The Holocaust

It began with a simple boycott of Jewish shops and ended in the gas chambers of Auschwitz as Hitler and his Nazi followers attempted to exterminate the entire Jewish population of Europe.  The Holocaust took the lives of close to six million Jews during the World War II era. Anti-semitism was the central component of Nazi ideology.  While the Nazis also murdered many millions of Poles, Russians, Roma, Sinti, Serbs, Czechs, homosexuals, and political opponents, only the Jews were slated for total annihilation. The “final solution” was partially successful through the process of genocide.  The Nazi Party who first targeted the Jews, then isolated them into ghettos, then deported their victims to concentration camps where most perished. Others became Nazi victims not because of who they were but because of what they did – Jehovah’s Witnesses, the dissenting clergy, Communists, Socialists, and other political enemies.

Picture: Teresa Swiebocka Auschwitz: A History in Photographs (Indiana University Press, 1993)