Auschwitz was more than a death factory it also

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Auschwitz was more than a death factory. It also provided I. G. Farben with slave laborers, both Jew and non- Jew. Workers worked at a pace at which even the healthiest of workers would have found intolerable. And because Germany now had somewhat of an unlimited labor supply, working prisoners as fast as possible would solve two problems at the same time: increased production and the extermination of inmates. Auschwitz also allowed the SS, the elite members of the master race, to shape themselves according to Nazi ideology. The SS, for instance, amused themselves with pregnant women, women who were beaten with clubs, attacked by dogs, dragged by the hair and then thrown into the crematory, still alive. The SS systematically overworked, starved and beat their inmates. They made them live in filth and sleep in over-crowded rooms. The purpose of such inhuman behavior was to rob the individual of any shred of human dignity. In this way, the SS and the Nazis could demonstrate -- to themselves, of course -- that the Jew was clearly an inferior race of people. After hours or weeks, exhausted, starving, diseased and beaten, these men and women were sent to the gas chamber. Over the course of the last 3000 years or so, the Jews have been the focus of hostility, hatred and intolerance. The Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and medieval Christians all looked upon the Jew as an outsider, as a person who did not truly belong to or in the community in which they were living. What was unique about the HOLOCAUST was the Nazi's intention to murder, without exception, every single Jew they found. Also unique was the fanaticism and cruelty with which they pursued this goal. The Holocaust was the culmination of Nazi racial ideology. Using modern technology and bureaucratic machinery, the Nazis systematically killed at least six million Jews. This figure represents nearly 65% of Europe's Jewish population. 1.5 million of these were children. Another 6-7 million non-Jews were also exterminated meaning that the Holocaust resulted in the deaths of at least 13 million innocent souls. Could man ever return to the felicific idea of progress as advocated by the 18th or 19th centuries? Across occupied territories of the Third Reich there were Nazi collaborators who welcomed the fall of democracy and who still saw Hitler as the best defense against communism. But each country also produced a 5
resistance movement that grew stronger as Nazi atrocities increased. The resistance movement rescued downed pilots, radioed military movements to London, and sabotaged German railway depots. The Danish underground managed to smuggle 8000 Jews into Sweden while the Polish resistance, estimated to number 300,000, reported on German positions and interfered with the movement of supplies. Russian partisans sabotaged railways, destroyed trucks and killed hundreds of Germans in ambush. The Yugoslav resistance army, led by Marshall Tito, was a disciplined fighting force which ultimately liberated the country from the Germans.

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