The Holocaust, which took place during World War II, was the state-sponsored killing of six million Jews, half of those being children and teenagers, by the Nazi regime. If you had a distantly related Jewish family member, you were considered a Jew, and therefore you must be killed. Before beginning the war in 1939, the Nazis established concentration camps to imprison Jews, other victims of ethnic and racial hatred, and political opponents of Nazism. During the war years, the Nazis and their collaborators created ghettos, transit camps, and forced-labor camps.
It was no secret that Hitler had talked since the early 20's, in his book Mein Kampf, about the "Jewish question." He fed on the centuries old anti-Semitism in Europe. The Jews were the killers of Jesus, it was thought, and they practiced blood rituals that involve the sacrifice of Christian children. The Jews were the greedy parasites who lived outside the Christian body, but fed on it by their immoral business practices.
In Hitler's modern variety, Jews were responsible for the disease of communism and had "stabbed Germany in the back" during WWI and the Versailles treaty. The "Jewish question" was how to get rid of them, how to cleanse Germany of this "vermin." He promised he would achieve racial purity in a greater Germany once he had power and Germans voted for Nazis in ever increasing numbers during the depression. After being made chancellor, Hitler began to deliver on his promise and started the Holocaust. History repeats itself often, and racism and prejudice could lead to another Holocaust, but I think it is less likely now. Cultures have become intertwined more than they were in the past, and most are a little more accepting of each other.
There is a huge amount of controversy surrounding the...