Members of the student organizations protesting in 1968. Cambridge Dictionary

Adolf Eichmann

Adolf Eichmann was one of the most pivotal actors in the implementation of the “Final Solution.” Charged with managing and facilitating the mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and killing centers in the German-occupied East, he was among the major organizers of the Holocaust. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


The immigration of Jews from the diaspora to the Land of Israel historically, which today includes the modern State of Israel. Wikipedia

Aliyat Hano’ar

“Youth Immigration” (Hebrew) is a Jewish organization that rescued thousands of Jewish children from the Nazis during the Third Reich. Youth Aliyah arranged for their resettlement in 
Palestine (Eretz Israel) in kibbutzim and youth villages that became both home and school. Wikipedia

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)

“On November 27, 1914, they founded the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC or "Joint"). Originally the result of a merger of two newly established relief committees, the largely Reformed American Jewish Relief Committee and the Orthodox Central Relief Committee, the JDC was joined by a third committee, the People's Relief Committee, composed of labor and socialist groups, in early 1915. The initial purpose of the Joint was to raise and distribute funds to help support the Jewish populations of eastern Europe and the near east during World War I.”  United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


The Anschluss was the German Annexation of Austria. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Anti-miscegenation laws

Laws that “enforce racial segregation at the level of marriage and intimate relationships by criminalizing interracial marriage and sometimes also criminalizing sex between members of different races." Wikipedia


Discrimination, prejudice, hostility, or violence against Jews as Jews (or Jewish institutions as Jewish).  Jerusalem Declaration, 2021.  Antisemitism is a human rights issue; Antisemitism is not a ‘Jewish Problem’ or simply a problem for Jews. Another definition: prejudice or discrimination against (or hatred of) Jews. Echoes and Reflections 2020. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, IHRA, created a more elaborate working definition of antisemitism. Note that Nazi antisemitism was a form of racism because Nazi law and ideologies treated Jews as a race.

Arusha Accords

This 1993 agreement aimed to end the conflict between the Rwandan parties that comprises all the agreements achieved through the peace process as an integral part of it. The agreement establishes a Transitional Government and sets out a time frame for implementation. United Nations Peacemaker


A member of the peoples (not to be regarded as a race) speaking any of the languages of the Indo‐European (especially Indo‐Iranian) family. The idea current in the 19th century of an Aryan race was taken up by nationalistic, historical, and romantic writers, such as the French writer and social theorist Joseph‐Arthur, Comte de Gobineau (1816–82), who linked it with the theory of the essential inferiority of certain races. The term ‘Aryan race’ was later revived and used for purposes of political propaganda in Nazi Germany. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


“Aryanization” (in German, Arisierung) refers to the transfer of Jewish-owned property to non-Jews in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. It aimed to transfer Jewish-owned economic enterprises to “Aryan,” (meaning non-Jewish) ownership. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.


Although strictly speaking, “Ashkenazim” refers to Jews of Germany, the term has come to refer more broadly to Jews from Central and Eastern Europe. Jews first reached the interior of Europe by following trade routes along waterways during the eighth and ninth centuries. My Jewish Learning


Located in German-occupied Poland, Auschwitz consisted of three camps including a killing center. The camps were opened over the course of nearly two years, 1940-1942. Auschwitz closed in January 1945 with its liberation by the Soviet army. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Auschwitz albums

Collection of photos showing everyday life for perpetrators and victims of the deadliest site of mass murder. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum / Rowman and Littlefield

Auschwitz I

The first camp established near Oświęcim, Poland, began construction in April 1940 in an abandoned Polish army barracks. Forced prison labor built and expanded the camp, which first received prisoners on May 20, 1940. Like most Nazi concentration camps, Auschwitz I was used:

1. To indefinitely incarcerate perceived enemies.

2. To supply forced laborers for SS-owned construction-related enterprises (and, later, for armaments and other war-related production).

3. To serve as a site to kill targeted groups of the population who were deemed threatening to Nazi German national security.

Auschwitz I was the site of many forms of brutality, including human medical experimentation in its 'hospital.' United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Auschwitz II: Auschwitz-Birkenau

The Auschwitz II camp (also known as Auschwitz-Birkenau) included the most infamous killing center of the Holocaust. Its gate and rail terminals, like cattle cars and piles of remains, have become iconic images of Nazi crimes. The camp was fenced into ten sections, with sections and barracks therein for men, women, and two family camps, one for Roma. Prisoners were continually subjected to horrifying conditions and abuses, including 'selection' for death (both on arrival and every day thereafter). Gas chambers and a growing number of crematoria were built and operated within this site, leading some to describe this or other death camps as killing factories. Murder was 'modernized' and industrialized with use of poison gas; handling of human remains was done by forced laborers. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Auschwitz III: Monowitz

Auschwitz III, also known as Buna-Monowitz, was the largest subcamp of the Auschwitz complex. When it opened in 1942, Jewish prisoners were sent to the camp and used as slave labor, undergoing arduous work conditions. Many died at the camp due to the precarious living conditions, and others were sent to their deaths in Birkenau. Music and the Holocaust

Auschwitz Trials

"Most SS and other personnel who had served at the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex were never brought to justice. Only sixty-three of the approximately 7,000 SS personnel who served... were tried after the war. The first Auschwitz trial took place in Cracow, Poland, in...1947... The second trial took place in Frankfurt, Germany, between 1963 and 1965." Yad Vashem, 2022.


The Auschwitz II camp (also known as Auschwitz-Birkenau) included the most infamous killing center of the Holocaust.  It's gate and rail terminals, like cattle cars and piles of remains, have become iconic images of Nazi crimes. The camp was fenced into ten sections, with sections and barracks therein for men, women, and two family camps, one for Roma.  Prisoners were continually subject to horrifying conditions and abuses, including 'selection' for death (both on arrival and every day thereafter). Gas chambers and a growing number of crematoria were built and operated within this site, leading some to describe this or other death camps as killing factories. Murder was 'modernized' and industrialized with use of poison gas; handling of human remains was done by forced laborers. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.


“Expressionist dance,” (German) The term Ausdruckstanz became common usage after World War II to designate a widespread dance practice in the early and middle decades of the 20th century that flourished in German-speaking Europe. Ausdruckstanz emerged from the life reform movement of the early 20th century that promoted diverse practices of physical culture as a way of contesting the industrialization and urbanization of modern life. Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism


Authoritarianism is a form of government characterized by the rejection of political plurality, the use of a strong central power to preserve the political status quo, and reductions in the rule of law, separation of powers, and democratic voting. Wikipedia

Axis Powers

The coalition headed by Germany, Italy, and Japan that opposed the Allied powers in World War II. Britannica.

Battle of Britain

Term for the German air attack on the United Kingdom from September 1940 through May 1941, repelled by Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF). United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

BDM League of German Girls

In 1936, membership in Nazi youth groups became mandatory for all boys and girls between the ages of ten and seventeen. After-school meetings and weekend … trips trained children to become faithful to the Nazi Party and the future leaders of the National Socialist state. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


To carry out the mass murder of Europe's Jews, the SS established killing centers devoted exclusively or primarily to the destruction of human beings in gas chambers. Bełżec was among these killing centers. It was one of three killing centers linked to Operation Reinhard, the SS plan to murder almost two million Jews living in the German-administered territory of occupied Poland called the General Government United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


A Nazi concentration camp in northern Germany.  It was originally a POW camp, but parts transitioned to a concentration camp in 1943. Wikipedia


A personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment. Bias is a synonym of prejudice, which means: (1) a preconceived judgment or opinion, or (2) an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge. Merriam-Webster


German ‘lightning war’ strategy of driving a wedge into and through a narrow front, encircling and disrupting enemy forces, which was used to defeat Poland and nine European opponents. Tactics included division and dual occupation: the division and conquering of Poland in 1939 by Germany, followed by dual occupation (eastern Poland by USSR) United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Broučci is a classic children's book by Jan Karafiát published in Czech in the early 1870s. The title is the Czech word for beetles, and the word is also used for "traditional Czech figures of fairylike insect people" such as the characters in the book. In English, the title is often translated as Fireflies. Wikipedia


Brundibár is an opera written for children, composed in 1938 by Hans Krása, with lyrics by Adolf Hoffmeister, as an entry for a children’s opera competition. In July 1943, the score of Brundibár was smuggled into [Theresienstadt], where it was re-orchestrated by Krása for the various instrumentalists who were available to play at that time. The premiere of the Terezín version took place on 23 September 1943 in the hall of the Magdeburg barracks…the same production was performed for the inspection of Terezín by the International Red Cross in September 1944. Music and the Holocaust


One of the largest concentration camps established within Germany in 1937. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


The German federal parliament, which is the only federal representative body directly elected by the German people. Wikipedia


Also known as Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, it is the only federal decoration of Germany. Wikipedia


A witness to events; one who is present but not taking part in what is occurring. USHMM Holocaust Encyclopedia


One of the factors of production (alongside the other factors: land and labor), used to produce more wealth through profit. Wikipedia


People who practiced caring or compassionate behavior (sometimes secretly) for Jews and other people persecuted during the Holocaust, often offering "humane acts on behalf of others." Such acts were part of spiritual resistance and "stealth altruism." Nechama Tec and Arthur Shostak.

CFLN, le (Comité français de Libération nationale)

The Comité français de Libération nationale (French) or "French Committee of National Liberation", was a provisional government of Free France formed by the French generals Henri Giraud and Charles de Gaulle to provide united leadership, organize, and coordinate the campaign to liberate France from Nazi Germany during World War II…The committee directly challenged the legitimacy of the Vichy regime and unified all the French forces that fought against the Nazis and collaborators. The committee… evolved into the Provisional Government of the French Republic, under the premiership of Charles de Gaulle. Wikipedia

Chamber Music

Music written for and performed by a small instrumental ensemble. Chamber Music Columbus


Hitler's personal chancellery was "handling different issues pertaining to matters such as complaints against party officials, appeals from party courts, official judgments, clemency petitions by NSDAP fellows, and Hitler's personal affairs. The Chancellery of the Führer was also a key player in the Nazi euthanasia program." Wikipedia, 2022.


Established in December 1941, Chelmno was the first killing center for the mass murder of Jews. It was located in the Warthegau, the western part of prewar Poland annexed by Germany during World War II. Mostly Jews, but also Roma (Gypsies), were gassed in mobile gas vans at the Chelmno killing center. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Collaborator: Person or group “working jointly; in the context of war, it is often the act of cooperating traitorously with an enemy that is occupying one's country.” ADL Echoes and Reflections.

Collective consciousness

The set of shared beliefs, ideas, and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society. Wikipedia

Collective memory

The shared pool of memories, knowledge, and information of a social group that is significantly associated with the group's identity. Wikipedia


Colonialism is a practice of domination, which involves the subjugation of one people to another; involving significant permanent European settlement. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Comic books and comic strips, especially ones written for adults or of an underground or alternative nature Lexico

Concentration Camp

An isolated, circumscribed site with fixed structures designed to incarcerate civilians. Stone, 2017

Concentration camp system

“A variety of detention facilities to confine those (who German authorities) defined as political, ideological, or racial opponents of the regime.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Treaty signed between the Vatican and Nazi government on July 20, 1933. Wikipedia


The core–periphery (or center–periphery) model is a spatial metaphor which describes and attempts to explain the structural relationship between the advanced or metropolitan center and a less developed ‘periphery,’ either within a particular country, or (more commonly) the relationship between capitalist and developing societies. Encyclopedia

Courts Systems Post-1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda 

Those accused of participating in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda were primarily tried in one of three levels of court systems: the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Rwandan national courts, or local gacaca courts. ‘Gacaca’ is derived from a word in Kinyarwanda (for grass) and refers to a traditional mechanism for resolving local disputes that has been revived and adapted to ascertain what occurred during the Rwandan genocide and bring its perpetrators to justice.  Oxford Public International Law


An establishment or structure in which the bodies of the dead are cremated. The Nazis constructed crematoria at death camps or killing centers, such as Auschwitz) to dispose of the bodies of those murdered in the camps. Merriam-WebsterJewish Virtual Library


The first Nazi concentration camp, built near Munich, used to imprison political opponents (people accused as communists) starting in March 1933, after the February 27 fire in the Reichstag (the German legislative body). It was a site of forced (slave) labor and medical experiments. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Danish Women’s League for Peace and Freedom

A branch of the larger organization the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Danske Kvinders Fredskæde is the original name of the Danish branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Wikipedia

Dark Years (les Années noires)

The years following its liberation when France underwent the painful process of remembering, commemorating, and coming to grips with this difficult period in its history. Oxford University


"De-Judaization” of the Holocaust: Removing or minimizing discussion about Jewish or antisemitic persecution, while nationalizing a political discourse about Nazi atrocities. The Atlantic

Death Camp

Six death camps, Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Majdanek, and Auschwitz-Birkenau, were used to carry out the systematic mass murder of Jews as part of the ‘Final Solution.’ Murder through poison gassing was done by Nazi design first in gas vans and later in gas chambers. Source: Yad Vashem. See also: ‘Killing center.’

Death Marches

Forced relocation of camp inmates who were marched through rural areas (as ordered by Himmler) at the end of the war, as Red Army troops invaded Poland. These marches alerted rural residents to the atrocities the Nazis had been committing in the camps. United States Holocaust Memorial MuseumRowman and Littlefield

Defiant Requiem

Performances of Verdi’s Requiem mass conducted by Czech conductor Rafael Schachter in the Theresienstadt (Terezín) Concentration Camp. These performances were dramatic examples of courage and spiritual resistance to oppression and persecution. Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin is a concert drama based on testimonials from Terezin survivors, written by Murry Sidlin (conductor, Catholic University of America). Defiant Requiem Foundation


Deggendorf was a medium-sized Displaced Persons camp which housed approximately 2,000 Jewish Refugees from 1945 - 1949. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


To work to make a person lose their human qualities such as kindness, pity, etc.; to make people seem like objects rather than human beings. OED 2022


The expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. Wikipedia


Translated into English as “Germanness,” this term indicates the emphasis on a pure German national culture, free from alien and foreign influence. It became part of the idealized racially pure German community, and is part of the cultural nationalism that led to Nazism. Wikipedia

Dimensions in Testimony

A hologram projection that individuals can interact with to question and learn from a Holocaust witness. iWitness.

Dirty War

A period of state terrorism in Argentina, part of Operation Condor. Wikipedia

Discounted ‘atrocity stories’

Allied response to the Holocaust was limited in part by the perception that true accounts of horrific atrocities (mass killings, death camps,..) were exaggerated and false ‘atrocity stories.’ Rowman and Littlefield


The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex. Lexico


A subset of propaganda... false information that is spread deliberately to deceive people. Wikipedia

Displaced Person (‘DP’)

"A person who is forced to leave their home country because of war or persecution; a refugee." 10 million+ WWII and Holocaust DPs included refugees, fugitives, deportees,… who were expelled from their home countries, and flowed first into western (occupied) Germany, later west towards the US, France, and other nations, some to (future) Israel.  About 20,000 remained in Germany. Lexico

Displaced Persons Act

“President Harry S. Truman signed the Displaced Persons Act in June of 1948. The… DP Act seriously limited who was eligible to come to the US as Displaced Persons. The act created a very narrow official definition of a DP .....The act required people to receive medical clearance and secure sponsorship from an American citizen in order to come to the US." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Drancy Internment Camp

An internment camp located outside Paris.  Jews held there were later deported to extermination camps. Wikipedia

Echoes & Reflections

A leading Holocaust education organization that is a partnership between the Anti-Defamation League, the USC-Shoah Foundation and Yad Vashem. Echoes & Reflections


The Einsatzgruppen were special action groups (forces) of Nazi Security Police that followed the German army as it moved east, invading and occupying much of Europe. These ‘mobile killing squads,’ were best known for systematic murder of Jews in mass shooting operations on Soviet territory. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Enabling Act

(24 March 1933) “Allowed the Reich government to issue laws without the consent of Germany’s parliament, laying the foundation for the complete Nazification of German society... the ‘Law to Remedy the Distress of the People and the Reich.’ ” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Enemy Alien

“An enemy alien is any native, citizen, denizen or subject of any foreign nation or government with which a domestic nation or government is in conflict and who is liable to be apprehended, restrained, secured and removed’” Wikipedia

Entartete Kunst

Degenerate Art. Application of a biological term to the arts. Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, 2022

Episches Theater

Epic Theater. Performance Theory developed by Bertolt Brecht, discussed in the early 1920s and applied in his Lehrstücke “teaching plays.” The British Library, 2022

Eretz Israel

The term Eretz Israel, or Eretz Yisrael refers to the land of the children of Israel. Use of the term Eretz Israel began in the bible (II Kings 5:2) from the time the Israelite tribes began to live in the land. The land - or parts of it -had many other names, including Canaan, Yehuda, Judea, The Holy Land, Terra Sancta and Palestine. It is also referred to as the Promised Land based on God's often-repeated promise to Abraham and his descendants. Rossington Center for Education and Dialogue


A theory of "racial hygiene,” embraced and promoted by the Nazi German government, growing from a (now pseudo-) scientific movement that began at the turn of the 20th century. Eugenics “supporters lobbied for 'positive' eugenic efforts, including public policies... to maintain physically, racially, and hereditarily 'healthy' individuals... (including) motherhood training, and social welfare to 'deserving' families… Eugenics supporters hoped to encourage 'better' families to reproduce.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Euthanasia program

Disguised by the Latin term for “good death,” the Nazi program would select and kill people with disabilities, improving the ‘race’ and reducing financial and other burdens to society. ‘A rehearsal for... genocide.’ Rowman and Littlefield

Evian Conference

“A conference convened by President Roosevelt in July 1938 to discuss the problem of refugees. While thirty-two countries were represented at the conference in Evian-les-Bains, France, not much was accomplished, since most western countries were reluctant to accept Jewish refugees.” Echoes and Reflections.


To take somebody’s property and use it without permission. OED 2022


Fascism is a far-right political philosophy, or theory of government, that emerged in the early twentieth century. Fascism prioritizes the nation over the individual, who exists to serve the nation. While fascist movements could be found in almost every country following World War I, fascism was most successful in Italy and Germany. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Fake News

“Fake News” comprises “purposefully crafted, sensational, emotionally charged, misleading or totally fabricated information that mimics the form of mainstream news.” MIT Press

Final Solution

Term given to the [Nazi, German] program to murder all the Jews, formally initiated at the Wannsee Conference in January, 1942. The term derives from the Nazi identification of the Jews as a “problem.” Murder, henceforth, was to represent a “Final Solution." Jewish Partisans Education Fund (JPEF)

Final Solution of the Jewish Question ("Final Solution")

A Nazi code phrase referring to their systematic plan to murder every Jewish man, woman, and child in Europe. Echoes and Reflections Audio Glossary


Quick destruction by fire, metaphor representing rapid (1942-43) expansion of genocidal plans, technologies of annihilation, and explosion in murder rates through genocidal ‘actions,’ including those at sites of mass murders. Rowman and Littlefield

Forced labor

Forced labor played a crucial role in the wartime German economy. German military, SS, and civilian authorities brutally exploited Jews, Poles, Soviet civilians, and concentration camp prisoners for the war effort. Many forced laborers died as the result of ill-treatment, disease, and starvation. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


An advance hint of what is to come later in the story. Literary Devices


Leisure Time (or Free Time) Activities Council in the Terezín concentration camp which ran the day to day operations of the cultural activities in the camp. GHETTO THERESIENSTADT

FRG (GFR) = West Germany

“West Germany is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) between its formation in 1949 and German reunification through the accession of East Germany on October 3, 1990.” Wikipedia, 2022

Fuhrer (also spelled Fuehrer, Führer)

Meaning “leader,” the title used by Adolf Hitler to define his role of absolute authority in Germany’s Third Reich (1933–45). Encyclopedia Britannica, 2022


Those accused of participating in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda were primarily tried in one of three levels of court systems: the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Rwandan national courts, or local gacaca courts. ‘Gacaca’ is derived from a word in Kinyarwanda (for grass) and refers to a traditional mechanism for resolving local disputes that has been revived and adapted to ascertain what occurred during the Rwandan genocide and bring its perpetrators to justice. Oxford Public International Law

Gavrilo Princip

A Bosnian Serb student who at 19 years old assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, which contributed to the start of World War I. ORIGINS


Community based on personal social interactions, and the roles, values, and beliefs involved in such interactions Wikipedia, 2022


... any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:
- Killing members of the group;
- Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
- Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
- Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
- Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. United Nations

Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda (1994)

“Genocides have continued to happen since the Holocaust, for example in Rwanda in 1994. In 100 days, from April to July 1994, as many as one million people, mostly Tutsis, were massacred when a Hutu extremist-led government launched a plan to wipe out the country’s entire Tutsi minority and any others who opposed its policies.”  United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

German Invasion of Western Europe

1940 military campaigns to invade and occupy Denmark, Norway, and the Low Countries, along with much of France (battle of Dunkirk). “France: signed an armistice in June, leaving Great Britain as the only country fighting Nazis. Germany and collaborating authorities soon initiated anti-Jewish laws in occupied western Europe.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Nazi eugenic attempts to increase Germanic (‘Aryan’) racial and ethnic traits in populations, especially to create ‘new order’ in nations to the east, through selective harm and promotion of childbearing among selected groups. Rowman and Littlefield


A total work of art, an aesthetic concept developed by the philosopher K. F. E. Trahndorff (1782-1863) and further advanced from 1849 by composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883) that denotes a synthesis of all arts. Wikipedia, 2022


The official secret police of Nazi Germany and in German-occupied Europe. Wikipedia


Ghetto: Ghettos were often enclosed districts that isolated Jews from the non-Jewish population and from other Jewish communities. Living conditions were miserable. During the Holocaust, the creation of ghettos was a key step in the Nazi process of brutally separating, persecuting, and ultimately destroying Europe's Jews. Ghettoization: the process of creating these ghettos. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Golem (Hebrew and Yiddish) a creature formed out of a lifeless substance such as dust or earth that is brought to life by ritual incantations and sequences of Hebrew letters. The golem, brought into being by a human creator, becomes a helper, a companion. Jewish Museum Berlin


Art that is written, painted or drawn on a wall or other surface, usually without permission and within public view. Wikipedia


The name given to illegal immigration by Jews, most of whom were refugees escaping from Nazi Germany, and later Holocaust survivors, to Mandatory Palestine between 1920 and 1948, in violation of the restrictions laid out in the British White Paper of 1939. With the establishment of the State of Israel in May 1948, Jewish displaced persons and refugees from Europe began streaming into the new sovereign state. Wikipedia

Ha’shomer Ha’tzair

“The Young Guard” is a socialist Zionist youth movement founded in 1913. Wikipedia

Hitler Youth

The Hitler Youth (Hitlerjugend, or HJ) and the League of German Girls were the Nazi-organized youth movements developed to introduce children to Nazi ideology and policy and to prepare Germany’s youth for war. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its allies and collaborators. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Holocaust Consciousness

(In the US): Greater awareness of and ‘thicker memory about’ the Holocaust among post-war (US) population, leading to Holocaust education and reinforced by popular cultural representation of Holocaust events. Oxford University

Holocaust Denial

“Holocaust denial is discourse and propaganda that deny the historical reality and the extent of the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis… Holocaust denial refers to any claim that the Holocaust did not take place. Holocaust denial may include publicly denying or calling into doubt the use of principal mechanisms of destruction…or the intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people. Holocaust denial is an expression of antisemitism.” IHRA

Holocaust distortion

“Efforts to excuse or minimize the impact of the Holocaust or its principal elements,” including minimizing the number of victims, blaming Jews for genocide, casting the Holocaust as a positive event, or blurring or deflecting the responsibility for the establishment of concentration and death camps. IHRA.

Holocaust education

Efforts, in formal and non-formal settings, to teach about the Holocaust. Holocaust education provides an opportunity to teach about the nature and dynamics of mass atrocity crimes, i.e. genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Wikipedia

Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah)

"Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) on which we remember the Holocaust and honor the memory of those who perished.” URJ

Holocaust Survivor

A broad definition used by the USHMM and Yad Vashem includes anyone who was subject to displacement or discrimination by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945.  A narrower definition by scholar Yehuda Bauer includes "people who were physically harmed by the Nazis — that is, put in camps or ghettos".  Another U.S. scholar has noted a survivor is anyone [Jewish or other persecuted person] who lived under Nazi rule during World War II and who was thus threatened by Nazi policies but survived.

The Claims Conference for material aid must elaborate and specify 'survivors' more specifically.  In some contexts (child), survivors are: "Jewish Nazi victims who were persecuted as Jews and who suffered one of the following types of persecution:

(I) Were in a concentration camp; or

(II) Were in a ghetto (or similar place of incarceration in accordance with the German Slave Labor Program); or

(III) Were in hiding or living under false identity/illegality for a period of at least 6 months in Nazi-occupied or Axis countries; or

(IV) Were a fetus during time that their mother suffered persecution as described above. USC / Forward / Oxford University / Claims Conference

Holocaust Trivialization

Holocaust trivialization is any comparison or analogy that is perceived to diminish the magnitude of the Holocaust… The Wiesel Commission defined trivialization as the abusive use of comparisons with the aim of minimizing the Holocaust and banalizing its atrocities. Wikipedia

Human Rights

“Are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our… status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination…Universal human rights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties [and] international law..” United Nations


The major ethnic groups in Rwanda are the Hutu and the Tutsi, respectively accounting for more than four-fifths and about one-seventh of the total population. A third group, the Twa, constitutes less than 1 percent of the population. All three groups speak Rwanda (more properly, Kinyarwanda), suggesting that these groups have lived together for centuries. Britannica


A form of social or political philosophy in which practical elements are as prominent as theoretical ones. It is a system of ideas that aspires both to explain the world and to change it. Britannica


An immigrant is one who or that which immigrates; a person who migrates into a country as a settler. Lexico
A migrant is a person who moves temporarily or seasonally from place to place; a person on a journey. Lexico


The Interahamwe militia played a major role in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Early in 1992, … political organizations affiliated with President Habyarimana formed two militias the Interahamwe ("Those Who Attack Together") and the Impuzamugambi ("Those Who Have the Same Goal"). They would play a central role in the atrocities that commanded the world's attention in 1994" (USIP Jan. 1995). UNHCR refworld

Intergroup relations movement

(Human relations, community relations): Social movement in the USA towards integration and against discrimination that grew from the late 1940s. Svonkin, “Jews Against Prejudice”

International (Committee of the) Red Cross (ICRC)

“A humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland.. State the Geneva Convention of 1949 [and its 1977+2005 Protocols] give the ICRC a mandate to protect victims of international and internal armed conflicts. Such victims include war wounded, prisoners, refugees, civilians, and other non-combatants.” Wikipedia / Wikipedia / Wikipedia / Wikipedia

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) 

The ICTR was international in composition and was located in Arusha, Tanzania. The tribunal was not empowered to impose capital punishment; it could impose only terms of imprisonment. The governing statute of the ICTR defined war crimes  broadly. Murder, torture, deportation, and enslavement were subject to prosecution, but the ICTR also stated that genocide included “subjecting a group of people to a subsistence diet, systematic expulsion from homes, and the reduction of essential medical services below minimum requirement.”  Britannica

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27 – the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau – as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

International Military Tribunal (IMT)

"The trial of leading German officials before the International Military Tribunal (IMT) is the best-known war crimes trial held after World War II. It formally opened in Nuremberg, Germany, on November 20, 1945… Each of the four major Allied nations—the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and France—supplied a judge and a prosecution team.” The IMT was a precursor to the International Criminal Court (ICC). United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (2022)

Janusz Korczak

A well-known doctor and author who ran a Jewish orphanage in Warsaw from 1911 to 1942. Korczak and his staff stayed with their children even as German authorities deported them all to their deaths at Treblinka in August 1942. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Jewish Emancipation

Emancipation (of Jews in Europe) stemmed from utopian thought which developed during and after the 18th century. Emancipation had three general stages and its timing varied, related in part to the social characteristics of the national Jewish population.  (Yad Vashem FAQs. The Holocaust Resource Center. (n.d.). Retrieved January 7, 2022, from Yad Vashem

Jewish Partisan

“A member of an organized body of fighters who attack or harass an enemy, especially behind enemy lines; a guerrilla." 20-30,000 Jewish partisans and even more non-Jewish partisans fought the Nazis. The largest concentrations of Jewish people and thus Jewish Partisans were in eastern Europe: in Poland, Soviet Russia, and Lithuania Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation (JPEF), 2020.

Josef Mengele

Josef Mengele, also known as the Angel of Death, was a German SS officer and physician. He conducted inhuman medical experiments on prisoners at Auschwitz. He was the most prominent of a group of Nazi doctors who conducted experiments that often caused great harm or death to the prisoners. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Judenräte, or Jewish councils, were administrative agencies imposed by Nazi Germany on Jewish communities across occupied Europe, principally within the Nazi ghettos. These councils provided basic community services for ghettoized Jewish populations while also implementing Nazi policies, including providing lists of names for deportation. Wikipedia

July 20 plot

A failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944 [that] involved a number of both civilian and military officials. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Code name for storage facilities in Auschwitz; buildings were used to store stolen belongings of prisoners, mostly Jews who had been sent to the gas chamber on arrival. Wikipedia.

Killing Centers

Sites of mass murder (‘death camps’) in Poland (including Auschwitz) where industrial scale murders were planned and carried out by Nazis. The development of killing centers was a process, not a decision taken at one moment. Odilo Globocnik was a SS leader in Lublin who led ‘Operation Reinhard’ to destroy 2 million people in Poland.
Also known as Concentration Camp or Death Camp.

Killing Frenzies

High rates of mass murder and death (in combat) during the final months of World War II and Holocaust. Rowman and Littlefield


“A series of rescue efforts which brought thousands of refugee Jewish children to Great Britain from Nazi Germany between 1938 and 1940.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Israeli Parliament. The Knesset is sovereign and thus has complete control of the entirety of the Israeli government. Wikipedia


Nazi pogroms against the Jewish population, including vandalism and destruction of businesses, synagogues, and homes (marked by broken glass). United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Krosniewice Ghetto

The Krosniewice Ghetto was established by the Germans on May 10, 1940. The ghetto was comprised of two thousand Jewish inhabitants giving it a very high population density. The Jewish population suffered from hunger and brutality from the German officials and the Jewish police. After the liquidation of the Ghetto in March 1942, all of the Jewish population was sent to the Chelmno extermination camp. POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews


Can be translated into English as “nation of culture.” The term denotes a nation or a nation-state that has united social groups into cohesive entities that are linked through language, culture, religion, and shared tradition. The construction of such shared culture is vital for instilling feelings of patriotism and national sentiment. The concept arose towards the end of the 19th century in Germany and expresses cultural nationalism. Wikipedia, 2022

Kutno Ghetto

The Kutno Ghetto, located approximately 31 miles north of Lodz, Poland, was taken under German administration on October 26, 1939. The Jewish population suffered injustices under the German administration such as arbitrary arrests, forced slave labour, pillaging of valuables and property, and daily abuse and humiliation. Holocaust Historical Society


A measure of the work done by human beings, and one of the factors of production (alongside land and capital), labor is bought and sold on the market. In the capitalist system, workers exchange labor for a wage or salary. Wikipedia

Lambs to slaughter

The phrase was taken to mean that Jews had not tried to save their own lives, and consequently were partly responsible for their own suffering and death. This myth, which has become less prominent over time, is frequently criticized by historians, theologians, and survivors as a form of victim blaming. Wikipedia / Wikipedia

Law for Civil Service

The ‘Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service’ excluded people who were Jewish and political opponents of the Nazis from all civil service positions. This law initially exempted veterans of World War I, some long-terms employees, and people with a father or son killed in action in World War I. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Leben nach dem Überleben

A book written by Inge Deutschkron, meaning "Live after Survival" Wikipedia


(Living Space) Space for the nation and Germanic race to expand. BBC and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


A form of drama that is specifically didactic in purpose and that is meant to be performed outside the orthodox theatre. Such plays were associated particularly with the epic theatre of the German dramatist Bertolt Brecht. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2022


The freeing of concentration camp prisoners by Allied soldiers (or powers) in the final stages of the war (July 1944-May 1945). United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


(Lying or enemy press) Critique of mass media, news organizations, and print journalism that contradict or oppose a political agenda (in this case: Nazi policy and ideology). In Nazi use, this term became a stigmatizing propaganda slogan. It often referred to international (external) mass media and falsely presumed and promoted the idea that the press was dominated by Jewish interests. Wikipedia


One of the six major Nazi death camps or killing centers. It “primarily served as a place to concentrate Jews from occupied-Poland whom the Germans spared temporarily for forced labor. It occasionally functioned as a killing site to murder victims who could not be killed at the Operation Reinhard killing centers, namely at Belzec, Sobibor, or Treblinka. The Majdanek camp also included a storage depot for property and valuables taken from the Jewish victims at the killing centers.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


A belief in religious dualism based on the Persian prophet Mani. In philosophy, a synonym for dualism. Webster’s Dictionary

Manifest Destiny

A nineteenth-century cultural belief that American settlers were destined to expand across North America. This belief presumed special virtues of the American people and their institutions, along with a mission to remake (some have used the term annex) the western US. Wikipedia

Mass Atrocities

Instances of “large-scale, systematic violence against civilian populations.” While the term has no formal legal definition, it usually refers to genocide (as defined above), crimes against humanity, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


A holy candelabrum with seven branches that was used in the ancient temple in Jerusalem; a similar candelabrum holding eight lights and a shamash is used on the eight days of Hanukkah. Lexico


Economic theory and practice common in Europe from the 16th to the 18th century that promoted governmental regulation of a nation’s economy for the purpose of augmenting state power at the expense of rival national powers. Britannica

Milice (la Milice)

Pro-Nazi Vichy French paramilitary unit of 30,000, formed in 1943 to support German Occupation and Marshall/Marechal Phillipe Pétain. It was active until August 15, 1944. EHRI


Incorrect or misleading information. Social media and networking sites help the spread of misinformation, fake news, and propaganda. Wikipedia

Mobile vans

Trucks reequipped as mobile gas chambers. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Moral distance

The notion that one often feels less obligated to help those who are distanced, either physically far away or perceived as different from us. Singer, P. (1972). "Famine, affluence, and morality," from Philosophy & public affairs, 1(3), 229-243. Wikipedia


An Israeli-intelligence, counter-terror, and covert operations agency. Wikipedia

Munich Agreement

In 1938, Hitler threatened war unless the Sudetenland (part of Czechoslovakia bordering Germany, with an ethnic German majority) was surrendered to Germany. Britain, France, Italy, and Germany held a conference in Munich, Germany, on September 29-30, 1938, and agreed to German annexation of the Sudetenland in exchange for a pledge of peace from Hitler. Czechoslovakia, not a party to the Munich negotiations, agreed under pressure from Britain and France. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


A narrative, story, or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfictional or fictional. Wikipedia


Ideology based on the premise that the individual’s loyalty and devotion to the nation-state surpass other individual or group interests. Britannica

Nazi Propaganda

State-supported public ‘information’ campaigns (led by Goebbels’ ministry) designed to promote negative and false stereotypes, fostering hatred and ultimately violence towards targeted, persecuted groups (especially Jewish people). This included Nazi state-controlled newspapers, films, and false ‘news’ to cover secret atrocities. Rowman and Littlefield

Nazi racial sciences

A pseudoscientific "campaign to 'cleanse' German society of individuals viewed as biological threats to the nation’s 'health'. ” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 2022

Nazi Terminology

Nazi state control of official and colloquial uses of the German language. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Nazi Totalitarianism (Arendt)

Philosopher and journalist Hannah Arendt’s view that, in Nazism, “totalitarianism has exploded the… accepted standards of moral judgment and has thereby broken the continuity of our history.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


The body of political and economic doctrines held and put into effect by the Nazis in Germany from 1933 to 1945, including the totalitarian principle of government, predominance of especially Germanic groups assumed to be racially superior, and supremacy of the führer. Merriam-Webster

Negative/Positive eugenics

Negative eugenics: ways of decreasing the number of people considered to be genetically weak. Positive eugenics: ways of increasing the number of people thought to be genetically strong. The Encyclopedia of Bioethics. Bruce Jennings, ed. 4th ed. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2014

Nero Order

Hitler's decree on March 19, 1945, to flee, defend German cities, and destroy (leave no spoils for enemy) in the face of the Allied troop advance. Wikipedia


Someone who fouls his or her own nest. Cambridge Dictionary

Non-Aggression Pact (Hitler-Stalin Pact 1939)

The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was a non-aggression pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union that enabled those two powers to divide-up Poland between them. It was signed in Moscow on August 23, 1939, by Foreign Ministers Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov, and was officially known as the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Wikipedia


A person in his or her nineties. Lexico


Nordhausen, also known as Dora-Mittelbau and Dora-Nordhausen, was a concentration camp located in central Germany north of the town of Nordhausen. “It was originally a subcamp of Buchenwald," and became an independent camp in October 1944, “with more than 30 sub-camps of its own”. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

NSDAP (Nazi Party)

Fascist German political organization which “combined extreme nationalism (and...) racial antisemitism with German outrage over the Versailles peace settlement following their defeat in World War I. The program called for...a Greater German state. The Nazis also publicly declared their intention to segregate Jews from 'Aryan' German society and to abrogate the political, legal, and civil rights of Jews in Germany.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Nuremberg Code

The Nuremberg Code "is a set of ethical research principles for human experimentation created by the court in U.S. v Brandt, one of the Subsequent Nuremberg trials that were held after the Second World War."   Wikipedia

Nuremburg Laws

“Two distinct laws passed in September 1935… the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor. These laws embodied many of the racial theories underpinning Nazi ideology. They would provide the legal framework for the systematic persecution of Jews in Germany.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Nuremburg Trials (1945-46)

"The war crimes trials of twenty-two major Nazi figures in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1945 & 1946 before the International Military Tribunal" Echoes And Reflections Glossary

Oneg Shabbat

Meaning "Joy of the Sabbath" in Hebrew, the term usually refers to a celebratory gathering held after Sabbath services, often with food, singing, study, discussion, and socializing. Wikipedia

Oneg Shabbat (Hebrew) Archives

A collection of diaries, newspapers, other documents and small artifacts that was created by Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto between 1939 and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. The effort was begun by Emanuel Ringelblum in October 1939, and within a year, gained several dozen other contributors. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Operation Barbarossa

“Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union, in June 1941, is considered one of the largest military operations in the history of modern warfare. Germany and its allies assembled more than 3,500,000 troops for the attack.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Operation Reinhard

The codename of a plan implemented by Nazi Germany in the fall of 1941 to systematically murder Jews in the General Government. Three killing centers were established as part of this action: Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka. Operation Reinhard marked the deadliest phase of Nazi Germany’s intention to commit genocide against the Jewish people. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2023

Ordo Novi Templi (ONT)

Order of the New Templars. A Fascist secret society in Germany founded by Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels Wikipedia

Pact of Steel

German military alliance with Italy. This mutual aid was the foundation of the wartime Rome-Berlin Axis. Rowman and Littlefield


"Someone who does something that is morally wrong or criminal." Echoes and Reflections Glossary


To be treated in a cruel and unfair way, especially because of race, religion, or political beliefs. OED 2022


‘Hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs; oppression.’ Lexico


Physiognomy, the study of the systematic correspondence of psychological characteristics to facial features or body structure. Because most efforts to specify such relationships have been discredited, physiognomy sometimes connotes pseudoscience or charlatanry. Physiognomy was regarded by those who cultivated it both as a mode of discriminating character by the outward appearance and as a method of divination from form and feature. Britannica


A combat engineer. Wikipedia


A Russian word meaning, “to wreak havoc, to demolish violently." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Policy of Coordination (Gleichschaltung)

“Shifting into the same gear." Nazi leaders created a series of new groups with monopolies (no competitors allowed) in vocational and social activities (groups for workers, youth, women, and writers). Nazis also established new professional associations, removing Jewish people from most jobs. Rowman and Littlefield


The notion that personal values, views, and location in time and space influence how one understands the world... Consequently, knowledge is the product of a specific position that reflects particular places and spaces. Encyclopedia


An irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics. Merriam-Webster

Pyramid of Hate

Biased behaviors, growing in complexity from the bottom to the top... As one moves up the pyramid, the behaviors have more life threatening consequences. Antidefamation League

Racial Hygiene

A theory used by Nazis which considered some racial or ethnic groups as "subhuman" or Untermenschen (German).  This theory was used as an ideological justification for some medical professionals to use their medical skills in the name of “purifying” the state. The Encyclopedia of Bioethics. Bruce Jennings, ed. 4th ed. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2014


A sub-camp of Buchenwald, Wikipedia

Raphael Lemkin

Polish lawyer who coined the term "genocide" and successfully lobbied for UNCAG. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


The Ravensbrück concentration camp was the largest concentration camp for women in the German Reich. In the concentration camp system, Ravensbrück was second in size only to the women's camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau. After the closure of the Lichtenburg camp in 1939, Ravensbrück was also the only main concentration camp, as opposed to subcamp, designated almost exclusively for women. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


The UN 1951 Refugee Convention defined "refugee" …as any person who: ‘owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.’[2] In 1967, the definition was basically confirmed by the UN "Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.” Wikipedia - UN 1951 Refugee Convention / Wikipedia - particular social group

Reich Security Main Office (RSHA)

Organization created by Himmler in September 1939, combining the Security Police, Gestapo, Criminal Police, and Security Service. It was responsible for organizing some of the most destructive phases of the Holocaust, including the composition and deployment of the Einsatzgruppen and the creation/administration of the death camps. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


A position created within the Reich Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda to inspire and coordinate cultural and artistic production in the Third Reich. Wikipedia, 2022

Reichsgau, Gau (plural Gaue)

Reich District. Regional administrative unit in the Third Reich. German Historical Institute, 2008.


Reich Chancellery. The seat of the Reich Chancellor of Germany, a synonym for the seat of power. German Historical Institute, 2022


The government agency of the Reich Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda to supervise and control the arts, founded by decree on 22 September 1933. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2022

Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda

Reich Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda, also called Propaganda Ministry, founded on 13 March 1933 with Dr Joseph Goebbels as Minister, with its seat in Berlin. It was bombed in an Allied attack in 1945 and dissolved on 5 June 1945. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2022


The act of remembering (commemorating) the dead. This includes memorials to, museums about, and events for people harmed by the Holocaust and other genocides. Lexico


A Roman Catholic mass for the dead. Boulder Chamber Orchestra


One that saves one or several Jews from the threat of death or deportation to death camps. Wikipedia


Active involvement of the rescuer in saving one or several Jews from the threat of death or deportation to death camps. Wikipedia

Resettlement in the East

The German euphemism for deportation to death camps. Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation (JPEF)


“An ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” Merriam Webster


“…Any actions taken with the intent of thwarting Nazi German goals in the war, actions that carried with them risk of punishment.” Types of resistance include armed resistance, spiritual resistance, organized resistance movements, and other types of resistance. Rowman and Littlefield / Jewish PartisansTec 2013


Respect for those harmed by the Holocaust and all genocides: ‘Due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others.’ Lexico

Revolution (1933-34)

A first phase on Nazi rule in Germany, including a political revolution (Hitler as Chancellor seizing sole power) and a social revolution (Nazi party law creating a racialized state). Rowman and Littlefield

Righteous Among the Nations

Honored by Yad Vashem, are non-Jews who took great risks to save Jews during the Holocaust. Rescue took many forms and the Righteous came from different nations, religions, and walks of life. What they had in common was that they protected their Jewish neighbors at a time when hostility and indifference prevailed. Yad Vashem

Rohm Purge (Putch), July 1934

‘The night of long knives,’ the Rohm Purge “was the murder of SA (Storm Trooper) leadership (including Ernst Rohm) ...The purge demonstrated the Nazi regime’s willingness to go outside the law to commit murder as an act of state...” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Romani or Roma

Romani or Roma people are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group, traditionally nomadic itinerants. Note: many reject the use of all exonyms for the Romani people, including Gypsy, which have negative and stereotypical connotations. Wikipedia

Routinization (1934-37)

A new (second) phase of Nazi brutality, in which authorities concentrated on systematic violence and normalized coercion. Routinization involved both centralizing power and passing laws to promote coercive persecution. Rowman and Littlefield


Any Jew born in Israel. The term alludes to a tenacious, thorny desert plant, known in English as prickly pear, with a thick skin that conceals a sweet, softer interior. The cactus is compared to Israeli Jews, who are supposedly tough on the outside, but delicate and sweet on the inside. Wikipedia


One that bears the blame for others. One that is the object of irrational hostility. Merriam Webster


A check point in Terezín where incoming prisoners were examined and checked in and given a barracks and work assignment. Jewish Virtual Library

Schuldlos - Schuldig, Wie sich Junge Frauen mit Antisemitismus Auseinandersetzen

“Guiltless - Guilty, How young German Women Come to Terms with the Holocaust”. Wikipedia

Second generation (2G)

Children born after World War II to parents who survived the Nazi persecution during the Holocaust. During the 1960s and 1970s, children of Holocaust survivors began exploring what it meant to be "children of Holocaust survivors." Psychological studies were done to examine how their parents' nightmarish experiences affected their lives. Yad Vashem SHOAH Resource Center


Descendants of the Jews who were expelled from Spain and Portugal and who settled in southern France, Italy, North Africa, Turkey, Asia Minor, Holland, England, North and South America, Germany, Denmark, Austria, and Hungary.  Jewish Encyclopedia


A Hebrew word meaning "catastrophe," referring to the Holocaust. Source: Echoes and Reflections

Silence of Postwar Years

Silence about the Holocaust in postwar Germany is a vast subject of both discussion and scholarship. For some (who were not targeted by or victims of the Nazis), it can involve the widespread ability to omit, distort, or cushion the realization of the great crimes of the Holocaust, rather than attempting to confront the true and recent past. Some may consider it an unconscious attempt avoid self-devaluation. Source: Ernestine Schlant, The Language of Silence, 1999.


To carry out the mass murder of Europe's Jews, the SS established killing centers devoted exclusively or primarily to the destruction of human beings in gas chambers. Sobibor was among these killing centers. It was one of three killing centers linked to Operation Reinhard, the SS plan to murder almost two million Jews living in the German-administered territory of occupied Poland, called the General Government. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Social Darwinism

Theories and societal practices that are purported to apply biological concepts of natural selection and survival of the fittest, to sociology, economics, and politics, and which were largely defined by scholars in Western Europe and North America in the 1870s. Wikipedia


Used to describe the development, structure, and function of society. Lexico


Groups of prisoners, mainly Jewish, who were forced to perform a variety of duties in the gas chambers and crematoria of the Nazi camp system. They worked primarily in the Nazi killing centers, such as Auschwitz, but they were also used at other killing sites to dispose of the corpses of victims. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


A fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter. Poets

SS Schutzstaffel

The SS (or Schutzstaffel, Protection Squads) was originally established as Adolf Hitler’s personal bodyguard unit. It would later become both the elite guard of the Nazi Reich and Hitler’s executive force, prepared to carry out all security-related duties, without regard for legal restraint. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Stealth Altruism

The secret caring behavior of certain European Jews who defied Nazi prohibitions against helping landsmen (other Jews). Google Books


A standardized mental picture that is held in common about members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment. Merriam Webster


The Stolpersteine or Stumbling Stone (German) project commemorates those who were persecuted by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945. Wikipedia

T4 Program

Nazi program of systematic murder of institutionalized patients with disabilities, code-named after its Berlin headquarters address. This program established methods for mass murder which would later be used at death camps. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Telford Taylor

Head of the US prosecution team at Nuremberg after Robert H. Jackson's resignation in 1946.  Taylor led the American prosecution of the trials of Nazi war criminals subsequent to the International Military Tribunal.  In this capacity, he prosecuted the Doctors Trial, among others.  Wikipedia


Terezin, or Theresienstadt, was a concentration camp 30 miles north of Prague in the Czech Republic during World War II. It was originally a holiday resort reserved for Czech nobility. Terezín is contained within the walls of the famed fortress Theresienstadt. The History of Terezin

The "East"

The neutral, obfuscating Nazi euphemism for the destination of the trains that were actually taking prisoners to one of six death camps and their subcamps on Polish soil. Wikipedia

The Genocide Convention

Was adopted by UN in Paris on 9 December, 1948. United Nations

The Potsdam (Berlin) Conference

The Big Three Allies - Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (replaced on July 26 by Prime Minister Clement Attlee), and U.S. President Harry Truman--  met in Potsdam, Germany, from July 17 to August 2, 1945, to negotiate terms for the end of World War II….and determine the postwar borders in Europe. Office of The Historian

The Red Orchestra

Starting in the mid-1930s, social circles in Berlin formed around Arvid Harnack and his wife Mildred, along with Harro Schulze-Boysen and his wife Libertas. This circle became part of a network of seven Berlin resistance circles. Around 1940, they united more than 150 opponents of National Socialism, including students, artists, journalists, and civil servants, many of them women, helping persecuted people and documenting Nazi criminal violence. In the summer of 1942, their work was discovered and investigated under the collective name of “the Red Orchestra.” Nazis discredited the group and members were tried for treason. The Reich Court Martial passed the first death sentences at the end of 1942; in total, more than fifty members of the Red Orchestra were murdered. German Resistance Memorial Center

The White Rose

A resistance group of German students including Hans and Sophie Scholl. The “ expanded into an organization of students in Hamburg, Freiburg, Berlin, and Vienna. At great risk, White Rose members transported and mailed mimeographed leaflets that denounced the regime. In their attempt to stop the war effort, they advocated the sabotage of the armaments industry.” Weisse Rose


Located in the German-occupied region of Czechoslovakia, Theresienstadt was a ghetto-labor camp, while Nazi propaganda framed Theresienstadt as a “spa town” where elderly German Jews could ‘retire’ in safety.Wikipedia

Theresienstadt Family Camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Beginning, in September 1943, groups of prisoners from Terezín who were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau in September of 1943 were segregated from the larger camp and given special privileges, compared to other prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The living conditions nevertheless remained poor, and the mortality rate was high. Most of the inhabitants who did not die of starvation or disease were murdered during 8–9 March and 10–12 July 1944. Of the 17,517 Jews deported to the family camp, only 1,294 survived the war. Institut Terezínské iniciativy.

Theresienstadt: A Documentary Film from the Jewish Settlement Area

Theresienstadt: eine Dokumentarfilm aus den jüdische Siedlungsgebiet, (German) “Theresienstadt: A Documentary Film from the Jewish Settlement Area.” After successfully deceiving the Red Cross representatives, two Nazi authorities then decided to make a propaganda film on location at Theresienstadt. The film's "cast," musicians, and director Kurt Gerron were all prisoners of Theresienstadt. The film was made under the close supervision of the SS. A production company was hired from Prague to produce the film, along with a Czech photographer and cameraman named Ivan Fric. The film was shot between August and September of 1944 but was not completed until early 1945.  United States Holocaust Memorial Museum



Thing Play, a new performance genre, developed after 1933; with Thingplatz or Thingstätte, the space where the Thingspiel happened. Wikipedia

Third Reich

A term used to define the Nazi regime in Germany, from January 30, 1933 until May 8, 1945. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


The Five Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Jewish Encyclopedia

Trail of Tears

The forced relocation during the 1930s of Eastern Woodlands Indians (including Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole, among other nations) of the Southeast region of the United States to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. Britannica

Transit camps

Immediately after they came to power, the Nazis set up camps in which they imprisoned those whom they considered opponents to their regime and treated them with great brutality. The Nazis did not call all of their camps “concentration camps;” some were designated as labor or hard-labor camps, others as transit camps, and others as exchange camps. Yad Vashem


One of six German death camps in Poland. Approximately 60 miles outside of Warsaw, Treblinka was used primarily for the murder of Jews with poison gas. Between 700,000 and 870,000 Jews were murdered at Treblinka. Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation (JPEF)

Tribal Groups and Language—Hutu, Tutsi and Twa (Kinyarwanda) 

“The major ethnic groups in Rwanda are the Hutu and the Tutsi, respectively accounting for more than four-fifths and about one-seventh of the total population. A third group, the Twa, constitutes less than 1 percent of the population. All three groups speak Rwanda (more properly, Kinyarwanda), suggesting that these groups have lived together for centuries.”  Britannica

UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA)

“The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) was created at a 44-nation conference at the White House on November 9, 1943. Its mission was to provide economic assistance to European nations after World War II and to repatriate and assist the refugees…under Allied control. The US government funded close to half of UNRRA's budget.”  United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Unarmed Resistance

Millions of Jewish actions during the Holocaust illustrate unarmed resistance, including sabotage, forging documents, smuggling, rescuing, spiritual resistance, and artistic resistance. Jewish Partisan Education Fund (JPEF), 2020.

Undeutsche Musik

“un-German music:” music considered to follow “un-German” aesthetic traits and therefore “Jewish” and “degenerate”. Music and the Holocaust, 2022

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM)

A federal museum and institution in Washington, D.C. who which seeks to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and support related research and action on modern-day genocide. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

(UDHR) set out, for the first time, thirty (30) fundamental human rights to be universally protected. The Declaration was adopted by the UN General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948. It includes the principle that we are all ‘born free” (a1) and never to be enslaved or subject to forced labor (a4). United Nations


“Subhuman,” (German) a term used by the Nazis to describe the “racially inferior” people of non-Aryan descent in Eastern Europe. USHMM, 2022. See also Wikipedia.


A person who speaks or acts in support of an individual or cause, particularly someone who intervenes on behalf of a person being attacked or bullied. Lexico This term was coined by Samantha Power; a campaign by students helped get ‘upstander’ into English dictionaries. The "upstander” campaign’s definition of upstander: “a person who chooses to take positive action in situations where individuals are being harmed or in the face of injustice in society.”

US Lend-lease material aid policy

1941 US law and policy to provide material aid, mostly to Britain, in wake of German expansion and threat to UK (Battle of Britain, 1940-41) United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Vel d'Hiv

The Vélodrome D'Hiver (Vel d'Hiv) was an indoor bicycle arena in Paris where more than 13,000 Jews were kept after being rounded up on July 16 and 17, 1942. After being held for almost five days at the Vel d’hiv, the Jews were transported to Auschwitz. The Vel d’hiv round-up has become a symbol of French collaboration in the deportation and eventual extermination of Jews living in France. France annually commemorates the deportation of the Jews on July 16 at an official ceremony in the Place des Martyrs Juifs. Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio

Versailles Treaty

“The 1919 Treaty of Versailles held Germany responsible for starting the (first world) war. Germany became liable for the cost of massive material damages. The shame of defeat… (it) played an important role in the rise of Nazism in Germany and the coming of a second world war.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Vichy France (la France de Vichy)

After the fall of France and the occupation of three-fifths of the country, the government of France—under the leadership of Maréchal Pétain—moved to the city of Vichy. Although the town of Vichy was in the unoccupied part of France, the French government collaborated with Nazi antisemitism and deportations of Jews and other “undesirables.” Wikipedia


Literally (in German) ‘the people.’ Volk is a term used by Nazi ideology to suggest an idealized, eugenic national community (Volksgemeinschaft). United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


"People whose language and culture had German origins but who did not hold German citizenship” Wikipedia


“People’s Community.” Term given to the ideal, racially cleansed German social order. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2022


September 1944, a ‘people’s storm’ that intended to mobilize 1.5 million new troops, including teens, who suffered losses. Wikipedia

Wannsee Conference

Meeting of Nazi SS and {German} state agency leaders, “to inform and secure support from government ministries and ...agencies relevant to the implementation of the [planned annihilation of Jews, codenamed] ‘Final Solution.’ ” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Warsaw Ghetto

Warsaw Ghetto was the “…largest of all the Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Europe. It was established November 1940,” and the site of resistance, including two uprisings in January and April-May, 1943. Wikipedia

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

1943 uprising by the Polish Home Army (commanded by Polish government in exile) with ~60K Polish fighters. The Red Army was approaching but stopped; the uprising was defeated on 10/2/43 by larger numbers of German fighters. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


The German Military, which cooperated in the Holocaust and Nazi war crimes, including mass murder. Under Hitler, the military oath of service was changed to support allegiance to the Fuhrer (leader), not the German constitution. From 1935, it excluded Jewish members. Rowman and Littlefield

Weimar Republic

“The name given to the German government between the end of the Imperial period (1918) and the beginning of Nazi Germany (1933).” It was characterized by political turmoil and violence, economic hardship, and also voting rights for women and vibrant artistic movements. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Originally a refugee camp for German Jews, located in the Netherlands; it became a transit camp to deport Jews to death camps. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is the ultimate source for Holocaust education, documentation and research. Yad Vashem

Yalta Conference

Also known as the Crimea Conference, this February 1945 meeting was held by the leaders of the United States, the Soviet Union, and United Kingdom to discuss the post-World War II reorganization of Europe. Yale Law School: The Avalon Project See also: Office of the Historian


The language of Eastern European Jewry, the term "Yiddish" is derived from the German word for "Jewish." The most accepted (but not the only) theory of the origin of Yiddish is that it began to take shape by the 10th century as Jews from France and Italy migrated to the German Rhine Valley. They developed a language that included elements of Hebrew, Jewish-French, Jewish-Italian, and various German dialects. In the late Middle Ages, when Jews settled in Eastern Europe, Slavic elements were incorporated into Yiddish. YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Yom Kippur War

(Hebrew, Milẖemet Yom HaKipurim), also known as the 1973 Arab–Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, by a coalition of Arab States, Egypt and Syria, against Israel. Wikipedia


(Hebrew) An ideology and nationalist movement that espouses the establishment of, and support for a homeland for the Jewish people centered in the region of Palestine or Eretz Israel, on the basis of a long Jewish connection and attachment to that land. Wikipedia

Zyklon B

A highly poisonous insecticide which when exposed to air is converted into lethal gas. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


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The Holocaust:  Remembrance, Respect, and Resilience Copyright © 2023 by Michael F. Polgar, PhD is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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