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The Holocaust

The Holocaust Resource Center

The Evolution of the Final Solution

Nazi leadership mentioned the possibility of exterminating European Jewry, even before the outbreak of the war. The most famous of these articulations was made by Hitler on January 30th 1939 in a speech at the Reichstag. Following the occupation of Poland in 1939, various proposals for segregating the Jews were raised including: concentrating European Jewry in a special "reservation" near Nisko, in the Lublin district, or, alternatively, deporting them en masse to the island of Madagascar in East Africa. The state of war made such large scale plans impossible to implement and therefore Jews were confined to ghettos, but these were always thought of as a temporary measure. The decision to kill all the Jews of Europe was formulated in late 1941 and a setting was created for the start of the mass murder, which eventually became more systematic. This included the deportation of the Jews from the German Reich to the East (beginning in October 1941), the initial construction of the Belzec Death Camp (November 1941), the beginning of the murder of Jews in Chelmno (December 1941), and coordinating the apparatus of mass murder at the Wannsee Conference (January 1942).

Total Sources (by media type):

Artifact Collection 2
Documents 38
Lexicon Entries 14
Photographs 14
Research 21
Testimonies 3
Total Sources 92