Holo Essay

This essay has a total of 3684 words and 14 pages.


THE HOLOCAUST Nearly six million Jews were killed and murdered in what was called the
holocaust. In the years between 1933 and 1945, the Jews of Europe were marked for death.
Inanition anti-Semitism was given legal sanction. It was directed by Adolf Hitler and
managed by Heinne Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich, and Adolf Eichmann. There were many other
great crimes and murders, such as the killing of the Armenians by the Turks , but the
holocaust stood out as the "only systematic and organized effort by a modern government to
destroy a whole race of people." The Germans under Adolf Hitler believed that the Jews
were the German troubles and were a threat to the German and Christian values. Dating back
to the first century a.d. the Jews and Christians were always at war. The Jews were
considered the murderers of Christ and were therefor denounced from society, rejected by
the conservatives and were not allowed to live in rural areas. As a result, the Jews began
living in the cities and supported the liberals. This made the Germans see the Jews as the
symbol of all they feared. Following the defeat of the Germans in WW1, the treaty of
Versailles and the UN resolutions against Germany raised many militaristic voices and
formed extreme nationalism. Hitler took advantage of the situation and rose to power in
1933 on a promise to destroy the treaty of Versailles that stripped Germany of land.
Hitler organized the Gestapo as the only executive branch and secret terror organization
of the nazi police system. In 1935, he made the Nuremberg laws that forbid Germans to
marry or commerce with them. Hitler thought that the Jews were nationless parasite and
were directly related to the treaty of Versailles. When Hitler began his move to conquer
Europe, he promised that no Jewish person would live. Before the start of the second word
war, the Jews of Germany were excluded from public life, forbidden to have sexual
relations with non-Jews, boycotted, beaten but aloud to immigrate. When the war was
officially declared, immigration ended and 'the final solution to the Jewish problem'
came. When Germany took over Poland, the polish and German Jews were forced into over
crowed gettos and employed as slave labor. The Jewish property was seized. Disease and
starvation filled the gettos. Finally, the Jews were taken to concentration camps in
Poland and Germany where they were murdered and killed in poisonous gas chambers in
Auschwitz and many other camps despite the harsh treatment of the Jews, not many German
people opposed this. When the news reached the allies, they all refused to make any rescue
plans for the Jews. American Jews were warned against seeking any action for the benefit
of the European Jews although Zionists managed to save small groups of Jews and brought
them to Palestine. The vacation condemned racism in general but did hardly anything to
stop the German actions. The victories of the Germans in the early years of the war
brought most of the majority of the European under the control of the nazis. The Baltic's,
Ukraine's and white Russians gladly joined the nazis. France and Italy sent 100,000 Jews
to Germany, and Holland and Belgium were anti-nazis and refused to co-operate with
Germany. Denmark protected it's Jews from Germany, and Norway sent it's Jews to
Switzerland for protection. Unaware that they will be gassed, the Jews kept quiet until
the last moment. When there fate was clear, the first Jewish uprising came in April 1943
in Warsaw ghetto, when more than 60,000armed Jews decided to resist. The battle took 28
days before the heavily armed German forces stopped the uprising. Individual Jews also
resisted by joining partisan groups. Jewish resistance was mainly spiritual. The war in
Europe ended on may 8th, 1945. A great deal of the Jewish culture and learning perished.

1."history of the holocaust",p.23-145. c.1988,boston

The Holocaust was a tragic point in history which many people believe never happened.
Others who survived it thought it should never have been. Not only did this affect the
people who lived through it, it also affected everyone who was connected to those
fortunate individuals who survived. The survivors were lucky to have made it but there are
times when their memories and flashbacks have made them wish they were the ones who died
instead of living with the horrible aftermath. The psychological effects of the Holocaust
on people from different parts such as survivors of Israel and survivors of the ghettos
and camps vary in some ways, yet in others are profoundly similar. The vast number of
prisoners of various nationalities and religions in the camps made such differences
inevitable. Many contrasting opinions have been published about the victims and survivors
of the Holocaust based on the writers' different cultural backgrounds, personal
experiences, and intellectual traditions. Therefore, the opinions of the authors of such
books and entries of human behavior and survival in the concentration camps in
Nazi-occupied Europe are very diverse. Because the traumatization of the Holocaust was
both individual and collective, most individuals made efforts to create a "new family" to
replace the nuclear family that had been lost. In order for the victims to resist
dehumanization and regression and to find support, the members of such groups shared
stories about the past, fantasies of the future and joint prayers as well as poetry and
expressions of personal and general human aspirations for hope and love. Imagination was
an important means of liberation from the frustrating reality by opening an outlet for the
formulation of plans for the distant future, and by spurring to immediate actions. Looking
at the history of Jewish survivors, from beginning of the Nazi occupation until the
liquidation of the ghetto, shows that there are common features and similar
psychophysiological patterns in their responses to the persecutions. The survivors often
experienced several phases of psychosocial response, including attempts to actively master
the traumatic situation, cohesive affiliate actions with intense emotions, and finally,
passive compliance with the persecutors. These phases must be understood as the
development of special mechanisms to cope with the tensions and dangers of the surrounding
horrifying reality of the Holocaust. There were many speculations that survivors of the
Holocaust suffered from a static concentration camp syndrome. These theories were proved
to have not been valid by research that was done immediately after liberation. Clinical
and theoretical research focused more on psychopathology than on the question of coping
and the development of specific adaptive mechanisms during the Holocaust and there after.
The descriptions of the survivors' syndrome in the late 1950's and 1960's created a new
means of diagnosis in psychology and the behavioral sciences, has become a model that has
since served as a focal concept in examining the results of catastrophic stress
situations. After more research was done, it was clear the adaptation and coping
mechanisms of the survivors was affected by the aspects of their childhood experiences,
developmental histories, family constellations, and emotional family bonds. In the studies
and research that were done, there were many questions that were asked of the subjects:
What was the duration of the traumatization?, During the Holocaust, was the victim alone
or with family and friends?, Was he in a camp or hiding?, Did he use false "Aryan"
papers?, Was he a witness to mass murder in the ghetto or the camp?, What were his support
systems- family and friends- and what social bonds did he have? These studies showed that
the experiences of those who were able to actively resist the oppression, whether in the
underground or among the partisans, were different in every way from the experiences of
those who were victims in extermination camps. When the survivors integrated back into
society after the war, they found it very hard to adjust. It was made difficult by the
fact that they often aroused ambivalent feelings of fear, avoidance, guilt, pity and
anxiety. This might have been hard for them, but decades after the Holocaust most of the
survivors managed to rehabilitate their capacities and rejoin the paths their lives might
have taken prior to the Holocaust. This is more true for the people who experienced the
Holocaust as children or young adults. Their families live with a special attitude toward
pyschbiological continuity, fear of separation, and fear of prolonged sickness and death.
The experiences of the Holocaust shows how human beings can undergo extreme traumatic
experiences without suffering from a total regression and without losing their ability to
rehabilitate their ego strength. The survivors discovered the powers within them in
whatever aspect in their lives that were needed. The Jews, arrested and brought to the
concentration camps during WWII were under sentence of death. Their chances of surviving
the war minimal. Their brutal treatment on the part of the camp guards and even some of
the other prisoners influenced the Jews. The months or years already spent in the ghettos,
with continuous persecutions and random selections, had brought some to a chronic state of
insecurity and anxiety and others to apathy and hopelessness, even though passive or
active resistance had also occurred. This horrible situation was worsened by overcrowding,
infectious diseases, lack of facilities for basic hygiene and continuous starvation. When
the people were transported to the concentration camps, they lived in horrible conditions
such as filth and lack of hygiene, diseases and extreme nutritional insufficiency,
continuous harassment, and physical ill treatment, perpetual psychic stress caused by the
recurrent macabre deaths- all combined to influence deeply the attitudes and mental health
of camp inmates. Observations and descriptions by former prisoners, some of whom were
physicians and psychologists differ drastically. Some described resignation, curtailment
of emotional and normal feelings, weakening of social standards, regression to primitive
reactions and "relapse to animal state" whereas others show feelings of comradeship,
community spirit, a persistent humanity and extreme altruism- even moral development and
religious revelation. After liberation, most of the Jewish camp inmates were too weak to
move or be aware of what was happening. Prisoners were not restored to perfect health by
liberation. Awakening from nightmares was sometimes even more painful than captivity. In
the beginning of physical improvement, the ability to feel and think returned and many
realized the completeness of their isolation. To them, the reality of what had happened
was agonizing. They lived with their overwhelming personal losses whose impact is beyond
intellectual or emotional comprehension. They also clung to the hope of finding some
family member still alive in the new DISPLACED PERSONS' camps that were now set up. Many
of the people admitted to those camps lost all sense of initiative. After the war,
Their work was useful but their methods were not suitable. The ex-prisoner, now a
"displaced person", was brought before boards set up by different countries which decided
on his or her worthiness to be received by that country, Most survivors tried to make
their way to Palestine. Then Israel was founded and they integrated quickly into a new
society. the majority of the people adapted adequately to their changed life, in newly
founded families, jobs and kibbutzim, many however still suffered from chronic anxiety,
sleep disturbances, nightmares, emotional instability and depressive states. The worst
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