The Holocaust

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What were the effects of the Final Solution?

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The effects of the Nazi’s “Final Solution” to the Jewish question were far-reaching and deplorable. When World War II ended in 1945, there were only about 200,000 Jews liberated form the concentration camps out of nearly 6.5 million who had been interred at some point during the war. It is impossible to assess the cost in terms of shattered lives, shattered spirituality and the burden that Jews had to carry from that point on. This is to say nothing of the national shame that Germans are forced to carry indefinitely.

While many Jews from France, Belgium and other western European nations returned home after the war, Jews in Eastern Europe refused to return home despite the best efforts of the allies to get them home. They were afraid they’d return home to unfriendly neighbors and find their belongings pilfered.

For the next few years, many were forced into displaced person camps while they awaited immigration to Israel, which the allies had set aside as a new Jewish homeland. This of course meant there was not longer a Jewish community in Poland, Austria, Germany or Italy.

Once the majority of the population had been moved, Palestinians who felt disenfranchised and pushed aside began what they viewed as a defensive war to recapture their taken lands from the Jews. They were joined by many other Arab nations, and throughout the decades fighting in the Middle East between the state of Israel and the Arab nations who surround it flares up regularly.

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The major effect of the Final Solution, of course, was the killing of millions of Jews (as well as the killing of other people like Gypsies).  It is estimated that somewhere between 5.5 and 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis during this time.

Outside of the immediate impact on these people and on any family they had left, the Holocaust changed the face of the world.  By killing these huge numbers of Jews, the Nazis significantly reduced the presence of Jews and Jewish culture in Europe.  In addition to the killings, many more Jews emigrated from Europe to places like the Americas or, especially, Israel.  The creation of Israel was another major impact of the Final Solution.  Had it not been for the Holocaust, it is quite likely that the State of Israel might never have been created.

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