A Brief Holocaust Summary

Holocaust SummaryThere are few periods of time in history that are darker or more shocking than the Holocaust. And while the majority of people today understand at least vaguely what the Holocaust was, there are actually a growing number of younger people that don't fully understand or even know what it involved. Taking the time to understand the basics of the Holocaust is important, and should serve as a good jumping off point for understanding more about what happened during it.
The Holocaust is generally thought of as the genocide of roughly 6 million Jewish people during World War II. Some definitions include the mass murder of other groups as well including Romani gypsies, homosexuals, Soviet POWs, blacks, and more, and some numbers suggest that between 10 and 11 million civilians and POWs were murdered during this time period.
It's important to understand that the genocide of Jews and others during the Holocaust didn't occur in one fell swoop. Instead, it was a process that occurred in carefully orchestrated stages, gradually leading up to the implementation of the "Final Solution".
It began with laws that required Jewish people to be removed from the rest of the general population. These laws generally forced Jews and Romani into ghettos, overcrowded and filthy areas of cities that were essentially used as holding areas.
During this time, concentration camps were also established, and Jews and Romani were pulled from the ghettos and placed into the concentration camps, where they were forced into slave labor until disease, starvation, or exhaustion killed them. As the Nazis continued to conquer new areas of Europe, new ghettos and concentration camps were set up. Additionally, death squads began to execute Jews and others in mass shootings, burying them in mass graves throughout the continent.
It was later in the course of WWII that the Nazis set the Final Solution into motion, and it was then that some of the concentration camps became extermination camps. The sole purpose of these camps was simply to execute as many people as possible in as efficient a manner as possible. Millions died in these death camps, and this is the phase of the Holocaust that most think of when they think of it.
Simply put, the Holocaust was one of the darkest periods of history, filled with madness and murder. Remembering it today helps honor those who perished and also ensures that such a thing won't be repeated as years go by.

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