The Holocaust The Holocaust has been called the most terrible catastrophe in modern history: a hideous nightmare that came true, a hell on Earth, the hidden battlefront of World War II, and the war against the Jews. It has also been called Shoah, a Hebrew word meaning " a whirlwind of destruction"ÃÂ.
The Holocaust was the systematic murder of 6 million Jews during World War II. Before the Holocaust, 9 million Jews lived in Europe. They populated about twenty European countries. Some were artists, playwrights, architects, and writers. Others were wealthy business people, doctors, lawyers, and etc. But most European Jews were average people with average incomes. By the end of World War II, two thirds of them were dead.
German scientists, businesspeople, industrialists, and other German Workers contributed to the killing effort. This way, the Nazis created a machinery for mass murder. It gained power very fast.
The Jews, however, were not the only victims of Nazi hatred. The Nazis also murdered 5 to 6 million Gypsies, people with handicaps, Communists, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, labor unionists, political prisoners, and prisoners of wars.
The Jews, however, suffered such sad losses that a new word was created to describe what happened to them: genocide. Genocide means the systematic murder of a whole group of people because of their race, religion, or nationality.
And the person who led these brutal attacks was Adolf Hitler. Hitler had been called a monster, the devil, and the most evil genius in the twentieth century. He was elected chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. For twelve years, he led his country on a rampage of war, destruction, and death.
A hypnotic speaker, Hitler used fear, hate, lies, and violence to grab and hold attention and power. He understood the value of propaganda,