VICTIMS OF THE NAZI ERA
Between 1933 and 1945 the Nazis sought to create a racial state comprised of what they deemed to be a racially pure population, while at the same time attempting to bring the thoughts and values of their citizens in line with Nazi ideology. To that end, individuals of multiple groups were persecuted by the Nazis because of their political convictions, sexual orientations, religious practices, or their perceived biological identities. Though the ultimate aim of the Holocaust was the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question,” which resulted in the genocide of approximately 6 million Jews, the persecution, suffering, and murder of others deemed unworthy of inclusion in the Nazi state often pre-dated the persecution of the Jews and laid the groundwork for the mechanisms that would be used against the Jews.
While it is always inappropriate to compare the suffering of victims, it is appropriate to analyze the policies toward different victim groups and how those policies were implemented. By examining the experiences of other victims of the Nazi crimes, students are able to properly understand the context in which the Holocaust happened, explore what is unique to each victim group, and recognize what is universal across the experience.
Rockhold, Jessica, editor. “White Rose Student Essay Contest.” Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, 2017, mchekc.org/white-rose-student-essay-contest/. Accessed 19 Jan. 2018.