During In total it took 25,000 square miles

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During the course of World War II upwards of 80 million people died. It was a time of great uncertainty for many people who didn’t know what their fate was going to be. It was especially treacherous for the Jewish people that lived in Europe and more specifically Germany. The National Socialist German Workers’ Party rose after World War one. Their main political promises were to undo the treaty of Versailles, which they thought unfairly targeted Germany and blamed them for the first World War. The leader of The National Socialist German Workers’ Party was Adolf Hitler. Their ideology was laid out in the book written by Adolf Hitler called Mein Kampf (This book is banned in modern day Germany.) The book was written by Hitler while he was in jail for an attempted coup during the first world war. In the book, Hitler talks about how he became anti semitic and outlines his political ideology and future plans for Germany.In order to understand why the war started you must look at it from Germany’s point of view. The Treaty of Versailles took many things from the people of Germany. It split the Prussian Empire into Germany and a dozen or so smaller countries. In total it took 25,000 square miles (65,000 km2) of territory and 7 million people from Germany.  It also took the largest port city from Weimar, Germany. The port city became the new meeting place of the League of Nations. The treaty of Versailles also made Germany sign a War Guilt clause. The War Guilt clause made Germany pay reparations to certain countries that had been a part of the Entente Powers. At the time of the war the total cost of these reparations was assessed at 132 billion marks (This roughly translates to $442 billion dollars or £284 billion pounds in 2018.) There was serious inflation during and after the war. The Germans had stopped doing trade with many of the other countries in the war and therefore was running low on its cash reserves. So the government started to print an enormous amount of money. In 1933, there were almost 9,000,000 Jews in Europe. Most lived in countries that Nazi Germany would occupy during World War II.  By 1945, the Germans and their allies had killed nearly two out of every three European Jews as part of their “final solution” their plan was to murder all the Jews in Europe. The main focus of the Holocaust was the Jewish people, but other people were also targeted including Romanian gypsies and mentally or physically disabled people. In all the Nazis killed nearly 400,000 of each as part of the Euthanasia Program.Even before the Nazi regime became a terrorist organization they prosecuted homosexuals and others who did not match the German social norms. They also targeted political opponents including communist socialist and trade unionist as well as other religions like Jehovah Witnesses and Islam. Many of these individuals died from malnourishment in concentration camps. Originally concentration camps were only set up to contain political enemies but increasingly before the war the SS incarcerated Jews, gypsies, and communists and other victims of ethnic differences. The Nazis claimed they were targeting the Jews because the Jews wanted world wide domination and that they would stand in the way of their Aryan race achieving domination. They were also angry because they blamed the Jews for killing Jesus Christ their “Lord and Savior” The Nazis said this was the reason that they were so anti semitic, but in reality the Jews were being scapegoated to help unite the German people against a common enemy. When the Nazi came to power in 1933  they first boycotted Jewish businesses and set up laws similar to the United States Jim Crow laws. The laws were put in place to help people raticate Jewish people from their daily life. In November 1938, Nazi supporters broke into a violent riots and broke glass in Jewish shops. They also trashed storefront apartments, torched synagogues and sent thousands of Jews to concentration camps. At that time only one man had the type of power for all those people to commit such acts and that was Adolf Hitler. The German leader had won “office” through a business transaction, meaning no one actually voted for him. It was just recently discovered that when he was a child he had syphilis. Doctors say as he became an adult the disease caused inflammation in his brain and they believe that this is what made him sick, paranoid, and delusional. Also within the last year, scientists think that Hitler may have been high on drugs which is why he was constantly sweating and yelling angrily. Hitler declared that he would make a clean sweep. Meaning that he would kill all Jews so that the Aryans could succeed and fill their place in the world as masters.There were six main concentration camps Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, and Treblinka.  After the Jews were taken they would be registered. They would receive a serial number placed on their left arm, then they would be undressed and their bodies would be shaved of all their hair, and then they would wash their clothes to disinfect them. Many Jews died at these camps through gas chambers, starvation, disease, burning, shooting, and being overworked. Jews were forced to work and once they became too weak they were killed. The cycle continued with young Jews being brought in and old ones dying. Their jobs included physical labor as well as finding the valuables on dead bodies and digging mass graves for the dead Jews.During the war, between 1941 and 1944 authorities killed millions of Jews in their homes or in concentration camps.  They were murdered in these camps in gas ovens and some were even beheaded.  As the allied powers started to move across Europe they started freeing people from concentration camps. This lasted all the way to the end of the war on May 7, 1945. When the Nazis realized that they were going to lose they attempted to destroy all proof. They dismantled gas chambers and any other buildings. They burned documents and killed all prisoners who could tell the tale of what happened.  When the army marched into Auschwitz-Birkenau they found only 7600 survivors of 1.3 million people who had been sent there. More than 58,000 prisoners had been evacuated and sent on a final death march to Germany. The Russians and the US soldiers tried to rescue whoever was left but often they did not have enough food to feed the starving Jews and many died of malnutrition. What many people don’t know is that many Jews died because when the soldiers did have a food to spare the Jews would eat as much as they could and their bodies couldn’t take it. The crimes committed during the Holocaust devastated most European-Jewish communities and eliminated hundreds of Jewish communities in occupied Eastern Europe entirely. When the holocaust came to an end many people realized that it did not matter what color, race or nationality you were. They realized that human life was sacred. Some people during the holocaust understood this and to their own risk they helped harbor Jews to keep them from concentration camps. To the Nazis this was considered highly evil and the punishment for doing this was death, but still people helped the Jewish people. Germans, French, Belgians, Netherlands, Polish and Austrians all helped Jews.  They are recognized by the Jewish people on the list of Righteous Ones. A prime example of this is Father Léopold Rousseaux. He was a priest in Campagnac. He set up rescue networks for Jews.In December 1943, Father Rousseaux gave his allegiance to the Maquis of Ornano, the resistance movement. The resistance movement was created in August of 1943 in Penne, France. Father Rousseaux agreed to provide information, food and recruits to the resistance movement. The Germans attacked in March of 1944 taken out the resistance movement Maquis of Ornano, so Farther Rousseaux devoted himself entirely to the Resistance Gaillac. Father Rousseaux was appointed as chaplain to the group, responsible for information, liaison and relations with the resistant administrative authorities. But his civil acts of resistance dominated. With Father Rousseaux, Campagnac became relay-chain of the Intelligence Service. He passed on information to London and Spain. He was a trusted source.  Over the months of 1943-1944, his house served as a refuge for hundreds of escaped Jewish Belgians and Frenchmen. He himself made 120 false identity cards, hid many Israelites on friendly farms, and sent to Spain those who asked him. At the end of 1943, twenty-two were under his protection.  Like many, he kept secret his resistant activities. He was added to the list of Rightous Ones sixty years later when survivors and descendants, in written testimony, told of his acts of heroics. Among his many activities during the war, Father Léopold Rousseaux saved many Jewish families from danger, either by warning them of impending arrests or by helping them find hideouts in different places. One of these families was the Dudelczyk family who came from Paris. They had fled the capital in 1942 after the Vél d’Hiv roundup with their daughter Diana. They had arrived in Gaillac, where they found a small apartment to rent and they lived there under their true identity from 1942 to 1944, in large part thanks to Father Leopold Rousseaux, who hid them at home several times when they were in danger. He warned them every time he heard rumors of arrests in the area and managed to find accommodation for Diana’s parents. Father Rousseaux has received many awards for his service: Knight of the Order of Leopold, French War Cross with Palm, Cross of the Liberation, Cross of Civil Resistance, Cross of the Fighter. Father Rousseaux died in 1966, but his memory If it wasn’t for people like Father Rousseaux who knows how many more Jewish lives would have been lost. People around the world should look at the Righteous Ones as true heroes. They thought about others despite the incredible risk to their own safety.BibliographyThe Causes Of World War 2 History Essay, UKEssays, January 22, 2018The Paris Peace Conference and the Treaty of Versailles, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of State, January 22, 2018Rousseaux, Léopold, db.yadvashem.org, January 22, 2018 Introduction to the Holocaust, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, January 22, 2018Timothy Snyder, Holocaust: The Ignored Reality, The New York Review of Books, January 22, 2018

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