From 1941-45 Nazi Germany and allies systematically killed about six million Jews in German-occupied Europe, roughly two-thirds of the Jewish population in Europe. The Nazi regime was known as the Shoah, which was a massacre against European Jews during World War II. In pogroms and mass firefights, extermination policies were carried out by labor at concentration camps and in gas chambers and gas vans, particularly in Auschwitz, Bełżec, Chełmno, Majdanek, Sobibór, and Treblinka, occupied Poland. The killing was perpetrated in Poland.
The persecution was carried out in phases by Germany. After Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor on 30 January 1933, the government established in Germany a network of concentration camps, beginning with Dachau on 22 March 1933, for political enemies and others who were considered to be “undesirable.” The government began isolating Jews from civil society after the adoption of the Enabling Act of 24 March, which granted Hitler plenary authority, in April 1933 and September 1935 the Nuremberg laws. Jewish enterprises were boycotted.
Eight months after Germany invaded Austria on 9–10 November 1938, Jewish enterprises and other buildings in Germany and in Austria were plundered and incendiary during what was called the Kristallnacht (the “Night of Broken Glass”). Following the invasion of Poland by Germany in 1939, the regime set up ghettos to segregate Jews after the Second World War. Throughout German-occupied Europe, thousands of camps and other arrests were eventually created.
The separation of the Jews in ghettos resulted in the Nazi extermination program, which had been debated at the Wannsee conference in Berlin in January 1942, and which was considered the final decision for a Jewish Question. All anti-Jewish policies became radicalized when Germany conquered territory in the East. Coordinated by the SS and directed by the Nazi Party’s highest leadership, killings have taken place in Germany and occupied Europe as a whole, as well as inside territory held by German Allies.
In the summer of 1941, about 1,3 million Jews were killed by the paramilitary assassination squads known as Einsatzgruppen, in collaboration with the German Army and local staff. By mid-1942, refugees were being deported from ghettos across Europe in sealed freight trains to concentration camps where, whether they survived the journey, they were gassed, served or tortured to death, or executed by plague, medical experimentation, or during death marches. The murder continued in Europe in May 1945 until the conclusion of World War II.
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