Jew Holocaust – Escaping the Holocaust in Europe
To be a Jew during the Holocaust was a very dangerous thing. Anyone with three or four Jewish parents was considered Jewish for the purposes of the Nazi regime. Whether or not the individual was a practicing Jew had no bearing on their treatment. Many individuals who had converted to Christianity were still persecuted as Jews simply because of their heritage. The Nazi party believed that Jews were racially impure regardless of their religious beliefs. To keep the Aryan blood line pure, the Jews had to be eliminated. To this end, children and women were especially dangerous and were often punished harshest.
In the earlier years of the Holocaust, Jews were subjected to very strict rules. Their place in society was diminished more and more over time until Jewish children could not go to non-Jewish schools, many occupations were off limits for the Jews, and a curfew was enacted for Jews in Germany that prevented them from leaving the house at night. Acts of violence against the Jews were not uncommon, even in the early years of the Holocaust. Many Jews tried to flee, or sent their children out of the country to escape the growing anti-Semitism. Those who did not escape Europe entirely were often caught by the Nazis when they invaded other countries.
Some children were able to survive the Holocaust by blending in with non-Jewish children. Parents who had Aryan acquaintances that were willing to help often sent their children away in an attempt to save them. Adults had a more difficult time hiding. Some obtained false papers and attempted to hide their identity. Other families attempted to escape the Nazis by concealing themselves entirely, such as the family of Anne Frank. However, Nazis would regularly search homes and often found these families. Germans who helped the Jews could be punished harshly for their support. The sentence was often death or incarceration in concentration camps.
Some Jews survived the Holocaust by hiding in the forests. They would often band together and form small communities. Surviving on meager rations and living in makeshift camps became a way of life, but also a way of survival. These communities were also responsible for many resistance activities. The Bielski Partisan was the most successful of these groups. What began as about 30 Jewish friends and family members grew to a group of over 300. By providing escape means and a safe haven for Jews, this group was able to save approximately 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. Though millions perished, measures like these saved many.