The Holocaust was the systematic annihilation of six million Jews by the Nazis during World War 2. In 1933 approximately nine million Jews lived in the 21 countries of Europe that would be occupied by Germany during the war. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been killed. The European Jews were the primary victims of the Holocaust. 

But Jews were not the only group singled out for persecution by Hitler’s Nazi regime. As many as one-half million Gypsies, at least 250,000 mentally or physically disabled persons, and more than three million Soviet prisoners-of-war also fell victim to Nazi genocide. Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, Social Democrats, Communists, partisans, trade unionists, Polish intelligentsia and other undesirables were also victims of the hate and aggression carried out by the Nazis.

The number of children killed during the Nazi genocide is not fathomable and full statistics for the tragic fate of children who died will never be known. Some estimates range as high as 1.5 million murdered children. This figure includes more than 1.2 million Jewish children, tens of thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of institutionalized handicapped children who were murdered under Nazi rule in Germany and occupied Europe.


In his book Sheltering The Jews the Holocaust historian Mordecai Paldiel later wrote:

"Never before in history had children been singled out for destruction for no other reason than having been born. Children, of course, were no match for the Nazis' mighty and sophisticated killing machine .."

The truth of the photographs of the crimes and atrocities included in this Holocaust/Shoah project needs to be shown. The photos may be of graphic nature and disturbing - before providing access to younger learners, parents and teachers should preview the sites and guide through what they may read and see.

 

 

Louis Bülow
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