The abcs of the Holocaust

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The ABCs of the Holocaust

  1. Auschwitz- Concentration and extermination camp in upper Silesia, Poland. Established in 1940 as a concentration camp, it became an extermination camp in early 1942.

  2. Leo Baeck- rabbi, philosopher, and community leader. Deported to the ghetto of Terezin, where he became a member of the Council of Elders and spiritual leader of the Jews imprisoned there.

  3. Concentration Camps- the Nazis established these camps to imprison all of their enemies. This included Jews.

  4. Death March- Forced marches of camp prisoners from their current camps toward Germany during the German retreat which started after the Battle of Stalingrad (January 1943).

  5. Extermination Camps- Nazi camps for the mass killing of Jews and others.

  6. Final Solution- The cover name for the plan to destroy the Jews of Europe.

  7. Ghetto- The section of the city where all Jews from the surrounding areas were forced to reside.

  8. Holocaust- The destruction of some 6 million Jews by the Nazis and their followers in Europe between the years of 1933-1945. Lead by Adolf Hitler.

  9. Jewish Badge- a distinctive sign which Jews were compelled to wear in Nazi Germany. It took the form of a yellow star of David.

  10. Kapo- Prisoner in charge of a group of inmates in Nazi concentration camps.

  11. Lodz- city in Poland, where the first major ghetto was created.

  12. Josef Mengele- physician notorious for medical experiments. He selected new arrivals by simply pointing to the left or right, separating those considered able to work from those who were not. Those too weak or old were sent straight to the gas chambers.

  13. Nuremberg Laws- To anti-Jewish laws enacted in 1935. The first deprived them of their citizenship and rights.

  14. Ordnungsdienst - "order service" (German) - The ghetto police, which was made up of Jewish ghetto residents.

  15. Partisans- Irregular troops engaged in guerrilla warfare, often behind enemy lines. During World War II, this term was applied to resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied countries.

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  17. Righteous among the Nations- Term applied to those non-Jews who, at the risk of their own lives, saved Jews from their Nazi persecutors.

  18. Selection- Euphemism for the process of choosing victims for the gas chambers in the Nazi camps by separating them from those considered fit to work.

  19. Terezin- Established in early 1942 outside Prague as a "model" ghetto, Terezin was not a sealed section of town, but rather an eighteenth-century Austrian garrison.

  20. Umshlagplatz- Collection point. It was a square in the Warsaw Ghetto where Jews were rounded up for deportation to Treblinka.

  21. Vernichtungslager- "extermination camp" or "death camp" (German)

  22. Warsaw Ghetto- Established in November 1940, the ghetto, surrounded by a wall, confined nearly 500,000 Jews. Almost 45,000 Jews died there in 1941 alone, due to overcrowding, forced labor, lack of sanitation, starvation, and disease.

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  25. Zyklon B- Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) - The poison that was dropped in crystal form, through a small hole in the ceiling, into the gas chambers. The pellets turned into a lethal gas once in air. The first test using Zyklon B was on September 3, 1941 in Auschwitz.

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