Holocaust is a name that makes history followers to shiver, with a cold sensation running through their spiral cords. It is a nine-lettered world, yes, but with a lot of weight to generations of mid-1930s and also it is a name that will not soon escape the memories of many people. It is a name used to refer to the systematic, bureaucratic, state sponsored mass persecution and subsequent murder of more than six million Jews by the Nazi regime under Adolph Hitter dictatorship. This name has its origins from Greek, meaning ‘sacrifice by fire’.
Germany authorities under Nazi ideologies, which considered Germans as being ‘racially superior’ and Jews seen to be ‘inferior’, perpetuated these fire sacrifices. Due to the long period it was perpetuated, and its massive impact, this period has know come to be known as holocaust era. The Jews were not the only targeted group, other groups perceived to be ‘racially inferior ‘were not spared either. These groups included the disabled, Slavic people, Roma, among many other small groups.
There were those groups who were also persecuted, but this time not because of their races but due their ideological and behavioral stands, they included communists’, socialists, homosexuals and Jehovah witness. This era of tyranny perpetuated by Nazi regime started in 1933 and went on until the end of World War II in 1945. On its start there were approximately over nine million European Jews but this number was cut down greatly by 1945 whereby Germans and their allies killed at least two out of every three Europeans Jesus as part of their ‘Final solution’ by Nazi to wipe Jews out of the face of Europe.
Other victims included about 200,000 mentally or physically disabled persons. These people were either murdered or dead due to starvation and diseases. Others were forced to undergo hard labor in Germany, or in occupied Poland where they died under severe humanitarian conditions. In the early years of the Nazi regime. The socialist leadership ‘established ‘concentration camps ‘for putting real and imagined ‘political opponents’ As a measure to cut down and hence monitoring the growth of Jewish population as well as to enhance their deposition the Germans creates what was known as ghettos.
Forced labor camps were created in the so–called Greater Germany reign and in other German occupied territories. Services of these non-Jews which the Germans needed to exploit the labor. This war went on, and its climax was witnessed in the year 1941, following the invasion by the soviets, saw the establishment of mobile killing units whereby Germany military and police murdered more than a million Jews. Roman and sailed state and communist party official.
A mass deportation also followed between 1941 and 1944 with over a million Jews from Germany ,its occupied territories and also its axis allies being moved to ghettos and the so called extermination camps, where they were murdered in specially developed ‘gassing facilitation. However this was neared its end and Germany forces started moving camp inmates by from or on the famous “death marches’ to prevent a large number of prisoners being freed by the allied liberators. These marches went on but allied liberators freed many prisons. However, in May 7th 1945 the Germany forces surrendered unconditionally to the allies.
This therefore marked the dramatic end of the World War II for the western allies, on the next day (may 8 1945). And the following day, May 9th 1945 the soviet forces announced their ‘victory day’ Many survivors had nowhere to go, now that holocaust was over and therefore they sought shelter in the displaced persons camps (DPC) which were administered by the allied powers. However many Jews opted to migrate to Israel between 1948 and 1951. Other displaced Jews emigrated to United States and other friendly nations. The aftermath of the Holocaust war left a big scar on the European Jews and eliminated many others.
The end of holocaust was not a solution however, for the survivors of holocaust, because there existed anti-Semitism (hatred of Jews) in many parts of Europe and again these survivors were deeply traumatized (http://www. yorku. ca/tftf/News. htm. ) Others just feared for their lives especially with post war anti-Jewish riots e. g. in Poland rioters killed at least 42 Jews and injured many others in 1946.
The survivors consolidated their position by forming their own organizations and pushed for establishment of an independent Jewish Palestinian state, (http://www. historyplace. om/worldwar2/holocaust/timeline. html). selected topic: (Jan 29) Nuremberg trials After the Allied liberators and the soviet forces invaded many concentration camps and saved the small percentage of the surviving holocaust prisoners the course of the entire holocaust war took a different dimension altogether. As already explained in the introduction part, the Germany forces under Nazi leadership with Adolph Hitler as their both political and military leader unconditionally surrendered. However, they did this after undertaking a series of destruction of the death chambers.
They did this with much hurry and as result, some remained. Which were to be used later as tangible evidence during the subsequent Nuremberg trials. These trials were conducted in Nuremberg, a German city, between 1945 and 1949 at the Nuremberg palace of justice. They were administered in a series mode, and were targeted to the prominent Nazi political, military and economic leaders an international military Tribunal (IMT) was formed and notably tried at least twenty four of the most important captured Nazi leaders’ .
This trial was dubbed “the trial of the major war criminals. however the trial did not end with only these twenty four most wanted leaders ,other lesser war criminals were equally prosecuted and tries under the control council law number 10 at the US Nuremberg military Tribunals(NMT). Due to the magnitude of the holocaust war, and as the allied liberation and soviet forces struggled to topple the Nazi leadership, so that the prisoners could be liberated, the British war cabinet secretly started discussing about the punishment to be given to the perpetuators of war.
This they began an early as December of 1944 under the leadership of the than British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who advocates for summary execution of captured warlords. However, forum consultation with the US under the then president Franklin Roosevelt and then soviet leader, Joseph Stalin this proposal was vigorously opposed. Later a US Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr put forth a plan which proposed for forced labor and other serious positive measures to be placed on war captives (Nazi leaders). Both Roosevelt and Churchill adopted this plan, which came to be known as Morgenthau plan.
However, the Soviet Union was adamant for the judicial process method. The margenthau plan almost triggered a public protest when its details were leaked forcing Roosevelt to abandon it. It was followed later by another plan drafted by the US war departments’ secretary known as Henry L. Stemson. sadly Roosevelt was not to accomplish his long time efforts, he died in April 1945. Anyway, his predecessor, Harry S. Truman, implemented the plan. Following this plan, France, Soviet Union, UK and US Joined hands and ironed their differences, finally setting the course of the trials, which began in November 1945 in the city of Nuremberg, Germany. ttp://news. bbc. co. uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/november/20/newsid_435600/4356166. htm/).
The other hurdle was the creation of courts, whereby in a meeting in Tehran (1943), and another two meeting in 1945 held in Potsdam and Yalta respectively it was agreed on the format to be adopted on punishment of war crime committed during the world war II. France was also unanimously given a slot in the war crimes tribunal. The legal backing of the trial had already been drafted in London and issued to the tribunal. This charter restricted the trial of war criminals from the Axis European countries (German and its allies).
As a result, some 200 German war Criminals were tried at Nuremberg and others tried under traditional military justice. During this time, Germany political powers had been transferred to the Allied control council. There were oppositions from the dissatisfied nations who felt that the tribunal exercised the ‘victor’s justice’ because Allied war criminals were not being tried. However, it was argued that any civilized country should issue its solders with laws of war manuals so that they can only act according to the prescriptions of these manuals.
If they break any one of these laws then they are liable to face a court martial. The Axis countries violated these war laws a thing, which was compounded by their unconditional surrender, and therefore they deserved to be tried. Keen history followers may question the reason behind the selection of Nuremberg as the site for trial of these war crimes. It has been hinted above that, the tribunal administering justice on war crimes was composed of four countries . e. United kingdom, United States, Soviet Union, and France, therefore it follows that the decision to the choice of Nuremberg was arrived at, by the four nations.
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