Where Did the Holocaust Take Place?

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The Holocaust took place primarily in Germany and Poland, but also in other countries that the Germans occupied during World War II. Concentration camps and violence against Jews spread through Central and Eastern Europe as the Nazi government took over more of the country, until the end of the war in 1945.

The Holocaust is known as one of the greatest tragedies of human history. Led by Adolf Hitler, the Nazi party rose to power in Germany and attacked surrounding European nations. The party’s agenda was to eliminate what in their opinion were “inferior humans,” referring to Aryan people as the superior race. The Holocaust spanned from 1937 to 1945.

As the control of the Nazis spread throughout Europe, concentration camps were built in the neighboring countries of Poland, Austria, and Ukraine. Elsewhere in Europe, further atrocities were committed against the Jews. In 1941, more than 100,000 Jews were killed near the Ukraine capitol of Kiev, when they were rounded up and executed.

Some debate exists regarding how to define the geographical limits of the Holocaust. While it is commonly thought that the killing was limited to Central and Eastern Europe, France is considered by some to be complicit in the atrocities. A fascist movement in France called Vichy France aided in rounding up and transporting French Jews to German concentration camps. Other countries such as Bulgaria and Romania were considered to be complicit with the actions of the Holocaust.