The Holocaust and The Final Solution

The Final Solution to ‘The Jewish Question’ was the term used by the Nazis during World War II, for the systematic Jewish genocide. It is also known as The Holocaust (derived from the Greek) and Shoah (derived from Hebrew) in which approximately 6 million Jews were killed by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

These systematic persecutions started in 1933 when Hitler rose to power in Germany. Different groups were targeted in persecutions by the Nazis: Slavs, disabled, Gypsies, Christians, homosexuals and Jews. They were considered undesirables and a lethal enemy to the Glorious Aryan race. From this year on, there were discriminatory policies against these so called menaces.

In 1935, the German government passed the Nuremberg Law, which took away German citizenship from German Jews. The Jewish population was forced to live in Ghettos and concentrations camps that were filled with diseases and hunger. No rights were respected in these places. In November 1938 Kristallnacht took place (the Night of Broken Glass). 91 Jews were killed and over 30,000 were sent to camps.

Along with the invasion of Poland, the Jews’ hunting became more terrifying. By this time the Einsatzgruppen (special operations groups) were conducting mass killings. The most notorious killings were on the 29 and 30 September 1941 when 33,771 Jews were assassinated. The same year, the “Death Camps Operations” started, and 400,000 Jews were killed in specially adapted vans at Semlin in Serbia and Chelmno in Poland.

Finally on January 1942 the “Final Solution”, the plan to exterminate the Jewish population was approved. The Nazis transported every Jew to concentration and extermination camps (Sobibor, Majdanek, Jasenovac, Chelmno, Maly Torstinets, Treblinka, Belzec and Auschwitz II- Birkenau). At Auschwitz more than 1,000,000 million people were killed.

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Daniel is a history geek who has written about all periods of history during his student days from Tokugawa Japan to the American revolution to the collapse of the Soviet Union. As an illustrator and writer he combines history with a fun and intriguing graphical style. Now he presents a book series for children who have a curiosity about the world around them and its rich past, in the form of his new series 'Simple History'. Send your Fanmail to me! to: