The Holocaust affected many countries, but Hitler was primarily focused on eradicating Jewish civilians from European countries occupied by Nazi Germany. The most affected countries include Germany, Austria, Poland, Italy and several countries within the Soviet Union.Continue Reading
Jews were identified by the Nazis as those with three or four Jewish grandparents or a "mixed breed" with two Jewish grandparents. They were "marked" during this time by the yellow star they were forced to wear on their clothing.
After Poland was occupied in 1941, Jewish civilians from various countries were sent to concentration camps in Belzec, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Chelmno and three other Polish camps in large numbers. Once there, the displaced Jews, as well as large numbers of homosexuals and weak or disabled civilians, were forced into hard labor, although only Jews were killed using poisonous gas in large gas chambers. From 1941 to 1945, over 6 million European Jews were murdered by Hitler's Nazi regime. This mass murder is known as the Holocaust.
The lasting effects of the Holocaust on the Jewish survivors of the concentration camps include a lack of monetary wealth, displaced family, emotional distress from loss of family members and more. In 1945 and 1946, the Allies held the Nuremberg Trials to punish those Germans involved in war crimes. Pressure to find a homeland for the Holocaust survivors led to the mandate for the creation of Israel in 1948.Learn more about World War 2