I am so excited to share my personal perspective on a topic so closely held to my Jewish Heritage. Growing up as an observant Jew I was taught about so many historical events that go back thousands of years.
Amongst them, the Holocaust resonates in my mind as an event that I feel as a Jew, I need to understand. I continue to go back to 1933 when the onset of the Holocaust in Europe began, and had continued through 1945, taking roughly 8.5 million lives, including roughly 6 million Jewish Lives. The holocaust is thought of only being a tragedy of where people were murdered in concentration camps but the holocaust has more to its story than that. It seems to me to truly understand what the conditions were during the horrific time you need to experience it first hand. That being said, I had traveled back in time to 1933 when I had the privilege of personally getting to know many faces and voices of the holocaust. To set the stage let me share some insight into the state of Chaos of the Holocaust through my readings of Ms. Sally Rogow, an esteemed Professor at the University of British Columbia.
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According to Sally Rogow, author of Child Victims in Nazi Germany, In the beginning of the worst thing that many people experienced in their lifetime reality began to change before their eyes. The popular schools, hospitals and institutions were changed from a reputable place to a place of destruction and the unknown. During the first period of change children specifically were isolated for their differences whether they had disabilities, had emotional problems or were orphans and were forced into institutions. Children were given impassable tests in school and when they failed they were considered hopeless cases and were sent away like the other children. The parents who opposed the idea of their child being taken away were threatened to lose guardianship.
Ms. Rogow emphasized the absurd conditions by not leaving out detail. Rogow mentions in her writing when Jewish caregivers were dismissed there was a budget decrease and overcrowding became a large issue, one physician could be responsible for 400 to 500 patients. Also, after the professional nurses were dismissed women Nazis with no experience in child care took their place and did as they were told. Next, children were constantly being moved from institution to institution without parental knowledge or consent. In my opinion, things became most inhumane during this fiasco when children were being used for medical experiments. Special needs children who had mental and physical disabilities were used as lab rats. They had blood and spinal floods drawn and replaced with air so they could take clear x-rays of their brains then they’d inject them with different substance to see the reaction.
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