The Holocaust: How it was Carried Off

Essay by Rachel123High School, 12th gradeA, January 2006

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Between 1941 and 1945, more than 6 million Jews were brutally murdered . This catastrophic event, known as the Holocaust, is unrivalled by any other in history. It wasn't the first time that a nation had attempted to rid itself of a specific ethnic group. However, it was the first time that such a mass genocide had occurred without the immediate interference of other countries. This means that there were a number of factors that led to the success of the Holocaust. The Holocaust was able to happen because of the specific historical context, the ruling government, and the high level of secrecy and organization involved in creating and carrying out plans.

In the mid 1900's there was a strong anti-Semitic tradition throughout all of Europe that had been around for hundreds of years. In Middle Ages, the Jews were blamed for the death of Christ, killing Christian children, and causing the Black Plague .

By late 1800's, a racist-biological anti-Semitism was developed. During this time, the Jews were perceived as a specific problem to society that needed solving if the nation were to survive. These racist-biological ideas were seen as a legitimate point of view, and can be seen in the writings of Martin Luther, who wrote that "...the Jewish synagogues should be burned, their houses destroyed and the Jews be driven out of Germany forever ." Also, European's possessed a xenophobic attitude. They tended to blame all of their economic and social problems on foreigners.

After World War One, Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty forced Germany to admit its guilt for instigating the war, to recede from occupied areas, to accept substantial restrictions on the size of its armed forces, and to make a large compensation payment to France . A number...