Life in Europe before the Holocaust

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by teachmsa
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies
World War II

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Life in Europe before the Holocaust

Life in Europe before the Holocaust

It can be seen that Jews in Europe lived a difficult life during the Holocaust. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, approximately nine million Jews from every country in Europe would be in danger of the Nazis during World War II. Jewish citizens had lived there for more than 2000 years, and now their lives were changed forever. Although their lives were not so great during the Holocaust, before the Holocaust, a normal day in Europe was expected. Jews in Western Europe made up much less of the population and tended to have non-Jewish neighbors; therefore it came to the point where the Western part of your European Jews began to take in their culture. The Yiddish language was interpreted much more in the Eastern section and played a rather less important role in the Western area. Jews dressed and talked like country men; they had a more formal education, and lived in towns and cities. Eastern European Jews spoke the language Yiddish, read books, and even attended Yiddish movies and theatres. The Yiddish language was a mix of German and Hebrew, with Judaism as their religion. Jews who lived in larger towns adapted to the modern life. Men normally wore hats or caps, and the women covered their hair with wigs or kerchiefs. A typical day and lifestyle in Eastern Europe was different compared to a day in Western Europe. Jobs for Jews back in the 1900s were farmers, tailors, seamstresses, accountants, doctors, and teachers. Some families were very wealthy, while others were poor. Children tended to end their schooling early to work in craft and trade, and some had the goal to continue their education at university level. As it came closer to the 1930s, Nazis began to come into power in Germany meaning every Jew was a potential victim, and they now had to worry about what was soon to come. Jews were being taken out of their businesses and children were picked on during class and pointed out their differences. Life became dangerous because, at any moment, Nazis could take over their country. Although Jews were now at risk, they were still able to have some freedom. Jews were able to honor God at church and express their religion. For the most part, Jews were still able to work in factories and own farm land. Of course, this was an advantage compared to those who were being occupied by the Nazis. Unfortunately, as time began to pass, spending time with Aryans, which were non-Jewish people, was denied. Life became harder due to special taxes the Jews had to pay. Jews were also forced to wear clothing that proclaimed their identity, as they were being banned from many countries already such as England, France, Spain, and Portugal. There were even Jew-hatred outbreaks against European Jews. As a final point, life for Jews started off as being a normal day of working and attending school. Once the Nazis started to control all the power, Jewish lives were changed forever whether the Nazis came to their country or not, they were always at risk. Clara Kramer, a Holocaust survivor once said “He looked out of the window, the wind howling outside, and said, ‘Go to sleep, whatever will be will be” (Kramer, “Clara’s War”). This quote shows that it came to the point where they could not keep worrying anymore, as it was no help. All that was left was to hope for a better tomorrow.

Before the Holocaust Jewish families always stayed together.

“He looked out of the window, the wind howling outside, and said, ‘Go to sleep, whatever will be will be."-Clara Kramer

Clara Kramer was a Holocaust survivior who survived by hiding in an underground bunker.

Once Hitler came into power life for Jews had changed drastically. Jewish families were seperated and they had almost no control over their actions.

Most children ended their schooling early to earn money and work at factories. Although once Hitler came into power school became hard for Jewish children because no one accepted them, and only made them feel different.

As crazy as it seems Adolf Hitler was such a powerful man and he practically tortured the Jews.

Jewish families knew they could be sperated at any moment so they took the time they had together for granted.

Jewish children never got a well education compared to the Aryans, who were non-jewish people. Even their teachers treated them differently.

By: Amanda Carbone

''Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live.''-Adolf Hitler

Life after the Holocaust


  • teachmsa 7 years ago

    teachmsa's avatar

    Very nice overall; your piece was interesting and easy to read; loved the music