Interactive Outline: Holocaust


PART A (first day)

Skim through the outline below and check out the hypertext links throughout; you should notice some material is directly related to the earlier "Rise & Fall of the Weimar Republic" lecture.

PART B (second day)

1. Access "The Holocaust: An Historical Summary".

2. Answer the follow-up questions at Funbrain
(secret word = globalinks - quiz = IO-Holocaust)

Holocaust Background Notes

I. What was the Holocaust?

A. Definition of genocide:
"Systematic elimination of a group of people based on
some invalid criteria (ie: race, religion, creed, etc.)

B. Definition of pogrom:
"Organized massacre of helpless people"

C. Review of statistics*
1. over six million Jews killed
2. nine to ten million others killed
a. gypsies
b. Poles
c. Slavs
d. others
(*NOTE: Actual figures are impossible to calculate for many

D. Sequence of events
1. 1918--World War I ends in German defeat
1919--Weimar Republic established; Treaty of
is signed
2. 1922--inflation, unemployment peak
3. 1923--Beer Hall Putsch fails; Hitler put on trial &
imprisoned, writes Mein Kampf
4. 1925--Paul von Hindenburg becomes Weimar president
5. 1929--Great Depression
6. 1933--Hitler named Chancellor by President Hindenburg
--Reichstag Fire gives Hitler excuse to establish
dictatorship via emergency powers of Enabling Act
--boycotts against Jews begin; first concentration
camp (Dachau) is established
7. 1935--Nuremberg Laws are passed, defining German
citizenship AND establishing rights for citizens
8. 1938--"Kristallnacht" (organized rioting against Jewish-
owned businesses and places of worship)
9. 1941--World War II begins
--deportations of German Jews begin; massacres in
Odessa, Kiev (Poland)
10. 1942--Jewish resistance movement begins
11. 1943--Warsaw Ghetto uprising by Jews gives Nazis excuse
to begin "Final Solution" (extermination) on large
11. 1944--D-Day; liberation of concentration camps begins
12. 1945--World War II ends; Nuremberg War Crimes trials begin

II. How did it happen?

A. Treaty of Versailles
1. weakened economy
a. reparations (payment for war damages)
b. occupied territories surrendered (Rhineland, colonies)
2. forced Germany to take all blame for WWI

B. Weaknesses of Weimar Republic (A) (B)
1. continued support for Emperor ("Kaiser") Wilhelm
2. blame for losing WWI, Treaty of Versailles
3. many parties fighting for control; weak coalitions
a. Independent Socialists (communist)
b. Social Democrats (democratic)
c. Nazis (nationalist)
4. Free Corps
5. weak leadership/Hindenburg

C. Economic chaos (A) (B)
1. Loss of WWI/Treaty of Versailles
a. occupied territories had to be returned
b. no foreign investment
c. rise in post-war unemployment
2. inflation (1921-22)
3. Great Depression=economic collapse

D. Rise of Fascism movement & Nazi Party (National Socialists)
1. Definition:
a. reactionary nationalism
b. conservatism/autrhoritarianism
c. adoption/distortion of ideologies akin to anti-Semitism
2. provided needed "scapegoats" to save German pride
(strong "anti-foreigner" feelings)
3. made Germans feel superior ("Aryan Race" concept
a source of unity)
4. Nazi promises of economic improvement

8E. Adolf Hitler & the Nazi Party
1. seen as "passionate, strong, charismatic speaker
2. effective use of propaganda
3. German need for "radical" change
4. expansionist ideas popular with Germans
5. use of power as chancellor to become Fueher ("Father",
a. "emergency powers" via Enabling Act used to eliminate
poitical opposition
b. political deals lead to right-wing coalition power base
c. establishment of "private army"
(1) Gestapo (secret state police)
(2) S.A. ("brown shirts", large private army)
(3) S.S. (Hitler's bodygaurds)