How do YOU define the "Jewish Holocaust"?

Discuss in terms of the time frame, actions actions taken by the Nazis and the German government.

I have found many lay persons focus on the extermination process and that's it.

Update:

Great, powerful responses which combined create the perfect answer. Keep 'em coming . . . great discussion in which I agree with most of them.

Some scholars have suggested that the 'holocaust' should be expanded to include others, which was mentioned by one commentor.

Best overall answer gets 10 points. Feel free to amend your responses. No voting and this is not for a school assignment. I have a history degree, but enjoy intellectual discussions from bright individuals.

6 Answers

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  • Bilbo
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Shoah IS about extermination for most people, but the persecution starts long before with the introduction of the Nurenberg Race Laws, even earlier with the local activities of the Brownshirts.

    The extemination is more usually described as the Final Solution so doesn't really get going until after the Wannsee conference in 1942, but there were all sorts of other proposals eg the Madagascar Plan and all sorts of other atrocities, eg Babi Yar beside the gas chambers.

    As your question implies it is certainly not an exclusive genocide, the Jews were one of a number of groups targeted, but far and away the largest.

  • ?
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    If one looks at the theory of the eight stages of genocide, as put forth by genocide watch (http://www.genocidewatch.org/genocide/8stagesofgen... ) then the genocide of the Jewish population of Germany started in the early 1930s, and of the Polish Jews soon after the German invasion with the actual mass murdering starting sometime later (ranging from 1939-1942 depending on region).

  • Donald
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Wrong terminology.

    Hitler's "Final Solution" applied to more than Jews--though, with 6 million killed, they were clearly the largest single segment. Hitler also sought purification of the race by killing people with mental or physical handicaps, Gypsies, homosexuals, and others.

    The Holocaust pretty much is the extermination process. But--as I already noted--it was part of a bigger program designed to purify the "Aryan Race" and prevent its contamination. So the bigger picture--which it appears is what you're seeking--would encompass all the methods used and would include all the targeted groups.

    Hope that helps.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Oh yes - it was a gigantic process going on all over Germany and then Europe. First priority was given to SS people moving Jews here and there (and the SS guys used this at the end of the war to cover their escapes).

    But... before the railroads could even move wounded German troops back for treatment, the priority for the trains was to move the Jews to where-ever the SS wanted them. And then this was all done in the darkest secrecy.

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  • 8 years ago

    Interesting

    I agree that it is a horrible mistake made by the carelessness of nations caused by a reckless mad man in his search for power but when you look at it from a political stand pint I say it was pretty interesting. The fact that he had to take all those steps in order to get where he was and the fact that he had the determination to gain all the power that he had is just interesting. One man having all that power is never good but the way he used it to have such an impact on the world is remarkable. I just wish he focused on something else though...

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Undescribable.

    Devastating.

    Millions more people would be in this world if it wasn't for that fu**ing Hitler.

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