We all all have a general idea of what the Holocaust was, some of us will know a lot more than others, so I thought that I would just share some interesting and shocking facts.
- There were two different types of camps, a fact that people often mix up. Concentration Camps were used to hold prisoners and caused the slow death of those contained, however they were not solely built for death. An example would be Dachau, in Germany. Concentration Camps were situated throughout the occupied areas with many of them being in Germany. The second type of camp was the Extermination Camp which was completely different, because these were built with the sole purpose of killing the prisoners sent there. An example would be Treblinka and these were never situated in Germany, but in the territories occupied by the German forces. There were only 6 of these types of camps. Auschwitz, the most famous camp, was actually a combination of the both because it was a Concentration Camp first and an extermination camp second.
- Dachau Concentration Camp was the first to be created. It was created in 1933, the year Hitler came to power.
- Jews were the biggest victim of the Holocaust but they were by no means the only victim. Gypsies, Freemasons, homosexuals, black people, political prisoners, Russian prisoners of war and disabled people amongst others. It is estimated that 11 million people died in the Holocaust and that 6 million of these were Jews, this equated to two-thirds of the entire Jewish population in Europe, the rest were from the other mentioned groups.
- There are conflicting views on when and who created and designed the eventual fate of the Jews with two arguments more prominent than the rest. While some people believe that the Nazis always had death in mind, stating some of the strong language Hitler used in Mein Kampf as evidence of this, Yet on the other hand some people believe that the Holocaust was the result of a series of events, and that the exact path was never set in stone. I personally sit on this side of the events because the laws persecuting the Jews were passed in a piecemeal fashion, and the eventual decision was the destruction of the Jews and other people that the Nazis considered “a-scoail”. However, the creation of Dachau in 1933 suggests they always had brutality in mind.
- Kristallnacht in 1938, the destruction of Jewish property and business, was the first organized action against the Jews. Groups of mobs were ordered to take out the action as it was meant to local spontaneous and random but in actual fact it was organised and planned.
- Nazi doctors conducted medical experiments on some prisoners in the camps, something that to this today raises a moral issues as some feel this evidence should not be used.
- The area in Auschwitz were the prisoners belongings were sorted, was nicknamed Canada as it was seen as the “land of opportunity”.