The Holocaust And Its Impact Upon Jews And Judaism In The Twentieth Century

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Topic Three Do a case study of the Holocaust and its impact upon Jews and Judaism in the twentieth century. The Holocaust, which was the systematic, state sponsored, murder of Jews was a terrible loss to humanity and would have had a huge impact on Jews and Judaism in the twentieth century. In total around six million Jews lost their lives as a result of the Holocaust. This kind of Jewish persecution can not only be seen during the holocaust but thousands of years before hand so the holocaust would have had a tremendous impact on Jews and Judaism. Anti-Semitism or hatred against Jews has been prominent throughout the world for hundreds of years. Anti-Semitism can be seen dating back to 1750 BCE when the Jews were enslaved by Pharaoh (Egyptian King). Modern Anti-Semitism can be dated back to around 1815 when Jews lost their rights in Germany. In the eighteen hundreds, in Eastern Europe, there were numerous attacks on Jewish communities. Also in the eighteen hundreds Jews were constantly persecuted in Russia and were only allowed to live in Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Latvia and the Ukraine. Pogroms (organised persecution and massacre of Jews by the government) began in 1881, which led to many Jews being forced to flee to western Europe, Latin America, Palestine and the United States. (http://www.crystalinks.com/judaism.html) All of these anti-sematic movements have impacted the Jews and Judaism. These were not as big as the Holocaust but were by no means insignificant. The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored murder of Jews and others by the Nazis during Adolf Hitler s Reign in Nazi Germany (1933 1945). Hitler Believed that the Jews were inferior and the German (Aryan) were superior and a result they could not mix. (Brooman, 85) As a result of this feeling of superiority Hitler felt that the Jewish people had to be wiped out as an entire race. By the end of World War II, the Nazis had killed about six million Jewish men, women, and children- more than two-thirds of the Jews in Europe. As a result of the Nuremberg Laws (1935) Jews lost many of their civil liberties, rights to hold public office, practice professions, inter-marry with Germans or use public education. Their property and businesses were registered and sometimes seized. Continual acts of violence were committed against them, and official propaganda encouraged 'true' Germans, or the Aryan race, to hate and fear them. (Newton, 1990) This would have impacted tremendously on Jews as they lacked many civil rights and virtually lost their freedom. Even the young people of Germany s minds were warped into believing what the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, wanted them to believe. This is an extract from a German mathematics textbook. A bomber aircraft on takeoff carries twelve dozen bombs each weighing 10 Kilos. The aircraft takes of for Warsaw, international center of Jews. It bombs the town. On takeoff with all bombs aboard and a fuel tanker containing 100 Kilo s of fuel, the aircraft weighed about eight tons. When it returns from the crusade, there are still 230 kilos of fuel left. What is the weight of the aircraft when it is empty. (Brooman, 1985) These kind of things were written in German school textbooks which were compulsory. All of the previous textbooks were burned. The German children were virtually forced into believing this kind of thing. Kristallnacht, or "The Night of Broken Glass," refers to the organised, anti-Jewish riots in Germany, on the night of November 9-10 1938. At least ninety one Jews were killed. Rioters burned hundreds of synagogues and vandalised and ransacked over seven thousand Jewish shops, businesses, and homes. (http://www.wiesenthal.com/mot/moths.htm) Sometime in early 1941, the Nazi leadership finalised the details of a policy decision labelled "The Final Solution of the Jewish Question." This policy called for the murder of every Jewish man, woman, and child under German rule. (Oxford, 1999) Many of the Holocaust victims were killed in specially constructed gas chambers, and their bodies were then burned. (See appendix 1) The word holocaust means a sacrificial offering that is completely burned. All of the events seen in the Holocaust would have had a tremendous effect on Jews and Judaism. This would have had a huge effect on Jewish Children in Germany. They were mocked at school and put in front of German classes and made examples of. This kind of maltreatment would have destroyed Jewish children and made them hate themselves for being Jewish. It also would have had a negative effect on Judaism, as they would not want to be evolved in the Jewish religion because of what people would say. The Event of Kristallnacht also would have had a big effect on Judaism because of the burning of hundreds of Synagogues. These synagogues contained many things vital to the Jewish Religion. Without the synagogues the church services could not be carried out, which would cause many people to stop worshipping in the Synagogues. The Final solution and the cruelty to the Jews committed by Adolf Hitler. This

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