The Holocaust

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What were the major steps in the murder of European Jews by the National Socialist regime from 1939-1945 (the end of the Nazi regime)?

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Hitler started his systematic plan to annhilate the Jews from  the early days of his office. 

1933-1939 Forced emigration-Two-thirds of all the Jews from Austria and German were forced to leave.

November 9, 1938-- Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass--Intended to terrorize Jewish inhabitants and storekeepers, thousands of synagogues and businesses were vandalized and looted.

Massive Propaganda blitz--Joseph Goebbels unleashes anti-semitic propaganda posters, ads, and speeches across radio and newspapers.

1939--Poland is invaded.  Hitler orders 2 million Polish Jews into ghettos in Poland; Warsaw alone had over 400,000 inhabitants.  The ghettos were more like prisons and were closely guarded by the S.S.

1940--Beginning of an extensive concentration camp complex in Auschwitz.  One German newspaper Der Sturmer, predicts: "the time is near when a machine will go into motion which is going to prepare a grave for the world's criminal — Judah —  from which there will be no resurrection."

Summer 1941--Heinrich Himmler contacts Rudolf Hess, commander of Auschwitz, reveals to him that "the Fuhrer [i.e, Hitler] has ordered the Final Solution of the Jewish Question. We, the S.S., have to carry out the order . . . . I have chosen Auschwitz for this purpose."

Sept. 3, 1941-- Nazis use Zyklon-B gas at Auschwitz for the first time.

January 1942--Wannsee Conference.  German Nazi officials plan and organize the "Final Solution"

1945-- Allied troops advance, and Nazis begin forced marches of prisoners away from the camps and approaching Allied forces. 



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