Nazi Extermination of the Jews (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: Nazi extermination of the Jews is begun in an effort to achieve Hitler’s goal of eradicating the Jewish race, resulting in the deaths of six million Jews from Germany and from areas of Europe occupied by the German armed forces.
Summary of Event
The Nazi extermination of European Jews during World War II was the outgrowth of Adolf Hitler’s violent persecution of Germany’s Jews through tactics that began with his ascent to power in 1933. Deprived of their political rights, occupations, and property, the Jews in Germany suffered physical violence, mental anguish, exile, and death at the hands of the Nazis. On January 30, 1939, Hitler predicted that the coming world war would bring “the annihilation of the Jewish race throughout Europe.” World War II began seven months later on September 1, when Hitler’s armed forces invaded Poland. Simultaneously, the Nazis initiated policies and programs they hoped would bring about the extermination of the Jews.
At the time of the Nazi invasion of Poland, Reinhard Heydrich was placed in charge of German actions affecting the Jews in Poland, who comprised about two million of the Polish population in 1939. They had, during medieval and early modern times, been driven to Poland because of persecution and expulsion from Western Europe. Moreover, Polish borders as redrawn after World War I included many Jews. Heydrich first began to deal with them...
(The entire section is 2045 words.)
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