In the late 1930's the Nazis
killed thousands of handicapped Germans by lethal injection and poisonous gas.
After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, mobile killing
units following in the wake of the German Army began shooting massive numbers
of Jews and Gypsies in open fields and ravines on the outskirts of conquered
cities and towns. Eventually the Nazis created a more secluded and organized
method of killing.
Six extermination centers were established in occupied Poland where large-scale murder by gas and body disposal through cremation were conducted systematically. Victims were deported to these centers from Western Europe and from the ghettos in Eastern Europe which the Nazis had established. In addition, millions died in the ghettos and concentration camps as a result of forced labor, starvation, exposure, brutality, disease, and execution.
The Holocaust happened because Hitler and the Nazis were racist. They believed the German people were a 'master race', who were superior to others. They even created a league table of 'races' with the Aryans at the top and with Jews, Gypsies and black people at the bottom. These 'inferior' people were seen as a threat to the purity and strength of the German nation. When the Nazis came to power they persecuted these people, took away their human rights and eventually decided that they should be exterminated.
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