The Holocaust was
the organized persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and
its collaborators. The Jewish population in 1933 in Europe was about nine
million. Most of them lived in countries that Nazi Germany later occupied and
influenced in the World War II. By 1945, over six million Jews were killed by
the Germans and their collaborators in Europe as was their policy to control
the Jews (Deborah, 2002).The Nazi Germans portrayed Jews as the main danger in
Germany. However other groups like Roma (Gypsies), the mentally and physically
disabled patients who lived in the institutions were persecuted and murdered in
the Euthanasia Program.


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In 1939, Jews, with a population of about
3.5 million, were Poland’s second-largest minority, following Ukrainians.
One-third of the populations in cities such as Warsaw were of Jewish descent;
in some of Poland’s eastern cities, up to 70 per cent of the population was
Jewish. Jews were an integral part of Poland’s cultural and political life for
centuries. There was a rich interplay of Jewish and Polish history and culture (Iancu, 1996).

Prior to World War II, anti-Semitism in
Poland had been growing, and Polish authorities had taken various measures to
exclude Jews from key sectors of society. Some Polish politicians pressed for
the mass emigration of Poland’s Jewish population. Nazi Germans invaded Poland
in 1939 dividing it into the Germans and Soviet Union. The soviets were later
invaded by the Germans in 1941 and forcefully occupied Poland. Poles were
viewed as racially inferior and targeted Poland’s leadership for destruction,
killing tens of thousands of Catholic priests, intellectuals, teachers, and
political leaders. Over 1.5 million Poles were deported as forced laborers.
With the occupation of all of Poland, Germany now had more than three million
Polish Jews under its control (Martin,
2008).  About 700
ghettos were constructed in the occupied Poland where tens of thousands of Jews
were subjected to brutal conditions which included overcrowding, disease and
starvation. German-occupied Poland, as the demographic center of the Jewish
population under Nazi control and the site of the regime’s first attempts to
engineer the racial transformation of conquered Lebensraum, was the key
laboratory for Nazi experimentation in racial persecution from September 1939
to June 1941 (Simone 2005). Given both the size of the population subjected to
persecution and the radical extent of the measures employed, events in Poland
have tended to eclipse the measures of Nazi racial persecution within Germany’s
pre-1939 borders during this period. While certainly the persecution of German
Jews was less radical than that of Polish Jews at this time, nonetheless the
isolation, impoverishment, exploitation, and humiliation of German Jews
accelerated drastically (Corni, 2002)

Western Poland was annexed and integrated
into Germany, while central Poland became known as the general government.
Within weeks of the occupation, Nazi race laws aimed at isolating and
oppressing Jews were implemented. Synagogues were destroyed, Jewish children
removed from schools and adults from many professions. Marriages between Jews
and non-Jewish were forbidden, and Jews over the age of six were required to
wear identifying badges. The Nazis forced Jews into hundreds of ghettos, often
enclosed by walls or barbed wire fences, in the poorest parts of cities where
they lived in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions, and were subjected to
violence and starvation policies. Daily life and infrastructure, including labor,
and distribution of food rations, and eventually deportations, were organized
by German-appointed Jewish Councils. The army frequently helped itself to
uncompensated Jewish labor, and the Security Police in Warsaw had worked out
arrangements with the Jewish council there for the regular supply of workers,
before the Frank edict of October 26, 1939, imposed a general obligation for
forced labor on all male Jews between 12 and 60 years old (Bartov, 2000)

After Warsaw, the Lodz Ghetto was the
second largest ghetto in Poland with some 180,000 Jewish and 5,000 Roma and
Sinti prisoners. Jews performed slave labor in factories and workshops,
producing goods for the German war effort in exchange for meager food rations.
Thousands died of starvation, malnutrition, and disease during the ghetto’s
existence. Others were deported in a series of transports to Chelmno death camp
and later, Auschwitz concentration camp (Jane 2010).

The Germans thereafter constructed
stationary killing centers in the occupied Poland and Auschwitz-Birkenau after
the killing of about 1.5 million Jews in the occupied soviet areas. The Jews
were held in the ghettos before being moved into killing zones. The Germans
also used services from the Polish police and railroad workers to guard the
ghettos and deportation to the killing zones. There were poles who assisted in
the identification, condemnation and tracking down of the hiding Jews. They
gained from blackmail and also participated in the stealing of Jews property (Martin, 2008). In some areas of
Eastern Poland, the local polish residents engaged in pogrom and killed they
Jews neighbors’ whist the awareness of the Germans presence and anti Jew
policies. The final ghetto was liquidated in Poland in Lodz in August
1944.About 3 million Polish Jews died during the holocaust in Poland inside the
camps ghettos and murder sites. The Jews of Poland, which then included
Lithuania and Belarus, made up the largest national group of Jews murdered in
Europe. The decision made by German occupiers to locate the extermination camps
at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Chelmno, Majdanek, Treblinka II, Sobibor, and Belzec on
Polish territory meant that Poland, in the post-war era, was a country that
housed the Holocaust. It was therefore clear that the Poland as a collaborator
participated in the persecution and murder of the Jews in Europe.


The Jewish community in Romania was among
the oldest in Europe. The Jews had lived there for years that partly came when
the roman army was swiping the region. They integrated to the Romanian
community and thrived to get positions in leadership .Anti-Semitism came along
with the settlement of the Jews in Romania. The rise of anti Judaic rose at the
4th century in the Romanian society but was quelled by emperor
Theodosius by promoting tolerance for the minorities. Most of the Jewish
settlers that came to the region settled into the activities of commerce and
trade, therefore occupying a middle status between the farmers and peasants and
the wealth boyars. Most of the Romanian Jews were already vitally involved in
the economy of the region through their roles in the production of alcohol and
leather as well as their role in commerce and trade.

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