Holocaust is a political mass murder which does not have any precedence in history and hopefully should not occur in the future too. The term holocaust denotes the systematic and planned elimination of Jews, by the German Government headed by the Nazi party and its leader Adolf Hitler. The number of people killed during holocaust is estimated to be six million and this genocide took place in Germany and other European nations occupied by the Nazi force. There are many reasons that led to holocaust, but its origin can be attributed to the ingrained anti-Semitism in the Christian society. Hatred towards Jews was there in the European society for many centuries, and many Jews have been expelled from many countries even before the Nazi regiment took power. This apathy was further encouraged by powerful State sponsored hunt for Jews and resulted in this large scale tragedy. The Nazi Eugenics propaganda conveyed that they wanted to improve the quality of German population or the Germanic race by eliminating Jews and others, who were unworthy of life. By killing them they tried to eliminate their chain of hereditary thus ensuring only the so called ‘pure or superior’ race survived. Nazi Eugenics exercise not just targeted Jews, but also tried to exterminate other groups like homosexuals, feeble minded, Gypsies and criminals.
Some German scientists have also revealed that Hitler’s policies were based on social Darwinism theory, whereby he believed that the gene pool of the German people can be improved by facilitating selective breeding (by eliminating the undesirable race), like the technologies practiced in agriculture to cultivate superior variety crops. The prisoners of concentration camp were also used as test subjects for medical experiments by the Nazi scientists. These tests were aimed at researching treatments for treating German soldiers, develop weaponry and sometimes even to ‘cure’ homosexuality. The results of these experiments left many prisoners, mostly Jews, dead, disfigured and generally were regarded as medical torture. Holocaust was not an ethnic cleansing performed in a blind fury. It was conducted in a horrifyingly methodical manner with aid of science and technology. The Nazis were not a bunch of hooligans who shouted slogans and threw stones on people’s glasses. But they were a unit backed up by doctors, industrialists and scientists. All these participants with their academic prowess, misguided by Hitler, used their knowledge for the cause of Aryan domination. Reports indicate that the Nazi statisticians used IBM tabular technology, to sort and quantify the Jews from the other races. Hitler’s regime sought out what they called ‘scientific soldiers’ and used them in their extermination of Jews.
Many historians opine that the allied nations did not do enough to put an end to the persecution of the Jews. Before and during the WWII, the British government put a ceiling to the number of Jewish refugees to be accepted in Palestine. Switzerland in fact closed its borders for the Jewish refugees for almost a year between 1943 and 44. During depression years the United States too refused refuge to European Jews, due to its highly restrictive immigration quota. Josiah E. DuBois, Jr, an official of the American treasury department wrote a famous report titled “Report to the Secretary on the Acquiescence of This Government in the Murder of the Jews”, in which he attacked America’s inactivity in stopping the injustice done to the Jews. A German ship named MS St. Louis carrying 937 German Jews was refused entry in the United States, Canada and Cuba, in the year 1939. The ship then was directed back to Europe and accepted in various European countries, and historians estimated that half the passengers of that ship died in the concentration camps.
Holocaust is a dark episode in human history and is a horrendous and regrettable incident. Yes, the perpetrators of this atrocity deserved all the punishments given to them and more, but equally condemnable is the attitude of the other countries, who though did not actively participate in the persecution, silently witnessed it.