THE SENSELESS SLAUGHTER OF MILLIONS IN THE NAZI GERMAN CONCENTRATION CAMPS (1933-1945)

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The Provisional Government was overthrown. In order to fulfil their promise of peace, the communists had to stop fighting Germany. On 3 March , the German delegation agreed to a ceasefire in exchange for large areas of Russian territory. The Germans no longer had to fight on two fronts, but many German troops still stayed behind in the east because the situation there remained turbulent.

When the First World War ended in , peace negotiations began in Paris. Germany was considered mainly to blame for the devastating war. The conclusions were laid down in the Treaty of Versailles, named after the palace where the countries signed the treaty.

The Treaty of Versailles caused furious reactions in Germany. Germany had to pay huge sums of money to the countries it had fought in compensation for the damage. In addition, France, England, and the United States wanted to prevent Germany from becoming strong enough to start a new war. They allowed Germany to keep only a small army. In addition, Germany had to cede parts of its territory. France gained Alsace-Lorraine and the coal mines in the Saar region. Germany was allowed to keep the Rhineland, but without an army. In the east, Germany lost another part of its territory.

This became part of Poland, which also gained land from Russia and Austria-Hungary. Finally, Germany lost its colonies in Africa and Asia. The Germans felt that they should not have been blamed for the war. The loss of territory was considered extremely humiliating. Moreover, the sky-high reparations caused great poverty throughout the country.

Her birth name was Hermine Santrouschitz and she came here from Vienna, the capital of Austria. She was 11 years old when her parents sent her to the Netherlands to recover from tuberculosis and malnutrition. She was taken in by a foster family in Leiden. She felt very much at home and with the consent of her biological parents, she stayed on in the Netherlands.

It took a lot of effort to overcome the hardships of the war. When there was a famine in Vienna, foster families in England, France, Switzerland, and the Netherlands took in hungry and sick children.

Quick Facts

The people who stayed behind received help from American aid organisations. The programme consisted of a list of 25 points. A few important points:. He wrote it in prison, where he was serving a sentence for a failed coup he attempted in In Mein Kampf , Hitler wrote about his ideology and presented himself as the leader of the extreme right. He talked about his life and his youth, his 'conversion' to antisemitism the hatred of Jews and his time as a soldier in the First World War.

He raged against the Treaty of Versailles and the reparations that Germany had to pay because of the Treaty. He did not believe in parliamentary democracy. Mein Kampf is full of racist ideas and hatred of Jews and communists. In Mein Kampf , Hitler also wrote a lot about the future of Germany. He wanted to expand the German territory in Eastern Europe and to throw the Jews out of Germany, since he believed they threatened the survival of the German people.

Although Mein Kampf does not refer to the later mass murder of Jews during the Second World War the Holocaust , it does show that he had already developed a hatred of Jews at this time. She weighed over 8 pounds and was 54 cm long. Margot was taken to see her the next day and very happy with the arrival of her baby sister. Ten days later, Anne and her mother Edith were allowed to go home. It was a pleasant time for Anne and Margot.

It was a neighbourhood with lots of children and almost every day, friends came over to play with Margot. Anne could often be found in the sandbox in the garden. She was still too young to be allowed out of the garden. Margot was allowed to leave the garden, though, and she often played in the street with her friends. That same evening, the Nazis held a torchlight procession through Berlin.

Despite the impressive propaganda images Goebbels would produce later, not all Germans were impressed. Many of them did not expect Hitler to last very long at all. After his appointment, Hitler was still no autocrat. The other ministers came from other right-wing parties. Nonetheless, Hitler managed to get his people appointed to important positions. Anne Frank came to Amsterdam in February Her father Otto had been living there for over six months.

He had left Germany for the Netherlands in July to set up his company Opekta. Edith joined him in September and started looking for a house. Meanwhile, Anne and her sister Margot stayed with their grandmother in Aachen. Margot came to Amsterdam in December and Anne followed in February. Margot started school in January and Anne in April. She learned Dutch quickly and had no trouble making new friends.

She was very popular because she always had ideas about the games they could play or the things they could get up to. In the morning of 7 March , German troops occupied the Rhineland, a part of Germany that bordered on France. According to the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was not allowed to station an army there. Hitler took a big risk, as he did not know how the Allies would react. He only deployed 3, soldiers. He had police officers march along to increase the visual impact. They had all been ordered to withdraw if foreign countries were to intervene. But nothing happened.

Other countries took hardly any countermeasures. Germany's old enemies, France and England, were busy dealing with domestic problems of their own and did not want to get involved in another war. Others felt that Germany was entitled to reclaim the Rhineland. The area had always been German until after the First World War, and Hitler's predecessors had wanted it back as well.

The gamble paid off for Hitler. It encouraged him to try to break other international agreements with impunity. He was now able to reposition his troops along the French border. In Germany, his popularity was growing because he had erased the 'disgrace' of the Treaty of Versailles. Once again, Germany was a force to be reckoned with.

They humiliated Jews in parades, abused them and put them in concentration camps. They also destroyed Jewish property. Such violent attacks on Jews are called pogroms. Because of the many broken windows, this particular pogrom is called the Kristallnacht , the Night of Broken Glass. Synagogues were set on fire and the fire department was not allowed to put the fires out. The Jews had to pay for the damage themselves and were fined a total of 1 billion Reichsmark by the government. The immediate cause of the Kristallnacht was the murder of a German diplomat in Paris by Herschel Grynszpan. It was his way to avenge the ill-treatment of his family, Polish Jews who had been living in Germany for 27 years and who had recently been deported to Poland by the Gestapo the secret German police.

The Kristallnacht showed how the Nazi hatred of the Jews had turned into aggression and persecution - and how hardly anyone stood up for the Jews. Fritz Pfeffer was a dentist in Berlin. He was engaged to Charlotte Kaletta, who was a Roman Catholic. He could not marry her, because the German racial laws prohibited marriages between Jews and non-Jews.

In November , Jews were assaulted and arrested throughout Germany during the so-called Kristallnacht. Synagogues were set on fire, and shops and other Jewish properties were destroyed. For Fritz, the time had come to leave Germany. On 1 December, he put his young son Werner on a ship to his brother in England. Fritz himself fled to the Netherlands. He was joined by Charlotte three weeks later. The couple could not marry in the Netherlands either, because the Netherlands observed the German law in this respect because of an old treaty.

Fritz wanted to marry in Belgium, but he could not go there because his passport had expired. Eventually, he hoped to go to Chile to work as a horse breeder, as he was a great lover of horses. These plans, too, failed due to the war. On the morning of 1 September , Hitler's voice was heard on the radio.

However, his story about the Polish attack was a lie. German soldiers, dressed as Poles, had attacked a radio station in the border town of Gleiwitz and spread false information. It gave Hitler an excuse to attack Poland. The German army used a lot of violence. The Air Force in particular caused a lot of damage. Heavy bombings reduced the Polish capital Warsaw to ruins. Tens of thousands of soldiers were killed. England and France had promised to help Poland in the event of a German attack, and so they declared war on Germany. The Second World War had begun. Hitler had attacked Poland because he wanted Germans to live there.

He considered the Polish people inferior and only fit as a work force. In the last three months of , the Nazis murdered 65, Jewish and non-Jewish Poles. While Poland was defending itself against Germany in the west, on 17 September, the Soviet Union attacked the country from the east. This two-pronged attack was too much for Poland. On 6 October , its last troops surrendered. The razzia was Nazi punishment for fights that had occurred between Jews, antisemitic thugs, and the German police.

by Ben S. Austin

In the weeks prior to the raid, the atmosphere in Amsterdam had been turbulent. This had caused a lot of fighting. On 11 February, an NSB member was so badly injured that he died a few days later. The anti-Semitic press blamed it all on the Jews. Shortly thereafter, unknown thugs smashed the windows of Koco ice cream parlour, a company run by two Jews who had fled Germany.

In response, Jewish and non-Jewish customers formed their own assault team to protect the store. The German authorities did not put up with the attack on their police officers. To put an end to the unrest, they decided to hold a razzia in the weekend of 22 and 23 February. The Jews who were arrested were taken to Camp Schoorl. From there, they were deported to the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, where all but one of them died. The owners of Koco ice cream parlour were severely punished.

Alfred Kohn died in Auschwitz. The Amsterdam population was shocked by this brutal German action. A few days later, a major strike was organised in protest. On 22 June , Germany began a major attack on the Soviet Union, the communist state that consisted of Russia and a number of neighbouring countries.

The attack was code-named 'Operation Barbarossa', and Hitler and the army had been preparing its execution for months. Three million German soldiers crossed the border. This effectively ended the nonaggression pact that the two countries had concluded before the invasion of Poland in There were three fronts: one aimed for the Baltic States in the north, a second was headed towards Moscow and a third attacked Ukraine and southern Russia.

The German invasion surprised the Soviet leadership. Stalin, the country's dictator, had not believed that Germany was sufficiently prepared for war. But then, neither was he, and so the German troops were able to advance without much resistance. Hitler hoped that winning the war would not take long, because the strategic position and the grain and oil reserves of the Soviet Union were indispensable if Germany wanted to keep Europe in its grip. During the first nine months of the advance, one million German soldiers were killed.

Germany was waging a war of destruction against the Soviet Union. It was the largest communist country in the world and the Nazis considered the communists their greatest enemies, in addition to the Jews. Moreover, the Nazis regarded the Russian people and the peoples in the Asian part of the Soviet Union as inferior. They would have to make way for German settlers.

For that reason, the German army treated the population and the captured soldiers inhumanely. Millions of people died of hunger or diseases, or were executed. The annex at Prinsengracht opened its doors to the public on 3 May The restoration was not finished yet, but the Secret Annex could be visited.

The main building was furnished to accommodate exhibitions and a documentation centre. At Otto's request, the Secret Annex was kept unfurnished. After the arrest of the people in hiding, it had been emptied by the Nazis and he wanted to keep it that way. You will understand that the memories of everything that happened here are too powerful. I can only thank you all for the interest you have shown in coming here. And I hope that you will continue to support the work of the Anne Frank House and the International Youth Centre, morally and in every other respect.

Anne's wish came true on 25 June when her book was published: Het Achterhuis. The book was well-received in the Netherlands, and the first Dutch edition soon sold out. In December , after only six months, the second edition was published. Edith was in her room.

Police officers turned up at Prinsengracht in Amsterdam. They went up to the office on the first floor where the helpers of the people in hiding were working. The police officers questioned Victor Kugler and searched the building in his presence.

INTRODUCTION

Friedlander, Saul In October a medical conference took place in Nuremberg at which the results of the experiments were presented under the headings "Prevention and Treatment of Freezing", and "Warming Up After Freezing to the Danger Point". Pehle, Walter H. The razzia was Nazi punishment for fights that had occurred between Jews, antisemitic thugs, and the German police. From 1 January , everyone had to carry their card with them at all times.

They ended up on the landing with the revolving bookcase and discovered the hiding place and the people who lived there. They were interrogated one by one to find out whether they knew of any other addresses where people might be in hiding. Johannes and Victor kept silent. Otto Frank said that after 25 months in the Secret Annex, they had lost all contact with friends and acquaintances and therefore knew nothing. After the interrogations, the people from the Secret Annex and the helpers were separated. Johannes Kleiman and Victor Kugler were taken to the detention centre at Amstelveenseweg, the eight people from the Secret Annex to the detention centre at Weteringschans.

Helpers Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl were not arrested. After a little while, they went up to the empty hiding place. There, they discovered Anne's diary papers, which were left behind after the arrest. Miep held on to the diary until after the war. Their mother Edith was left behind in Auschwitz. She talked to Nanette Blitz and Hanneli Goslar, for example, two girls she had gone to school with.

In the winter of , the situation in Bergen-Belsen deteriorated. There was little food, and the camp was filthy and crawling with vermin. Many prisoners fell ill. Margot and Anne Frank contracted spotted typhus and died in February Nothing is known about their final days.

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Six days later, he arrived in the port of Marseille. Almost immediately, he travelled on to Amsterdam, where he showed up on the doorstep of helpers Jan and Miep Gies in the evening of 3 June. The other helpers had survived the war as well. Although Otto knew that Edith had died, he did not know what had happened to Anne and Margot. Every day, he went to Amsterdam Central Station, hoping to find them among the travellers returning from the concentration camps, and he placed an ad in the newspaper, hoping for news.

He also got involved in the Opekta and Pectacon companies again. For her thirteenth birthday, Anne Frank received a diary. The diary did not come as a surprise, because Anne had picked it out herself Anne Frank. She wrote about what happened and who were there, her birthday party, her gifts, her friends, being in love, her family history, and her school class. Rotterdam was an important target of the German attack on 10 May Paratroopers and soldiers who had landed on water tried to conquer the bridges.

The Dutch army offered fierce resistance and the Germans failed to take the city. On 14 May, German general Schmidt gave the Dutch commander an ultimatum: if Rotterdam did not surrender that same afternoon, the city would be bombed. The negotiators in Rotterdam did not know that the military leadership in Berlin had other plans. Even before the ultimatum had expired, German planes started dropping their bombs on downtown Rotterdam. When the smoke cleared, close to 80, people were homeless and around people had died.

Germany threatened to bomb Utrecht as well. The Netherlands had no other option than to surrender. In a school building south of Rotterdam, General Winkelman signed the capitulation agreement on 15 May. With his signature, the Netherlands officially surrendered. The defeat was hard on the Dutch military and civilians.

Even so, many Dutch people were also relieved that the tension had subsided. Things were different for many of the Dutch Jews.

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They had heard terrible things about the Nazis. Now the Nazis had come to the Netherlands as well, and they were terrified. In the months following the invasion, hundreds of Jews committed suicide. From April onwards, every Dutch person aged 15 years or over had to have an identity card.

INTRODUCTION

This identity card had a passport photograph and a fingerprint of the bearer as well as a unique number. From 1 January , everyone had to carry their card with them at all times. For the Nazis and the Dutch police, identity cards were an important tool in tracking down Jews, resistance fighters, and people who wanted to avoid compulsory employment. The identity card had been developed by Dutch civil servant Jacob Lentz.

He was also the one who set up the population register and the registration of Jews. Because of the special ink, stamps, glue, and watermarked paper that were used, forging identity cards was almost impossible. In this way, even ordinary police officers were able to detect almost perfect forgeries if they checked them thoroughly. The only way to forge identity cards was by feeding the data of non-existent people into the central administration. These data could then be used to create new identity cards. This required the cooperation of reliable civil servants.

Lentz's perfectionism cost many of his compatriots their lives and caused great problems for many others. Anne, Edith, and Margot Frank in a passport photo booth with a scale in Tietz department store in Frankfurt. This is one of the few surviving photos from that time. In March , they moved to the home of their grandmother Alice Frank in Frankfurt, with whom Otto and Edith had also lived after their wedding. In August , Otto moved to Amsterdam. He had frequently been in the Netherlands before on account of his company Opekta.

His firm was the Dutch branch of a German company. Opekta, the product, was used in jam-making. It was sold in shops. Opekta advertised widely in Germany and Otto adopted their advertising for the Netherlands. The first Opekta advertisements were printed in Limburg newspapers. The company started in July In late September, Otto had a stand at a trade fair in Rotterdam, where modern companies introduced their products to the general public.

Many more demonstrations for Dutch housewives were to follow. The school was only a few blocks away from her house. She attended primary school until They searched the building and arrested the members of the Board. They were imprisoned at Dachau concentration camp. The Jewish Congregation was dissolved by the Nazis. Eichmann wanted to use him and his organisation to force the Jews out of Austria. Other Jewish organisations were forced to cooperate as well. Despite its neutral name, it was an organisation of the SS Schutzstaffel, the military branch of the Nazi party. Its goal was to get the Jews to leave the country as soon as possible and to take their money before they went.

The money of wealthy Jews was used to pay for the emigration of poor Jews. It worked so well, that the SS opened other centres like it in Berlin and Prague. Eichmann's idea of involving Jewish organisations in Nazi politics was also adopted elsewhere in the form of Jewish councils.

Concentration Camps and Ghettos

The Liberal Jewish Congregation in Amsterdam was founded in Its membership increased as a result of the large numbers of Jewish refugees from Germany. So, it needed space for its services. From onward, the temple of the Theosophical Society was rented and used as a synagogue. From onwards, every year young people from all over the world came to the Anne Frank House for international summer conferences on emancipation, religion, and human rights. In the s, the Anne Frank House organised lectures and courses. Rabbi Yehuda Aschkenasy, an Auschwitz survivor, ran meetings to promote understanding between Jews and Christians.

These meetings drew priests, vicars, rabbis, as well as regular believers. During this period, the Anne Frank House was also used for literature, poetry, or classical music events. The performers at the concerts were mostly young students from the school of music. In the second half of the s, the Anne Frank House made room for social criticism.

Photo exhibitions and other means were used to protest the war in Vietnam and apartheid in South Africa. By then, people from different parts of the world were already interested in visiting the Secret Annex where Anne Frank had lived in hiding. Whenever people asked him to, Kleiman returned to the empty building on Prinsengracht to give visitors a tour of the hiding place. On 19 August , Otto Frank died in Basel at the age of The news of his death was noted around the world.

Fritzi Frank-Markowitz, his widow, received hundreds of letters of condolence. Dutch rabbi Avraham Soetendorp conducted the funeral service. In the garden of a house in Amsterdam, between Keizersgracht and Kerkstraat, German soldiers had left their weapons. Like many other German soldiers, they were in a hurry to leave on Tuesday, 5 September They had heard that the Allies had crossed the Dutch border in the south and were advancing rapidly to the north of the Netherlands.

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Within a few days, the troops that had stayed back had destroyed the ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam with explosives. For fear of retaliation, many collaborators were afraid to stay in the Netherlands as well. They left on the same day, heading for the east of the Netherlands or Germany. About half of them eventually died there. Many Dutch people raised the Dutch flag and took to the streets.

However, the news of the arrival of the Allied Forces was premature. They had only been in Belgium for a few days and it would take another week before the first towns in the Netherlands were liberated. A week after the Frank family went into hiding, Hermann and Auguste van Pels, and their son Peter, joined them in the hiding place.

The Van Pels family were given two rooms on the second floor of the Secret Annex to use. They had little privacy. The room of Hermann and Auguste was also used as a kitchen and dining room. Hermann and Otto had prepared the hiding place together with their colleagues Victor Kugler and Johannes Kleiman. Hermann and Auguste's room had been a laboratory for trying out recipes. The equipment and other things had been moved to the office kitchen below Anne's and Margot's room.

On 25 February , the local section of the CPN Communist Party of the Netherlands called a two-day strike in protest against the raid on Jewish men a few days earlier. The action started with the shutdown of the tram transport in Amsterdam, which was how many people noticed that something was going on.

The strike then spread to other towns and villages in the area. The Germans were surprised by the protests and responded with brute force. They shot at strikers, and several people were wounded or killed. Many strikers were arrested. The cities where the strike took place were heavily fined. The mayors of Amsterdam and Zaandam were replaced. A German-minded police commissioner was appointed in Amsterdam. From to , Otto and his brother Herbert and brother-in-law Erich Elias ran a bank branch in Amsterdam called M.

Frank and Sons. It was located in the city centre. Due to the economic problems in Germany, many German banks opened branches in Amsterdam. Johannes Kleiman was in charge of current affairs and discussed them with the management. Later, Kleiman was involved in Opekta and the founding of Pectacon. By the autumn of , it became clear that Germany was not going to win the war.

Its opponents had too much economic and military strength. Besides, more and more allies of Germany were giving up the fight. Germany itself was in great turmoil as well. There was no other option than to end the war. The German delegate Matthias Erzberger tried to negotiate about the terms of the armistice. The Allies did not yield. They wanted Germany to surrender.

Two days later, on 11 November, Germany signed the truce, which started at Germany lost a lot because of the armistice. The agreement demanded that all German troops would withdraw from French and Belgian territory within two weeks. The Rhineland, an area bordering on Belgium and France, was to be occupied by Allied troops. Germany had to return territory in Eastern Europe it had conquered during the war. Moreover, Germany had to donate large quantities of military equipment to the Allies. On 12 May, Otto's 36th birthday, their marriage was solemnised in the synagogue of Aachen.

In the evening there was a large banquet for all their guests. During the First World War, the warring parties tried everything they could think of to win. The German army was the first to use deadly poison gas on the Belgian battlefields. On 22 April , French troops saw a yellow-green cloud of chlorine gas coming towards them. Within ten minutes, thousands of soldiers had choked to death. The German attack violated international agreements that prohibited the use of poison gas. Afterwards, the French and English also resorted to the use of poison gas. Until that day, the United States had remained neutral.

The declaration of war was a response to the submarine war that Germany had been waging on its enemies since January Germany wanted to sink all ships sailing toward the United Kingdom, including passenger ships and neutral American ships, as they could be carrying aid - from food to soldiers - for Germany's opponents. Germany knew that the United States would respond, but they believed that the United States would take so long to prepare, that the British would have quit their efforts by then.

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But they were wrong. Mexico refused the request. The telegram had been sent in code, but it was deciphered by the English secret service. The Americans were outraged. In , the United States sent more than a million troops to France. It took another year before they were fighting alongside the Allies in substantial numbers. By the end of the First World War, famine raged in Germany.

People desperately tried to find food. In Berlin, for instance, hungry women and children cut up a horse in the street. The animal had been killed in a fight between government troops and insurgents. In spite of the shooting that was still going on around them, the starving women and children threw themselves on the horse. At the start of the war, Germany's enemies had put up a naval blockade to stop all transports. This had led to a major food shortage in Germany. It was not until March that food was supplied to Germany again.

The Kapp Putsch was a coup committed by right-wing soldiers in Berlin. Adolf Hitler April 20, to April 30, was chancellor of Germany from to , serving as dictator and leader of the Nazi Party, or National Socialist German Workers Party, for the bulk of his time in power. As a child, Hitler clashed frequently with his emotionally harsh father, who also didn't approve of his son's later interest in fine art as a career. Following the death of his younger brother, Edmund, in , Hitler became detached and introverted.

Hitler showed an early interest in German nationalism, rejecting the authority of Austria-Hungary. This nationalism would become the motivating force of Hitler's life. Two years later, Adolf's mother allowed her son to drop out of school. After her death in December , Hitler moved to Vienna and worked as a casual laborer and watercolor painter. Hitler applied to the Academy of Fine Arts twice and was rejected both times.

Lacking money outside of an orphan's pension and funds from selling postcards, he stayed in homeless shelters. Hitler later pointed to these years as the time when he first cultivated his anti-Semitism, though there is some debate about this account. In , Hitler relocated to Munich. At the outbreak of World War I , he applied to serve in the German army.

He was accepted in August , though he was still an Austrian citizen. Although Hitler spent much of his time away from the front lines with some reports that his recollections of his time on the field were generally exaggerated , he was present at a number of significant battles and was wounded at the Somme. Hitler became embittered over the collapse of the war effort. The experience reinforced his passionate German patriotism, and he was shocked by Germany's surrender in Like other German nationalists, he purportedly believed that the German army had been betrayed by civilian leaders and Marxists.

He found the Treaty of Versailles degrading, particularly the demilitarization of the Rhineland and the stipulation that Germany accept responsibility for starting the war. Hitler personally designed the Nazi party banner, appropriating the swastika symbol and placing it in a white circle on a red background. He soon gained notoriety for his vitriolic speeches against the Treaty of Versailles, rival politicians, Marxists and Jews. In , Hitler replaced Drexler as the Nazi party chairman. Hitler's fervid beer-hall speeches began attracting regular audiences. Early followers included army captain Ernst Rohm, the head of the Nazi paramilitary organization the Sturmabteilung SA , which protected meetings and frequently attacked political opponents.

Hitler announced that the national revolution had begun and declared the formation of a new government. Hitler was arrested and tried for high treason and sentenced to nine months in prison. The first volume was published in , and a second volume came out in It was abridged and translated into 11 languages, selling more than five million copies by A work of propaganda and falsehoods, the book laid out Hitler's plans for transforming German society into one based on race.

The second volume outlined his plan to gain and maintain power. While often illogical and full of grammatical errors, Mein Kampf was provocative and subversive, making it appealing to the many Germans who felt displaced at the end of World War I. With millions unemployed, the Great Depression in Germany provided a political opportunity for Hitler. Germans were ambivalent to the parliamentary republic and increasingly open to extremist options. In , Hitler ran against year-old Paul von Hindenburg for the presidency. Hitler came in second in both rounds of the election, garnering more than 36 percent of the vote in the final count.

The results established Hitler as a strong force in German politics. Hindenburg reluctantly agreed to appoint Hitler as chancellor in order to promote political balance. Hitler used his position as chancellor to form a de facto legal dictatorship. The Reichstag Fire Decree, announced after a suspicious fire at parliament, suspended basic rights and allowed detention without trial. Hitler also engineered the passage of the Enabling Act, which gave his cabinet full legislative powers for a period of four years and allowed for deviations from the constitution.

Having achieved full control over the legislative and executive branches of government, Hitler and his political allies embarked on a systematic suppression of the remaining political opposition. By the end of June, the other parties had been intimidated into disbanding. Military opposition was also punished. The demands of the SA for more political and military power led to the Night of the Long Knives, a series of assassinations that took place from June 30 to July 2, Rohm, a perceived rival, and other SA leaders, along with a number of Hitler's political enemies, were found and murdered at locations across Germany.

The signs read: "Germans! Defend yourselves! Don't buy from Jews. Wehrt Euch! Kauft nicht bei Juden!

The Road to Auschwitz

THE SENSELESS SLAUGHTER OF MILLIONS IN THE NAZI GERMAN CONCENTRATION CAMPS () eBook: Richard M. Lamb: rapyzure.tk: Kindle. A publishing sensation in Germany, Murderous Science is a devastating and extermination camps, but provided a scientific foundation for Hitler's racist The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide . Educate yourself on this senseless tragedy known as the Holocaust, you'll be a Stream millions.

The store was later ransacked during Kristallnacht in , then handed over to a non-Jewish family. Additional legislation restricted the number of Jewish students at schools and universities, limited Jews working in medical and legal professions, and revoked the licenses of Jewish tax consultants. By , Jewish actors were forbidden from performing in film or in the theater.

On September 15, , the Reichstag introduced the Nuremberg Laws, which defined a "Jew" as anyone with three or four grandparents who were Jewish, regardless of whether the person considered themselves Jewish or observed the religion. In , Hitler and his regime muted their Anti-Semitic rhetoric and actions when Germany hosted the Winter and Summer Olympic Games, in an effort to avoid criticism on the world stage and a negative impact on tourism.

After the Olympics, the Nazi persecution of Jews intensified with the continued "Aryanization" of Jewish businesses, which involved the firing of Jewish workers and takeover by non-Jewish owners. The Nazis continued to segregate Jews from German society, banning them from public school, universities, theaters, sports events and "Aryan" zones. Jewish doctors were also barred from treating "Aryan" patients. Jews were required to carry identity cards and, in the fall of , Jewish people had to have their passports stamped with a "J.

On November 9 and 10, , a wave of violent anti-Jewish pogroms swept Germany, Austria and parts of the Sudetenland. Nazis destroyed synagogues and vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses. Close to Jews were murdered. Called Kristallnacht , the "Night of Crystal" or the "Night of Broken Glass," referring to the broken window glass left in the wake of the destruction, it escalated the Nazi persecution of Jews to another level of brutality and violence. Almost 30, Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps, signaling more horrors to come.

Hitler's eugenic policies also targeted children with physical and developmental disabilities, later authorizing a euthanasia program for disabled adults. His regime also persecuted homosexuals, arresting an estimated , men from to , some of whom were imprisoned or sent to concentration camps. At the camps, gay prisoners were forced to wear pink triangles to identify their homosexuality, which Nazis considered a crime and a disease.

Between the start of World War II, in , and its end, in , Nazis and their collaborators were responsible for the deaths of at least one million noncombatants, including about six million Jews, representing two-thirds of the Jewish population in Europe. As part of Hitler's "Final Solution," the genocide enacted by the regime would come to be known as the Holocaust. German police shooting women and children from the Mizocz Ghetto, 14 October Deaths and mass executions took place in concentration and extermination camps including Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and Treblinka, among many others.

Other persecuted groups included Poles, communists, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and trade unionists. Prisoners were used as forced laborers for SS construction projects, and in some instances they were forced to build and expand concentration camps. They were subject to starvation, torture and horrific brutalities, including having to endure gruesome and painful medical experiments.

Hitler probably never visited the concentration camps and did not speak publicly about the mass killings. However, Germans documented the atrocities committed at the camps on paper and in films. In , Hitler, along with several other European leaders, signed the Munich Pact. The treaty ceded the Sudetenland districts to Germany, reversing part of the Versailles Treaty.

As a result of the summit, Hitler was named Time magazine's Man of the Year for This diplomatic win only whetted his appetite for a renewed German dominance. In response, Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. By July, Hitler ordered bombing raids on the United Kingdom, with the goal of invasion. On June 22, , Hitler violated the non-aggression pact with Joseph Stalin , sending a massive army of German troops into the Soviet Union. The invading force seized a huge area of Russia before Hitler temporarily halted the invasion and diverted forces to encircle Leningrad and Kiev.

The pause allowed the Red Army to regroup and conduct a counter-offensive attack, and the German advance was stopped outside Moscow in December Honoring the alliance with Japan, Hitler was now at war against the Allied powers, a coalition that included Britain, the world's largest empire, led by Prime Minister Winston Churchill ; the United States, the world's greatest financial power, led by President Franklin D.

Roosevelt ; and the Soviet Union, which had the world's largest army, commanded by Stalin. Though initially hoping that he could play the Allies off of one another, Hitler's military judgment became increasingly erratic, and the Axis powers could not sustain his aggressive and expansive war. The German army also suffered defeats at the Battle of Stalingrad , seen as a turning point in the war, and the Battle of Kursk