The Holocaust was a terrible event that can often be compared to the horrific practice of slavery. Both events dealt with lowering human beings to a status of dehumanization. Slavery and the Holocaust created social and racial hierarchies that destroyed human rights and races as a whole. The Holocaust can be compared and contrasted to the events of slavery in the ways of power, death toll, and inhumane treatment of innocent people. The Holocaust was a state government and bureaucratic decision led by the head commander in chief, Adolf Hitler. The Holocaust resulted in the murder of millions of Jews by the Nazi arty.
The Nazis, under the command of Adolf Hitler, believed that the Germans were of a higher social class than the Jews and even the more superior race. The Jews were considered to be conflicting with and stalling the expansion desires of Adolf Hitler. The Jews were thought of as sly, dirty, and stealers of German goods and money. In the videqo we watched during class, In Search of Jewish Amsterdam, Jews being vendors in Amsterdam were typical jobs (Bregstein, 1975). The Jews were the cause of every bad thing that happened in the German economy, and the only way to better the economy was to get rid of the Jews.
This is how the Germans thought. The Jews were also considered as a threat to the German racial community. During the Holocaust, the German authority also targeted other groups that were perceived to be racially inferior. Anne Frank in her diary says “Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart” (Frank, 2003). The Jews as a whole may not feel this way towards Germans nowadays, but for a little girl to still think this after and during the horrific Holocaust event is ground-breaking.
On the contrary, the slavery era, during the term of President Lincoln, was just as bad as the Holocaust. The slave trade was a business where individuals of non-black race would buy and sell African American people for profits. These African American people were shipped across the sea and had many struggles on this deathly boat ride. This is similar to how the Holocaust Jews were put on trains to transport them to concentration camps (Mak, 1999). The Jews and African American slaves were being transported to their death basically.
Through these times of transportation, the hope of the people was being diminished, and Anne Frank’s Diary states that “I’ve found that there is lways some beauty left — in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you” (Frank, 2003). These prisoners and victims had to find the light and happiness that was still left in life during the hard times. The African Americans were enslaved in the Europe during the Capitalist era. They were forced to do grueling tasks such as working in the fields and working in mines for over 8 hours a day (Franklin, 2000).
The Holocaust and slavery, the slave trade in general, are similar in that both events involved the inhumane and dehumanization of innocent people. These people were ecoming victims of these horrific events. The Holocaust sufferers were subjected to endless torture every day. The final and most tragic murdering of the Jews was the burning with fire while others died of diseases and gassing in the concentration camps. In a similar matter, the slave trade involved the forceful selling of innocent people to different countries outside of their home continent.
The slaves were selected by being captured and eventually gathering groups of these captured African Americans for shipment to Europe and Latin America. Due to the large numbers of the slaves, the living and just general onditions during the slave shipment period were often very horrific, which lead to high mortality and death rates during this boat transit. It was determined that only 50% of the slaves captured and sent away from their homes would make it to their destination alive (Franklin, 2000).
These poor conditions during the boat transfer also led to the psychological and mental torture of the slaves. This was therefore the similar type of inhumane treatment like the Jews suffered from in the Holocaust. The Holocaust is also similar to slavery in that many innocent people died in both events. It was estimated that some thirty to sixty million Africans died from being enslaved. Among those which who died, 50% of them composed of newly-captured slaves. From all of the people that passed away while being captured in Africa, 10% died while on the boat ride crossing the ocean.
The rest or other 40% died from the harsh labor jobs and life. On a similar note, the spread of the Nazi regime all across Europe lead to the death of millions. It was also estimated that between 2 and 3 million Russian prisoners were killed or died of starvation, malnutrition, or disease (Franklin, 2000). In addition, the two events compare in that both were started up due to increased economic turmoil and the overall pursuit of financial gains. In terms of the Holocaust, the Nazis were trying to eliminate the Jews, who which they thought were racially subordinate.
By doing this, the Nazi government believed that they could make Germany a more powerful and stronger state that would then make it easier to expand their territory through this racially powerful German community. This type of thinking would lead to economic empowerment, especially when the World War was taking most of the country’s financial support nd power. This similar reason of financial pursuit in the same way caused the slave trade to start up with full force. The middle men, those who captured and gathered the slaves in Africa, were profit driven individuals and had similar financial interests.
Also those who purchased a slave were also driven by the same capitalist interest because the slaves would provide cheap and affordable labor. (Appiah, 2005). In contrasting the two events in history, researchers and other individuals have brought to attention that the Holocaust is different than other forms of oppression than slavery. This herefore draws attention on the need to distinguish the differences between the Holocaust and slavery as a whole. The Holocaust targeted mainly Jews and other disabled persons who seemed to stand out from society’s norms.
The victims of the Holocaust were sent to torture and death or concentration camps. Most of those placed in those camps ended up dying due to unbearable torture, diseases, and neglect. This was different with slavery. The target group of slavery was the African population that was strong, young, and healthy. These Africans were then gathered into camps that were different han segregation camps. The Holocaust involved trying to eliminate members of the German society in order to create a powerful and single racial society unlike slavery.
Slavery involved the buying of persons who would then be used by individuals for economic gains. Both events portray a situation where two totally different societies consider what is humane from two different perspectives. The Nazis perceived the Jews as a threat to financial and territorial expansion while slavery seemed to appreciate the potential of humans as a resource, but in the least human way of enslavement. While slavery was in a way carried out with the governments’ oblivion, the Holocaust was as a whole created by the government and its supporters.
The Holocaust is one of the most extreme genocide cases in history because the enforcers and perpetrators came from the government. The government was supposed to be protecting the people but in this case was turning against the population based on racial discrimination. (History. Com). The Gestapo, the police force throughout Germany during the Holocaust, were supposed to be protecting the citizens, but they were just as much of a threat to Jews. The Gestapo would turn people in and torture them too.
The governmental security for citizens was a disaster during these historical times. The effects of these two major and horrific events still remain an issue to societies across the world that are generally still talked about today. Racial discrimination is still a big issue in today’s society, and the fight for equality plays a role now. Affirmative action and many other laws and judicial decisions have been made and created based on these two historic cases in order to not let things like this happen again to our society.