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Hitler's Final Solution
by Aleesha Balson

        The Germans murdered more than eleven million innocent people, not only Jews, but also millions of others deemed "subhuman" by their leader Adolf Hitler, such as Gypsies, Russians, and Poles, during World War II. This infamous event has been called the "Holocaust." The horror of the Holocaust made it a turning point in history, for while the war itself temporarily changed the political landscape, the Holocaust changed the way people look at themselves and judge others by their race or religion. Prior to World War II many people believed that civilization had risen above the brutality and barbarism of earlier ages. In fact, even while the Holocaust was happening the people of Germany couldn'tít believe or accept the fact that millions of people were being murdered by their government. Even the Jews who were being deported to the Death Camps (Concentration Camps) had a hard time believing that they were headed toward execution.
        The main cause of this tragedy was the rise to power in Germany of a man by the name of Adolf Hitler. He was born in Braunau on April 20,1889. He grew up in Leonding on the Danube, near Linz, Austria. At age eighteen he left home and moved to Vienna hoping to make his mark in the world as an artist. He applied for entrance to the Academy of Fine Arts in the Summer of 1907, but his dream of becoming an artist began to fade when he failed the entrance examination. He tried one more time and once again failed. Hitlerís second failure shook him to the core of his being.


Hitler in Nazi Uniform

        Hitler studied the political techniques of Karl Lueger, the Mayor of Vienna, and substantially educated himself in what was to become his lifelong anti-Semitic Philosophy. At first Hitler didnít believe in antisemitism. He found the anti-Semitic rhetoric ill founded and chose not to believe it. But as his research into Jews as Germans deepened, and his contact with them increased, he began to think of them not as Germans, but as separate people. Hitler began to view Jews as "Purveyors of Prostitution," "Directors of Social Democracy," "Publishers of Marxist propaganda," "Representatives of Government and Labor Unions," and even as street agitators. Hitler became convinced that death was the only sure solution for parting a Jew from his opinion.
       Adolf Hitler served in the German Army during World War I, and after being wounded, he survived and came out believing that destiny had spared him to rescue a humbled Germany from fetters of the Versailles Treaty and the corrupt influence of Jews and Marxists.


Jewish prisoners are forced to drag bodies from gas chambers

        On September 16, 1919, Hitler joined the German Workerís Party. He soon became its leader and changed its name to The National Socialist German Workerís Party, (Nazis, for short). The Nazi Party soon had a private army called the SS, which later became part of the Gestapo (Secret Police).


Nude victims are marched to their execution

        For more than a decade under Hitler and his subordinates, the SS orchestrated the murders of millions of Jews and other alleged enemies of the state. Hitler had decided he needed to get rid of all Jews and anyone else who was not of German decent. He knew how to make everyone feel at ease and believe that what he was doing was perfectly okay; when in truth it was unbelievably cruel. His Gestapo built an enduring reputation as the most feared secret police organization ever to impose itself on human kind. Together, the SS and its Gestapo component, held Germany and much of Europe captive in torment and terror.


Gold fillings collected from the mouths of the victims

       The Germans began arresting all the Jews they could find and shipping them off to death camps like Auschwitz, the largest of the German extermination and forced-labor camps the Nazis established. From there the prisoners were taken and sent to be shot, beaten, gassed, starved, and frozen to death. At the very least the Jews could only look forward to being worked to death. As more and more Jews arrived the Gestapo selected the fittest for forced labor, the rest including children were sent at once to the gas chambers.


Jewish Survivors leave Germany after the war.

        This went on for many, many years. Over 6 millions Jews and another 6 million non-jews were executed because of one man's fears and beliefs. Those innocent people were ferociously murdered because of the deranged mind of one man by the name of Adolf Hitler. Those people did not ask to be born Jews, or Gypsies, or Poles, but simply because of their birth they suffered and were murdered because of bigoted people and their ignorance.

Source:

Rice Jr, Earle. The Final Solution. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1998.

Picture Credits:

Picture #1 -"Women and Children" from: The Final Solution by Earle Rice Jr.

Picture #2 -"Rings" from: The Final Solution by Earle Rice Jr.

Picture #3 -"Adolph Hitler" from: The Final Solution by Earle Rice Jr.

Picture #4 - "Jewish Corps" from: The Final Solution by Earle Rice Jr.

Picture #5 -"Jewish Survivors" from: The Final Solution by Earle Rice Jr.


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