Holocaust: The Holocaust and Jewish Virtual Library Essay

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What methods were used to exterminate the Jews and others in the concentration camps?
After World War I, Germany was in great poverty, including unemployment and starvation. Adolf Hitler thought the one group of people to blame for this were the Jewish people. Jews of all ages were targeted and punished for their religious and ethical beliefs. The Holocaust took place in 1941-1945, the Nazis used a variety of methods to kill the Jews in concentration camps. The term 'Concentration camp' means a internment center for members of a group who are confined for reasons of punishment, usually by military order. The people usually placed in these camps is often based on identification with a particular ethnic or political group rather than as individuals. These camps are for the temporary settlement of large numbers of displaced persons. ("concentration camp") At the beginning of World War ll the Nazis did not have the mindset to eliminate the Jewish race. They came to this solution between 1939-1941 as they tried different techniques to accomplish their goals. The camp commandants especially in Germany and Poland experimented with different killing methods and exchanged their successes and failures with one another. Their goal was to have a single camp to have the ability to kill 2,000-3,000 people per hour, this took years to achieve. At first, though, Nazis or officials killed men, women, and children at close range. ("Auschwitz 1940–1945 The Killing Evolution.")
On the last roll-call before the evacuation of the Auschwitz camp on January 17, 1945 the overall total was 54,651. The total for Auschwitz I was 10,030, for Auschwitz II (Birkenau) it was 11,576, the total for Auschwitz III was 33,045. ("Jewish Virtual Library") The Nazis wanted a quick and easy method to kill many people, this was the use of gas chambers, discovered in 1941. The first mass killings with the use of gas were carried out in the extermination camp, Chelmno. The gassing room was a wide open space with sealed doors, once the gas came in the prisoners died of suffocation by the lethal gas. ("Auschwitz 1940–1945 The Killing Evolution.”)
After officials found a better source of poison, rather than Carbon Monoxide, they began to use that instead, this was called Zyklon-B. This poison was mainly used at Auschwitz, the staff learned to spread the pellets of Zyklon on a wire mesh column, which ran from the floor up to the roof. Whoever poured the pellets into the column would wear a gas mask, they would place a wooden cover over the opening of the column. ("Holocaust A Call To Conscience")
When the beginnings of the concentration camps came to be the first method used to kill the Jews was mass shootings. They would force the Jews to dig a large grave, line up at the edge of it, and they would fire upon them, their bodies falling into the grave. When the mass grave was full another group of prisoners would fill up the grave with soil, and start to dig another large grave. ("Lalwani, Puja")
At Auschwitz people often had to work for there food wages. Jews that worked less physical labor got three meals a day that added up to 1300 calories. 1700 calories where given to the Jews that worked more physically demanding jobs. This low daily calorie intake gave many Jews the nick name muzulman, which is being so exhausted you die. ("Jewish Virtual Library")

Another method used by the Nazis was a large van that would be filled with carbon monoxide known as 'Hell Vans'. Jews would be led into a windowless room of a cargo area of a large van with sealed doors. The exhaust fumes would be directed into the back depriving the Jews of air and killing them. The van would be driven to a forest and the bodies would be buried or burned.
A quote from a German resident in the Polish town of Chelmno, said this: “We could hear the screams, but