How Would the World be Different in Adolf Hitler Never Existed? Imagine a world in which the Jewish population was much more prevalent.
During the late 1930’s there were around 15 million Jews worldwide. However, by 1945 there were only 11 million Jews worldwide (Weinberg xii). How had there been such a drastic decrease in the Jewish population? The answer is one man: Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler was a German politician who was the dictator of Germany from 1934-1945. During this time, Hitler preached that there could only be one race, the master race.
Anyone that did not look German or could not prove that they were not Jewish was forcefully executed in death camps. At these death camps, Jews were used as lab rats for doctors to experiment on. Hitler believed that the Jewish presence in Germany would kill Germany just like bacteria kills an organism (Koenigsberg 2). Hitler once said, “Once I really am in power, my first and foremost task will be the annihilation of the Jews" (Fleming 17). Overall, over 14 million people perished at the hands of Adolf Hitler.
Without Hitler, there would be no holocaust, which would mean that there would be no laws against torture because the inhumanity that the Jews faced scripted the torture laws that exist today. Due to the torture of humans during World War II and the Holocaust, the world today has much stricter laws regarding torture in wartime scenarios. During World War II and after, torture techniques against prisoners of war became more prevalent. Due to the torturous imprisonment of Jews and others during the Holocaust, strict wartime laws were established through the Geneva Convention.
Article 27 of the fourth Geneva Convention shows why the Geneva Convention was created, “They shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof and against insults and public curiosity”(Geneva Convention). During the Holocaust, ghettos were used to house Jews before they were sent to the concentration camps. Ghettos were isolated parts of cities where Hitler placed Jewish families to separate them from the rest of the German society. Originally these ghettos were places where only old aged or sick Jews would go for the rest of their lives.However soon enough, entire communities were sent to ghettos.
Jews didn’t have a choice in the matter because if they didn’t move they were shot on the spot. The most famous ghetto was in Warsaw, Poland. The Warsaw Ghetto housed over 400,000 people in an area that was only 2. 4% of the city and in order to maintain that the Jews stayed within the ghetto, a 10 ft wall was built and armed guards constantly surrounded it (United States Holocaust Museum). Ghettos were forming all across Europe and there was nowhere Jews could run to escape the anti-Semitism and persecution.
Spector shows that in the Ukraine there was tons of anti-Jewish propaganda that would appear in newspapers, films, and on television. Jews were forced out of their homes and forced to find shelter within the local population, which would blackmail them (qtd. in Arad 425). In Poltava, Ukraine according to a Soviet report, “The Jews were robbed of valuables, money, clothes, and shoes.
They were shot, and their corpses were thrown into an antitank trench along with their children who were still alive. Throughout the night, people living nearby could hear the groans of dying people who had been buried alive” (Arad 177).Germans would routinely come around and gather up people and send them to designated killing centers, better known nowadays as concentration camps. In the movie, Schindler’s List they showed that life in the Krakow Ghetto was not an easy life to have. People are constantly starving to death and German forces would come in unannounced taking random people and pushing hundreds of them into train cars sending them off to various killing centers.
People were forced to hide within the walls and floors of the ghetto to avoid being seen by the Germans (Schindler’s List).With people living in such close quarters, disease spread like wildfire killing thousands of people each week. Disease wasn’t the only thing killing the Jews in the ghettos. The Germans gave the Jews some food but it was so scarce that people had to resort to stealing and smuggling food in. Lucy Dawidowitz says, “Only the Illegal smuggling of food into the ghetto spared most Jews from starvation” (172). For many Jews, the journey from the ghetto to the concentration camps would be their last one because diseases spread even quicker in the crammed train cars.
Once one person got sick, everyone got sick and there was no way to isolate oneself from the sick people because the train car just wasn’t big enough and there were too many sick people to avoid. Typhoid, Typhus, and Scarlet fever were only some of the diseases that Jews contracted. The lack of clean water for bathing aided diseases in wiping out entire communities (Dawidowicz 182). At one point there were 30,000 people living in 62 barracks in Auschwitz (Auschwitz). There were four death camps, Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor, and Chelmno, where upon arrival all prisoners were killed.Concentration camps on the other hand had numerous other uses then just killing.
Prisoners were used as slave laborers working long days without breaks. Joseph White point out in his article in the Holocaust and Genocide Studies journal that SS guards would abuse prisoners by making them work at a furiously fast pace in addition to the five-kilometer hike to and from work. Joseph White also mentions, “Managers had become more accepting of brutality by the time Jewish inmates started arriving” (268).At one point in the summer of 1944 the IG Farbenindustrie Company had 11,000 Auschwitz prisoners as workers (Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp 43).
However, many of these workers were being put into jobs that required extensive training, which they did not have which resulted in them getting hurt and having to go to the clinic. Witold Tokarz, a former prisoner who was also a doctor said, “Most of the patients were prisoners who had suffered injuries in work-related incidents”(qtd. in Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp 44).One prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp said that the outpatient center was, “a waiting room before death” (qtd in Lifton 186) George Longden, who was another worker at the IG company, said, “All treatment of Jews is mistreatment” because he witnessed a Jewish man fall from great height and when his friends came to help him up German guards forcibly prevented them (qtd.
in White 273). Lucie Adelsberger, a respected prison doctor, describes the mistreatment of Jews: The sick lie on straw sacks, all jumbled together, one on top on another and cannot stretch their sore limbs nor rest their backs.The beds bulge with filth and excrement, and the dead and the decomposing press with their stiffened bodies against the living who, confined as they are cannon move away. Every illness in the camp is represented here: tuberculosis, diarrhea, rashes induced by crawling vermin, hunger, edema where the wasted skeleton has filled itself with water to replace the vanished cell tissue, people with bloodshot weals caused by lashes of the whip, people with mangled limbs, frozen feet, wounds from the electric wire, or have been shot at for trifles by trigger happy SS. They are all in torment, groaning, hungry, thirsty, shivering from cold under heir meager coverings and yet fighting for their pitiful lives. (qtd in Lifton 190) Concentration camps were where most of the killings happened which is why nowadays we refer to them as killing centers.
The most famous concentration camp was Auschwitz, which housed, and tagged with serial numbers, more than 405,000 Jews and other prisoners of war for 5 years during Hitler’s Nazi reign. Historians believe that there may have been more prisoners there but they weren’t tagged. Over 200,000 of them died within the walls at Auschwitz (Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp 6).Hitler began killing by having doctors inject various poisons into individuals but that meant that each patient had to be physically injected, and sometimes patients needed to be injected again, which took way to long. Adolf Hitler, with the advice of Dr Heyde, decided to use carbon monoxide to kill individuals.
Thus, gas chambers were invented with the intention to use carbon monoxide gas to kill multiple people at once (Lifton 71). Dr Brandt, a worker at the Hadamar killing center said, “it was a horrible sight when the patients gradually collapsed and fell over one another” and “I shall never get this picture out of my mind” (Lifton 74).In Auschwitz, gas chambers became more advanced and instead of carbon monoxide gas, a new gas was used which killed people faster. Zyklon B, which is known of nowadays as hydrogen cyanide or prussic acid was first used in block 11, the punishment block, of Auschwitz. Upon successful testing, Zyklon B became the preferred gas for all gas chambers during the Holocaust. Zyklon B only took about 15 minutes to kill someone whereas carbon monoxide took hours (Lifton 159-162).
Not only were the gas chambers killing people but doctors performed medical experiments on inmates.Nazi doctors would perform experiments to determine the most inhumane way to kill a person. Dr Carl Clauberg was interested in finding the best method of mass sterilization. He used block 10 in Auschwitz as his own personal testing facility and used inmates as if they were lab rats (Lifton 271).
He would inject caustic material into women causing fallopian tubes to swell and close off. Then he would X-ray them to confirm the procedure worked (Lifton 273). The most famous Nazi doctor was Josef Mengele. Dr Mengele did extensive research on twins. He would examine twins for hours on end making note of every last detail.
Sometimes he would make plaster molds of hands, feet, teeth, fingerprints, and toe prints which he would use for analysis. After the examinations the twins were killed by single chloroform injections to the heart, and then they were sent to the morgue to be dissected (Lifton 352). Other experiments Mengele did on twins were to figure out if they both had similar pain tolerances by injecting material into the spines of patients (Lifton 358). Another Mengele experiment involved attempting to change a person’s eye color. Mengele wanted to make everyone look Aryan, blond hair blue eyes.
He would inject methylene blue into children’s eyes in hopes that he would change their brown eyes to blue. However, this only caused major pain, infection, and sometimes blindness (Lifton 363). There were many other doctors doing other medical experiments within concentration camps. Some of them included low-pressure chambers, high-altitude experiments, freezing and unfreezing testing hypothermia and hyperthermia, and testing for cures of bacterial infections (United States Holocaust Museum).
Hitler’s torture techniques really opened up the world to many different ways of torture and thus today we have stricter laws on torture.Hitler had a deviant mind and thought nothing of the horrific and horrible torture he inflicted on over 6 million people. How could this happen? Why didn’t anyone stop this man? How could one sick person have such influence and power to persuade a whole nation? These atrocities committed by Hitler’s reign were so unbelievable, that many nations did not believe it was actually happening. Even today, there are denials from some that the Holocaust ever occurred. Some people believe that the gas chambers were never present at Auschwitz and that not very many Jews died but if they did it was by natural causes (United States Holocaust Museum).To help prevent atrocities such as the Holocaust from ever happening again, world wide organizations came together, to rework the laws pertaining to war.
The 1949 Geneva Convention set the precedence for torture laws. Article 3 of the Geneva Convention states that people not partaking in armed conflict, “be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria” (Geneva Conference) and “violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture” (Geneva Conference) are prohibited.So if Hitler were never born, obviously the Holocaust would not have happened. However the question remains, would wartime laws be the same as they are written today if the Holocaust did not occur. Most likely war time laws would have been drafted against torture regardless of the holocaust but laws against scientific experiments probably would not have entered the equation because those experiments are so out of the box and horrific, that no sane leader could have dreamt such torture.