The Holocaust (fl. 1941-1945) is the name commonly given since the late 1950s to the genocide carried out by Nazi Germany under Hitler.
Also known as:
- Nazi: The Final Solution (to the Jewish Question)
- Jewish: the Shoah (Hebrew for “catastrophe”)
- Yiddish: The Third Destruction (the First and Second destroyed the First and Second Temples of Jerusalem, in 587 BC and AD 70).
At least 9 million died. Using conservative estimates:
- Jews: 5 million. A figure of 5 to 6 million can be arrived at different ways, so it is pretty solid. Holocaust Deniers have to account for how over half the Jews of Europe disappeared in the 1940s and showed up nowhere else. Hitler saw Jews as “vermin” bent on taking over the world through control of Western finance, labour, media, etc. Hitler, proud of his “process of disinfection”, said in 1945 that, “The world of the future will be eternally grateful to us.”
- Soviet prisoners of war: 2 million.
- Slavs: 1.82 million, mainly Poles. Slavs were “subhumans” who were taking up land where Germans could live. Hitler wanted to wipe out at least 65% of the natives in what is now Poland, Belarus and Ukraine by 1970.
- Romani (Gypsies): 220,000. The Bohemian Romani language became extinct.
- Mentally disabled: 200,000.
- Freemasons: 80,000.
- Spanish Republicans: 7,000.
- Homosexuals: 5,000.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses: 2,500.
- Leftists: ???
There was no policy to wipe out Blacks.
Before they died, many worked as slave labour for the likes of Hugo Boss, Kodak, Siemens, Volkswagen and BMW. Others became subjects of sick medical experiments. None were turned into soap or lampshades.
About 811,000 Jews fled from 1933 to 1943, Einstein and Freud among them. Half went to the US, Palestine or Britain.
Left behind were millions of Jews in eastern Europe who lacked the money or connections to leave.
Anti-Semitism in Europe goes back at least a thousand years, but it had become markedly worse in the late 1800s. By 1881 Jews were being racialized: you were still considered a Jew no matter how assimilated or even Christian you were. Aryanists divided Caucasians racially into Aryans and Semites.
That allowed the racism Whites had used to practise slavery, genocide and colonialism overseas, and which now had the full support of science, to be turned in on Europe itself.
Add to that state power: In 1933 the Nazi Party came to power in Germany.
The Nazi Party moved towards genocide step by step: it demonized Jews, defined by law who a Jew was, took away their citizenship and civil rights, kept track of them (with the help of IBM), moved them to ghettos, etc. But the decision on the Final Solution – complete extermination – probably did not take shape till late 1941.
Jews soon discovered, and Tutsis later found, that one of the shocking things about a genocide is how little the outside world seems to care. While most people did not find out till 1945, top people in Germany, Britain, the US and the Catholic Church, people like President Roosevelt and Pope Pius XII, knew – and did surprisingly little.
Hitler was not surprised: ever the student of history, he had the Armenian and Native American genocides before him as models.
– Abagond, 2014.
- The term “native”