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The Holocaust: A Brief History

Time period: 1939-1945: Actual Holocaust

On September 1 st , 1939 , World War II (WWII) erupted, when Germany invaded Poland . The first step was to eliminate the leaders; such as the university professors, artists, writers, politicians, and catholic priests. Since large groups of Polish people were resettled, German families began to move in. Thousands of Poles and Polish Jews were imprisoned in concentration camps. 50,000 “Aryan looking” Polish children were taken to be adopted by German families. Most of these children were later rejected, and sent to children camps where death by starvation, lethal injection, and disease were possible.

In the beginning of the war, Hitler demanded that all handicapped patients that were incurable be killed. Hospitals filled out Questionnaires on their patients, which were then reviewed by a special commission of physicians, who would decide if the patient lived or died. Those that were sentenced with death went to six different death camps in Germany and Austria , where they were gassed in gas chambers. Babies, small children, and others were killed, after the public protest in 1941. These bodies were burned in a crematorium

. In 1940 Germany continued their conquest of most of Europe, crushing Denmark , Norway , the Netherlands , Belgium , Luxembourg , and France handily. Starting June 22, 1941 the Germans invaded the Soviet Union , reaching Moscow by September. Gypsies, political leaders, Jews, and communists were killed, following the Soviet Union . Entire communities and towns were demolished and erased. The executions of the paralyzed reached the Soviet Union as well, and in total 3000000 (3 million) people were murdered from the Soviet Union . Ghetto's, transit camps, and forced labor camps were used as well as the concentration camps. Other then the fact that food was kept scarce and disease spread like wildfire, prisoners would commit suicide just to escape the situation. In the aftermath of the invasion of Poland , 3 million Polish Jews were forced into roughly 400 new ghettos.

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