Allies: During World War II, the group of nations including the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union, and the Free French, who joined in the war against Germany and other Axis countries.
Auschwitz - Birkenau /oushvits - biakenow/: A complex consisting of concentration, extermination, and labor camps in Upper Silesia. It was established in 1940 as a concentration camp and included a killing center in 1942. Auschwitz I: The main camp. Auschwitz II (Also known as Birkenau): The extermination center. Auschwitz III (Monowitz): The I.G. Farben labor camp, also known as Buna. In addition, there were numerous subsidiary camps.
Bergen-Belsen /beagen belzen/: Nazi concentration camp in northwestern Germany. Erected in 1943. Thousands of Jews, political prisoners, and POWs were killed there. Liberated by British troops in April 1945, although many of the remaining prisoners died of typhus after liberation.
Bystander: One who is present at some event without participating in it.
Collaboration: Cooperation between citizens of a country and its occupiers.
Concentration camp (Konzentrationslager abbreviated as KZ) /kontsentrationslahga/: Concentration camps were prisons used without regard to accepted norms of arrest and detention. They were an essential part of Nazi systematic oppression. Initially (1933-36), they were used primarily for political prisoners. Later (1936-42), concentration camps were expanded and non-political prisoners--Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and Poles--were also incarcerated. In the last period of the Nazi regime (1942-45), prisoners of concentration camps were forced to work in the armament industry, as more and more Germans were fighting in the war. Living conditions varied considerably from camp to camp and over time. The worst conditions took place from 1936-42, especially after the war broke out. Death, disease, starvation, crowded and unsanitary conditions, and torture were a daily part of concentration camps.
Death camp: Nazi extermination centers where Jews and other victims were brought to e killed as part of Hitler's Final Solution.
Death marches: Forced marches of prisoners over long distances and under intolerable conditions was another way victims of the Third Reich were killed. The prisoners, guarded heavily, were treated brutally and many died from mistreatment or were shot. Prisoners were transferred from one ghetto or concentration camp to another ghetto or concentration camp or to a death camp.
Eisenhower, Dwight D.: As Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces, General Eisenhower commanded all Allied forces in Europe beginning in 1942.
Final Solution (The final solution to the Jewish question in Europe): A Nazi euphemism for the plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe.
Führer /fewra/: Leader. Adolf Hitler's title in Nazi Germany.
Gas chambers: Large chambers in which people were executed by poison gas. These were built and used in Nazi death camps.
Genocide: The deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, cultural, or religious group.
Holocaust: Derived from the Greek holokauston which meant a sacrifice totally burned by fire. Today, the term refers to the systematic planned extermination of about six million European Jews and millions of others by the Nazis between 1933-1945.
International Military Tribunal: The United States, Great Britain, France, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics charted this court to prosecute Nazi war criminals. Nuremberg Trials: Trials of twenty-two major Nazi figures in Nuremberg, Germany in 1945 and 1946 before the International Military Tribunal.
Perpetrators: Those who do something that is morally wrong or criminal.
Revisionists: Those who deny that the Holocaust ever happened.
Stalin, Joseph: Secretary General of the Communist party 1922-1953 and Premier of the USSR from 1941-1953 during the Second World War. Life under Stalin's brutally oppressive regime was hard and often dangerous.