Holocaust and its non-Jewish Victims

Essay by Ippala101High School, 12th gradeA+, May 2004

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The Holocaust was an assault not only against the Jews, but against all non-Aryans. What is a non-Aryan? A non-Aryan is someone, or a group of people, the leaders of the Nazis simply did not like. They were a people that "contaminated" pure German blood and, according to the Nazis, must be stamped out. These groups included, but is not limited to, the Jews. Other groups persecuted between 1933 and 1945 are "so-called 'Jew-friends', gentiles who stood up for the rescue of Jews; communists, anti-fascists and other resistance fighters; rebellious juveniles, 'anti-social individuals', Gypsies, criminals, homosexuals; the physically and mentally handicapped, forced laborers and prisoners of war" (NSW Jewish Board of Deputies). The Polish people, Jews and non-Jews were also victims of Nazi hate.

One of the first groups to be targeted were the disabled. Hitler, and other high-ranking Nazi officials, began a "euthanasia" program to rid Germany of these "impurities".

They felt that these people were useless and therefore implemented a series of "mercy killings". In 1933 a "Law for the Avoidance of Genetically Diseased Offspring" had led to the sterilization of some 360,000 German people, but the 1939 euthanasia program was an actual mandate for murder. "The program was named T-4,

after the address of its headquarters at Tiergarten 4, Berlin" (Peter Vogelsang and Brian B.M. Larsen). Hitler ended the T-4 program in 1941 due to unrest from the German people. But the Nazi killing machine had already been put into motion; experienced staff and tested methods and equipment were simply transferred from the T-4 program to the concentration and extermination camps.

Another group persecuted by the Nazis were the Gypsies. Gypsies were people who never settled down and simply wandered about with no direction. Originally, the Nazis plan was to integrate them into society, to make...