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Adolf Hitler was a man who at first seemed ingenious and the perfect example of a leader for a country like Germany. Many people liken him, but after he rose into power he decided to begin the “Final Solution”, or the HOlocaust as we know it today. His strive for a perfect nation lead to the mass killing of Jews and anyone else who didn’t meet the criteria of his perfect person. His first concertration camps were set up in the early 1930s, but the most infamous and deathly camps didn’t come into play until the 1940s. For example, Auschwitz, on of the most notorious death camps that had both a gas chamber and crematory, didn’t exist until 1942. The camps were all liberated and Hitler was overrun in 1945. Many people died, but some stories lived on. Anne Frank, a girl who lived during World War II, kept a diary during her stay in an attic with family to avoid being captured and sent to a camp. Her family was found after twenty-five months and they were all sent to the same camp. Eventually they were seperated and the only survivor was Anne’s father Otto Frank. The diary was published after the war by her father. Another famous book about the Holocaust is “Night” by Elie Wiesel. It gives details from a survivor’s point of view. The remainder of this essay will explain how the victims of the Holocaust were effected, both physically and mentally.
There were many physical effects on the victims of the Holocaust. Not only were people brutally murdered, but they were also beaten and starved. Many times they wre taken on long death marches where they would run for many miles with no rest. “When the SS become tired, they were changed. But no one changed us. Our limbs numb with cold despite the running, our throats parched, famished, breathless, on we went.” (“Night”, Elie Weisel) Many were infected with diseases that spread through the camps like wildfire because of poor nutrition and awful living conditions. Many physical scars were left as painful reminders of all that they endured.
Anyone who was involved with the Holocaust was effected mentally. Some lost their faith in God, while others gained strength and continued to believe. “Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.” (“Night”, Elie Wiesel) Still, many found a new appreciation for life and all that they had. Survivors may have suffered from depression, phobias, and guilt because they survived and their family did not. Many of them lost respect for Germans and maybe just people in general.
The people in the Holocaust were effected both emotionally and physically. They lost so much and gained so little. The Holocaust was a very sad time when more than six million Jews were killed and eleven million people total. I don’t think I would have been able to survive the hell those people went through. I am neither physically or mentally strong. That is why I hold a great deal of respect for the people who did survive and are still alive today.
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