23 April 2014
Children of the Holocaust
This research essay is about the devastating and gruesome incidents pertaining to the children of the holocaust. This essay will cover the unbelievable lives these children had to live and the horrible pain they had to undergo threw this war of extermination. They suffered losses of family, friends, and many became orphaned or homeless. The holocaust took the lives of about 6 million Jewish men, women, and children. There were about 1.6 million Jewish children consisting from infants to teens living in Europe around the start of World War 2. Only about 11 percent of this range of children made it through the war. ...view middle of the document...
Children that were in the most threat of being captured would have to change their names and sometimes even convert to Christianity for a while to avoid being discovered by the Nazis. The children had to be so careful to keep their race a secret that they couldn’t speak of their past not their families because the risk of someone finding out they were Jewish was very high and dangerous. These orphanages, convents, and boarding schools saved the lives of many children from deportation and death. Children would sometimes be saved by random heaven sent strangers as well. The people keeping these children often worried that someone would find out about the Jewish kids they were hiding or that a doubtful neighbor would suspect the children’s true identities and turn them and the families over to the Nazis. Hidden children feared that their true families would not survive the war, and even if they did survive, that they may not be able to find their parents
Since many children were taken in by complete strangers it was very possible that these children would never see their parents or siblings again. (Echoes of the Holocaust, pg. 3 of 3)
The children that were lucky enough to get away in hiding were very much blessed. But for the children who could not be saved, had brutal pain, starvation, and awful murder ahead of them. These not so lucky children were taken to life draining concentration camps to be shot, burned, or sent to gas chambers. The weaker children were the first to be shot along with the sick, aged, and useless. As the commandant of Auschwitz explained, “Children of tender years were invariably exterminated, since by reason of their youth they were unable to work.” (Holocaust, pg. 1 of 1)
While the Nazis shot the children their parents stood close in grieve and despair. Some Nazis shot the children right next to their parents who would not let their children go. For the gas chambers, some mothers held their children close to them so some of the children managed to survive, but shortly after burned alive in the crematoria. In the camp Majdanek in the year 1943, SS made a type of game while shooting the Jewish children with their machine guns in front of their families. At the camp Birkenau in 1944 some Hungarian children were incarcerated in great pits. Some children knew their deaths were soon to come. As one man recorded while watching teenage boys about to go into the gas chambers, “Crazed with fright, they started running around the yard back and forth clutching their heads. Many of them broke into frightful crying. Their wailing was terrible.”(Holocaust, pg. 1 of 1)
As for the healthy children, they were sent to do hard labor such as carrying building materials or pushing over loaded carts. Also some camp guards took these children and had sexual encounters with them. The ghettos were awful and full of infectious diseases such as chronic malnutrition. Also pregnant women in the ghettos or concentration camps were forced to...