Background & History
WWII, the Holocaust, and Eichmann
From Capture to Trial
Eichmann Trial Vocabulary
alias--An assumed name, often for the purpose of deception.
Allies-- The nations, including the United States, Britain, France, and theSoviet Union, united against the Axis powers (chiefly Germany and Italy) duringWorld War II.
Aryanization -- The compulsory expropriation of Jewish industries, businesses andshops.
Auschwitz -- The most infamous and largest of the Nazi death camps, located nearCracow in Southwestern Poland.
concentration camp -- A prison with barracks rather than cells, used by the Nazisto house thousands of inmates en masse under intolerably inhuman conditions.
conspiracy--An action by two or more persons to secretly plot to commit anunlawful act.
crematorium-- An oven where the bodies of newly murdered prisoners of camps, andthose who died from other causes, were incinerated.
death camps -- Centers established in mostly rural areas designed specificallyfor mass murder. Six death camps (Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor, Maidanek,Chelmno and Belzec) were established solely for the extermination of EuropeanJewry.
death marches -- Forced marches under brutal conditions required of death campand concentration camp inmates by the Nazis to avoid liberation by advancingAllied forces.
deportation -- The forced transport of people outside of the area where theylive.
Einsatzgruppen -- "Special Action Squads" of the S.S. which had as their missionto seek out and murder Jews, Communists and Gypsies.
extermination -- Mass murder, in the context of the killing of Jews in a mannerwhich would be no less heinous than the killing of insects.
Final Solution -- The term used by the Nazis to describe their program of massmurder of the Jewish people.
Führer -- A leader, especially one exercising the absolute power of a tyrant.Hitler's title as leader of the Nazi party, and Chief of the German state.
gas chambers -- Rooms constructed to be air-tight so that poison gas introducedinto the room would kill large numbers of people.
genocide -- (genos=people, race, kind; cide=murder) The use of deliberate,systematic measures (as killing, bodily or mental injury, unlivable conditions,prevention of births, forcible transfer of children of the group to anothergroup) calculated to bring about the destruction of a racial, political orcultural group or to destroy the language, religion or culture of a group.
Gestapo -- (Geheime Staatspolizei) or Secret State Police, was formed in April1933. It was not accountable to any other civil authority, and was permitted tosurveil, question, and imprison "suspects" without due process.
ghetto -- A section of a city in which Jews were required to live surrounded bywalls. In modern times, the term has come to mean sections or citiespredominantly inhabited by minority groups which may have socio-economic ratherthan physical barriers.
Holocaust -- Literally, "fire that causes destruction," has been used todesignate the destruction of six million Jews by the Nazis during World War II.
Indictment--To charge with a crime by the finding or presentment of a grand jury.
Israel--An area in the Middle East along the Mediterranean Sea which became anindependent nation in May 1948, almost a year after being designated by theUnited Nations as a homeland for the Jewish people.
Judenrat (Jewish Councils)-- Jewish groups established by the Nazis in occupiedterritories to represent Jewish interests.
labor camp -- A prison camp where the prisoners were used as slave labor forGerman industry and war machine.
Nazi (National Socialism) -- The abbreviation for the National Socialist GermanWorker's Party, the political party led by Adolf Hitler in Germany from1933-1945.
Nuremberg Trials -- A series of trials held in Nuremberg, Germany, conducted bythe victorious Allies, which charged high-ranking Nazis and German leaders withwar crimes and "crimes against humanity."
Palestine-- Land in the Middle East acquired by the British Empire after thedefeat of the Ottoman Empire which, in 1947, was partitioned by the UN betweenArabs and Jews, and which provoked an invasion by five Arab Armies in 1948. Thedefeat of these armies by the Jews led to the establishment of the State ofIsrael.
S.S. (Schutzstaffel) -- The Defense Corps ("black-shirts") which was theparamilitary organization of the Nazi government which evolved out of the S.A. Itwas under the direction of Heinrich Himmler.
typhus - A disease transmitted by lice or fleas which was epidemic in Naziconcentration camps.
Wannsee Conference-- A 1 1/2 hour meeting on January 20, 1942 in Wannsee, aBerlin suburb, at which the details of the "Final Solution" were worked out. Themeeting was convened by Reinhard Heydrich, who was the head of the S.S. mainoffice and S.S. Chief Heinrich Himmler's top aide. The purposeof the meeting was to coordinate the Nazi bureaucracy required to carry out the"Final Solution," which provided for deportation of Jews to killing centers,immediate death for those who were unable to work (the very young, the old, andthe weak), segregation by gender of the remaining Jews, decimation through forcedlabor with insufficient nourishment, and eventual death for the remnant.
Warsaw Ghetto-- A ghetto in Poland which, at its peak, had a half-millionresidents. By 1943, the ghetto had been depleted by starvation, disease, cold,and deportation, and had just 60,000 remaining. Residents organized an uprisingagainst the Nazis. Scores of German soldiers were killed. Some historicalaccounts report that 300 Germans were killed and 1,000 wounded, although theactual figure is unknown. After four weeks of intense fighting, the ghetto wasreduced to rubble following bomber attacks, gas attacks, and burning of everystructure by the Nazis. The entire ghetto was razed to the ground and fewinhabitants survived.
zyklon B -- A cyanide gas developed to kill Jews at Auschwitz in a manner whichwas more efficient than using carbon monoxide gas.
Zionism -- The nationalistic movement of the Jewish people. In modern times, itreferred to the establishment of a Jewish state in what is now the modern Stateof Israel.
by Gary Grobman
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