The Holocaust / the Final Solution

There were three stages of the Holocaust

1. Ghettos

  • Jews were forced to leave their homes and live in these special areas in Eastern European cities.

  • They were designed to slowly kill them as they lived in overcrowded rooms and were malnourished.

  • Many died from disease and starvation.

  • Gradually, these Ghettos were liquidated and Jews were sent to death camps.

2. Einsatzgruppen Murders

  • In Nazi occupied Eastern European territories, the German army were followed by special SS Soldiers called Einsatzgruppen, who had the job of killing every Jew that they found.

  • They were often taken in large groups to ditches, stripped and shot in the ditch.

3. Death Camps ('the Final Solution to the Jewish problem')

  • All Jews were transported to special death camps, such as Auschwitz where they were gassed to death and cremated.

  • Some camps were work camps. Healthy men and women were forced to work until they were too weak, which is when they were gassed by Zyklon B.

  • Upon arrival, the elderly and children were sent to gas chambers as they were too weak to work.


Some Jews showed resistance to the Holocaust

  • Non-Violent resistance- fleeing Germany or continuing Jewish religious practices in ghettos, death and work camps or being uncooperative or slow-working

  • Violent resistance- sabotage inside and outside of camps, forming groups of resistance and resisting the liquidation of ghettos (e.g the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1945)


Zyklon B- a cyanide pellet used to gas and murder large numbers of Jews

Auschwitz Concentration Camp (image from Wikipedia)

Hungarian Jews about to go through the "selection" process (image from Wikipedia)