The Jewish Holocaust
The Jewish Holocaust involved the systematic murder of more than 6 million Jews between 1933 and 1945, but it wasn't just about them. Based on the Nazi idea that Aryans were the supreme Master Race, Hitler and his leaders worked out a plan to eliminate any inferiors that were not in line with what they believed was necessary for the survival and success of Germany as a force to be reckoned with. This included genocide based on:
-Sex and gender
-Mental or physical disability
-Ethnicity and nationality
While the Nazis incited the event, they did not act on their own. They gained support across Europe from many countries and leaders. There were also many countries that did nothing to stop the Nazis, and they are often seen as being just as guilty as those involved in the murders. Jewish people were singled out because the Nazi party felt that they were using democracy to advance their own interests and that they were a problem because they were building successful business and leaving the physical labor and poor work to the Germans.
The Holocaust started with discrimination and anti-Semitic laws and regulations that forced Jews out of their homes and businesses, but by the invasion of Poland in 1939, the event was much more focused on murder of the Jews rather than just persecuting and imprisoning them. During World War II, concentration camps were built for various uses. Some were built for labor and transit, others for prisoners of war. Still more were built as extermination camps, which is where Jews were sent for no other reason than to die. Auschwitz was one of the largest concentration and extermination camps and it is estimated that more than 1.1 million people were killed in this camp alone.
When the Allied powers invaded Germany in 1945, the Nazi leaders scattered to avoid capture and the Holocaust ended. They had attempted to cover up some of the camps, such as Auschwitz, but were unsuccessful. Many Nazi leaders committed suicide because the Nazi ideology taught of death before surrender. Thousands of suicides took place in Berlin alone, along with murder-suicides of prominent Nazi leaders and followers who killed their families before killing themselves. Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi party and the man held responsible for this entire event, committed suicide on April 30, 1945 to avoid capture and punishment by the Allied forces.