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The 10 Stages of Genocide: Holocaust
Transcript of The 10 Stages of Genocide: Holocaust
The Ten Stages of Genocide: The Holocaust by Michael Tran and Jesse Yu
Genocide first starts with classification. Classification is the act of grouping someone or something into categories based on any traits or descriptions they share. Categories that generally group people include ethnicity, nationality, or religion. The Nazis used classification to separate the Jews, Gypsies, the disabled, elderly, some Communists, Socialists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and homosexuals. Nazis believed that the Aryan race was the superior race. They needed to expand and grow as a population. They decided to separate these groups because they stood in the way of their goal. Homosexuals were targeted because the Nazis believed they were not useful to expanding the German population. Political threats such as Communist and Socialist were targeted to empower the Nazi party. The disabled and elderly were classified as useless to the Aryan race while the Jews and Gypsies were classified as racially inferior.
After the classified groups are segregated and discriminated, they are dehumanized. Dehumanization is accomplished when humans are treated like they are not worth anything. The Nazis treated the Jews like animals and things that don't even deserve to be touched by their boots. This is done through heavy propaganda that is spread through posters, art, music, films, books, radios, news, and education. Propaganda from the Nazis made the German Citizens accept what was happening to be perfectly okay. The propaganda made the Jewish people as evil scum who caused all the issues Germany has dealt with. Nazi films portrayed Jews as creatures trying to infect their Aryan race. Propaganda allowed for the Nazis to carry on their steps to Genocide without any real objections from the German people.
Hitler's plan to remove the Jewish population was called the "Final Solution". After Germany invaded Poland in 1939 (beginning of World War II) , several anti-Jewish laws were established and Jews started to suffer. Nazis made ghettos where multiple families were put in and forced to live together. These ghettos were not luxurious. It was crowded with poor living conditions. Hitler also made sure that his army was very well trained and equipped. The SS (Schutzstaffel) combat training was so intense that 1/3 of the participants failed the course. Basic training focused on "physical fitness, small-arms proficiency and political indoctrination". After the basic training, the recruits would receive more schooling in their chosen combat arm.
After being placed in ghettos, Jews were then placed in concentration camps. In these concentration camps, Jews were separated from their families and forced into labor for "economic profit". From 1939-1941, more concentration camps were established to place increased numbers of prisoners. These prisoners consists of Jews, Gypsies, criminals, homosexuals and even foreigners. Jews wore the yellow Star of David on their uniform, political prisoners wore a red triangle, criminals wore a green triangle, homosexuals a pink triangle and gypsies a brown triangle. Diseases quickly spread between prisoners due to the lack of sanitation and poor living conditions. Prisoners didn't receive enough of the essentials: food, clothing, etc. Examples of these camps are Auschwitz, Gusen, Stutthof and Majdanek.
As the war was coming to an end and Germany near defeat, extermination camps (or death camps) were formed where Nazis contributed to the mass killing of Jews and other prisoners. In the camp called Chelmno, a majority of the prisoners were killed by gas vans. Prisoners were put on a van where the "exhaust pipe was actually connected to its interior". Approximately 300,000 Jews died and only 3 Jews in total survived the camp. Extermination camps then had gas chambers where no selections were performed and everyone was sent to the gas chambers. The chambers released carbon monoxide which quickly killed the prisoners. Jewish laborers removed the corps and placed them into large pits where the corps would later be burned. An estimated 10 million people died due to the holocaust and those who survived are considered lucky.
The first thing the Nazis did was used "regulated euphemisms in many of their documents" to try to hide evidence of the Holocaust ever happening. Another example of the Nazis trying to hide evidence of the holocaust was when operation Aktion 1005 began on June 1942. They tried to "destroy the physical evidence of murder". They started to burn the body of victims instead of burying them in fear that they would lose the war. Many Nazis deny that they have committed any crimes and blame everything on the prisoners and the prisoners become scapegoats. Some Nazis even fled to different countries or committed suicide to avoid severe punishment.
The Nazis first separated the Jews from their community by making laws. For example, the Nuremberg Race Laws only allowed Geltungsjudens (people who were in a Jewish community or married to a Jewish person) to only marry other Jews or other Geltungsjudens. In addition, the original Nuremberg Laws stripped Jewish people of German citizenship and prohibited Jews from marrying Aryans. The Nazis physically polarized Jews on Kristallnacht, or better known as the "Night of Broken Glass". This was when Nazi soldiers attacked and removed Jewish people from their property which occurred on November 9 and 10, 1938. After removing the Jews from their homes, they would briefly be placed in ghettos then concentration camps.
After groups were classified, the next stage of genocide would proceed where symbols would be created to distinguish the classified people. For symbols, colors, patches, or clothes could be used but in the Holocaust, the Nazis mostly sewed badges on the clothes of the classified people to distinguish them from the rest. For the Jews, their badge was the Yellow Star of David. Political prisoners were marked with red triangles, criminals were marked with green triangles, and groups that did not agree with the Nazis were marked with black triangles. Homosexuals were identified with pink triangles and Jehovah's Witnesses were identified with purple ones. The symbols allowed the Nazis to easily separate these specific groups from the Aryan race and most importantly from the society.
Once the groups are successfully classified and marked with symbols, discrimination occurs. The group that is in power uses their political power to create laws that take away the rights of the classified groups. In the Holocaust, the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were created by the Nazis to discriminate against the Jews. The laws took away their citizenship and prevented them from getting employed by any schools or the government. It took away the right of Jews to marry any Germans. Many Germans who had not practiced the Jewish religion for years were still targeted by the Nazis. Even those that converted or aligned themselves to other religions were still considered Jewish as long as any of their parents or grandparents were Jewish.
After the classified groups are dehumanized, the next stage Organization occurs. Genocide is always organized by some type of group, usually by the state. Special army units or militias are often trained and armed while plans for genocidal killings are being created. History has shown that militias are often used to help the state in denying any responsibility to the genocide. The Nazi party created both the Gestapo and the SS. The Gestapo were the secret police who sought to get rid of nazi opposistion, setting up the concentration camps, and acted as death squads that would kill the Jews. The SS ran and controlled the concentration camps.