Holocaust: Who is responsible for the Holocaust?

Essay by redheadkHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2004

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Holocaust is a "Greek word meaning, 'destruction of an entirety; a whole'" (Berry Notes). The Holocaust usually refers to a time in Germany when Adolf Hitler was Chancellor, and he and his many followers killed around six million Jewish people, as well as around six million others. We can see the beginnings of Hitler's theories in his book, Mein Kampf, which means "my struggle", in which he talks about the master race theory, where all other races than the master Aryan race should serve or be exterminated. After writing this book, Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany, and found many followers by telling German citizens that all of Germany's problems were caused by the Jewish race. Germans were quick to believe this, because they needed a scapegoat for their problems. Hitler then began to take away the citizenship of Jews, followed by deporting them to ghettos, labor camps, and eventually death camps.

The question still arises, though: who was actually responsible for the Holocaust? Many blame it on Hitler and the German government. After all, they ordered this to happen by creating the Nuremberg Laws, Jewish Ghettos, the "Final Solution", and so forth. "The Jews were trapped in Hitler's death net" (Chaikin 121). Hitler was the originator of the idea of this genocide, and he and his partners should be the ones to take sole responsibility, for if it weren't for them, things could have ended up a lot differently.

"Hitler passed laws to legalize hatred and irrationality" (Chaikin 131).

It could also be said that the German people were partly responsible for this crime against humanity. They fell right into Hitler's trap, and most followed him in the hate of the Jews rather than asking questions or standing up. Some did have a moral dilemma - it was...