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jewish refugees A Timeline of the Holocaust

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic annihilation of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and their collaborators as a central act of state during World War II. In 1933
approximately nine million Jews lived in the 21 countries of Europe that would be occupied by Germany during the war. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been killed.
Although Jews were the primary victims, hundreds of thousands of Roma (Gypsies) and at least 250,000 mentally or physically disabled persons were also victims of Nazi genocide.
As Nazi tyranny spread across Europe from 1933 to 1945, millions of other innocent people were persecuted and murdered. More than three million Soviet prisoners of war were
killed because of their nationality. Poles, as well as other Slavs, were targeted for slave labor, and as a result, almost two million perished. Homosexuals and others deemed
"anti-social" were also persecuted and often murdered. In addition, thousands of political and religious dissidents such as communists, socialists, trade unionists, and Jehovah's
Witnesses were persecuted for their beliefs and behavior and many of these individuals died as a result of maltreatment.

The concentration camp is most closely associated with the Holocaust and remains an enduring symbol of the Nazi regime. The first camps opened soon after the Nazis took power
in January 1933; they continued as a basic part of Nazi rule until May 8, 1945, when the war, and the Nazi regime, ended.

The events of the Holocaust occurred in two main phases: 1933-1939 and 1939-1945.

I. 1933-1939:

On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler was named Chancellor, the most powerful position in the German government, by the aged President Hindenburg who hoped Hitler could lead the
nation out of its grave political and economic crisis. Hitler was the leader of the right-wing National Socialist German Workers Party (called the Nazi Party for short); it was, by 1933,
one of the strongest parties in Germany, even though * reflecting the country's multi-party system * the Nazis had only won a plurality of 33 percent of the votes in the 1932 elections to
the German parliament (Reichstag).

Once in power, Hitler moved quickly to end German democracy. He convinced his cabinet to invoke emergency clauses of the Constitution which permitted the suspension of
individual freedoms of the press, speech, and assembly. Special security forces * the Special State Police (the Gestapo), the Storm Troopers (S.A.), and the Security Police (S.S.) *
murdered or arrested leaders of opposition political parties (communists, socialists, and liberals). The Enabling Act of March 23, 1933, forced through a Reichstag already purged of
many political opponents, gave dictatorial powers to Hitler.

Also in 1933, the Nazis began to put into practice their racial ideology. Echoing ideas popular in Germany as well as most other western nations well before the 1930s, the Nazis
believed that the Germans were "racially superior" and that there was a struggle for survival between them and "inferior races." They saw Jews, Roma (Gypsies), and the
handicapped as a serious biological threat to the purity of the "German (Aryan) Race,"[footnote #1] what they called the "master race."

Jews, who numbered around 500,000 in Germany (less than one percent of the total population in 1933), were the principal target of Nazi hatred. The Nazis mistakenly identified
Jews as a race and defined this race as "inferior." They also spewed hatemongering propaganda which unfairly blamed Jews for Germany's economic depression and the country's
defeat in World War I (1914-1918).

In 1933, new German laws forced Jews to quit their civil service jobs, university and law court positions, and other areas of public life. In April 1933, a boycott of Jewish businesses
was instituted. In 1935, laws proclaimed at Nuremberg stripped German Jews of their citizenship even though they retained limited rights. These "Nuremberg Laws" defined Jews
not by their religion or by how they wanted to identify themselves but by the blood of their grandparents. Between 1937 and 1939, new anti-Jewish regulations segregated Jews
further and made daily life very difficult for them: Jews could not attend public schools, go to theaters, cinemas, or vacation resorts, or reside, or even walk, in certain sections of
German cities. ... more

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Female circumcision

" A Look Into Female Genital Mutilation"
                             
"She only loses a little piece of the clitoris, just the part that protrudes. The girl doesn't miss it. She can still feel, after all. There is hardly any pain. Women's pain thresholds are so much higher than men's" (Denniston, 7).
This was a direct quote from an interview of people who unquestionably accept sexual mutilations. The interviews were conducted from 1979-1994 in Sudan and from 1984-1995 in parts of the United States and Europe. The exact location and date of the person who said this was not revealed. Sexual mutilations among females are also known as female circumcision, infibulations or clitoridectomy. Although there are variations in procedure, many times the above names are used interchangeable. The practice of female circumcision has long been a part of the lives of many young Muslim, Christian, Jewish and African girls.
The July 14, 1996, Los Angeles Times, states that more than 120 million women across a broad swath of the African continent have been subjected to the brutal genital mutilation.  Most are children between the ages of 4 and 10 when the ritual takes place. Although Westerners condemn it as torture, child abuse and a violation of human rights, it remains a revered rite of passage in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. According to the World Health Organization, circumcision dates back almost 4,000 years. No one knows exactly how the practice began, though scholars speculate its origins lay somewhere along the Nile Valley.
The reasons for performing this procedure are almost as numerous as it's consequences. The procedure can simply be a small but painful nick across the hood of the clitoris, but is typically more severe.  The most severe type of circumcision is called infibulation.  The clitoris, inner labia and most of the soft flesh of the labia are scraped or cut away.  Often with a double edged blade, scissors or even a shard of glass,  performed by a close relative,   midwife or barber. The July 14, 1996, Los Angeles Times, states:
"The child is then bound from waist to toes, and she will remain tied for weeks until scar tissue nearly seals the vagina.  She is left with just a pencil-thin hole close to the anus for urination and menstruation.  It can take the child a quarter of an hour to urinate, drop by drop.  She could develop a kidney or bladder infection.  When her menstrual periods start, they will last 10 days and she will be incapacitated by cramps nearly half the month caused by the near impossibility of flow passing through so tiny an opening.  The odor of soured blood will linger".
"If the wound heals improperly, shiny keloid scars will crisscross the otherwise soft tissue of the vulva.  Childbirth will be difficult, and the thick scars may have to be cut through to the rectum." The trauma of a child's pain transcends into adulthood.  A normal and happy sex life is almost never enjoyed, and I am influenced to believe that the magnitude of female circumcision is not understood by the child and rarely explained.  To some children it is a way to stop the painful teasing of others who believe that those who have not been cut are inferior.  For most it is the only way to become a woman.
Female circumcision, better known as Female Genital Mutilation, is an ugly monster finally rearing its head from out of the depths of time. It can attack a girl at any age, with a little prompting from her society, and the aid of an unsuspecting human wielding the knife. Usually, it is performed from a few days after birth to puberty, but in some regions, the torture can be put off until just before marriage or the seventh month of pregnancy (Samad, 52). The reality of female circumcision is that it is still accepted, regularly practiced, and willingly exercised as a rite of passage for young girls into womanhood. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is believed to have been performed at least 1400 - 2000 years ago beginning during an era know to the Muslims as "al-gahiliyyah" or "the era of ignorance". FGM is generally associated with ... more

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  • E: A Timeline of the Holocaust E: A Timeline of the Holocaust A Timeline of the Holocaust The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic annihilation of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and their collaborators as a central act of state during World War II. In 1933 approximately nine million Jews lived in the 21 countries of Europe that would be occupied by Germany during the war. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been killed. Although Jews were the primary victims, hundreds of thousands of Roma (Gypsies) and at least 250,000 mentally or p...
  • W: Female circumcision W: Female circumcision Female circumcision A Look Into Female Genital Mutilation She only loses a little piece of the clitoris, just the part that protrudes. The girl doesn't miss it. She can still feel, after all. There is hardly any pain. Women's pain thresholds are so much higher than men's (Denniston, 7). This was a direct quote from an interview of people who unquestionably accept sexual mutilations. The interviews were conducted from 1979-1994 in Sudan and from 1984-1995 in parts of the United States and Eu...
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  • Poverty Poverty Poverty To understand our current sins of earth-savaging, overconsuming, and overpopulating, we have to look at facts that are, like the sun, too painful for our direct gaze. Instinctively we look away. Poverty The poverty of the poor is their ruin, says the Book of Proverbs. And the ruin is not just material. Poverty rapes and kills the spirit of the poor. We underestimate its complexity and cruelty. There are four dimensions of poverty: (1) Material limit. Poverty does mean a lack of materia...