Impact of Holocaust on the Victims and Survivors

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The Holocaust was an extreme occasion in the twentieth century, which was accompanied by horrific suffering and human cruelty. The account of this events focused mainly on the conditions of the war victims in the concentration camps (Levi). The victims of the Holocaust have a lingering memory of the suffering and atrocity they went through during this period. The majority have come to terms with the fact that war is not an aggregate of Individual recollection but rather a narrative that is socially necessary for a different group and remains an identity of that group. The Holocaust event resulted in massive prosecution and murder of Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators. This paper analyses the impact of the Holocaust on the victims and survivors.

         Most survivors and victims had a mental disorder called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a psychological condition in which a victim appears to be normal on the outside, but in a real sense, he/she is going through a lot of pain and suffering internally. The terrifying events and atrocities encountered by the victims in concentration camps, during the Holocaust have created a different situation of PSTD (Levi). The characteristics that associated with the condition are not only felt by the victims and the survivors but also their generation. For instance, survives and victims in the concentration camps were subjected to suffering, humiliations, confrontations by the use of a crude weapon. Similarly, families were separated and victims forced to leave in small spaces a factor that leads to the poor hygienic condition.

 The concentration camps also increased concentration among the victims who tried their level best not to be seen and picked by the guards for punishment and hard jobs. The inmates who were lucky to survive were malnourished and resembled skeletons because of the demand for forced labour and lack of enough food.

        Lack of enough and good quality food and increased starvation in the concentration camps resulted in a medical condition such as cancer and osteoporosis among the survivors. The study found out that some survivors are still hoarding food and eating spoiled food instead of throwing it away. The continued consumption and use of spoiled food by Holocaust survivors have led to continued malnutrition among the victims even today. Some of the victims who were not strong enough to withstand hunger and starvation died while in the concentration camps.

        The situation in which the survivors were made to watch their friend’s day due to starvation left a psychological effect among the survivors, a condition in which most of the survivors are yet to accept and move on. The time starvation showed that starvation is one of the psychological weapons that can be used to subdue an enemy (Jan). Subjecting the Jews to hunger and starvation was one of Hitler psychological tactic to weaken the Jews and eliminate them easily as they had in energy to resist. The Holocaust event proves that; it is human nature to believe that their race is more superior than others and its only Germans who are supposed to exist without knowing that the earth belongs to all of us.

        The Holocaust event resulted in the death of so many people and left many refugees, including Jews who had lost their people and all the property they owned. In the year 1945, the soldiers from America and Soviet group visited the German concentration camps and discovered piles of corps, human ashes, and bones a clear indication that Nazi dictators murdered the war victims (Eisenhower). A letter written to General George Catlett shows how the victims were suffering from starvation and disease (Eisenhower). In spite of all these atrocities, the Jews still received a lot of antisemitism from their own country a situation that made most of them not to go back after the war. Due to the sufferings and oppression the survivors experienced, many refused to return to their original countries. They languished in poverty in the refugee camps for many years (Eisenhower). The spread of propaganda and the widespread belief by polish that Jews were supporters of the new communists, and they aimed to oppress Poland led to the outbreak of riot and demonstration by polish people resulting in the death of many Jews (Hitler). It is human nature to feel threatened when there is competition. The propaganda that Jews were supporting the new communism was a strategy used by the Polish leaders who felt threatened by the leadership skills displayed by Jews. The used the propaganda to incite people against the Jews a situation that resulted in war and loss of many innocent lives. According to Hitler’s latter; the Jewish peril. He categorically stated that Jews wanted to dominate everything as if they were a special race (Jan). Hitler made it clear that to progress in future all people of Jewish origin must be eliminated from Germany.

        During the Holocaust event, children were the most vulnerable as the Nazi regime advocated for the killing children from unwanted groups. Jewish children’s who lived in ghettos died from starvation, lack of clothing and shelter and exposure to dangerous gases. (Levi) Children in ghettos were considered to be unproductive and therefore useless. Those above the age of twelve were taken into the concentration camps and forced into slavery. The ill, disabled and weak children were transported to killing centres and shot into mass graves. Auschwitz-Birkenau was one of the killing centres where children were killed (Levi). The Nazi authority and the social Soviet Union used children in concentration camps for medical experiments. The experiments were done on children often resulted in the deaths of the children. However, some children devised ways to stay alive despite their susceptibility. They smuggled medicines and food into the ghettos. Some children joined adolescent movements and participated in underground resistance actions while some escaped with their parents or relatives to other countries.

        In conclusion, the capacity of a human to endure the extreme sufferings and atrocities subjected by the Nazi regime to the Holocaust victims enable some to adopt a survival mechanism. However, the effect was severe to the extent that, some of the survivors are unable to recover from the post-traumatic experience. The occurrence and the extent of the Holocaust will remain in the memory of the victims and survivors for several years. There is a need for the victims and survivors of that horrific event to be given moral and psychological support. The event as narrated by the victim demonstrates the brutality and genocide committed by the Nazi to the victims. Human nature played a significant role during the Holocaust event, by exposing how some people are so inhuman. The ability of the survivors to withstand the oppression and starvation demonstrate how strong human being can adapt and adjust to the changes in the environment.





Works Cited

Eisenhower, Dwight David, Joseph P. Hobbs, and George Catlett Marshall. Dear General: Eisenhower's wartime letters to Marshall. JHU Press, 1999.

Hitler, Adolf. "MEIN KAMPF by Adolf Hitler: Volume 1, Chapter 6 - War Propaganda". Mondopolitico.Com, 2018,

1c6.htm. Accessed 23 Nov 2018

Jan, Hornik. Why the Holocaust: Hitler's Darwinistic Messianic Genocide. Rybka Publishers, 2015.

Levi, Primo. Survival in Auschwitz. Simon and Schuster, 1996.

November 13, 2023

History War


Nazi Germany World War II

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