The Holocaust

The Holocaust

The Holocaust

The Holocaust

Synopsis

Designed for secondary school and college student research, this work is a readable history and ready-reference guide to the Holocaust based on the most recent scholarship. It provides the reader with an overview of Nazi Germany's attempt to exterminate world Jewry. Fischel, a leading authority on the Holocaust, combines narrative description, analytical essays, a timeline of events, lengthy biographical profiles, and the text of key primary documents relating to the Nazi plan for the "Final Solution" to help students gain a comprehensive understanding of the causative factors and major events and personalities that shaped the Nazi genocide. A glossary of key terms, selected tables, and an annotated bibliography of recommended further reading will aid student research.

Excerpt

The unimaginable horror of the Holocaust was an unprecedented event in the history of civilization. Although genocidal behavior had occurred prior to the Holocaust, such as the Turkish atrocities against the Armenians in 1915 and America's brutal treatment of the Native American population, never before had an entire people been marked for death because of the accident of their birth. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, the objective of the Nazis was to murder every last man, woman, and child of Jewish ancestry, which the Nazis defined as anyone with a trace of Jewish "blood" dating back two to three generations. Prior to the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Germany legally segregated Jews from the rest of society and justified this action by representing the Jews as a threat to the collective health of the German nation.

Germany under Nazi rule (1933-1945) emphasized the primacy of racial ideology. Hitler's close confidant Rudolf Hess made this clear when he defined National Socialism as applied biology. The genocide against the Jews derived from the view that Jews were one large, diseased, and alien entity and therefore must be separated from the rest of the German people. Although the Nazis also targeted other groups, such as the disabled, gypsies, and Slavs, they placed Jews in a special category.

Nazi racial ideology stressed the descent of the German people from the Aryan race, an Indo-European language group. They described the history of civilization as the struggle between the superior Aryan race and the inferior but powerful Semites. Because the semitic Jews had attained positions of . . .

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