America's Reaction to the Holocaust Essay

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America's Reaction to the Holocaust

In the years of the Second World War, American leaders were aware of the plan of the Germans to exterminate all the Jews in Europe, yet they did not act to save them. The attitude in society and the state of the economy in the years leading up to the war made for conditions that did not make saving them likely. Most Germans despised the Weimar Republic, which held control of Germany at the time they signed the Versailles Treaty. This treaty crippled Germany after they lost The First Great War. The proud Germans saw this republic as weak. Adolph Hitler, an Austrian born man of German lineage, claimed that the only true Germans were Aryans and that the Jewish influence in the Weimar Republic
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(Wyman)
Even with such massive extermination the German leaders were unsatisfied and demanded a more efficient and permanent answer to the problem. The directive to exterminate all the Jews in Europe was issued on July 31, 1941. In December of that year, a law banning Jews from leaving any German territories was put into effect. Then finally, on January 20, 1942, Reinhard Heydrich came up with what was termed "the final solution to the of the Jewish question." He proposed a plan to erect six camps built for killing large numbers of people. The Germans built six such camps in the two years to follow, Belzec, Majdanek, Treblinka, Sobibor, Auschwitz, and Chelmno. Chelmno was the first of the camps to be built. It used large trucks into which they crammed as many Jews as possible who choked on the trucks own exhaust fumes. Most of the other camps had permanent gas chambers, which killed by the fumes of a stationary engine. Although Auschwitz used Zyklon B, a type of hydrogen cyanide. These venues of death were host to over 3 million Jews who lost their lives. (Wyman)
The conditions in the camps were so terrible that they drove the poor Jews who lived through it into madness. One such survivor published his experiences in a book entitled Night. Elie Weisel, the book's author, reports of conditions so horrible that he lost his faith and his sense of humanity. Weisel and his
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