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Arek Hersh – a Story of a Holocaust Survivor

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Arek Hersh, born in Sieradz, Poland 1928 was born into a Judaism family along with 4 other siblings. Ten years later, Arek Hersh suffered from the policy “Polenaktion”. Arek Hersh claimed that the invasion of Adolf Hitler completely changed the course of his life. This resulted in Arek and his family migrating past the borders to live with relatives in Lodz. In September 1939, a policy that was implemented was that Jewish people in Lodz were forced to wear the Star of David armband or Yellow stars on their clothing to distinguish the Jewish people.

Towards 1941, Arek Hersh’s father was summoned by the authorities to work in a labor camp, however, he escaped. This incident would later occur with Arek’s brother where the outcome was the same. The authorities realised that they were no one in Arek’s family who were in the labor camp so Arek was forced into the camp, unfortunately, he was not so successful. In the Otoschno labour camp where Arek Hersh was given his first shower in six months, had his hair shaven off and was given the new name ‘B7068’, which was tattooed on his arm by a Nazi guard. “I survived because I worked for the camp commander, he must have taken pity over me as he’d leave bread for me when I went to his house, ” said Arek. “It was a tough camp, people were being beaten up around me, others were being hung and I was terrified but I got used to it. ” Two years after being in the Otoschno labour camp, Arek was one of eleven to survive the camp out of 2500 people and was sent back home to Lodz. Few months after returning Arek, and 4000 other Jews were packed into a church awaiting their fate. Arek went of the church to beg for water from one of the guards, the guard asked him what his profession was and he replied with “Schneider” or “tailor”. Arek was then separated from the church and placed in a work party. This was the last time Arek saw his family.

A week later Arek learned that his whole family was taken to an extermination camp where they were gassed, shot and murdered at the Chelmo death camp and placed in mass graves. Arek claims that “they were simply murdered because they were Jews”. The Germans decided that they were to liquidate the ghetto and transport the population of Lodz to Birkenau Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944. Arek witnessed punishments, hangings, several beatings and endured hunger and other horrors that almost drained him of the will to live. As the Russian army advanced into Germany, Auschwitz was evacuated and was sent on a “Death March”. Arek walked for several days with no food and minimal clothing in 25℉ to another camp in Germany. Where days after arriving he was liberated by the allied forces. “I was desperate to survive, I wanted to know what life was all about, ” said Arek Hershzxcsdf. Arek Hersh suffered the policy known as “Polenaktion”. Polenaktion refers to the loss of residence permits, arrest and or expulsion of any foreigners including German-born Jews of foreign origin. Polenaktion was overall a racist policy that only favoured Aryan people. In 1938 Hitler invaded Poland and claimed it as NDSAP land, therefore the policy of Polenaktion introduced in Poland. This affected 17000 Polish Jews and 12000 of these Jews were commanded to fill a single suitcase with their belongings and were forced to leave their hometown. The Nuremberg law had two categories that fell under the law; laws which allowed for legal discrimination and terrorism against Jews and Jewish people being deprived of their rights.

In September 1939, a policy that was implemented was that Jewish people in Lodz were forced to wear the Star of David armband or Yellow stars on their clothing to distinguish the Jewish people. This is so the Nazi soldiers could segregate, watch and control them. Arek realised that these Judaism people’s food was rationed and where they lived in very cramped conditions. These people have also had a curfew and Nazi soldiers were allowed to treat these Jews any way they wanted with no repercussions or negative consequences. Within World War II, Nazi ideology was brought into practice through the utilisation of labour, concentration and extermination camps. The main group that was subjected to these camps include the Jews. In Hitler’s book he presents his ideology in which he blamed Jews for the losing of World War l. This created Hitler’s representation of Jews being considered no more than half a person due to them being inferior. This ideology allowed Hitler to be insensitive towards placing Jews in camps.

The horrific Nazi policies and ideologies drastically contributed to the persecution of the Jewish population in Germany. This is because a vast amount of anti-Semitic policies were formed against the Jews to initiate the destruction of them. Laws such as the Nuremberg Laws, ‘Polenaktion’ and The Final Solution were heavily abused by the Nazi Party to persecute and discriminate against the Jews.

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Arek Hersh – A Story Of A Holocaust Survivor. (2020, July 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/arek-hersh-a-story-of-a-holocaust-survivor/
“Arek Hersh – A Story Of A Holocaust Survivor.” GradesFixer, 14 Jul. 2020, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/arek-hersh-a-story-of-a-holocaust-survivor/
Arek Hersh – A Story Of A Holocaust Survivor. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/arek-hersh-a-story-of-a-holocaust-survivor/> [Accessed 9 Dec. 2022].
Arek Hersh – A Story Of A Holocaust Survivor [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Jul 14 [cited 2022 Dec 9]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/arek-hersh-a-story-of-a-holocaust-survivor/
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