- The word 'Holocaust' means 'whole burning'
- Jews refer to the Holocaust as 'Shoah'. This means 'whirlwind'
- From the beginnings of Jewish history, Jews have suffered prejudice, discrimination and persecution
- Towards the end of the 18th century, Jews living in Europe began to face greater persecutions as Nationalists believed that Jews were 'watering-down' their own racial identity
- This hatred of Jews is known as 'anti-Semitism'
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- In the 1920s Germany, the country was suffering with grave economic problems
- The National Socialist Party sought to solve these problems, but also tried to put the blame of these problems onto 'non-Aryan' people - especially Jews
- In 1933, Hitler was electred Chancellor of Germany and began to pass laws which gradually depived Jes of their citizenship rights
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- 7th November 1938: Ernest von Rath was shot by a young Jewish boy who claimed to be 'avenging his parents'
- The government organised mass demonstrations across Germany for the next night, in which 8000 Jewish shops and most synagogues were burned
- The majority of people (in and out of Germany were shocked at this)
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The Final Solution
- eventually, Hitler introduced 'The Final Solution'
- this was the attempt to kill every remaining Jewish person in Europe
- Concentration Camps were set up and large numbers of Jews were taken
- Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, communists, Soviet prisoners of war, Poles, Jehovah's Witnesses and underground resistance fighters were all sent to Concentration Camps
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- More than 9000 people were killed each day at the height of exterminations at Auschwitz
- An estimated 1.1 million to 1.5 million people, mostly Jews, were murdered at Auschwitz
- Medical experiments, including sterilisation and castration, were carried out in camps
- An estimated 6 million Jews were killed in total-two-thirds at the Jewish world population
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- The events which took place during the Holocaust shocked most of the world
- Jews were left with not only physical and mental scars, but many also were left questioning their faith and their general belief in God
- Jews today will respond to the Holocaust in a variety of different ways
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