From Latin holocaustum, the holocaust is a mass killing of human beings. Its use is linked to genocide of about six million Jews during the Second World War carried out by the Nazi regime from Germany.
The Holocaust, in this sense, was a planned extermination program devised by Adolf hitler and other Nazi leaders who appealed to the industrialized and systematized murder of certain social groups. Although the main victims were Jews, other groups were also persecuted, such as gypsies, homosexuals and the disabled.
A plan that Adolf Hitler executed but that was previously created and designed by the commander-in-chief of the SS (Nazi Germany’s Military, Police and Security Organization): Heinrich Himmler. This, who would later become Minister of the Interior, methodically established the elimination of the various social groups that, in his view, prevented the creation of the famous Aryan race that would give solidity, power and superiority to the aforementioned German nation.
The slaughter it was carried out in various stages. The Nazis established concentration camps where prisoners were used as slaves until they died, either by disease or from physical exhaustion.
Many were the death camps that were set up during Hitler’s time in charge of the country. Among them, for example, that of Belzec stands out, which was one of the first to be launched.
To that should be added others that, unfortunately, have become well-known settings in the history of the twentieth century. This would be the case of the Auschwitz camp, which was created with the idea that it was the place where Jews circulating throughout the European continent were murdered.
However, other cruel and equally murderous methods were also used to end the lives of the prisoners in these concentration camps. Thus, for example, many died from forced labor to which they were subjected, from beatings by Nazi leaders, from gunshots or even from starvation.
On the other hand, in the territories annexed by Nazi Germany, ghettos were created where Jews were locked up to be transported by freight trains to the aforementioned camps. Those who did not die on the journey were eventually killed in gas chambers.
The definition of holocaust varies according to the sources. The number of victims depends on the historical studies considered. There are those who even deny the holocaust and the existence of the gas chambers.
It should be noted that, beyond this historical fact, the concept of holocaust was used in the religious sphere to refer to the animal sacrifice in large bonfires.
The holocaust was frequent in different Greek and Roman pagan rites, as well as in certain Jewish sacrifices.
It should also be emphasized that the word holocaust is used to refer to the total sacrifice, of their interests or affections, made by a specific person fundamentally motivated by the love they feel towards another.