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Why did the Nazis treatment of the Jews change from 1939-1945?

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Introduction

Why did the Nazis treatment of the Jews change from 1939-1945? Fifteen high-ranking Nazi party and German governmental leaders gathered for an important meeting that lasted only 90 minutes, but the results of that meeting changed the lives of millions and has impacted the world for over five decades. This meeting took place fifty-seven years ago, on January 20 1942, at a private villa in Ann Grosen, a wealthy suburb of Berlin, Germany. The purpose of the Wannsee Conference (as the meeting came to be known) was for these top officials to discuss the 'Final Solution' to its self-imposed Jewish problem. The specific aim of the conference was to coordinate the materials and technical means required for the extermination of the over 14 million people earmarked for death in Germany-occupied Europe by the Nazi Regime. After the Wannsee Conference the number of killings in the streets increased, deportations and mass murders escalated and within a month of the meeting, all killing centres were ready for murder. The Nazis called their state-sanctioned policy by the code name 'Final Solution', but the world knows it best as the Holocaust. The primary reason that the Nazi treatment of Jews changed from one of non-murderous persecution to genocide between 1939 and 1945 was the onset of World War II. ...read more.

Middle

The subsequent invasion of the Soviet Union by the Nazis in June 1941 brought even more Jews under Nazi control, and knowing this eventuality beforehand, Hitler sent in four units called Einsatzgruppen, who were deployed specifically to kill civilian Jewish populations, as well as Soviet commissars and partisans. This marks the beginning of an open genocide program. The decision in early 1942 on a 'Final Solution' for European Jewry, i.e., complete extermination, led to the installation of gassing facilities at the already existing Auschwitz concentration camp and the building of other extermination camps in Poland. The "Final Solution" having been decided upon, the majority of Jews under Nazi control ended up in these camps. The chaos of the war on the Eastern Front provided the Nazis with the ability to carry out their extermination program in a relatively secret manner, though reports of mass genocide did escape from Eastern Europe as early as 1942. Published reports about the Nazi persecution of the Jews before World War II were freely available. With the beginning of the War in 1939, information was more difficult to obtain. Nevertheless, news about the mass murder of Jews and other victims received publicity through the printed media. Though the information was usually not in the headlines, there were enough newspaper reports to demonstrate that information was not completely lacking. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Holocaust was Hitler's and Nazi Germany's war against the Jews, so they were singled out for genocide, their lives were shattered, and it ultimately affected all Jews living, dead, and not yet born. The Holocaust was a uniquely man-made catastrophe, unprecedented in human history, because never had anti-Semitic acts been endorsed by the state. Speaking to the Reichstag, on the eve of WWII, Hitler declared, "the Jew is to be eliminated and the state has no regard for the manner of his elimination." The Holocaust was a tragedy of great proportions because it was done with the aide of a vast Nazi bureaucracy, an indifferent world, and the utilization of science and technology for the sole purpose of completely murdering a people. The deadly design of the Holocaust took place on the backdrop of a Germany labouring under the burden of WWI, reparations, intense nationalism and hyperinflation. Most importantly, it was a Germany in which anti-Semitism was installed and racism scattered every part of society. Thus explaining how ordinary Germany citizens came to regard the Jews as domestic enemies of the state whose extermination was not only necessary but just so, German citizens readily became perpetrators, collaborators, and accomplishes to death. The Holocaust left an imprint of death, suffering, cruel memories and the after shocks are still being felt today. The reality of the Holocaust is the knowledge that all forms of discrimination can lead to genocide. ...read more.

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