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What is meant by the term, ‘Final Solution’? How did the Nazis attempt genocide in the years 1941-1945?

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Introduction

11/11/2001 Francesca Sear-Mayes History Coursework Assignment Two Question One What is meant by the term, 'Final Solution'? How did the Nazis attempt genocide in the years 1941-1945? The Nazi party had always been anti-Semitic but, at least initially after 1933, the policy had been removal of the Jews by emigration or concentration camps. This 'racism' led to much worse violence, e.g. Kristallnacht, over the years but the problems escalated when Nazis began taking over other lands in the war. By 1941, Nazi leaders realised that there were so many Jews in occupied Europe that, with existing methods, it would take a long time to eliminate them all. Although the Einsatzgruppen had killed about two million Jews first through shootings and then when Jews were forced into vans in Chelmo in Poland and were gassed by the exhaust fumes channeled back into the vans. ...read more.

Middle

From the ghettoes, which had been established in 1939, people were transported to new camps. They were cramped without adequate food or water supply and no idea of where they were going. The journey often lasted days with many deaths on the way. After the unbearable journeys, the Jews arrived at the specially built death camps; they were given numbers, which were tattooed to their wrists. The camps were built for the pure purpose of killing as many Jews as possible. There had been concentration camps in Germany for a number of years, where thousands of Jews had died, but these were labour camps not death camps. Once at the death camp they were "selected", some were chosen for labour but others went into the frighteningly efficient gas chambers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thousands of them became tools of the SS, providing militia, police and prison camp guards to aid in the Holocaust. In November 1944 the death camps were destroyed in a desperate attempt by the Nazis to cover up their crimes. The Jews had to be moved and so were sent on 2death marches' which few survived. If they survived these marches the remaining Jews were dumped in Western concentration camps where they were found and finally liberated by Allied troops in April. Overall, four million Jews were brutally murdered by the Nazis between 1941-1944, during the "Final Solution" and those who were fortunate to survive, had to live with these disturbing memories forever. As a survivor said during the arrival at Auschwitz, 'I stood there naked, bald and with a number on my arm. In a space of a few minutes I had been stripped of every vestige of human dignity and become indistinguishable from everyone around me.' ...read more.

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