Adolph Hitler was a man who became the leader of the country of Germany in Europe in the 1930's. He was head of a group of people called Nazis. They thought that only healthy, intelligent white people were acceptable. He wanted to get rid of or eliminate all others and make a 'pure' race.
Hitler wanted to rule the world by conquering at first all the European countries. The countries of Europe tried to prevent Hitler from capturing their countries. This created a war called World War II which began in 1939 when Hitler invaded Poland. Eventually the United States tried to help the European countries.
Adolph Hitler did not like the Jewish people. He thought they were responsible for many of Germany's problems. In 1933 he began his plans to get rid of all the human rights of the Jews. The Jewish people in Germany, Poland and other countries he captured were forced to wear yellow arm bands to show they were Jews. Their businesses were ruined.
Jews were put in separate living spaces called ghettoes. Living conditions in the ghettoes were very bad with very little food. The largest ghetto was in Warsaw, Poland. At one time, there were 445,000 Jews living there. These areas were usually fenced in. The Jews could not leave.
Hitler made many laws against the Jews. A Jew could not marry a non-Jew. German Jews lost the right to be citizens. Jewish doctors could not treat non-Jews. Jewish children could not go to school, have a pet or ride a bicycle. In November, 1938, the Nazis destroyed thousands of Jewish businesses in Germany and Poland in many towns and cities all in one or two nights. This was called the 'Night of Broken Glass'. Thousands of Jews were arrested.
Hitler wanted to kill all the Jews. First, he took them off in trains to places he called concentration camps. The Jews were told they were being taken off to work camps. Hitler's men ordered many of them to be killed when they arrived at these camps. The camps were in Poland, Russia, Czechoslovakia and Germany. There were six major camps. In all, Hitler had about 6 million Jews killed, including men, women and children. He also had killed millions of other types of people he didn't like.
This action by Hitler when millions of Jews were killed was called the Holocaust. Holocaust means 'wholly burned by fire.' Most of the Jews were killed by being put into large rooms which were then filled with deadly gas. The people died and their bodies were buried or burned. All their valuable items were taken off their bodies.
People who were not Jews tried to help hide Jews they knew. They built secret places in their homes and brought them food. However, if these people were discovered, they would be killed also.
Before the war, 9 million Jews lived in Europe. After the war, only 3 million remained. Some Jews were lucky enough to escape during the early years of Hitler. Some people in the camps survived. The United States helped France and England to defeat Hitler in the war. They went to the extermination camps in 1945 and set free the people left alive.
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