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Nazi Holocaust Stages

The Nazi Holocaust was the genocide of about six million Jews during the period of World War II. The central principle of Nazi ideology was represented by the prosecution of the Jews and Antisemitism. The members of the Nazi party openly declared their intent to segregate Jews off the “Aryan” society and do away Jews’ civil, legal, political rights, as published within their 25-point party program in 1920 (Spiegelman, Maus I, 20). This paper presents the stages of the Nazi Holocaust illustrated by various examples.

Nazi leaders started fulfilling their pledge of prosecuting German Jews immediately after they assumed power. During the initial six years under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler, from 1933 up until the war broke in 1939, Jews felt experienced very difficult times with over 400 orders marred restrictions and regulations in all aspects of their private and public lives. Most of the laws were national, initiated by the German administration and had an effect on all Jews (Spiegelman, Maus II, 40). Furthermore, municipal, regional and state officials also propagated a storm of exclusionary orders within their own communities on their own. Consequently, many individuals in all ranks within the government participated in the Jews’ prosecution through regarding, discussing, planning, adopting, imposing, and promoting anti-Jewish legislation.

The first stage was definition that involved Jews being forced to put on the Star of David. They were seen as an international threat and also impure. As a result, Hitler had no reason of incorporating them in his plan of the pure and perfect “master plan.”

According to Spiegelman (Maus II, 90), Stripping of rights was the second stage of. The year 1938 saw Jews being evicted from economic life of Germany. The Jews were denied the right to own property, they were denied German citizenship, and they were forced to carry identification papers. Other rights that were stripped of the Jews include; their lawyers being deprived of the right to practice law, denied voting rights, their businessmen had to be registered. Jewish doctors were also not to be found treating Aryan patients. Many laws aimed at separating Jews from German by limiting them their involvement in public life. The initial main law to infringe the rights of Jews was the “Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service” enacted on 7th April, 1933 which allowed for exclusion of Jews and “politically unreliable” employees and civil servants from state service (Spiegelman, Maus II, 89).

The third stage was segregation and here rural Jews forced to occupy ghettos within large cities. His intention to put them into ghettos was deadly, confining them as they awaited extermination. Most notable among all these ghettos were those in Lodz, Poland which by the end of 1941 accommodated a total of 200, 000 Jews together with 5000 Gypsies (Spiegelman, Maus I, 48). Here individuals frequently died of starvation and diseases. On average, there were 15.1 persons in every apartment and 6-7 persons in every room.

Concentration camps constituted another stage of the Nazi holocaust.  The first concentration camp was instituted in 1933 at Dachau to accommodate Nazi regime’s opponent. The figure of Jewish prisoners remarkably augmented after the broken glass’s night. Individuals were forced to there to provide free slave labour.

The next stage was Extermination camps.  In this camps gas chambers were cloaked as showers and by 1945, a total of six million were already dead through such means as starvation, mass executions and slave labor within concentration camps. Extermination regions were isolated to prevent civilian population from unnecessarily witnessing the scene. Approximately 2 million Jews were killed through being gassed between 1942 and 1944, November (Spiegelman, Maus II, 78).

Lastly it was the aftermath where camps were set free event though the dying, the weak and the sick were left there. A total of 250, 000 Jews were freed from the camps. They were however homeless, poor and left with nothing. 

Works Cited

Spiegelman, Art. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History. Rome: Pantheon 1986. Pp 1-160
Spiegelman, Art.  Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began. Rome: Pantheon. 1992. Pp 1-144

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