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Intro To The Holocaust  
The Holocaust

The genocide did not begin in Germany, but in Eastern Europe, where the vast majority of Europe’s Jews lived. Hitler’s armies invaded Poland in 1939 and forced the Jews living there to move into ghettos, areas designed to confine and segregate, where they could be easily controlled. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the mass murder of Jews began in earnest, with the mobilization of killing squads which rounded up and executed Jews [insert photo PND08], Soviet, prisoners of war, inmates of mental hospitals and Gypsies.

The “Final Solution,” the euphemism given to the policy of killing European Jews in extermination camps, was established at the conference of Nazi leaders at Wannsee in 1942. After Wannsee, some of the concentration camps which the Germans had established in Eastern Europe since 1933 became extermination camps. New camps were also built specifically for mass killing. The camps killed Jews and other prisoners in horrific numbers until the Allies invaded Germany in 1945. In all, six million Jews from Eastern, Central and Western Europe died as a result of Nazi policies, either in the gas chambers of the concentration camps, the killing squads, or by starvation and disease.

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