Holocaust is derived from the Greek language and it means “kill by fire." The holocaust saw the death of more than six million Jews. In 1933, before the holocaust, the population of the Jews stood at nine million. This essentially means that about two thirds of the Jewish population was destroyed. The perpetrators of this massacre were the Nazis and their collaborators. They spared no one - not even women and children. Nowhere in the world has such a big group of people be killed over such a short period. The Nazis were of the view that Germans were racially superior while the Jews were the converse; way inferior. They viewed the Jews as a threat to the German race (Bard 27).
During this era, groups deemed inferior underwent torture of one form of the other. Besides the Jews, other communities were also subjected to the anguish. Among these are the Russians and the Poles. During the entire period, 200,000 gypsies (Roma) were also killed. The disabled (mentally or physically) also had to contend with the distressing period as they were also not immune from the same. These have been estimated to have been around 200,000 mentally and physically ill patients (Hill 12).
Amazingly, most of these patients were Germans who had been held in facilities all over the place. Those who were not killed instantly were made to suffer before their death through inhumane methods such as starvation and incarceration to mention but a few. The homosexuals were not saved either. The Nazis also took on some religious groups such as the Jehovah’s witnesses (Hill 46).
Over the years, the Nazi tyranny grew and this only made it worse for the aforementioned groups. Those who were lucky got deported to their respective countries; mostly Slovakia and Poland. However, they were not saved voluntarily; they had to work as slaves for the Germans. Political opponents including socialists, trade unionists, were also not spared from all these inhumane acts. More than 20,000 camps were established between 1933 and 1945 so as to contain the so called “enemies-of-state." The Nazis then used these as spots to carry out their inhuman activities. It became so bad that around 6,000 Jews were gassed out (killed using a poisonous gas) on a daily basis.
The Nazi regime saw the establishment of concentration camps; these were meant to detain the imagined or real ideological and political opponents. During the war years, the Germans and those who collaborated with them desired to consolidate the Jews in one place; all in a bid to closely monitor their actions (and growth). They achieved this by setting up transit camps and ghettos. With such a consolidation, they were sure to overpower them anytime.
Between 1941 and 1944, millions of Jews were deported from Germany, from German’s axis allies and occupied territories. They were then transferred to killing centres where they were murdered using specially tailored gassing facilities (Hill 58).
In conclusion, the holocaust is one of the darkest periods in human existence. A race was decimated, rights overlooked and human beings tortured. Displaced persons (DP) camps were set up to handle the aftermath of the holocaust; a period that left the whole world shocked. These were operational till 1957, since 1945 when the war ended. Jews were no longer at home in Europe and that essentially necessitated and fuelled their exit (Bard 20).
Bard, Mitchell Geoffrey. The Holocaust. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 2001. Print.
Hill, Jeff. The Holocaust. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, 2006. Print.