Printable Holocaust Worksheets
Approximately six million European Jews were systematically exterminated by Nazi Germany. This was an unparalleled act of genocide in human history. We provide some worksheets to help students understand pertinent vocabulary.
- Acrostic Poem
- Group Creative Writing
- Reading Comprehension Worksheet
- Vocabulary List & Definitions
- Vocabulary Quiz
- Word Search
- Writing Paper
Related Teacher Resources
- Bulletin Board Border Set
- Holocaust Teaching Theme
- Holocaust Web Sites
- Slavery Teaching Theme
- Slavery Teaching Worksheets
- Teaching about the Slavery
- World History Lesson Plans
What was the Holocaust?
Many events in history have shaken people and continue to do so upon recalling them or hearing about them. The Holocaust is definitely one of them. The term holocaust is derived from the Greek words "Holos," which means whole, and "kaustos," meaning burned. This certainly gives a gruesome but accurate representation of what happened during the Holocaust.
Many people understand Holocaust as the genocide of Jews, but it is, unfortunately, more than just a genocide. It was a systematic failure that the state initiated, everyone now sees the Holocaust as the evil massacre of Jews, but back when it was happening, Germans were almost blind to the brutality that was taking place right under their noses only because all of it happened at the hands of the bureaucratic system that was so prevalent in Germany.
And for this reason, it is best not to forget the Holocaust because while it happened a long time ago, we cannot ignore that the conditions under which it happened are very much still present today. The bureaucratic system that allowed for the persecution of Jews to take place is still active in the world today. This suggests that there is always a possibility for another Holocaust to take place.
Who were the Nazis?
Nazis were the followers of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. They were a far-right racist and essentially antisemitic political party. The party was founded in 1920 with the purpose of challenging the socialism and communism ideologies that were popular amongst the German workers. Nazis wanted to promote anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist values.
When Adolf Hitler became the leader of the Nazis, he turned it into a mass movement, which eventually escalated into a movement that would soon cause the largest and most organized massacre.
History of Holocaust
It was from the mid-1930s until the conclusion of the second world war when Adolf Hitler came into power in 1933 when his Nazi regime propagated an anti-Semitic persecution campaign.
It was a way to exclude Jews from society and subject them to extreme hostility. The purpose of this was literally to isolate Jews so much that they had no option but to emigrate. Soon the number of people migrating increased to an appalling number, and what was soon a way to isolate them from the society developed into a strategic and systematic mass murder of millions of Jews
To fulfill his new world order that was pure of anything immoral or wrong, at least in Hitler's view. Hitler also targeted political opponents, homosexuals, and Soviet war prisoners. These people either were killed in the camps or died of other reasons such as starvation or other diseases.
Humanity vs. Bureaucracy
The Nazis sent millions of Jews from ghettos or holding camps to a small number of centers that were, in simple words, death camps. The world commonly understands that it was Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime who had fundamentally instigated this mass murder, and while factually, that is true, he could not have carried out such a mass murder all by himself.
The blood of these innocent Jews is not only in the hands of Hitler and the Nazis. Surely they were central to all of this brutality, but it was the support of the hundreds and thousands of people all over Europe, and the bureaucratic system, who were all complicit in this evil act. Of course, not everyone involved was aware of what they were taking part in.
Mass deportations and the killing of Jews were impossible instantly, and the genocide was never as straightforward as one may misinterpret it as. Nazis carried out a thorough investigation of German society, and once done with that, the Jews took away their right to citizenship and then, ultimately, their right to be human.
The dehumanization of Jews was a process that the bureaucracy achieved without much trouble. What the bureaucracy did was rationalized the process of extermination from society because those working in the bureaucracy only saw what they were doing as their day-to-day normal 9-5 job. They were not fully aware of the consequences of their actions because these murders were happening not in broad daylight but in secluded areas such as the Auschwitz concentration camp.
This excruciating genocide of Jews was not only the result of the long-standing anti-Semitic values that were injected into the minds of germans. Rather, it was the industrial revolution that made it possible for these murders to be carried on. The industrial revolution provided nazis with the machinery that nazis used to conduct their murders. Nazis were extremely efficient in their genocide because they also actively involved science and scientists in assisting them in designing, planning, and then executing medical experiments that subjected the victims to horrifying situations.
All of these methods and techniques allowed the perpetrators of this murder to become de-sensitized. Not being able to see humans as humans were crucial for the perpetrators, and being indifferent to human emotions was necessary for being a good civil servant.
Wrapping it up
The Holocaust is a sensitive subject that reflects the large-scale impact it has had on the lives of people and world history. But it also opened our eyes to the level of destruction something as simple as a bureaucratic system can cause.
It is critical to keep revisiting our world history because while it has scarred some of us in ways that one cannot fully recover from, more than that, this history can teach us some valuable lessons about the systems that we trust to work for us.
More than that, something like Holocaust makes space for the question, if given a chance, are even ordinary people prone to being evil, to the point where there is no room for morality?