By 1945, the Germans and their allies and collaborators killed nearly two out of every three Jews as part of the "Final Solution." The "Final Solution" was the Nazi policy to murder the Jews of Europe.
The Holocaust was the state-sponsored mass murder of millions of Jewish people by the Nazi regime during WWII. The word comes from the Greek word “holokauston,” which refers to a sacrifice by fire
Jewish people were excluded from public life on September 15th, 1935 when the Nuremberg Laws were issued. These laws also stripped German Jews of their citizenship and their right to marry Germans.
Starting in 1939, the Nazi government ordered all Jewish people to wear a yellow Star of David on their clothing. The tactic isolated Jews from the rest of society and made it easier for them to be identified and targeted.
The Nazis constructed over 44,000 incarceration sites, which included detention centers, forced-labor camps, and killing centers. They functioned independent of any judicial review, and torture, starvation, and mass murder were frequent.
Appoximately 6 million Jewish people died during the Holocaust, and nearly a third of them died within the span of three months during the killing campaign Operation Reinhard. Ultimately, two-thirds of all Jewish people living in Europe during World War II were killed by the Nazi regime.
In 1953, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) made Yom HaShoah a national holiday to remember those murdered during the Holocaust and recognize the achievements of its survivors and refugees. It occurs on the 27th day of the month of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar. Today, Yom HaShoah is also observed abroad, typically by Jews at synagogues and other community events.
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