The Holocaust is by far the worst era of mankind. It has shown us on how a supposedly cultured and sophisticated society, murdered millions because they were deemed not to have a place in that society.
But this didn’t come as a lighting from the blue. It was brewing for decades. Two political movements were at the heart of it.
It was the far right extreme Nazis who did the killing, but the far left played a crucial part too. The so called Weimar culture wanted Germany to become a place of great liberal values, but for some these values were too liberal. Many saw it as a new Sodom and Gomorrah. The fact that not everyone felt comfortable living in a society where everything was possible, was sometimes ignored and their concerns weren’t always listened to.
This gave opportunities to the far right movement to recruit members.
Combine that with a growth of antisemitism ,and a political party who used hate to build their policies, especially hate for Jews and you had the perfect storm. All they had to do was to gradually turn the Jews, Homosexuals, Communists and others into scapegoats, the foundation of the Holocaust was laid.
I could go back to WWI but for the purpose of this blog I will start at January 1,1920, which was the date that Adolf Hitler entered German politics by joining the Deutsche Arbeiter Partei or the German workers party.(see membership card at the start of the blog).
1921 Germany for the Germans
1922 worthless money- 50,000 Mark
1923 A disabled war veteran in Berlin.
1923 Beerhall Putsch
1924 Communist Party of Germany propaganda vehicle crossing Alexanderplatz. Berlin.
1925-Demonstration of the communist youth Germany on May 1.
1926 Bamber Conference The Bamberg leadership conference was a meeting of the leadership of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party ( NSDAP) on 14 February.
1927 January 10, release of Metropolis.
1928 The Threepenny Opera opens in Berlin in August
1929 Propaganda, the invasion of foreign eggs.
1930 23 January – The Nazi Party gains its first minister as Wilhelm Frick becomes Minister of the Interior and Education in Thuringia as part of a right-wing coalition administration.
1931 A bank in Berlin damaged during violent clashes between police and demonstrators in June .
1932 German Federal election
1933 30 January — Nazi leader Adolf Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany by President of Germany Paul von Hindenburg.
1933 1 April Boycott of Jewish Businesses
1933 10 May: the Nazis stage massive public book burnings.
1933 May 27 SS Guards arriving at the Dachau “Protective Custody” Camp.
1934 German referendum gives Adolf Hitler absolute power
1938 November 10 SS guards force Jews, arrested during Kristallnacht (the “Night of Broken Glass”), to march through the town of Baden-Baden. Onlookers watch from along the street and walls. Baden-Baden, Germany. November 10, 1938.
1939 September 1, Germany invades Poland, September 3 Great Britain and France declare war to Germany . WWII is a fact.
1940 The first 30 prisoners arrived on 20 May in Auschwitz
1941 September 3 – The Holocaust: SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Fritzsch first uses the pesticide Zyklon B, to execute Soviet prisoners of war en masse at Auschwitz concentration camp
1942 January 20 Wannsee conference Nazis decide that the “Final Solution (Endlösung) to the Jewish problem” is deportations to extermination camps.
1943 May 30 Dr. Josef Mengele begins his position as a medical officer in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
1944 August 4 Anne Frank and her family are arrested.
1945 April 15 Bergen Belsen is liberated. The allied troops witness the horrors of the Holocaust.
We now all have a duty to make sure this History does not repeat itself. We cannot use the excuse that we didn’t know because we do have the benefit of hindsight.
We should listen and learn from each other and acknowledge concerns. If we dismiss people’s worries and opinions we open it up to a repeat of this dark era, and potentially cause an even bigger Holocaust.
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