What is the Holocaust?

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived “racial inferiority”: Roma (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and homosexuals.
(Definition courtesy of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum)

The term “genocide” was coined in 1944 in a book documenting Nazi policies of systematically destroying national and ethnic groups, including the mass murder of European Jews.