There are numerous methods to tell Holocaust stories. For instance, the book Maus serves as the foundation for this essay. It's a graphic novel written by American cartoonist Art Spiegelman, who speaks with his father about his experiences as a Jew and a Holocaust victim in the book. (Kyle, 2014). Animals are used to represent the characters in the novel as the author describes the events that happened at that time. The novel is a superb documentary about the events of the Holocaust, as evidenced by the fact that it received the Pulitzer Prize. Such works assist in narrating tales about past endeavors and reawakening recollections in people. That, in turn, makes people wary of a repeat of such events thus we can say that the author reminds us why it is crucial to coexist together peacefully and respect each other’s cultural standing and religion. Books and films use different themes to tell tales and stories of past historical events. Authors employ the use of various forms of presentations and approaches in their books to hold the attention of the reader. Stories on the extermination of the Jews in Germany and all the troubles they went through make a reader teary when you peruse such books (Kukkonen, 2013). Authors use a different form of presentations to show the dangers of people being divided. At the end of the films, there is always an encouragement to the readers to uphold their values and live peacefully.

The holocaust took place during the Second World War between the years 1941 and 1945. It was masterminded by Adolf Hitler who led the Nazi in Germany, and he got help from the nations that collaborated with him. The holocaust was a genocide where more than six million people who had a Jewish origin got killed, and many others harmed, injured, displaced and even placed in detention camps. A few of the survivors of the holocaust tell horrifying stories about the things that took place at that period. Many of this people still bear scars from the events preceding the holocaust thus making it a catastrophic event. The Germans targeted all the European Jews and tried to exterminate them through murdering them and persecuting them. The main groups that got focused in the genocide were the Romans, political opponents of the Nazi regime, black people in Germany, Jehovah witnesses, and also the prisoners of war locked up during the world war. The Nazi regime tried to eradicate any person or group that wanted to oppose its quest for power and control.

The genocide got coordinated by a particular group called the SS which received orders from the leaders of the Nazi party. The killings mostly took place in areas which had large numbers of Germans especially in Europe and Germany itself. The killings were also widespread in territories controlled by the Axis powers. The genocide persecutions took place in stages following a particular order. First, the German government lead by Hitler passed laws with the aim of excluding all the Jews from civil society activities and proceedings. After the passing of the paws, the next phase was the construction and setting up of concentration camps meant to hold those people that the government viewed as political opponents and also the ones not desired by the Nazis. Following the invasion of Poland, more camps, ghettos and further detention sites got set up with the aim of segregating the Jews from the rest of the community. The Nazis then created a policy referred to as the final solution for the Jewish problem, and it involved deporting all the Jews in the areas under control to the camps and ghettos. The measures put in place by the Nazis became more radical as time progressed and encompassed mass killings through shooting the Jews as well as gassing them after locking them up in gas chambers. The massacre claimed so many lives and the Nazis were unstoppable until the year 1945 when the world war ended. By that time, millions of people had succumbed to the genocide while the survivors got forced to flee and hide to avoid getting caught. The attack methods used on the Jews are the worst in the world thus got termed as the genocide and also got referred as ethical cleansing.

The term holocaust denotes mass killings, large-scale destruction of property as well as slaughter. Historians and also the film industry have showcased the events that took place through plays, films, books and even animation and cartoon series. The horror of the events still scare the people and most have not come to terms with what took place. The holocaust has many definitions from different people but below are the main three ones. The definitions divide the events that took place in some stages. The first phase showcases the events that took place in the year 1938 at the early stage of the holocaust (Fein, 1979). The second period is the mass murder of the Jews that took place between the years 1941 and 1945 and shows the shift of the laws put up by the Nazi regime from just detention to radicalization. What many people fail to show is the way the Nazis singled out the Jews only for annihilation.

The events that took place during that world war two in Germany and its allies led to its reference as a genocidal state. An example is where citizens who were Jews got fired from their job positions only to be enslaved in the same areas again. Even education institutions including all schools and universities did away with students with a Jewish origin. The pharmaceutical companies in Germany also played a significant role in facilitating the mass murders. They focused on mass production of drugs and used the people held in camps as test subjects for their products. People lost a lot of property during that period. The items found on the arrested people got confiscated and later recycled and reused by the Germans. Everybody in the country acted against the Jews, and that is one of the reasons why the genocide got termed as unavoidable and unstoppable.

Different stories from the survivors and reporters who researched on the events that took place show that no one supported the Jews or tried to help them, not even the religious communities in the region nor the social groups present. The causes of the Jewish genocide in Germany got purely termed as mythical ad illusionary. The Germans had no concrete reason to segregate the Jews and murder them so excessively other than viewing them as lesser beings. While other communities got targeted due to their inabilities and disabilities, the Germans considered the Jews as unworthy of existence especially in the government the country was planning to create at the end of the war. The way the Germans extended the holocaust all over Europe indicated that they had support from many other people. They alone could not manage all those killed in such a vast area.

The most brutal of the killings in the genocide were the medical experiments being conducted by physicians and other medical personnel on the Jews in the concentration camps. Some of the physicians acted so brutally such that they would handpick subjects from people being brought to the field, kill them and extract the organs of interest for use in different medical experiments. After the war, many physicians and medical personnel got charged with crimes against humanity, and most of the people who played a part in the genocide went into hiding.

It is essential to understand what mainly made the Jews the central community subjected to the holocaust. Since a long time ago, Jews have faced animosity shown through racism and anti-Semitism all over the Europe continent. That was due to the allegations based on Christian theology that it was the Jews who killed Jesus. Even the Catholicism and the Lutheranism persecuted Jews in the continent some long time ago. The emergence of Germany which had governance from Christians whose ideologies were different from those of the Jews. Even after the surrender of Germany to the axis powers, many things continued to trouble the country. It had fallen apart in such a way that the people did not trust each other and that led to the rise of in-house rivalry and backstabbing.

The defeat got blamed on people who were deemed disloyal, and this put the Jews and other minorities in more imminent danger. The major problem that the country faced after the world war was the economic strains caused by the great depression. The marginalization of the Jews in concentration camps and ghettos made their lives even more miserable. Poverty got reinforced by locking the Jews from the outside world so that they would suffer and give up their valuable properties. That ensured that they had no way of resisting or coming up with uprisings to counter the Germans brutality. The ghettos and concentration camps were so overcrowded with Jews to such an extent that survival became hard there (Young, 1990). Deaths were frequent especially the women and children who still got treated with the same hatred. Many graphical movies and films, as well as books, depict the type of life in those specific areas. Dead bodies were a common thing and the hygiene and sanitation very poor thus leading to an increase in diseases which contributed to more loss of life. The ghettos were initially supposed to act as holding areas for the Jews before they got deported and resettled in other places. However, that did not happen, and most of the people taken from these camps ended up being taken to extermination camps and killed. More than 43000 residents of these ghettos died, and the pain caused by this loss of lives were diseases and starvation. Those Jews who escaped death and the journey to the extermination camps were instead used to provide labor in war productions.

Despite all the troubles and inhuman treatment affecting the Jews in the ghettos, they still tried to resist. The sad this is that this uprising got quashed quickly and many people lost their lives in the process. The remaining got taken to the death camps as punishment. Germany had a large and well-equipped army which was also merciless when dealing with the leaders and people involved in the resistance. To the Germans, death was the only available and best solution for dealing with the Jewish problem, and this is what caused the mass exterminations.

Till date, some of the memories of the events that took place in the holocaust are still fresh in some people’s minds. Some survivors have risen to tell their story. One of the survivors says of how he can’t sleep till to date as the memories of what took place keep haunting him. He even says of how much of a burden it is to come out and say his story to the world. During the holocaust, he was a small kid; he remembers his friends telling them never to forget and also to speak to the world as they got dragged away to their deaths. He opens up to us that talking to someone about these stories is better than keeping them inside as the depression that comes with it can kill you. According to him, the hate which led to the mass murder of the Jews got caused by the church which claimed that the Jews killed Jesus. That made them get treated as second-class citizens thus destroying the future of Jews in Poland. In school, he tells of how he could raise his hand every time a teacher asked a question but never got prompted to answer. In the streets, Jews could not walk safely, and they always got beaten up. He observed that the mass murder of the Jews was only a bomb waiting to explode and that’s what happened during the World War 2. He lost his brother and father one day when the German army came to their city. The rest were moved to the ghettos. Their duties were to do the dirty work for the Germans thus becoming their slaves.

The above story of how the young man survived the holocaust is the story of many other people in the world. Most hold their pain inside and mourn silently. Others have tried to let it go, but it is still hard to do so. Documentaries too have been used to tell about the events that took place. An example is a documentary that depicts the life of a young girl Janina Dawidowicz. She also went through the same ordeal. She witnessed people being lined up and the Germans giving those fake promises of food, water, and jobs only to take them to the gas chambers and kill them all. The people who survived the genocide found shelter in camps meant for displaced people. This fields got provided by the allied powers who helped defeat the genocide by liberating people in most of the concentration camps. In the period after the war, many Jews left their country and migrated to other countries like the united stated, and the last displacement camp got closed in the year 1957. Most of the Jewish communities in Europe got exterminated while others got displaced and devastated in a very severe way.

The person attributed to this ethical cleansing is Adolf Hitler the leader of the Nazi regime at that time. Hitler’s worldview encompassed both racial purity and expansion of the German territory, and this two would later get combined to act as the driving force of the foreign and domestic policies he put in place. At first, harsh persecutions were meant for his political opponents, and he formed the concentration camps to hold these people who didn’t support his ideas. Later this concentration camps turned to be the slaughter grounds for the Jews as any got sent there after getting rounded up from their homes. The aftermath of this holocaust was very devastating. It left behind millions of refugees and as much as the allied forces tried to relocate them back to their homes, most did not agree to that as they felt that they didn’t have anything to go back to there.

The holocaust had many effects on the people affected and the world in full. The survivors of the holocaust depict the resilience of the human spirit, and a study of these people show that the holocaust contributed to the longevity of life (Kidron Hayden & Kidron, 2009). These survivors tend to live longer as they got hardened by the harsh living conditions during that period. Various researchers have helped to prove this thesis and showed that life expectancy of these people is long. The stories of the holocaust survivors teach us a lot about how high the human spirit is and also gives us hope that we have the power to survive any brutal and traumatic events no matter how much damage cause.

Works Cited

Fein, H. (1979). Accounting for Genocide: National Responses and Jewish Victimization during the Holocaust.

Kyle, C. (2014). ART SPIEGELMAN’S MAUS I April 1, 2014.

Kukkonen, K. (2013). Studying comics and graphic novels. John Wiley & Sons.

Kidron, C. A., Hayden, R. M., Lambek, M., Mizrachi, N., Rylko-Bauer, B., & Kidron, C. A. (2009). Toward an ethnography of silence: The lived presence of the past in everyday life of Holocaust trauma survivors and their descendants in Israel. Current Anthropology, 50(1), 5-27.

Young, J. E. (1990). Writing and rewriting the Holocaust: Narrative and the consequences of interpretation (Vol. 613). Indiana University Press.

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