Leech The Economics of the holocaust (3)

Leech The Economics of the holocaust (3) - Leech Ryley...

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Leech Ryley Leech Goldstein Hist 262 November 25, 2009 The Economics of the Holocaust Although the systematic deportation of millions of Jews from Europe and Russia evolved as official Nazi policy through the war years of 1939-1945, culminating in what Hitler referred to as "The Final Solution" which was the murder of all Jewish people in the Reich and its territories, the Nazi program against the Jews began when "Jews were disenfranchised, then terrorized in anti-Jewish riots (such as Kristallnacht), forced into the ghettos, their property seized, and finally were sent to concentration camps." ("Holocaust"). In this way, expropriation combined with forced-labor emerged as central pillars in not only in Hitler's hoped-for "Aryanization" of Europe, but in providing the infrastructure and work-force for Hitler's war machine. While many observers are painfully aware of the toll in human life that the Nazi plans of "Aryanization" and "The Final Solution" exacted in Europe and around the world, few observers understand how the systematic (and unsystematic) theft of Jewish wealth contributed to the Nazi State. “Without Nazi Germany, the Holocaust never would have occurred, but the expropriation of European Jewry was hardly the work of the Germans alone, and there was no country in Europe in which various national, ethn ic, economic, and political interests did not seek advantage from the Jewish despoliation, and this often in competition with the ‘Third Reich’”( Feldman, 5) Corruption and theft permeated all aspects of the "Jewish Problem" and extended all the way through to the death of individual Jews who were robbed of their teeth, hair, and 1
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Leech sometimes skin and body fat. The truth regarding the Nazi pillaging of Jewish wealth represents a key aspect of the Nazi war effort: "the assessment and monetary realization (Verwertung) of what had been gathered, whether stolen by individuals or by the authorities, were part of the economics of the ‘ " Final Solution’ " in its final incarnation" (Feldman, 2007, p. 1). From the outset of the Reich, Jews were targeted. Hitler, a wounded war-veteran, rose to fame by being one of the loudest and most radical anti-Semites, giving speeches to others who hated and feared Jews long before he became dictator of Germany. In 1933, it was estimated that Germany had about 6 million unemployed citizens and an economy in a serious depression. It has been said that Hitler was “totally ignorant of economic theory” (Holocaust Research Project) however, his advisors were more versed in economics and together they created the “Four Year Plan, ”, allowing Germany to be self-sufficient for war in 4 years. When Hitler took power in 1933, "the Nazi confiscation of Jewish assets intensified" (Beker, 2001, p. 48) until by the late part of the 1930' s, the Nazis simply pillaged whatever they desired from Jews. The Nazi party was, in fact, the "legitimate" side of rampant German anti-Semitism; Hitler manipulated German
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This note was uploaded on 01/24/2011 for the course COMM 550 taught by Professor Cante during the Spring '10 term at UNC.

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Leech The Economics of the holocaust (3) - Leech Ryley...

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