The Holocaust: Family Life During The Holocaust

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Family Life During the Holocaust

Even though once Jews were moved to concentration camps, it was hard to maintain a normal life, evidence from the camps reveals families stayed intact throughout this time of hardship. Families were often left without a father or child and still sought to keep living. There’s no better evidence of the Jew’s resiliency than the survivor’s willingness to set up families in the years immediately following the Holocaust. Before the reign of Hitler and the outbreak of World War II, Jews were living in every country of Europe. Jewish families were a “typical family of their times.” The oldest male was considered the income earner and the women were in charge of domestic life. They worked every day of the
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When Hitler began his reign of terror, life for the Jews took a rapid turn. What started as subtle prejudice became full blown anti-semitism as Jews were forced out of their homes and into ghettos. The Nazis intended to tear the families apart and to weaken the Jewish family ties. Many men fled at the outbreak of the war because they feared they were in the greatest danger. While in the ghettos, “women shared recipes, holiday customs, and stories of family life with each other, as a way of coping with the devastating reality of their daily lives.” (Weinstock 1) The living conditions in the ghettos were condensed, unsanitary, and often held up to 10 families at a time. They were given little water and even less food. With death all around them, children and adults alike were often faced with disease and danger.“The family life of Jews in the ghettos existed in a constant state of tension between disintegration, on the one hand, and the preservation of solidarity by way of an enormous effort to maintain what might be termed “normality,” at a time of total absence of normality.” (Ofer 5) When the ghettos were no

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