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

36,309 Questions
The Bible
Job Retraining

What does Occupation mean?

An occupation is a job or profession. An occupation is someones job. For example, if you were to ask George Bush what his occupation was, he would say being President. It can also refer to the period of time an area is controlled by a foreign military power.

Germany in WW2
Acronyms & Abbreviations

What was the SS?

SS stands for Schutzstaffel (which literally means 'protective squadron').

It was first formed in 1923 as a unit of the the Nazi paramilitary SA (Sturmabteilung - Stormtroopers) and did not become fully independent till 1934. The original task of the SS was to act as bodyguards for senior Nazis, but in 1925 it became Hitler's personal bodyguard. From 1929 onwards it was headed by Himmler and expanded considerably.

In 1934 the SS assumed sole responsibility for running the concentration camps and it became a central element in the Nazi terror apparatus. It was the SS that organized the Holocaust.

After what was known as the Night of Long Knives that took place on June 30- July 1, 1934, in which major components of the SA had been disovled, the SS basically became a state within a state. There was almost no aspect of German life that the SS did not have its hand in. One of the key figures in the SS rise to power was Reinhard Heydrich who was head of the SD (SS security services) and later became head of the RSHA (Reich Security Main Office). Heydrich was one of the architects of the Holocaust and it was through him that major members of the Nazi party and of the SS met at Wannsee in 1942. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the practical organization of the extermination of the European Jews.

Forerunners of the Waffen SS emerged in the late 1930s. In 1940 this became a kind of a 'second' German army alongside the main army the Wehrmacht (Heer).

The SS considered itself the elite of the Nazi soldiers. Germans who wanted to join the SS had to prove that none of their great-grandparents had ever been Jewish. Officers had to prove their heritage was free of Jewish ancestors even further back then men Enlisted in the SS. In Nazi racial ideology the SS towered high above ordinary ('Aryan') Germans. However, in World War 2 the SS also became a kind of Nazi 'foreign legion', with Ukrainian, Latvian, Bosniak and many more units, as the regular armed forces (Wehrmacht) did not accept foreigners.

Their leader, Heinrich Himmler, was, together with many of his fellow SS, responsible for designing and executing the Holocaust.

The Waffen-SS were the Nazi elite troops, but also included some very poor troops, too. SS men were used to guard concentration camps and some members were turned into Einsatzgruppen, which were used in Eastern Europe to track down and murder Jews.
Schutzstaffel- Protective staff, organization, unit. There were both General ( called Allgemeine- this not a military rank,) SS ( including police crime-lab technicians, photographers, etc, and Waffen-SS men who as the adjective applies were fully armed!

Germany in WW2

Did Nazis use human hair for anything?

yes, they made felt from it, which was used for uniforms and various cold weather clothes, the methods have been somewhat refined with many types of clothes made from human hair currently available

World War 2
Germany in WW2
Nazi Concentration Camps

Why did Nazi Germany have concentration camps?

There were different kinds of camps, and the function of the older camps changed over time.

Some short, simplified answers:

  • Initially, the camps were used to terrorize opponents of the Nazi regime.
  • Later, (from about 1938-39 on), they provided slave labour.
  • From late 1941 on, extermination camps were set up as mass killing facilities for the 'Final Solution'.

The progression of Nazi camps:

  1. The first concentration camps were set up in 1933. They were punishment camps set up in order to terrorizeopponents of the Nazi regime. They soon became notorious for horrific brutality. In addition to genuine opponents, some other people were also sent there; for example, people who had offended local Nazi party bosses and so on. Since the purpose of these camps was to terrorize would-be opponents of the regime, information about what went on there was allowed to get out. Most of the camps established in the early months were temporary and were closed down within a few months. However, Dachau remained. The existence of these camps was not secret, though the precise details of what went on were 'hush-hush'. In fact, Himmler launched Dachau amid considerable publicity.
  2. In the late 1930s a section of the SS set itself up as a business entreprise. It was at this stage that the systematic use of prisoners as slave labour on loan to business began.
  3. Following the 'Night of the Broken Glass' (9-10 November 1938) about 30,000 Jews were sent to concentration camps. By Christmas 1938, two thousand of them were dead. The main purpose was to bully them into leaving Germany.
  4. The Nazi invasion of Poland meant that the Nazis made what they called their 'Jewish problem' much bigger. They also had to deal with the Polish resistance. Initially, Jews were herded into ghettos, which were sealed off from the surrounding areas.
  5. In 1940 the first big concentration camp in Poland - Auschwitz - was established, initially as an exceptionally harsh forced labour camp for uncooperative Poles and members of the Polish intelligentsia and resistance.
  6. From late 1941 onwards, extermination camps ('death camps') were set up, mainly in Poland. These were intended solely for the extermination of the Jews and Romanies (gypsies). Most of the extermination camps were small: the aim was to kill newly arrived prisoners within 24-48 hours. This was 'assembly line' murder.
  7. Several transit camps were established, which held prisoners till they could be transferred to concentration camps or extermination camps. However, a few prisoners were kept in transit camps for years.
  8. As the Soviet Army drew close to the camps in Poland some of the inmates were transferred to camps in Germany. For example, Anne and Margot Frank were moved from Auschwitz Women's Camp to Bergen-Belsen, and Elie Wiesel was transferred from Auschwitz III (Monowitz) to Buchenwald.
  9. In addition to the concentration camps (run by the SS), there were several labour camps run by a variety of organizations. Civilians from various Nazi-occupied territories (including Poland and Ukraine) were in effect kidnapped and sent to Germany as very cheap labour. Conditions in these camps varied but were never good. In some cases the inmates were paid in vouchers, some of which could be sent home.

Cinematic references include Schindler's List (1993), The Pianist (2002), and Red Dawn (1984).

Recommended reading:

  1. Elie Wiesel, Night
  2. Eugen Kogon, The Theory and Practise of Hell

Please also see the related questions.


What was Vladek's son's name in the book Maus?

His first son's name was Richieu Spiegelman and the son who wrote the book and is getting the information from Vladek is named Artie Spiegelman.

History of Russia
Nazi Concentration Camps

Did Russia ever have concentration camps?

Yes, the USSR had many "concentration camps" but they were mainly forced labour camps, their was 53 separate camps and 423 labour colonies. Most of these were located in Western side of the USSR and along South and South east of the Soviet Union. These were called "Gulags". The USSR hold people in these Gulags for the simplest of crimes eg. Littering and all the way to Political Prisoners.

See related Link for more info.


What is meant by a bystander in the Holocaust?

In the context of the Holocaust, the word bystander is generally used of people who were neither victims nor perpetrators, but who knew (at least in outline) what was happening and did nothing.

Germany in WW2

Why is the Holocaust significant?

The holocaust is significant because it killed millions of people because of racism.

Its history is important and it shows how hatred can become an obsession.

Among other things, the Holocaust is a devastating illustration of just how thin the veneer of civilization is. In the period from about 1820-1933 the German states (from 1871 on, Germany) were widely admired as a highly civilized country. Its music, architecture, painting, literature and craftsmanship were widely respected and admired. Germany had a reputation for having an outstanding education system at all levels. Especially from about 1880-1933 it was the world leader in scientific and academic research.

Yet, men acting on the orders of this country that carried out the genocide.

As far as one can tell, most of those who did the detailed planning and carried out the actual killings, most of those who saw the victims face to face, weren't psychopaths, but very ordinary people, in fact boringly ordinary in most cases. Most of them were family men, with wives and kids who, as far as one can tell, took their family duties seriously. Many of them were kind to animals. Hoess, the Commandant of Auschwitz from its foundation in 1940 till 1943, illustrates the type, so does Eichmann.

Then there were very ordinary policemen, from cities like Hamburg, who had previously been ordinary cops - also law abiding, married men with children for the most part; but when drafted into SD dead squads and sent to Russia they machine-gunned defenseless victims. What's more their commanders made it clear from the outset that this particular 'work' was voluntary, that they could refuse to do it without fear of any victimization, that they could go back home and return to their civilian work. A small number did in fact refuse and went home - and that was the end of the matter for them. Why so few? Many who have thought carefully about this have commented on the reluctance of many people to be different, to stand out, to stand up. Others have stressed the lack of moral courage ('moral fibre'), the tendency to do as we're told, the fear of trusting out own feelings, and so on.

The perpetrators illustrate what Hannah Arendt called 'the banality of evil' - that is, 'the ordinariness of evil'. They were 'extraordinary in their ordinariness', to quote the German writer Hermann Glaser.

To prove to the world what human beings are capable of.

Without trivializing the deaths in the Holocaust, or the groups that were targeted, men have been systematically slaughtering each other based on ethnicity, religion, nationality, race, and a host of other factors for several millenia. That Jews were the main target is sadly unremarkable.

Besides the scale of the slaughter (and, the relative short timeframe this slaughter was carried out), there are two really unique and interrelated characteristics which make the Holocaust stand out from all other genocides and mass-murders in history:

(1) The level of industrialized, mechanized, and automated death. Never before (and, really, never since) has a mass murder campaign been carried out with such precision and utilizing the full resources of the country. Complete systems of automated death were designed and used to maximum efficiency, with constant "improvements" and other hallmarks of the industrial revolution's manufacturing processes. Unlike all other genocides, the level of planning and execution mirrored that of an industrial assembly line process - effectively, the Holocaust manufactured mass death as a product, and sold it to its victims.

(2) The level of which the Holocaust was not just a formal policy of a nation-state, but the way that it was institutionalized and bureaucratized into the nation carrying out the campaign. The reason we know so much about the Holocaust's victims was, that unlike all other mass-murder campaigns, the Nazi's kept meticulous records of everything, just like any other government bureaucracy. A whole government ministry was set up to handle the killing, and did so like any other ministry - it competed with other ministries for funding, talent, and resources, had goals and projections and produced statistical reports, and had all the hallmarks of "ordinary" government ministries. No other genocide has ever had this level of organization and official recognition within an established government the way that the perpetrators of the Holocaust had.

These things are what truly differentiate the Holocaust from all other genocides: this industrialization of death. Other genocides had specifically targeted killed Jews, blacks, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, or any of a myriad of minority groups. Others had killed in massive numbers, and with terrible means. Others had even wiped out whole societies and civilizations. However, no one else has ever directed the entire means of modern industrial society and technology to the purpose of genocide. The efficiency and scale such industrialized means give is an ominous warning to be vigilant for anyone else looking to apply such "lessons" to evil purposes.

Adolf Hitler

How do you pronounce Braunau?

Brow-now as in 'How now, brown cow?'

Most native German speakers pronounce it:

bran ow

where the 'a' is the same sound as in in 'father'.

World War 2

How many Jews died during World War 2?

The figure for the number of Jews who were killed in the Holocaust (or perished from starvation and disease in ghettos and camps) is agreed by most serious historians of the period and of the Holocaust as somewhere in the range 5.7 milllion to 6.0 million (or even slightly higher).

The figure of six million was originally given by SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Hoettl in evidence to the Nuremberg Tribunal in 1946. Hoettl had worked closely with Eichmann and was well placed to give an informed estimate.

Later, figures were worked out by comparing pre and post Holocaust figures for the Jewish populations of the relevant countries (Germany, German-occupied countries and Germany's allies), making allowance for survivors, refugees and the small number who managed to hide successfully.

The figures have been checked again and again, and there is little disagreement about the overall total.

1. Many Jews perished in the severely overcrowded ghettos (walled in Jewish areas) established by the Nazis in Polish cities and elsewhere.

2. Many were worked to death on inadequate food.

3. Others were massacred in large-scale open air shootings.

4. Large numbers were gassed in extermination camps.

5. Especially in 1944-1945, many died from killer diseases, such as typhus, that swept through the hopelessly overcrowded camps that Jews were forced to live in.

Those Jews who were used as forced labour were registered by the Nazis, but generally no records were kept of those who were killed by gassing on or soon after arrival or of those massacred. For this reason it is difficult to be completely precise about numbers.

Germany in WW2
Veterans Day Holiday

When is the Holocaust remembrance day in Canada?

27 January is Holocaust Memorial everywhere. (Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviet Army on 27 January 1945).


What is ghetto state of mind?

It means a narrow view, bounded by one's own culture and direct experience of life.

Or inconsiderate and brainless.

Nazi Concentration Camps

What were the effects of concentration camps?

The effects of the Consentration camps were really terrible and bad because Hitler made lots of people work, also people that live know should be getting ready for the Consetration Camps because people are making them for us, if we disagree with the "666"

Germany in WW2
Anne Frank

How did they get there food in secret annex?

People risked their lives to get food to them. If they got caught, the people in the annex would just have to starve.

Celebrity Births Deaths and Ages

When was Helmuth Hubener born?

Helmuth Hubener was born on January 8, 1925.

Germany in WW2
History of Germany
Adolf Hitler

Why did Hitler defend albanians has he consider them as a pure race too?

It is believed that Hitler (or the group behind the name) traced all origins of the Europe population (meaning white race), resulting that it had only 3 sources of true European "blood". The theory is based on the stream of Germanic cultures (Germany, Scandinavians, etc) and Latin cultures (France, Spain, Italy, etc), to make a point, one needs to understand that all those cultures have a Latin based language, and Latin itself is mysteriously birth located in ancient Greece. Greece comes up surprisingly but there was always a lack of connection between present and ancient Greeks, also late researches say that the Latin language was created as a key for enter the Senate or Parliament, in other words, it was only spoken there (call it a political language), meaning that the whole area (from present Greece to Slovenia) must have spoken a different language, this is where Albania comes into part.

Hitler's indirect respect for population came also from German linguistics who were fascinated by the Albanian language and concluded that the language inherits more mystery than it is known, some researches even describe it as a melodically language, and i can confirm from personal experiences, Albanian speaking people can learn any language at least twice faster than any other language speaking person, they do have all the notes and tones a language world wide consists, therefore even Hitler must have been surprised how old this Language could have been.

Also, with all due respect, Hitler contained a good amount of history documentation, for example he had a copy of the Qu'ran which dated back to 800 (AD). He also had documents confirming that Scotland, Ireland, Welsh (all the Anglo culture) have mysterious songs and belief that their ancestors, the Celts, were pushed away from home by the Romans. Now to clear this out, Celts and other small tribes were neighbors of the Illyria, and you don't need more information than the history of war itself to see who co-lived in peace. It was only Rome who always created problems in Europe, meaning that Illyria somehow had relations with the other tribes, which, again, opens a theory that the Ancient Pelasgia must have been split into tribes, tribes like the giant Illyria, Celtics, Traci's, Hellenic's and later Macedonians and Epirots (note, all of these tribes spoke a 99% similar language, and the only language on that area that never died is Albanian).

This answers the race question though nothing remained pure on it due to Ottoman and Slavic offensives (keep in mind, those two cultures have very far away locations from where they keep saying they own land). Unfortunately i cannot answer the DEFEND part since Hitler never defended someone else rather then himself and Germans, but what i can tell you is that he wanted the nationalism of Albanians in Germans, but i must say he misunderstood that nationalism, again let me talk personally, i have never met people more kind and hospital than Albanians, they define Patriotism/Nationalism in such a peaceful way but only due to being remembered and having a safe future, they are people who would never ever declare war nor hurt other nations, i am very proud of having children with half of their DNA from their Albanian mother.

Germany in WW2
Nazi Concentration Camps

What death camp did Dr Herta Oberheuser work in?

Ravensbruck .

Germany in WW2

Were there any Germans against the Holocaust?

There were Germans who suffered terribly for helping Jews, for example, Heinrich Grüber, Hermann Maas and Armin T. Wegner. Wegner wrote to Hitler in April 1933, long before the Holocaust, calling for an immediate end to all anti-Jewish measures - and was sent to various concentration camps as a result. Along with others, these three have been named Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.

Germany in WW2

What was the Holocaust?

The Holocaust The Holocaust (with a capital H) refers to the genocide (mass murder) of about six million Jews by the Nazis in 1941-1945 (during World War 2). It was the so-called Final Solution [of the Jewish Question].

The term is often used in a broader sense to include millions of others also killed by the Nazis on the basis of group identity. See the related question on target and victims for details of other groups.

''The Holocaust Encyclopedia'', published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum states:

'The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators'.

It goes on to say that at the same time: German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived "racial inferiority": Roma (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals.

In the Holocaust (1941-1945) the aim was the total genocide (murder, destruction) of the Jews.

The Jews in Germany were subject to growing persecution by the Nazis since the latter came to power in 1933. From 1938 onwards Hitler extended German control over a large part of Europe, especially after the invasion of Poland in 1939. In the process, the number of Jews under Nazi rule grew rapidly.

When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, special death squads (the ''SD-Einsatzgruppen - mobile killing units'') moved in and carried out mass open air killings of Jews, one of the most notorious being at Babi Yar where about 33,500 Jews were slaughtered.

In 1941-42 extermination camps were established by the Nazis in Poland. The following camps existed solely for the purpose of exterminating (usually by gassing):

  • Auschwitz (part of the Birkenau section)
  • Chelmno (Kulmhof)
  • Belzec
  • Sobibor
  • Treblinka
  • Majdanek (part only; the rest was a very harsh concentration camp) * Maly Trostinets (in Belarus) * Bronnaya Gora (in Belarus)

    Auschwitz became the most notorious camp of all. Part of it existed purely for the purpose of gassing victims. Others were worked to death on grossly inadequate food. There were frequent outbreaks of typhus in the labor camps. Some died from quack medical 'experiments'.

    Two of Germany's Axis allies, Romania and the puppet state of Croatia, conducted their own Holocausts - often using heavy, blunt instruments instead of gas.

    The Allies, though fighting against Germany, did not undertake any action designed specifically to stop the genocide.

And More About the Holocaust The Holocaust was the period of oppression, incarceration, exploitation and annihilation that was initiated and executed by Nazi Germany and some other Axis countries against people of the Jewish race between 1939 and 1945.

The Holocaust was the attempt to exterminate all the Jews in Europe. This attempt at genocide killed more than 6 million Jews and 5 million others, mainly in death camps, such as Auschwitz and Treblinka and mass open air shootings.

The perpetrators of the horrors that took place during the Holocaust were the Nazis and their allies. Actually, to be able to fully understand what the Holocaust was, I suggest you check out some of the related links listed below.

The holocaust was the inhuman, mass murder of the Jewish race in German-occupied Europe.

This is just a short explanation of the Holocaust. I have not even begun to explain the horrors. I would encourage you to learn more about it by reading two of my favorite books: Alicia My Story by Alicia Appleman Jurman, or All But My Life by Gerda Weissman Klein.

It was when Hitler went made with power it stared with speech ended in killing Jews

The Holocaust is also known as The Shoah and was the genocide or mass murder of approx. 6million Jews during World War 2. It was a programme of systematic state sponsored murder of Jews by Adolph Hitlers Nazi Party.

Over 9 million Jews were sent to Concentration Camps where they were subjected to slave labour (many died from exhaustion or disease) or sent to gas chambers at extermination camps.

Of these nine million approx. two thirds were killed.

Nazi Concentration Camps
Dachau Concentration Camp

How far was Dachau from Augsburg?

Dachau and Augsburg are only 25.83 miles apart.

Adolf Hitler

What was the motive for the Holocaust?

There is disagreement among historians about Hitler's motives and none of the suggestions is entirely satisfactory.

Until the 1960s it was widely assumed that from a fairly early age Hitler was rabidly and obsessively antisemitic and drew up a master plan for the extermination of the Jews by 1925 at the latest. There is no sound evidence for this view and it is at odds with the Nazi policy, until August 1941, of bullying Jews in Germany and many occupied countries into leaving Germany and areas under German control.


Some people look for a single devastating experience as a boy or young man, but one needs to be cautious about psychohistory. When his mother died of breast cancer in 1907 he wrote a letter of thanks to the Jewish surgeon who had treated her. This suggests that he wasn't rabidly antisemitic at that stage.

Ian Kershaw, in his biography of Hitler, suggests two possible sources for Hitler's rabid antisemitism: (1) a growing belief, among hardline German right-wingers, towards the end of World War 1 and afterwards in conspiracy theories claiming that there 'Jewish subversives' at work wrecking the homefront; (2) he found that ranting against 'Judeo-Bolshevist' conspirators brought him wild applause in the beer halls of Bavaria, and that this became part of his stock-in-trade.

Hitler's style of leadership encouraged increasing extremism. Though a very successful orator, he was in many ways a chaotic and lazy leader with few leadership qualities. (See Ian Kershaw's biography). He ranted like crazy, and then let those under him try to work out the details of policy. As a result, they competed with one another to try to guess what Hitler 'really wanted'; and each interest group tried to become more extreme than the others. Hence the rapidly increasing extremism (radicalization) of Nazi policy. He then picked picked out various plans presented to him and rejected others.

Hitler allowed the terror apparatus under Himmler (a fanatical racist and believer in 'Judeo-Bolshevist' conspiracy theories) and the able and assiduous Heydrich to become an extremely powerful interest group and lobby, second only to the regular armed forces.

Until August 1941, official policy was to bully German Jews into emigrating to countries beyond Germany's sphere of power. In a few cases Jews from occupied countries were allowed to leave (if they could find somewhere to go, which was extremely hard). However, the invasions of of 1939-41 added vast numbers to the 'Jewish problem' that the Nazis created for themselves.

Clearly, there was a change in Nazi policy, some time between September and December, 1941.

In Poland the Nazis forced the Jews into ghettos. Almost everywhere in Germany and German-occupied countries the Jews were increasingly excluded from society and were often unable to earn a living. This turned them into a multiple problem in the eyes of the Nazis.

The terror apparatus had all kinds of poorly thought out and unrealistic schemes for 'resettlement in eastern Europe'. In practice, this meant occupied Poland, but many of the German administators there complained bitterly about the 'impossibility' of using Poland as a dumping ground for ever increasing numbers of so-called 'undesirables'. Hitler and his henchman then 'thought the unthinkable' ... Given their blind hatred of the Jews they were increasingly willing to commit genocide. Time and again, Hitler said he wanted this area and that area cleared of Jews and would not ask later how it had been done.

Obviously, this is a 'functionalist' view and runs counter to the notion that Hitler had a master plan for the Holocaust from about 1925 or even earlier. Lest there be any misunderstanding about it, responsibility lies with Hitler. He ranted and raved about the Jews as 'Bolshevists', as part of a 'world conspiracy' allegedly trying 'to destroy Germany'. He bears responsiblity for his style of leadership, which encouraged the growth of the terror apparatus.

However, none of these explanations is in itself entirely satisfactory, and more recently some historians, including Ian Kershaw and Yehuda Bauer, have tried to synthesize the key hypotheses.

Hitler was a devotee of conspiracy theories to the effect the 'the Jews' were seeking world domination.

"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."

Yehuda Bauer, Rethinking the Holocaust, New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2002, p.48. (Quoted in Wikipedia article on the Holocaust, accessed 31 March 2009).

Whether Hitler took such notions altogether seriously or used them partly for the purpose of propaganda is, however, another matter. Certainly, the view of the Jews as dangerous, diabolically cunning schemers did not accord with the Nazi view of them as an inferior race.

Other historians, such as Arno Mayer are more inclined to see the Holocaust as part of a wider campaign to rid the world of what the Nazis called 'Jewish Communism'.

For a detailed study of the origins of the Holocaust, see:

  • Christopher Browning, The Origins of the Final Solution : The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939 - March 1942, Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 2004.
  • Peter Longerich, Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews. Oxford: University Press. 2010. ISBN 978-0-19-280436-5.

What was the final solution in World War 2?

The term is short for Final Solution of the Jewish Question [German Endloesung der Judenfrage] and was the Nazis' own term for their attempt (starting in 1941) to kill all the Jews in Europe. Since about 1980 it has usually been referred to by most historians as the Holocaust. The Final Solution was the genocide (mass murder) of about six million Jews by the Nazis in 1941-1945. (The actual term was one of those Nazi euphemisms: they did not like to talk of killing).

The term suggests, misleadingly, that there was a real problem and that other solutions had been tried seriously but had failed. From 1933-1939 the Nazis tried to bully the German Jews into leaving the country. However, with the Nazi conquests beginning in September 1939 the size of the Jewish population under German rule rose sharply. There was talk within the Nazi leadership in 1940 of shipping the entire European Jewish population to Madagascar, but this was never realistic. There was a poorly planned attempt in 1939-40 to send the Jews to a 'reservation' near Lublin in occupied Poland. There was also talk at a later stage of moving all the Jews to Siberia ...

The Jewish 'problem' was a self-inflicted Nazi problem. The Jews were harmless. At some level even the Nazi leadership knew this. They waited till 1938 - in other words, till they had been in power for five years - before even getting round to forbidding Jews to own firearms.

The Nazis saw the Jews as a problem for Germany, for Europe and for the world. They wanted to "solve" the "problem" once and for all. Late in 1941 the Nazi leadership decided to exterminate the Jews. They wanted to -- and tried to -- kill every Jewish man, woman and child in Europe. They came darned close, killing about six million and leaving something fewer than one million alive in the areas that they controlled.

The term Holocaust did not come into common use till the late 1970s, following the television miniseries with that title.

Germany in WW2
Adolf Hitler

What was Hitler's second solution on the Jews?

He did not even contemplate a 2nd solution, he wanted total annihilation.


There is no particular order in which the solutions were considered, but there were many considered and some acted upon before the 'Final Solution'.

Blood Types

Different groups in Judaism?

First of all, it should be stressed that all Jews have the same Torah.
Jews may be classed according to lifestyle, geography, or outlook.

Lifestyle: there are Jews who are more stringent (Orthodox) or less stringent (Conservative, Reform) in their observance of the Torah's commands.

Orthodox Jews believe that the Torah must be fully observed (Deuteronomy 13:5). They keep the laws of Judaism as codified in the Shulchan Arukh (Code of Jewish Law), which lists the laws of the Torah and Talmud. Torah-study is seen as very important (Deuteronomy 5:1); and the modern world is seen as subservient to the Torah (Talmud, Nedarim 32a), not the other way around.
Other Jewish groups (Conservative, Reform) adapt, curtail or change the Torah-laws in contemporary life, to a greater or lesser degree.

Geography: there are Ashkenazi (Western) Jews and Sephardi/Mizrahi (Eastern) Jews. In Medieval times, the Ashkenazim were in France and Germany, the Sephardim were in pre-expulsion Spain, and the Mizrahi (Edot Hamizrach) were in North Africa, Turkey and Iraq. (There are others too, such as Yemeni and Romaniote (Greek Jews), but the above are the largest groups.)

Outlook: among the religious Jewish communities, there are the Yeshiva (Litvish) community, Hassidim, and Modern Orthodox. (Hassidim are the ones who wear long frock-coats.)

Germany in WW2
US in WW2

How many Americans died in the Holocaust?

During WWII a small number of US servicemen had "Dog Tags" marked with "H" for Hebrew were and some of these were executed on the spot. There were also a few (about 300 to 500) that were removed from POW camps, placed into labor camps, maltreated and some were placed into the exterminaction camps. The figures are unclear, but the consensus on both the German and American side is that "a few hundred Jewish servicemen were exterminated". Several thousand US citizens were trapped in Germany when the war began. Some were Jewish, and many were unable to escape. _______ On the whole, the Nazis were cautious in their treatment of U.S. and British and Commonwealth servicemen taken prisoner. However, many Jewish American prisoners of war went sent to Stalag IX-B, where they were treated extremely badly. Some were sent to Berga (Thuringia), which was a sub-camp of Buchenwald. Please see link.


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