to and discrimination against Jews.
Blood Libel: An
allegation, recurring during the thirteenth through sixteenth centuries,
that Jews were killing Christian children to use their blood for the ritual
of making unleavened bread (matzah). A red mold which occasionally appeared
on the bread started this myth.
British White Paper of
1939: British policy of restricting immigration of Jews to Palestine.
Bystander: One who is
present at some event without participating in it.
Cooperation between citizens of a country and its occupiers.
camps were prisons used without regard to accepted norms of arrest and
detention. They were an essential part of Nazi systematic oppression.
Initially (1933-36), they were used primarily for political prisoners. Later
(1936-42), concentration camps were expanded and non-political
prisoners--Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and Poles--were also incarcerated. In
the last period of the Nazi regime (1942-45), prisoners of concentration
camps were forced to work in the armament industry, as more and more Germans
were fighting in the war. Living conditions varied considerably from camp to
camp and over time. The worst conditions took place from 1936-42, especially
after the war broke out. Death, disease, starvation, crowded and unsanitary
conditions, and torture were a daily part of concentration camps.
Death camp: Nazi
extermination centers where Jews and other victims were brought to be killed
as part of Hitler's Final Solution.
Death marches: Forced
marches of prisoners over long distances and under intolerable conditions
was another way victims of the Third Reich were killed. The prisoners,
guarded heavily, were treated brutally and many died from mistreatment or
were shot. Prisoners were transferred from one ghetto or concentration camp
to another ghetto or concentration camp or to a death camp.
Nazi policy of denying Jews basic civil rights such as practicing religion,
education, and adequate housing.
Desecrating the Host:
Jews were accused of defiling the Host, the sacred bread used in the
Eucharist ritual, with blood. The red substance that can grow on bread which
has a blood-like appearance is now known to be a mold. This allegation was
used as the reason for a series of antisemitic attacks.
Final Solution (The
final solution to the Jewish question in Europe): A Nazi euphemism
for the plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe.
Ghettos: The Nazis
revived the medieval term ghetto to describe their device of concentration
and control, the compulsory "Jewish Quarter." Ghettos were usually
established in the poor sections of a city, where most of the Jews from the
city and surrounding areas were subsequently forced to reside. Often
surrounded by barbed wire or walls, the ghettos were sealed. Established
mostly in eastern Europe (e.g., Lodz, Warsaw, Vilna, Riga, or Minsk)the
ghettos were characterized by overcrowding, malnutrition, and heavy labor.
All were eventually dissolved, and the Jews murdered.
from the Greek holokaustonwhich meant a sacrifice totally burned by
fire. Today, the term refers to the systematic planned extermination of
about six million European Jews and millions of others by the Nazis between
Nuremberg Laws: The
Nuremberg Laws were announced by Hitler at the Nuremberg Party conference,
defining 'Jew' and systematizing and regulating discrimination and
persecution. The "Reich Citizenship Law" deprived all Jews of their civil
rights, and the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor"
made marriages and extra-marital sexual relationships between Jews and
Germans punishable by imprisonment.
Prejudice: A judgment
or opinion formed before the facts are known. In most cases, these opinions
are founded on suspicion, intolerance, and the irrational hatred of other
races, religions, creeds, or nationalities.
Non-Jewish people who, during the Holocaust, risked their lives to save
Jewish people from Nazi persecution. Today, a field of trees planted in
their honor at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Israel,
commemorates their courage and compassion.
Scapegoat: Person or
group of people blamed for crimes committed by others.
generalizations about a group based on hearsay, opinions, and distorted,
Organized group acting in secrecy to oppose government, or, during war, to
resist occupying enemy forces.
A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust
Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology,
College of Education, University of South Florida © 2005.