The Holocaust was a movement full of very important people. Whether fighting for or against the Holocaust, the following individuals all played a major role in the actions that took place during this horrific event in Europe.
* Adolf Hitler - Adolf Hitler was born in 1889 in Austria. Growing up, Hitler yearned to become an artist and had hoped to go to school in Vienna to perfect his artistic talents. He was not admitted, however, and therefore went and joined the German army during World War I. This failure in the artistic realm of society led Adolf craving for success, and he would soon find it in the Nazi party.
Hitler was probably the most famous and important individual as he not only founded the Nazi party, but also was able to retain power within that party until he committed suicide in 1945. Although Hitler, a fascist, was almost killed several times before he was able to implement his plans to exterminate the Jews, he was able to survive and, with luck, lead his Nazi Party forward. As a leader, Hitler wished to become a dominant in figure in the world and wanted to lead the Nazi party to world dominance. He attempted to gain power via a revolution in 1923, but that failed. However, he was later essentially handed power through democratic means. His policies while in control of Germany included extermination of Jews while holding down Communism and democracy.
During his life, Hitler accomplished many of the goals that he had written in his book, Mien Kampf. Mein Kampf, in English, means "My Struggle." And, struggle he did, as his enemies were beating his troops. As World War II came to a close and Hitler saw Germany was going to lose the war, Hitler could not take bear to watch his dreams turn to nightmares. Hitler took his life on April 30, 1945.
* Heinrich Himmler - Himmler was probably the second most powerful Nazi force in Germany, right behind Adolf Hitler. He was the chief of police during the Nazi's reign in power and the head man of the Schutzstaffel, also known as the SS. He was a harsh and cruel man who was dedicated to destroying the Jews, as was evident in his statements such as: "We had the moral right, we had the duty to our people, to destroy this people which wanted to destroy us. Altogether, however, we can say that we have fulfilled this most difficult duty for the love of our people. And our spirit, our soul, our character has not suffered injury from it."
* Joseph Goebbels - Goebbels was Adolf Hitler's second best man, right behind Heinrich Himmler. Goebbels, born in 1898, grew up to be a master of mass psychology, a skill that became an important aspect to the Nazis in their quest for power. He was excellent in making the citizens believe the same ideology that his party had adopted through his many mechanisms of persuasion. During his life span, he was appointed the Reich Propaganda Director and the Minister of People's Enlightenment and Propaganda. Goebbels also did well in keeping up the soldier's morale during World War II.
* Adolf Eichmann - Eichmann was, for the most part, like the other Adolf, Adolf Hitler. Although not as powerful as Hitler, this SS Lieutenant Colonel for the German army was just as enthusiastic about destroying the 10.3 million Jews in Europe. Eichmann implemented the system of transporting prisoners to concentration camps as well as the method of efficient slaughter of Jews that the Nazi Party continued frivolously until the party's desiccation.
* Rudolf Hess - Hess was a loyal supporter of Hitler from the start. Hess was a party supporter who was later rewarded for his service by being named as Reichsminister. He was also in charge of Hitler's day-to-day schedule and, perhaps most important in his life, would be famous for writing Hitler's dictations down while they were both imprisoned. These writing would later be compiled into Hitler's book, Mein Kampf.
* Hermann Goring - This Nazi leader was the second in command for the Nazi party during its rise to power in Europe. He was also commander in chief of the Luftwaff, the German air force. He held many more prominent positions during his life including Reichsmarshall and held responsibilities to manage the economy for a four-year span. Unfortunately for Goring, Albert Speer and Goebbels soon began to take a lot of his power.
* Albert Speer - Speer was one of the Nazi Party's most dedicated workers and was one of Hitler's top aids. Many believe that because of Speer, the war lasted an extra year that, in turn, allowed for the killing of more Jews. Hundreds of thousands more Jews lost their lives due to Speer. He later accepted the fact that what he had done was not right, noting that he knew nothing about the "Final Solution" Hitler proposed. He was the only one of the accused who plead guilty at the Nuremberg trials following World War II for committing war crimes. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Speer was released in 1966 and died in 1981.