Facts About The Holocaust
A sad event in the world’s history began in the 1930’s in Germany. Adolf Hitler was one of the main causes for World War II because of the Holocaust. The Holocaust is the name that has been given to the killing of around 11 million people, most of them being Jewish. The Holocaust began in 1933 and lasted throughout the entire war, and ended in 1945. History provides accurate details about the Holocaust, but many are less known than others.
Mass killings of Jewish people in concentration camps. Some in the photos were caring their infants and children as young as 2 to 3 years old (top-left pic). Nazi soldiers would walk among the dead bodies with machine guns and shot anyone that may have survived the first round of killings (middle-left). In the beginning, most bodies were buried in mass graves. Later on, this took too much toll (psychological) on the German soldiers.
The Start of the Holocaust
The rest of the world did not know about the Holocaust right away. In fact, German’s tried to hide the Holocaust especially during the 1936 Olympics, which were held in Berlin, Germany. Anti-Jewish signs were removed from the streets until the Olympics were over, but they were immediately reestablished after their completion. One of the largest and most well known ghettos was the Warsaw Ghetto, which was established in 1940. Another type of prison for Jews was the concentration camp. The first was Dachau near Munich in Germany, and another Auschwitz, both served as labor and death camps.
A plan for a gas chamber in Auschwitz (top-left), a letter stating the current capacity of all crematoriums in Auschwitz is about 5000 people per day (top-right) and a letter authorizing the “resettlement of the Jews”, which is actually an order to execute the Jews (bottom-left). Notice the red arrow (left) highlighting the word “Judenumsiedlung”, which is a code for killing Jews. The other red arrow (right) shows the actual crematorium capacity of 4,756 people, per day.
Important Events During the Holocaust
An important night during the Holocaust is known as “Kristallnacht” or “Night of the Broken Glass”. This event occurred in November 1938, and refers to the night when many Jewish homes and establishments were destroyed. The ghettos that were originally supposed to contain Jewish people, were emptied in 1941, and the people were then moved to concentration camps.
Adolf Hitler. Picture of him as a child (top-left) and when he was in power. Adolf Hitler started World War 2 and it all began with hatred and discrimination towards the German Jews. Before the Holocaust, European Jews numbered about 9 million and by the end of the Holocaust, two thirds of European Jews have died.
After the War
Thankfully, there were some survivors of the Holocaust. These survivors have been crucial to the compiling of information about the Holocaust, including descriptions of life within concentration camps. Many of the survivors’ stories have been the basis for books and movies that have established the Holocaust history, and most importantly, have helped us remember the lives that were lost during that horrible time. Also, there are many memorials to the Holocaust, including the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., which houses over 9,000 oral history reports from survivors, numerous artifacts and photographs, and a register of a couple hundred thousand survivors.