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  • zionism
  • Jewish Land
  • Adolf Hitler
  • One of the influences that led to so many European Jews emigrating to Palestine was a movement called Zionism that was emerging in Europe. The goal of Zionism was to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine secured by public law. The Jewish people believed that this was a good time to return to Zion (the holy land) and tens of thousands of Jews began moving to Palestine.
  • Holocaust
  • The Jewish connection with this land did not begin with Zionism, but actually dates back over 4,000 years. According to Jewish and Christian sacred text, God commanded Abraham to leave his land in Mesopotamia and go to the land that is present-day Israel. The Jews have a religious connection to the land and all of their sacred places are located there.
  • Death Camps
  • Anti-Semitism grew enormously in the 1930s when Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party came to power in Germany. Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany’s economic problems after World War I. One of Hitler’s first actions as Germany’s chancellor was to remove the protection of German law for Jews. The Nazis denied Jews employment, took away their lands and businesses, and removed them from schools.
  • Evidence
  • The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored killing of 11 million innocent people (6 million of whom were Jewish). It began in 1933, when Hitler and the Nazis came to power in Germany, and lasted until 1945. During the Holocaust, Hitler targeted men, women, and children that he believed to be inferior to “pure” Germans. The Holocaust was part of Hitler’s plan to exterminate all Jews in Europe.
  • In the camps, many would die from strenuous labor, disease, or starvation. These death camps were killing facilities with gas chambers that could kill thousands of people at one time. Jews were also executed by firing squad. By the end of WWII, over 6 million Jews had been killed by the Nazis, and 1 in 4 was a child.
  • When Germany began losing WWII, they started killing thousands of Jews every day. Hitler wanted to hide the evidence of the mass killing and ordered as many camps as possible to be destroyed. As the Allies moved across Europe in 1945, they came across some of the camps and were horrified by what they saw. The survivors were nearly skeletons from lack of food, and piles of corpses were everywhere.
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