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Schindler's List Historical Context

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Historical Context

Hitler, WWII, and the Jewish Holocaust

The mass murder of European Jews and others under Nazi rule during World War II has come to be known simply as the Holocaust. "Holocaust" literally means "massive destruction by fire." It is thought that eleven million people were killed by the Nazis. These included political opponents (particularly Communists), Slavs, gypsies, mentally and/or physically disabled, homosexuals, and other "undesirables." An estimated six million men, women, and children were killed merely because they were Jews. The destruction of the Jews in Europe stands as the archetype of genocide in human history.

Jews had been the subjects of persecution in Europe at least since the seventeenth century. When Adolph Hitler, the charismatic, Austrian-born demagogue, rose to power in Germany during the 1920s and early 1930s, he rallied the German people with a message that included notions of "Aryan," or white, superiority and the...

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This section contains 913 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Schindler's List Study Guide
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Schindler's List from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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