The Holocaust

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What is a Holocaust? By: Julian Bulaon Holocaust has several definitions from several points of view. Most of those definitions share the common thread of great suffering. According to the "American Heritage Dictionary," the word Holocaust refers to "Great or total destruction, especially by fire." Although, these meager words may not suffice for those who have experienced a true Holocaust.

In a way, the dictionary definition of "Holocaust" is true to the "WWII" tragedy because many Jews, homosexuals and Gypsies died by way of the "crematorium", a large furnace. But the definition omitted such problems as starvation, torture and disease, arguably the worst parts of the Holocaust.

A holocaust, to me, is the total annihilation of one group or category. The word brings to mind an explosion, which swiftly disintegrates everything of one type and stops abruptly at the first thing outside of that type.

This vision of a holocaust is similar to that of the dictionary's, the explosion being destruction by fire, but the dictionary did not mention the destruction of only one sect.

I, in no way, can fathom the horrors of which the Jews experienced at Auschwitz but I believe the survivors, like Elie Wiesel, do not hate the Germans. I imagine that most are simply grateful to be alive and have no room in their hearts for hatred. Children who have heard stories of the Holocaust may learn to hate the Germans but this is because they are young and must learn to hold anger for killers and not the children of killers.

Many people say different about the Holocaust but most say "Death Camps" or "Discrimination of the Jewish people." To the Jews, the Holocaust means much more than "Great or total destruction by fire." There is no straight...