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Word Count: 767
The Second World War has left an unmistakable impression on the whole of Europe that will never be forgotten Whether visible to the naked eye or hidden in the consciousness of its people the war has scarred Europe indelibly Historically the foremost recognizable perpetration against Europeans was Adolf Hitlers Final Solution to the Jewish question This sophisticated operation of systematic mass execution was calculated organized and carried out with such horrifying efficiency that only a madman could have been responsible for such an act and Hitler was indeed mad However Anti-Semitism had been long a part of German history and this religious intolerance had its roots firmly planted long before the rise of the Third Reich Although the sheer magnitude of the loss of life during the holocaust is simply impossible to grasp these horrors were the culmination of generations of anti-Semitism brought to the boiling point by the decision of one power-crazed man Dating back several centuries anti-Semitism was prevalent throughout Germany barring rare instances where communities were tolerant religiously or socially of Jewish inhabitants However the belief that Jews were selfish manipulative ignorant heretics bound only for hell was still a popular one even in communities such as these The Catholic Church only enforced these views and German Jews had difficulties seeking equality To Christians the Jews were an obdurate people who had refused to recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah and who not only still persisted in that error but were burdened with the guilt of deicide Craig 127 By the arrival of the reformation anti-Semitism was commonplace among Germans and even justified by the Catholic Church Jews during this era perhaps saw the coming of a new idealism with Martin Luther or at least believed that mass split from the Catholic Church would at least increase tolerance to their people However this was only a myth for Luther saw the reformation to be a perfect opportunity for
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