May 29, 2022

The Holocaust (from the Greek hólos (total) + kaustós (tada)) or shoah (Hebrew: השואה; Yiddish: חורבן) was a movement of the National Socialist German Workers' Party led by Adolf Hitler during World War II between Nazi Germany and German forces. It refers to the planned massacre of about 11 million civilians and prisoners of war, including Jews, Slavs, Romans, homosexuals, disabled people, and political prisoners throughout the occupied territories. About 6 million Jews were among those killed, or about two-thirds of the 9 million Jews living in Europe at the time. About 1 million Jewish children have died, and about 2 million women and 3 million men are thought to have died. Jews and other victims were killed in mass detention and detention in some 40,000 facilities across Germany and in German-occupied territories. These persecutions and massacres proceeded procedurally. First, various laws that excluded Jews from society, including the Nuremberg Law enacted in 1935, were enacted before the outbreak of World War II. In addition, after the concentration camp was built, prisoners were mobilized for various kinds of labor, and most of them died from overwork or died. In the occupied territories of Eastern Europe, special action units are known to have executed over a million Jews and political prisoners by firing squad. German forces detained Jews and Gypsies in ghettos, loaded them onto freight trains, and transported them to genocide camps. Many people also died on the freight train, but those who survived in turn died in gas chambers disguised as shower rooms. It is known that the entire German bureaucracy was involved in this massacre, and for this reason, a Holocaust scholar called the Third Reich of Germany a “slaughter state”.

Etymology and Concept

The word Holocaust comes from the Greek holókauston, which in ancient Greece meant the burning (kaustos) sacrifice of an animal (holos) to a god. Until the 1960s, the term Holocaust was used to refer to genocide, but from the 1960s, scholars and famous writers began to use it as a concept specifically referring to the Nazi genocide of Jews. In particular, the TV series Holocaust, which aired in 1978, is regarded as an opportunity to promote this concept to the public. The Biblical Hebrew word for disaster, Shoah (שואה), also spelled Sho'ah, Shoa, has been a Hebrew word for the Holocaust in Europe and Israel since the 1940s. Many Jews prefer the term Shoah to the Holocaust, due to the fact that religiously the Holocaust has an etymology in Greek pagan culture. The Nazi Party refined the Holocaust and expressed it as “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” (English: Final Solution to the Jewish Question, German: Endlösung der Judenfrage) through euphemism, and the expression “Final Solution” was the It was widely used as a term to refer to the genocide, and the Nazis tried to justify the genocide of the Jews with the expression lebensunwertes Leben (life not worth living).


National Unity

The genocide of Jews in Nazi Germany was not the crime of Hitler alone, but a crime caused by the structural evil that German society sympathized with racism. As the American and Jewish historian Michael Berenbaum writes in his book, "All departments of the state's (Germany) sophisticated bureaucracy were involved in the genocide. The German Church and the Ministry of Home Affairs provided the birth records of the Jews, and the post office delivered the orders for deportation and deprivation of citizenship.