Holocaust and concentration camps?

I was just lying in bed on my laptop on Wikipedia and was doing random searches, when I came across the 'Holocaust'. I've studied it before and always found it disgusting but interesting.

I just don't understand how someone could do that though. I saw a photo of a bulldozer pushing hundreds of dead bodies into a mass grave. How could you drive that bulldozer? How could you do it?

I just don't know how this could go on and those doing the killing not feel any guilt at all. I know they were brainwashed, but can you be so brainwashed that thinking killing hundreds of people is ok?

Did lots of people who worked in these concentration camps commit suicide after WW2?

18 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I am not certain which photo you will have seen of the soldier using a dozer to bury the dead, but I think it was part of a Canadian unit that was given the task of tiding up the camp after it was liberated.

    There were just so many dead bodies that it was the fastest way to bury them before they began to decompose.

    It must have been extreme tough, not just for the driver, but also the unit commander who gave the order and all of the others involve in bring life back to so many of the near starvind and dying inmates, as well as the survivors themselves.

    There would no doubt have been a Jewish Rabbi there who would have blessed the dead in a befitting Jewish manner.

    They were dedicated Nazi's who were there, but many of them didn't have the stomach for that, and there were not enough of them, they were predominently guards, and the prisoners themselves emptied out the gas chambers and worked in the crematoria.

    General 'Ike' Eisenhower ordered the german people in the are to view what had been going on in their area as most claimed they knew nothing about what happened.

    Ike also ordered a fully documented and photographic record be made "so future generations would not be able to deny this happened".

    There is now neo nazis and others who are now claiming it never occured, including the President of Iran.

    I imagine there would have been guards, liberating soldiers and inmates who would have commited suicide in the aftermath.

    To me that wasthe ultimate savagery of what man could do to others.

    It makes Cambodia, Rawanda, Bosnia and others pale into insignificane.

    Only Stalin and Moa Ts Tung are close, but they were not intent on wiping out a whole race of people.

    This should not be seen as a rant, but alight for the edification of people who are unaware of what occured.

    All this is fact as I know it, and is from my mind, based on what i have learned.

    It took me sometime to find this about a Holocaust Memorial in London being removed.

    UK Memorial

    It is a matter of history that when Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found the victims of the death camps, he ordered all possible photographs to be taken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead. He did this because he said in words to this effect: "Get it all on record now - get the films - get the witnesses - because somewhere down the track of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened"

    In Memorial

    This week, the UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it "offended" the Muslim population which claims it never occurred.This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it.

    It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of th e6 million Jews, 20 million Russians,10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated.

    Now, more than ever, with Iran , among others, claiming the Holocaust to be "a myth," it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.

    This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!

    Be a link in the memorial chain and help distribute this around the world.

    Don't just delete this. It will take a minute to pass this along.

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil

    is for good men to do nothing."

    Edmund Burke

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Three ways to answer this.

    1.) Obidience and compliance- MIlgrams famous study was provoked by the holocaust. He found, of normal everyday Americans off the street, 60% would continue electricuting some until they died (they believed) if instructed to. The idea is you hand over responsibility to someone of higher rank (a similar thing was applied to the American soilders bombing a villiage of women and children in Vietnam)

    2.) Depersonalisation: In any case of genocide, there are a few universal conditions: an us - them attitude towards the percieved underclass, depersonalistion of the perceived underclass (Jews, dark skinned races, homosexuals were considered lesser than the perfect race), blaming them for all the problems, believing that the country is in a state of crisis - an extreme solution is needed, and a strong leader

    3.) More recently, psychologists have dismissed Milgram's view at least as it applies to the higher level of the chain of command (it might still apply to you bulldozer driver). Several of the camp guards actively and imagineitively interpreted orders that did not actuall call for the holocaust, orders being very vague. There was an air of competetion for Hitler's favour. The guards were committed to what they were doing, knew what they were doing, and they thought it was the right thing to do. They thought they were killing an enamy, they take on the ideology of the group that condones this behavoir

    Most of the people that were "responsible" were sentenced at the nuremberg trial. Others lower down were more likely to be (or at least feel) they were just following orders, thus avoiding guilt that would lead them to suicide. Those that took on the ideology would not feel guilt

    Source(s): Questioning the Banality of Evil (Haslam and Reicher) (article) covers most of these points
    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    the big men like Hitler and Goebels and the like they just gave orders to the ordinary soldiers.. they had 2 choices.. either refuse and die alongside with those assassinated so cruelly or follow orders.. I suppose on can call the soldiers ''moral cowards'' but they did not want to do that.. they wanted to get out there as well.. only the high ranking officers they enjoyed the bloodshed... I know some 15 year old boy did not want to join the German army.. my dad told me he saw that when he was a boy.. a 15 year old was trying to run from the Gestapo.. then my dad heard a shot.. either they killed that boy or they wounded him and put him into prison and anyone who did not follow orders they were hanged in public with the sign ''Coward''. It was a survival instinct.. some rather died alongside the Jews in gas chambers or get themselvs shot.. there were brave people as well...normally ordinary people who hid jews in their home even if that meant death for them if they were found out..

    One madman wanted to rule the world... and he had somehow a personality which made people listen to him... it was his voice that made them believe in something... and it all turned out into mad destruction and unbelievable cruelty towards other human beings...The normal soldiers must have had nightmares over that.. and the ranking ones had no concience but just jelled out the orders...and who did not follow the orders was just killed they did not care who it was disobedience meant ''you are dead'' that's why they did it.. reluctantly most of them...and a lot of those forced to do it did commit suicide.. and the real criminals had to have a trial or in Hitlers and Goebels case... they took the easy way out.. by self poisoning.. and all the children of the high ranking officers who were close to Hitler were also executed after the war was over.. and their wives.. even if they just had the misfortune to being married to monsters.. but they all had to die... because WWII was a lot worse than the first war although that was called the Great War.. but the atrocity of WWII that will hopefully never ever happen again . The Germans lost 2 wars... they will not start again..the concentration camps were a sad thing and can still be visited.. very depressing...Some people who survived life in a concentration camp told their story.. I was the worst and most evil crime of mankind ever...and there is no excuse but if you watch the film Schindlers list or read the book you will find that there were Germans who tried their best to help Jews to not get into a concentration camp..at their own risk..There was good and bad everywhere.. even in the midst of terrible evil was some good...

    Hitler actually hid the concentration camps from the German people. The world had a tough time fathoming the news that leaked out that such things existed and many Jews were gassed long before Americans/Canadians came into the picture to try and liberate them. When the German people heard the news they actually thought it was propaganda. The idea of such a terrible thing was hard for the world to believe.

    Hitler was nothing but a madman and he had hated Jews from the time he was very young. He wanted an Ariyan Race ... blond and blued eyed and supposedly intelligent humans. Hitler believed the Jews were greedy, wealthy and taking over Germany with their business'.

    Hitler created the concentration camps to basically hide his atrocities from the world. He had such a hatred for Jews he didn't mind one bit that they were used for scientific experiments and that he gassed millions. The figures for the Jews killed in concentration camps have never been on the mark. In history it is said that 6 million Jews were exterminated, but many feel there were more. Gypsies were also included in this and anyone hiding a Jew was also shot or thrown into the extermination camp.

    Often the Jews in the extermination camps were constantly moved from one to another. This man Hitler has put a terrible blight on History and not one to be proud of.

    After the war the Jews vowed to hunt down those who were responsible in those camps and they kept their word. They found many and by the law of War, these Germans were hung. Some got away, but many (I am happy to say) were hounded through their lives listening to the echos and screams of the Jews as they were so brutally treated.

    If you want to see a good movie (true story) you should rent the DVD/VHS "Schindler's list." This will also make you see that even some German soldiers were disgusted with the way Hitler treated the Jews


    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    I can't recall the exact German expression used afterward but it is something like "befel is befel" (orders are orders). That was the 'catch cry' of the times, when those facing War crimes charges were laid.

    It was Himmler who came up with the plan for the "Final Solution", not Hitler, he just signed the order.

    I have never read anything about uicde rates amongst the Germans involved, most were concentrating on fleeing Germany to several South American countries, which didn't ask too many questions and received a monetary gesture.

    For more about read about "Odessa", the Nazi group that worked to help those fleeing. It is supposedly still in existance today.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    Unfortunately it was easy: among other things it was a play on peoples naive patriotism and sense of 'duty'.

    Hitler and his cronies used the power of national pride coupled with the fear of outsiders (a Them and Us mentality, Us being obviously superior) to manipulate people into fear/hatred and projected it via the media. Anyone who objected, asked questions, or was less than enthusiastic was categorised as 'unpatriotic' and an 'enemy of the state'. The key tool used by Hitler and his henchmen was a threat of 'terrorism', and a threat to national security... the 'enemy' were dehumanised, so they had to be stopped at absolutely any cost... is this sounding familiar?

    This was coupled with changes to the constitution which were originally a safeguard to prevent tyrrany - 'terrorists' were thus so bad that they were denied the right to a free or fair trial, which left the door open for the definition of a terrorist to be re-defined as simply... an 'enemy of the state'... the rest was easy - you could now lock anyone up indefinitely, on the basis of any suspicion.

    Peoples morality was thus hijacked to 'serve a greater good' (national security) and was further underpinned by a 'you're either with is or you're against us' message... so everyone not actively supporting the regime was put under suspicion and lived in fear; social ostracism (of being 'unpatriotic'), was coupled with persecution, arrests and disappearances ... because 'difference', a lack of patriotism, or failure to support the party line 100% 'obviously' meant they were an 'enemy of the state'.

    I have no idea about the workers of the camps committing suicide but plenty pf the victims did.

    The groundwork for this was:

    A sense of injustice after WW1

    A post war economic collapse within Germany

    Great national pride

    A political vacuum

    A lack of public awareness / understanding of both history and the constitution - what their role was and how important they were to the freedoms most people take for granted.

    Source(s): The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich - Wiliam L Shirer
    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    I was brought up in Britain when they still had the death penalty. People used to wait outside a prison when there was a hanging, even though there was nothing to see except a small notice being posted on the main door. We only abolished corporal punishment in schools in NZ about 20 years ago. I used to work as a high school teacher. The main part of the job was enforcing stupid rules about uniform and language, not teaching. I've been to several third world countries, including Rhodesia and South Africa in the days of white supremacy. After a couple of days you stop giving money to beggars and you just don't notice the poverty. How much thought do you give to the stock in the paddocks you drive past on a cold wintery day? Experiments were carried out by psychologists in which volunteers believed that they were administering painful electric shocks to somebody. None of the volunteers showed any reluctance to do it. I often wonder what our descendants will think of our prisons, abbatoirs, battery chickens, sweated labour in Asia etc. No, as far as I know very few concentration camp guards killed themselves. Wabby, do you ever watch programmes on TV like Border Patrol? There was an episode a few weeks back where an Australian tourist was found by Customs at Queenstown airport to have a small amount of cannabis, and she was sent back on the next plane. Her holiday was ruined for no good reason. People like that customs officer are capable of anything, including mass murder.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • I know! I mean how could they, not even feel guilt!! I also find the Holocaust interesting, and I actually wrote a 4 page essay on it! The Holocaust lesson taught i my school, I will definitely not forget! And when I get a bit older, I plan to go to Germany, or Poland, and check out the camps, it's so interesting, and sad at the same time, it was actually painful for me to hear that, because I am Jewish myself, and thankfully, my grandparents, moved just in time when the began evacuating the Jews

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    It's a fairly simple matter of conditioning. The first step to defeating any enemy is dehumanize them. That was going in Germany before the camps ever opened. If people do not see what they are doing as man's inhumanity to man, it's easy to get them to commit all manner of atrocities. Of course some people felt guilt, tremendous amounts of it. Oh, and it was more like millions of people, not hundreds. There were hundreds killed each day. I'm not aware of any records regarding suicide rates following the war, but it had to be terrible to live with that knowledge, unless they continued to believe what they had done was right and proper.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It comes from two basic perspectives. One, you don't take personal responsibility (just following orders), but that also needs to be coupled with a view that the victims are less than human. If you can dehumanize someone or a group of people, then anything is possible. I can't answer about the suicides, but there were some who sought forgiveness. The book "The Sunflower" talks about a personal encounter by the author (a Jewish prisoner) with a dying Nazi who asked him for forgiveness for his war crimes against others.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • foofoo
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I've been to some of the concentration camps in Germany...it's just disgusting & there is this eerie feel about them. There are some that do feel remorse but at the time they were brainwashed into thinking they were the superior race when clearly they were not.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.