What is the Shoah? - Memory makes us free

What is the Shoah?

If we wanted to remain silent for one minute for each of the 6 million Jews murdered during the Shoah, we would have to be silent for eleven long and silent years!

The Shoah was the systematic murder of over six million Jews by the Nazi regime, its allies and supporters.

The so-called “new order” so admired by the Nazi ideology aimed to annul and eradicate the human values ​​of all those considered “non-Aryans”, the Jews were in the foremost position. 

The delusional assumption which all this was based on established the alleged superiority of the German people, who were considered a pure “superior race,”  the Jews mainly, but also other “different” minority groups (Romanies, the disabled and the Slavic populations, Polish, Russians and others), instead were considered “inferior”, sub-human, an obstacle towards the racial homogeneity of the Germanic people, and for this reason subjected first to persecution and then to systematic extermination.

The founding bases of civil coexistence between people were undermined and made to collapse miserably by Nazi ideology. The right to life, to equality … everything was swept away in a few years!

Between 1933 and 1939, Nazi legislation began its work by depriving Jewish citizens of civil rights, they were expelled from all professions and from social and economic life. The internment of thousands of Jews in concentration camps began after the mass arrests following the Kristallnacht (Crystal Night) in November 1938.

Until the outbreak of the war, the Jewish problem in the Third Reich had “only” been dealt with by forcing the Jews to emigrate from Germany; from then on, the horror grew in extent and intensity, up to the “final solution“, that is, the mass extermination.

In September 1939, as soon as the war began, the government imposed a strict curfew on Jews and banned them from entering certain areas in many German cities.

The Jews were given reduced rations of food compared to those reserved for the Germans; in subsequent decrees, the hours and access to certain types of shops were limited, so much so that Jewish families often found themselves deprived of basic necessities.

coprifuoco e divieti di accesso per gli ebrei
Curfew and entry bans for Jews
coprifuoco e divieti di accesso per gli ebrei
Curfew and entry bans for Jews
coprifuoco e divieti di accesso per gli ebrei
Curfew and entry bans for Jews

Their personal property was confiscated and considered “essential to the war effort” such as radios, cameras, bicycles, electrical equipment and valuables.

In 1941, a new decree prohibited Jews from using public transport and they were obliged to exhibit the Yellow Star (Magen David) sewn onto clothing in public. 

In Germany they were amassed in the so-called “Jewish houses” “Judenhäuser”, while in other countries ghettos were created with the same purpose, that of separating the Jews from the rest of the population.

Life in the ghettos was certainly not easy, entire families had to share a few square meters with dozens of strangers, even the food supply was very difficult; it was not uncommon for infectious diseases to spread, which supported another of the fake news so precious to the Nazi propaganda, that describes the Jewish race as a carrier of epidemics.

At the beginning of 1943, the judicial authorities issued new laws and ordinances that legitimized the expropriation of all the remaining property of Jewish citizens by the Reich, to then be redistributed to German citizens.

In July 1943, an ordinance placed the Jews under the direct jurisdiction of the Reich Central Security Bureau, permanently depriving them of the protection ensured by German law for all other citizens.

Almost two thirds of European Jews were slaughtered in the extermination camps in almost total indifference: the great democracies watched, no practical initiative was taken against anti-Jewish legislation and the growing persecutions inflicted on Jews, which had as final destination the extermination camps, increasingly organized and efficient in gassing and burning thousands of human beings a day.

The Shoah could not have been realized without the use of modern technology, without a modern centralized state with its filing cabinets and communication systems and without the brutalization of human consciences caused by the experiences of the First World War.

(George Mosse)

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