is the Holocaust?
The 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 Nazis.
How many Jews
were murdered during the Holocaust?
While 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
The 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.
children were murdered during the Holocaust?
The 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 Europe.
Hitler hate the Jews?
Holocaust happened 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.
did the Nazis carry our their policy of genocide?
In 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?
Dachau 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).
What is a death camp? How
A death camp camp is a concentration camp with special apparatus
especially designed for mass murder. Six such camps existed: Auschwitz-Birkenau,
Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor,
All were located in Poland.
Auschwitz-Birkenau 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, and
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
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.
A tale of intrigue, feuds, Hollywood tycoons - Linda
Diebel, The Totonto Star
Schindler's List Teaching Guide - Southern Institute for
Education and Research
Herbert Steinhouse - The Real Oskar Schindler
Rickey Rogers, Reuters News Pictures Service
Elinor J. Brecher - Schindler's Legacy
Washington Post Foreign Service Radio
Sol - Radio in Argentina The Simon Wiesenthal Center
AP Photo/Diether Endlicher