Essay about Children and the Holocaust

Submitted By kevin235
Words: 1401
Pages: 6

Children and the Holocaust

The persecution of children during the Holocaust has greatly affected today’s people. The Nazi party rose to power during World War II. Their main goal was to exterminate any “undesirable” races. There were an estimated 1.6 million Jewish children alive during the Holocaust. Most of them were gassed (hidden children and the Holocaust). The lucky ones were sent to Labor Camps, but they were still eventually killed when they could not do any more work. Most of the children were gassed immediately upon entering the harsh environment; there were two choices for the Jews, Death or Labor Camp, either way resulted in a tremendous number of deaths (Shuter 10). Escaping the Holocaust was very challenging for a child during this time period, because of the difficulty to leave. We should never forget the millions of lives lost during this depressing time period. When a child is first put into a concentration camp their fate rests in the hands of a German. If a child did not want to get killed, they would have to pass a number of requirements to avoid being gassed. First, they could not be a newborn, they could not have any type of learning or mental disability, and they had to be over 12 years of age (children and the Holocaust). If a child was sick he or she would be sent in large groups to be gassed and incinerated, because he or she could not work. The Germans only took people who they thought could do work (Shuter 10). Any children who lived in villages controlled by the union were sent with their family to be gassed together (children and the Holocaust). For the many children who lived in ghettos at this time, their ultimate fate was also bad. Anyone who lived in a ghetto at this time was thought of as “useless”. The Germans followed this rule and gassed all the people who lived in a ghetto (children and the Holocaust). You had to be in top physical condition in order not to be gassed (Shuter 10). The Germans were very racist because of this one fact, “If any child or adult had blonde hair and blue eyes, they were offered the job as a German, so they could help execute people (children during the Holocaust) Death or Labor Camp? This was not such a big decision for Germans, because mostly they sent the children to Death Camps. There were two main kinds of camps during the Holocaust, a Death Camp, and a Labor Camp. A Death Camp served one main function, that being to gas and incinerate (Shuter 19). It was said that it only took two hours total to transport a body, gas it, then incinerate it (Shuter 19). In one of the concentration camps a total of 216,000 Jewish children were sent through it, with only 6,000 survivors. That’s 210,000 Jews killed (hidden children and the Holocaust)! Only 11% of Jewish children survived the Holocaust, and there was an estimated 1 million Jews killed during the first year of the Holocaust (hidden children and the Holocaust). Labor Camps were very brutal, but when compared to the Death Camp the Labor Camp was the lesser of two evils. In a Labor Camp there were also many deaths. A soldier could just walk up to anyone and shoot them at random. The Labor Camp was intended to make materials for other camps that needed to be created or rebuilt. Some of the camps were built to make money (Shuter 14-15). They made trinkets or children’s toys to earn some revenue. If a Jew did not follow rules at one of these camps there would be a severe punishment. One of the common punishments was being suspended up in the air by your hand while attack dogs were biting at your legs. Another major form of punishment was experimentation (Shuter 16). You could be hoisted up into the air to see the effects high altitudes had on your body, or even put into the cold to get frostbite. Life in a Labor Camp could potentially be just a brutal as death in a Death Camp. In the beginning of World War II there were an estimated 1.6 million Jewish children before the