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Old November 11th, 2012, 09:17 PM   #11
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Actually a significant proportion of the Holocaust and related Nazi genocides was performed out of any extermination camp.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 10:48 PM   #12

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The word holocaust derived from ὁλόκαυστον. So I would speak of a Holocaust from the mass executions in Riga in 1941 on. Different to that ha'Schoah has another meaning. So the shoa started earlier, perhaps we can say even from the beginning in 1933 or with the Nuremberg laws in 1935, at least with the "Reichspogromncht" in 1938.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 02:46 AM   #13

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The killing of Jews started to gain pace once war started in 39, it increased to large scale mass killings with the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 41, but the decision to implement a 'Final Solution' to the Jewish 'problem' and totally eliminate the Jewish population in Europe was taken in December 1941, and the holocaust proper started in 1942, with the vast majority of murders taking place from early 1942 to mid 1944.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 03:31 AM   #14

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemowork View Post
It might have shaved a few percentage points of the death toll but the point of the Wannsee conference was for middle managers to get together and work out technical standards such as whether they wanted to continue using gas vans or whether Carbon monoxide or Zyklon B was the best method.

The death sentences had already been signed at a higher political level so without Heydrich, eichmann and the others the killing might have been a little less efficient but it was going to happen.
A recent misconception. No methods of execution/extermination were directly mentioned at the Wannsee conference, nor was the subject of extermination itself, which is why the minutes taken by Eichmann are a masterly example of euphemism.
While methods of eliminating jews may have been chattered about over coffee and brandy, nothing appears to have been discussed formerly and the closest is the expectation that large numbers of jews would be eliminated through natural selection via hard work and that a remainder would need to be "dealt with accordingly".
Obviously a nod is as good as a wink to any lawyer (and all but two of the attendees were lawyers, which you may wish to bear in mind the next time you have a contract drawn up) and undoubtedly everyone knew what the ultimate goal was.
Most of the hour and a half conference was taken up with the definition of a Jew and how mixed marriages could be dissolved and the problems of the rights of German spouses of Jews, half-Jews and quarter Jews--lawyers stuff!
Far from being middle managers, the participants were all senior beauracrats and the point of the conference was not to "plan the holocaust", but for Heydrich to stamp his authority on the "Jewish Question".
"Final Solution" Endlösung was not a special phrase invented for the Holocaust, it was and still is a standard phrase in Germany for finalising a matter.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 05:34 AM   #15

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Originally Posted by Inc View Post
Simple question, but not as straightforward as I'd thought:

In what year did it begin?
Short answer; in 1941, following the invasion of the Soviet Union. Alternately, in early 1942, after the Wannsee Conference.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 05:39 AM   #16

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Actually a significant proportion of the Holocaust and related Nazi genocides was performed out of any extermination camp.
Indeed. The camps makes a good picture of mass killings, yet at least half of the nearly 6 million Jews killed (I am dubious about the others; it mostly depends upon the definition of "concentration camp").
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Old November 12th, 2012, 06:11 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by redcoat View Post
The killing of Jews started to gain pace once war started in 39, it increased to large scale mass killings with the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 41, but the decision to implement a 'Final Solution' to the Jewish 'problem' and totally eliminate the Jewish population in Europe was taken in December 1941, and the holocaust proper started in 1942, with the vast majority of murders taking place from early 1942 to mid 1944.
AFAIK a sober summary on this issue.

The development of the Final Solution was deliberately a slow process to lessen any opposition from the local population of Germany and the occupied Europe; it's difficult to precise a single exact single date for its beginning, as it is so common the case for historical processes.

A common choice would be 8 December 1941, when the first extermination camps became operational (Chelmno) BTW already including non-Jewish population (e.g. Gypsies).
No doubt the best reason for this date to live in infamy.
(It was December 7 in Hawaii, i.e. the other side of the international date line)

However, the Einsatzgruppen were authorized as early as 26 March 1941, even months before Barbarossa.
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