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Genocide: Armenian, Rwandan, Cambodian, and the Holocaust

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In this video, Professor Paul Bookbinder of UMass Boston gives a short overview of the Holocaust.

Jews arriving on the platform at Auschwitz, May 1944
Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-N0827-318 / CC-BY-SA 3.0

What was the Holocaust?

"The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews and others by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning "sacrifice by fire." The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were "racially superior" and that the Jews, deemed "inferior," were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community. 

During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived "racial inferiority": Roma (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals."

-United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

History of the Holocaust Step by Step

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Scholar Doris Bergen describes the phases of events that led to the Holocaust.

Primary Sources

Use Library of Congress subject heading to identify primary sources. From the "everything" dropdown select "Personal Narratives". 

For search terms try:
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) or

Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Poland -- Warsaw 
Holocaust Jewish (1939-1945) Polish
Use advanced search: SUBJECT Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) and KEYWORD diaries
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Personal narratives -- History and criticism for books about diary writing during the Holocaust.

eBooks: Click to Read

Rescuing the Children : A Holocaust Memoir Vivette Samuel, Charles B. Paul, and Elie Wiesel
The Holocaust Encyclopedia
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young girl
Traces by Ida Fink
Music in the Holocaust by Shirli Gilbert
Bearing Witness : A Resource Guide to Literature, Poetry, Art, Music and Videos by Holocaust Victims and Survivors Philip Rosen and Nina Apfelbaum
We Only Know Men : The Rescue of Jews in France During the Holocaust Patrick Henry
The Holocaust : Memories and History Victoria Khiterer, Ryan Barrick, and David Misal
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945, Volume II : Ghettos in German-Occupied Eastern Europe Geoffrey P. Megargee, Martin Dean, and Christopher R. Browning
Collected Memories : Holocaust History and Postwar Testimony Christopher R. Browning
Holocaust : The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews Peter Longerich
Hidden : A Sister and Brother in Nazi Poland Fay Walker, Leo Rosen, and Caren S. Neile
Hitler's willing executioners : ordinary Germans and the Holocaust by Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah
Hitler Michael Lynch
Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution Ian Kershaw
How Was It Possible? : A Holocaust Reader Peter Hayes
Hitler: Profiles in Power Ian Kershaw
Hitler Youth
Bonhoeffer : Outstanding Christian Thinkers Stephen Plant
Stauffenberg : A Family History, 1905-1944 Peter Hoffmann