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The Final Solution
Final Solution
(German: Endlösung) or the Final Solution
Final Solution
to the Jewish Question
Jewish Question
(German: die Endlösung der Judenfrage, pronounced [diː ˈɛntˌløːzʊŋ deːɐ̯ ˈjuːdn̩ˌfʁaːɡə]) was a Nazi plan for the extermination of the Jews
Jews
during World War II. The "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" was the official code name for the murder of all Jews
Jews
within reach, which was not limited to the European continent.[1] This policy of deliberate and systematic genocide starting across German-occupied Europe
German-occupied Europe
was formulated in procedural and geo-political terms by Nazi leadership in January 1942 at the Wannsee Conference
Wannsee Conference
near Berlin,[2] and culminated in the Holocaust which saw the killing of 90 percent of Jewish Poles,[3] and two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe.[4] The nature and timing of the decisions that led to the Final Solution is an intensely studied and debated aspect of the Holocaust. The program evolved during the first 25 months of war leading to the attempt at "murdering every last Jew in the German grasp."[5] Most historians agree, wrote Christopher Browning, that the Final Solution cannot be attributed to a single decision made at one particular point in time.[5] "It is generally accepted the decision-making process was prolonged and incremental."[6] In 1940, following the Fall of France, Adolf Eichmann
Eichmann
devised the Madagascar Plan
Madagascar Plan
to move Europe's Jewish population to the French colony, but the plan was abandoned for logistical reasons mainly due to a naval blockade.[7] There were also preliminary plans to deport Jews
Jews
to Palestine and Siberia.[8] In 1941, wrote Raul Hilberg, in the first phase of the mass murder of Jews, the mobile killing units began to pursue their victims across occupied eastern territories; in the second phase, stretching across all of German-occupied Europe, the Jewish victims were sent on death trains to centralized extermination camps built for the purpose of systematic implementation of the Final Solution.[9]

Contents

1 Background 2 Phase one: killing squads of Operation Barbarossa

2.1 Bezirk Bialystok
Bezirk Bialystok
and Reichskommissariat Ostland 2.2 Reichskommissariat Ukraine 2.3 Distrikt Galizien

3 Phase two: deportations to killing centres

3.1 Auschwitz
Auschwitz
II Birkenau

4 Historiographic debate about the decision 5 See also 6 Notes 7 Citations 8 References 9 External links

Background[edit] The term "Final Solution" was a euphemism used by the Nazis to refer to their plan for the annihilation of the Jewish people.[4] Historians have shown that the usual tendency of the German leadership was to be extremely guarded when discussing the Final Solution. Euphemisms were, in Mark Roseman's words, "their normal mode of communicating about murder".[10]

German ship MS St. Louis
MS St. Louis
with Jewish refugees from Germany denied entry to Cuba, Canada, and the United States in mid 1939

From gaining power in January 1933 until the outbreak of war in September 1939, the Nazi persecution of the Jews
Jews
in Germany was focused on intimidation, expropriating their money and property, and encouraging them to emigrate.[11] According to the Nazi Party
Nazi Party
policy statement, the Jews, and Roma (although numerically fewer),[12] were the only "alien people in Europe".[13] In 1936 the Bureau of Romani Affairs in Munich
Munich
was taken over by the Interpol and renamed as the Center for Combating the Gypsy Menace.[13] Introduced at the end of 1937,[12] the "final solution of the Gypsy Question" entailed roundups, expulsions, and incarceration of Romani in concentration camps built at Dachau, Buchenwald, Flossenbürg, Mauthausen, Natzweiler, Ravensbruck, Taucha and Westerbork
Westerbork
until this point in time. After the Anschluss
Anschluss
with Austria in 1938, special offices were established in Vienna
Vienna
and Berlin
Berlin
to "facilitate" Jewish emigration without covert plans for their forthcoming annihilation.[11] The outbreak of war and the invasion of Poland brought a population of 3.5 million Polish Jews
Jews
under the control of the Nazi and Soviet security forces,[14] and marked the start of a far more savage persecution, including mass killings.[6] In the German-occupied zone of Poland, Jews
Jews
were forced into hundreds of makeshift ghettos pending other arrangements.[15] Two years later, with the launch of Operation Barbarossa against the USSR, in late June 1941 the German top echelon began to pursue Hitler's new anti-Semitic plan to eradicate rather than expel Jews.[16] Hitler's earlier ideas about forcible removal of Jews
Jews
from the German-controlled territories in order to achieve Lebensraum
Lebensraum
were abandoned after the failure of the air campaign against Britain, initiating a naval blockade of Germany.[7] Reichsführer-SS
Reichsführer-SS
Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
became the chief architect of a new plan, which came to be called "the Final Solution
Final Solution
to the Jewish Question".[17] On 31 July 1941, Reichsmarschall
Reichsmarschall
Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
wrote to Reinhard Heydrich
Reinhard Heydrich
(Himmler's deputy and chief of the RSHA),[18][19] instructing Heydrich to submit concrete proposals for the implementation of the projected new goal.[20] Broadly speaking, the extermination of Jews
Jews
was carried out in two major operations. With the onset of Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa
launched from occupied Poland in June 1941, mobile killing units of the SS and Orpo were dispatched to Soviet controlled territories of eastern Poland and further into the Soviet republics for the express purpose of killing all Jews, both Polish and Soviet. During the massive chase after the fleeing Red Army, Himmler
Himmler
himself visited Białystok
Białystok
in the beginning of July 1941 and requested that, "as a matter of principle any Jew" behind the German-Soviet frontier "was to be regarded as a partisan". His new orders gave the SS and police leaders full authority for the mass murder behind the front-lines. By August 1941, all Jewish men, women, and children were shot.[21] In the second phase of annihilation, the Jewish inhabitants of central, western, and south-eastern Europe were transported by Holocaust trains
Holocaust trains
to camps with newly-built gassing facilities. Raul Hilberg wrote: "In essence, the killers of the occupied USSR moved to the victims, whereas outside this arena, the victims were brought to the killers. The two operations constitute an evolution not only chronologically but also in complexity."[9] Massacres of about one million Jews
Jews
occurred before plans for the Final Solution
Final Solution
were fully implemented in 1942, but it was only with the decision to annihilate the entire Jewish population that extermination camps such as Auschwitz
Auschwitz
II Birkenau and Treblinka were fitted with permanent gas chambers to kill large numbers of Jews in a relatively short period of time.[22][23]

The villa at 56–58 Am Großen Wannsee, where the Wannsee Conference was held, is now a memorial and museum.

The plans to exterminate all the Jews
Jews
of Europe was formalized at the SS's guesthouse on the Wannsee[24] near Berlin
Berlin
on 20 January 1942. The conference was chaired by Heydrich and attended by 15 senior officials of the Nazi Party
Nazi Party
and the German government. Most of those attending were representatives of the Interior Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, and the Justice Ministry, including Ministers for the Eastern Territories.[25] At the conference, Heydrich indicated that approximately 11,000,000 Jews
Jews
in Europe would fall under the provisions of the "Final Solution". This figure included not only Jews residing in Axis-controlled Europe, but also the Jewish populations of the United Kingdom, and of neutral nations (Switzerland, Ireland, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, and European Turkey).[2] Eichmann's biographer David Cesarani wrote that Heydrich's main purpose in convening the conference was to assert his authority over the various agencies dealing with Jewish issues. "The simplest, most decisive way that Heydrich could ensure the smooth flow of deportations" to death camps, according to Cesarani, "was by asserting his total control over the fate of the Jews
Jews
in the Reich and the east" under the single authority of the RSHA.[26] A copy of the minutes of this meeting was found by the Allies in March 1947;[27] it was too late to serve as evidence during the first Nuremberg Trial but was used by prosecutor General Telford Taylor
Telford Taylor
in the subsequent Nuremberg Trials.[28] After the end of World War II, surviving archival documents provided a clear record of the Final Solution
Final Solution
policies and actions of Nazi Germany. They included the Wannsee Conference
Wannsee Conference
Protocol, which documented the co-operation of various German state agencies in the SS-led Holocaust, as well as some 3,000 tons of original German records captured by Allied armies,[23][29] including the Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
reports, which documented the progress of the mobile killing units assigned, among other tasks, to kill Jewish civilians during the attack on the Soviet Union in 1941. The evidential proof which documented the mechanism of the Holocaust were submitted at Nuremberg.[29] Phase one: killing squads of Operation Barbarossa[edit] Main articles: Einsatzgruppen, Einsatzkommando, and Einsatzgruppen reports The Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union codenamed Operation Barbarossa, which commenced on 22 June 1941, set in motion a "war of destruction" which quickly opened the door to systematic mass murder of European Jews.[30] For Hitler, Bolshevism
Bolshevism
was merely "the most recent and most nefarious manifestation of the eternal Jewish threat".[31] On 3 March 1941, Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
Joint Operations Staff Chief Alfred Jodl
Alfred Jodl
repeated Hitler's declaration that the "Jewish-Bolshevik intelligentsia would have to be eliminated" and that the forthcoming war would be a confrontation between two completely opposing cultures.[32] In May 1941, Gestapo
Gestapo
leader Heinrich Müller wrote a preamble to the new law limiting the jurisdiction of military courts in prosecuting troops for criminal actions because: "this time the troops will encounter an especially dangerous element from the civilian population, therefore, have the right and obligation to secure themselves."[33]

Himmler
Himmler
note 18 December 1941: 'als Partisanen auszurotten'

Himmler
Himmler
assembled a force of about 3,000 men from Security Police, Gestapo, Kripo, SD, and the Waffen-SS, as the so-called "special commandos of the security forces" known as the Einsatzgruppen, to eliminate both communists and Jews
Jews
in occupied territories.[34] These forces were supported by 21 battalions of Orpo Reserve Police under Kurt Daluege, adding up to 11,000 men.[35] The explicit orders given to the Order Police varied between locations, but for Police Battalion 309 participating in the first mass murder of 5,500 Polish Jews
Jews
in the Soviet-controlled Białystok
Białystok
(a Polish provincial capital), Major Weiss explained to his officers that Barbarossa is a war of annihilation against Bolshevism,[36] and that his battalions would proceed ruthlessly against all Jews, regardless of age or sex.[37] After crossing the Soviet demarcation line in 1941, what had been regarded as exceptional in the Greater Germanic Reich
Greater Germanic Reich
became a normal way of operating in the east. The crucial taboo against the killing of women and children was breached not only in Białystok
Białystok
but also in Gargždai
Gargždai
in late June.[38] By July, significant numbers of women and children were being killed behind all front lines not only by the Germans but also by the local Ukrainian and Lithuanian auxiliary forces.[39] On 29 July 1941 at a meeting of SS officers in Vileyka (Polish Wilejka, now Belarus), the Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
had been given a dressing-down for their low execution figures. Heydrich himself issued an order to include the Jewish women and children in all subsequent shooting operations.[40] Accordingly, by the end of July the entire Jewish population of Vileyka, men, women and children were murdered.[40] Around 12 August, no less than two-thirds of the Jews shot in Surazh
Surazh
were women and children of all ages.[40] In late August 1941 the Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
murdered 23,600 Jews
Jews
in the Kamianets-Podilskyi massacre.[41] A month later, the largest mass shooting of Soviet Jews
Jews
took place on 29–30 September in the ravine of Babi Yar, near Kiev, where more than 33,000 Jewish people of all ages were systematically machine-gunned.[42] In mid-October 1941, HSSPF
HSSPF
South, under the command of Friedrich Jeckeln, had reported the indiscriminate killing of more than 100,000 people.[43] By the end of December 1941, before the Wannsee Conference, over 439,800 Jewish people had been murdered, and the Final Solution
Final Solution
policy in the east became common knowledge within the SS.[44] Entire regions were reported "free of Jews" by the Einsatzgruppen. Addressing his district governors in the General Government
General Government
on 16 December 1941, Governor-General Hans Frank
Hans Frank
said: "But what will happen to the Jews? Do you believe they will be lodged in settlements in Ostland? In Berlin, we were told: why all this trouble; we cannot use them in the Ostland
Ostland
or the Reichskommissariat either; liquidate them yourselves!"[45] Two days later, Himmler
Himmler
recorded the outcome of his discussion with Hitler. The result was: "als Partisanen auszurotten" ("exterminate them as partisans").[46] Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer wrote that the remark is probably as close as historians will ever get to a definitive order from Hitler for the genocide carried out during the Holocaust.[46] Within two years, the total number of shooting victims in the east had risen to between 618,000 and 800,000 Jews.[44][47]

Original annotated map from Stahlecker's Report, summarizing murders committed by Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia until January 1942

Notably, the Stahlecker's map (top) had shown the Soviet Byelorussia according to bilateral terms of the Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland, not the Byelorussian SSR (marked in pink), from before the Soviet annexation of Kresy. In this map, territory of prewar Poland inhabited by Polish Jews
Jews
is marked in yellow.

Bezirk Bialystok
Bezirk Bialystok
and Reichskommissariat Ostland[edit] See also: Reichskommissariat Ostland Several scholars have suggested that the Final Solution
Final Solution
began in the newly formed district of Bezirk Bialystok.[48] The German army took over Białystok
Białystok
within days. On Friday, 27 June 1941, the Reserve Police Battalion 309 arrived in the city and set the Great Synagogue on fire with hundreds of Jewish men locked inside.[49] The burning of the synagogue was followed by a frenzy of killings both inside the homes around the Jewish neighbourhood of Chanajki, and in the city park, lasting until night time.[50] The next day, some 30 wagons of dead bodies were taken to mass graves. As noted by Browning, the killings were led by a commander "who correctly intuited and anticipated the wishes of his Führer" without direct orders.[49] For reasons unknown, the number of victims in the official report by Major Weis was cut in half.[50] The next mass shooting of Polish Jews
Jews
within the newly formed Reichskommissariat Ostland
Ostland
took place in two days of 5–7 August in occupied Pińsk where over 12,000 Jews
Jews
died at the hands of Waffen SS,[51] not the Einsatzgruppen.[41] An additional 17,000 Jews
Jews
perished there in a ghetto uprising crushed a year later with the aid of Belarusian Auxiliary Police.[52] An Israeli historian Dina Porat
Dina Porat
claimed that the Final Solution, i.e.: "the systematic overall physical extermination of Jewish communities one after the other – began in Lithuania" during the massive German chase after the Red Army across the Baltic states
Baltic states
in Reichskommissariat Ostland.[53] The subject of the Holocaust in Lithuania
Lithuania
has been analysed by Konrad Kweit from USHMM
USHMM
who wrote: "Lithuanian Jews
Jews
were among the first victims of the Holocaust [beyond the eastern borders of occupied Poland]. The Germans carried out the mass executions [...] signaling the beginning of the 'Final Solution'."[54] About 80,000 Jews
Jews
were killed in Lithuania
Lithuania
by October (including in formerly Polish Wilno) and about 175,000 by the end of 1941 according to official reports.[53] Reichskommissariat Ukraine[edit] See also: Reichskommissariat Ukraine Within one week from the start of Operation Barbarossa, Heydrich issued an order to his Einsatzkommandos for the on-the-spot execution of all Bolsheviks, interpreted by the SS to mean all Jews. One of the first indiscriminate massacres of men, women, and children in Reichskommissariat Ukraine
Reichskommissariat Ukraine
took the lives of over 4,000 Polish Jews
Jews
in occupied Łuck on 2–4 July 1941, murdered by Einsatzkommando
Einsatzkommando
4a assisted by the Ukrainian People's Militia.[55] Formed officially on 20 August 1941, the Reichskommissariat Ukraine
Reichskommissariat Ukraine
– stretching from prewar east-central Poland to Crimea – had become operational theatre of the Einsatzgruppe C. Within the Soviet Union proper, between 9 July 1941 and 19 September 1941 the city of Zhytomyr
Zhytomyr
was made Judenfrei
Judenfrei
in three murder operations conducted by German and Ukrainian police in which 10,000 Jews
Jews
perished.[41] In the Kamianets-Podilskyi massacre
Kamianets-Podilskyi massacre
of 26–28 August 1941 some 23,600 Jews were shot in front of open pits (including 14,000–18,000 people expelled from Hungary).[41][56] After an incident in Bila Tserkva in which 90 small children left behind had to be shot separately, Blobel requested that Jewish mothers hold them in their arms during mass shootings.[57][58] Long before the conference at Wannsee, 28,000 Jews were shot by SS and Ukrainian military in Vinnytsia
Vinnytsia
on 22 September 1941, followed by the 29 September massacre of 33,771 Jews
Jews
at Babi Yar.[41][59] In Dnipropetrovsk, on 13 October 1941 some 10,000–15,000 Jews
Jews
were shot.[60] In Chernihiv, 10,000 Jews
Jews
were put to death and only 260 Jews
Jews
were spared.[60] In mid-October, during the Krivoy-Rog massacre of 4,000–5,000 Soviet Jews
Jews
the entire Ukrainian auxiliary police force actively participated.[61] In the first days of January 1942 in Kharkiv, 12,000 Jews
Jews
were murdered, but smaller massacres continued in this period on daily basis in countless other locations.[60] In August 1942 in the presence of only a few German SS men over 5,000 Jews
Jews
were massacred in Polish Zofjówka
Zofjówka
by the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police
Ukrainian Auxiliary Police
leading to the town's complete sweep from existence.[62] Distrikt Galizien[edit] Historians find it difficult to determine precisely when the first concerted effort at annihilation of all Jews
Jews
began in the last weeks of June 1941 during Operation Barbarossa.[63] Dr. Samuel Drix (Witness to Annihilation), Jochaim Schoenfeld (Holocaust Memoirs), and several survivors of the Janowska concentration camp, who were interviewed in the film Janovska Camp at Lvov, among other witnesses, have argued that the Final Solution
Final Solution
began in Lwów (Lemberg) in Distrikt Galizien of the General Government
General Government
during the German advance across the Soviet occupied Poland. Statements and memoirs of survivors emphasize that, when Ukrainian nationalists and ad hoc Ukrainian People's Militia (soon reorganized as the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police) began to murder women and children rather than only male Jews, the "Final Solution" had begun. Witnesses have said that such murders happened both prior to and during the pogroms reportedly triggered by the NKVD prisoner massacre. The question of whether there was some coordination between the Lithuanian and Ukrainian militias remains open (i.e. collaborating for a joint assault in Kovno, Wilno, and Lwów).[63] The killings continued uninterrupted. On 12 October 1941 in Stanisławów, some 10,000–12,000 Jewish men, women, and children were shot at the Jewish cemetery by the German uniformed SS-men and Ukrainian Auxiliary Police
Ukrainian Auxiliary Police
during the so-called "Bloody Sunday" (de).[64] The shooters began firing at 12 noon and continued without stopping by taking turns. There were picnic tables set up on the side with bottles of vodka and sandwiches for those who needed to rest from the deafening noise of gunfire.[65] It was the single largest massacre of Polish Jews
Jews
in Generalgouvernement prior to mass gassings of Aktion Reinhard, which commenced at Bełżec in March 1942. Notably, the extermination operations in Chełmno
Chełmno
had begun on 8 December 1941, one-and-a-half month before Wannsee, but Chełmno
Chełmno
– located in Reichsgau Wartheland
Reichsgau Wartheland
– was not a part of Reinhard, and neither was Auschwitz-Birkenau
Auschwitz-Birkenau
functioning as an extermination center until November 1944 in Polish lands annexed by Hitler and added to Germany proper.[65][66] The conference at Wannsee gave impetus to the so-called second sweep of the Holocaust by the bullet in the east. Between April and July 1942 in Volhynia, 30,000 Jews
Jews
were murdered in death pits with the help of dozens of newly formed Ukrainian Schutzmannschaft.[67] Owing to good relations with the Ukrainian Hilfsverwaltung,[68] these auxiliary battalions were deployed by the SS also in Russia Center, Russia South, and in Byelorussia; each with about 500 soldiers divided into three companies.[69] They participated in the extermination of 150,000 Volhynian Jews
Jews
alone, or 98 percent of the Jewish inhabitants of the entire region.[70] In July 1942 the Completion of the Final Solution in the General Government
General Government
territory which included Distrikt Galizien, was ordered personally by Himmler. He set the initial deadline for 31 December 1942.[71] Phase two: deportations to killing centres[edit]

Nazi extermination camps marked with black and white skulls. General Government territory: centre, Distrikt Galizien: lower–right. Death camp at Auschwitz: lower–left (in Provinz Oberschlesien), Nazi-Soviet line in red

See also: General Government
General Government
and Extermination camp When in 1941 the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
forces attacked the Soviet positions in eastern Poland during the initially successful Operation Barbarossa, the area of the General Government
General Government
was enlarged by the inclusion of regions that had been occupied by the Red Army since 1939.[72] The killings of Jews
Jews
from the Łódź Ghetto
Łódź Ghetto
in the Warthegau
Warthegau
district began in early December 1941 with the use of gas vans [approved by Heydrich] at the Kulmhof extermination camp. The deceptive guise of "Resettlement in the East" organised by SS Commissioners,[73] was also tried and tested at Chełmno. By the time the European-wide Final Solution was formulated two months later, Heydrich's RSHA
RSHA
had already confirmed the effectiveness of industrial killing by exhaust fumes, and the strength of deception.[74] Construction work on the first killing centre at Bełżec in occupied Poland began in October 1941, three months before the Wannsee Conference. The new facility was operational by March the following year.[75] By mid-1942, two more death camps had been built on Polish lands: Sobibór
Sobibór
operational by May 1942, and Treblinka
Treblinka
operational in July.[76] From July 1942, the mass murder of Polish and foreign Jews took place at Treblinka
Treblinka
as part of Operation Reinhard, the deadliest phase of the Final Solution. More Jews
Jews
were killed at Treblinka
Treblinka
than at any other Nazi extermination camp apart from Auschwitz.[77] By the time the mass killings of Operation Reinhard
Operation Reinhard
ended in 1943, roughly two million Jews
Jews
in German-occupied Poland had been murdered.[66] The total number of people killed in 1942 in Lublin/Majdanek, Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka
Treblinka
was 1,274,166 by Germany's own estimation, not counting Auschwitz
Auschwitz
II Birkenau nor Kulmhof.[78] Their bodies were buried in mass graves initially.[79] Both Treblinka
Treblinka
and Bełżec were equipped with powerful crawler excavators from Polish construction sites in the vicinity, capable of most digging tasks without disrupting surfaces.[80] Although other methods of extermination, such as the cyanic poison Zyklon B, were already being used at other Nazi killing centres such as Auschwitz, the Aktion Reinhard
Aktion Reinhard
camps used lethal exhaust gases from captured tank engines.[81] The Holocaust
The Holocaust
by bullets (as opposed to the Holocaust by gas)[82] went on in the territory of occupied Poland in conjunction with the ghetto uprisings, irrespective of death camps' quota. In two weeks of July 1942 the Słonim Ghetto revolt crushed with the help of Latvian, Lithuanian and Ukrainian Schutzmannschaft
Schutzmannschaft
cost the lives of 8,000–13,000 Jews.[83] The second largest mass shooting (to that particular date) took place in late October 1942 when the insurgency was suppressed in the Pińsk Ghetto; over 26,000 men, women and children were shot with the aid of Belarusian Auxiliary Police
Belarusian Auxiliary Police
before the ghetto's closure.[84] During the suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (the largest single revolt by Jews
Jews
during World War II), 13,000 Jews
Jews
were killed in action before May 1943.[85] Numerous other uprisings were quelled without impacting the pre-planned Nazi deportations actions.[86] About two-thirds of the overall number of victims of the Final Solution were killed before February 1943,[87] which included the main phase of the extermination programme in the West launched by Eichmann on 11 June 1942 from Berlin.[88] The Holocaust
The Holocaust
trains run by the Deutsche Reichsbahn and several other national railway systems delivered condemned Jewish captives from as far as Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Moravia, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, and even Scandinavia.[89][90] The cremation of exhumed corpses to destroy any evidence left behind began in early spring and continued throughout summer.[91] The nearly completed clandestine programme of murdering all deportees was explicitly addressed by Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
in his Posen speeches
Posen speeches
made to the leadership of the Nazi Party
Nazi Party
on 4 October and during the Posen Conference
Posen Conference
of 6 October 1943 in occupied Poland. Himmler
Himmler
explained why the Nazi leadership found it necessary to kill Jewish women and children along with the Jewish men. The assembled functionaries were told that the Nazi state policy was "the extermination of the Jewish people" as such.[92]

We were faced with the question: what about the women and children? – I have decided on a solution to this problem. I did not consider myself justified to exterminate the men only – in other words, to kill them or have them killed while allowing the avengers, in the form of their children, to grow up in the midst of our sons and grandsons. The difficult decision had to be made to have this people disappear from the earth. — Heinrich Himmler, 6 October 1943[93]

On 19 October 1943, five days after the prisoner revolt in Sobibór, Operation Reinhard
Operation Reinhard
was terminated by Odilo Globocnik
Odilo Globocnik
on behalf of Himmler. The camps responsible for the killing of nearly 2,700,000 Jews
Jews
were soon closed. Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka
Treblinka
were dismantled and ploughed over before spring.[94] The operation was followed by the single largest German massacre of Jews
Jews
in the entire war carried out on 3 November 1943; with approximately 43,000 prisoners shot one-by-one simultaneously in three nearby locations by the Reserve Police Battalion 101
Reserve Police Battalion 101
hand-in-hand with the Trawniki men from Ukraine.[95] Auschwitz
Auschwitz
alone had enough capacity to fulfill the Nazis' remaining extermination needs.[79] Auschwitz
Auschwitz
II Birkenau[edit] Unlike Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, and Lublin-Majdanek,[96] which were built in the occupied General Government
General Government
territory inhabited by the largest concentrations of Jews,[97] the killing centre at Auschwitz subcamp of Birkenau operated in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany directly. The new gas chambers at Bunker I were finished around March 1942 when the Final Solution
Final Solution
was officially launched at Belzec. Until mid-June 20,000 Silesian Jews
Jews
were killed there using Zyklon B. In July 1942 Bunker II became operational. In August, another 10,000-13,000 Polish Jews
Jews
from Silesia perished,[98] along with 16,000 French Jews
Jews
declared 'stateless',[99] and 7,700 Jews
Jews
from Slovakia.[98] The infamous 'Gate of Death' at Auschwitz
Auschwitz
II for the incoming freight trains was built of brick and cement mortar in 1943, and the three-track rail spur was added.[100] Until mid-August, 45,000 Thessaloniki Jews
Jews
were murdered in a mere six months,[99] including over 30,000 Jews
Jews
from Sosnowiec (Sosnowitz) and Bendzin Ghettos.[101] The spring of 1944 marked the beginning of the last phase of the Final Solution at Birkenau. The new big ramps and sidings were constructed, and two freight elevators were installed inside Crematoria II and III for moving the bodies faster. The size of the Sonderkommando
Sonderkommando
was nearly quadrupled in preparation for the Special
Special
Operation Hungary (Sonderaktion Ungarn). In May 1944 Auschwitz-Birkenau
Auschwitz-Birkenau
became the site of one of the two largest mass murder operations in modern history, after the Großaktion Warschau deportations of the Warsaw Ghetto inmates to Treblinka
Treblinka
in 1942. It is estimated that until July 1944 approximately 320,000 Hungarian Jews
Jews
were gassed at Birkenau in less than eight weeks.[100] The entire operation was photographed by the SS.[102] In total, between April and November 1944, Auschwitz
Auschwitz
II received over 585,000 Jews
Jews
from over a dozen regions as far as Greece, Italy, and France, including 426,000 Jews
Jews
from Hungary, 67,000 from Łódź, 25,000 from Theresienstadt, and the last 23,000 Jews
Jews
from the General Government.[103] Auschwitz
Auschwitz
was liberated by the Red Army on 27 January 1945 when the gassing had already stopped.[104] Historiographic debate about the decision[edit] See also: Responsibility for the Holocaust

Part of a series on

The Holocaust

Jews
Jews
on selection ramp at Auschwitz, May 1944

Responsibility

Nazi Germany

People

Major perpetrators Adolf Hitler Heinrich Himmler Reinhard Heydrich Adolf Eichmann Odilo Globocnik Theodor Eicke Richard Glücks Ernst Kaltenbrunner Rudolf Höss Christian Wirth Joseph Goebbels

Organizations

Nazi Party Gestapo Schutzstaffel
Schutzstaffel
(SS) Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV) Einsatzgruppen Sturmabteilung
Sturmabteilung
(SA) Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT) Wehrmacht

Collaborators during World War II

Nazi ideologues

Early policies

Racial policy Nazi eugenics Nuremberg Laws Haavara Agreement Madagascar Plan Forced euthanasia

Victims

Jews
Jews
during World War II

Europe Germany

Romani people
Romani people
(Gypsies) Poles Soviet POWs Slavs in Eastern Europe Homosexuals People with disabilities Freemasons Jehovah's Witnesses

Ghettos

Białystok Budapest Kaunas Kraków Łódź Lublin Lwów Minsk Riga Warsaw Vilnius

Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Poland

List of selected ghettos

Atrocities

Pogroms

Kristallnacht Bucharest Dorohoi Iaşi Izieu Szczuczyn Jedwabne Kaunas Lviv
Lviv
(Lvov) Marseille Tykocin Vel' d'Hiv Wąsosz

Einsatzgruppen

Babi Yar Bydgoszcz Częstochowa Kamianets-Podilskyi Ninth Fort Odessa Piaśnica Ponary Rumbula Erntefest

"Final Solution"

Wannsee Conference Operation "Reinhard" Holocaust trains Extermination camps

End of World War II

Wola massacre Death marches

Camps

Nazi extermination camps

Auschwitz-Birkenau Bełżec Chełmno Jasenovac Majdanek Maly Trostenets Sajmište Sobibór Treblinka

Nazi concentration camps

Bergen-Belsen Bogdanovka Buchenwald Dachau Dora Gonars (Italy) Gross-Rosen Herzogenbusch Janowska Kaiserwald Mauthausen-Gusen Neuengamme Rab Ravensbrück Sachsenhausen Salaspils Stutthof Theresienstadt Uckermark Warsaw

Transit and collection camps

Belgium

Breendonk Mechelen

France

Gurs Drancy

Italy

Bolzano

Netherlands

Amersfoort Westerbork

Divisions

SS-Totenkopfverbände Concentration Camps Inspectorate Politische Abteilung Sanitätswesen

Extermination methods

Gas van Gas chamber Extermination through labour Einsatzgruppen Human medical experimentation

Resistance

Jewish partisans Bricha

Ghetto uprisings

Warsaw Białystok Łachwa Częstochowa

Allied response

Joint Declaration by Members of the United Nations

Auschwitz
Auschwitz
bombing debate Nuremberg trials Denazification

Aftermath

Bricha Displaced persons Central Committee of the Liberated Jews

Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany

Lists

Holocaust survivors

Deportations of French Jews to death camps

Survivors of Sobibór Timeline of Treblinka
Treblinka
extermination camp Victims of Nazism Rescuers of Jews

Resources

Bibliography List of books about Nazi Germany

The Destruction of the European Jews

Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos

Functionalism versus intentionalism

Auschwitz
Auschwitz
Protocols Vrba–Wetzler report

Remembrance

Days of remembrance Memorials and museums

v t e

Historians disagree as to when and how the Nazi leadership decided that the European Jews
Jews
should be exterminated. The controversy is commonly described as the functionalism versus intentionalism debate which began in the 1960s, and subsided thirty years later. In the 1990s the attention of mainstream historians moved away from the question of top executive orders triggering the Holocaust, and focused on factors which were overlooked earlier such as personal initiative and ingenuity of countless functionaries in charge of the killing fields. No written evidence of Hitler ordering the Final Solution
Final Solution
has ever been found to serve as a "smoking gun" and therefore this one particular question remains unanswered.[105] Hitler made numerous chilling predictions regarding the Holocaust of the Jews
Jews
of Europe prior to the beginning of World War II. During a speech given on 30 January 1939, on the sixth anniversary of his accession to power, Hitler said:

Today I will once more be a prophet: If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe! — Adolf Hitler, 1939[106]

Raul Hilberg, in his book The Destruction of the European Jews, was the first historian to systematically document and analyse the Nazi project to kill every Jew in Europe. The book was initially published in 1961, and issued in an enlarged version in 1985.[107] Hilberg's analysis of the steps that led to the destruction of European Jews
Jews
revealed that it was "an administrative process carried out by bureaucrats in a network of offices spanning a continent".[108] Hilberg divides this bureaucracy into four components or hierarchies: the Nazi Party, the civil service, industry, and the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
armed forces – but their cooperation is viewed as "so complete that we may truly speak of their fusion into a machinery of destruction".[109] For Hilberg, the key stages in the destruction process were: definition and registration of the Jews; expropriation of property; concentration into ghettoes and camps; and, finally, annihilation.[110] Hilberg gives an estimate of 5.1 million as the total number of Jews
Jews
killed. He breaks this figure down into three categories: Ghettoization and general privation: over 800,000; open-air shootings: over 1,300,000; extermination camps: up to 3,000,000.[111] With respect to the "functionalism versus intentionalism" debate about a master plan for the Final Solution, or the lack thereof, Hilberg posits what has been described as "a kind of structural determinism".[107] Hilberg argues that "a destruction process has an inherent pattern" and the "sequence of steps in a destruction process is thus determined". If a bureaucracy is motivated "to inflict maximum damage upon a group of people", it is "inevitable that a bureaucracy—no matter how decentralized its apparatus or how unplanned its activities—should push its victims through these stages", culminating in their annihilation.[112] In his monograph, The Origins Of The Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939 – March 1942, Christopher Browning argues that Nazi policy toward the Jews
Jews
was radicalized twice: in September 1939, when the invasion of Poland implied policies of mass expulsion and massive loss of Jewish lives; and in spring 1941, when preparation for Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa
involved the planning of mass execution, mass expulsion, and starvation – to dwarf what had happened in Jewish Poland.[113] Browning believes that the " Final Solution
Final Solution
as it is now understood—the systematic attempt to murder every last Jew within the German grasp"[5] took shape during a five-week period, from 18 September to 25 October 1941. During this time: the sites of the first extermination camps were selected, different methods of killing were tested, Jewish emigration from the Third Reich
Third Reich
was forbidden, and 11 transports departed for Łódź
Łódź
as a temporary holding station. During this period, Browning writes, "The vision of the Final Solution
Final Solution
had crystallised in the minds of the Nazi leadership and was being turned into reality."[5] This period was the peak of Nazi victories against the Soviet Army on the Eastern Front, and, according to Browning, the stunning series of German victories led to both an expectation that the war would soon be won, and the planning of the final destruction of the Jewish-Bolshevik enemy.[114] Browning describes the creation of the extermination camps, which were responsible for the largest number of deaths in the Final Solution, as bringing together three separate developments within the Third Reich: the concentration camps which had been established in Germany since 1933; an expansion of the gassing technology of the Nazi euthanasia programme to provide killing mechanism of greater efficiency and psychological detachment; and the creation of "factories of death" to be fed endless streams of victims by mass uprooting and deportation that utilized the experience and personnel from earlier population resettlement programmes—especially the HSSPF
HSSPF
and Adolf Eichmann's RSHA
RSHA
for "Jewish affairs and evacuations".[115] Peter Longerich
Peter Longerich
argues that the search for a finite date on which the Nazis embarked upon the extermination of the Jews
Jews
is futile, in his book Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews
Jews
(2011). Longerich writes: "We should abandon the notion that it is historically meaningful to try to filter the wealth of available historical material and pick out a single decision" that led to the Holocaust.[116][117] Timothy Snyder
Timothy Snyder
writes that Longerich "grants the significance of Greiser's murder of Jews
Jews
by gas at Chełmno
Chełmno
in December 1941", but also detects a significant moment of escalation in spring 1942, which includes "the construction of the large death factory at Treblinka
Treblinka
for the destruction of the Warsaw Jews, and the addition of a gas chamber to the concentration camp at Auschwitz
Auschwitz
for the murder of the Jews
Jews
of Silesia".[117] Longerich suggests that it "was only in the summer of 1942, that mass killing was finally understood as the realization of the Final Solution, rather than as an extensively violent preliminary to some later program of slave labor and deportation to the lands of a conquered USSR". For Longerich, to see mass killing as the Final Solution was an acknowledgement by the Nazi leadership that there would not be a German military victory over the USSR in the near future.[117] David Cesarani emphasises the improvised, haphazard nature of Nazi policies in response to changing war time conditions in his overview, Final Solution: The Fate Of The European Jews
Jews
1933-49 (2016). "Cesarani provides telling examples", wrote Mark Roseman, "of a lack of coherence and planning for the future in Jewish policy, even when we would most expect it. The classic instance is the invasion of Poland in 1939, when not even the most elementary consideration had been given to what should happen to Poland’s Jews
Jews
either in the shorter or longer term. Given that Poland was home to the largest Jewish population in the world, and that in a couple of years it would house the extermination camps, this is remarkable."[118] Whereas Christopher Browning places the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews
Jews
in the context of the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
victories on the Eastern front, Cesarani argues that the German subsequent realisation that there would be no swift victory over the Soviet Union "scuppered the last territorial 'solution' still on the table: expulsion to Siberia."[119] Germany's declaration of war on the United States on December 11, 1941, "meant that holding European Jews
Jews
hostage to deter the US from entering the conflict was now pointless. As Joseph Goebbels
Joseph Goebbels
put it when he summarised a secret speech Hitler made on 12 December 1941: 'The world war is here, the destruction of the Jews
Jews
must be the inevitable consequence'."[119][120] Cesarani concludes, the Holocaust "was rooted in antisemitism but it was shaped by war".[119] The fact that the Nazis were, ultimately, so successful in killing between five and six million Jews
Jews
was not due to the efficiency of the Third Reich or the clarity of their policies. "Rather, the catastrophic rate of killing was due to German persistence… and the duration of the murderous campaigns. This last factor was largely a consequence of allied military failure."[121]

Berlin, Reichstag session of 11 December 1941: Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
declares war on the United States of America

The entry of the U.S. into the War is also crucial to the time-frame proposed by Christian Gerlach who argued in his 1997 thesis,[122] that the Final Solution
Final Solution
decision was announced on 12 December 1941, when Hitler addressed a meeting of the Nazi Party
Nazi Party
(the Reichsleiter) and of regional party leaders (the Gauleiter).[123][a] The day after Hitler's speech, on 13 December 1941 Joseph Goebbels
Joseph Goebbels
wrote in his diary:[125]

With respect of the Jewish Question, the Führer
Führer
has decided to make a clean sweep. He prophesied to the Jews
Jews
that if they again brought about a world war, they would see their annihilation in it. That wasn't just a catch-word. The world war is here and the annihilation of the Jews
Jews
must be the necessary consequence.[125][126]

Cesarani notes that by 1943, as the military position of the German forces deteriorated, the Nazi leadership became more openly explicit about the Final Solution. In March, Goebbels confided to his diary: "On the Jewish question especially, we are in it so deeply that there is no getting out any longer. And that is a good thing. Experience teaches that a movement and a people who have burned their bridges fight with much greater determination and fewer constraints than those that have a chance of retreat."[127] When Himmler
Himmler
addressed senior SS personnel and leading members of the regime in the Posen speeches
Posen speeches
on October 4, 1943, he used "the fate of the Jews
Jews
as a sort of blood bond to tie the civil and military leadership to the Nazi cause."[127]

Today I am going to refer quite frankly to a very grave chapter. We can mention it now among ourselves quite openly and yet we shall never talk about it in public. I'm referring to the evacuation of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish people. Most of you will know what it's like to see 100 corpses side by side or 500 corpses or 1,000 of them. To have coped with this and—except for cases of human weakness—to have remained decent, that has made us tough. This is an unwritten—never to be written—and yet glorious page in our history.[127]

Journalist Ron Rosenbaum, in his book Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil, found that the phrase "final solution" had been used much earlier. An investigative report by the Münchener Post, a socialist newspaper that was an early opponent of Hitler, found as early as 1931 Nazi Party
Nazi Party
and SA documents using the phrase as part of a description of plans for what became the Nuremberg Laws
Nuremberg Laws
and a suggestion that "for the final solution of the Jewish question it is proposed to use the Jews
Jews
in Germany for slave labor or for cultivation of the German swamps administered by a special SS division".[128] See also[edit]

Korherr Report
Korherr Report
written in 1943 on the progress of the Final Solution Höfle Telegram
Höfle Telegram
with arrivals for the camps of Einsatz Reinhardt The role of railways in the Final Solution History of the Jews
Jews
during World War II Madagascar Plan
Madagascar Plan
for Jewish relocation Porajmos, Romani genocide during World War II

Notes[edit]

^ Commenting on Gerlach, Christopher Browning writes: "What he interprets as Hitler’s basic decision, I see as an official initiation of party leaders to a decision taken several months earlier."[124]

Citations[edit]

^ Browning i, Christopher (2007). The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939 – March 1942. U of Nebraska Press. "In a brief two years between the autumn of 1939 and the autumn of 1941, Nazi Jewish policy escalated rapidly from the pre-war policy of forced emigration to the Final Solution
Final Solution
as it is now understood—the systematic attempt to murder every last Jew within the German grasp.  ^ a b " Wannsee Conference
Wannsee Conference
and the Final Solution". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 30 March 2015.  ^ David S. Wyman; Charles H. Rosenzveig (1996). The World Reacts to the Holocaust. JHU Press. p. 99. ISBN 0801849691.  ^ a b Holocaust Encyclopedia. "'Final Solution': Overview". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Archived from the original on 2 March 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2016.  ^ a b c d Browning (2004), p. 424. ^ a b Browning (2004), p. 213. ^ a b Browning, Christopher R. (1995). The Path to Genocide: Essays on Launching the Final Solution. Cambridge University Press. pp. 18–19, 127–128. ISBN 978-0-521-55878-5 – via Google Books.  ^ Niewyk & Nicosia 2000, p. 76. ^ a b Hilberg (1985), p. 273. ^ Roseman (2002), p. 87. ^ a b Roseman (2002), pp. 11–2. ^ a b Browning (2004), (2007 ed.: pp. 179, 181–2). "The Gypsy question". ^ a b Ian Hancock
Ian Hancock
(2010). Jonathan C. Friedman, ed. The Routledge History of the Holocaust. Taylor & Francis. p. 378. ISBN 1136870601.  Also in: David M. Crowe; John Kolsti; Ian Hancock (2016). The Gypsies of Eastern Europe. Routledge. p. 16. ISBN 1315490242.  ^ Lukas, Richard (1989). Out of the Inferno: Poles Remember the Holocaust. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 5, 13, 111, 201. ; also in Lukas, Richard (2012) [1986]. The Forgotten Holocaust: Poles Under Nazi Occupation 1939-1944. New York: University of Kentucky Press/Hippocrene Books. ISBN 0-7818-0901-0.  ^ Holocaust Encyclopedia. "German Invasion of Poland: Jewish Refugees, 1939". Washington, DC: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  ^ Grenke, Arthur (2005). God, Greed, and Genocide: The Holocaust Through the Centuries. New Academia Publishing. p. 92. ISBN 097670420X.  ^ Browning (2004), pp. 35–6. ^ Roseman (2002), pp. 14–15. ^ Hilberg (1985), p. 278. ^ Göring, Hermann (31 July 1941). "Authorization letter of Hermann Göring to Heydrich, 31 July 1941" (PDF). House of the Wannsee Conference. Retrieved 3 June 2014.  ^ Longerich (2012), pp. 525–33. ^ Browning (2004), pp.352-355, 356. ^ a b Feig, Konnilyn G. (1981). Hitler's death camps: the sanity of madness. Holmes & Meier. pp. 12–13. ISBN 0841906769. Hitler exterminated the Jews
Jews
of Europe. But he did not do so alone. The task was so enormous, complex, time-consuming, and mentally and economically demanding that it took the best efforts of millions of Germans.  ^ Longerich (2012), p. 555. ^ Roseman (2002), pp. 65–7. ^ Cesarani (2005), pp. 110–1. ^ "Protocol of Conference on the final solution (Endlösung) of the Jewish question" (PDF). House of the Wannsee Conference. Retrieved 3 June 2014.  ^ Roseman (2002), pp. 1–2. ^ a b "Combating Holocaust Denial: Evidence Of The Holocaust
The Holocaust
Presented At Nuremberg". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 8 November 2013.  ^ Browning (2004), p. 216. ^ Browning (2004), p. 224. ^ Hilberg (1985), p. 281. ^ Browning (2004), p. 219. ^ Browning (2004), p. 217. ^ Browning (2004), p. 229. ^ Browning (1998), p. 11: On the eve of Operation Barbarossa Major Weiss disclosed to his men the directives of Hitler's 'Barbarossa Decree'. ^ Browning (2004), p. 232. ^ Browning (2004), p. 260. ^ Browning (2004), p. 261. ^ a b c Kay, Alex J. (2016). The Making of an SS Killer. Cambridge University Press. pp. 57–62, 72. ISBN 1107146348. The Vileyka
Vileyka
massacres by Einsatzgruppe B at the end of July marked the transition to genocide.[p.60] Entire Jewish population of town, at least 450 Jewish men, women and children were killed.[p.72]  ^ a b c d e Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
(2016). "Goering orders Heydrich to prepare the plan for the Final Solution
Final Solution
of the Jewish Problem". The Holocaust Timeline 1940-1945. The Holocaust
The Holocaust
Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority.  ^ Laqueur & Baumel (2001), p. 51. ^ Browning (2004), pp. 291–2. ^ a b Yahil, Leni (1991). The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, 1932-1945. Oxford University Press. p. 270. ISBN 0195045238.  ^ Browning (2004), pp. 408-9. ^ a b Bauer, Yehuda (2000). Rethinking the Holocaust. Yale University Press. p. 5. ISBN 0300093004.  ^ Browning (2004), p. 244. ^ Markiewicz, Marcin. "Bezirk Białystok
Białystok
(in) Represje hitlerowskie wobec wsi białostockiej" [Bezirk Białystok
Białystok
(in) Nazi repressions against the Białystok
Białystok
countryside]. Komentarze Historyczne. Biuletyn Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej. Biuro Edukacji Publicznej IPN. Nr 35-36 (12/2003-1/2004). 68/96 in PDF. ISSN 1641-9561. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2016 – via direct download 873 KB from the Internet Archive.  Also in: Roseman, Mark (2002). The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting: Wannsee and the Final Solution. Penguin Press. p. 111. ISBN 071399570X. During the Wannsee meeting, the number of Jews
Jews
in Białystok
Białystok
(i.e. in Bezirk Bialystok) – subject to Final Solution
Final Solution
– was estimated by Heydrich at 400,000. In Lithuania: 34,000. In Latvia: 3,500. In White Russia (excluding Bialystok) 446,484, and in USSR: 5,000,000. Estonia was listed in the minutes as being already Judenfrei
Judenfrei
(see Wannsee Protocol, Nuremberg).  ^ a b Browning (1998), p. 12. ^ a b " Białystok
Białystok
– History". Virtual Shtetl
Virtual Shtetl
Museum of the History of Polish Jews. p. 6, paragraph #3. According to records, about 5,000 Jews
Jews
died at that time.[7.2] See: Browning (1998), p. 12 – Weis and his officers subsequently submitted a false report of the events to [General] Pfugbeil ... 2,000 to 2,200 Jews
Jews
had been killed.[8] – via Internet Archive.  ^ Boneh, Nachum. " The Holocaust
The Holocaust
and the Destruction of the Jews
Jews
of Pinsk (4 July 1941 - 23 December 1942)". The Book of Pinsk. Chapter 3: The Oppressors in Action. The Jewish Community of Pinsk.  ^ "Pińsk". Elektroniczna Encyklopedia Żydowska. Virtual Shtetl. Translation: המאמר לא זמין בשפה זו, נכון לעכשיו. English version.  ^ a b Porat, Dina (2002). " The Holocaust
The Holocaust
in Lithuania: Some Unique Aspects". In Cesarani, David. The Final Solution: Origins and Implementation. Routledge. p. 161. ISBN 0-415-15232-1 – via Google Books.  ^ Kwiet, Konrad (1998). "Rehearsing for Murder: The Beginning of the Final Solution
Final Solution
in Lithuania
Lithuania
in June 1941". Holocaust and Genocide Studies. 12 (1): 3–26. doi:10.1093/hgs/12.1.3 – via Oxfordjournals.org.  and Kwiet, Konrad (4 December 1995). The Onset of the Holocaust: The Massacres of Jews
Jews
in Lithuania
Lithuania
in June 1941. J. B. and Maurice Shapiro Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
(Annual lecture).  Published under the same title but expanded in Bonnell, Andrew, ed. (1996). Power, Conscience and Opposition: Essays in German History in Honour of John A Moses. New York: Peter Lang. pp. 107–21.  ^ Zimmerman, Joshua D. (2015). The Polish Underground and the Jews, 1939–1945. Cambridge University Press. p. 193 – via Google Books.  ^ Braham, Randolph L. (2000). The Politics of Genocide. Wayne State University Press. p. 34. ISBN 0814326919.  ^ Lower, Wendy (2006). Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine. Univ of North Carolina Press. p. 253. ISBN 0807876917.  ^ Sterling, Eric (2005). Life In The Ghettos During The Holocaust. Syracuse University Press. p. 127. ISBN 0815608039 – via Google Books.  ^ Desbois, Patrick (2009). "Places of Massacres by German Task Forces between 1941 - 1943" (PDF). Germany: TOS Gemeinde Tübingen.  ^ a b c Adolf Eichmann; Bet ha-mishpaṭ ha-meḥozi; Miśrad ha-mishpaṭim (1992). The trial of Adolf Eichmann: record of proceedings in the District Court of Jerusalem. Trust for the Publication of the Proceedings of the Eichmann
Eichmann
Trial, in co-operation with the Israel State Archives, and Yad Vashem. pp. 522, 93. ISBN 0317058401. Volume 1.  Also in: Timothy Snyder; Ray Brandon (2014). Stalin and Europe: Imitation and Domination, 1928-1953. Oxford University Press. p. 194. ISBN 0199945578. Quoted 15,000 dead at Dnipropetrovsk
Dnipropetrovsk
and 12,000 Jews
Jews
murdered in Kharkiv.  ^ Berenbaum, Michael (2002). The Holocaust
The Holocaust
and History: The Known, the Unknown, the Disputed, and the Reexamined. Indiana University Press. p. 257. ISBN 0253215293.  Also in: Shmuel Spector; Geoffrey Wigoder (2001). The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust: K-Se. NYU Press. p. 679. ISBN 0814793770.  ^ Beit Tal (2010). "Zofiówka". POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.  Also in: Beit Tal (2014). "Truchenbrod – Lozisht". The Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014.  ^ a b Weiss, Jakob (2011). "Introduction". The Lemberg Mosaic. New York: Alderbrook Press. p. 397 – via https://www.amazon.com/Lemberg-Mosaic-Jakob-Weiss/dp/0983109109#reader_0983109109 Kindle.  ^ Löw, Andrea (10 June 2013). "Stanislawów (now Ivano-Frankivsk)". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Archived from the original on 20 May 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2016. From The USHMM
USHMM
Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945.  ^ a b Pohl, Dieter. Hans Krueger
Hans Krueger
and the Murder of the Jews
Jews
in the Stanislawow Region (Galicia) (PDF). pp. 12–13, 17–18, 21 – via Yad Vashem.org. It is impossible to determine what Krueger's exact responsibility was in connection with 'Bloody Sunday' [massacre of 12 October 1941]. It is clear that a massacre of such proportions under German civil administration was virtually unprecedented.  ^ a b " Operation Reinhard
Operation Reinhard
(Einsatz Reinhard)". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved August 15, 2016.  ^ Pohl, Dieter (2008). Ray Brandon; Wendy Lower, eds. The Shoah in Ukraine: History, Testimony, Memorialization. Indiana University Press. p. 97. ISBN 0253001595.  ^ Eikel, Markus (2013). "The local administration under German occupation in central and eastern Ukraine, 1941–1944". The Holocaust in Ukraine: New Sources and Perspectives (PDF). Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Pages 110–122 in PDF. Ukraine differs from other parts of the Nazi-occupied Soviet Union, whereas the local administrators have formed the Hilfsverwaltung in support of extermination policies in 1941 and 1942, and in providing assistance for the deportations to camps in Germany mainly in 1942 and 1943.  ^ Wendel, Marcus (9 June 2013). " Schutzmannschaft
Schutzmannschaft
Bataillone". Axis History Books. Internet Archive, 6 January 1914 capture. Archived from the original on 6 January 2014.  ^ Statiev, Alexander (2010). The Soviet Counterinsurgency in the Western Borderlands. Cambridge University Press. p. 69. ISBN 0521768330.  ^ Lower, Wendy (2011). The Diary of Samuel Golfard and the Holocaust in Galicia. Rowman Altamira. pp. 17, 154. ISBN 0759120781.  ^ Piotr Eberhardt; Jan Owsinski (2003). Ethnic Groups and Population Changes in Twentieth-century Central-Eastern Europe: History, Data, Analysis. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 216–. ISBN 9780765606655.  ^ Gutman, Israel. Resistance: The Warsaw Ghetto
Warsaw Ghetto
Uprising. Houghton Mifflin. p. 119. ISBN 0395901308.  ^ Beer, Mathias (2015). "The Development of the Gas-Van in the Murdering of the Jews". The Final Solution. Jewish Virtual Library. "Die Entwicklung der Gaswagen beim Mord an den Juden," Miszelle. Vierteljahrshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte, 37 (3), pp. 403-417. Translated from the German. Retrieved 28 January 2016.  ^ National Bełżec Museum. "Historia Niemieckiego Obozu Zagłady w Bełżcu" [History of the Belzec extermination camp] (in Polish). Muzeum-Miejsce Pamięci w Bełżcu. Archived from the original on 29 October 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2016.  ^ McVay, Kenneth (1984). "The Construction of the Treblinka Extermination Camp". Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
Studies, XVI. Jewish Virtual Library.org. Retrieved 3 November 2013.  ^ Berenbaum, Michael (2016). "Treblinka". Encyclopædia Britannica. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.  ^ Walter Laqueur; Judith Tydor Baumel (2001). The Holocaust Encyclopedia. Yale University Press. p. 178. ISBN 0300138113.  ^ a b Arad (1987), p. 640. ^ "Belzec". The Holocaust
The Holocaust
Encyclopedia. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2016.  ^ Carol Rittner, Roth, K. (2004). Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-8264-7566-4.  ^ National Geographic Channel
National Geographic Channel
(2013). The Holocaust
The Holocaust
by bullets. Excerpt from episode "Apocalypse: The Second World War". NGC Europe Limited.  ^ Longerich (2010), pp. 198, 238, 347. See also Lawrence Bush (28 June 2010). "June 29: The Slonim Massacres". Jewish Currents. Retrieved 1 May 2017.  ^ Berkhoff, Karel C. Ray Brandon; Wendy Lower, eds. The Shoah in Ukraine: History, Testimony, Memorialization. Indiana University Press. p. 290.  Also in: Barbara N. Łopieńska; Ryszard Kapuściński (2003-07-13). "Człowiek z bagna" [A man from the marshes]. Interview. Przekrój
Przekrój
nr 28/3029. Reprint: Ryszard Kapuściński.info.  Further info: Virtual Shtetl. "Glossary of 2,077 Jewish towns in Poland". POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Archived from the original on 8 February 2016.  Gedeon. "Getta Żydowskie".  Michael Peters. "Ghetto List". Deathcamps.org.  ^ SS Gruppenführer
Gruppenführer
Jürgen Stroop (May 1943). "Stroop Report". Jewish Virtual Library.  ^ The Holocaust
The Holocaust
Encyclopedia (2013). "Resistance in Ghettos". Jewish Uprisings in Ghettos and Camps, 1941–1944. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Notable examples include the Łuck Ghetto
Łuck Ghetto
uprising quelled on 12 December 1942 with the help of the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police, see: Yad Vashem, Łuck, December 1942 on YouTube; testimony of Shmuel Shilo. "The forgotten December". Archived from the original on 22 July 2015.  The Łachwa Ghetto uprising
Ghetto uprising
was suppressed on 3 September 1942, the Częstochowa Ghetto uprising
Ghetto uprising
on 30 June 1943, the Sosnowiec Ghetto uprising
Ghetto uprising
on 3 August 1943, and the Białystok
Białystok
Ghetto uprising
Ghetto uprising
on 17 August 1943.  ^ Paula Lerner (2007). "Statistical Report on the "Final Solution," known as the Korherr Report
Korherr Report
of 23 March 1943" (PDF). Die Endlösung by Gerald Reitlinger. German History in Documents and Images, GHDI. 7. Nazi Germany, 1933-1945.  ^ Leni Yahil (1991). The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, 1932-1945. Oxford University Press. p. 389. ISBN 0195045238.  ^ Ronald J. Berger (2002). Fathoming the Holocaust: A Social Problems Approach. Transaction Publishers. p. 57–8. ISBN 0202366111. Bureaucrats in the Reichsbahn performed important functions that facilitated the movement of trains. They constructed and published timetables, collected fares, and allocated cars and locomotives. In sending Jews
Jews
to their death, they did not deviate much from the routine procedures they used to process ordinary train traffic.  ^ Ben Hecht; Julian Messner (31 December 1969). "Holocaust: The Trains". Aish.com Holocaust Studies. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014.  ^ Arad (1987), pp. 300-1. ^ Letter written by Albert Speer
Albert Speer
who attended Posen Conference.Connolly, Kate (13 March 2007). "Letter proves Speer knew of Holocaust plan". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 29 May 2014.  ^ Bradley F. Smith & Agnes Peterson (1974), Heinrich Himmler. Speeches Frankfurt/M., p. 169 f. OCLC 1241890; "Himmler's Speech in Posen on 6 October 1944". Holocaust Controversies Reference Section. Archived from the original on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2015. ; also (with differing translation) in "Heinrich Himmler". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2015.  ^ Feig, Konnilyn G. (1981). Hitler's death camps: the sanity of madness. Holmes & Meier Publishers. p. 30. ISBN 0841906750 – via Remember.org book excerpt in full screen. On November 4, 1943, Globocnik wrote to Himmler
Himmler
from Trieste: "I have on Oct. 19, 1943 completed Action Reinhard and closed all the camps." He asked for special medals for his men in recognition of their "specially difficult task". Himmler
Himmler
responded warmly to 'Globos' on November 30, 1943, thanking him for carrying out Operation Reinhard.  Also in: Holocaust Encyclopedia. ""Final Solution": Overview". Washington, DC: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Archived from the original on 2 March 2013.  ^ Browning (1998), pp. 135-42. ^ Peter Witte; Stephen Tyas (2001). "A New Document on the Deportation and Murder of Jews
Jews
during "Einsatz Reinhardt" 1942" (PDF). Holocaust and Genocide
Genocide
Studies. 15 (3): 468–86.  See also: Oxford Journals (2002). "Abstract of article". Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 12 February 2002.  ^ Alfred Katz (1970). The Establishment of Ghettos in [occupied] Poland. Poland's Ghettos at War. Twayne Publishers, New York: Ardent Media. p. 35. OCLC 141597.  ^ a b Browning (2004), (2007 ed.: p. 544). ^ a b Longerich (2010), pp. 344, 360, 380, 391. ^ a b Andrew Rawson (2015). Auschwitz: The Nazi Solution. Pen and Sword. pp. 69, 87, 123. ISBN 1473855411. While the numbers considerably reduced through June and July [1944], nearly 440,000 Hungarian Jews
Jews
were transported to Auschwitz
Auschwitz
in less than eight weeks; 320,000 were murdered. — Rawson, 144.  Also in: S.J.; Carmelo Lisciotto (2007). "The Destruction of the Jews
Jews
of Hungary". H.E.A.R.T. Of the 381,600 Jews
Jews
who left Hungary between 15 May 1944 and 30 June 1944 it is probable that 200,000 – 240,000 were gassed or shot on 46 working days.  ^ Longerich (2010), p. 380: Extermination.. ^ Hellman, Peter; Meier, Lili; Klarsfeld, Serge (1981). The Auschwitz Album. New York; Toronto: Random House. ISBN 0-394-51932-9.  ^ Gutman, Israel; Berenbaum, Michael; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (1998). Anatomy of the Auschwitz
Auschwitz
Death Camp. Indiana University Press. p. 89. ISBN 025320884X.  ^ Yahil (1991), p. 637. ^ Bankier, David; Mikhman, Dan (2008). Holocaust Historiography in Context: Emergence, Challenges, Polemics and Achievements. Berghahn Books. p. 330. ISBN 9653083260.  ^ Hitler, Adolf (30 January 1939). "Extract from the Speech by Hitler, 30 January 1939". YadVashem.org.  [Also in:] " Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
on the Jewish Question". 30 January 1939. Archived from the original on 14 March 2008.  [And:] "Hitler Speaks before the Reichstag (German Parliament)". United States Holocaust Museum.  ^ a b Browning, Christopher (10 May 1987). "The Revised Hilberg". Museumoftolerance. Retrieved 2 June 2014.  ^ Hilberg (1985), p. ix. ^ Hilberg (1985), p. 56. ^ Hilberg (1985), p. 354. ^ Hilberg (1985), p. 1219. ^ Hilberg (1985), pp. 998–9. ^ Browning (2004), (2007 ed.: p. 213).. ^ Browning (2004), pp. 426–7. ^ Browning (2004), p. 354. ^ Longerich (2010), p. 6. ^ a b c Snyder, Timothy (23 June 2011). "A New Approach to the Holocaust". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 30 March 2015.  ^ Roseman, Mark (August 10, 2016). "The last word". The Times Literary Supplement. Retrieved February 13, 2017.  ^ a b c Wachsmann, Nikolaus (June 16, 2016). " Final Solution
Final Solution
by David Cesarani review—the Holocaust on the hoof". The Guardian. Retrieved February 13, 2017.  ^ Adolf Hitler's Declaration of War against the United States in Wikisource. ^ Cesarani (2016), pp. 796. ^ Gerlach, Christian (1999) [1997]. Kalkulierte Morde: die deutsche Wirtschafts- und Vernichtungspolitik in Weissrussland 1941 bis 1944. Hamburg: Hamburger Edition. pp. 1018–36. OCLC 764039257.  Originally presented as the author's doctoral thesis at TU Berlin. ^ Aly, Götz. "December 12, 1941". Translated by McFee, Gord. Holocaust-history.org. Archived from the original on 2 August 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2016. The original appeared in the German edition of Berliner Zeitung on December 13, 1997.  ^ Browning (2004), p. 540f. ^ a b McDonough, Frank (2008). The Holocaust. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 57. ISBN 1137020482.  ^ Gord McFee. "When did Hitler decide on the Final Solution?". Holocaust-history.org. Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Research in this area is hampered by the fact that no written Hitler-Order launching the Final Solution
Final Solution
has ever been found, and that if there ever was one, it most likely was destroyed.  ^ a b c Cesarani (2016), p. 665. ^ Rosenbaum, Ron (1998). Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil. Harper Books. ISBN 0-06-095339-X. 

References[edit]

Arad, Yitzhak (1987). Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. The Operation Reinhard Death Camps. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-21305-3.  Baumslag, Naomi (2005). Murderous Medicine: Nazi Doctors, Human Experimentation, and Typhus. Praeger Publishers. ISBN 0-275-98312-9.  Breitman, Richard (1991). The Architect of Genocide: Himmler
Himmler
and The Final Solution. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-394-56841-9.  Browning, Christopher R. (1998) [1992]. Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution
Final Solution
in Poland (PDF). Penguin Books. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2013.  ——— (2004). The Origins of the Final Solution : The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939 – March 1942. Comprehensive History of the Holocaust. With contributions by Jürgen Matthäus. London: Random House / William Heinemann;. ISBN 0803203926.  Newer edition by Univ. of Nebraska Press / Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
2007. Cesarani, David (2005) [2004]. Eichmann: His Life and Crimes. London: Vintage. ISBN 978-0-099-44844-0.  ——— (2016). Final Solution: The Fate of the Jews
Jews
1933-1949. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-330-53537-3.  Dawidowicz, Lucy (1975). The War Against the Jews. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. ISBN 003013661X.  Fleming, Gerald (1984). Hitler and the Final Solution. Berkeley: University of California Press.  Gerlach, Christian (December 1998). "The Wannsee Conference, the Fate of German Jews, and Hitler's decision in principle to exterminate all European Jews". The Journal of Modern History. Chicago. 70 (4): 759–812. doi:10.1086/235167.  Głowacka-Penczyńska, Anetta; Kawski, Tomasz; Mędykowski, Witold; Horev, Tuvia, eds. (2015). The First to be Destroyed: The Jewish Community of Kleczew and the Beginning of the Final Solution. Boston: Academic Studies Press. ISBN 9781618112842.  Hilberg, Raul (1985). The Destruction of the European Jews: The Revised and Definitive Edition. New York: Holmes and Meier. ISBN 0-8419-0832-X – via Archive.org search inside. The deportations ... were the work of a much larger apparatus that had to deal with a host of constraints and requirements. The effort, as we shall see, was deemed necessary to accomplish the Final Solution
Final Solution
on a European-wide scale.[p.273]   Laqueur, Walter; Baumel, Judith Tydor (2001). The Holocaust Encyclopedia. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-30008-432-0.  Longerich, Peter (2003). The Unwritten Order: Hitler's Role in The Final Solution. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 978-075242564-1.  ——— (2010). Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192804367.  ——— (2012). Heinrich Himmler. Translation by Jeremy Noakes and Lesley Sharpe. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-019959232-6.  Niewyk, Donald; Nicosia, Francis (2000). The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-23111-201-7.  Roseman, Mark (2002). The Villa, The Lake, The Meeting: Wannsee and the Final Solution. Allen Lane. ISBN 0-713-99570-X.  Schultheis, Herbert; Wahler, Isaac E. (1988). Bilder und Akten der Gestapo
Gestapo
Wuerzburg ueber die Judendeportationen 1941–1943 (German-English ed.). Bad Neustadt a. d. Saale. ISBN 978-3-9800482-7-9. 

External links[edit]

Website of the House of the Wannsee Conference The Development of the Final Solution—lecture from Dr. Havi Dreifuss, Yad Vashem Elimination of the Jewish National Home in Palestine: The Einsatzkommando
Einsatzkommando
of the Panzer army Africa, 1942 by Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers Death Decree: Göring directive officially launches the Final Solution

v t e

The Holocaust

By territory

Albania Belarus Belgium Channel Islands Croatia Estonia France Norway Latvia Libya Lithuania Luxembourg Poland Russia Serbia Ukraine

Lists and timelines

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Treblinka
timeline

Camps

Concentration

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Extermination

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Transit

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Special
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Early elements

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Aftermath

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v t e

Nazism

Organizations

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Ideology

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Mein Kampf
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Outside Germany

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Arrow Cross Party
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Nasjonal Samling
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Related topics

Esoteric Nazism Far-right politics German resistance Glossary of Nazi Germany Nazi salute Neo-Nazism Social Darwinism Stormfront Swastika Völkisch movement Zweites Buch

Category

v t e

Genocide
Genocide
topics

Genocides (list by death toll)

Dzungar Mongols (1750s) Circassian genocide
Circassian genocide
(1860s) Herero and Namaqua (1904–1907) Greek (1914–1923) Assyrian (1914–1925) Armenian (1915–1923) Libyan Genocide
Genocide
(1923–1932) Holodomor
Holodomor
(1932–1933) The Holocaust
The Holocaust
(1941–1945) Porajmos
Porajmos
(1941–1944) Serbian (1941–1945) Aardakh (1944–1948) Bangladesh (1971) East Timor (1974–1999) Cambodian (1975–1979) Guatemalan Maya (1981–1983) Kurds in Iraq (1986–1989) Partition of India
Partition of India
(1947) Polish genocide(s) in the USSR

Great Purge Era (1937–1938 Occupation of Poland (1939–1945)

Katyn massacre
Katyn massacre
(1940)

Massacres of Poles in Volhynia
Volhynia
and Eastern Galicia (1943–1944) Burundian genocides (1972 & 1993) Rwandan (1994) Selk'nam genocide
Selk'nam genocide
(1890s–1900s) Bosnian genocide
Bosnian genocide
(1992–1995)

Srebrenica massacre
Srebrenica massacre
(1995)

ISIL Genocides (2014–)

Yazidis Shias Christians

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Politicide

Classicide Eliticide

Policide Ethnocide

Cultural genocide

Gendercide Genocidal massacre Utilitarian genocide Genocide
Genocide
of indigenous peoples

Methods

Genocidal rape Extermination camp Killing Fields Death marches Death squads

Genocide
Genocide
denial

The Holocaust

trivialization

Armenian Bosnian Rwandan Holodomor Cambodian

Issues

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Genocide
law Prevention Effects on young survivors

Notable figures

Adolf Hitler Adolf Eichmann Ante Pavelić Benito Mussolini Heinrich Himmler Reinhard Heydrich Talaat Pasha Enver Pasha Djemal Pasha Stepan Bandera Joseph Stalin Nikolai Yezhov Pol Pot Hirohito Omar al-Bashir Augustin Bizimungu Radovan Karadžić Lothar von Trotha Efraín Ríos Mo

.