When and what was the Holocaust?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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12y ago

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The Holocaust official began on the night called Kristallnacht. There were also rules that lead up to this day forbidding Jews or some certain rights. In the end the holocuast began in 1939.

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12y ago
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12y ago

The Holocaust was the murder of 6 million European Jews, and 5 million Gentiles during World War 2. It started in 1941 and ended when world war 2 ended.

The start date and end date are debateable: - the fist signs of persecution were seen already in 1933 - the first killings (because of the victims being Jewish) were in 1938 - the first deportations (because of religion) were in 1941 - the first organised killings (because of the victims being Jewish) were in 1941 - people still died because of the treatment which they received well past the end of the war - the mental effects of their suffering affected them for the rest of their lives.

It is often mistakenly called a genocide, but as there were survivors, that term does not apply. The term 'Holocaust' and exactly what it refers to is not agreed upon.


"It is often mistakenly called a genocide, but as there were survivors, that term does not apply". This view is based on a pedantic, etymological interpretation of the word 'genocide'. The meaning of a word is its use in the language, not its etymology. The term 'genocide' was created in 1943 by Rafael Lemkin to denote what the Nazis were doing to the Jews at the time. 'There is a crime for which we have no name', he commented. Historians who specialize in the history of the Holocaust also use the term 'genocide'. Surely you're not suggesting that they are ignorant?

It's also worth taking a look at the international convention on genocide. Please see link.

Incidentally, a narrowly etymological definition would allow anyone and any group intending to commit genocide to avoid the charge by leaving a handful of survivors.

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Q: When and what was the Holocaust?
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