By Carrell Evans
President of the MonDak Historical & Art Society
Part 3 - The Perpetrators
The perpetrators of the Holocaust were those who played some role in the formulation and implementation of destructive measures against the Jews. These perpetrators wore Nazi uniforms and brown shirts. Some wore business suits, and some even wore clerical collars, knickers and pigtails. Over 300,000 people in Germany and its satellite territories took part in the systematic decimation of the Jewish populations and the deaths of many other victims.
Adolf Hitler was, and is still considered, evil personified, because, as the extremely charismatic leader of the Third Reich, he lead Germany and its allies into the downward spiral of prejudice and hatred culminating in the mass murders of millions of Jews and others. He was bent on the total annihilation of the Jews. Through propaganda, intimidation, fear and manipulation of long held antisemitic feelings of the 1800s and early 1900s among the peoples of Europe, he found willing collaborators and few who would protest.
Perpetrators came from all walks of life. Some doctors, lawyers and other professionals participated in their professional capacities. Some clerics willingly gave up church records and preached the Nazi party line from the pulpits. Some teachers propagated the antisemitic messages in their classrooms. Some laborers spied on their employers. Magistrates in the towns and villages took part in the ordered registration of Jews and others. The police rounded up those destined for transport. The camp guards and specialized killing squads (Einsatzgruppen) killed persons en masse. Even children turned in their friends, relatives or those in hiding.
Without the cooperation of so many, even in small parts, the Third Reich could not have carried out the Holocaust. Each person had a choice.