Children in World War II
Children were some of the most vulnerable victims during World War II. They served no real purpose to the Germans, and when they were of 'inferior' descent, they only proved to create the future potential for more inferiors. As Germany was attempting to rid itself of the Jews and other inferiors, they also wanted to ensure the future elimination of the people that were not a part of their Master Race. Children, to the Nazis, were useless eaters unless they could work or be used for medical experimentation, so they were often killed freely and regularly.
Children carried a few different fates during the Second World War and Holocaust, which are fairly simple to summarize:
-Children killed when they arrived at death camps and killing centers
-Children killed in institutions or upon being born
-Children that were hidden by prisoners after being born in ghettos or camps, that went on to survive
-Children that were sent to forced labor or medical experimentation camps, usually once they were over age 12
-Children killed during anti-partisan or reprisal operations
There were more than just Jewish children killed. Gypsy children were also killed, as well as those who had mental and physical disabilities, or were of Slavic descent. German children who had physical or mental disabilities were even targeted for death because they simply 'took up space' and provided no value to Nazi Germany.
Some 1.5 million children were killed during the entire Holocaust. Many of them were shot freely and without a second thought. When the gas chambers were developed, it was claimed that they 'relieved Nazi soldiers of the mental anguish' of shooting infants and young children. Of course, not all of the children in the Holocaust died. There were thousands of orphans once the war ended. They were sent to camps with displaced persons until they could be relocated with relatives or an adoptive family.
Another plight of children during the Holocaust was for the non-German children who were kidnapped and taken to the Third Reich because of their 'German' qualities that would make them ideal for the Master Race. They were adopted by German nationals against their (and their parents') will, and many were never returned to their rightful parents after the war. Children were especially targeted during World War II because they were easy to control and a large part of the problem, according to Nazi leaders, and today are remembered for their loss of innocence through such a devastating event.