The Holocaust, a word introduced in the 1950's to describe the mass murder of the Jews of Europe by the Nazi's during World War II. Before that it was traditionally defined as, by the Encarta English dictionary as "1. complete destruction by fire: complete consumption by fire, especially of a large number of human beings or animals 2. total destruction: wholesale or mass destruction of any kind 3. burnt offering: a sacrifice that is totally consumed by fire". The Holocaust is a chapter in human history that will live in shame along with slavery, treatment towards Native Americans, the Japanese internment camps, the Armenians and the execution of hundreds of thousands Russians by Stalin. To fully understand how such a catastrophic event could ever happen in a country as civilized as Germany one must learn the background of this event.
It was the 1914 the break of The Great War (World War 1) which involved the Triple Entente which consisted of Britain, France, and Russia (later in the war the United States) against the Triple Alliance which consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. World War I was caused by four main reasons:
1. Militarism-Before the start of WWI, Britain had a power navy so Germany felt they had to do the same. France also competed for a larger army, the more one nation built an army the more the others felt obligated to do so.
2. Alliances- For Twenty years, the nations of Europe had been making alliances. It was thought the alliances would promote peace. It promoted peace by protecting others in case of a war, making it foolish for one country to wage war on another.
3. Nationalism- Nationalism led European nations to compete for the largest army and navy, or the greatest indu...
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...ion when you become a soldier you have to take an oath or loyalty to do what you are told even if it conflicts with you morals or beliefs. Every soldier of almost every army takes this oath. American soldiers didn't question their superiors when they dropped the bomb on Japan, or when they were ordered to shoot native Americans or to put the Japanese in camps during WWII, because they took an oath to the united states of America. This does not excuse what happened. The holocaust is something that should not be forgotten but remembered and taught to the next generations. It is one of those events that will live on as long as the human race does.
Hitler and Nazism By Louis L. Snyder 1967, Bantam Books NY, New York
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer 1950, Ballantine Books, Toronto Canada.
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