The people who carried out this
massacre were scientists, doctors,
military, government personnel, and
This horrible event in
history is now called
How did the Holocaust happen?
What lead up to these horrible events?
Here’s a quick summary to help
explain how the Holocaust came
World War 1 - 1914-1919
• Germany was defeated in World
• As a result of the war the German
people were forced to pay for the
damaged they had caused and to
take the blame for World War 1.
*There was a lot of unemployment.
*The German money was worthless
the people were poor and desperate
• In 1919, Adolf Hitler, a corporal in the
German army, was hired to spy on a
political party called the German
Workers’ Party. (It was later known as
• Hitler liked what the party stood for
and he eventually became its
• Hitler was a powerful speaker! He
was very dramatic and theatrical in
• Over a few years Hitler gained a lot
of support for his party from the
• In 1933 Hitler was appointed
chancellor (leader) of Germany.
• Hitler and the Nazis used fear and
violence to manipulate the German
people and take complete control of
• Hitler’s protective police, called the
Schutzstaffel (SS) and the Geheime
Staatzpolizei (GESTAPO) silenced
any people who spoke against the
* In March 1933 the first concentration
camp for people who opposed his views
was opened at Dachau, Germany.
(Anyone who was identified as an opponent or enemy
was arrested, taken to a concentration camp, beaten, or
* Hitler had been a racist long before he became
* He believed there existed a “master” race of
physically fit, “racially pure” people called Aryans.
* He believed these people should rule all of
Germany and Europe.
* Hitler believed he needed to open up living space for
the Aryan people.
* So in order to accomplish this all people who were
“inferior” had to be removed.
* Hitler and other Nazi leaders considered the
Jewish “race” a danger to Germany’s future.
* Hitler claimed that the Jews were “parasites” who
fed off of a “host” race and weakened it.
* He claimed that is was the Jews who were
responsible for all the problems that existed in