The Holocaust    anna m and shannon F


The Holocaust was the mast murder of Jews in Germany by Hitler and his Nazi regime. Not just Jews were not the only ones who were attacked. Homosexuals, gypsies, and handicap people were also tormented during this time.  "Holocaust" is a Greek word meaning the sacrifice by fire.

Genocide- the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.

The Build-Up

The Nuremberg Laws were anti-Jewish laws established by Germany on September 15, 1935. Through these laws Jews were deprived of their German citizenship, were banned from having German maids under the age of 45, and were prohibited from marrying or having a relationship with a non-Jew. Hitler used these laws to exclude, discriminate, and expel Jews from German society. “Jews” were defined by these laws as anyone who had three or four Jewish grandparents, regardless of religious beliefs, and even those who converted to Christianity were defined as Jews. In 1937 and 1938, the government tried to impoverish Jews by requiring them to register their property and then “Aryanizing” Jewish businesses, meaning that Jewish workers and managers were dismissed, and the ownership of Jewish businesses was taken over by non-Jewish Germans. Jewish doctors were also unable to treat non-Jews and Jewish layers couldn’t practice law.

Discrimination against Jews prior to Holocaust

Before the Holocaust, Nazis wanted to portray the Jews as inferior beings who were only interested in their own economic gain. The persecution of the Jews started shortly after Hitler came to power. Nazis built on the negative myths that had been associated with them for centuries. Before Hitler’s rise to power, Jews were a little different from everyone else, as they spoke their own language, but eventually adopted the culture of their non-Jewish neighbors.


Kristallnacht (Crystal Night in English), or the Night of Broken Glass (Reichskristallnacht) was on November 9 into November 10 in which Nazis in Germany torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes, schools and businesses and killed close to 100 Jews. Afterwards, 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to Nazi concentration camps.


Auschwitz-Birkenau was a very famous concentration camp in Poland. In Germany was Buchenwald, this building was a preserved monument.  The conditions in these camps were extremely server. Diseases spread exponentially due to the cramped living conditions and amount of people. Also, the ground there was very marsh like and cause people to become even less clean and sanitary. Prisoners spent over ten hours a day working and the other part of there day was roll call, making sure every one was there and no one had escaped. Other prisoners had jobs such as digging coal, produced armaments and chemicals, and built and expanded industrial plants.  

Methods of Murder

Types of murder were things such as mass shootings, extermination camps, and gassing trucks. The Nazis used the tactics to kill a large amount of people in these concentration camps. The gassing trucks were put to use to suffocate Jews by putting them in a sealed truck and the engine exhaust entered their lungs killing them. People killed in the Holocaust were mostly Jews but also included gays and handicaps. The people who were saved were the perfect people such as the blonde haired blue eyed children. Some experiments that were conducted during this time were ones such as maximum altitudes and making sure aircraft were safe. Also, some experiments were done for medical research done on Gypsies to see how different races reacted to different diseases.

Death Tolls

Five to six million Jews; more than three million Soviet prisoners of war; more than one million Polish civilians; more than one million Yugoslav civilians; about 70,000 with mental and physical handicaps; more than 200,000 gypsies; and an unknown number of political prisoners, resistance fighters, homosexuals and deportees.

Related Genocide

Armenian Genocide during WWI:

In 1915, leaders of the Turkish government set a plan in motion to get rid of all Armenians living in the Ottoman empire. At the time of the massacre, about 2 million Armenians were in the Ottoman Empire. When the massacre ended, 388,000 Armenians remained. The Ottoman rulers, like most of the people there, were Muslim, but Armenians were Christian and seen as inferior. They were subjected to unequal and unjust treatment, including having to pay higher taxes and having very few political and legal rights. Between 1894 and 1896, a state-sanctioned ethnic massacre was allowed. In response to large scale protests by Armenians, Turkish military officials, soldiers and ordinary men sacked Armenian villages and cities and killed their citizens. When the Turks entered WWI, military leaders began to think that the Armenians were traitors. If they thought that they could win independence if the Allies won, they thought that the Armenians would try to fight for the enemy. On April 24, 1915, the Turkish government arrested and executed several hundred Armenian intellectuals. Afterwards, Armenians were sent out of their homes and sent on death marches through the desert without food or water. A “Special Organization” of killing squads drowned people in rivers, threw them off cliffs, crucified them and burned them alive. The genocide ended in 1922.

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