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Analysis of the Holocaust
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The plans included in the Final Solution included the deportation, exploitation, and eventual extermination of European Jews. In September 1939, Germany invaded western Poland. Most, if not all Jews in German-occupied lands were rounded up and taken to ghettos or concentration camps. The ghettos were located inside cities, and were a sort of city/prison to segregate Jews from the rest of the public. Conditions in the ghettos included overcrowding, lack of food, and lack of sanitation, as well as brutality by Nazi guards. Quality of life in a ghetto was probably not much above that in a concentration camp. In June 1941, Germany continued it's invasion of Europe by attacking and capturing some of the western U.S.S.R. By this time,
most of the Jews in Europe now lived in lands controlled by Nazi Germany. The SS deployed 3000 death squads, or "Einstagruppen", to dispatch Jews in large numbers ("Holocaust, the." Microsoft Encarta 1996). In September 1941, all Jews were forced to wear yellow Stars of David on their arms or coats. A Jew could be killed with little repercussions for not displaying the Star of David in public. Some of
the first Jewish resistance to the Final Solution came in 1943, when the process of deportation to concentration and death camps was in full swing. The Warsaw ghetto in Poland, once numbering over 365,000, had been reduced to only 65,000 by the continuing removal of Jews to camps in other lands ("Holocaust, the." Microsoft Encarta 1996). When the Nazis came to round up the remaining inhabitants of the ghetto, they were met with resistance from the small force of armed Jews. The revolt lasted for almost three weeks before being subdued.
Between the years of 1941 to 1945, the main destination for Jews to be transported was a concentration camp or death camp somewhere in Poland or Germany. In these camps, innocent Jews, along with Gypsies, Slavs, Jehova's Witnesses, Communists, and P.O.W.s, were brutally beaten and
abused, fed meager rations of poor food, worked to death, or simply shot. The first of these camps were established in the mid 1930s and were originally designed for prisoners. But, numbers of concentration and death camps grew steadily for years until nearing the end of the World War II. Quality of life in a concentration camp was substandard, to say the absolute least. Jews and other deportees were transported via railroad boxcars similar to those used for cattle. Some of these cars were so crowded that people actually died standing up, there being no place for them to fall.