Genocide in Germany: The Holocaust

There is much speculation as to why Adolf Hitler may have hated Jewish people so fervently. Some historians suspect that it could be related to his heritage; Hitler’s father Alois was born out of wedlock, and there were rumors that he might have been of Jewish descent. Adolf did not have a healthy relationship with his father, leading some to believe that this is a possible explanation for his contempt. Another possible case for Hitler’s disgust for Jewish people could relate to his mother’s Jewish doctor, Eduard Bloch. Kara Hitler suffered from breast cancer and received treatment from Dr. Bloch towards the end of her life.

Some people correlate the unsuccessful treatment and death of Hitler’s mother by a Jewish doctor as a cause for his rage. However, these rumors have never been confirmed and remain conjecture. A more plausible explanation for Hitler’s disgusting and severe animosity was his time in Vienna, Austria. Hitler moved to Vienna in 1908 in hopes of attending the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. He was rejected, and instead spent his remaining time there living in squalor, at one point becoming homeless. Vienna at this time was characterized by vehement, socially accepted, and widespread anti-Semitism. Hitler lived out his formative years surrounded by anti-Jewish propaganda and persistent nationalism whilst dealing with rejection, poverty, and struggle. Hitler himself stated in his book Mein Kampf that his experience and indoctrination in Vienna is what led to him becoming an anti-Semite.

Hitler and the Nazi Party’s rise to power was fairly easy, considering the growing despair, outrage and unrest that was already present in Germany. The Nazis capitalized on this and convinced a desperate nation that Jewish, Romani, Polish, and Slavic people, along with homosexuals, communists and other minorities, were the reason for their misfortune. People belonging to these groups were consistently dehumanized, and considered a problem to be rectified. The Nazi party promised to restore Germany to its former glory, solve the Jewish question, and establish a new, larger state wherein pure Aryans could flourish. The star of the party, Adolf Hitler, was appointed as Fuhrer in January of 1933, and became Fuhrer, or leader, sometime in August 1934. Soon enough, the Nuremberg Laws were passed, marking the start of the systematic destruction of the Jewish population within Germany.

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