is the Holocaust?
Holocaust was the systematic annihilation of six
million Jews by the Nazi regime during World War 2. In
1933 approximately nine million Jews lived in the 21
countries of Europe that would be occupied by Germany
during the war. By 1945 two out of every three
European Jews had been killed. The European Jews were
the primary victims of the Holocaust. But Jews were
not the only group singled out for persecution by
Hitler’s Nazi regime. As many as one-half million
Gypsies, at least 250,000 mentally or physically
disabled persons, and more than three million Soviet
prisoners-of-war also fell victim to Nazi genocide.
Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, Social Democrats,
Communists, partisans, trade unionists, Polish
intelligentsia and other undesirables were also
victims of the hate and aggression carried out by the
How many Jews were
murdered during the Holocaust?
it is impossible to ascertain the exact number of
Jewish victims, statistics indicate that the total was
over 5,830,000. Six million is the round figure
accepted by most authorities.
What does Final
term Final Solution (Die Endlosung) refers to
the Germans’ plan to physically liquidate all Jews
in Europe. The term was used at the Wannsee
Conference held in Berlin on January 20, 1942, where
German officials discussed its implementation.
How many children
were murdered during the Holocaust?
number of children killed during the Holocaust is not
fathomable and full statistics for the tragic fate of
children who died will never be known. Some estimates
range as high as 1.5 million murdered children. This
figure includes more than 1.2 million Jewish children,
tens of thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of
institutionalized handicapped children who were
murdered under Nazi rule in Germany and occupied
Why did Hitler
hate the Jews?
because Hitler and the Nazis were racist. They
believed the German people were a 'master race',
who were superior to others. They even created a
league table of 'races' with the Aryans at the top and
with Jews, Gypsies and black people at the bottom.
These 'inferior' people were seen as a threat to the
purity and strength of the German nation. When the
Nazis came to power they persecuted these people, took
away their human rights and eventually decided that
they should be exterminated.
How did the Nazis
carry our their
policy of genocide?
the late 1930's the Nazis killed thousands of
handicapped Germans by lethal injection and poisonous
gas. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in
June 1941, mobile killing units following in the wake
of the German Army began shooting massive numbers of
Jews and Gypsies in open fields and ravines on the
outskirts of conquered cities and towns. Eventually
the Nazis created a more secluded and organized method
of killing. Six extermination centers were established
in occupied Poland where large-scale murder by gas and
body disposal through cremation were conducted
systematically. Victims were deported to these centers
from Western Europe and from the ghettos in Eastern
Europe which the Nazis had established. In addition,
millions died in the ghettos and concentration camps
as a result of forced labor, starvation, exposure,
brutality, disease, and execution.
When was the first
concentration camp established?
was the first concentration camp established and was
opened on March 22, 1933. The camp's first inmates
were primarily political prisoners (Communists or
Social Democrats), habitual criminals, homosexuals,
Jehovah's Witnesses, and anti-socials (beggars,
vagrants, hawkers). Others considered problematic by
the Nazis were also included (Jewish writers and
journalists, lawyers, unpopular industrialists, and
What is a death
camp? How many? Where?
death camp camp is a concentration camp with special
apparatus especially designed for mass murder. Six
such camps existed: Auschwitz-Birkenau,
Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, and Treblinka.
became the killing centre where the largest numbers of
European Jews were killed. After an experimental
gassing there in September 1941 of 850 malnourished
and ill prisoners, mass murder became a daily
routine. By mid 1942, mass gassing of Jews using
Zyklon-B began at Auschwitz, where extermination was
conducted on an industrial scale with some estimates
running as high as three million persons eventually
killed through gassing, starvation, disease, shooting,
Did the Jews
Many Jews simply
could not believe that Hitler really meant to kill
them all. But once the Nazis had complete control and
the Jews were being relocated to ghettos, rations were
reduced, conditions were horrible and the Jews
did not have the strength, physically, emotionally, or
militarily, to resist. There were uprisings in
the camps, but it was incredibly difficult and rarely
successful. Elie Wiesel put it this way: "The
question is not why all the Jews did not fight, but
how so many of them did. Tormented, beaten, starved,
where did they find the strength - spiritual and
physical - to resist?"
Those attempting to
resist faced almost impossible odds.