Facts about the Holocaust:
This page has some information for kids about the Holocaust. It includes some photos and definitions of words.
The Holocaust was a terrible event that happened during World War II. From the late 1930s to the mid 1940s, the Nazis in Germany killed six million Jewish people, plus millions of other people, like Gypsies, Catholics, and the disabled. That’s like killing every single person in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston.
The Nazis killed all of these people because they were different, and the Nazis wanted everybody to be exactly the same – as they called it, “racially pure.”
The Holocaust happened because one group of powerful people was intolerant of other people who were different from them. Even though the Holocaust is an extreme example of hate, it is important to recognize that when you see someone being a bully, they are engaging in the same behavior that started the Holocaust.
This is Adolf Hitler. He was the leader of the Nazis in Germany from 1933-1945.
Hitler wanted to create a new and better Germany by ridding the country of all the Jewish people who lived there. He felt that they were the cause of Germany’s problems. He hated Jews and other groups of people who were not like him.
The Nazis and their Symbol of Fear:
This is a swastika, the Nazi symbol of terror. The Nazis were a political group who wore this symbol on their uniforms. They believed that Jews were evil and should be killed simply because they were different.
Jewish Star of David:
Hitler forced all Jews to wear this star on their clothes so that everyone could see they were Jewish and he felt they should all be captured, arrested, or killed.
Concentration camps were prisons that held Jews and other people that the Nazis hated. People in the concentration camps were forced to participate in slave labor and medical experiments, and most died from starvation or were killed by the Nazis. During World War II, millions of men, women, and children died in the concentration camps.
During the Holocaust, many brave Jews and non-Jews fought back against the brutal Nazi regime. The members of this resistance risked and sometimes gave their lives to save Jewish people. The resistance included people who hid Jews from the Nazis, saved Jews from the concentration camps, and spread news about the Holocaust to the United States and other countries. These people knew that they might be killed for opposing the Nazis, but they still fought for what was right. The bravest of the non-Jews who saved the lives of Jewish people are honored as the Righteous among the Nations.
In 1945, Germany lost World War II, and the concentration camps were liberated. This is a picture of one of the camps being liberated at the end of the War. Six million Jews died and 1.5 million children were killed, along with many other groups, just for being different.
• Anti-Semitism – The hatred of Jewish people, which dates back thousands of years.
• Propaganda – Using persuasion and untruths to change someone’s mind about something.
• Stereotype – Unfairly generalizing and lumping one person into a certain group of people.
• Prejudice – Not liking someone because of their ethnic race, religion, or other unique differences.
• Liberation – Freedom from oppression, to be set free by something or someone.