The Holocaust’s Bureaucracy of Genocide

The intent of this study was to select and analyze a global event. The event chosen to be analyzed was the Holocaust. The Holocaust occurred in Germany beginning in the 1930s and then expanded to all areas of Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. The event was a genocide in which Nazi Germany murdered about six million European Jews; they also murdered other groups, which resulted in up to seventeen million deaths overall. Germany’s persecution of these groups was implemented into stages, which started in 1933 with Adolf Hitler rising to power. Following this, in 1935 the Nuremberg Laws were passed, which excluded Jews from civil society; Jews were no longer considered German citizens, could not marry Aryans, and could not fly the German flag.

Bureaucrats identified people who were Jews, confiscated their property, and scheduled the trains that deported the Jews. Jews were fired by companies and were later employed as slave labor. Jewish faculty and students were dismissed by universities. The Nazis began building a network of concentration camps in Germany for political opponents and people considered undesirable in 1933. The government set up ghettos to segregate the Jews after the invasion of Poland in 1939. The government had established over 42,000 camps, ghettos, and other detention sites. By mid-1942, victims were being deported to extermination camps from the ghettos in sealed freight trains. Drugs were tested on camp prisoners by German pharmaceutical companies, and crematoriums were built by other companies. As they entered the death camps, the prisoners were ordered to surrender all personal property. If the victims survived the journey and the mistreatment in the camp, they were killed in gas chambers. Until the end of World War II in 1945, the killing continued.

Part II Analysis

By learning about it, one can see how racism applies to the Holocaust. Racism is defined as attitudes, beliefs, and practices used to justify the superior treatment of one racial group and the inferior treatment of another group. As in the lecture on race, the Nazis believed that Germans were racially superior and Jews were considered inferior and a threat to the German racial community. The Nazis targeted the other groups because they were also perceived as racially inferior. Hitler’s racist theories were based on genetics; therefore, no matter what a person or group did, they were forever part of the inferior group. This racism fueled Nazi beliefs. The Jews were stripped of their citizenship depriving them of their basic rights. They were banned from all professional jobs, which prevented them from having influence in education, politics, higher education, and industry. They were also eventually segregated from the superior race.

In How Did Jews Become White Folks?, Karen B. Brodkin quotes Kenneth Roberts saying if a few more million members of the Alpine, Mediterranean, and Semitic races are poured among us, the result must inevitably be a hybrid race of people as worthless and futile as the good-for-nothing mongrels of Central America and Southeastern Europe. Brodkin continues by saying Jews were unwashed, uncouth, unrefined, loud, and pushy. Hitler called the Germanic race the Aryan master race ; he wanted to keep his race pure to be able to take over the world one day. Hitler and other Nazi leaders viewed the Jews as parasites, living off the other races and weakening them. Jews would be stripped of all rights, treated as animals, considered to have a life unworthy of living, and fit only for enslavement and extermination. German scientists believed they could improve the human race by limiting the reproduction of the inferior people. To do this, the scientists were allowed to perform forced sterilizations, operations ending someone’s ability to reproduce without his or her consent.

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