Jews before the Holocaust

There was about nine million Jewish people that were living in countries that Germany had been running during World War II. By the end of the war, two out of three Jews died. Jewish life would be gone forever. In 1933 the largest Jewish population were concentrated in eastern Europe. They lived in little towns or villages, called shtetls. They speak their own language called Yiddish, it is a mix between German and Hebrew. In 1933, after the enabling act was passed Jewish students at universities and schools were decreased to less than 1%, to correspond to the population of Jews in Germany. Jews could be found in all walks of life, as farmers, tailors, seamstresses, factory hands, accountants, doctors, teachers, and small-business owners.Many children ended their schooling early to work in a craft or trade; others looked forward to continuing their education at the university level.


When the Holocaust started there was about 9.5 million Jews in 1933. In 1933 about 60% of Jews lived in Europe. Then, years later 51% lived in America. Many Jews who had survived the Holocaust had planned to leave Europe and start new lives in Israel or the United States. The population shifts brought on by the Holocaust and by Jewish emigration was astounding. The Jewish communities were devastated when the Holocaust had started.

Jewish Holidays

Jewish holidays begin the date before most holidays on the calender. The reason is because the Jewish day begins an ends at sunset. Holidays tend to end at nightfall on dates specified on most calenders.  Yom Ha-Shoah is the remembrance day of the Holocaust. Europeans commemorate the Holocaust on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. They fast on this day because they didn't eat in Auschwitz.

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