"Final Solution" is a shortened version of the Nazi term, "the Final Solution of the Jewish Question," (die Endlösung der Judenfrage), which refers to the systematic mass destruction of Europe's Jews.
German word for roll call square where prisoners were forced to assemble.
The Generalgouvernement (General Government) was a German zone of occupation in Poland. It included the part of German-occupied Poland that was not directly annexed to Germany, attached to German East Prussia, or incorporated into the German-occupied Soviet Union.
A concentration camp prisoner selected to oversee other prisoners on labor details. The term is often used to describe any concentration camp prisoner to whom the SS gave authority over other prisoners.
German word for detachment, such as a detachment of concentration camp prisoners at forced labor.
Russian word meaning “to wreak havoc, to demolish violently.” Historically, the term refers to violent attacks, usually planned, by local non-Jewish populations on Jews.
Star of David
Six-pointed star often used as a symbol of the Jewish religion. The Nazis transformed this religious and cultural symbol into a badge for identifying, segregating, and humiliating Jews.
A procedure that destroys the ability of a person to reproduce. During the 1930s, around 400,000 Germans were sterilized in the name of improving the German nation and purifying “Aryan” racial stock. Sterilizations were also performed on thousands of concentration camp inmates in the 1940s.
eastern region of Czechoslovakia until March 1939, when it was immediately annexed by Hungary following the dismemberment of the Czechoslovak state. In 1946 it was incorporated into the Soviet republic of Ukraine.
Territory comprising the western, northern, and southern border regions of the former Czechoslovakia, long inhabited by ethnic Germans. The goal of annexing this contested region became central to Adolf Hitler's foreign policy in the 1930s. A negotiated settlement between Great Britain, France, Italy, and Nazi Germany in September of 1938—known as the Munich Agreement—ceded control of the Sudetenland to Nazi Germany in exchange for Hitler's guarantee that he would seek no further territorial gains in Europe.
In Judaism, a house of worship and learning.
Transit camps functioned as temporary holding facilities for Jews awaiting deportation. These camps were usually the last stop before deportation to a killing center.
The German term "Volksgemeinschaft" can be translated literally as "folk community." The Nazis used this term to refer to race-conscious “Aryan” Germans who accepted, obeyed, and conformed with Nazi ideology and social norms.
The Reichsgau Wartheland (the Warthegau) was a territory of Poland occupied by Nazi Germany in September of 1939 and incorporated directly into the Third Reich. Taking its name from the Warta River in what is today western Poland, the province had previously formed part of the German state of Prussia, covering almost 17,000 square miles. Its 4,922,000 inhabitants included approximately 385,000 Jews and 325,000 ethnic Germans. In November 1939, the industrial city of Lodz, renamed Litzmannstadt by the German occupation authorities, was incorporated into the territory. In December 1941, the first functioning Nazi killing center, Chelmno (Kulmhof) was set up in the Warthegau to carry out the mass murder of the Jews and Roma (Gypsies) from the Lodz ghetto.
The yellow star was a badge featuring the Star of David (a symbol of Judaism) used by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust as a method of identifying Jews.
A highly poisonous insecticide originally used to kill rats and insects. When exposed to air, Zyklon B pellets converted into lethal gas. This proved to be the quickest gassing method and was chosen as the means of mass murder at Auschwitz.
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