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Holocaust History, Its Definition and Causes Research Paper

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Updated: Apr 24th, 2020


In the past decades, several genocides have been experienced in different parts of the world. People have died; others have been incapacitated while others have been left displaced. The effect of having genocide is felt in the world over, as it is a crime against the humanity.

There are several causes of genocide in the current society. The main causes are dictatorship, politics, and racism. In the last few decades, the word has experienced various genocides and they can be attributed to these factors. Some of the genocides the world has experienced are Rwanda genocide, Darfur, Nanking massacre, the holocaust, and trail of tears.

Holocaust genocide

The holocaust tragedy is an example of the various massacres that have taken place in the recent past. Just like the other types of massacres that have taken place, the main course of this tragedy was due to racism as well as support of a certain religion. Scientists have previously insisted there is nothing like race in the world (Reilly et al. 6). However, people all over the world can be classified into different races. Race is a category that is used to describe people in their personal appearance.

The most used feature to describe people to a certain race is the skin color. Nevertheless, other features may be used to identify people into a certain race: blood type, hair, noses, and any other facial features. Racism occurs due to one community considering it more superior than their fellow counterparts. Also notable about racism is the fact that it may take several forms and it is not just limited to the literal meaning of racism like the skin color, the size of the eyes, and also may be the size of the nose (Reilly et al. 8).

Holocaust cannot just be defined as an event; it was continued process that took place for a period longer than a decade where millions of people were involved. It was a process that was instigated by Nazi army lead by Hitler, their leader. The meaning of holocaust according to Greek definitions is a “sacrifice by fire” (Bergen 2). Holocaust came about after the change of power in 1933 where the new regime considered they were more superior racially than the Jews.

The holocaust era considered other races like Jews, Gypsies, Slavic people, and the disabled as inferior to the German race. The earlier years of power of Nazi regime before the war saw the Nazi establish concentration camps that were aimed at detaining people that opposed them both politically and ideologically. Police officials in this regime caught up with the so-called “inferior races” that compromised of Jews and Roma among other races and put them in these camps.

The aim of this regime was to concentrate these people for deportation to their original land. The war also was inclusive of other persecution of people who share different ideologies, as well as political orientation different from those of the Nazis (Bergen 22).

However, it is notable that the Jews were the main target of the Nazis as they were seen as the main danger to Germany regime. It was in 1945 that the war spread all over Europe where German and their collaborators killed a big number of people, and it is estimated that two out of three Jews were killed. The phase that this number of people was killed was called the final solution as an estimated 12 million people were killed with half of this number being Jews.

Holocaust tragedy can be explained to be both racialist and non-racist, as part of it was not racialist. The reasoning behind this is the fact that there were other people of German origin, who were also inclusive of the oppression. Among them were those opposed to the regime politically and religiously.

Homosexuals in this society would be hanged since the regime did not consider it as part of what they believed in. All these people were inclusive in the final tally of the people who were killed during this war. Through the knowledge of this information, it would be safe to conclude that Holocaust disaster was far and above a racism war, as it was inclusive of other elements that were not racial (Bergen 56).

The actions by some of the people against who they consider inferior to them can at times be over the board. The meaning of this is that some people go to great extremes to oppress other people. Taking an example of the holocaust massacre, the government had gone to the extreme of establishing forced labor to the Jews in their country. As history records, the individuals that were put to work were not only made to work for long but they were subjected to deplorable conditions (Bergen 62).

The workers sometimes died while working in these conditions since some of the work they were expected to do was too much for them to handle. According to human rights, this is a great act of violation of human rights as anyone has a right against forced labor regardless of the race that he or she is. Respect is also one of the traits that racism does not consider, the fact that during the war the religious synagogues where the Jews used to pray their god were burnt down portray the same.

Respect of other people’s religion is important as it allows the society to keep a spirit of togetherness among them. The rule of law is also at times not held up in a racism society, protection of rights is greatly emphasized in the rule of law practice. The Nazi regime goes centrally to this; the fact that the Jewish businesses and property were either destroyed or taken by the government is an indication of how a racist community can act on what they do not believe in.

Even worse actions are usually taken for a racism society against an inferior race. The action of killing to man is the most extreme crime that can be handed to humanity. In the Nazi regime, this was shown to have taken place against the inferior race. As previously described, an estimated 12 million people were killed. In addition, notable in this number of deaths is the fact that half of them were Jews.

The action of the Nazi regime to get rid of such a big number of people is an indication of the extremes that racist people can go in the bid to feel good about them. Killing is usually a taboo amongst many societies, the fact that some people would even go against that and commit it shows the inhumanity that racism takes from the people (Amanpour Para 11).

Through the account of the holocaust war, it is clear of how much racism can affect the human race. Through the happening of the war, the extremes of a racism society are highlighted. It is also notable that racism can take many forms. Apart from the obvious form that we experience of black and white, the holocaust account has provided another sought of racism; that is, what some one believes in being different from other people.

The discrimination of the Jews was due to the beliefs they have and they were faced with death due to the mere fact that they were Jews. Denial of rights is one of the main problems that are focused due to having a racist society (Reilly et al. 15). As in the case of holocaust, various rights were denied to various individuals. To start with, the disabled encountered death for something that they did not choose. Being born handicapped was not a request of the victims though they had to suffer for that.

Even the bill of rights was not considered in this account. The fact that there is protection of individuals in every country’s constitution is enough assurance that everyone’s property is protected. In a racism society, it is sometimes not followed as we see in the case of Nazi regime where the properties of the Jews were taken and some destroyed by the government.

However, the greatest violation of rights is seen when the lives of people are taken due to the fact that they were considered inferior. The number of people whose rights were violated is even alarming as it accounts to about 12 million people.


As martin Luther accounts that we should not condemn the people we feel are different from us, there is need in us to accommodate the people around us. Therefore, it is important to judge the character not by the color of the skin, but due to the character that exists within them (Reilly et al. 268). It is thus the responsibility of each and every one of us to play a part in ensuring that racism does not persist so that incidences like the holocaust do not occur in our lives.

Works cited

Amanpour, Christiane. Scream Bloody Murder. 2010. Web.

Bergen, Dorris. War & Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003. Print.

Reilly, Kevin, Kaufman Stephen and Bodino Angela. Racism: A global reader. New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2003. Print.

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