David Novak, a Jewish theologian, once said "The Holocaust, taken by itself, is a black hole. To look at it directly is to be swallowed up by it." The Holocaust has been described as the largest, most inhumane genocide of all-time. Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933 and the rise of the Nazi party ended in a bloodbath. Concentration camps, which are camps in which minorities are forced to provide labor or even be killed, began spreading throughout Europe in the 1930's when Adolf Hitler appointed Heinrich Himmler to centralize and organize the administration of concentration camps. At the end of the Holocaust, more than 6 million Jews lost their lives at the hands of the SS, the paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler. When you put together the amount of lives that were lost in these concentration camps along with the way concentration camp inmates were treated, the Holocaust is clearly the most inhumane act of all time. In order to avoid an inhumane act like the Holocaust in the future, we must remember it so that we know where racism can ultimately lead.
First, we must try to understand why the Holocaust happened. The root causes of WWII stemmed from the conclusion of WWI. Germany and its allies were treated severely following the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 (Weisser). Germany lost territories in the east and west, abolished the Austro-Hungarian Empire, embarrassed the Germans with a "war guilt" clause, and required the Germans to pay hefty reparation payments for the damage caused by the war. Following the First World War, the Germans were left in a terrible economic state as a result of the inflation after paying the war reparations. It is said that during this economic recession, a wheelbarrow full of money could have bought one loaf of bread. This gives you some sort of idea of the state the Germans were left in following the war. When Hitler rose to power, he blamed the Jews for the economic inflation that took place following WWI.