ww2e been many wars between different societies, Cultures, and Countries. Massive blood shed in many of these wars did not stop the coming of new conflicts of interest, peaking to battle. World War Two, one of the biggest war of history brought several countries to battle against each other (1939-1945). The catalyst of this war was one man whom discriminated against other cultures for no reason but to exterminate the Jewish race, known as Adolf Hitler.
When Hitler decided to go through with the holocaust, it there was a question of why did he want to kill Jewish people. Hitler decided to go through with the holocaust early to mid 1441, and brought this motion to full effect in 19421. The first notion that people thought of was that Hitler just wanted to physically exterminate the Jewish race2. Hitler’s secretary remembers a private meeting between Himmler and Hitler in the early spring of 1941, after which Himmler sat at her desk with a very troubled look on his face, put his head in his hands and said: “My God, my God, what I am expected to do”3. If Hitler had a written order to kill the Jews, it has never been recovered, or has probably been destroyed. Two documents have been recently uncovered, which were the diary entries of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels of December 12, 1941, and part of Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler’s diary entry of December 18, 1941. The first is a diary entry by Joseph Goebbels of December 12, 1941.
With respect of the Jewish Question, the Fhrer has decided to make a clean sweep. He prophesied to the Jews that if they again brought about a world war, they would live to see their annihilation in it. That wasn’t just a catch-word. The world war is here, and the annihilation of the Jews must be the necessary consequence. 4
The second entry is of Reichsfuhrer-SS heinrich Himmler’s diary, which goes as follows, “Jewish Question / to be exterminated like the partisans.”4 With these two pieces of evidence, it still does not prove that Hitler ordered the holocaust, but is known that his consent was needed to pursue such monstrosity. Until now, no written decision from Hitler has been found, although there are compelling indications that a verbal decision was certainly given. 5 Hitler’s final decision to go begin the holocaust was a result of his declaration of war against the United States, and their declaration of war against Japan after the bombing of pearl harbor as well as his army loosing the battle against the Russians due to the extreme cold weather. Now Hitler was in the middle of World War II. Hitler’s problems began to rise as his armies in Moscow were taking the turn for the worst, and his decision to eliminate all the Jews took to many people due to the number of European Jews. Hitler came to the conclusion to use poison gas to kill the Jewish people, to reduce man power and avoid public spectacles.1
Although the holocaust was not administered until 1942, the execution of Russians POWs, and political prisoners, took place as early as 1933 when Hitler became Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. As well as these groups of people, members of the Social Democratic and Communist parties, many Catholics and many Jewish doctors and lawyers.” 6These executions took place in one of the first camps known as Dachau. The people of the camps were primarily executed by violating the penal code of the camp, which is as follows.
Any person who at work, in the living quarters, kitchen workshops, toilets or rest places engages in subversive politics, holds provocative speeches, congregates with others for this purpose, forms cliques, loiters, collects or receives or buries information, repeats or smuggles out of the camp by means of a note or some other method to a camp visitor information, either true or false, concerning the camp, to be used in our enemies horror propaganda, or who sends written or verbal message through released or transferred prisoners, conceals them in items of clothing or other objects, throws them over the wall, writes coded messages, or any person who in order to incite rebellion climbs onto the roof of the huts or up trees, or transmits signals with a lamp or by any other means, seeks outside contact, or advises, supports or aidsothers in escape or crime, will be hanged as a subversive instigator under the terms of the revolutionary law. 7
This code, which the prisoners of the camp had to abide by, was nothing more than the Germans finding a way to execute the prisoners at their own discretion. As the Germans were coming up to the Holocaust, in 1940 there were problems with the amount of bodies that needed to be disposed of. At first all the executed prisoners were buried, but the amount of land on the camps was not enough to hold all of the bodies. They started to use crematoriums to dispose of the bodies, and huge furnaces were put in to cremate all of the bodies. By the time the Holocaust came in to full effect in 1942 the old crematoriums were not good enough to handle the amount of bodies that needed to be burned, thus new larger crematoriums were constructed.
Also behind the wire fence was the camp crematorium. At first it was housed in a wooden barrack, later in a stone building built by Polish Catholic priests, to whom the building trade had been taught. This crematorium was located in a small forest on the west side quite close to the camp. The prevailing wind was from the west and consequently the smell of burning corpses filled the camp, reminding of their approaching end and adding immeasurably to their despair.
With the new crematorium a gas chamber was also connected. The whole construction of the crematorium with its gas chamber was completed in 1943. It contained an ‘undressing room’, a ‘shower bath’, and a ‘mortuary’. The showers were metal traps which had no pipelines for a supply of poisonous gas. This gas chamber was never set in action in Dachau. Only the dead were brought to the crematorium for ‘burning’, no living for ‘gassing’. 8
As the people were sent to these camps, as soon as they arrived their fate was inevitable. They knew that they were going to die alerted by the smoke filled camp smelling of cremated bodies.
Next morning when I went to wash, there was a little man with a ginger moustache in the lavatory who introduced himself as Dr. Rascher saying that he was half English and that his mother was related to the Chamberlain family. When I told him my name he was much interested saying that he knew about my case and that he had also met Stevens when he was medical officer in Dachau. … He was a queer fellow; possibly the queerest character which has ever come my way.
Almost at our first meeting he told me that he had belonged to Himmler’s personal staff, and that it was he who had planned and supervised the construction of the gas chambers and was responsible for the use of prisoners as guinea pigs in medical research. Obviously he saw nothing wrong in this and considered it merely a matter of expediency. As regards the gas chambers he said that Himmler, a very kind-hearted man, was most anxious that prisoners should be exterminated in a manner which caused them least anxiety and suffering, and the greatest trouble had been taken to design a gas chamber so camouflaged that its purpose would not be apparent, and to regulate the flow of the lethal gas so that the patients might fall asleep without recognizing that they would never wake. Unfortunately, Rascher said, they had never quite succeeded in solving the problem caused by the varying resistance of different people to the effects of poison gases, and always there had been a few who lived longer than others and recognized where they were and what was happening. Rascher said that the main difficulty was that the numbers to be killed were so great that it was impossible to prevent the gas chambers being overfilled, which greatly impeded any attempts to ensure a regular and simultaneous death-rate. 9
The cremations of the bodies were so frequent, and now going on for nearly 10 years the soldiers who were doing the execution and disposal of the bodies became immune to the horror of which they were conducting themselves. Eventually Rascher was killed by a shot to the back of the head on April 26, 1945 in cell 73 of the Dachau bunker.10
On April 29, 1945 Dachau was liberated by the Americans. On April 30, 1945 Hitler and Eva committed suicide.
There is a lot of evidence found to prove around the time that Hitler decided to initiate the holocaust, and the efforts that were taken to kill as many Jewish people as possible. Hitler’s reign of power from 1933 to 1945 was a long time in which he was able to murder millions of people, and to start the Second World War. The manner of which he executed prisoners of cultural backgrounds that he simply did not like, shows that he had no other intention other than to execute all the Jews for no reason but hate. The time of that he decided on the holocaust was however strange, at a time when his troops took a turn for the worst, and the United States was entering the war. Maybe he proceeded with the holocaust because he knew that his reign of power would be over soon, so he killed as many people as he could before he lost control.
1.Inter alia, Alan Bullock, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, Bantam Books, New York, 1961, p. 480.
2.Gitta Sereny, Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth, Vintage Books, New York, 1996, p. 248.
3.William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1960, pp. 864-865.
4.Hitler and the Final Solution, University of California Press, Berkley, 1984
5.Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust: The Jewish Tragedy, Fontana/Collins, Glasgow, 1989, p. 219.
6.Rost, Nico, Concentration Camp Dachau, third edition, translated into English by Captain Bernard R. Hanauer (no date) Comit International de Dachau, Brussels, p. 4.
7.Distel, Barbara and Jakusch, Ruth, Editors, op. cit., p. 73.
8.Neuhusler, Dr. Johannes, Auxiliary Bishop of Munich, op. cit., p. 15.
9.Best, Captain S. Payne, The Venlo Incident, 1950, Hutchison & Co., (Publishers), Ltd. (London), p. 186.
10.Benz, Wolfgang, “Sigmund Rascher, M.D.: A Career,” pp. 22/45 Dachau Review 2: History of Nazi Concentration Camps Studies, Volume 2, 1990, Edited by Wofgang Benz and Barbara Distel, Comit International de Dachau (Brussels), p. 45