WHO: Jews, Russians, Poles, Romanies, and others (victims); Nazi empire (perpetrators)
WHAT: 6 million Jews killed plus many other victims
WHY: Under Adolf Hitler, the Nazi regime came to power in Germany in 1933. The Nazis claimed that the Jews were an inferior race and had weakened Germany’s economy and culture. The Nazis used state- sponsored racism to impose hundreds of restrictive laws on the Jewish people. Following the Nazi invasion of Poland in September of 1939, the Nazis expanded concentration camps throughout Poland and imprisoned European Jews. By 1941, these camps were being used to exterminate Jewish people in mass numbers. Other groups that were killed during the Holocaust include Polish Catholics, Serbians, Gypsies, German political dissidents, and homosexuals.