jews weren t the only people put in concentration camps. Slavs, Roma (gypsies), Jehovah s Witnesses, communists, and the Polish were put in these camps. They were not put through as much as the Jews were. The Jews were tortured and taunted outside of the concentration camps. One thing was that the Jews had to wear six-pointed stars to let everyone know that they were Jewish. Jewish passports and other forms of identification were stamped with a J meaning Jude which was German for Jew. Jews were required to turn over all precious metals to the government. There was a suspension of Jewish drivers licenses. There was a confiscation of Jewish owned radios. There was also a curfew to keep Jews off the streets between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. in the summer and between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. in the winter. Jews were forbidden to attend plays, movies, concerts, and German schools. Jewish children were not allowed in class. Try to imagine yourself in their place...pretty bad huh? And on top of all of what I just listed they had one other thing called Kristallnacht. It was the night of broken glass. On this night, Nazis came and rav

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