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The Holocaust

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  1. Introduction: The Holocaust and 'Mein Kampf'
  2. The most powerful position in the German government,
  3. Hitler's racial ideology
  4. The attempt at solving the 'Jewish question'
  5. The primary strategy
  6. The six main sites chosen by the designers of the Final Solution
  7. The methods of murder
  8. Conclusion: The liberation of Jewish prisoners
  9. Works cited

The twelve years between 1933 and 1935 saw the systematic elimination of over ten million people, including over six million Jews and over four million Gypsies, Slavs, Communists, and people deemed unfit for life, such as the mentally retarded and homosexuals. Known as the Holocaust, this mass-genocide was perpetrated by German nationals under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, who promoted a racial ideology of German superiority over ?inferior races.? At the height of the Holocaust, extermination camps such as Auschwitz and Treblinka ?processed? over 9, 000 victims daily, in what would become the paradigm of efficient slaughter of human beings.

[...] Auschwitz-Birkenau, which also served as a concentration camp and slave labor camp, became the killing center where the largest numbers of European Jews and Roma were killed. After an experimental gassing there in September 1941, of 250 malnourished and ill Polish prisoners and 600 Soviet POWs, ?mass murder became a daily routine; more than 1 million people were killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau out of 10 of them Jews? (Dwork 85). In addition, Roma, Soviet POWs, and ill prisoners of all nationalities died in the gas chambers there. [...]


[...] The winter of 1944-45 saw the last days of the Holocaust and the extermination camps. As the war neared its end, British and American troops advanced from the West as Soviet troops advanced from the East. Hemmed in on both sides, the decision was made to abandon the concentration camps, destroy the evidence of their existence, and move the prisoners. Sick from disease and weakened by hunger and exhaustion, concentration camp prisoners were forced to march for days, often from the site of an extermination camp to areas more directly under German control (Marrus 92). [...]

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