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Turning Points of the Holocaust


There are several terrifying events in the history of the world that will never be forgotten because of the horrors they have brought to an extended number of people. One such tragedy was the Holocaust – the most famous and systematic genocide that started with hatred and ended being a core ideology. This notorious process was a turning point in human history, and the purpose of this paper is to discuss its most important and defining moments.

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The year 1939 started with the Law Excluding Jews from Commercial Enterprises closing all Jewish-owned businesses on January 1. Jews were trying to escape to Cuba, the U.S., and Canada, but only some were accepted. World War II started in Europe with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, and thousands of Polish Jews were murdered (“Introduction to the Holocaust”). In May 1940, there was the Battle of France, and Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands fell under German control. In June, the first prisoners arrived at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Some countries established refugee places, while others formulated Anti-Semitic legislation. In autumn, there was the Tripartite Pact, including Germany, Japan, and Italy, as well as Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary. Finally, the plan Operation Barbarossa for the invasion of the Soviet Union was approved.


The Dutch Communist Party organized the February strike to protest Jews’ deportations, while Nazi Germany continued invading countries. On June 22, 1941, Operation Barbarossa started. Jews were being murdered in concentration camps by gassings. At the end of September, there was the Babi Yar massacre of 33,771 Jewish people (“Introduction to the Holocaust”). In March 1942, approximately 75,721 French Jews were deported to Auschwitz. One of the most essential events happened on October 23, 1942, when Nazi-controlled territories prohibited Jewish emigration.


In 1943, there were numerous revolts, escapes, and ghetto liquidations. In November, the Allied Powers established the forty-three-nation United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. In 1944, Hungary was occupied by German troops, and on July 20, Claus von Stauffenberg and his conspirators tried to assassinate Hitler (“Introduction to the Holocaust”). Auschwitz gas chambers were ordered to be destroyed as incriminating genocide evidence. On January 27, 1945, the 60th Army of the First Ukrainian Front liberated Auschwitz death camp. On April 30, Hitler committed suicide, and the first Nuremberg trials of twenty-four high-ranking Nazi officials began on November 20.

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“Introduction to the Holocaust.” Holocaust Encyclopedia, 2018.

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