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/

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Calendar of Events

Film Screening of “Who Will Write Our History” in conversation with Dr. Stephenie Young

Stephenie Young is  a professor in the English Department and  research associate for the SSU Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Salem State  University in Massachusetts. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the State University of New York, Binghamton and her B.A. in Art History from California State University, Long Beach. She has published widely in both national and international journals. Her forthcoming book, The Forensics of Memorialization, is  about the "forensic imagination," and how  traumatic material culture normally considered scientific evidence is used instead to create visual narratives that shape memory politics in post-conflict former Yugoslavia. With Paul Lowe (University of the Arts, London), she co-organizes the annual conference, Why Remember? Memory and Forgetting in Times of War and Its Aftermath, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. With Dr. Liliana Gomez-Popescu she co-leads the Network for Aesthetic Ecologies comprised of architects, artists, curators and theorists based in Zurich and Lebanon. She has received numerous fellowships and grants to conduct her research on comparative genocide and aesthetics. In fall 2019 she was in Warsaw, Poland as a Senior Research Fellow at the Jewish Historical Institute to conduct research about the Ringelblum archive as part of a larger study about contemporary border politics, evidence and memory.

Please watch the documentary before October 22nd's conversation. The documentary can be accessed here anytime before then: www.tinyurl.com/hgidoc

The talk back will take place via google meets on Oct. 22nd at 7pm: www.tinyurl.com/hgitalkback

Support the Uyghurs and Stop The Genocide

An informational session on the Uyghurs. Please support the call for Uyghur abuses to be considered genocide. The Featured speaker will be Salih Hudayer, Founder and President of East Turkistan National Awakening Movement. The talk will be hosted and moderated by dr. Mehnaz M. Afridi, Director of HGI.

Please join us via live stream on our youtube channel at: https://tinyurl.com/uyghurhgi

Peter Hayes: “November 1938 as Turning Point”?

Please join us on November 12th, time TBD with Peter Hayes for our annual Kristallnacht Lecture and Frederick Schweitzer lecture. Peter Hayes is a professor of History and German at Northwestern University. He specializes in the histories of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust and, in particular, in the conduct of the nation’s largest corporations during the Third Reich.

Please register for the event via zoom webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Af329oR_QfS8obrUUbtSrA

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