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Holocaust Facts


Holocaust Facts: Franklin Roosevelt was the 32nd American President who served in office from March 4, 1933 to April 12, 1945, the day of his death. One of the terrible events that occurred during his presidency was the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Fascists.

Definition of the Holocaust for kids
Definition: Holocaust was originally a word from the Bible meaning "burnt offerings" that was used in a wider figurative sense to mean "massacre, destruction of a large number of persons". The Hebrew term for the Holocaust is 'Shoah' meaning destruction and became the standard Hebrew term for the persecution and murder of European Jews in the early 1940s during WW2.

Summary of the Holocaust
The Holocaust included the persecution and murder of Gypsies, the physically disabled, the mentally retarded, homosexuals and the Slavic peoples. The Ant-Semitic and racial policies, that resulted in the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust, were outlined in "Mein Kampf" written by Hitler. The period referred to as the Holocaust encompassed the persecution of the Jews, the violence of Kristallnacht, the establishment of ghettoes and the systematic massacres of Jews by the Einsatzgruppen mobile killing units. The Nazis  'Final Solution to the Jewish Problem' was to exterminate all the Jewish people in Europe. People were rounded up and deported to specially built concentration camps and extermination camps where they were starved to death or gassed.  

When did the Holocaust start? The Holocaust started on March 20, 1933 when Nazi government established the Dachau concentration camp  as "the first concentration camp for political prisoners." Adolf Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933 establishing

Why did the Holocaust happen? The Holocaust happened due to the rise of Nazism, the Fascist movement that evolved in Germany based on the belief of that the Aryan race was superior to those in Eastern Europe and that Jewish people were subhuman. The Nazis 'Final Solution to the Jewish Problem' was to exterminate all the Jewish people in Europe.

How did the Holocaust end? The Holocaust  ended on September 2, 1945 with the end of WW2 and the fall of the Nazi Party with the unconditional surrender of all the Axis powers.

Facts about Holocaust Facts
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on Holocaust Facts.

Nearly 6 million men, women and children were murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

The term "genocide" did not exist before 1944. It was coined by a Polish-born American called Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959) in his work "Axis Rule in Occupied Europe" in reference to the Nazi extermination of Jews. The word Genocide derives from the Greek word 'genos' meaning "race, kind" together with 'cide' meaning "Killer.

The German Nazis not only persecuted people of Jewish race during the Holocaust. They also persecuted and murder the physically disabled, the mentally retarded, homosexuals, gypsies and the Slavic peoples.

The period of the holocaust started in 1933 and continued until 1945 when Hitler committed suicide and WW2 ended.

Hitler began his rise to power in the 1920's when he became chairman of National Socialist German Workers’ Party, or NSDAP. He launched a coup, supported by Brownshirts to seize power in Munich. The coup was called the 'Beer Hall Putsch' (8–9 November 1923). The coup failed and Hitler was arrested and charged with treason.

Adolf Hitler turned his trial into a showboat for his ideas and become well known and highly popular across Germany. Hitler was given a derisory 5 month prison sentence. During his imprisonment he wrote 'Mein Kampf' meaning 'My struggle'. The book was edited by his fellow prisoner Rudolf Hess.

In 1925 Adolf Hitler published 'Mein Kampf' which detailed Hitler's goals and beliefs that formed the basis of Nazism. Anti-Semitism, the hatred of Jews, or  was a key part of Nazism.   

Hitler uses his mesmeric and violent speechmaking to convert voters and used massive political ‘rallies’ to gain support. On January 30, 1933 Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany with the title of Fuhrer.

Hitler's most important supporters were Rudolf Hess, Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Goring, Reinhard Heydrich, Seyss-Inquart and Joseph Goebbels and together they initiated the Holocaust.

The Holocaust started on March 20, 1933 when the Nazi government established the Dachau concentration camp as "the first concentration camp for political prisoners."

Within weeks Jews were subjected to racial hatred and loathing and Hitler's 'brownshirts' or stormtroopers loitered outside Jewish shops and persuaded ordinary Germans to boycott them.

The Nazis hatred for Jews extended to other minority groups who did not conform the ideal of the Aryan race. The  Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases was passed on July 14, 1933 forcing the sterilization of all persons who suffered from hereditary diseases, mental illnesses and physical deformities

Ant-Jewish laws were passed banning Jews from attending universities, working as judges, doctors, lawyers and teachers in government sectors. The Nuremberg Race Laws (September 15, 1935) deprived Jewish people of their civil rights.

Jews were forbidden to vote, to go out at night or to marry Germans. Jews were not even allowed to keep their names as the Nazis compelled Jews with German sounding names to adopt Jewish sounding names.

All Jewish people were forced to wear a yellow Star of David on their clothes instantly identifying them as Jews. Their passports were marked with a red "J".

Violent squads of German SS and police called Einsatzgruppen (meaning mobile killing units) began the systematic massacres of Jews in eastern countries invaded by Hitler

On 9 November 1938 anti-Jewish violence escalated during what became known as Kristallnacht, meaning "Night of Broken Glass" because of all the broken glass that littered the streets.  Jewish businesses, synagogues and homes were violently destroyed throughout Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. Many Jewish men were killed or rounded up and put in concentration camps.

Following Kristallnacht, the Gestapo secret police arrested over 20,000 wealthy Jews and only agreed to their release if they surrendered all their possessions and agreed to emigrate.

Kristallnacht marked the significant escalation of Jewish persecution in Germany. Over 350,000 Germans, including Albert Einstein managed to escape to the United States but millions remained trapped in Nazi Europe.

Other laws were passed preventing Jews to run businesses, prohibited Jews from working alongside Aryans, work as vets, permitted to have own a car or a driver’s license, own or use telephones.

Jews were ordered to surrender precious metals and gemstones. Thousands of Jewish businesses were forced out of business as laws banned Jews from owning or operating any form of retail business.

Jewish people were forced to leave their homes and go to live in Jewish 'ghettos', where they were forbidden to earn a wage and many thousands of men, women and children starved to death.

Jews were assaulted, their property was destroyed and life became hard as they were forced out of work and had no source of income. But things were about to become far worse...

On January 20, 1942 the decision was made by the Nazis at the Wannsee Conference for a 'Final Solution to the Jewish Problem' – to exterminate all the Jewish people in Europe.

Concentration and Extermination Camps were built at places such as Auschwitz, and Jewish people in all German controlled territories were rounded up and sent to their deaths. September 1942 saw the mass deportation of over 265,000 Polish Jews from Warsaw to Treblinka.

The Nazis were regularly transporting Jewish people by freight trains to specially built extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, were systematically killed in gas chambers. Other Jews were crammed into terrible living conditions in ghettoes. Jews were forced on Death Marches to the death camps.

The Warsaw ghetto uprising erupted on April 19, 1943. The Germans killed 7000 and captured over 50,000 who were deported to concentration camps.

The German Nazis abandoned the system of cramming people into ghettoes in favor of herding men, women and children on to cattle cars for transportation to the concentration camps and extermination camps.

The names of some of the German forced labor concentration camps were Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Dora-Mittelbau, Flossenburg, Ravensbruck and Sachsenhausen

The major extermination camps were in Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Gross-Rosen, Majdanek, Plaszow, Sobibor and Treblinka in Poland and Janowska in the Ukraine.

On arrival at Auschwitz everyone was tattooed with a number. Healthy prisoners were selected for slave labor. Others such as the elderly, sick, mothers and children were called by their number and sent to the gas chambers and their bodies were burned in crematoriums.

It is estimated that 1,600,000 people died at Auschwitz, about 1,300,000 were Jewish and the remaining victims were Poles, gypsies, and Soviet prisoners of war.

On January 27, 1945 Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz Extermination Camp in Poland and on April 29, 1945  American forces liberated the Dachau concentration camp in Germany.

Adolf Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945 and World War ended September 2, 1945 and the Holocaust was finally over

US American History
1929-1945: Depression & WW2

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