Holocaust was the systematic
annihilation of six million Jews by the Nazis during World War 2.
In 1933 approximately nine million Jews lived in the 21 countries
of Europe that would be occupied by Nazi Germany during the war.
By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been killed.
But Jews were not the only group singled out for persecution by Adolf
Hitler’s Nazi regime. As many as one-half million Gypsies,
at least 250,000 mentally or physically disabled persons, and more
than three million Soviet prisoners-of-war also fell victim to
Nazi genocide. Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, Social
Democrats, Communists, partisans, trade unionists, Polish
intelligentsia and other undesirables were also victims of
the hate and aggression carried out by the Nazis.
The number of children
killed during the Holocaust is not fathomable and full statistics
for the tragic fate of children who died will never be known. Some
estimates range as high as 1.5 million murdered children. This
figure includes more than 1.2 million Jewish children, tens of
thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of handicapped children.
The world outside Nazi Europe received numerous press reports in
the 1930s about the persecution of Jews. By 1942 the governments
of the United States and Great Britain had confirmed reports about
Solution - Germany's intent to kill all the Jews of
Europe. However, influenced by anti-Semitism and fear of a massive
influx of refugees, neither country modified their refugee
politics. No specific attempts to stop or slow the genocide were
made until mounting pressure eventually forced the United States
to undertake limited rescue efforts in 1944.
In Europe, rampant anti-Semitism incited citizens of many
German-occupied countries to collaborate with the Nazis in their
genocidal policies. There were, however, individuals
and groups in every occupied nation who, at great personal risk,
helped hide those targeted by the Nazis.
One nation, Denmark,
saved most of its Jews in a nighttime rescue operation in 1943 in
which Jews were ferried in fishing boats to safety in neutral