Nazi Party

How did the Nazis kill the Jews?

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2015-07-18 12:53:04

They used:

  1. Mass open air shootings.
  2. Extermination camps.
  3. Many Jews were worked to death by being forced to do heavy

    manual labour on grossly inadequate rations.

  4. Many Jews were forced to live on very little food in

    desperately overcrowded and insanitary ghettos, especially in

    Nazi-occupied Poland. Many died of disease and starvation.

  5. In the final few months of the war some were killed on death



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 Roma (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 enormous numbers of civilians -- six extermination

centers were established in occupied Poland where large-scale

murder by gas and body disposal by cremation were systematically

conducted. 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.


In the beginning the Jews were primarily shot. Execution squads

would drive large groups of Jews to remote locations (usually in

forests) and shoot them there. Sometimes mass grave were prepared

beforehand, sometimes the victims had to dig them.

However, it became quickly apparent that this method had several

flaws. First, it was "inefficient"; the amount of manpower and

equipment (bullets, trucks, gas) needed was so much, that the goal

of the extermination of all Jews in Europe would not have been

attainable. Also, the direct involvement of soldiers with the mass

executions caused psychological problems.

The next step was gas trucks, which had gas chambers big enough

to hold about 100 persons mounted in the back. But again, while

more efficient this too did not achieve the numbers desired by Nazi


That was when plans were drawn up for centralized Extermination

Camps, in which the Jews were herded into large chambers (800-1200

in Auschwitz) under the pretense of being disinfected or deloused -

the Nazis even went so far as to hand out soap and towels to elicit

cooperation to the last moment - just to be then poisoned using

HCn, Hydrogen Cyanide (released from "Zykon-B") , in a process

lasting up to 20 min. Afterward, depending on location and/or time

frame, the bodies where either dumped in mass graves or


Many victims died of diseases they got from the poor hygiene and

nutrition. The Holocaust Museum website, as well as the Anne Frank

memorial website, offer much more information. Some of it is

disturbing, however.

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