The Other Victims Of Nazi Germany Research Paper
According to history, the Nazis believed in the concept of a “master race”, adopted from Nordic legends that point to the Germans as the supreme race. The “master race” constituted of people with blue eyes, blond hairs, and of the Nordic stock – in other words, the Aryan race. As the supreme, they believed in their right to declare who was worthy of life and who was not, which would thereby lead them to purifying the world. Almost five decades after the end of World War II, not many are aware that the Jews were not the only victims of Nazi Germany’s war of racism. In addition to history’s estimate of six million Jews, more than five million others fell victim to the atrocities borne out of racism and violence. Among them were the religious, homosexuals, the blacks, the disabled, and other neighboring nationalities like the Slavs and Poles. Although the suffering of the Jews is undeniable, such tales of horror also unfolded unto victims barely uttered today.
Poles. Nazi Germany’s occupation of Poland was the one of the most brutal parts of the war, if not the most. The invasion resulted to more than 1.8 million deaths of Poles, and an estimate of 3 million Polish Jews. The Poles were first on Hitler’s list for experimentation, as supported by a speech he delivered in the 22nd of August 1939. The Poles both suffered from SS death squads and death camps, and the culmination of the anti-Polish campaign happened in the almost complete destruction of the Warsaw ghetto in 1944, ordered by Hitler himself. According to historical data, plans were made to exterminate 85% of Poland’s population, which was an estimate of over 20 million people. The remaining 15% were to be used as slaves.
Slavs. The Slavs were one of the most persecuted groups in the war, next to the Poles. According to Ian Kershaw, a British historian, the genocide and violence was planned for Lebensraum, which pertains to living space. This applies to Hitler’s strict racial requirements, the Aryan race. Thus, elimination of the Slavs was necessary.
The Soviets. The Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, known in history as Operation Barbarossa, lead to the execution of millions of Red Army prisoners. Many of them also died from inhumane treatment on war camps, death marches, and the infamous death camps. History dictates that the German killed over 2.8 million Soviet prisoners of war (POWs) using the combination of methods such as starvation and execution, among others, over merely eight months.
Romani. The genocide of the Romani is a subject of debate, and up until the 1980s, was refused to be acknowledged by the scholars. The details of its origins continue to differ; according to historians Francis Nicosia and Donald Niewyk, the Romani murders began later than that of the Jews and only a small percentage fell victim. However, history narrates that Hitler has targeted the Romani population for the racial selection. Some Romani escaped deportation and death, however, but the remaining population were subjected to the fate of the Jews – relocation to ghettos, mass shootings, and gassing. Their death toll is estimated to be at 220,000 to 1,500,000. The genocide of the Romani was formally recognized by West Germany in 1982.
The Disabled. Nazi Germany hold their eugenics policy sacred, where it states that the disabled were merely burdens to society. The disabled needed care, and such weakness was seen as an affront to their concept of a master race. As a result, 375,000 disabled people were sterilized against their will. They were also the first victims of murder by the Nazis. The T-4 program, or the Euthanasia Decree, was the model and precedent of the Jewish genocide. Here, both children and adults with physical and mental deformities were sent to gas chambers for the first time.
The Homosexuals. Male homosexuality was deemed incompatible with Nazism, as they believed that gay men were weak and incapable of fighting for Germany due to their effeminacy. The Nazis also believed that anything that diminished the German nation’s reproductive aptitude should be seen as a racial gender – such trait was branded on to the homosexuals. Nazi Germany also deemed homosexuality as a contagious disease. More than a million gay Germans were targeted; 50,000 were convicted and imprisoned and 100,000 more were arrested. Many were also institutionalized in mental hospitals, where they were castrated as mandated by court order. The number of deaths remain uncertain. A number of gay men also became part of concentration camps, where they were branded with pink triangles on their shirts. The lesbians, although not treated as harshly, were given black triangles in the camps. Although the Nazis did not actively sought to murder the homosexuals, they resorted to violence and quite a number of deaths for intimidation.
The Blacks. There was no genocide program made for Afro-Germans, but they were persecuted. Sterilization, incarceration and other forms of abuse were brought upon them, including murder. Such figures remain low as there is only an estimate of 5,000 – 25,000 blacks living in Germany during the rise of the Nazi empire.
Blue eyes, blond hair, and of Nomadic descent – these were the traits of the master race, and any less than that meant abuse and death, the epitome of racism in Europe.