<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Exterminating the Jews :: Hate Crimes
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Exterminating the Jews
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hate crimes

by Lauren Dean

Imagine living in a society where your religious beliefs aren't tolerated. You're persecuted, tortured and murdered just because of the very life you lead. For Jews living in Nazi Germany, this nightmare was their reality for almost a decade.

After Adolf Hitler came to power in the early 1930s, he concocted a plan to rid Germany, and all of Europe, of Jews. He killed nearly six million Jews. In some countries, the Jewish death toll topped 90 percent, according to the Holocaust Survivors Web site.

The first phase was to remove German Jews from public life, said Mitchell Hart, Jewish Studies professor at the University of Florida.

"[This plan] made it increasingly difficult and impossible for Jews to make a living and to live a normal life as citizens of the state and society," he said. "The ultimate aim of this first phase was to force the Jews to emigrate out of Germany."

This first phase was not a complete success, Hart said. In 1933, the Nazi party organized a boycott of all Jewish-owned stores in Germany, which failed. The government also passed anti-Jewish legislation, which removed most Jews from their jobs. In 1939, the radical phase of mass killing began, he said.

During this second phase, the government began rounding up Jews and placing them in ghettoes, which were small, dirty areas in cities where Jews had to live. The living conditions were atrocious, and many people died from starvation, according to the Holocaust Survivors.

After the Nazis invaded Russia, the Final Solution began to be implemented. During the early phases of mass murder, SS forces, who were the elite terror squad, carried out random, open-air shootings.

In 1942, they began the mass gassings that we are more familiar with, according to the Holocaust Survivors. The killings took place at six death camps in Poland, including the feared Auschwitz and Treblinka.

According to the Holocaust Survivors, two-thirds of European Jews were dead by the time WWII ended in 1945.

This tragic chapter of world history illustrates the inhumanity of man toward man. It is a glaring example of how hate can be so extreme that it is deadly.

Web site created by students in Reporting and Writing for Online Media, a course in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida, in Fall 2003.
All writing copyright © 2003 by the individual authors.
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