Bund /boond/: The Jewish Socialist Party founded in 1897. It aspired to equal rights for the Jewish population. During World War II the Bund was active in the underground resistance and some Bund members were also part of some Judenrat councils. They took part in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
Bystander: One who is present at some event without participating in it.
Cabaret /kabaray/: Large restaurant providing food, drink, music, a dance floor, and floor show.
Cantor: Leader of chanted prayers in a Jewish service; the congregational singer.
Contra fact: A musical technique that places new lyrics into melodies of old songs. This technique was used during the Holocaust, when lyrics were being written faster than composers could generate the music.
Dachau /dakhou/: Nazi concentration camp in southern Germany. Erected in 1933, this was the first Nazi concentration camp. Used mainly to incarcerate German political prisoners until late 1938, whereupon large numbers of Jews, Gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, and other supposed enemies of the state and anti-social elements were sent as well. Nazi doctors and scientists used many prisoners at Dachau as guinea pigs for experiments. Dachau was liberated by American troops in April 1945.
Death camp: Nazi extermination centers where Jews and other victims were brought to e killed as part of Hitler's Final Solution.
Degenerate art (Entartete Kunst) /entatete koonst/: Art which did not fit the Nazi ideal.
Ghettos: The Nazis revived the medieval term ghetto to describe their device of concentration and control, the compulsory "Jewish Quarter." Ghettos were usually established in the poor sections of a city, where most of the Jews from the city and surrounding areas were subsequently forced to reside. Often surrounded by barbed wire or walls, the ghettos were sealed. Established mostly in eastern Europe (e.g., Lodz, Warsaw, Vilna, Riga, or Minsk), the ghettos were characterized by overcrowding, malnutrition, and heavy labor. All were eventually dissolved, and the Jews murdered.
Guerrilla warfare: Fighting in which small independent bands of soldiers harass an enemy through surprise raids, attacks on communications and the like.
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.
Korczak, Dr. Janusz (1878-1942): Educator, author, physician, and director of a Jewish orphanage in Warsaw. Despite the possibility of personal freedom, he refused to abandon his orphans and went with them to the gas chamber in Treblinka.
Partisans: Irregular forces which use guerrilla tactics when operating in enemy-occupied territory. During the Holocaust, partisans operated secretly in their efforts to assist Jews and others persecuted by the Nazis.
Passover: The Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jew's liberation from slavery in Egypt. The holiday, which lasts for eight days, requires all Jews to place themselves spiritually in the shoes of their ancestors and remember the era of bondage in order to never allow such oppression to happen again.
Perpetrators: Those who do something that is morally wrong or criminal.
Pogrom: An organized and often officially encouraged massacre of or attack on Jews. The word is derived from two Russian words that mean "thunder."
Prejudice: A judgment or opinion formed before the facts are known. In most cases, these opinions are founded on suspicion, intolerance, and the irrational hatred of other races, religions, creeds, or nationalities.
Propaganda: False or partly false information used by a government or political party intended to sway the opinions of the population.
Protectorate: Any state or territory protected and partially controlled by a stronger one.
Rabbi: Leader of a Jewish congregation, similar to the role of a priest or minister.
Ravensbruck /rahvenzbrook/: Concentration camp opened for women n 1939.
Reich /raikh/: German word for empire.
Reichskammern /raikskaman/: Reich government departments.
Reichstag /raikhstag/: The German Parliament. On February 27, 1933, a staged fire burned the Reichstag building. A month later, on March 23, 1933, the Reichstag approved the Enabling Act which gave Hitler unlimited dictatorial power.
Resettlement: German euphemism for the deportation of prisoners to killing centers in Poland.
Revisionists: Those who deny that the Holocaust ever happened.
Righteous Gentiles: Non-Jewish people who, during the Holocaust, risked their lives to save Jewish people from Nazi persecution. Today, a field of trees planted in their honor at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Israel, commemorates their courage and compassion.
Hannah Sennesh: A Palestinian Jew of Hungarian descent who fought as a partisan against the Nazis. She was captured at the close of the war and assassinated in Budapest by the Nazis.
Underground: Organized group acting in secrecy to oppose government, or, during war, to resist occupying enemy forces.
Raoul Wallenberg: A Swedish diplomat who deliberately stationed himself in Hungary during the war to save Hungarian Jews from their deaths.
Warsaw ghetto: Established in November 1940, it was surrounded by wall and contained nearly 500,000 Jews. About 45,000 Jews died there in 1941 alone, as a result of overcrowding, hard labor, lack of sanitation, insufficient food, starvation, and disease. During 1942, most of the ghetto residents were deported to Treblinka, leaving about 60,000 Jews in the ghetto. A revolt took place in April 1943 when the Germans, commanded by General Jürgen Stroop, attempted to raze the ghetto and deport the remaining inhabitants to Treblinka. The defense forces, commanded by Mordecai Anielewicz, included all Jewish political parties. The bitter fighting lasted twenty-eight days and ended with the destruction of the ghetto.