hate crimes :: hate is a global issue
|Exterminating the Jews|
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