The Horrors of Killing Centers During the Holocaust

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Poland was devastated when German forces invaded their country on September 1, 1939, marking the beginning of World War II. Still suffering from the turmoil of World War I, with Germany left in ruins, Hitler's government dreamt of an immense, new domain of "living space" in Eastern Europe; to acquire German dominance in Europe would call for war in the minds of German leaders (World War II in Europe). The Nazis believed the Germans were racially elite and found the Jews to be inferior to the German population. The Holocaust was the discrimination and the slaughter of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its associates (Introduction to the Holocaust). The Nazis instituted killing centers, also known as “extermination camps”…show more content…
At extermination camps, the Nazis conducted many medical experiments on the prisoners that resulted in many deaths. Between 1939 and 1945 medical research projects involving cruel and often lethal experimentation on human subjects were performed. These projects were supported, well-known organizations in the Third Reich and were categorized into three fields: research intended at cultivating the endurance and rescue of German troops, testing of medical techniques and medications, and experiments that pursued to approve Nazi cultural belief. More than seven thousand victims of these cruel medical experiments have been acknowledged. Targets of the experiments included Jews, Poles, Gypsies, Soviet prisoners of war, homosexuals, and Catholic priests (Medical Experiments ). At many of the killing centers, the Nazis created the Sonderkommando. These were groups of Jewish male prisoners chosen for their youth and good health. Their work was to get rid of corpses from the gas chambers or crematoria. Some did the job to setback their own deaths; some thought they could save their friends and family from harm, and some only did it for the extra food and money these men occasionally were given. The men were forced to do this job. The only other option was death in the gas chambers or being shot by an SS guard (Shields). The SS believed the killing centers to be top secret. In order to

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