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During World War II more than 6 million Jews were killed in a genocide known as the Holocaust. Adolf Hitler, the leader of Germany and the Nazi Party, was bitterly anti-Semitic and blamed the Jews for Germany's problems. He developed the "Final Solution," a plan to isolate and kill the Jews. The Nazis sent Jewish prisoners to concentration camps throughout Europe. Some camps were killing centers; others were internment and forced-labor camps.
Auschwitz - Birkenau, concentration and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II. From the 1942 Auschwitz became the largest site for the murder of Jews brought here under the Nazi plan for their extermination. More than 1,100,000 people lost their lives here.Many of those not killed in the gas chambers died of starvation, forced labor, infectious diseases, individual executions, and medical experiments.
Mass murders of civilians of occupied countries by Einsatzgruppen. Screening of prisoner of war camps and executing racial and political undesirables. The taking of recaptured prisoners of war to concentration camps, where in some cases they were executed. Establishing concentration camps and committing racial and political undesirables to concentration and annihilation camps for slave labor and mass murder. Deportation of citizens of occupied countries for forced labor and disciplining of force
This prisoner at the Langenstein concentration camp, freed by U.S. Ninth Army forces, lifts his prison uniform trousers to show his bony legs to Sergeant Alfred G. Ketter, Lawrence, Massachusetts, one of the Ninth Army Liberators. The prisoner once weighed 190 lbs. At Langenstein the prisoners, Jews, Poles, French, and several Americans, held for political offenses, were forced to work an average of 12 hours per day, and when they became physically unable to do so, they were disposed of.
The crematorium at Majdanek concentration camp, Lublin, Nazi-occupied Poland, 1944. The liberation of Lublin in Poland by the Soviet Red Army in July 1944 also revealed a huge concentration camp and extermination camp, where the Nazis carried out mass murder on a vast scale. Victims of the camp included Poles, Jews of all nationalities, French, Greeks, Dutch, Italians, Belgians, Yugoslavians, Hungarians and anti-Nazi Republican Spaniards.
On Hitler's behalf, Himmler formed the Einsatzgruppen and built extermination camps. As facilitator and overseer of the concentration camps, Himmler directed the killing of some six million Jews, between 200,000 and 500,000 Romani people, and other victims; the total number of civilians killed by the regime is estimated at eleven to fourteen million people. Most of them were Polish and Soviet citizens.