12 Jul 2022


The Holocaust and Life in the Death Camps

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Academic level: College

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During the Nazi regime is a time when being different was a crime in Germany. After Germany had undergone a lot of struggle and lost almost everything in the war, the Nazi party was desperate to look for whom to blame it on. In their desperation, the only people they could blame were the Jews and anyone who were different or a foreigner in their country. The Nazi party, therefore, won the elections and did everything in their power to get rid of all the people who were different or otherwise the cause of their problems. Consequently, the Holocaust began and concentration camps and extermination camps sprung up everywhere. Owing to the brutality and the unbearable life conditions in the camps, the camps were nothing less than death camps, and as a result, so many Jews died in the camps which were made as a result of racism 1 .

The Holocaust began when Hitler came into power. He made his government a dictatorship and immediately made changes in all sectors of government to start the Holocaust. According to him, the Holocaust was a healing mission since the country was already facing a lot of problems. He termed it ‘the final solution’ to all the problems facing Germany. The Holocaust was not only due to a settlement of the problem but also a hidden hatred of the Jews and all other foreigners. It was also made to execute all those who were against the Nazis. Evidently, the Jews had businesses and played a vital role in the economic development of the country. When the country started having financial problems, Hitler and the Nazi shifted the blame to the Jews. Not everyone hated the Jews, but the Nazi government made it their mission to make Germans hate the Jews. Thus the Jews suffered the most in the Holocaust.

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Changes started in the government and the military. Hitler made a personal guard for himself and other Nazi guards to execute his orders. He changed the curriculum in education to include several aspects of racism. In schools, children were taught about the differences in races and the role each race played to the nation. Hatred of the Jews, therefore, started in all sectors including in the innocent minds of children. However, not everyone was for the idea but being against the Nazi leadership in itself was enough to land anyone in trouble. Thus explains the Dictatorial government of Hitler 2 . Though the Jews and other foreigners were stripped off their dignity and freedom, other citizens in Germany also lost their freedom as they were monitored and every action reported to the leader who was Hitler. Even the press lost its control a factor which leads to a reduction of papers and only Nazi papers could be distributed.

A key feature that started the Holocaust was opposition. Obviously, in politics, there would always be opposition. The Nazi government didn’t want any form of opposition when they were in reign. Due to their harsh measures, it is certain that they would face a lot of opposition. Hence they made their government a dictatorship. The Holocaust, therefore, began not just as ways of getting rid of the Jews, but all the opposition against the Nazi. The first camps to be set up therefore dealt with all political opposition of the Nazi government. This was one of the harshest Dictatorial measures after the Second World War. As time went by it was repurposed to be a concentration camp for the Jews and other foreigners. Evidently, the camp was first set up for prisoners due to political affiliation and war victims. Due to The Holocaust, most of the detainees in the camps were because of ethnicity. They were subjected to a struggle for survival in a system made specifically to annihilate them.

Evidently, the idea of concentration camps was orchestrated by racist ideas against the Semitic Jews. Racist ideologies promoted the hatred of the Jews. The Nazi viewed the Jews as weak, inferior, and cowards. The Jews were, therefore, b-viewed as the cause of every problem that the country was going through. The Nazi spread all their anti-Semitic ideologies through the press and even in education where children would learn about the superior races and the inferior races. The press such as the Nazi paper called the Attacker had a phrase at the bottom of every page that revealed that the Jews were the problem in the country. The Holocaust was therefore termed as the solution. Nonetheless, it was only an avenue to get rid of the Jews and to promote the racist side of the Nazis.

Life in the concentration camps was nothing less than a final path to death for everyone who died. For those who survived, it was the closest brush with death that no one would forget in their lives. Even though the camps were also a way in which the Nazi government would obtain cheap labor for their factories and other jobs, every activity in the camp didn’t prove to be of any good but to cause death. The concentration camps with all the ill treatment, diseases, and poor living conditions were nothing less than extermination camps. It was an indirect way of killing the Jews as many of them died during the long working hours with no food and constant exposure to extreme weather conditions.

The concentration camps were made for different purposes. They were supposed to hold the war prisoners, political opponents, and Jews. All these people would provide labor in industries, face punishment or simply get killed. The extermination camps were made for one sole reason, to kill the Jews. The Nazis enjoyed killing the Jews and took every opportunity presented to them to terminate them. In the concentration camps, the food rations together with the hard labor killed several people. The wardens took the time for meals and the working hours as the way to punish and eventually kill the Jews. Any misconduct will be met with beatings that would give at last kill a victim. Any sign of fatigue would be viewed as a sign of rebellion and would lead to one being punished or even hanged.

The form of punishments for misconduct in the concentration camps would always lead to death. A victim would be made to stand at attention till they faint then be beaten to death. Others would be hanged to be an example to the others. The living conditions in the camps were unbearable for any human survival that many people would die just by living in the place. Since they were exposed to many cold people, especially children would die out of cold related issues. Some diseases would be due to lies, and lack of sanitation in the camps. Every day the roll call entailed those alive and those who would have died during the day or the night. Often people would still die while in the line of roll call. Evidently, life in the concentration camps was traumatizing every day.

The Holocaust together with the concentration camps reveal the effects of racism in a nation. The Nazi government promoted racist ideologies which lead to the loss of lives of very many people. This only proves that racism is inhuman and would only lead to more destruction other than a solution to a problem. Even after The Nazi government tried to get rid of all the foreigners and everyone who was different, the country still faced the problems. The problems were worse that it made a bad reputation for itself in the face of the world 3 .

Stereotyping and ethnocentrism orchestrated the Holocaust. The Germans had stereotypes against the Jews making them the inferior race. It is not true that it was the Jews who led to the deteriorating of the economy of the Jews but the Nazi government believed it was their fault that the country was facing a lot of troubles. They, therefore, made them the bad people who are not helpful to the state. Nonetheless, the stereotypes were all made for political motifs rather than for the good of the country.

Ethnocentric ideologies during the Holocaust viewed the Germans as the superior race, and every other tribe would be compared against it. The Germans were viewed as strong, and brave, unlike other races. Nay race that would not match the descriptions of the Germans was grouped under the ‘Other’ and would end in the concentration camps. Hitler and The Nazi took the Darwinian Concept that the weak ones will perish while the strong ones survive 4 . For that reason, survival was for the strongest while the weak ones were eliminated. All the races grouped as the ‘Other’ were therefore eliminated by the Nazis who viewed themselves as the strongest. The weak ones did not deserve to live. The Holocaust and the concentration camps are also the worst depictions of ethnic violence, with people dying from gas poisoning, hanging and being shot in death pits. Evidently, the world has witnessed How cruel people can be if we allow Racism, stereotyping and ethnocentrism to exist in our midst.


Berger, R J. "Agency, Structure, and Jewish Survival of the Holocaust: a Life History Study." Sociological Quarterly . 36.1 (1995): 15. Print.

Hartman, John J. "Anna Freud and the Holocaust: Mourning and Survival Guilt." The International Journal of Psychoanalysis . 95.6 (2014): 1183-1210. Print.

Lippman, Ellen, and Paula Wilson. "The Culpability of Accounting in Perpetuating the Holocaust." Accounting History . 12.3 (2007): 283-303. Print.

Ryn, Z. "Between Life and Death: Experiences of Concentration Camp Mussulmen During the Holocaust." Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs . 116.1 (1990): 5-19. Print.

1 Lippman, Ellen, and Paula Wilson. "The Culpability of Accounting in Perpetuating the Holocaust." Accounting History . 12.3 (2007): 283-303. Print.

2 Ryn, Z. "Between Life and Death: Experiences of Concentration Camp Mussulmen During the Holocaust." Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs . 116.1 (1990): 5-19. Print.

3 Berger, R J. "Agency, Structure, and Jewish Survival of the Holocaust: a Life History Study." Sociological Quarterly . 36.1 (1995): 15. Print.

4 Hartman, John J. "Anna Freud and the Holocaust: Mourning and Survival Guilt." The International Journal of Psychoanalysis . 95.6 (2014): 1183-1210. Print.

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