What was the Holocaust?

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. "Holocaust" is a word of Greek origin meaning "sacrifice by fire." The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were "racially superior" and that the Jews, deemed "inferior," were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community.

 

During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived "racial inferiority": RomaPoles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals. (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples.

WHAT WAS THE HOLOCAUST?
 
In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe stood at over nine million. Most European Jews lived in countries that Nazi Germany would occupy or influence during World War II. By 1945, the Germans and their collaborators killed nearly two out of every three European Jews as part of the "Final Solution," the Nazi policy to murder the Jews of Europe. Although Jews, whom the Nazis deemed a priority danger to Germany, were the primary victims of Nazi racism, other victims included some 200,000 Roma (Gypsies). At least 200,000 mentally or physically disabled patients, mainly Germans, living in institutional settings, were murdered in the so-called Euthanasia Program.

As Nazi tyranny spread across Europe, the Germans and their collaborators persecuted and murdered millions of other people. Between two and three million Soviet prisoners of war were murdered or died of starvation, disease, neglect, or maltreatment. The Germans targeted the non-Jewish Polish intelligentsia for killing, and deported millions of Polish and Soviet civilians for forced labor in Germany or in occupied Poland, where these individuals worked and often died under deplorable conditions. From the earliest years of the Nazi regime, German authorities persecuted homosexuals and others whose behavior did not match prescribed social norms. German police officials targeted thousands of political opponents (including Communists, Socialists, and trade unionists) and religious dissidents (such as Jehovah's Witnesses). Many of these individuals died as a result of incarceration and maltreatment.

ADMINISTRATION OF THE "FINAL SOLUTION"
 
In the early years of the Nazi regime, the National Socialist government established concentration camps to detain real and imagined political and ideological opponents. Increasingly in the years before the outbreak of war, SS and police officials incarcerated Jews, Roma, and other victims of ethnic and racial hatred in these camps. To concentrate and monitor the Jewish population as well as to facilitate later deportation of the Jews, the Germans and their collaborators created ghettos, transit camps, and forced-labor camps for Jews during the war years. The German authorities also established numerous forced-labor camps, both in the so-called Greater German Reich and in German-occupied territory, for non-Jews whose labor the Germans sought to exploit.

Nazi Concentration Camp Pictures

 http://www.ushmm.org/genocide/endgenocide/videos/

Stay in Touch with HGI on Social Media!

Calendar of Events

Under Siege Again? Holocaust Distortion and the Rise of Hate Crimes Against Jews

To commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination and concentration camp, join us for a conversation about how antisemitism at the international, national, and regional levels fuel holocaust distortion, as well as the challenges in prosecuting religiously-based hate crimes locally. Featuring Michael Brovner, Chief of the Queens County District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Bureau in New York City, and Mark Weitzman, Director of Government Affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Please Register via Zoom at:  https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-E2sbLFKTZOm08NuRWn1Vg

Lessons of White Nationalism, Racism, and Government

The Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center invites you to an interdisciplinary Teach-In with faculty and students on Feb. 2nd at 7 pm: "Lessons of White Nationalism, Racism, and Government,” featuring; Rev. Thomas Franks, Rev. Dr. Courtney Bryant, Dr. Jonathan Keller, and Dr. Jeff Horn. They will speak for ten minutes each followed by questions and discussion. The United States faces a reckoning: serious issues divide Americans. Blatant racism, sexism, Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and violence are constantly on display. However, this nation has pledged that the respect and care of every living being and non-violent change can unite us in our democratic values. As John F. Kennedy said in 1961, “Let both sides explore what problems unite us.” We must seek understanding to face the challenges of our time. At Manhattan College, we seek dialogue, and the critical exchange of ideas as we engage with one another equally and dream of a better future. In keeping with Lasallian values, the Manhattan College community will redouble educational efforts for our students to undertake campus-wide reflection on teaching and our core values of civic responsibility, racial justice, and moral integrity. This Interdisciplinary Teach-In is a forum with expert faculty from Manhattan College; Campus Ministry and Social Action, History, Political Science and Religious Studies. Student representatives will submit questions beforehand to ensure the inclusion of student voices in this forum. Please join us via google meet: https://tinyurl.com/teachinfeb2 Please submit questions for Q&A: https://tinyurl.com/hgiquestions

Feb17

Who Is My Neighbor?: Race, Culture, and American Life

The Judith Plaskow Lecture of Women and Religion will be presented by M. Shawn Copeland, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of Theology at Boston College. This lecture interprets the ‘Parable of the Good Samaritan’ as told by the Jewish rabbi Jesus of Nazareth and recorded in the Christian Scriptures in order to probe its usefulness for contemporary living. Civility, decency, respect, along with basic democratic values seem to be under assault around the globe. Perhaps, critical consideration of the basic command––to love one’s neighbor as oneself––might help us recover “the better angels of our nature.”

Newsletter sign up

Stay current with HGI Manhattan College