Hollocaust Essay

This essay has a total of 1352 words and 8 pages.


A Terrible Tragedy
The human tragedy of the Holocaust was the systematic annihilation of millions of Jews by
the Nazi regime during World War II. The adversity of this persecution influenced not only
the European arena, but also peoples from all over the globe and their ideas.

The impact caused by this ethnic cleansing was enormous. People’s lives were drastically
changed as they were persecuted and tortured. Families were taken out of their homes and
forced to move to distant locations in exile. Their destinations were unknown and their
future was also unsettled for they did not know what would await them.

That is exactly what happened to Esther Hautzig, the writer of The Endless Steppe, when
she was just a little ten-year-old girl. Esther’s family, the Rudomins, was wealthy and
ran a business in Vilna, Poland. They lived a happy and stable life until they were
claimed to be “capitalists and therefore enemies of the people.” Consequently, they were
put on a truck that would send them to the “Endless Steppe” of Siberia, where they would
struggle to survive five long years of starvation and suffering (Hautzig 12).

Esther shares her feelings with the readers throughout her book; she tells us what exactly
felt like to be in a cattle car full of peasants who seemed to be handling the situation
in a much better way than she and her family did. She tells us of when they get to their
destination and of how she attempted to gain an education in the conditions they were
subjected to.

Hautzig’s Endless Steppe shows us the reality of the Holocaust; it puts us to think about
our matters as very small and insignificant as we read about what the Rudomin Family had
to go through and it makes us see how humans can become “monsters” and performs such
horrible and outrageous things such as massive murders.

Another book that illustrates the calamity of the Holocaust is Memories of my life in a
Polish Village, by T.K. Fluek. In her book, Toby Fluek, a small Jewish girl, describes how
her family had to move to a Jewish Ghetto and go into hiding several times to save their
lives when World War II began. By the end of the war, only she and her mother had
survived. Toby became an artist and presents her story through the use of her own art in
paintings and descriptions of them.

It is amazing to hear from the people who have actually survived the Holocaust. It shows
us how much we still have to learn about the world and the civilizations and how hard it
is to understand the reason why we do such things to our fellow human beings. “By 1945,
two out of every three European Jews had been killed and the survivors continued to be
oppressed.” (Telles 51) In addition, thousands of political and religious dissidents such
as communists, socialists, trade unionists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses were persecuted for
their beliefs and behavior and many of these individuals died as a result of maltreatment.

According to the Preface to the Study of Women and the Holocaust, “every Jew, regardless
of gender, was equally a victim in the Holocaust” (Ringelheim 17). Women, men and children
were equally threatening to the Nazis. Children were seen as “the next generation of Jews”
and, therefore, would have to be banned too. “Jewish women and men experienced unrelieved
suffering during the Holocaust” and we can understand it better by reading the books that
survivors of that horror wrote, sharing with us all they went through (Ringelheim 26).

However, understanding should not be enough! We must be aware of all the hardship, misery
and pain that the victims of the holocaust had to endure. We have to imagine what it was
like and how bad it would be if something of such impact would be happening to us. Only by
doing so we can prevent things like this from happening again. For example, the American
Slavery and the genocide of Native American Slaves were also events of great anguish that
happened in our society and that have some aspects that can be related to the Holocaust,
such as the belief of a superior race and so on.

In conclusion, I believe that everyone needs to understand how the Holocaust came about;
to understand the millions of people who were made victims by it and the legacy it has
left the world. It is up to those of us who follow to remember and to help prevent such
terrible tragedies from happening again.


Annotated Bibliography
Hautzig, Esther (Poland). The Endless Steppe. New York: Harper Collins, 1968.
The Endless Steppe is the story of the Rudomin family as seen through the eyes of teenage
Esther. The family members are Polish Jews deported to Russia with only their unfailing
courage to carry them through five years of exile, hunger, and privation, providing an
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