Mankind witnessed one of the darkest times in its history during World War II. The gruesome acts performed by some saw the end of innumerable lives. About 11 million perished during this conflict, six million of which were Jews alone and a million of them were innocent children. What you are about to read is a collection of just some of the horrible things done by the Nazi’s.
1. “Kristallnacht” or the “Night of Broken Glass”
On the dark night of November 10th, 1938, the Germans were ordered to massacre every Jew or enforce labor on to them. Following the mandate, this very night they decided to hit the heart of the Jews, the Synagogues. Amidst the violent laughter, of the Nazi’s, were the desecrated remains of the Jewish places of worship. The blood thirst still unquenched, they went on to burn every shop owned by the Jews, after looting their valuables. Many were physically harmed in the process.
2. Murder Trains
The Nazis transported millions across Europe to various concentration camps. Logistically speaking, this was an impressive feat but the manner in which they were transported that was inhumane. The Jews were stuffed into railway cars like cattle. In a car that would normally hold 50, at least 200 were squeezed in. A lot of the Jews perished during the journey, even before reaching the camp, as they were not given food or even a drop of water. There was an instance when a train from Corfu arrived after a long journey. When the guards at the camp opened the carriages, they found everyone inside to be dead. The Jews being transported starved to death, during the journey which took more than two weeks. To add insult to injury, the Germans charged the Jews for the transportation. Everyone was forced to pay up except the children under four years.
3. The Ghettos
The Nazis cordoned off areas in certain parts of big cities, and forced the Jews to reside there; which later came to be called the ‘Ghettos’. They were moved into small apartments and even made to live with other families. Like the trains, the Nazis forced them into unlivable conditions. In Ghettos that could hold only about 10,000 people at least half a million people were shoved in. Soon, they were restricted to these ghettos, without any food or water supplies.
This was the title given to those who were forced to help monitor and regulate the populations of various camps. The Sonderkommanden were Jews themselves who had to ensure discipline was maintained, among the inmates, at all times. Their sinister duties involved, ripping out gold teeth from the dead, claiming their valuables and getting rid of the ash left behind after cremation. The Sonderkommanden, regarded as the dark secret keepers of the Nazi’s as they knew about the atrocities committed by the German handlers, were killed at regular intervals to ensure secrecy. The first duty of a Sonderkommanden was to kill and dispose of the person they were replacing.
5. Blood Sport
The metamorphosis of the Nazi soldiers was something that shook the world. The term brain washed suits them perfectly. Their Fuhrer wished for them to become beasts and they did. From bakers, mechanics to family men, a lot of them turned into killing machines during the war. War certainly has its effect on soldiers but an effect so harsh was unfathomable. Killing became a sport for them. One officer was heard saying, that he shot everything in his path and what tickled him more, was to shoot at women pushing prams. Even women and children weren’t spared from their brutality of the savages who killed for the sake of pleasure.
6. Human Soap
The smell of death filled the air at the concentration camps. They were even denied the use of clean soap. The fat, with which the soap was made, was extracted from the dead. The Germans, obviously did not use it, as using soap made from the carcass of the Jews was considered below their dignity, but the Jews themselves were forced use it.
Like we mentioned before, the Nazi’s looked at killing as a game. For them, the more sadistic the game got the better it was. They proved their sadistic nature with how they welcomed the Jews at the camps. The inmates at the camp, who were musicians, were forced to form orchestras which played classical ballads as the Jews arrived. The Nazis conducted execution of the Jews as the music played but the screams of the fallen overpowered the tunes of the musical symphonies. Those who survived still have nightmares of the music and what the Nazis related this to.
8. Dark Cells And Torture
The Jews who were unable to work were thrown into what they called “dark cells”. There was no inlet for light or air in the cells, which meant that anyone thrown in there would die of suffocation, very slowly. Apart from this devilish treatment, they were also starved and forced to stand, as torture, for days together. Disobedience was met with a bullet in the head for some Jews.
9. Lack Of Food And Water
Although the Jews at these camps knew they were destined to die, the Nazis sometimes did not make death easy, even though it was the end goal of their mindless mission. Jews were locked in chambers and left to starve to death. Out of desperation, they scrambled through the garbage in hopes to find something to eat or scour through their dead, to find some means of nutrition. Dr. Hans Eppinger forced the inmates to drink sea water. He wanted to study the effect of sea water on the human body and in the process the inmates were left severely dehydrated. They resorted to licking the floor they used to swab, in order to get some fresh water in their system.
The Nazis reached the summit of their nefarious ways with their experiments. In their search for the perfect human, the quest in eugenics, they used the Jews as lab rats at the camps. They conducted studies on twins, dwarfs, trans genders, woman and children. Every question that needed a biological answer was explored by performing experiments on the inmates. From stitching twins together to injecting viruses in the bodies to study their effect; to even dissecting them while still alive, the inhumane nature of the Nazis stood in prominence with their experiments on the Jews.
11. The Murder Of The Handicapped
In order to accomplish his quest of establishing ‘The master race’, Hitler brought about the “Euthanasia Decree”, which emphasized on the killing of people who were mentally and physically disabled, impaired and the trans genders, whom he tagged ‘useless’ to society. As a result of this, from 1940 to 1945, 200,000 people were killed, including Jews, Germans and residents of the countries controlled by the Nazis at that point of time.
12. Selective Breeding
In his experiments with eugenics and his bid to establish the ‘pure Aryan race’, Hitler forbade marriages between an Aryan and a member of a ‘lesser race’. Those girls who were judged to be pure Aryans, would marry an SS officer had to be checked and tested to ensure that they are from the pure. He also ordered all the girls, who belonged to the pure Aryan race, to be impregnated by his soldiers in order to spread their race, married or not.
13. From Art to Dust
On March 20th, 1939, Hitler ordered destruction of art that did not coincide with the Nazi propaganda, which included modern art. All art that was Jewish, Communist or not German was labeled “Degenerate art” and burnt. On this day 5000 pieces of art were decimated and around 20,000 pieces were confiscated and removed from museums, eventually destroyed.
14. Planned Destruction
Knowing there was no way they could withstand the opposition of the Allies, Hitler and the Nazi in a ‘brat’ like move surmised to raze the cities if they couldn’t govern them. In 1944, as the Allies moved closer to retrieve Warsaw from the Germans, the Nazis targeted the hotspots of the city like museums and cultural heritage spots and burned them to the ground; after stealing all the valuables from them. Soon 90 percent of the city was turned to ashes and dust.
15. The Nero Decree
In addition to the previous planned destruction, his crave for destruction reached appalling heights with the “Nero Decree”. It came to be called the “Nero Decree” after the Roman Emperor Nero, who engineered the burning of Rome. 42 days before he took his own life, Hitler came out with this decree that petrified even his own ministers. Knowing that there was no hope and Germany was bound to fall into the hands of the Allies, Hitler ordered the burning of the infrastructure of Germany, stating that he would not want the allies to use their creation and benefit from it. Everything, including the military transport and communication facilities, industrial establishments and supply depots, as well as anything else of value within Reich territory, was doomed to burn under his power.