Examples Of Totalitarianism During World War 2

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During World War 2, the most evident traits of totalitarianism were the Nazi’s military terror that led to the Warsaw ghetto, Hitler’s persecution of the Jews that resulted in death camps like Auschwitz, and Stalin’s control of individuals that caused famine across millions. Hitler and the Nazis used military terror in World War 2 to force Jews into the Warsaw Ghetto, which resulted in starvation and death. Military terror was a tactic used by rulers to gain obedience through violence. Many times leaders have a special police force to protect the government's interests and scare the people into abiding by their rules. In Germany, Hitler used military terror to enforce his leadership with the help from the Nazi party. He targeted the Jewish…show more content…
Persecution is the elimination of a certain religious, ethnic, or political group to strengthen the government's power. Often times the government uses the tactic of scapegoating, or blaming a group for the country's flaws, to achieve this (Key Traits of Totalitarianism Handout). Hitler blamed the Jewish people for Germany’s loss in World War 1. The Jews were used as scapegoats to reduce the humiliation of the Germans for losing the war. Because of this, Hitler’s goal was to cleanse Germany of any backstabbing Jews (Growing Fascism in Germany Notes, pg 1). Hitler became impatient while waiting for the Jews to die in the ghettos so he held a conference in Wannsee on January 20, 1942 to decide the next step for purifying Germany. Hitler, along with 15 other scholars, decided to deport all Jews to extermination camps and kill the majority of them in gas chambers. Hitler prohibited the Jews from fleeing the country so he was able to purge the entire population. One of the largest death camps in Germany, Auschwitz, was a result of the Wannsee Conference. This camp was known for the gas chambers that killed 6 thousand Jews a day (The Holocaust Notes, pg 4&7). After waiting in line to be evaluated by “doctors,” Jews were separated in different groups, most of which were sent to the “showers” that were actually gas chambers and got carbon monoxide poisoning. The others who weren't killed immediately worked at the camp and either starved to death or were later purged. By the end of World War 2, about 6 million Jews were murdered in concentration camps (Textbook, pg 503-504). Elie Wiesel, a survivor of Auschwitz, reflected, “Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust” (Textbook, pg 505). Still to this day, Wiesel is traumatized by the grim experiences that took place in the Auschwitz death camp.
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