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holocaust

The systematic extermination in gas chambers built in concentration camps of 6,000,000 Jews by the Nazis in World War II. The Holocaust was the most terrible example of genocide in modern history, perhaps in the entire history of the world. It marked the only time that the resources of a large industrial state have been dedicated to rounding up, transporting and killing so many people in such a short space of time, for no reason other than the victims' race.

Jews were gathered from all over Europe for the slaughter; in one two-month period in 1944, 438,000 Jews were shipped to Auschwitz alone. This is what awaited them: "The victims, unsuspecting, walked to the gas chambers under the blank and baleful gaze of the SS, and then were turned into smoke that blackened the skies, and a stench so awful and pervasive that Lyon (a survivor, Gloria Lyon, who was taken to Auschwitz when she was fourteen) lost her sense of smell for nearly five decades after."

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