The Holocaust: Number The Stars
36 Questions & Answers About the Holocaust
The Holocaust also called Ha-Shoah in Hebrew refers to the period from January 30, - when Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany - to May 8, , when the war in Europe officially ended. During this time, Jews in Europe were subjected to progressively harsher persecution that ultimately led to the murder of 6,, Jews 1. These deaths represented two-thirds of European Jewry and one-third of all world Jewry. After its defeat in World War I, Germany was humiliated by the Versailles Treaty, which reduced its prewar territory, drastically reduced its armed forces, demanded the recognition of its guilt for the war, and stipulated it pay reparations to the allied powers. With the German Empire destroyed, a new parliamentary government called the Weimar Republic was formed. The republic suffered from economic instability, which grew worse during the worldwide depression after the New York stock market crash in
While it is impossible to ascertain the exact number of Jewish victims, statistics indicate that the total was over 5,, Six million is the round figure accepted by most authorities. While it is impossible to ascertain the exact number, the recognized figure is approximately 5,,
In his best-known work, Night , Elie Wiesel describes his experiences and emotions at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust: the roundup of his family and neighbors in the Romanian town of Sighet; deportation by cattle car to the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau; the division of his family forever during the selection process; the mental and physical anguish he and his fellow prisoners experienced as they were stripped of their humanity; and the death march from Auschwitz-Birkenau to the concentration camp at Buchenwald, where his father died just days before American troops liberated the camp. Well-known for his writing about the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel is also a champion of human rights and an outspoken advocate for awareness of past and potential acts of genocide. In recognition of this work, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in He served as chairman of the President's Commission on the Holocaust and was a guiding force in the establishment of the Museum, which awarded him the inaugural United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Award, the Museum's highest honor, in for the singular role he has played in establishing and advancing the cause of Holocaust remembrance.