The genocide of approximately 6 million European Jews during World War II planned by Adolf Hitler.

36,316 Questions
Nazi Concentration Camps

How many people were killed in the Nazi Concentration Camps during the Holocaust?

The total number of Holocaust victims is higher than the total number of concentration camp (and extermination camp) victims. Many were killed in mass open air shootings or died in ghettos. In other words, killed in Nazi concentration camps does not equal a count of Holocaust victims.


According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

In 1933, there were approximately 9 million Jews in Europe. By 1945, the Nazis had reduced that number to about 3 million. Roma (Gypsies) were also sent to the concentration camps, resulting in about 200,000 Gypsy deaths. Physically and / or mentally handicapped, homosexuals, and Polish intellectuals accounted for at least another 200,000. This totals about 6,400,000 victims of the concentration camps.

The Nazis also killed between 2 and 3 million Soviet prisoners in labor camps or executions. Add to this the non Jewish Poles and Soviets sent to forced labor who died due to malnutrition, unsafe work conditions, disease and "experimentation."

The exact numbers may never be known, but hopefully this gives you some idea of the magnitude of the Nazi inhumanity.

NoteMany victims of the Holocaust were not killed in camps.
  • In Russia and many other parts of the Soviet Union many were killed in mass open air shootings and buried in large pits.
  • In Poland large numbers of Jews perished in the extremely cramped ghettos that the Nazis created in 1939-40. These areas were walled off ... The Nazis allowed grossly insufficient food into the ghettos and no medication. There was a very high death toll from starvation and disease.
  • After the Jews, the largest group of victims was Soviet prisoners of war: about 3.3 million were killed. Many were held in open air camps and simply starved to death.



For many years, since the Holocaust, their has been numbers flying everywhere that states how many people died in the Concentration Camps during the Holocaust. In most concentration camps their isn't an exact death number.

In many concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Treblinka, there's an range of number of people who died in the concentration camps. In Auschwitz there's an incredible range of 1.25 Million - 5.5 Million people who died at Auschwitz, according to most documents and facts, at least 2.25 Million died in Auschwitz. In Treblinka extermination camp, THERE'S an range of 875.000 - 1.6 Million.

The reason why the exact number of people who died in the Concentration Camps is because, after World War 2, Poland was took over by the USSR due to Germany occupied Poland in 1939 and many concentration camps such as Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor, Krakow and Warsaw were investigated by the USSR. during the time, the USSR didn't aloud other Allied countries in due to the Soviets thought that the US would of mess up the results and findings. During the Soviet investigations and adding up what the other allies had found, At least 14 Million people, including 5.96 million Jews died in the Concentration Camps. However, since then, their has been some investigations and it's sort of agreed that at least 16.5 Million, likely over 17 Million people died in the concentration camps. 7 million were the Jews and following that 3.3 million Soviet POWs died.


The word "survived" needs defining carefully, otherwise one ends up talking about quite different groups of people. The usual meaning of the expression "a holocaust survivor" is someone who was sent to a death camp (or equivalent), but was still alive at the end of WWII in Europe or when the camp was liberated. (In other words, Jews and others who had managed to flee to countries like the U.S., Britain and Sweden are NOT included). The most common figure is around 200,000.


This question cannot be answered usefully, as no precise definitions are possible. There were "concentration camps" whose function was to kill people as quickly as possible (such as Treblinka), and others which were primarily prisons for political prisoners (such as Dachau), or slave labor depots. Some camps served multiple functions (such as Auschwitz). In all these camps, many people were killed, but some were much more lethal than others. Not all people held in concentration camps were treated the same. Jews were, in general, exterminated, but other groups such as Roma (gypsies) and Poles, while also killed in large numbers, were not systematically killed. Some of the political prisoners seized by the Nazis in the early years of their rule were later released, having been tortured and starved into submission.

It should also be noted that the Nazis (and some of their allies) performed much of the mass murder included in the Holocaust "in the field": the victims were slaughtered in or near their villages or neighborhoods. "Holocaust survivors" should include people who were at risk of these massacres but managed to get away, even though they were never in a "Holocaust concentration camp".


AnswerWe know most of those that died were Jews, but we don't know EXACTLY how many people died. The bodies were buried in unmarked graves, or burned. At least 7 Million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. CommentSix million is the generally accepted approximate total for the number of Jews who were killed in the Holocaust - including deaths from starvation, disease and of course, mass open-air shootings. Fewer than four million Jews died in extermination camps.

Obviously, one has to add the figures for non-Jews in order to give a full answer to the question.

Additional InfoPeople tend to forget that while we remember the Holocaust, Jews were only the bare majority of people who died due to mass extermination by the German authorities.

In addition, there were two "sets" of camps - the concentration camps, which were essentially large open-air prisons, and the death camps, which were part of the organized Final Solution. The death camps were exactly that - specifically designed and run to take in a steady stream of victims, kill them, and dispose of the bodies. The only people spared at these camps were victims willing to labor in the camp itself; most of them only postponed death for a short time, as the Nazi owners frequently would take new members for the labor force, and kill the old ones.

Current estimates are that somewhere around 11 million people died in various concentration camps, POW camps, and death camps. About 3 million died in the Death Camps (the majority at Auschwitz) - 90% of them Jews, most of the remainder being Roma (Gypsies). Approximately 3 million more Jews were killed in various mass murder campaigns prior to the Death Camps being set up. Likewise, about 1 million total Roma died. A similar number of people (1 million) - mostly ethnic Germans, though many from conquered countries - were killed as a part of the Euthanasia program. These were primarily the mentally ill, though homosexuals were also targeted.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 500,000 political prisoners and Western Allied POWs (British, American, etc.) died in the various concentration camps, mostly from abuse (not systematic extermination). In a similar manner, about 3.2 million Russian POWs were killed in German POW camps, mostly due to abject abuse and neglect (i.e. failure to feed, clothe, or house them for months on end in harsh weather).

Finally, perhaps 2-2.5 million Poles, Slavs, and other "lesser" races were starved or beaten to death in the various concentration camps, or during marches to them, or in forced labor.


The claim above that "In Auschwitz there's an incredible range of 1.25 Million - 5.5 Million people who died at Auschwitz" is false and is only now used by Holocaust deniers in order to mock the Holocaust. In the 1980s the Auschwitz Museum undertook careful new research, based on documentary evidence. Well aware of the fact that the Soviet Union had exaggerated the figures in 1945-46, the Museum was cautious. It came up with a figure of about 1.15 milllion killed (in the Auschwitz group of camps) of whom about 90% were Jews. This research is widely accepted by Holocaust scholars and earlier figures are out of date and superseded. The range given above for Treblinka is far too high - the sort of figures one finds on sites trying to make fun of the Holocaust. The usual figure for Treblinka is 800,000 or slightly higher.

Criminal Law
Suicide Warning Signs, Statistics, and Prevention

Why is it illegal for people to kill themselves?

it shouldn't be illegal for people to kill themselves as this doesn't go against anyone else but the person who is trying to kill himself. It is not good to give up and kill yourself because tomorrow is another day and things do get better sometimes depending on your situation and your approach to things. Sometimes we convince ourselves that there is no other way because we had enough and we are tired. At the end of the day it is your life and your decision. There shouldn't be any laws in our constitution that forbid killing yourself as it is a very personal decision. If people follow the law, there would be no suicides in this world.

History of Judaism
Nazi Concentration Camps

How many Jews were killed in the Holocaust?

Since 1945-46, the most commonly quoted figure for the total number of Jews killed has been an estimate of approximately six million. This figure, first given at the Nuremberg Tribunal, has been broadly confirmed by later research.

The Holocaust commemoration center, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, comments:

There is no precise figure for the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust. The figure commonly used is the six million established by the Nuremberg Tribunal in 1946 and repeated later by Adolf Eichmann, a senior SS official. Most research confirms that the number of victims was between five and six million. Early calculations range from 5.1 million (Professor Raul Hilberg) to 5.95 million (Jacob Leschinsky). More recent research, by Professor Yisrael Gutman and Dr. Robert Rozett in the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, estimates the Jewish losses at 5.59-5.86 million, and a study headed by Dr. Wolfgang Benz presents a range from 5.29-6.2 million. The main sources for these statistics are comparisons of prewar censuses with postwar censuses and population estimates. Nazi documentation containing partial data on various deportations and murders is also used. We estimate that Yad Vashem currently has somewhat more than four million names of victims that are accessible.

Raul Hilberg, in the third edition of his ground-breaking three-volume work, The Destruction of the European Jews, estimates that 5.1 million Jews died during the Holocaust. This figure includes "over 800,000" who died from "Ghettoization and general privation"; 1,400,000 who were killed in "Open-air shootings"; and "up to 2,900,000" who perished in camps. Hilberg estimates the death toll in Poland at "up to 3,000,000". Hilberg's numbers are generally considered to be a conservative estimate, as they typically include only those deaths for which some records are available, avoiding statistical adjustment. British historian Martin Gilbert used a similar approach in his "Atlas of the Holocaust", but arrived at a number of 5.75 million Jewish victims, since he estimated higher numbers of Jews killed in Russia and other locations.

One of the most authoritative German scholars of the Holocaust, Wolfgang Benz of the Technical University of Berlin, cites between 5.3 and 6.2 million Jews killed in Dimension des Völkermords (1991), while Yisrael Gutman and Robert Rozett estimate between 5.59 and 5.86 million Jewish victims in the Encyclopaedia of the Holocaust (1990).

There were about 9.4 million Jews in the territories controlled directly or indirectly by the Nazis. (Some uncertainty arises from the lack of knowledge about how many Jews there were in the Soviet Union). The 6 million killed in the Holocaust thus represent about 64% of these Jews. Of Poland's 3.3 million Jews, over 90 percent were killed. The same proportion were killed in Latvia and Lithuania, but most of Estonia's Jews were evacuated in time. In Czechoslovakia, Greece, the Netherlands and Yugoslavia, over 70 percent were killed. More than 50 percent were killed in Belgium, Hungary and Romania. It is likely that a similar proportion were killed in Belarus and Ukraine, but these figures are less certain. Countries with notably lower proportions of deaths include Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Italy and Norway. Finally, of the 750,000 Jews in Germany and Austria in 1933, only about a quarter survived. Although many German Jews emigrated before 1939, the majority of these fled to Czechoslovakia, France or the Netherlands, from where they were later deported to their deaths.

The number of people killed at the major extermination camps is estimated as follows:

Auschwitz-Birkenau: 1.4 million; Belzec: 500,000; Chelmno: 152,000; Majdanek: 78,000; Maly Trostinets: 65,000; Sobibór: 250,000; and Treblinka: 870,000.

This gives a total of over 3.3 million; of these, 90% are estimated to have been Jews. These seven camps alone thus accounted for half the total number of Jews killed in the entire Nazi Holocaust. Virtually the entire Jewish population of Poland died in these camps.

In addition to those who died in the above extermination camps, at least half a million Jews died in other camps, including the major concentration camps in Germany. These were not extermination camps, but had large numbers of Jewish prisoners at various times, particularly in the last year of the war as the Nazis withdrew from Poland. About a million people died in these camps, and although the proportion of Jews is not known with certainty, it was estimated to be at least 50 percent. Another 800,000 to 1 million Jews were killed by the Einsatzgruppen in the occupied Soviet territories (an approximate figure, since the Einsatzgruppen killings were frequently undocumented). Many more died through execution or of disease and malnutrition in the ghettos of Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Hungary before they could be deported.

World War 2

Was the Holocaust the same thing as World War 2?

No. World War 2 in Europe was a major war between the Allies (Britain, the U.S., Russia, Canada and many other countries on the one hand) and Germany, Italy and various other countries on the other. In Europe was initially triggered by the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and lasted from 1939-1945.

The Holocaust refers to:

  1. The Nazi genocide of the Jews in 1941-45 during World War 2. In all, a total of about six million Jews were murdered.
  2. In addition, many others were murdered on the basis of group identity, including 'gypsies', Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, Polish intellectuals, Communists and others. Historians generally do not include these groups in the Holocaust.
  3. The Holocaust was a kind of 'subplot' of World War 2. Saying this is not intended to diminish its significance but to put it in the context of World War 2
  4. Some historians, such as Christopher Browning, see the Holocaust as part of a wider campaign by the Nazis to rid the world of what the latter called 'Jewish Bolshevism' ('Jewish Communism').



  • When the Nazis invaded Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and the Soviet Union ('Russia') it was for land.
  • The Nazis invaded country after country, and this brought more and more Jews under German control. As a result, the Nazis' self-inflicted 'Jewish problem' grew and grew for them. (In particular, the invasion of Poland and, later, of the Soviet Union, brought a huge increase in the number of Jews under Nazi rule).
  • The war shielded the Holocaust from outside intervention, in much the same way as World War 1 shielded the Ottoman Turkish genocide of the Armenians in 1915.
  • The Nazis conducted the Holocaust largely in Poland, which is difficult to reach from Allied bomber bases in, say, Britain.
Adolf Hitler

Why did Adolf Hitler and the Nazis hate the Jews?

Nobody knows. Hitler, who was Corporal Hitler in World War One, had been severly injured. Maybe, if Hitler was killed in World War One, there'd be no fighting on the European Continent, and all our concentration would be on Japan and Emporor Hirohito.

World War 2
Germany in WW2
Adolf Hitler

Can you explain simply why the Nazis hated the Jews?

Putting it as simply as possible:

  • The Nazis thought that the German Jews were 'alien', 'un-German' and a 'corrupting influence' on Germany and that they were encouraging immorality.
  • The Nazis believed that the Jews were Communists (and that Communism was a specifically Jewish ideology).
  • There were strange conspiracy theories that claimed that the Jews were trying to achieve 'world domination'.
  • The Nazis said that the Jews were enemies of Germany, and that Jews and Germans were locked in a struggle to the death. (This was another of those conspiracy theories that many Nazis took seriously).
  • The Nazis believed that the Jews had made Germany lose World War 1.
  • The Nazis subscribed to racialist theories that claimed that the Jews were inferior to others.
  • However, Nazi propaganda also portrayed them as very clever indeed, very dangerous and close to achieving world domination: the two don't even begin to fit.
  • With the start of World War 2 in September 1939 Hitler became obsessed with the idea that 'the Jews' had started the war.
  • Earlier, 'religious' hostility to Judaism had often demonized the Jews and painted them as sinister and evil.
  • Because some Jews were affluent and influential, they represented political positions in opposition to Hitler, and were targeted like others he saw as rivals.

All this was much more important than stories about what a Jew might or might not have done to Hitler in his childhood. There is no firm evidence that Hitler was anti-Jewish before about 1916. Beware of naive explanations.

For fuller answers click on the related questions below.


How many people were killed in the Holocaust?

Holocaust deaths

The word holocaust generally refers to the deaths of Jews, but other victims of Nazi Germany are often also included. (The word holocaust is also often used to describe the genocide of the Armenians in 1915-1917 by the Ottoman Turkish regime).

Although the exact figure will never be known, here are estimates:

  • The figure of 11 million people dead is often given but it is completely unclear where this figure comes from, and how it is calculated. It is far too low. One also encounters the range 11-17 million.
  • 6 million of these were Jewish (close to two thirds of Europe's Jewish population) and about one quarter of these were children under 15.
  • Up to 270,000 were Roma/Sinti (Gypsies).

In addition, Hitler targeted homosexuals, Communists and other political dissidents, most Slavs, Jehovah's Witnesses, dissidents, some Protestant pastors and Catholic priests, black people, the mentally and physically disabled, and others. The figures include the camps as well as the mass graves in the countryside, killings in the street, organized mass shootings (such as Babi Yar, etc.) and basically, any person singled out for their race, religion, political beliefs, or their sexual orientation.

There are approximately 250 Holocaust museums and centers around the world where you can learn more, as well as extensive information elsewhere on the Internet.

  • Jews- 5.9 million
  • Soviet POW's- 3.3 million
  • Non-Jewish Poles- 1.8-2 million
  • Romanis ('gypsies')- 220,000- 270,000 (but even the higher figure may be too low)
  • Disabled- 200,000 - 250,000
  • Homosexuals- 5,000 - 15,000
  • Jehovah's Witnesses- 2,500 - 5,000


World War 2
Germany in WW2

Why did the Holocaust happen?

  • The Jews had previously been subject to all kinds of earlier "religious" prejudices. From the 1870s onwards a new, racial antisemitism was added to this.
  • There was widespread demonization of the Jews.
  • According to the first part of Ian Kershaw's biography Hitler, 1889-1939 Hubris, Penguin Books 1998 Hitler was a "lazy leader" who did not like to bother himself much with formulating day-to-day policy ... As a result, his subordinates at various levels tried to guess what he wanted. This encouraged rapidly growing extremism. The terror apparatus, headed by Himmler and Heydrich, became a very powerful lobby.
  • There were all kinds of fanciful conspiracy theories about the Jews as the 'biological root' of Communism. The Nazis kept on saying, without any evidence, that 'the Jews' were enemies of Germany and so on. In fact, most German Jews were very pro-German indeed and had fought well for Germany in World War 1. Many were tragically in love with Germany, and some were reluctant to leave the country even if they were able to do so. However, fear of Communism was a powerful force in many parts of Central and Southern Europe in the interwar period, and was ruthlessly exploited by many politicians.
  • The Holocaust happened because Hitler wanted to purify Germany so to speak...He wanted the Aryan Race, of which couldn't be obtained unless all Jews were gone (along with homosexuals, Gypsies, Russians...etc.) Extermination camps were a ploy for Jews...Hitler actually told them that he was just getting them out of the country and "resettling" them in Eastern Europe but ended up killing them there...
  • One motive may have been robbery - it has been estimated that the Holocaust (including confiscated property and slave labour) profited the Nazis by a sum that would today be in the tens of billions of dollars. {However, according to Raul Hilberg, the value of Jewish slave labour for the Nazis was even greater].
  • Nazi conquests, especially in Eastern and Eastern Central Europe (Poland and the Soviet Union) resulted in large additional numbers of Jews coming under Nazi control, thus exacerbating the Nazis' self-imposed "Jewish problem".
  • In addition, there were also Nazi plans to reduce the population of occupied Eastern Europe. This kind of thinking was propped up by various race theories.

Further input:

Many Germans blamed the Jews for Germany's defeat in World War I, some even claiming that German Jews had betrayed the nation during the war. In addition, at the end of the war a Communist group attempted to carry out a Bolshevik-type revolution in the German state of Bavaria. Most of the leaders of that failed attempt were Jews. As a result, some Germans associated Jews with Bolsheviks and regarded both groups as dangerous enemies of Germany. After the war, a republic, later known as the Weimar Republic, was set up in Germany. Jewish politicians and intellectuals played an important role in German life during the Weimar Republic, and many non-Jews resented their influence.

On the basis of his antisemitic views, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler attacked the impressive role Jews played in German society during the Weimar Republic, especially in the intellectual world and in left-wing politics. He referred to them as a plague and a cancer. In his book Mein Kampf (My Struggle, translated 1939), which was published in 1926, Hitler blamed the plight of Germany at the end of World War I on an international Jewish conspiracy and used terms such as extirpation and extermination in relation to the Jews. He claimed that the Jews had achieved economic dominance and the ability to control and manipulate the mass media to their own advantage. He wrote of the need to eradicate their powerful economic position, if necessary by means of their physical removal.


Some historians, such as Christopher Browning, see the Holocaust as part of a wider campaign to destroy what the Nazis saw as 'Judeo-Bolshevism'.


Note also Yehuda Bauer's stark formulation:

The basic motivation [of the Holocaust] was purely ideological, rooted in an illusionary world of Nazi imagination, where an international Jewish conspiracy to control the world was opposed to a parallel Aryan quest. No genocide to date had been based so completely on myths, on hallucinations, on abstract, nonpragmatic ideology - which was then executed by very rational, pragmatic means.

How seriously individual Nazis took these illusions and conspiracy theories is another matter. This notion of the Jews as dangerous, cunning conspirators doesn't fit the Nazi view of them as inferior.

The main cause of the Jewish Holocaust was AdolfHitler's hatred of all Jews also

Please see the related questions.

World War 2
Germany in WW2

What caused the Holocaust?

Causes of the HolocaustThere was no specific incident that triggered the Holocaust.

The most simple answer: Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Hitler was the driving force behind the obsessive and fanatical Nazi persecution and ultimately also the mass slaughter of the Jews and various other groups, though the details of implementation were left to the terror apparatus, headed by Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich. Here are more opinions and input:

  • Nazi propaganda operated with conspiracy theories, especially the 'stab-in-the-back legend' and bizarre claims about an imaginary 'Judeo-Bolshevist' conspiracy against Germany, Austria and ethnic Germans. These ideas became popular among hardline nationalists in Germany, Austria and in some other countries. These fanciful, but dangerous notions were also fuelled by some refugees from the Russian Revolution and civil war of 1918-21. The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" (first forged around 1900 by the Tsarist secret police and purporting to provide details of a Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world) was particularly important in this respect.
  • The Holocaust unfolded as Adolf Hitler's personal vision of the cleansing of Europe of 'undesirables'.
  • In World War 2 the Nazis greatly exacerbated (increased, intensified) their self-inflicted 'Jewish problem'. As a result of the Nazi invasion of other countries and especially Poland, the number of Jews under Nazi control greatly increased. At first, they herded the Jews in Poland and some other areas into ghettos, with a view to moving them all out of Europe at a future date. When it became clear that they were not going to win the war quickly, the Nazi leadership moved from a 'territorial solution' to the 'Final Solution' - that is, the Holocaust.
  • In much of Europe (and America) the Jews had already been demonized for their religion, but this in itself does not explain the Holocaust.

    The Holocaust was part of a wider Nazi campaign to rid the world of what they often referred to as 'Jewish Bolshevism'. It did not start with 'a big bang' in response to any particular incident but developed rapidly in the second half of 1941 during the early stages of the German invasion of the Soviet Union.

    Please see the related question.

World War 2
Germany in WW2
Adolf Hitler

How many people did Hitler have killed in World War II?

From my understanding, Hitler's influence caused the death of approximately 15 to 17 million people during World War II.

If one excludes death in combat as "have killed" (i.e. don't count the soldiers fighting the Nazi regime, or civilians "collateral damage" such as from aerial bombings), and only counts the places where Germans directly killed (or forced others to kill people), then here are some approximate numbers:

  • About 6 million Jews and between 250,000 and 1 million Roma (Gypsies) explicitly hunted and exterminated in the Holocaust
  • About 2 million non-Jewish Poles
  • Around another 1 million eastern Slavic peoples in the Balkans and Eastern Europe (excluding those killed - especially Serbs - by various Croatian allies in Yugoslavia) and not counting Poles or Soviet citizens
  • Anywhere between 2 and 5 million Soviet civilians in the occupied sections of the U.S.S.R. - many were simply executed, but most were starved or worked to death
  • Somewhere between 3 and 5 million Soviet P.O.W.s where starved to death or simply died of exposure due to neglect and ill-treatment by the Nazi authorities
  • Around 1 million total various German "undesirables" - homosexuals, mentally ill, deaf, blind, blacks, Jehovah's Witnesses, Freemasons, Catholics, German Communists, Labor leaders, and anti-Nazi activists. The mentally ill and disabled were euthanized, and the rest died in various concentration (not extermination) camps, mostly from brutal treatment and starvation/disease
  • Roughly another 500,000 various non-Jew, non-Slav peoples from the Western European occupied countries. Mostly various left-wing sympathizers or politicians (e.g. Labor and Communist party organizers, etc.) plus Resistance fighters and collaborators

That totals between 15 and 21 million people which the policies dictated by Hitler directly resulted in death.

Metal Detector

Does the holocaust museum have metal detector?

Yes, because Neo-Nazis had RPG-7 Or AK-47.

Germany in WW2

What is the definition of holocaust?

The most common meaning nowadays of the Holocaust (with an article and a capital h) is the Nazi genocide of the Jews. Sometimes other victims who were murdered by the Nazis on the basis of their group identity are included, in particular, the gypsies (Roma). Around 1980 it replaced the term 'Final Solution [of the Jewish Question]', which was the Nazis' own term. Before the late 1970s the word was most commonly used (without a capital H) in the expression nuclear holocaust, which referred to the feared nuclear war between East and West.


The word Holocaust means great destruction resulting in the extensive loss of life by fire.


It comes from the Greek word "holokaustos", which means "burned whole". It has been used in English for a long time in the sense of disaster involving many deaths (especially by fire). In its Middle English form, derived from Greek, it was used to mean a burnt offering. This later broadened to any major destruction due to fire, and broadened further to mean any mass destruction. When used in capitalized form, it is specifically referring to the mass destruction of Jewish and other people by the Nazis in World War Two.


It comes from a Greek word which means a sacrifice totally burned by fire. It has been widely used in English in the sense of 'great destruction (usually by fire)'. For example, in the 1950s and 1960s there was widespread fear of a nuclear holocaust.

Since the late 1970s the word holocaust has been widely used in historical writing in the sense of genocide. The Holocaust (without any further detail or qualification) refers to the genocide of about 6 million Jews by the Nazis. The Ottoman Turkish murder of about 1.5 million Armenians in 1915-1917 is often also referred to the Armenian Holocaust).

The term is often extended to the systematic, mass killing of all groups that the Nazis tried to exterminate on the basis of group membership - including Roma (Gypsies), homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, incuarbles, Soviet political commissars and some other groups. Recently, the word has been widely used in English for the Nazi genocide of the Jews and has largely replaced the expression Final Solution [of the Jewish question], which is a direct translation of Nazis' own term.

Some people are uneasy about the use of the word holocaust because it can have religious implications. In Hebrew the word Shoah, meaning great calamity, is widely used instead.

For practical and linguistic purposes the meaning of a word is its current use, not its etymology or history.

Parts of the answers to the Related Questions below and the links give definitions and some discussion.

World War 2
US in WW2

What were the major turning points of World War 2?

Major Turning Points of World War 2This is a question that cannot have a definitive answer. In such a large confict, there are certainly many "turning points", and there will be differing opinions on them. Here are some of the many opinions offered by FAQ Farmers:

Battle of Britain

  • If the RAF had been destroyed, the English fleet could have then been attacked by the German air force and navy, resulting in the invasion of England and Spain joining the war alongside Germany. Spanish leaders had said if England was knocked out of the war they would join in.
  • If Germany had defeated or otherwise subdued Britain in 1940, Germany would have reaped these benefits: time to continue building their military machine before invading Russia; the ability to attack Russia without Britain as an enemy in the rear; loss to the Allies of Britain as a staging area for invasion of Europe/Africa, etc. It is not all that far-fetched, that the Germans could have won the Battle of Britain. Their strategic mistake was to shift the point of attack, from the RAF (attain air superiority), to wanton and pointless destruction of British cities. The Germans were actually winning the Battle, although both sides were suffering horrendous losses, when they switched to bombing cities, etc. Once the Luftwaffe had achieved air superiority over Britain, an invasion (by air or sea) becomes achievable.
  • In terms of the western front, the Luftwaffe failure to defeat the RAF in the Battle of Britain was a major failure on the German part, and it's not like they didn't have the opportunity, with Hitler and Goering changing tactics from the airfields to the cities just when the RAF's back was nearly broken. (It came back to haunt the Germans later when the Allies began to launch the infamous bombing raids on German cities and the main industrial sectors.)
  • This was probably one of the most important turning points in the war. If Hitler had defeated Britain the US and Russia would have lost a valuable ally and it would have allowed Germany to concentrate on the USSR. It also allowed D-Day and El Alamein to happen.
  • The Battle of Britain was one of the most important events during the courseof World War II, this showed the people of the world that Hitler was not undefeatable, the British showed everyone what the Germans were weak at. The Battle of Britain kept the British from German control and later staged the D-Day landings, when if the Allies had not re-entered Europe Russia would have been alone against the Germans. If the Americans, British and other Allied forces had not gained the French beaches then France would have still been under German control. Without Britain being free, Germany would still have controlled Eastern Europe, and would not have had to fight on two fronts, meaning it could concentrate the bulk of their forces in Russia.
  • I give the BoB a low ranking on the ladder because it was really only a pipe dream of Hitler's. There was no way he could have moved enough men across the Channel, let alone gain air superiority. Nevertheless, the Battle of Britain ate up many German aircraft that otherwise would have been flying over the Eastern Front.
  • If the Luftwaffe had concentrated more on the airfields of the RAF instead of tartgeting British cities, the RAF could well have been utterly destroyed leaving Britain defenceless from the air. Hitler may have been satisfied at this outcome at leaving Britain weaker, rather than invading. The lack of RAF would have certainly have weakened Britain's position in the war, for example, no air recon planes to observe German movements by sea and air. Thus, German warships and subs may have been able to roam freely without being spotted apart from by other ships, and would causes more damage to the British shipping fleet. If Britain had been invaded by the sea, it may have led to the invasion of the Soviet Union being postponed for a year or more, depending on how the invasion of Britain went.

Battle of The Atlantic

  • If the Germans had won here (although it was much more of a terror war than anything else; less than one percent of Britain's total merchant-marine was sunk) it would have made the Torch and Overlord/Gymnast landings impossible.
  • If the U.S. had not been able to help Britain in the form of materials, ships, food i.e. the Lend-Lease Act, the Brits would of fallen to the Germans, or at the very least been useless to the war effort. And if the Brits would have fallen, there would have been no African Campaign. In that case, the Germans would have been fighting one on one with the Russians, and based on the initial performance of Germany, it is almost certain they would of crushed Russia.

D-Day (Operation Overlord)

  • Europe was occupied by the Germans, their troops were concentrated on taking over Russia, so most of the troops were stationed there. The Germans always expected the Allies to attack Europe someday, they just didn't know when. When D-Day took place their Atlantic wall was destroyed, heavy fights with great losses on both sides took place in the area around Normandie. Those fights were even worse and cost more casualties than the rush on Normandie itself. The battle of the Bulge and The Bocage were probably the hardest tasks for the Allied forces. After those places were finally taken over by the Allies, most parts of France were secured. After that the Netherlands and Belgium were freed. The German Army got weaker and weaker. The Germans desperately tried to win the battles in Stalingrad (Russia) almost all their reinforcement was sent there, but the Russians beat them. I would say D-Day and the battles in Russia made it possible to defeat the Germans. After this there just wasn't a chance for the German Army to win the war in Europe.
  • The importance of the U.S. involvement in Europe cannot be understated. Some say Russia would have won the war against Germany without U.S. support. This statement is totally bogus. The Germans got all the way to Moscow before they were stopped by a combination of things. Even with the demise of the 6th Army, Hitler still had enough troops to stop the Russians. The reason he could not stop them is because he had to man the Atlantic Wall from a western invasion and continue his fighting in North Africa. This is where the United States comes in. Stalin had been begging President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill to start a second front so as to relieve the Russian burden as early as the Argentine Conference in 1941. Just the threat of a U.S. invasion made Germany move troops from Russia to France, which made is easier for the Russians when they finally went over to the offensive because they had less enemy to fight.

Battle of the Bulge

  • Where the German forces in the West were broken. The Bulge was the climax of the campaign in the West.

Operation Cobra

  • In Europe, on the Western Front, you could argue for Operation Cobra, since that was when the Western Allies broke out and removed the Germans from France and Belgium and put them onto the defensive.

Battles of Gustav Line/Monte Cassino

  • This ended the most staunch and fierce German resistance outside the Soviet Union and finally allowed the Allies to move on Rome.

Second Battle of El Alamein

  • The battle of El Alemain deprived Germany of the Middle Eastern oil fields and necessitated the invasion of the tCaucasus that ended disastrously at Stalingrad.
  • Put an end to the Desert Fox's escapades in Egypt and brought the 8th Army back from the brink, allowing for Torch to knock Italy out of the war.
  • Resulted in the loss of the Afrika Korps for the Germans. Opened up the British for a more active role in the mainland war.

Hitler's Meddling and Japanese Military Arrogance

  • The major turning points in World War Two are always described with major battles that Germany and Japan had lost. Whilst this is clearly seen there are many mistakes made by these nations leading up to and after these battles. They say it is the little things that count, so when you look at the mistakes made by Germany leading up to the second battle of El Alamein and Stalingrad there becomes clear a picture of less noticed turning points leading to these debacles. Firstly allowing the British and French forces to escape from Dunkirk, The Battle of Britain, the failure to defeat Britain, the failure to occupy Malta, the underestimation of Soviet strength in material and determination to fight, the belief that an entire army could be supplied totally by air transport and the failure to destroy American Aircraft Carriers at Pearl Harbour. These mistakes and there are more that have not been mentioned all contribute to the major losses the Axis forces suffered. There can be said that it was Arrogance and a overestimation of there own abillities that was the turning point in World War Two.
  • Most of the blame rests squarely on Hitler. He not only got involved in a two front war, which is a major no-no in most military scenerios, but he was actually involved on three fronts. The first front was the Russian, the second was the Invasion of Europe through France, the third was the invasion of Italy by the Allies. The latter two involving major U.S. forces which diverted German soldiers from Russia, thus allowing the Russians an easier and faster route to Berlin. Ironically, multi-front fighting is one of the core reasons Hitler labled the pre-Nazi government as criminals, saying they got Germany involved in a hopeless war which ended with their defeat in WWI.
  • The most critical error of WW2 began with Adolph Hitler. The German General Staff knew that they didn't have the logistics or modern military equipment to win a large war in the late 1930s. They wanted to wait until 1945 and develop their weapons and logistics to defeat Western Europe and then defeat Eastern Europe. Hitler though was getting older and impatient and wanted to see his 3rd Reich.
  • There are many areas that Hitler lost the war, it has been stated numerous times that if he had not stopped the panzers from closing Dunkirk, or if he had continued the attacks on the RAF airfields and radar stations, Operation Sealion could have happened, or if he had focused more research on U-boots (remember the early wooden rifles incidents), or if the drive into the Soviet Union had been focused on seizing Moscow in the late August early Sept. time frame, so on and so on. As Hitler stated before the war, the winner will be the side the commits the fewest blunders. Germany if properly ran could have won WWII even though it was a three front war, East, West and South.

Germany Attacking Russia (Operation Barbarossa)

  • The single largest point of failure that cost the Axis powers the war was Germany attacking Russia ("Barbarossa"). This meant the Germans were fighting on multiple fronts, something the leaders of Germany (even in 1914!) desperately tried to avoid because they knew the possible results. By having the Germans stuck between two larger forces, and knocked out of the war, the Japanese were doomed. This is irregardless of what actually happened in the Pacific. Had Midway not happened, had Japan taken Port Moresby, they still would have lost (eventually), as the combined might of the Allied nations would have ground them to dust.

Moscow and Leningrad

  • The failure of Germany to capture Moscow and Leningrad when they first invaded the Soviet Union cost them dearly.


  • The first major German loss on the land. Soviet victory here rallied the Allies and proved that the Wehrmacht was definitely not invincible.
  • No doubt about it. It consumed a huge chunk of the Wermacht (German army).
  • In the east, easily Stalingrad. The Soviets destroyed the 6th Army, which, in turn, forced the other half of Army Group South (engaged in capturing the Caucasus and Baku oil fields) to withdraw to the north-west to regroup and form a new defensinve line. The failure to capture the oil fields cut off the Axis powers from any hope of finding a large enough fuel source to continue an effective war, essentially sealing their fate with that of the 6th Army.
  • The climactic turning points of WWII are the battles of Moscow and Stalingrad. I don't want to insult Western people, but in 1944, when Allies commenced "Overlord", there was no doubt that Germany would be defeated by Russia. In 1942 Germany had more than five million excellent soldiers in Russia (compare it with just several divisions in Africa at the same time). By the beginning of 1944 most of those troops were smashed by the Soviet Army, and in Normandy the Allies faced just a ghost of a German army. So, "Overlord" would be impossible without Russia.

Battle of Kursk

  • If the Germans were able to break through to Kursk, the Eastern war could have been prolonged for a couple more years.
  • Consumed absolutely massive proportions of German and Soviet armour. The only hitch was that the Soviets had recovered within weeks whereas the Germans still hadn't recovered from the losses two years later. Debut of the Panther, Ferdinand/Elefant and Tiger AFVs in large numbers.

Pearl Harbor

  • Technically, Barbarossa or Pearl Harbor were turning points because although Germany and Japan continues on the offensive for some time, they brought into the war the USSR and the USA, both of whom had the economic and (eventually) military power to win the war.
  • In terms of the Pacific, when Japan failed to destroy the Pacific fleet in Pearl, they had effectively lost the war there and then, and although it is true that they did commit themselves to offensive operations up until Midway, the loss of the element of surprise and sheer industrial and military might of the US in comparison to that of Japan had already doomed the Japanese army and navy, which was both smaller and more ill-equipped than their American counterparts.
  • Pearl Harbor (and the declaration of war against the US by Germany and Italy) was the only major turning point in WWII. We like to think of battles, but it is the economy (Bill Clinton quote). During 1941, the US economy was one third of the world economy (in terms of steel production). Germany's contribution equaled Russia and Britain combined. Japan's was 10% of US. When Germany declared war on the US, Germany went from tied (production wise) to immediately being out numbered by 2.5 to one (in EVERY category). Regardless of what battles were fought, eventually the sheer weight of 2.5 to one odds would have overwhelmed the German defenses. We like to think of battles, but by the end of the war, the US was producing equipment (50% of world economy)-- as many planes, tanks, ships, etc. PER MONTH as the Germans produced during the entire WAR. The US alone had 16 million people in the military (population of Germany was less than 75 million). The US needed one year to mobilize (1942), and their enemies never experienced a sustained victory again. Once the US entered the war, the war ended PERIOD!
  • Mr. Churchill wrote in his diary on night of Pearl Harbour: "So that's how it ends, we win the war!"

Battle of Midway

  • After this the Japanese were always on the defensive.
  • It hurt Japanese morale and boosted American morale.
  • Those four carriers could have prolonged the struggle for a considerable time.
  • The true turning point of World War II was the Battle of Midway. Without the United States, WWII would have taken MUCH longer and many more lives would have been lost. Pearl Harbor was attacked. Americans wanted revenge, and if the US did not make revenge against the Japanese, the American public would not be in favor of going to Europe. When the Japanese Naval fleet was crushed, it allowed the US to win the war in the Pacific and it allowed the US to invade France and Italy. Germany would only have one significant front to deal with.


  • The US Army/Marines finally demonstrated their ability to desisevly stop any Japanese land offensives.
  • First US land offensive into Japanese held territory. Japan is forever on the defensive.

The Marianas

  • The remains of the Japanese navy were crushed.

Papau New Guinea

  • Before then everyone thought the Japanese army (not the navy) to be invincible. This was when the Japanese army started being pushed back.

Soviet invasion of Manchuria

  • The Soviet attack on Manchuria was a large, but underrated factor in the Japanese surrender. Although by this time American forced would have destroyed Japan in any case, the Soviet Union destroyed the one-million strong Kuantung army, which, although greatly weakened, was a central part in the Japanese plans to defend the home islands.

Atomic Bomb

  • The development of the atomic bomb. All other battles and heroic deeds would all have been for naught if Nazi Germany had used their several year head start in the development of the atomic bomb. The war was won at Los Alamos, NM.
  • The bombing undermined the Japanese will to fight on.
  • It stopped Japan.
AnswerIt was the winter of 41', that helped the Russians out. They were being beaten at first by the blitzcreig, but Russia had too many resources and people to give up, They regrouped and got ready to attck. Then they came with a crap load of guys and took all their land back. Then they took Berlin. That winter was the major turning point. AnswerDoolittle's raid on Japan helped boost the moral of the US people - even the soldiers taken captive heard about it.

Battle of the Bulge was one of the more telling moments of the war that swung the tide for the Allies.

AnswerThe atom bomb was not a major turning point in world war two. This happened too far the end of the war and would only circumventJapan who were already extremely weak.The battle of Britain on the over hand was a major turning point, on D-Day, once being forced to retreat home, we stood back and preapared ourselves for an arial battle. Answerwhen Hitler decided not to invade England (operation sea lion), he attacked russia. that's when he lost the war. also the misinformatoin that the allies fed to Germany during the d-day invasion (operation overlord)was a major factor in their success. in the pacific theatre it was the battle of midway that took japan off the offensive AnswerD-Day in Europe, (June 6, 1944), and the taking of Iwo Jima in Feb-Mar of 45 that provided an air base that was within easy striking distance of Japan. AnswerA Few Major Turning Points:
  • The German decision to stop the advance in France, thus allowing the British and French Reebarkment in Dunkirk.
    • The German decision to invade Russia.
    • The US entering the war after Pearl Harbor.
  • Stalingrad.
  • The Strategic bombings in Germany '43-'44.
    • Kursk (more than Stalingrad, here the Germans lost the initiative of the war in the east for good).
  • The surrender of The Afrika Korps.
  • The Success of the D-Day Landings
  • Midway
    • The battle in the Gulf of Leyte
    • Guadalcanal

There are others, but the big ones have two stars, that is how I see it, be sure I forgot something.

Answerthe major turning points of ww2 are as followed, Hitler killing himself was definitely one of the most biggest turning points of ww2 because nazi Germany and all other nazi soldiers lost their faith and agressivness. Hitler could of led gremnat to a strong victory if he hadnt of told and say to japan to go along and fight us that idiot who i consider a very smart man made the biggest mistake in the war. jospeh stalon being the dictator of russia (the ussr.was what put Germany at scare stalon had a winter to back up his army and some nice artilary too much to name had hiler scared.that's what i think were the major turning points of ww2.

The major turning point of WWII was the Battle of Britain. Hitlers first major defeat and the end to his dream of global domination. No other battle in WWII was so pivotal.

Pearl harbour, the victory in north Africa were vital.

The Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union was an irrelevance as even if Hilter had won the allies would have got to Berlin and cut off the nazi soldiers in Russia anyway. The Russian soldiers fought bravely though.

Midway was not piotal as Japan had no ability to achieve gobal domination as they were unable to beat the British in India and Australia, or to invade the USA.


Midway Island was the turning point in the Pacific.

The Siege of Stalingrad was the turning point in Europe/Asia.

Germany in WW2
The Difference Between

When and where was the Holocaust?

Basic when and where of the HolocaustTimespan of genocide (mass murder): 1941-1945.Locations: in Nazi occupied Europe. The extermination camps were nearly all in Nazi occupied Poland.
  • Mass open air shootings of Jews began in June and July 1941 behind German lines in Lithuania, eastern Poland, Belarus, Latvia and the Ukraine (in the then Soviet Union). Obviously, persecution, oppression and enforced ghettoization had started earlier and had already taken their toll.
  • Routine (as opposed to experimental) gassings of Jews began on 8 December 1941 at Chelmno.
  • The extermination camps - Auschwitz II (Birkenau), Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka - were all situated in Nazi-occupied Poland.
  • The Holocaust affected Jews throughout Nazi controlled territory between 1941 and 1945.
  • The Holocaust took place in Germany and German-occupied Europe. It was not confined to any particular town or city.
  • Two of Germany's allies - Romania and Croatia - carried out their own holocausts.
  • The Holocaust ended in May 1945, but some camps and some areas were liberated earlier.
Start of the HolocaustThe Holocaust refers to genocide. Persecution and pogroms by the Nazis prior to the mass killings that started in 1941 do not have the obvious uniqueness of the Holocaust in the more precise sense. Even the events of the Night of the Broken Glass (Kristallnacht) - a massive pogrom - seem to have been designed to bully Jews in Germany into leaving the country. (One might regard the events of 1938-41 as a 'prelude' to the Holocaust).

Mass killings of Jews began in June 1941 as the death squads (SD-Einsatzgruppen) that followed the German armies into the Soviet Union began to operate behind the German lines.

The deportation of Jews from Berlin to Theresienstadt, to Riga (Latvia) and Maly Trostenets (Minsk, Belarus) started on 15 October 1941. Riga in Latvia and Maly Trostenets soon became a vast killing field for deported Berlin Jews.

The first large scale gassings took place at Chelmno on 8 December 1941. Further administrative details of Holocaust were worked out at the Wannsee Conference on 20 January 1942. (The actual 'conference' lasted only 90 minutes and was mainly concerned with co-ordinating the activities of the various agencies involved. Apart from a brief discussion of what to do about half-Jews and quarter-Jews, the meeting was not concerned with matters of policy).

AnswerThere's timeline at this link: Location of the HolocaustThe Holocaust did not happen in any one place. Everywhere the Germans conquered they exterminated the Jewish population and any other 'undersireables'. In the Soviet Union and parts of eastern Poland there were large scale mass executions throughout Nazi held territory. The extermination camps were nearly all in Poland.

The killings took place in:

1. Mass open air shootings (especially in the Soviet Union)

2. Exceptionally harsh concentration camps, where the prisoners were literally worked to death: they had to do heavy manual labour (such as quarrying and mining) on insufficient food.

3. Extermination camps, mainly located in Poland:

  • Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • Belzec
  • Chelmno
  • Majdanek (used mainly as a back-up)
  • Sobibor
  • Treblinka

The above camps were all in Poland. In addition, Maly Trostenets in Belarus is generally regarded as an extermination camp.

In Poland, Jews were herded into ghettos (such as the Warsaw Ghetto and the Lodz Ghetto) and given grossly insufficient food and not allowed medication. Many died of stavation and disease.

Two of Germany's allies, Romania and Croatia, carried out their own national holocausts.

Here is more input:

  • In my opinion, the Holocaust happened in every town, every house, every heart that knew what was happening and did nothing. Most of the killing was done in Eastern Europe, as the previous post mentioned, especially Poland and Russia. But other countries all over Europe participated, shipping out their Jewish populations, out of fear or to get rid of undesirable peoples. Some of Germany's allies, such as Croatia and Romania conducted their own holocausts. As countries began closing their borders to Jewish refugees, including the US, they contributed indirectly to the death toll in the camps.
End of the HolocaustThe short answer: the Holocaust ended in 1945. Here are some longer answers:
  • The holocaust ended in 1945 when World War 2 was about to end.
  • The holocaust ended in specific places when the Allies liberated the camps in 1944-1945. The holocaust did not end completely till the end of WWII in Europe and the surrender of all German troops.
  • The Holocaust ended a few days after Hitler committed suicide in 1945. However, even when camps were liberated the death rate from disease remained high for several weeks.

What are people called who like getting beat up?

While there are several finer definitions the general term for one who enjoys or seeks out the reception of pain is a "masochist"; the person who enjoys causing pain is a "sadist".

Germany in WW2
Anne Frank

Is Anne Frank huis a war poem?

Anne-Frank-Huis is Dutch for Anne Frank House, which is the house where the Franks and the other hid. It is now a museum.

War and Military History
Germany in WW2
Nazi Concentration Camps

How did concentration camps stop operating?

When it became obvious to the members of the German High Command that the war was lost, they began to order all prisoners marched out of the camps, and mass-marched in the direction awayfrom the advancing armies. The camp, if ti was a work camp, was then abandoned, or if it was a death camp, it was destroyed, as best as they could. At least, that was the plan. But the Allies from every direction were advancing too fast, and many of the camps - including death camps - were captured intact, with prisoners still there.

Germany in WW2
Adolf Hitler

Why did Adolf Hitler kill the Jews?

Answer 1

The reason why Hitler hated, targeted and killed the Jews was because that:

  1. He regarded (most) Jews as Communists.
  2. He blamed the Jews for causing the defeat of Germany in World War 1.
  3. He blamed the Jews for the Great Depression.
  4. They claimed that the Jews were a morally and culturally corrupting influence.
  5. He believed that the Jews were conspiring to rule the world.
  6. He also believed that the Jews already, to a large extent, controlled Germany.
  7. He believed that they were racially inferior and were in some sense 'contaminating' non-Jewish Germans and he wanted a Germany and a Europe without Jews.
  8. However, this is at odds with the view that they were extremely cunning and were 'already controlling Germany'.

Answer 2

Hitler killed the Jews for more than one reason. The political reason given was that the Jews were aligned with the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, and were hence Communists. Communists were feared in Germany for not only their brutality but for what, they feared, was a totalitarian state in which there would be little freedom and the German culture and society would be radically changed, and everyone would suffer a lower standard of living. Great exhibitions were given to get that point across.

Publicly, Hitler did not talk about 'killing' the Jews, but about deporting them. He felt they were 'a people without a fatherland', and that all people, particularly 'Aryan' people and particularly German 'Aryans' were tied to their land in an almost spiritual way. To prosper, Hitler and the neo-pagans of the Third Reich felt that Germany had to be 'cleansed' of the people who were a 'nation within a nation' , and his first efforts were toward deportation. Germany looked into Madagascar off the eastern coast of Africa, but it was impractical.

Nazi propagandists began to portray the Jew as the epitome of all evil and the reason for all the defeat and societal ills in Germany. He reasoned that their influence was evil and degenerate, and that they had caused Germany to lose WWI, had ruined the arts, were defiling bloodlines, bringing in disease, introducing communism, etc and that if conditions were left to themselves, would threaten the overthrow of Germany. The Jews were actually a small proportion (525,000) of citizens when the Nazis came to power in 1933, compared to approximately 62 million others in Germany. The real reason almost has to lie in the firm belief that the Aryan herrenvolk [Master Race] could not emerge fully until the Jews and their influence were removed.

While it was debated for decades whether the mass Killings were planned, scholars today have amassed such a large amount of data and information, as to make that position beyond doubt. Hitler espoused the desire early on to destroy the Jews of Europe and create a New European Order, and the Wannsee Conference and Operation Reinhard , along with the lagers and Einsatzgruppen made it clear that the systematic destruction of the Jews of Europe was the clear intent.

Additional Causes of Anti-Semitism

In addition, in the wake of the Russian Revolution, all kinds of fanciful conspiracy theories claiming that "the Jews" were using Communism to achieve world domination became quite popular in some places. In Britain and the US they were not taken particularly seriously by mainstream politicians, but in Germany this kind of stuff was seized on eagerly by the Nazis.


The first people to be sent to concentration were known political opponents of the Nazis. 'Outsider' groups such as homosexuals were also persecuted. The Jews were subject to a massive program of extermination and a total of about six million were murdered in the Holocaust. Hatred of the Jews was long standing in many parts of Europe. (America wasn't free of Anti-Semitism, either). The Jews were the traditional scapegoats. Originally, Anti-Semitism had been directed mainly against Judaism and its adherents, but from the 1870s onwards it became racial and ideological. The period from about 1870 onwards was one of rapid change (urbanization and a further wave of industrialism). Many people who disliked these changes or could not adapt to them identified the Jews with Modernism. In addition, in Europe there was a severe economic depression from 1873-1879 (and arguably much longer).

Answer 3

It was, above all, conspiracy theories about "the Jews".These had been circulated in Russia from about 1900-1917 by the Tsarist secret police. After about 1918 they also circulated increasingly in Western and Central Europe. After World War 1 there were all kinds of conspiracy theories circulating about the Jews. They were widely regarded as Communists and subversives. In Germany and Austria there was a widespread view (for which there was no evidence) that they had engineered the defeat of Germany.

There were also conspiracy theories claiming that the Jews were seeking to dominate the world.

Answer 4

This question implicitly has two parts. The first is a question as to the rationales that Hitler believed in to justify Anti-Semitic beliefs and the second is a question as to why Hitler felt the need to kill the Jews as a way to solve these Anti-Semitic concerns.

The Reasons for Anti-Semitism in Germany during that period are numerous, but some of the more important reasons were the following:

1) Decay of the German State: During the 1800s, Jews began to become more integrated in German National Life. They served in its government, its military divisions, and its industry. As was typical of Western Europe, the Jews had more of a hand in the higher echelons of government than their population percentage would account for. The Nazis saw this increasing Jewish percentage in the government as a slow takeover of German policy and a corruption of the German people. They contrasted the great victories under Bismarck with the depressing failure of World War I and noted how a much larger percentage of soldiers in the latter war were Jewish. There was also the sentiment than in the early 20th century, values were beginning to ebb (this is similar to current politics in the United States) and the Jewish integration in the German apparatus (becoming teachers, lawyers, doctors, etc.) was to blame for this recession of values as opposed to modernity as a process.

2) Nationalism: Germany was brought together under the Nationalist conception that all peoples with German culture, history, and language should be united regardless of which principality currently held control. The German self-conception also had an ethnic component, holding that the perfect German was blond and blue eyed. Regardless of the fact that the majority of Germans were dark haired, Jews stuck out like a sore thumb because they overwhelmingly had darker hair. In addition, the idea of a German Jew was still rather new and both Jews and non-Jews tended to see the Jews in Germany as being part of a vast Jewish network and that these Jews just happened to be in Germany. The Nazis capitalized on this cosmopolitan sensibility by claiming that Jews' allegiances were not to the German State, but to secret Jewish Councils organizing world events.

3) Economy: Whether it was true or not, there was perception among Germans and the Nazis in particular that Jews were wealthy individuals and had a higher per-capita income than the Germans. In many ways (because of the above two reasons) Germans felt that the Jews were "stealing" their money while they were poor and suffering.

4) Pseudo-Science: The late 19th and early 20th century was filled with radical new ideas concerning Social Darwinism. It was believed by the Pseudo-Scientific community (which was rather in vogue) that different groups of people or races exhibited different emotional traits that were linked to physical differences. This led to the belief that Jews were corrupt and thieving by their irreversible nature and that they could not be "cured" and brought up as proper Europeans. This formalized Racial Anti-Semitism in Germany and made the situation much more dire for German Jews.

5) Heresy: Although not as much an issue in World War II as it may have been 500 years prior, Jews were still considered the heretics who murdered the LORD and Savior. This helped to justify Anti-Semitism as the Jewish comeuppance for their accepting of the Christ Bloodguilt.

6) Hatred: (written by someone else) Because ppl hated them . . . . .not such a good reason, right? Its so sad . . . . . .

Why was killing the Jews necessary?

The answer to the second part, while cold, is brutally honest. The Nazis encouraged the German population to believe that this myriad of Anti-Semitic issues was ingrained in German Society by making it part of the national curriculum and teaching it to millions of German children. The Nazis proposed that the only way to improve Germany was to remove the Jews entirely. There were two options for such a removal: exile or genocide. Since no country was willing to take the Jewish population en masse (and this includes the United States and United Kingdom due to prevailing stereotypes there) the Nazis made the executive decision to commit genocide to "save Germany".

Answer 5

The NSDAP executed many members of various groups, such as Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and others exact reason for each group is up for debate, but I'd guess a mixture of political antisemitism and wanting to create a sense of unity among the German people by pitting them all against the Jews.

Answer 6

for fun... seriously no reason he needed someone to blame for the downfall of Germany and no body could stop him in his gov. because he was supreme chancler and would kill you if you spoke out against him

First, Hitler did not only kill Jews. The Nazi's also killed basically any race they saw as "unfit" or a political view they opposed. The whole idea was to have a pure German race. Poles, Jews, Russians, Gypsy, Ukrainian, Blacks where all subject to murder and mistreatment in the hands of the Nazi's.

Hitler blamed the Jews for financial problems in Germany, control of media, basically a scapegoat for any and all problems the German people endured, especially after the end of the First World War which left Germany bankrupt. What was ironic was the German Jews who where persecuted had lived in Germany for 100's of years and saw themselves just as much German as Jewish. They loved their country and where dumbfounded at first by Hitler's views and extreme persecution.

Answer 7

Hilter and the Nazi killed Jews because:

Hitler hated the Jews and everyone who wasn't like him!

He killed most of the Jews to 'create a better world' for everyone or more likely for himself!!!!

Answer 8

Sir Arthur Keith was a British anthropologist, an atheistic evolutionist and an anti-Nazi, but he drew this chilling conclusion:"The German Führer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution."

It seems to be clear from the above link that Hitler had connections with the Roman Catholic church. At the same time it is clear that Hitler persecuted Christians (among others) who did not agree with him. Not all Christians were actually anti-semitic, as true Christians realize that Jesus Christ was himself a Jew.

Jesus himself indicated that Christians were to suffer persecution as indeed they did from the martyrdoms of Stephen and James onwards through the Roman Emperors, the Inquisition, Hitler and Stalin and down to this present day in China and Burma, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Pakistan etc. Christians were never, even though their teaching would frequently meet opposition and would sadly split families, to be the perpetrators of violence. They were taught to 'turn the other cheek.' Hitler and his Nazis specifically mocked this aspect of the Christian faith as they saw it as a sign of weakness, definitely not part of the 'master race' they were seeking to produce.

There are therefore conclusions which may be drawn regarding the position of the Roman Catholic church at this time. Whatever the reasons for their position, it clearly was not Christian.

Undoubtedly Hitler was violently anti-semitic. It seems that he drew his motivation from a number of sources.

The religious connection is interesting because the Nazis always sought to control the churches (like most other things) particularly because they recognized that there was potential at least for strong opposition to arise from this source. Many church leaders either gave in to their demands or left the country when they saw what was coming. Others like Bonhoeffer joined the resistance and paid the ultimate price. The infiltration of Nazi ideology into the churches involved a radical re-interpretation of Christian theology, Hitler himself almost becoming a messiah-like figure to 'save' Germany.

Hitlers evolutionary motivations are also well-documented and there is a clear connection. What is not clear is whether he actually believed personally in the theory of evolution or whether it was merely a vehicle to justify his hatred of the Jews and that he therefore 'used' evolutionary theory as he 'used' the churches.

Probably the major difference which must be noted is that Christian theology does not justify either anti-semitism or murder, whereas the evolutionary 'nature red in tooth and claw' and the horrific eugenics theories which also arose from it are certainly consistent with Darwinism as abhorrent as this may seem. The quote from Sir Arthur Keith, himself an evolutionist, is quite honest in this regard.

Answer 9

because he blamed them for Germany's difficulties during post WW1 depression,so he eventually went completely insane & attempted to annihilate that ethnic group.

Answer 10

Hitler and his army actually did outright kill Jews. Places Jews were killed include:

  • in their homes
  • in the streets
  • inside businesses
  • anyplace they tried to meet for religious services
  • in 'hiding places' such as in friends' homes
  • in the 'Ghetto' to where Hitler forced Jews to move
  • on trains to concentration camps, either by gunshot or by the conditions on the trains, in cattle cars with no ventilation
  • on long marches to camps, including weaker people who couldn't keep up
  • anyone who didn't obey, anywhere
  • at "check points" - which were all over

History tells us that Hitler began slowly, which is what many dictators do. By slowly indoctrinating the Germans, he persuaded many more people to agree with his views. HOWEVER, some Germans never agreed with Hitler's politics or policies.

Please see the Related Questions which give a more complete idea as to why Hitler did kill Jews.

Answer 12

He didn't kill them for power. He already had control of them and still killed them.He thought they were an inferior race and should be destroyed.

Answer 13

Adolf Hitler hated and wanted to kill the Jews because he blamed them for the loss of the first World War. Because of Hitler, many Jews were part of a genocide.

Answer 14

Hitler ordered the destruction of millions of Jews because he was limited in his scope of human compassion. He used racist and hurtful propaganda to brainwash millions into following his plan for Aryan domination.

Hitler killed the Jews because he claimed that they had turned against Germany during the First War. Also, he feared German expansion. hitler killed the jews because he believed they were communist, and behind the downfall of germany in WWI.

the jews saved their money, and in europe's depression, they were the only population who flourished. this angered hitler, and he got others to rally behind him against jews.

also, it's been said that hitler's perfect race of people, the arian race, did not include jews, gypsies, or communists, so he had them exterminated; hitler believed he was cleansing the world of "scum".

Answer 15

Hitler wanted to kill the Jewish race because he believed they were the cause of Germany's problems. He also thought the Aryan race was the best so there did not need to be another race competing against them.

Nazi Concentration Camps

How many concentration camps are there?

About 1,500. This staggering figure includes all satellite camps, including temporary camps. There were about 20 main camps (Stammlager).

Most concentration camps had many sub-camps, many of them labour camps that only functioned for a short time. The list below from the German-language Wikipedia is very good. There is a link below to the list issued by the Federal German Ministry of Justice. This can be assumed to be more or less definitive.

(The figure of 1,500 only includes camps run by the SS and related organization. It does not include camps for Soviet prisoners of war or camps for forced labourers imported to Germany from Eastern Europe).

Please see the link for the full list and also the related question.

Wikipedia and other sources name six extermination camps, all located in occupied Poland:

  • Auschwitz II (part only)
  • Belzec
  • Chelmno
  • Majdanek (part only)
  • Sobibór
  • Treblinka II

These six were killing centres and enjoy a kind of canonical status. Many would add Maly Trostenets in Belarus and some include Janowska in Ukraine.

The figure of 1,500 camps does not include camps for forced foreign labourers sent to Germany from the various countries under German rule. Many of these camps, especially those for Poles and Ukrainians, were little better than concentration camps. Nor does the figure include regular POW (prisoner of war) camps.

Note that there were three grades of ordinary Nazi concentration camps. These were, in ascending order of harshness: Grade I (such as Dachau) , Grade II (such as Buchenwald) and Grade III (such as Auschwitz III - aka Buna or Monowitz). Conditions at the Grade III camps were appallingly bad.

In 1944 there were 5.7 million forced foreign workers in Germany, many of whom had been abducted (kidnapped), taken to Germany and forced to work there.

Please see the link beginning with the word Bundesministerium for the full list.

Because the camps were located in all of the occupied countries in some form or another, and because many camps had sub-camps and even the sub-camps were further divided at different labor sites, I doubt that even the Nazi's could answer. Camps existed in Africa and even in the British Channel Islands. Not all camps were giant extermination factories, some were collection and transit points while the vast majority were labor centers with as few as a couple dozen inmates.

AnswerThere were ten times more camps than that! Only now as that particular generation die out is the true number starting to be revealed.

" Jewish Virtual Library estimates that the number of Nazi camps was closer to 15,000 in all of occupied Europe"

[From ]

But even that is an estimate: it's worse than that:-

"THIRTEEN years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe.

What they have found so far has shocked even scholars steeped in the history of the Holocaust.

The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler's reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945.

The figure is so staggering that even fellow Holocaust scholars had to make sure they had heard it correctly when the lead researchers previewed their findings at an academic forum.....

When the research began in 2000, Dr. Megargee said he expected to find perhaps 7,000 Nazi camps and ghettos, based on postwar estimates. But the numbers kept climbing - first to 11,500, then 20,000, then 30,000, and now 42,500.

The numbers astound: 30,000 slave labor camps; 1,150 Jewish ghettos; 980 concentration camps; 1,000 prisoner-of-war camps; 500 brothels filled with sex slaves; and thousands of other camps used for euthanizing the elderly and infirm, performing forced abortions, "Germanizing" prisoners or transporting victims to killing centers.

In Berlin alone, researchers have documented some 3,000 camps and so-called Jew houses, while Hamburg held 1,300 sites.

Dr. Dean, a co-researcher, said the findings left no doubt in his mind that many German citizens, despite the frequent claims of ignorance after the war, must have known about the widespread existence of the Nazi camps at the time.

"You literally could not go anywhere in Germany without running into forced labor camps, P.O.W. camps, concentration camps," he said. "They were everywhere."

[From article "The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking' at ]

35 main and 100's of smaller
There were about 35 main and 1000 smaller concentration camps during World War 2 and there were 6 extermination (death) camps.

Germany in WW2

When did the Nazis reach violence in the pyramid of hate during the holocaust?

The words 'reach violence' in the question are puzzling as the Nazis were violent almost from the outset and certainly by 1923 at the very latest. They even extolled violence as a virtue. Perhaps the question doesn't say what it really means ...


How did some Jews survive Warsaw Ghetto?

Generally, the only hope of survival was to escape from the ghetto.

1. For a time there was at a tunnel from a house in the ghetto to the outside world. The big problem was surviving once outside ...

2. Some escaped through the sewers, but again there were big problems once outside they surfaced on the other side.

3. For a time there was one point (a cemetary) which was separated only be barbed wire, not a wall and it is said that it was easier to cross there, but the section was well usually well guarded.

4. 34 Jews survived the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising by fleeing through the sewers.

Germany in WW2
Adolf Hitler

Why did Hitler want a 'pure' Aryan race?

Obviously, his parents didn't give him enough attention. I mean, come on, his "perfect race" didn't even include himself!

Hitler wanted a pure Aryan race, people with blue eyes, blonde hair, muscular (in the case of men) and beautiful (the case of women). He wanted all Germans to be racially pure because he wanted to start his own "super" perfect race, even though he did not have blonde hair or blue eyes! Also there was a lot of speculation about him being homosexual, even though he sent homosexuals to concentration camps etc.

The view that the Nazis wanted a pure "blonde-haired, blue-eyed" race is largely a popular myth. The Nazis aimed to ensure that all members of the state were of "Germanic" stock. In practice that usually meant proving that one's ancestry for three generations past was free of any mixing with "non-Aryans", i.e. Jews, Asians, Africans.

However, the emphasis was always on ancestry, which was tested through records. There was no test based on the individual's hair or eye colour.

Obviously German propaganda depicted individuals with a handsome appearance and with North European features. But blondness was not an exclusive characteristic. Propaganda films, such as films showing members of the Hitler youth, or girls doing gymnastics, display the normal range of physical features found among German, e.g. many blondes, but also many persons of darker colouring.

  1. The 'ideal German' was also supposed to be tall, slender, physically fit, free of any disability, deformity, abnormality or mental illness and sexually as 'straight' as a poker, chaste, refrain from masturbation and be completely immune to Marxist thinking. Smoking, heavy drinking and drugs were also a complete 'no-no'. It wasn't only a matter of appearance.
  2. For men it was essential to be fit for military service, while women of child-bearing age were expected to be very fertile.
  3. A key catchphrase was 'a sound mind in a healthy body'. (It was sometimes said at the time that this really meant 'a servile, conformist, obedient mind in a body fit for military service' - or in the case of women 'a fertile body').
  4. The only member of the Nazi leadership who bore any physical resemblance to the 'ideal German' was Reinhard Heydrich. During the Nazi period jokes circulated in Germany about being 'as blond as Hitler, as slim as Goering, as chaste as Goebbels' and so on.
  5. According to some sources, the Nazi leader who took all this most seriously was Himmler. Hitler's main concern was to get rid of the Communists and the Jews. He wasn't very interested in eye or hair colour. After all, he himself was far removed in appearance from the 'ideal type' ...
Germany in WW2

Who is Aurelia Gamzer?

Aurelia Gamzer is a child that survived the Holocaust and moved to America to continue her life. If you want to figure out more about her read the book Destined to Live: A True Story of a Child in the Holocaust by Ruth Gruener. It's a very sad but very good book.


Where did people with leprosy get sent?

In Israel, they were 'quarantined' or kept outside of the main community. Leviticus 13 & 14 address skin communicable diseases and the priests instructions on how to cleanse the infected ones. See link below for further discussion.

From the Middle Ages onwards in Europe and later in America, people with Hansen's Disease (leprosy) were often sent to quarantine camps, sometimes called leper colonies.


How ghetto is San Bernardino?

ya its ghetto but if u know how 2 act you don't have anything 2 worry about just don't be a cop caller and know how 2 have a good time and everything is cool.oh and stay away from the tweakers they'll do anything 4 there next high


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