11 Holocaust Facts During World War II That You Should Know About

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World War II is a major part of history that everyone knows about and will likely never forget. It was a turbulent time that changed the lives of millions and its devastation still ripples across the world to this very day. Looking at World War 2 German armbands can bring different emotions to different people.

Although there is so much information about this time in history, there are still some facts that are shocking to the population today. Here are some WWII facts that everyone should know about:

1 – The Meaning Of “Holocaust”

We say the word Holocaust a lot, but many don’t actually know the meaning of the word. It comes from the Greek word: Holokauston which translates to “sacrifice by fire”.

2 – Origins Of The Terms

Did you know that Holocaust wasn’t the original term used? In the 1940s much of Europe referred to this time as “Shoah” which means a calamity. Thanks to a miniseries titled “Holocaust” that was released in the US in 1978, the term is now widely used to describe those dark years.

3 – The Start And End

The Holocaust officially began in 1933 when Hitler came into power and it ended in 1945 when the Allied forces finally defeated the Nazis.

4 – The Nuremberg Laws

This law was first issued on September 15, 1935. It resulted in German Jews being stripped of their citizenship and their rights to marry other Germans were removed.

5 – The Yellow Star Of David

Jews were forced to wear the yellow Star of David on their clothes to make them easy targets for Nazi soldiers. Once a symbol of faith became a symbol of shame and oppression.

6 – Extermination Camps Vs. Concentration Camps

Although the terms are used interchangeably, they were different during WWII. Extermination camps were areas where the Jewish population was executed while concentration camps were areas where they were enslaved and tortured.

7 – The Use Of Gas Chambers

There has never been a period in history, the past or the present where a gas chamber was used to commit mass genocide.

8 – Medical Experiments

Jewish prisoners in concentration camps, especially twins were subjected to horrible and traumatizing medical experiments that had lasting effects on their mental and physical health well after the war was over.

9 – Staggering Death Toll

Most people know about the plight of 6 million Jews that were executed during WWII. However, the real death toll is around 11 million which included ethic Pols, the Romani, and homosexual to name a few.

10 – The Loss Of Europe’s Jewish Community

It is estimated that more or less two-thirds of the entire living Jewish population in Europe was executed during the war. Included in the tally were 1.1 million Jewish children.

11 – “Kristallnacht”

One of the most horrendous nights in history is called “Kristallnacht”. This occurred between November 9 and 10 of 1938 where Nazi soldiers burned down Synagogues and arrested 30,000 Jews and sent them to concentration camps.

Memorabilia such as World War 2 German armbands hold a great deal of history and significance of the Jewish population. These are reminders of a dark time, but also of hope because the Jewish communities have flourished today.

At Gettysburg Museum of History, we have genuine World War 2 German armbands for history aficionados and military artifacts collectors. Check out our website today or contact us for more information.


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