Stage One: Classification

Insterior of a Jewish passport during the Third Reign

Insterior of a Jewish passport during the Third Reign

Cover of a Jewish passport during the Third Reign

Cover of a Jewish passport during the Third Reign

The Holocaust can be scene as an organized destruction process, one that unfolded step by step but did not proceed from a definite plan. The Nazis first brought their plan into motion by the separation of “us (Germans)” and “them (Jews and many other minority groups).” The Nazis felt the Aryan race was far superior and anyone who didn’t meet that standard shouldn’t exist. Mistakenly, the Jews were considered a race rather than a religion. The Nazis promoted this concept through the use of propaganda and proved to be vital in not only winning the support of German’s, but as well enforcing Anti-Semitism throughout the country. Hitler took advantage of the cultural differences that made the Jews stand out and blamed them for Germany’s loss during World War I.

Although the Jews were the Nazis main target, many other groups were attacked, this included the elderly, the physically disabled, the sick, Gypsies, etc. Anyone who was considered a threat to the Nazis such as political enemies, educated individuals like doctors and lawyers were eliminated first to prevent any interference with the Nazis plan.

All Jews were required to have their passports stamped with a “J,” which stood for Jew. Jews were believed to be an international threat and the public saw them as a scapegoat for all their troubles. The Jews have always had a lot of hatred towards their religion in the past which made abusing them that much easier.

 

Stage Two: Symbolization

A Jewish man wearing the Star of David as he walks through the streets of Germany

A Jewish man wearing the Star of David as he walks through the streets of Germany

 

Adolf Hitler deploying his soldiers during the Third Reign. An armband with the Swastika is visible on the left arm of all German soldiers.

Adolf Hitler deploying his soldiers during the Third Reign. An armband with the Swastika is visible on the left arm of all German soldiers.

Posters were put up on numerous exits of buildings and stores reminding Jews to wear their Star. This shows how thorough the Nazis were and used propaganda to its full extent. One thing that comes to people’s heads after hearing about the posters is why did the Nazis go to such lengths when they wanted the Jews exterminated?  It may have cost quite a sum of money but it succeeded in providing the Jews with a false sense of security. Eventually, in the year 1938, Jews were required to carry identification papers that stated their numerical number they would be referred to as. By now it is obvious that the Jews were inferior in every aspect as their rights continued to diminish. The public may have noticed this but nothing was being done to retaliate. After all, majority felt it would be much easier to stay quiet and not get involved with something that didn’t concern them.

 

Posters were put up on numerous exits of buildings and stores reminding Jews to wear their Star. This shows how thorough the Nazis were and used propaganda to its full extent. One thing that comes to people’s heads after hearing about the posters is why did the Nazis go to such lengths when they wanted the Jews exterminated?  It may have cost quite a sum of money but it succeeded in providing the Jews with a false sense of security. Eventually, in the year 1938, Jews were required to carry identification papers that stated their numerical number they would be referred to as. By now it is obvious that the Jews were inferior in every aspect as their rights continued to diminish. The public may have noticed this but nothing was being done to retaliate. After all, majority felt it would be much easier to stay quiet and not get involved with something that didn’t concern them.

 

Stage Three: Dehumanization

German soldier cutting the beard of a Jewish man.

German soldier cutting the beard of a Jewish man.

The Holocaust denies the Jews their humanity. They are treated as an equal to that of vermin and hate propaganda has continued to escalate. The Nazis preached of an imprecise image of the Jews, isolating all possible interactions with them and eventually excluding them from society as a whole. The clever use of propaganda, plus the widespread anti-Semitism has lead to violence, humiliation, and the persecution of Jews. Following the passing of the Nuremberg Laws in 1935, Jews are stripped of their civil rights. The Laws identified someone as a Jew by how many Jewish grandparents a person had rather than a religious belief. The Laws also deprived Jews of political rights and enforcing curfews, restricting the movement of Jews all over the country.

SA pickets, wearing boycott signs in front of the entrance of a Jewish-owned shops. The sign of the left reads: "Germans, defend yourselves against the Jewish atrocity propaganda,  buy only at German shops!" The sign on the right reads "Germans, defend yourselves, only buy at German shops!"

SA pickets, wearing boycott signs in front of the entrance of a Jewish-owned shops. The sign of the left reads: “Germans, defend yourselves against the Jewish atrocity propaganda, buy only at German shops!” The sign on the right reads “Germans, defend yourselves, only buy at German shops!”

In an attempt to further isolate the Jews, Jewish-owned businesses were taken over. Jews no longer had the right to own a business and for those few that managed to keep theirs, Nazi soldiers would stand out front and guarantee no one would come in. On November 9 and 10, 1938, the German government ordered a massacre known as the Night of Broken Glass. About 100 Jews were killed in the process while Jewish homes, synagogues, and businesses were destroyed. The Jews were forced to pay for the damages and there was no help from the authorities in preventing such a gruesome event.

The unrelenting hatred towards Jews was enforced and the general public participated in atrocious actions that violate an individuals human rights. German soldiers cut the hair of Jews in order to strike them with fear, causing the Jews to be incapable of responding and helpless. The Germans ensured they broke down what little hope the Jews had left in order for the total annihilation of the population to be as swift as possible. These actions reinforced the message that Jews were outsiders in Germany and they did not belong. The citizens of Germany felt that it was in their being itself that caused Germany to fall to such a depression and getting rid of them was the solution they have been waiting for.

 

Stage Four: Organization

The Schutzstuffel

The Schutzstuffel

Genocide is always organized. The Nazis trained special army units and militias in order to suppress the Jews and follow through with their preparations for the “Jew free Germany.” Built upon the Nazi ideology, the Schutzstaffel was a criminal organization that assisted the Nazis in providing security for all Nazi Party members, mainly Adolf Hitler. Its large numbers and power were unmatched by many organizations in Germany and was considered to be one of the most powerful organizations to ever be created in the Third Reich. After gaining control of Germany’s police forces, the Schutzstaffel expanded their responsibilities. Heinrich Himmler commanded the Schutzstaffel and divided it into three sections: The Security section, the Military section, and the Concentration Camp section. Each section had their own set of tasks, which contributes to the overall Nazi ideal.

A chain of command is established through the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. Containing a numerous number of titles, it minimizes room for error by splitting up tasks such as eliminating Nazi opposition and overseeing the daily operations of concentration camps/death camps. This demonstrates how systematic the Holocaust was and it resulted from a chain of events strung together. Without a solid structure to work on, nothing could be achieved without it falling down.

 

Stage Five: Polarization

“The personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew”
– Adolf Hitler

The fifth stage of genocide indicates “Extremists drive the groups apart. Hate group’s broadcast polarizing propaganda.” All this was present during the Holocaust. An endless stream of polarizing propaganda was fed to the public in forms of open speeches, posters, newspaper ads, etc. Everything was under Nazi control and the media’s abuse reached its full potential. The Nuremberg Laws introduced in 1935 forbade Jews from marrying or having a sexual relation with persons of German or German-related blood to prevent their “disease” from spreading. The killings made by one group may provoke others to do the same and retribution may be a motive for the opposing groups. These massacres are targeted at those who are not extreme, partisan, or radical and will continue to cause conflict until negotiated settlement is impossible.