Holocaust facts appear as fabricated stories for those who are considered anti-Semitic. The most prominent among them in international politics is the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He firmly believes that the Holocaust is a widespread deception aiming for two things – to put Germany to shame and to justify the establishment of the state of Israel. However, how can we deny Holocaust facts if the very survivors themselves are with us documenting their nightmares during those dark years?
Generally, Holocaust facts can be classified under four categories. They include the total number of Jewish casualties, the start of the persecution, the Ghettos, and the existence of concentration camps.
The precise total number of Jews who died is under great controversy. Many academicians deny the death of six million Jews as included among Holocaust facts. In fact, they even deny the existence of the Holocaust itself.
Other historians proposed a different number. Gerald Fleming is certain that the number of death reached five million. Raoul Hilberg came up with five million and one hundred thousand. The truth is we will never know the precise number, and all we have is an approximation. The only hint provided for us to come up with such an estimate is by determining the number of railroad passengers and travels to the concentration camps from 1933 to 1945. One undeniable fact that indeed a great number of Jews died during the Holocaust was the disappearance of entire Jewish communities in Eastern Europe.
The persecution happened on April 1, 1933 when the Nazi declared a boycott against all Jewish-run businesses and followed by a law on September 15, 1935 excluding the Jews from public life signaled a preparation for the Holocaust. Succeeding prohibitions included prevention from government jobs and medical practice except for Jewish patients. On November 10, 1938, the night of violence against the Jews started by burning synagogues, destroying Jewish business establishments, and looting Jewish stores. Many Jews were physically harmed, arrested, and sent to concentration camps.
When World War 2 started in 1939, the Nazis forced all Jews to leave their home and stay within restricted areas called ghettos. This is another historical fact leading to the Holocaust. Warsaw had the largest ghetto reaching four hundred and forty five thousand in population. The confinement of the Jews within these restricted areas made their transfer to concentration camps easier. The Nazis lied telling the Jews that the latter were being transferred to a different place for labor. Some remaining Jews in Warsaw organized an uprising and decided to fight the Nazis. This was popularly known as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
During World War 2, Nazi camps were generally referred as “concentration camps.” The fact is various types of camps exist including death camps. However, the existence of death camps is now under great controversy also due to the issues raised by Holocaust deniers.
Most concentration camps were built in forest areas to make escape almost impossible. Life in the concentration camps was really horrible. The prisoners were exploited and sexually abused. Food and water were scarce. There was poor sanitary condition resulting to sickness and death. In fact, the rate of death in the camps was so high that disposal of corpses became a serious problem.
Concentration camps had “showers”, which were designed for mass murder. These showers had built-in poison gas vents and steam. On arrival at concentration camps, the prisoners were divided into two groups – the able-bodied and the dependent. The dependent including children and the elderly were sent to those showers for “cleansing”.
Holocaust facts are so shocking and unthinkable that such a crime would arise from a country considered being highly civilized and educated. The Holocaust facts narrated above are just few examples among many, showing the potential of evil in human heart committing the most atrocious crime in human history.
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