The Holocaust was unique because it directly was responsible for WW 2. Hitler conquered at least 21 sovereign countries in order to fully implement the Final Solution. This gave him access to all European Jews and was one of the causes of World War II the deadliest military conflict in history. Over 60 million people were killed, which was over 2.5?f the world population.
“If I am ever really in power, the destruction of the Jews will be my first and most important job.”
– Adolf Hitler, 1922
"When I came to power, I did not want the concentration camps to become old age pensioners homes, but instruments of terror." - Adolf Hitler
The Holocaust was the systematic annihilation of six million Jews during the Nazi genocide - in 1933 nine million Jews lived in the 21 countries of Europe that would be occupied by Nazi Germany during World War 2. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been killed. The crimes committed at Dachau also were repeated at the other camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, and Treblinka. My father was present at the liberation of Dachau and he rarely spoke of his experience. This sparked my interest in the Holocaust. During the first year, Dachau held about 4,800 prisoners and by 1937 the number had risen to 13,260.
During the Holocaust, six million were Polish citizens. Three million were Polish Jews and another three million were Polish Christians and Catholics. Most of the remaining mortal victims were from other countries including Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Holland, France and even Germany. Hitler had a vision of a Master Race of Aryans that would control Europe. He used very powerful propaganda techniques to convince not only the German people, but countless others, that if they eliminated the people who stood in their way and the degenerates and racially inferior, they - the great Germans would prosper. Neighboring Poland - The First Target: "All Poles will disappear from the world.... It is essential that the great German people should consider it as its major task to destroy all Poles." Heinrich Himmler
The prisoners were whipped and also skinned alive, Lined up in front of a pit and shot, Cruel medical experiments, Lined them up and ran a bulldozer over them, Tied to a post and the flesh torn off their backs with a stick wrapped with barbed wire, Freezing experiments in ice vats, The gas chambers and the crematoriums, Medical experiments, Starvation and Hanging.
Dachau, like Aushwitz, had doctors like Mengele, the "Angel of Death", who did indeed commit vile experiments on select inmates -- with a particular fixation on identical twins, dwarfs, and genetically inferior persons. These experiments included: -Hurting a twin and gauging the other twins' reaction -Removing body parts to test the survival time of the patient -Testing new, unfounded surgery techniques (supposedly without anesthesiaa -- debated by some historians) -Using saltwater and electricity to gauge the pain response of the human body These means did became the most infamous torture techniques in the Nazi regime.
One of the more common tortures used in some Nazi camps involved tying an inmate's wrists securely behind the back and them suspending him (or her) for anything from 30 minutes to a few hours. The pain and the effect on the muscles and joints can easily be imagined. It was horrific. Some victims were dropped, face down, on to collections of fixed, fairly sharp objects (but not sharp enough to kill them). If they fainted they were revived and the process was repeated.
Twins were used for testing e.g to see whether their eye color would change if they squirted ink in their eyes which would have terrible consequences such as blindness or seriously damaged eyes. Also, men were put in ice holes until they froze to death and one victim was hung upside down for 3 hours until he died because the camp guards kept shoving sand down the throat with sticks!
Also, remember the many young women during World War II who were put to death for plotting and fighting against the Nazis, as resistance fighters, partisans and activists in towns and concentration camps. It is estimated that more than 4,000 women of various ages were hanged by Nazi forces between 1939 and 1945. Many more were shot or guillotined and many were tortured before minimal or non-existent trials.
Degree in History and Spanish (focus Jewish studies) New Mexico State U. 1990