How Hitler's hatred for the Jewish community led to the world's most evil atrocity
HATRED of the Jews was stoked by a vindictive Adolf Hitler – who labelled them inferior, a threat to Germany superiority and the reason why his nation lost the First World War.
From when his party rose to power in 1933, the Nazis used propaganda and the law to deny Jews of their civil and human rights.
His paramilitary forces launched increasingly violent attacks, culminating in the infamous Kristallnacht pogrom in November, 1938, where synagogues, Jewish shops and homes were vandalised.
After years of persecuting the Jewish community, Hitler proposed his ‘final solution’ under the blanket of the Second World War – a ruthless plot to murder millions of Jews.
The Nazis constructed mass killing centres in the grounds of concentration camps such as Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland.
An estimated six million Jews, along with millions of others targeted for racial, political and ideological reasons, died in the Holocaust.
More than one million of those who died were children.
At Auschwitz, more than two million people were murdered, while a large population of non-Jewish inmates who worked in the labour camp died of disease and starvation.
The Nazis tried to keep the camps a secret, but the scale of the killings made this impossible.
Information about the camps was passed on to the Allied leaders but they failed to respond – leading to harsh criticism when the atrocities were uncovered.
During the fall of 1944 German forces began evacuating the camps, sending inmates away from the allied front line.
These continued until Germany surrendered. These became known as ‘death marches’ resulting in between 250,000 to 375,000 deaths.
The Nuremberg trials of 1945-46 brought the actions into horrifying light. This eventually led to the creation of Israel in 1948.