When the University of Central Arkansas wrote, “In the

When people think about Hitler, Nazis, and concentration camps, the first thing that they tend to think about are the Jewish people. For decades now, stories about the horrible persecutions of the Jews have been the center of many award-winning novels and movies. Still, what most people seem to forget is that although Jewish people were the major victims of Nazi persecution, about 5 million out of the 11 million killed by the Third Reich were not Jewish. Karen Silverstrim from the University of Central Arkansas wrote, “In the American consciousness the Holocaust has become synonymous with Jewish history.” (Silverstrim, 2006)  It is extremely important to remember that even though the Jews were the most targeted group during the Holocaust, there were still many other groups that were just as cruelly persecuted by the Third Reich. Aside from the Jewish people there are about 12 other groups that were persecuted by the Nazis. Among these other groups are the Ethnic Poles, Ukrainian Slavs, the Soviet Prisoners of War, Belarusian Slavs, Serbs, disabled, Romani (gypsies), Freemasons, Slovenes, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witness, and Spanish Republicans. All of these groups can be separated into three different categories: religious/ethnic, political prisoners, and lastly homosexual/disabled. Religious/ethnic.”Hitler had a vision of a Master Race of Aryans that would control Europe. He used very powerful propaganda techniques to convince not only the German people, but countless others, that if they eliminated the people who stood in their way and the degenerates and racially inferior, they – the great Germans would prosper.” (Schwartz, 2018) Just like this quote from an article has stated, Hitler was an idealist maniac with a vision of “the great Germans prospering”. He viewed those with different beliefs as a threat to the Nazi ideology, and those of different ethnicity as “degenerate and racially inferior.” Some groups that were persecuted by the Germans because of their race/religion are Romani Gypsies and Christian Priests. Romani Gypsies were a group of people who originated from northern India as nomadic people and came into Europe near the 8th to 9th century. Throughout history the Romani Gypsies had always been considered outsiders to the European people, and during the Holocaust, Hitler considered them no differently. Calling the Gypsies “racially impure”, the Nazis had them arrested then sent into concentration camps where most of them died. It was estimated that about 1.5 million gypsies died during the Holocaust. Religions and their religious figures were one of the things that threatened Hitler most, for religions have great influences on people, influence that might stop people from worshipping the Nazi ideology. Hitler had expected everyone to follow the Nazi ideology, so when the Christian Priests and Jehovah’s Witness refused to give in to the ideology, the Nazis had them arrested. Many Catholic and Christian priests were sent to concentration camps, where nearly a fifth of the members of the Catholic Church in Poland (about 3,000) died. Political Prisoners The most well known group of political prisoners persecuted by the Nazis are the Soviet Prisoners of War. The Nazis treated the prisoners of war with extreme cruelty. Many of the captured Soviet Soldiers were taken into concentration camps and made to do forced hard labor with little food or sleep. Most  prisoners died from execution or mistreatment from the Germans.Not only were there Soviet Soldiers who suffered from the hands of the Nazis, there were also Germans from the German Communist Party who were arrested for being communists. “She most likely will not visit the dark isolation cells nor will she observe a flogging. That probably would not interest her so much, although both are essential educational methods in this New German institution. The camp commandant assures her, too, that there are no hardships—we stand there and listen with fixed expressions. No one steps forward and says: No, that’s not true; the truth is that we are beaten on the slightest pretext. For the beating we are tied naked to a wooden post, and Warder Mandel flogs us with a dog whip as long as she can keep it up. No one steps forward to say this. Because everyone wants to live. . . .” ( Haag, 1935) This quote from a letter written by Lina Haag (a member of the German Communist Party) to her husband, describes the hardness and cruelty given to political prisoners in the concentration camps or as the Nazis liked to call it “reeducation centers”. Political prisoners during the holocaust were often sent to “reeducation centers” to relearn the Nazi ideals. What was extremely ironic about these center was that even as the commandants of these center constantly try to convince outsiders and visitors that no hardship were ever given to the political prisoners, the truth was far from that. Disabled and Homosexual The reason for Hitler’s persecution of the disabled and homosexuals during the holocaust were pretty much the same, there was simply no place for them in Hitler’s plan for a “Master Race of Aryans.” As stated before, Hitler was a idealist maniac with a vision of “the great Germans prospering”, and so to Hitler the homosexuals and disabled seemed like a huge burden that he needed to get rid of. About an estimated 270,000 disabled people were killed during the Holocaust, after being deemed “useless” by the Nazis. The Nazis had considered supporting those with mental or physical handicaps a waste of supply, money, and time, and set up the “Euthanasia Program”. Medical Institutions were made into mass killing centered, where people with disabilities were killed by gas chambers disguised as shower rooms. Still even with dozens of disabled murdered in these disguised gas chambers everyday, the Nazis still managed to convince family members that the victims died from illness and even went as far as to give out fake death certificates. It is important to note that even as the Nazis are murdering thousands of innocent disabled, they actually truly believed that what they did was for the good of the society. As stated in a article by Ian Cook, “The Nazis took Darwin’s ideas of natural selection, in particular the idea of survival of the fittest in the animal kingdom, and applied them to the human world and society (Darwin’s Origin of the Species had been published in 1859). It was argued that allowing disabled people to live and have children, led to the “unfit” reproducing more quickly than “the fit”. It was said that this weakened society’s ability to function efficiently, placing an unnecessary toll on non-disabled people.”(Cook, 2008) Homosexuals were considered “parasites” to society during the Holocaust. Nazi police used the so called “Pink List” to track down homosexuals and send them to concentration camps. It was said that Hitler even went through his own generals and soldiers to make sure that none of them were homosexuals. Once inside the concentration camps, homosexuals were forced to wear pink triangles, and were often humiliated by camp runners and even other prisoners. Even after their release, many homosexuals were still too afraid and ashamed to speak out about their torments. The Holocaust was not only an important part in Jewish history, but an important part in human history. Even when novels and movies continue to only remind us of what happened to the Jewish people, we should never forget the other 5 million victims of the Nazi persecution. Each one of the Holocaust victims deserves remembrance, each one of them deserves a voice. So the next time someone tells you that the Holocaust was only about the Jews, tell them about the other 5 million, and help them make sure that they will not be forgotten.