The Holocaust or Shoah usually refers to the Nazi German Holocaust though other cases of genocide are also referred to as holocausts. The Nazi Holocaust was the brutal massacre of millions of people, Jewish, amongst others of many walks of life, by the fascist German government led by Adolf Hitler. Perhaps as many as 17 million people were killed, and about 6.5 million of them were Jews. The victims of the Holocaust also included 3.3 million Soviet POWs, , Romani, Communists, Socialists, Pacifists, Gay people, and people with mental and physical disabilities. 50 to 60 million people in total were killed during World War II but the Holocaust was particularly repellent as it involved killing helpless prisoners (mostly civilian), even children who were not a threat to either side in the war.
Some prisoners were worked to death and starved in concentration camps. Belsen specialised in that for example. Other prisoners were shot or gassed. Auschwitz and Treblinka specialized in that. In both camps the gas inlet pipes were disguised as shower heads so victims would not know what was coming.
Some people, even in Germany blame Poland for the Shoah, on the basis that that death camps are now located in Poland's territory, despite Poland had no influence over it, because it was Nazi-occupied, and Holocaust was conducted by Nazi Germany. Blaming Poland causes severe diplomatic tensions.
Israel was established as a Zionist project that began four decades before the Nazis took power in Germany. The Zionist project was later justified as providing a refuge for Jews should there ever be any future Holocaust.
- The Forgotten People Disturbing video about the Holocaust
- Mordechai Gebirtig was a talented Jewish songwriter who lived through the early holocaust before the Nazis killed him. Gebirtig's music is typical of the first half of the 20th Century but powerful. This page has links to Gebirtig's music on YouTube.
- Jewish perspectives on the holocaust