The Mass Genocide

Background Information

The Holocaust was the mass killing of Jewish people mostly in Germany, but throughout Europe. The Holocaust began in 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. It ended in 1945 when Allied powers defeated the Nazis. Jewish people were excluded from public life on September 15th, 1935 when the Nuremberg Laws were issued. Once World War II began, the Nazis ordered all Jews to wear a yellow Star of David on their clothing so they could be easily targeted.

The Start of Change

The Nazi's

The term "Nazi" is an acronym for "Nationalsozialistishe Deutsche Arbeiterpartei" ("National Socialist German Worker's Party"). Jewish people were not the only ones being targeted, the Nazis targeted Gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the disabled for persecution. Anyone who resisted the Nazis was sent to forced labor or murdered. Hitler and the Nazi's were so focused on killing off the Jewish people they gave their plan a name. The Nazis used the term "The Final Solution" to refer to their plan to kill of the Jewish people. During the Holocaust 11 million people were killed , 1.1 million of them were children. 6 million of the victims were Jewish. Two-thirds of Jewish people living in Europe at the time of World War II were killed by Nazis.

Jewish Lifestyle Changes

At the very beginning of the Holocaust, the Jewish families were forced out of their homes and moved into smaller apartments, often shared with other families. These were called the ghettos. About 1,000 people per day were picked up and brought to concentration camps or death camps by train. Many people refer to all Nazi camps as concentration camps, but there were actually a number of different kinds of camps, including concentration camps, extermination camps, labor camps, prisoner-of-war camps, and transit camps.


In prison camps, prisoners were forced to do hard physical labor. Torture and death within concentration camps were common and frequent. One of the first concentration camps was Dachau, which opened on March 20, 1933. From 1933 until 1938, most of the prisoners in the concentration camps were political prisoners (people who spoke or acted in some way against Hitler or the Nazis) and people the Nazis labeled as "asocial."

Holocaust project


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