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How and why were the Nazis able to carry out "the Final Solution to the Jewish problem in Europe" between 1939 and 1945?

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Introduction

How and why were the Nazis able to carry out "the Final Solution to the Jewish problem in Europe" between 1939 and 1945? A decision was taken in Germany to embark on a final solution, a last attempt to rid the country of Jews. All the Jews in the part of Europe controlled by the Nazis were to be exterminated. Hitler hated the Jews (Anti-Semitism) and blamed them for Germanys defeat in WW1. Jews had been hated in medieval Europe during the enlightenment. They were even blamed for the crucifixion of Jesus. In the 1930s, before the war had begun, there was discrimination against the Jews as well as some violence. The most famous was the 'Night of the Broken Glass' (Kristallnacht). Nazi Stormtroopers set all synagogues in Germany on fire, windows of Jewish shops were smashed, and thousands of Jews were arrested. It was a warning to Jews in Germany and Austria to leave as soon as possible. All this led up to a ultimate effort to wipe out the whole of the Jewish population. After the German invasion of Poland and the outbreak of the Second World War even more Jews came under German control. Adolf Eichmann, a leading Nazi, was put in charge of 'Jewish resettlement'. Between 1939 and 1940 Jews were rounded up and sent to an area called Lublin in Poland after it was invaded. This idea of reservation was soon dropped however and they began to be moved into ghettos. ...read more.

Middle

Prisoners died through disease, exhaustion or lack of food. The killing speeded up in 1944 when the Nazis realised they were losing the war. At Auschwitz 10,000 were killed per day. The camps were liberated in 1945. Hitler committed suicide on 30 April and the killing ended at the same time as the war on 8 May 1945. Why were the Nazis able to carry out the Final Solution? Firstly nobody really knew what was happening because the extermination camps were kept a strongly guarded secret. The SS leader, Heinrich Himler, considered that the final solution should always be kept secret. To describe what was happening to the Jews terms like 'resettled', 'evacuated' or 'deported' were used. Himmler's deputy, Heydrich, gave orders in 1941 that the photographing or filming of the killing of Jews was restricted to anyone except officials and the results would be top secret. Nazis denied after the war that the holocaust ever happened. Secondly there was the con trick of 'Resettlement', which helped the Final Solution stay undercover. The Nazis publicised this as much as possible. The Jews did not know what was going to happen to them until it was too late. The Germans had been trained by Nazi propaganda to not treat Jews like human beings. Propaganda films misleadingly depicted the camps as pleasant and welcoming places to live. The signs at the entrances of the gas chambers simply said 'Baths'. They were not creepy looking at all. ...read more.

Conclusion

The final group of people that didn't intervene enough was the Allies. I think this is the most important factor that allowed Hitler to carry out the Final solution. There was no effort from them to stop it whereas if they had made an attempt I do not think the Nazis would not have been able to get away with it. They knew about Auschwitz as early as 1942 and in 1943 they said that people guilty of war crimes would face the most relentless penalty after the war had ended. However they should have made an attempt at bombing the camps or the railway lines leading to them. London, Washington and Moscow all felt that effort should be put into defeating Hitler. They thought this would be the best way to end the suffering of the Jews but it evidently was not. The control of the nazi state was massive allowing the process to go unchallenged. The Final Solution is an example of racially prejudiced hatred. It started in Hitler's mind and because of the power he brandished and a thoroughly well thought-out organisation (the SS) he could carry it out. The war situation accelerated the decision to kill the Jews and allowed it to be done undercover. The little resistance that came about was unsuccessful in stopping the process. The procedure of extermination was well-planned, professional and concerned huge resources of time, money and manpower. Major causes of the crime were the five-year occupation of Europe by Hitler, his loathing of Jews and his more enthusiastic lieutenants in the SS. James Noton 11G ...read more.

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