Germany’s most known and devastating historical event happened between the years 1941-1945, the period of time where the Holocaust occurred. The main perpetrator was Adolf Hitler, but the people of Germany allowed escalation beforehand. The Holocaust was a terrifying experience for anyone who wasn’t a part of Hitler’s “Aryan” race, but was mainly directed towards Jewish people.
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Hitler and his followers attempted to sentence all Jewish people and other non-Aryans to death, killing them on a mass scale (genocide). The mentioning of the Holocaust sends chills to thousands of people in Germany, of Jewish descent, and especially Holocaust survivors. These horrific occurrences caused other countries to realize the potential dangers power can cause. Preventing power from falling into the wrong hands is made a priority so these types of experiences won’t be able to happen again. Germany had multiple steps that led up to genocide. This process is called the Pyramid of Hate. It begins with the prejudice attitudes and acts of prejudice stages which were characterized by scapegoating and stereotypes, which led to the discrimination and violence stages which involved oppression and laws that deprived Jews of certain rights, which finally resulted in the genocide stage whose principal attributes were camps that led to killing a large population of Jews.
Prejudice attitudes and acts of prejudice begins with anti-semitic behaviors. Germany was involved in World War I and citizens were promised victory by their government. Although Adolf Hitler was born and raised in Austria, he was accidentally given the opportunity to serve his time in the German army. When Germany faced defeat, the government and Hitler himself, “blamed the country’s downfall, though some 100,000 German Jews fought for their country during the war,” (Holocaust-Overview). Since the government is the only news source for Germany, German citizens easily believed the credibility for this accusation. There was a vast amount of Jewish people in the army, but the Germans brought what was called the “stab in the back” theory. The Germans were convinced that they somehow betrayed their own country while serving time in the military. Multiple forms of propaganda was released afterwards, all of them framing the Jewish population as traitors that brought their country to defeat in World War I. A really popular piece of propaganda was Hitler’s book titled “Mein Kampf”, which translates to “My Struggle”. The title is self explanatory, Hitler wanted to speak about his supposed hardships living in a country filled with Jewish people. He introduces his idea of a “pure” race, and calls it the Aryan race. Ideally, people who fit within this racial category would have pale skin, blue eyes, and blond hair. Jewish people did not fit within any of those standards, and Hitler began to stereotype them in his book.
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