Children of the Holocaust Essay

Children of the Holocaust Essay

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“One of the most extraordinary aspects of Nazi genocide was the cold deliberate intention to kill children in numbers so great that there is no historical precedent for it.” (Lukas, 13 Kindle) About 1.5 million children were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust—one million being killed because they were Jews (ushmm.org) The Germans had a clearly defined goal of killing the Jewish children so that there would be no remnants of their race to reproduce, resulting in extinction. Not only were the children that were victimized in the Holocaust persecuted and murdered, but they were all stripped of their childhood. Children were not allowed to be children—they had to, for their own survival, be adults. The oppression of children because of race was a direct result of Hitler’s cruel policies and beliefs. In order to stifle the Jewish race from growing, the children were the first to be slaughtered at extermination camps (ushmm.org).
Through selection at the extermination camps, the Nazis forced children to be separated from their relatives which destroyed the basic unit of society, the family. Because children were taken to different barracks or camps, they had to fend for themselves. In the book A Lucky Child by Thomas Buergenthal, the author describes the relief he felt when reunited with his mother after the War.
Thomas writes:
I felt that a tremendous burden had been lifted from my shoulders and put on hers: now Mutti was again responsible for me…Until then, I had been responsible for my own life, for my survival; I could not afford to depend on anyone but myself; I had to think and act like a grown-up and be constantly on the alert against all possible dangers. But once I was back in her arms, I could be a child again, le...


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...ich were all Nazi-induced (ushmm.org). The experiences of the children in the Holocaust remind society of the innocence of youth and the cruelty in exposing them to horror at an early age.




Works Cited

Buergenthal, Thomas. A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy. New York: Little, Brown, 2009.

Lukas, Richard C. Did the Children Cry?: Hitler's War against Jewish and Polish Children, 1939-1945. New York: Hippocrene, 1994.

Remember Me? Holocaust Children Talk of Survival. Dir. United States Holocaust Museum. Perf. Nathan Kranowski. Xfinity Video. Comcast. Web. 08 Mar. 2015. http://xfinity.comcast.net/video/remember-me-holocaust-children-talk-of-survival/2085065960

United States' Holocaust Museum. "Children During the Holocaust." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 6 Jan. 2011. Web. 08 Mar. 2015.
http://www.ushmm.org

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