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Auschwitz survivors reunited 70 years on
The Holocaust is one of the most notorious acts of genocide in modern history. The many atrocities committed by Nazi Germany before and during World War II destroyed millions of lives and permanently altered the face of Europe. The Holocaust began in when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany and ended in when the Nazis were defeated by the Allied powers. The term Holocaust is derived from the Greek word holokauston , which means sacrifice by fire. It refers to the Nazi persecution and planned slaughter of the Jewish people and others considered inferior to "true" Germans. The Hebrew word Shoah , which means devastation, ruin or waste, also refers to this genocide.
The Holocaust genocide, which occurred between and , is the deadliest genocide in history. The Holocaust genocide can be further understood through history and facts. These 10 facts about the Holocaust genocide do not even begin to cover the disturbing and horrific details of the historical tragedy.
The Holocaust was a period in history at the time of World War Two , when millions of Jews were murdered because of who they were. The killings were organised by Germany's Nazi party, led by Adolf Hitler. Jews were the main target of the Nazis, and the greatest number of victims were Jewish. Nearly seven out of every 10 Jews in Europe were murdered because of their identity. The Nazis also killed other groups of people, including Roma 'gypsies' and disabled people.
Approximately 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis between and , historians estimate, alongside a myriad of other groups they considered undesirable or dangerous, including the mentally and physically handicapped, the deaf, homosexuals, Communists, Poles and other Slavs, Roma or Gypsies, political dissidents or intellectuals, and many more. Researchers estimate that no fewer than 10 million non-combat, non-civilian casualties of World War II were a result of the brutal and targeted Nazi killing machine. The Nazis believed that Germans were a superior race of people destined to rule Europe and all its inferior classes, with Jews occupying the very bottom rung of the ethnic ladder. Though organized and widespread killing programs occurred during the war years, the persecution of the Jews actually began in the early s, when Hitler first came to power. Leading up to the war, Jews in Germany were forced to carry papers marking their religion and were subject to increasingly discriminatory laws. As the war began, Jewish populations throughout occupied territories in Central and Eastern Europe were pushed into designated neighborhoods called ghettos.
What follows are 10 facts based on these especially horrific and unique facets of the Second World War. Heydrich had died after the contamination of wounds suffered in an assassination attempt in Prague on 27 May They re-used the possessions of their victims as raw materials for the war effort, gifts for their soldiers and clothing for Germans bombed out of their homes. It was followed by Chelmno and Aushwitz in January The Nazis destroyed a number of death camps, such as Treblinka after an uprising in August