1. Anti-Semitism: Opposition to and discrimination against Jews.
2. Aryan: In Nazi racial theory, a person of pure German "blood." The term "non-Aryan" was used to designate Jews, part-Jews and others of supposedly inferior racial stock.
3. Auschwitz: A complex consisting of concentration, extermination, and labor camps in Upper Silesia.
4. Concentration camp: Concentration camps were prisons used without regard to accepted norms of arrest and detention. Later (1936-42), concentration camps were expanded and non-political prisoners--Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and Poles--were also incarcerated.
5. Final Solution: A Nazi euphemism for the plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe.
6. Führer: Leader. Adolf Hitler's title in Nazi Germany.
7. Gas chambers: Large chambers in which people were executed by poison gas.
9. Gestapo: meaning Secret State Police. The Gestapo used brutal methods to investigate and suppress resistance to Nazi rule within Germany.
10. Ghettos: “Jewish Quarter." Ghettos were usually established in the poor sections of a city, where most of the Jews from the city and surrounding areas were subsequently forced to reside. Often surrounded by barbed wire or walls, the ghettos were sealed, the ghettos were characterized by overcrowding, malnutrition, and heavy labor. All were eventually dissolved, and the Jews murdered.
11. Holocaust: Today, the term refers to the systematic planned extermination of about six million European Jews and millions of others by the Nazis between 1933-1945.
12. Kristallnacht: Also known as " The Night of the Broken Glass." On this night, November 9, 1938, almost 200 synagogues were destroyed, over 8,000 Jewish shops were sacked and looted, and tens of thousands of Jews were removed to concentration camps. This pogrom received its name because of the great value of glass that was smashed during this anti-Jewish riot. Riots took place throughout Germany and Austria on that night.
13. Mengele, Joseph, Dr.: Senior SS physician at Auschwitz-Birkenau from 1943-44. One of the physicians who carried out the "selections" of prisoners upon arrival at camp. He also carried out cruel experiments on prisoners.
14. The Nazi (National Socialist German Workers') Party: was founded in Germany on January 5, 1919. It was characterized by a centralist and authoritarian structure. Its platform was based on militaristic, racial, antisemitic and nationalistic policies.
15. Nuremberg Laws: The Nuremberg Laws were announced by Hitler at the Nuremberg Party conference, defining "Jew" and systematizing and regulating discrimination and persecution. The "Reich Citizenship Law" deprived all Jews of their civil rights, and the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor" made marriages and extra-marital sexual relationships between Jews and Germans punishable by imprisonment.
16. Pogrom: An organized and often officially encouraged massacre of or attack on Jews. The word is derived from two Russian words that mean "thunder."
17. Star of David: A six-pointed star which is a symbol of Judaism. During the Holocaust, Jews throughout Europe were required to wear Stars of David on their sleeves or fronts and backs of their shirts and jackets.
18. The Selection Process: Once the Jews were unloaded and separated into male and female lines, they were then subjected to a selection process. SS doctors carried out this selection. Usually, those aged over 14 years of age and deemed ‘fit’ for work were sent to one side of the unloading ramp; the rest were sent to the other side. The elderly and women with children were sent directly to the line of prisoners who were condemned to death in the gas chambers. Those Jews selected for work were sent to a separate building for registration. Prisoners would be registered, before undressing, placing their clothes on a hook, together with their shoes. They would then be tattooed with a registration number, shaved of all body hair, disinfected and forced through showers that were either extremely cold or painfully hot.