Holocaust – UPSC GS1

What do you understand by Holocaust? Why did it take place and with what consequences. Also examine how the Islamic world views Holocaust. (200 Words)
Holocaust refers to the genocide undertaken by Nazi government in which millions of Jews lost their lives in the name of “ethnic cleansing‖ The reasons causing the Holocaust were the following:
  1. German race superiority: The Nazis claimed in the superiority of their race because they considered themselves to be the original descendants of the Aryans.
  2. Blaming Jews: The Nazis blamed the Jews for their deplorable economic conditions and the loss in the World War 1. This further fanned the hatred in them against the Jews.
  3. Hitler’s charisma: Hitler’s charisma was one prime reason as he had the ability to convince the Nazis to prosecute and kill the Jews. Only a powerful leader could do so and Hitler was one of them.
  4. Jews as the “other”: The Nazis considered themselves to be the original inhabitants of Germany and thought of Jews as the migrants. Jews were unacceptable like the “Rohingya Muslims” in Myanmar.
  5. Anti-Semitism: Jews had become powerful money lenders in the post 1st World era . This fanned jealousy among Nazis which resulted in hostility and jealousy among them which is known as “anti-Semitism”
The consequences of Holocaust were the following:
  1. More than 6 million Jews lost their lives in this massacre.
  2. “Mass exodus” of Jews took in search of safe lands. Finally, most Jews found shelter in Israel which was considered as the natural home for Jews.
  3. The principle of ‘War crimes’ and ‘Crimes against Humanity’ were established at the Nuremburg trials after the war.
Holocaust is however controversial as many people, including Muslims deny the fact that it ever occurred due to the following reasons –
  1. Before the War, Nazis made concerted effort to win over the hearts and minds of the Muslims.
  2. Most of the Muslim nations were dominated by Britain. This also helped to create support for the Nazis.
  3. Muslim nations believe the ‘story of holocaust’ was an attempt by the Jews to ensure the creation of the state of Israel.
  4. The recent rise in holocaust denial can be attributed to the rise of radical Islam and the aggravation of the Arab-Israel conflict.
The atrocities against the Jews were acknowledged by UN and 27th January is celebrated as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Holocaust brings to light the darkest deeds against humanity and the countries of the world should ensure that it never happens again.


Discuss why the name – Anne Frank – is pivotal in the history of the modern world. (150 Words)
With the rise of radical nationalism like Nazism and Fascism, the genocide committed by the Nazis against the Jews are broadly termed as Holocaust. This defines a period in history which extreme nationalism lead to the killing of millions of Jews and raises a question mark of the human rights and racial discrimination of extreme variety.
Anne frank, a young girl was a victim of this holocaust, and her diary spans the period of the time she was in hiding and the atrocities faced by her and her family. Her story educates us about the historical event and also reminds us to accept our differences and embrace diversity.
The diary is not just an historical document but a testimony of a young girl who refused to give up, resisted. Throughout those 2 years Anne held on to her culture, her ideals, her hopes and her dreams in the face of adversity.
The story of Anne frank‘s life reminds us on the need to reflect on the dangers of discrimination, racism and antisemitism and the importance of freedom, equal rights, tolerance and democracy.
The essence of Anne Frank‘s message has become a universal symbol of tolerance, strength, and hope in the face of adversity — a symbol transcending all cultures and ages and conveying the idea that discrimination and intolerance are wrong and dangerous. It holds importance even today as fascist tendencies have not ceased to exit and the world needs to take a note of this so that historical blunders like those of holocaust are never repeated