Earthquake

Global earthquake epicenters, 1963–1998

An earthquake is a sudden and sometimes catastrophic movement of a part of the Earth's surface. Earthquakes result from the dynamic release of elastic strain energy that radiates seismic waves. Earthquakes typically result from the movement of faults, planar zones of deformation within the Earth's upper crust. The word earthquake is also widely used to indicate the source region itself. The Earth's lithosphere is a patch work of plates in slow but constant motion (see plate tectonics). Earthquakes occur where the stress resulting from the differential motion of these plates exceeds the strength of the crust. The highest stress (and possible weakest zones) are most often found at the boundaries of the tectonic plates and hence these locations are where the majority of earthquakes occur. Events located at plate boundaries are called interplate earthquakes; the less frequent events that occur in the interior of the lithospheric plates are called intraplate earthquakes (see, for example, New Madrid Seismic Zone). Earthquakes related to plate tectonics are called tectonic earthquakes. Most earthquakes are tectonic, but they also occur in volcanic regions and as the result of a number of anthropogenic sources, such as reservoir induced seismicity, mining and the removal or injection of fluids into the crust. Seismic waves including some strong enough to be felt by humans can also be caused by explosions (chemical or nuclear), landslides, and collapse of old mine shafts, though these sources are not strictly earthquakes.

Characteristics

Large numbers of earthquakes occur on a daily basis on Earth, but the majority of them are detected only by seismometers and cause no damage .

Most earthquakes occur in narrow regions around plate boundaries down to depths of a few tens of kilometres where the crust is rigid enough to support the elastic strain. Where the crust is thicker and colder they will occur at greater depths and the opposite in areas that are hot. At subduction zones where plates descend into the mantle, earthquakes have been recorded to a depth of 600 km, although these deep earthquakes are caused by different mechanisms than the more common shallow events. Some deep earthquakes may be due to the transition of olivine to spinel, which is more stable in the deep mantle.

Large earthquakes can cause serious destruction and massive loss of life through a variety of agents of damage, including fault rupture, vibratory ground motion (i.e., shaking), inundation (e.g., tsunami, seiche, dam failure), various kinds of permanent ground failure (e.g. liquefaction, landslide), and fire or a release of hazardous materials. In a particular earthquake, any of these agents of damage can dominate, and historically each has caused major damage and great loss of life, but for most of the earthquakes shaking is the dominant and most widespread cause of damage. There are four types of seismic waves that are all generated simultaneously and can be felt on the ground. S-waves (secondary or shear waves) and the two types of surfaces waves (Love waves and Rayleigh waves) are responsible for the shaking hazard.

Damage from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Section of collapsed freeway after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Most large earthquakes are accompanied by other, smaller ones, that can occur either before or after the principal quake — these are known as foreshocks or aftershocks, respectively. While almost all earthquakes have aftershocks, foreshocks are far less common occurring in only about 10% of events. The power of an earthquake is distributed over a significant area, but in the case of large earthquakes, it can spread over the entire planet. Ground motions caused by very distant earthquakes are called teleseisms. The Rayleigh waves from the Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake of 2004 caused ground motion of over 1 cm even at the seismometers that were located far from it, although this displacement was abnormally large. Using such ground motion records from around the world it is possible to identify a point from which the earthquake's seismic waves appear to originate. That point is called its "focus" or "hypocenter" and usually proves to be the point at which the fault slip was initiated. The location on the surface directly above the hypocenter is known as the "epicenter". The total size of the fault that slips, the rupture zone, can be as large as 1000 km, for the biggest earthquakes. Just as a large loudspeaker can produce a greater volume of sound than a smaller one, large faults are capable of higher magnitude earthquakes than smaller faults are.

Earthquakes that occur below sea level and have large vertical displacements can give rise to tsunamis, either as a direct result of the deformation of the sea bed due to the earthquake or as a result of submarine landslips or "slides" directly or indirectly triggered by it.

Earthquake Size

The first method of quantifying earthquakes was intensity scales. In the United States the Mercalli (or Modified Mercalli, MM) scale is commonly used, while Japan (shindo) and the EU (European Macroseismic Scale) each have their own scales. These assign a numeric value (different for each scale) to a location based on the size of the shaking experienced there. The value 6 (normally denoted "VI") in the MM scale for example is:

Everyone feels movement. People have trouble walking. Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall off walls. Furniture moves. Plaster in walls might crack. Trees and bushes shake. Damage is slight in poorly built buildings. No structural damage.

A Shakemap recorded by the Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network that shows the instrument recorded intensity of the shaking of the Nisqually earthquake on February 28, 2001. A Community Internet Intensity Map generated by the USGS that shows the intensity felt by humans by ZIP Code of the shaking of the Nisqually earthquake on February 28, 2001.

The problem with these scales is the measurement is subjective, often based on the worst damage in an area and influenced by local effects like site conditions that make it a poor measure for the relative size of different events in different places. For some tasks related to engineering and local planning it is still useful for the very same reasons and thus still collected. If you feel an earthquake in the US you can report the effects to the USGS.

The first attempt to qualitatively define one value to describe the size of earthquakes was the magnitude scale (the name being taking from similar formed scales used on the brightness of stars). In the 1930s, a California seismologist named Charles F. Richter devised a simple numerical scale (which he called the magnitude) to describe the relative sizes of earthquakes in Southern California. This is known as the “Richter scale”, “Richter Magnitude” or “Local Magnitude” (ML). It is obtained by measuring the maximum amplitude of a recording on a Wood-Anderson torsion seismometer (or one calibrated to it) at a distance of 600km from the earthquake. Other more recent Magnitude measurements include: body wave magnitude (mb), surface wave magnitude (Ms) and duration magnitude (MD). Each of these is scaled to gives values similar to the values given by the Richter scale. However as each is also based on the measurement of one part of the seismogram they do not measure the overall power of the source and can suffer from saturation at higher magnitude values (larger events fail to produce higher magnitude values).These scales are also empirical and as such there is no physical meaning to the values. They are still useful however as they can be rapidly calculated, there are catalogues of them dating back many years and are they are familiar to the public. Seismologists now favor a measure called the seismic moment, related to the concept of moment in physics, to measure the size of a seismic source. The seismic moment is calculated from seismograms but can also by obtained from geologic estimates of the size of the fault rupture and the displacement. The values of moments for different earthquakes ranges over several order of magnitude. As a result the moment magnitude (MW) scale was introduced by Hiroo Kanamori, which is comparable to the other magnitude scales but will not saturate at higher values.

Larger earthquakes occur less frequently than smaller earthquakes, the relationship being exponential, ie roughly ten times as many earthquakes larger than 4 occur in a particular time period than earthquakes larger than magnitude 5. For example it has been calculated that the average recurrence for the United Kingdom can be described as follows:

  • an earthquake of 3.7 or larger every 1 year
  • an earthquake of 4.7 or larger every 10 years
  • an earthquake of 5.6 or larger every 100 years.

Causes

Most earthquakes are powered by the release of the elastic strain that accumulate over time, typically, at the boundaries of the plates that make up the Earth's lithosphere via a process called Elastic-rebound theory. The Earth is made up of tectonic plates driven by the heat in the Earth's mantle and core. Where these plates meet stress accumulates. Eventually when enough stress accumulates, the plates move, causing an earthquake. Deep focus earthquakes, at depths of 100's km, are possibly generated as subducted lithospheric material catastrophically undergoes a phase transition since at the pressures and temperatures present at such depth elastic strain cannot be supported. Some earthquakes are also caused by the movement of magma in volcanoes, and such quakes can be an early warning of volcanic eruptions. A rare few earthquakes have been associated with the build-up of large masses of water behind dams, such as the Kariba Dam in Zambia, Africa, and with the injection or extraction of fluids into the Earth's crust (e.g. at certain geothermal power plants and at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal). Such earthquakes occur because the strength of the Earth's crust can be modified by fluid pressure. Earthquakes have also been known to be caused by the removal of natural gas from subsurface deposits, for instance in the northern Netherlands. Finally, ground shaking can also result from the detonation of explosives. Thus scientists have been able to monitor, using the tools of seismology, nuclear weapons tests performed by governments that were not disclosing information about these tests along normal channels. Earthquakes such as these, that are caused by human activity, are referred to by the term induced seismicity.


Another type of movement of the Earth is observed by terrestrial spectroscopy. These oscillations of the earth are either due to the deformation of the Earth by tide caused by the Moon or the Sun, or other phenomena.

A recently proposed theory suggests that some earthquakes may occur in a sort of earthquake storm, where one earthquake will trigger a series of earthquakes each triggered by the previous shifts on the fault lines, similar to aftershocks, but occurring years later.

Preparation for earthquakes

  • Emergency preparedness
  • Household seismic safety
  • Seismic retrofit
  • Earthquake prediction

Specific fault articles

  • Alpine Fault
  • Calaveras Fault
  • Hayward Fault Zone
  • North Anatolian Fault Zone
  • New Madrid Fault Zone
  • San Andreas Fault

Specific earthquake articles

  • Shaanxi Earthquake (1556). Deadliest known earthquake in history, estimated to have killed 830,000 in China.
  • Cascadia Earthquake (1700).
  • Kamchatka earthquakes (1737 and 1952).
  • Lisbon earthquake (1755).
  • New Madrid Earthquake (1811).
  • Fort Tejon Earthquake (1857).
  • Charleston earthquake (1886). Largest earthquake in the Southeast and killed 100.
  • San Francisco Earthquake (1906).
  • Great Kanto earthquake (1923). On the Japanese island of Honshu, killing over 140,000 in Tokyo and environs.
  • Kamchatka earthquakes (1952 and 1737).
  • Great Chilean Earthquake (1960). Biggest earthquake ever recorded, 9.5 on Moment magnitude scale.
  • Good Friday Earthquake (1964) Alaskan earthquake.
  • Ancash earthquake (1970). Caused a landslide that buried the town of Yungay, Peru; killed over 40,000 people.
  • Sylmar earthquake (1971). Caused great and unexpected destruction of freeway bridges and flyways in the San Fernando Valley, leading to the first major seismic retrofits of these types of structures, but not at a sufficient pace to avoid the next California freeway collapse in 1989.
  • Tangshan earthquake (1976). The most destructive earthquake of modern times. The official death toll was 255,000, but many experts believe that two or three times that number died.
  • Great Mexican Earthquake (1985). 8.1 on the Richter Scale, killed over 6,500 people (though it is believed as many as 30,000 may have died, due to missing people never reappearing.)
  • Whittier Narrows earthquake (1987).
  • Armenian earthquake (1988). Killed over 25,000.
  • Loma Prieta earthquake (1989). Severely affecting Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Oakland in California. Revealed necessity of accelerated seismic retrofit of road and bridge structures.
  • Northridge, California earthquake (1994). Damage showed seismic resistance deficiencies in modern low-rise apartment construction.
  • Great Hanshin earthquake (1995). Killed over 6,400 people in and around Kobe, Japan.
  • İzmit earthquake (1999) Killed over 17,000 in northwestern Turkey.
  • Düzce earthquake (1999)
  • Chi-Chi earthquake (1999).
  • Nisqually Earthquake (2001).
  • Gujarat Earthquake (2001).
  • Dudley Earthquake (2002).
  • Bam Earthquake (2003).
  • Parkfield, California earthquake (2004). Not large (6.0), but the most anticipated and intensely instrumented earthquake ever recorded and likely to offer insights into predicting future earthquakes elsewhere on similar slip-strike fault structures.
  • Chuetsu Earthquake (2004).
  • Indian Ocean Earthquake (2004). One of the largest earthquakes ever recorded at 9.0. Epicenter off the coast of the Indonesian island Sumatra. Triggered a tsunami which caused nearly 300,000 deaths spanning several countries.
  • Sumatran Earthquake (2005).
  • Fukuoka earthquake (2005).
  • Kashmir earthquake (2005). Killed over 79,000 people. Many more at risk from the Kashmiri winter.
  • Lake Tanganyika earthquake (2005).



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. Some believers and apostates question whether people can still have any faith after the Holocaust, and some . A recently proposed theory suggests that some earthquakes may occur in a sort of earthquake storm, where one earthquake will trigger a series of earthquakes each triggered by the previous shifts on the fault lines, similar to aftershocks, but occurring years later. On account of the magnitude of the Holocaust, many theologians have re-examined the classical theological views on God's goodness and actions in the world. These oscillations of the earth are either due to the deformation of the Earth by tide caused by the Moon or the Sun, or other phenomena. While international human rights law moved forward quickly in the wake of the Holocaust, international criminal law has been slower to advance; after the Nuremberg trials and the Japanese war crime trials it was over forty years until the next such international criminal procedures, in 1993 in Yugoslavia.
Another type of movement of the Earth is observed by terrestrial spectroscopy. The Holocaust also galvanized the international community to take action against future genocide, including the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1948.

Earthquakes such as these, that are caused by human activity, are referred to by the term induced seismicity. An ongoing effort to pursue Nazis and collaborators resulted, famously, in the trial of Holocaust organizer Adolf Eichmann in Israel in 1961. Thus scientists have been able to monitor, using the tools of seismology, nuclear weapons tests performed by governments that were not disclosing information about these tests along normal channels. Other trials were conducted in the countries in which the defendants were citizens -- in West Germany and Austria, many Nazis were let off with light sentences, with the claim of "following orders" ruled a mitigating circumstance, and many returned to society soon afterwards. Finally, ground shaking can also result from the detonation of explosives. In total, 5,025 Nazi criminals were convicted between 1945-1949 in the American, British and French zones of Germany. Earthquakes have also been known to be caused by the removal of natural gas from subsurface deposits, for instance in the northern Netherlands. Some of the higher ranking Nazi officials were tried as part of the Nuremberg Trials, presided over by an Allied court; the first international tribunal of its kind.

Such earthquakes occur because the strength of the Earth's crust can be modified by fluid pressure. There were a number of legal efforts established to bring Nazis and their collaborators to justice. at certain geothermal power plants and at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal). By 1952, the Displaced Persons camps were closed, with over 80,000 Jewish DPs in the United States, about 136,000 in Israel, and another 20,000 in other nations, including Canada and South Africa. A rare few earthquakes have been associated with the build-up of large masses of water behind dams, such as the Kariba Dam in Zambia, Africa, and with the injection or extraction of fluids into the Earth's crust (e.g. Former Jewish partisans in Europe, along with the Haganah in Palestine, organized a massive effort to smuggle Jews into Palestine, called Berihah, which eventually transported 250,000 Jews (both DPs and those who hid during the war) to the Mandate. Some earthquakes are also caused by the movement of magma in volcanoes, and such quakes can be an early warning of volcanic eruptions. With the rise of Zionism, Palestine became the destination of choice for Jewish refugees, but local Arabs opposed the immigration, Britain refused to allow Jewish refugees into the Mandate, and many countries in the Soviet Bloc made any emigration illegal.

Deep focus earthquakes, at depths of 100's km, are possibly generated as subducted lithospheric material catastrophically undergoes a phase transition since at the pressures and temperatures present at such depth elastic strain cannot be supported. Many Zionists, pointing to the fact that Jewish refugees from Germany and Nazi-occupied lands had been turned away by other countries, argued that if a Jewish state had existed at the time, the Holocaust could not have occurred on the scale it did. Eventually when enough stress accumulates, the plates move, causing an earthquake. While Zionism had been prominent before the Holocaust, afterwards it became almost universally accepted among Jews. Where these plates meet stress accumulates. As a result, more than 250,000 languished in DP camps for years after the war ended. The Earth is made up of tectonic plates driven by the heat in the Earth's mantle and core. The original plan of the Allies was to repatriate these "Displaced Persons" to their country of origin, but many refused to return, or were unable to as their homes or communities had been destroyed.

Most earthquakes are powered by the release of the elastic strain that accumulate over time, typically, at the boundaries of the plates that make up the Earth's lithosphere via a process called Elastic-rebound theory. The Holocaust and its aftermath left millions of refugees, including many Jews who had lost most or all of their family members and possessions, and often faced persistent anti-Semitism in their home countries. For example it has been calculated that the average recurrence for the United Kingdom can be described as follows:. [34][35] The public advocacy of theories denying the Holocaust is a crime in some countries (including France, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany). Larger earthquakes occur less frequently than smaller earthquakes, the relationship being exponential, ie roughly ten times as many earthquakes larger than 4 occur in a particular time period than earthquakes larger than magnitude 5. In late 2005, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced the Holocaust of European Jewry as a "myth". As a result the moment magnitude (MW) scale was introduced by Hiroo Kanamori, which is comparable to the other magnitude scales but will not saturate at higher values. Public Opinion Quarterly summarized that: "No reputable historian questions the reality of the Holocaust, and those promoting Holocaust denial are overwhelmingly anti-Semites and/or neo-Nazis," though Holocaust denial has also become popular in recent years among Islamic fundamentalists.

The values of moments for different earthquakes ranges over several order of magnitude. In contrast, Holocaust deniers typically willfully misuse or ignore historical records in order to attempt to prove their conclusions, as Gordon McFee writes:. The seismic moment is calculated from seismograms but can also by obtained from geologic estimates of the size of the fault rupture and the displacement. Historical revisionism is a well-accepted and mainstream part of the study of history; it is the reexamination of accepted history, with an eye towards updating it with newly discovered, more accurate, and/or less biased information, or viewing known information from a new perspective. Seismologists now favor a measure called the seismic moment, related to the concept of moment in physics, to measure the size of a seismic source. Most scholars contend that the latter term is misleading. They are still useful however as they can be rapidly calculated, there are catalogues of them dating back many years and are they are familiar to the public. Holocaust deniers almost always prefer to be called Holocaust revisionists.

However as each is also based on the measurement of one part of the seismogram they do not measure the overall power of the source and can suffer from saturation at higher magnitude values (larger events fail to produce higher magnitude values).These scales are also empirical and as such there is no physical meaning to the values. These views are not accepted as credible by historians, with organizations such as the American Historical Association, the largest society of historians in the United States, stating that Holocaust denial is "at best, a form of academic fraud.". Each of these is scaled to gives values similar to the values given by the Richter scale. Those who hold this position often further claim that Jews and/or Zionists know that the Holocaust never occurred, yet that they are engaged in a massive conspiracy to maintain the illusion of a Holocaust to further their political agenda. Other more recent Magnitude measurements include: body wave magnitude (mb), surface wave magnitude (Ms) and duration magnitude (MD). Holocaust denial, also called Holocaust revisionism, is the belief that the Holocaust did not occur, or, more specifically: that far fewer than around six million Jews were killed by the Nazis (numbers below one million, most often around 300,000 are typically cited); that there never was a centrally-planned Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews; and/or that there were not mass killings at the extermination camps. It is obtained by measuring the maximum amplitude of a recording on a Wood-Anderson torsion seismometer (or one calibrated to it) at a distance of 600km from the earthquake. Most other historians have disagreed with Goldhagen's thesis, arguing that while anti-Semitism undeniably existed in Germany, Goldhagen's idea of a uniquely German "eliminationist" anti-Semitism is untenable, and that the extermination was unknown to many and had to be enforced by the dictatorial Nazi apparatus.

This is known as the “Richter scale”, “Richter Magnitude” or “Local Magnitude” (ML). Another controversy was started by the sociologist Daniel Goldhagen, who argues that ordinary Germans were knowing and willing participants in the Holocaust, which he claims had its roots in a deep eliminationist German anti-Semitism. Richter devised a simple numerical scale (which he called the magnitude) to describe the relative sizes of earthquakes in Southern California. Recently, a synthesis of the two schools has emerged that has been championed by such diverse historians such as the Canadian historian Michael Marrus, the Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer and the British historian Ian Kershaw that contends that Hitler was the driving force behind the Holocaust, but that he did not have a long-term plan and that much of the initiative for the Holocaust came from below in an effort to meet Hitler's perceived wishes. In the 1930s, a California seismologist named Charles F. Not until July 1941 did the term "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" come to mean extermination. The first attempt to qualitatively define one value to describe the size of earthquakes was the magnitude scale (the name being taking from similar formed scales used on the brightness of stars). Finally, Functionalist historians have made much of a memorandum written by Himmler in May, 1940 explicitly rejecting extermination of the entire Jewish people as "un-German" and going on to recommend to Hitler the "Madagascar Plan" as the preferred "territorial solution" to the "Jewish Question".

If you feel an earthquake in the US you can report the effects to the USGS. The "Madagascar Plan" was cancelled because Germany could not defeat Britain and until the British blockade was broken, the "Madagascar Plan" could not be put into effect. For some tasks related to engineering and local planning it is still useful for the very same reasons and thus still collected. In 1940, the SS and the German Foreign Office had the so-called "Madagascar Plan" to deport the entire Jewish population of Europe to a "reservation" on Madagascar. The problem with these scales is the measurement is subjective, often based on the worst damage in an area and influenced by local effects like site conditions that make it a poor measure for the relative size of different events in different places. The reason why Frank vetoed the "Lublin Plan" was not due to any humane motives, but rather because he was opposed to the SS "dumping" Jews into the Government-General. No structural damage. At first, the SS planned to create a gigantic "Jewish Reservation" in the Lublin, Poland area, but the so-called "Lublin Plan" was vetoed by Hans Frank, the Governor-General of Poland who refused to allow the SS to ship any more Jews to the Lublin area after November, 1939.

Damage is slight in poorly built buildings. In particular, Functionalists have noted that in German documents from 1939 to 1941, the term "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" was clearly meant to be a "territorial solution", that is the entire Jewish population was to be expelled somewhere far from Germany and not allowed to come back. Trees and bushes shake. The SS only ceased their support for German Zionist groups in May 1939 when Joachim von Ribbentrop informed Hitler of this, and Hitler ordered Himmler to cease and desist as the creation of Israel was not a goal Hitler thought worthy of German foreign policy. Plaster in walls might crack. Functionalists point to the SS's support for a time in the late 1930s for Zionist groups as the preferred solution to the "Jewish Question" as another sign that there was no masterplan for genocide. Furniture moves. Adolf Eichmann was in charge of faciliating Jewish emigration by whatever means possible from 1937 on, until October 3, 1941 were German Jews forbidden to leave, when Reinhard Heydrich issued a order to that effect.

Pictures fall off walls. Furthermore, Functionalists point to the fact that in the 1930s, Nazi policy aimed at trying to make life so unpleasant for German Jews that they would leave Germany. Objects fall from shelves. In Mein Kampf Hitler repeatly states his inexorable hatred of the Jewish people, but no-where does he proclaim his intention to exterminate the Jewish people. People have trouble walking. They claim that what some see as extermination fantasies outlined in Hitler's Mein Kampf and other Nazi literature were mere propaganda and did not constitute concrete plans. Everyone feels movement. Functionalists like Hans Mommsen, Martin Broszat, Götz Aly, Raul Hilberg and Christopher Browning hold that the Holocaust was started in 1941-1942 as a result of the failure of the Nazi deportation policy and the impending military losses in Russia.

The value 6 (normally denoted "VI") in the MM scale for example is:. Mayer claimed Hitler only ordered the Holocaust in December 1941. These assign a numeric value (different for each scale) to a location based on the size of the shaking experienced there. Yet another group of intentionalist historians such as the American Arno J. In the United States the Mercalli (or Modified Mercalli, MM) scale is commonly used, while Japan (shindo) and the EU (European Macroseismic Scale) each have their own scales. More recent intentionalist historians like Eberhard Jäckel continue to emphasize the relative earliness of the decision to kill the Jews, although they are not willing to claim that Hitler planned the Holocaust from the beginning. The first method of quantifying earthquakes was intensity scales. Other Intentionalists like Andreas Hillgruber, Karl Dietrich Bracher and Klaus Hildebrand suggested that Hitler had decided upon the Holocaust sometime in the early 1920s.

Earthquakes that occur below sea level and have large vertical displacements can give rise to tsunamis, either as a direct result of the deformation of the sea bed due to the earthquake or as a result of submarine landslips or "slides" directly or indirectly triggered by it. Later Dawidowicz was to date the decision for genocide back to November 11, 1918. Just as a large loudspeaker can produce a greater volume of sound than a smaller one, large faults are capable of higher magnitude earthquakes than smaller faults are. Intentionalists like Lucy Dawidowicz argue that the Holocaust was planned by Hitler from the very beginning of his political career, at very least from 1919 on, if not earlier. The total size of the fault that slips, the rupture zone, can be as large as 1000 km, for the biggest earthquakes. Functionalists stress that the Nazi anti-Semitic policy was constantly evolving in ever more radical directions and the end product was the Holocaust. The location on the surface directly above the hypocenter is known as the "epicenter". Functionalists see the Holocaust as coming from below in the ranks of the German bureaucracy with little or no involvement on the part of Hitler.

That point is called its "focus" or "hypocenter" and usually proves to be the point at which the fault slip was initiated. Functionalists hold that Hitler was anti-Semitic, but that he did not have a masterplan for genocide. Using such ground motion records from around the world it is possible to identify a point from which the earthquake's seismic waves appear to originate. Intentionalists hold that the Holocaust was the result of a long-term masterplan on the part of Hitler's and that Hitler was the driving force behind the Holocaust. The Rayleigh waves from the Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake of 2004 caused ground motion of over 1 cm even at the seismometers that were located far from it, although this displacement was abnormally large. The terms were coined in a 1981 article by the British Marxist historian Timothy Mason to describe two schools of thought about the origins of the Holocaust. Ground motions caused by very distant earthquakes are called teleseisms. A major issue in contemporary Holocaust studies is the question of functionalism versus intentionalism.

The power of an earthquake is distributed over a significant area, but in the case of large earthquakes, it can spread over the entire planet. These results were confirmed in other experiments as well, such as the Stanford prison experiment. While almost all earthquakes have aftershocks, foreshocks are far less common occurring in only about 10% of events. Milgram's findings demonstrated that reasonable people, when instructed by a person in a position of authority, obeyed commands entailing what they believed to be the death or suffering of others. Most large earthquakes are accompanied by other, smaller ones, that can occur either before or after the principal quake — these are known as foreshocks or aftershocks, respectively. Stanley Milgram was one of a number of post-war psychologists and sociologists who tried to address why people obeyed immoral orders in the Holocaust. S-waves (secondary or shear waves) and the two types of surfaces waves (Love waves and Rayleigh waves) are responsible for the shaking hazard. Robert Gellately, a historian at Oxford University, conducted a widely-respected survey of the German media before and during the war, concluding that there was "substantial consent and active participation of large numbers of ordinary Germans" in aspects of the Holocaust, and documenting that the sight of columns of slave laborers were common, and that the basics of the concentration camps, if not the extermination camps, were widely known[32].

There are four types of seismic waves that are all generated simultaneously and can be felt on the ground. Recent historical work suggests that the majority of Germans knew that Jews were being indiscriminately killed and persecuted, even if they did not know of the specifics of the death camps. In a particular earthquake, any of these agents of damage can dominate, and historically each has caused major damage and great loss of life, but for most of the earthquakes shaking is the dominant and most widespread cause of damage. Debate also continues on how much average Germans knew about the Holocaust. liquefaction, landslide), and fire or a release of hazardous materials. On May 12, 1943, Polish government-in-exile and Bund leader Szmul Zygielbojm committed suicide in London to protest the inaction of the world with regard to the Holocaust, stating in part in his suicide letter:. Large earthquakes can cause serious destruction and massive loss of life through a variety of agents of damage, including fault rupture, vibratory ground motion (i.e., shaking), inundation (e.g., tsunami, seiche, dam failure), various kinds of permanent ground failure (e.g. The US State Department was aware of the use and the location of the gas chambers of extermination camps, but refused pleas to bomb them out of operation.

Some deep earthquakes may be due to the transition of olivine to spinel, which is more stable in the deep mantle. By the end of 1942, however, the evidence of the Holocaust had become clear and on December 17, 1942 the Allies issued a statement that the Jews were being transported to Poland and killed. At subduction zones where plates descend into the mantle, earthquakes have been recorded to a depth of 600 km, although these deep earthquakes are caused by different mechanisms than the more common shallow events. In the summer of 1942 a Jewish labor organization (the Bund) got word to London that 700,000 Polish Jews had already died, and the BBC took the story seriously, though the United States State Department did not take the news seriously[31]. Where the crust is thicker and colder they will occur at greater depths and the opposite in areas that are hot. By early 1941, the British had received information via an intercepted Chilean memo that Jews were being targeted, and by late 1941 they had intercepted information about a number of large massacres of Jews conducted by German police. Most earthquakes occur in narrow regions around plate boundaries down to depths of a few tens of kilometres where the crust is rigid enough to support the elastic strain. Since the early years of the war the Polish government-in-exile published documents and organised meetings to spread word of the fate of the Jews.

Large numbers of earthquakes occur on a daily basis on Earth, but the majority of them are detected only by seismometers and cause no damage . However, numerous rumors and eyewitness accounts from escapees and others gave some indication that Jews were being killed in large numbers. . Some claim that the full extent of what was happening in German-controlled areas was not known until after the war. Seismic waves including some strong enough to be felt by humans can also be caused by explosions (chemical or nuclear), landslides, and collapse of old mine shafts, though these sources are not strictly earthquakes. Arguments that no documentation links Hitler to "the Holocaust" ignore the records of his speeches kept by Nazi leaders such as Joseph Goebbels and rely on artificially limiting the Holocaust to exclude what we do have documentation on, such as the T-4 Euthanasia Program and the Kristallnacht pogrom. Most earthquakes are tectonic, but they also occur in volcanic regions and as the result of a number of anthropogenic sources, such as reservoir induced seismicity, mining and the removal or injection of fluids into the crust. Just five weeks later on February 22, Hitler was recorded saying "We shall regain our health only by eliminating the Jews" to his closest associates.

Earthquakes related to plate tectonics are called tectonic earthquakes. To make for smoother intra-governmental cooperation in the implementation of this "Final Solution" to the "Jewish Question", the Wannsee conference was held near Berlin on January 20, 1942, with the participation of fifteen senior officials, led by Reinhard Heydrich and Adolf Eichmann, the records of which provide the best evidence of the central planning of the Holocaust. Events located at plate boundaries are called interplate earthquakes; the less frequent events that occur in the interior of the lithospheric plates are called intraplate earthquakes (see, for example, New Madrid Seismic Zone). A mass of evidence suggests that sometime in the fall of 1941, Himmler and Hitler agreed in principle on the complete mass extermination of the Jews of Europe by gassing, with Hitler explicitly ordering the "annihilation of the Jews" in a speech on December 12, 1941 (see Final Solution). The highest stress (and possible weakest zones) are most often found at the boundaries of the tectonic plates and hence these locations are where the majority of earthquakes occur. Hitler encouraged the killings of the Jews of Eastern Europe by the Einsatzgruppen death squads in a speech in July, 1941, though he almost certainly approved the mass shootings earlier. Earthquakes occur where the stress resulting from the differential motion of these plates exceeds the strength of the crust. Hitler authorized the mass killing of those labelled by the Nazis as "undesirables" in the T-4 Euthanasia Program.

The Earth's lithosphere is a patch work of plates in slow but constant motion (see plate tectonics). (source: Max Jakobson Commission Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity). The word earthquake is also widely used to indicate the source region itself. About 75% of Estonia's Jewish community, aware of the fate that otherwise awaited them, managed to escape to the Soviet Union; virtually all the remainder (between 950 and 1000 people) were killed by Einsatzgruppe A and local collaborators before the end of 1941. Earthquakes typically result from the movement of faults, planar zones of deformation within the Earth's upper crust. The Arajs Commando, a Latvian volunteer police unit, for example, killed 26,000 Latvian Jews and was responsible for assisting in the killing of 60,000 more Jews.[30]. Earthquakes result from the dynamic release of elastic strain energy that radiates seismic waves. Lithuanian and Latvian auxiliary military units with German Einsatzgruppen detachments participated in the extermination of the Jewish population in their countries, as well as assisting the Nazis elsewhere, such as deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto.

An earthquake is a sudden and sometimes catastrophic movement of a part of the Earth's surface. Ukrainian auxiliaries participated in a number of killings of Jews, among them in Romanian concentration camps in Bogdanovka and in Latvia. Lake Tanganyika earthquake (2005). German Einsatzgruppen, together with Ukrainian auxiliary units, killed 33,000 Kievan Jews in Babi Yar in September 1941. Many more at risk from the Kashmiri winter. Ukrainian nationalists killed 4,000 Lviv Jews in July 1941, and an additional 2,000 in late July 1941 during the so-called Petliura Days pogrom. Killed over 79,000 people. The Ustase also deported 7,000 more Jews to German extermination camps.[29].

Kashmir earthquake (2005). The Croatian Ustaše regime killed hundreds of thousands of Serbs (estimates vary widely, but a minimum of 330,000-390,000 is generally accepted), over 20,000 Jews and 26,000 Roma, primarily in the Ustase's Jasenovac concentration camp near Zagreb. Fukuoka earthquake (2005). [28]. Sumatran Earthquake (2005). 70,000 Jews were forced on a death march to Austria—thousands were shot and thousands more died of starvation and exposure. Triggered a tsunami which caused nearly 300,000 deaths spanning several countries. Moreover, 20,000 Budapest Jews were shot by the banks of the Danube by Hungarian forces.

Epicenter off the coast of the Indonesian island Sumatra. At this late date in the war with German defeat appearing likely, Hungarian police nevertheless participated fully with SS in the roundups of 440,000 Jews for deportation to the extermination camps. One of the largest earthquakes ever recorded at 9.0. However Horthy resisted German demands for mass deportation of Hungarian Jews, and most survived until 1944, when the Horthy fell from power and was replaced by the Arrow Cross regime. Indian Ocean Earthquake (2004). Hungarian army and police units killed several thousand Jews and Serbs in Novi Sad in January 1942. Chuetsu Earthquake (2004). The Hungarian Horthy regime deported 20,000 Jews from annexed Transcarpathian Ukraine in 1941 to Kamianets-Podilskyi in the German-occupied Ukraine, where they were shot by the German Einsatzgruppen detachments.

Not large (6.0), but the most anticipated and intensely instrumented earthquake ever recorded and likely to offer insights into predicting future earthquakes elsewhere on similar slip-strike fault structures. Slovakia's Tiso regime deported approximately 70,000 Jews, of whom 65,000 were killed.[27]. Parkfield, California earthquake (2004). Norwegian police rounded up 750 Jews. Bam Earthquake (2003). A Dutch group, Henneicke Column, hunted and "delivered" 9,000 Jews for deportation[26]. Dudley Earthquake (2002). The Netherlands civilian administration and police participated in the roundups of 100,000 Jews.

Gujarat Earthquake (2001). The Vichy French government and French police in Nazi-occupied France participated in the roundups of 75,000 Jews. Nisqually Earthquake (2001). Bulgaria, despite saving its own Jewish population, deported 11,000 Jews from occupied Greek and Yugoslavian territories. Chi-Chi earthquake (1999). Several small camps were built in Italy and the so-called Risiera di San Sabba hosted a crematorium; from 3,000 to 5,000 people were killed in San Sabba, only a few of whom were Jews. Düzce earthquake (1999). The deported numbered about 8,369, and only about a thousand survived.

İzmit earthquake (1999) Killed over 17,000 in northwestern Turkey. In Italy a law from 1938 restricted civil liberties of Jews, but after the fall of Mussolini and his creation of the Italian Social Republic, Jews started being deported to German camps. Killed over 6,400 people in and around Kobe, Japan. The Romanians also massacred Jews in the Domanevka and Akhmetchetka concentration camps. Great Hanshin earthquake (1995). Nearly 100,000 Jews were killed in occupied Odessa and over 10,000 were killed in the Iasi pogrom. Damage showed seismic resistance deficiencies in modern low-rise apartment construction. Some of the larger massacres included 54,000 Jews killed in Bogdanovka, a Romanian concentration camp along the Bug River in Transnistria, between 21 and 31 December 1941.

Northridge, California earthquake (1994). The exterminations committed in Iasi, Odessa, Bogdanovka, Domanovka, and Peciora, for example, were among the most hideous acts committed against Jews anywhere during the Holocaust."[25]In cooperation with German Einsatzgruppen and Ukrainian auxiliaries, Romanians killed hundreds of thousands of Jews in Bessarabia, northern Bukovina, and Transnistria. Revealed necessity of accelerated seismic retrofit of road and bridge structures. released by the Romanian government concluded, "Of all the allies of Nazi Germany, Romania bears responsibility for the deaths of more Jews than any country other than Germany itself. Severely affecting Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Oakland in California. An official report[24]. Loma Prieta earthquake (1989). The Romanian Antonescu regime was directly responsible for the deaths of between 280,000 and 380,000 Jews.

Killed over 25,000. Collaboration took the form of either rounding up of the local Jews for deportation to the German extermination camps or a direct participation in the killings. Armenian earthquake (1988). In addition to the direct involvement of Nazi forces, most European countries allied with or occupied by the Axis Powers collaborated with the Nazis in the Holocaust. Whittier Narrows earthquake (1987). German police units also directly participated in the Holocaust, for example Reserve Police Battalion 101 in just over a year shot 38,000 Jews and deported 45,000 more to the extermination camps.[23]. 8.1 on the Richter Scale, killed over 6,500 people (though it is believed as many as 30,000 may have died, due to missing people never reappearing.). The Wehrmacht, or regular German army, participated less directly than the SS in the Holocaust (though it did directly massacre Jews in Russia, Serbia, and Greece), but it supported the Eisatzgruppen, helped form the ghettos, ran prison camps, and used substantial slave labor.

Great Mexican Earthquake (1985). From the SS came the Totenkopfverbände concentration camp guards, the Einsatzgruppen killing squads, and many of the administrative offices behind the Holocaust. The official death toll was 255,000, but many experts believe that two or three times that number died. And, though there was no single military unit in charge of the Holocaust, the SS under Himmler was the closest. The most destructive earthquake of modern times. Many ministries, including those of armaments, interior, justice, railroads, and foreign affairs, had substantial roles in orchestrating the Holocaust; similarly, German physicians participated in medical experiments and the T-4 euthanasia program. Tangshan earthquake (1976). A wide range of German soldiers, officials, and civilians were involved in the Holocaust, from clerks and officials in the government to units of the army, the police, and the SS.

Caused great and unexpected destruction of freeway bridges and flyways in the San Fernando Valley, leading to the first major seismic retrofits of these types of structures, but not at a sufficient pace to avoid the next California freeway collapse in 1989. Since 1963, a commission headed by an Israeli Supreme Court justice has been charged with the duty of awarding such people the honorary title Righteous Among the Nations. Sylmar earthquake (1971). Witold Pilecki, member of Armia Krajowa (the Polish Home Army), organized a resistance movement in the Auschwitz concentration camp from 1940, and Jan Karski tried to spread word of the Holocaust. Caused a landslide that buried the town of Yungay, Peru; killed over 40,000 people. There were also groups, like members of the Polish Zegota organization, that took drastic and dangerous steps to rescue Jews and other potential victims from the Nazis. Ancash earthquake (1970). Chiune Sugihara saved several thousands of Jews by issuing them with Japanese visas against the will of his Nazi-aligned government.

Good Friday Earthquake (1964) Alaskan earthquake. Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, the Italian Giorgio Perlasca, Chinese diplomat Ho Fengshan and others saved tens of thousands of Jews with fake diplomatic passes. Biggest earthquake ever recorded, 9.5 on Moment magnitude scale. In a few cases, individual diplomats and people of influence, such as Oskar Schindler or Nicholas Winton, protected large numbers of Jews. Great Chilean Earthquake (1960). Similar individual and family acts of rescue were repeated throughout Europe, as illustrated in the famous cases of Anne Frank, often at great risk to the rescuers. Kamchatka earthquakes (1952 and 1737). Some towns and churches also helped hide Jews and protect others from the Holocaust, such as the French town of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon which sheltered several thousand Jews.

On the Japanese island of Honshu, killing over 140,000 in Tokyo and environs. In the second case, the Nazi-allied government of Bulgaria, led by Dobri Bozhilov, refused to deport its 50,000 Jewish citizens, saving them as well, though Bulgaria did deport Jews to concentration camps from areas in conquered Greece and Macedonia. Great Kanto earthquake (1923). When the Jews returned home at war's end, they found their houses and possessions waiting for them, exactly as they left them. San Francisco Earthquake (1906). The King of Denmark and his subjects saved the lives of most of the 7,500 Danish Jews by spiriting them to safety in Sweden via fishing boats in October 1943. Largest earthquake in the Southeast and killed 100. In two cases, entire countries resisted the deportation of their Jewish population.

Charleston earthquake (1886). Also, Jewish volunteers from the Palestinian Mandate, most famously Hannah Szenes, parachuted into Europe in an attempt to organize resistance. Fort Tejon Earthquake (1857). There were a number of Jewish partisan groups operating in many countries (see Eugenio Calò for the story of a Jewish Italian partisan). New Madrid Earthquake (1811). The prisoners then attempted a mass escape, but all 250 were killed soon after. Lisbon earthquake (1755). Female prisoners had smuggled in explosives from a weapons factory, and Crematorium IV was partly destroyed by an explosion.

Kamchatka earthquakes (1737 and 1952). On October 7, 1944, the Jewish Sonderkommandos (those prisoners kept separate from the main camp and involved in the operation of the gas chambers and crematoria) at Auschwitz staged an uprising. Cascadia Earthquake (1700). The escape forced the Nazis to close the camp. Deadliest known earthquake in history, estimated to have killed 830,000 in China. This uprising was more successful; 11 SS guards were killed, and roughly 300 of the 600 inmates in the camp escaped, with about 50 surviving the war. Shaanxi Earthquake (1556). In October 1943 another uprising took place at Sobibór extermination camp.

San Andreas Fault. Gassing operations were interrupted for a month. New Madrid Fault Zone. Many buildings were burnt to the ground, and seventy inmates escaped to freedom, but 1,500 were killed. North Anatolian Fault Zone. In August 1943 an uprising also took place at the Treblinka extermination camp. Hayward Fault Zone. There were also major resistance efforts in three of the extermination camps.

Calaveras Fault. There were also other Ghetto Uprisings, though none were successful against the German military. Alpine Fault. The ZOB and smaller organizations held out against the Nazis for 27 days, before all were killed. Earthquake prediction. The largest instance of organized Jewish resistance was the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, from April to May of 1943, as the final deportation from the Ghetto to the death camps was about to commence. Seismic retrofit. There are, however, many cases of attempts at resistance in one form or another.

Household seismic safety. Due to the careful organization and overwhelming military might of the Nazi German state and its supporters, few Jews and other Holocaust victims were able to resist the killings. Emergency preparedness. Some 60,000 prisoners were discovered at the camp, but 10,000 died from disease or malnutrition within a few weeks of liberation. an earthquake of 5.6 or larger every 100 years. Concentration camps were also liberated by American and British forces, including Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on April 15. an earthquake of 4.7 or larger every 10 years. In most of the camps discovered by the Soviets, the prisoners had already been transported by death marches, leaving only a few thousand prisoners alive.

an earthquake of 3.7 or larger every 1 year. In July, 1944, the first major Nazi camp, Majdanek, was discovered by the advancing Soviets, who eventually liberated Auschwitz in January 1945. Around 15,000 died on the way. Nine days before the Soviets arrived at the death camp at Auschwitz, the Germans marched 60,000 prisoners out of the camp toward Wodzislaw, thirty-five miles away, where they were put on freight trains to other camps. The largest and best known of the death marches took place in January 1945, when the Soviet army advanced on Poland.

Prisoners who lagged behind or fell were shot. The Nazis marched prisoners, already sick after months or years of violence and starvation, for tens of miles in the snow to train stations; then transported for days at a time without food or shelter in freight trains with open carriages; and forced to march again at the other end to the new camp. As the armies of the Allies closed in on the Reich at the end of 1944, the Germans decided to abandon the extermination camps, moving or destroying evidence of the atrocities they had committed there. Gold teeth were extracted from the corpses, and women's hair (shaved from the heads of victims before they entered the gas chambers) was recycled for use in products such as rugs and socks.

The Nazis also forced some prisoners to work in the collection and disposal of corpses, and to mutilate them when required. Upon arrival in these camps, prisoners were divided into two groups: those too weak for work were immediately executed in gas chambers (which were sometimes disguised as showers) and their bodies burned, while others were first used for slave labor in factories or industrial enterprises located in the camp or nearby. At the peak of operations, Birkenau's gas chambers killed approximately eight thousand a day. This camp was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1,000,000 Jews (including about 438,000 Jews from Hungary in the course of a few months), 75,000 Poles and gay men, and some 19,000 Roma.

the latter possessing four gas chambers and crematoria. The largest death camp built was Auschwitz-Birkenau, which had both a labor camp (Auschwitz) and an extermination camp (Birkenau);. More than 1.7 million Jews were killed at the three Aktion Reinhard camps by October 1943. In 1942, the Nazis began this most destructive phase of the Holocaust, with Aktion Reinhard, opening the extermination camps of Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka.

The bodies of those killed were destroyed in crematoria (except at Sobibór where they were cremated on outdoor pyres), and the ashes buried or scattered. The method of killing at these camps was by poison gas, usually in "gas chambers", although many prisoners were killed in mass shootings and by other means. Over three million Jews would die in these extermination camps. In December, 1941, the Nazis opened Celmno, the first of what would soon be seven extermination camps, dedicated entirely to mass extermination on an industrial scale, as opposed to the labor or concentration camps.

By the end of 1943, another 900,000 Jews would be killed in this manner, but the pace was not fast enough for the Nazi leadership, who, at the end of 1941 and the beginning of 1942, began the implementation of the Final Solution, the complete extermination of the Jews of Europe. These, and similar slaughters throughout Europe, killed around 100,000 Jews per month for five months. From September to the end of 1942, a series of mass killings took place throughout Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Latvia: over 33,000 Jews were killed at Babi Yar, 25,000 at Rumbula, over 36,000 at Odessa by Romanian forces, 9,000 at the Ninth Fort, and 40,000 (up to 100,000 by 1944) at Paneriai. By the summer of 1941, the Einsatzgruppen turned to targeting Jews, starting with the extemination of 2,200 Jews in Bialystock on June 21, 1941, and quickly increased in scale.

Poles were an early target in the AB Action, in which 30,000 Polish intellectual and political figures were rounded up, and 7,000 eventually killed. During the invasion of the Soviet Union, over 3,000 special killing units (Einsatzgruppen) followed the Wehrmacht, conducting mass killings of Poles, Communist officials, and the Jewish population that lived in Soviet territory. As many as 1.6 million Jews were killed in open-air shootings by Nazis and their collaborators, especially in 1941 before the establishment of the concentration camps. Though there were armed resistance attempts in the ghettos in 1943, such as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Białystok Ghetto Uprising, but in every case they failed against the Nazi military, and the remaining Jews were either slaughtered or sent to the extermination camps.

Many other ghettos were completely depopulated. On July 22, 1942, the deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto inhabitants began; in the next 52 days (until September 12, 1942) about 300,000 people were transported by train to the Treblinka extermination camp from Warsaw alone. On July 19, 1942, Heinrich Himmler ordered the start of the deportations of Jews from the ghettos to the death camps. From 1940 through 1942, disease (especially typhoid) and starvation killed hundreds of thousands of Jews confined in the ghettos.

The ghettos were established throughout 1940 and 1941, and were immediately turned into immensely crowded prisons; though the Warsaw Ghetto contained 30% of the population of Warsaw, it occupied only about 2.4% of city's area, averaging 9.2 people per room. The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest, with 380,000 people and the Łódź Ghetto, the second largest, holding about 160,000, but ghettos were instituted in many cities (list). After the invasion of Poland, the Nazis created ghettos to which Jews (and some Roma) were confined, until they were eventually shipped to death camps and killed. Between 1939 and 1941, over 200,000 people were killed.

The T-4 Euthanasia Program was established to "maintain the genetic purity" of the German population by systematically killing citizens who were physically deformed, disabled, handicapped, or suffering from mental illness. A number of deadly pogroms by local, non-German populations occurred during the Second World War, some with German encouragement, and some spontaneously, such as the Iaşi pogrom in Romania on June 30, 1941 in which as many 14,000 Jews were killed by Romanian residents and police and the Jedwabne pogrom in which between 380 and 1,600 Jews were killed by their Polish neighbors. Similar events took place in Vienna at the same time. Approximately 100 Jews were killed, and another 30,000 sent to concentration camps, while over 7,000 Jewish shops and 1,574 synagogues (almost every synagogue in Germany) were damaged or destroyed.

Many scholars date the beginning of the Holocaust itself to the anti-Jewish riots of the Night of Broken Glass ("Kristallnacht") of November 9, 1938, in which Jews were attacked and Jewish property was vandalized across Germany. Concentration camps also existed in Germany itself, and while not specifically designed for systematic extermination, many concentration camp prisoners died because of harsh conditions or were executed. The transportation of prisoners was often carried out under horrifying conditions using rail freight cars, in which many died before they reached their destination. Most of the camps were located in the area of General Government in Poland, but there were camps in every country occupied by the Nazis.

During the War, concentration camps for Jews and other "undesirables" were spread throughout Europe, with new camps being created near centers of dense "undesirable" populations, often focusing on areas with large Jewish, Polish intelligentsia, communist, or Roma populations. After 1939, with the beginning of the Second World War, the concentration camps increasingly became places where the enemies of the Nazis, including Jews and POWs, were either killed or forced to act as slave laborers, and kept undernourished and tortured. These early concentration camps were eventually consolidated into centrally run camps, and by 1939, six large concentration camps had been established. Starting in 1933, the Nazis set up concentration camps within Germany, many of which were established by local authorities, to hold political prisoners and "undesirables".

Other databases and lists of victims' names, some searchable over the Web, are listed in Holocaust (resources). Yad Vashem's Central Database of Shoah Victims Names is searchable over the Internet at yadvashem.org or in person at the Yad Vashem complex in Israel. Yad Vashem provides a searchable database of three million names, about half of the known direct Jewish victims. More recently, however, there has a been a resurgence of interest by descendants of Holocaust survivors in researching the fates of their lost relatives.

These efforts became much less intense as the years went by. Initially after World War II, there were millions of members of families broken up by the war or the Holocaust searching for some record of the fate and/or whereabouts of their missing friends and relatives. The summary of various sources' estimates on the number of Nazi regime victims is given in Matthew White's online atlas of 20th century history. Additionally, the Nazis' allies, the Ustaša regime in Croatia conducted its own campaign of mass extermination against the Serbs in the areas which it controlled, resulting in the deaths of at least 330,000–390,000 Serbs.

The following groups of people were also killed by the Nazi regime, but there is little evidence that the Nazis planned to systematically target them for genocide as was the case for the groups above. Wolfgang Benz of the Technical University of Berlin, cites between 5.3 and 6.2 million Jews killed in Dimension des Volksmords (1991), while Yisrael Gutman and Robert Rozett estimate between 5.59 and 5.86 million Jewish victims in their Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (1990).[22]. One of the most authoritative German scholars of the Holocaust, Prof. Her listing of deaths by country is available in the article about her book, The War Against the Jews.[21].

Another reason some consider her estimate too low is that many records were destroyed during the war. Using official census counts may cause an underestimate since many births and deaths were not recorded in small towns and villages. Lucy Davidowicz used prewar census figures to estimate that 5.934 million Jews died. Hilberg estimates the death toll in Poland at "up to 3,000,000."[18] } Hilberg's numbers are generally considered to be a conservative estimate, as they generally include only those deaths for which some records are available, avoiding statistical adjustment.[19] British historian Martin Gilbert used a similar approach in his Atlas of the Holocaust, but arrived at a number of 5.75 million Jewish victims, since he estimated higher numbers of Jews killed in Russia and other locations.[20].

This figure includes "over 800,000" who died from "Ghettoization and general privation;" 1,400,000 who were killed in "Open-air shootings;" and "up to 2,900,000" who perished in camps. Raul Hilberg, in the third edition of his ground-breaking three-volume work, The Destruction of the European Jews, estimates that 5.1 million Jews died during the Holocaust. The estimates:. However, the following estimates are considered to be highly reliable.

Recently declassified British and Soviet documents have indicated the total may be somewhat higher than previously believed[15]. The exact number of people killed by the Nazi regime will never be known, but scholars, using a variety of methods of determining the death toll, have generally agreed upon common range of the number of victims. There had earlier been attempts at sterilizing them using X-rays. About 100,000 communists were killed.

[14] However, Japan was part of the Axis Pact with Germany, and no Japanese were known to be deliberately imprisoned or killed. Black and Asian residents in Germany, and black prisoners of war, were also victims; often being singled out in internment camps. People with disabilities were among the first to be killed, and the United States Holocaust Memorial museum notes that the T-4 Program became the "model" for future exterminations by the Nazi regime.[13] The T-4 Euthanasia Program was established in 1939 in order to maintain the "purity" of the so-called Aryan race by systematically killing children and adults born with physical deformities or suffering from mental illness. Around 400,000 individuals were sterilized against their will for having mental deficiencies or illnesses deemed to be hereditary in nature.

The Nazis believed that the disabled were a burden to society because they needed to be cared for by others, but first and foremost, the mentally and physically handicapped were considered an affront to Nazi notions of a society peopled by a perfect, superhuman Aryan race. Several hundred thousand mentally and physically disabled people also were exterminated. They refused involvement in politics, would not say "Heil Hitler", and did not serve in the German army. Around 2,000 Jehovah's Witnesses perished in concentration camps, where they were held for political and ideological reasons.

The Nazis also targeted some religious groups. They were labeled "anti-social," but were rarely sent to camps for the engaging in homosexuality. Lesbians were not normally treated as harshly as gay men. According to Heinz Heger, in the concentration camps gay men "suffered a higher mortality rate than other relatively small victim groups, such as Jehovah's Witnesses and political prisoners."[12].

Some gay men were also used in medical experiments. The deaths of at least an estimated 15,000 gay men in concentration camps were officially documented, but it is difficult to put an exact number on just how many gay men perished in death camps. Hundreds of European gay men living under Nazi occupation were castrated under court order. An additional unknown number were institutionalized in state-run mental hospitals.

More than one million gay German men were targeted, of whom at least 100,000 were arrested and 50,000 were serving prison terms as convicted gay men. By 1936, however, homosexual members of the party had been purged and Heinrich Himmler led an effort to persecute gays under existing and new anti-gay laws. Initially homosexuality was discreetly tolerated while officially shunned, and the early Nazi leadership included a number of known homosexuals. Gay (homosexual) men were also targets of the Holocaust, as homosexuality was deemed incompatible with Nazism because of their failure to reproduce the "master race." This was combined with homophobia and the belief among the Nazis that homosexuality could be contagious.

Between a quarter and a half of the Romani population was killed, upwards of 220,000 people.[11] In Eastern Europe, Roma were deported to the Jewish ghettoes, shot by SS Einsatzgruppen in their villages, and deported and gassed in Auschwitz and Treblinka. Although, despite discriminatory measures, some Romani groups, including some of the Sinti and Lalleri of Germany, were spared deportation and death, the remaining Romani groups suffered much like the Jews. Hitler's campaign of genocide against the Romani population of Europe involved a particularly bizarre application of Nazi "racial hygiene". Proportional to their population, the death toll of Romanies (Roma, Sinti, and Manush) in the Holocaust was the worst of any group of victims.

The Slavs of Croatia and Slovakia were allies of Nazi Germany, and participated as collaborators in the Holocaust. At the same time, not all Slavs were targeted by the Nazis. Bodan Wytwycky estimated that as many as one quarter of all Soviet civilian deaths at the hands of the Nazis and their allies were racially motivated, or 3 million Ukrainian deaths and 1.5 Belarusan deaths.[10]. Thousands of Soviet peasant villages were annihilated by German troops for more or less the same reason.

During Operation Barbarossa, the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Red Army prisoners of war were arbitrarily executed in the field by the invading German armies (in particular by the notorious Waffen SS), died under inhuman conditions in German prisoner-of-war camps, or were shipped to extermination camps for execution simply because they were of Slavic extraction. The Nazi occupation of Poland (General Government, Reichsgau Wartheland) was one of the most brutal episodes of World War Two, resulting in over six million Polish deaths (over twenty percent of the country's inhabitants), including the extermination of three million Polish Jews, many in extermination camps like Auschwitz. The intelligentsia and socially prominent or influential people were primarily targeted, although there were some mass murders committed against the general population, as well as against other groups of Slavs. Poles were one of the first targets of extermination by Hitler, as outlined in the speech he gave the Wehrmacht commanders before the invasion of Poland in 1939.

Some Jews outside Europe under Nazi occupation were also affected by the Holocaust. Belgium, Romania, Luxembourg, Norway, and Estonia lost around half of their Jewish population, the Soviet Union over one third of its Jews, and even countries such as France and Italy had each seen around a quarter of their Jewish population killed. Greece, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Lithuania, Bohemia, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Latvia each had over 70% of their Jewish population destroyed. Poland, home of the largest Jewish community in the world before the war, had had over 90% of its Jewish population, or about 3,000,000 Jews, killed.

By the end of the war, much of the Jewish population of Europe had been killed in the Holocaust. Even as the Nazi war machine faltered in the last years of the war, precious military resources such as fuel, transport, munitions, soldiers and industrial resources were still being heavily diverted away from the war and towards the death camps. Sebastian Haffner published the analysis in 1978 that Hitler from December 1941 accepted the failure of his goal to dominate Europe forever on his declaration of war against the United States, but that his withdrawal and apparent calm thereafter was sustained by the achievement of his second goal—the extermination of the Jews.[9]. They began to systematically deport Jewish populations from the ghettos and all occupied territories to the seven camps designated as Vernichtungslager, or extermination camps: Auschwitz, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Maly Trostenets, Sobibór and Treblinka II.

Josef Bühler urged Reinhard Heydrich to proceed with the Final Solution in the General Government. Dr. In January 1942, during the Wannsee conference, several Nazi leaders discussed the details of the "Final Solution of the Jewish question" (Endlösung der Judenfrage). As the war started, large massacres of Jews took place, and, by December 1941, Hitler decided to completely exterminate European Jews.

By April 1939, nearly all Jewish companies had either collapsed under financial pressure and declining profits, or had been forced to sell out to the Nazi-German government as part of the "Aryanization " policy inaugurated in 1937. On 15 November of 1938, Jewish children were banned from going to normal schools. In 1936, Jews were banned from all professional jobs, effectively preventing them exerting any influence in education, politics, higher education and industry. This was followed by the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 that prevented marriage between any Jew and non-Jew, and stripped all Jews of German citizenships (their official title became "subject of the state") and of their basic civil rights, e.g., to vote.

The "Law for the Restoration of a Professional Civil Service" marked the first time since Germany's unification in 1871 that an anti-Semitic law had been passed in Germany. Under the “Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service”, passed by the Reichstag on April 7, 1933, all Jewish civil servants at the Reich, Länder, and municipal levels of government were fired immediately. A series of increasingly harsh racist laws were soon passed in quick succession. On April 1, 1933, shortly after Hitler's accession to power, the Nazis, led mainly by Julius Streicher, and the Sturmabteilung, organized a one-day boycott of all Jewish-owned businesses in Germany.

This Anti-Semitism was echoed by Nazi groups such as the Sturmabteilung by songs like "When Jewish blood drips off the blade" and the rallying cry "Juda verrecke" (Perish the Jew). Adolf Hitler's fanatical brand of racial anti-Semitism was laid out in his 1925 book Mein Kampf, which, though largely ignored when it was first printed, became a bestseller in Germany once Hitler acquired political power. Anti-Semitism was common in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s (though its roots go back much further). [8].

These victims all perished alongside one another in the camps, according to the extensive documentation left behind by the Nazis themselves (written and photographed), eyewitness testimony (by survivors, perpetrators, and bystanders), and the statistical records of the various countries under occupation. The victims of the Holocaust were Jews, Polish, Russian, Communists, homosexuals, Roma (also known as gypsies), the mentally ill and the physically disabled, intelligentsia and political activists, Jehovah's Witnesses, some Catholic and Protestant clergy, trade unionists, psychiatric patients, some Africans, common criminals and people labeled as "enemies of the state". Day to day life in the concentration camps was also brutal, with the Nazis regularly carrying out beatings and acts of torture. Many of these prisoners did not survive.

Another way the Nazis killed Jews were by putting them in tanks and dropping gas on them for short periods of time. Many of these experiments were intended to produce 'racially pure' babies and as research into weapons and techniques of war. Josef Mengele, medical officer at Auschwitz and chief medical officer at Birkenau, was known as the "Angel of Death" for his cruel and bizarre medical and eugenics experiments, e.g., trying to change people's eye colour by injecting dye into their eyes. Dr.

Nazis carried out cruel and deadly medical experiments on prisoners, including children. The Holocaust was carried out without any mercy or reprieve for children or babies, and victims were often made to suffer before finally being killed. The extermination continued in different parts of Nazi-controlled territory until the end of World War II, only completely ending when the Allies entered Germany itself and forced the Nazis to surrender in May 1945. Documented evidence suggests that the Nazis planned to carry out their 'final solution' in Britain, North America, and Palestine if these regions were conquered.

Hundreds of thousands also died in the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Yugoslavia, and Greece. The mass killing was at its worst in Central and Eastern Europe, which had more than 7 million Jews in 1939; about 5 million Jews were killed there, including 3 million in Poland and over 1 million in the Soviet Union. The Holocaust was geographically widespread and methodically conducted in virtually all areas of Nazi-occupied territory, where Jews and other victims were targeted in what are now 35 separate European nations, and sent to labor camps in some nations or extermination camps in others. Technology developed by IBM also played a role in the categorization of prisoners, through the use of index machines.

Rudolf Hoess, Auschwitz camp commandant, said that far from having to advertise their slave labour services, the concentration camps were actually approached by various large German businesses, some of which are still in existence. Alleged corporate involvement in the Holocaust has created significant controversy in recent years. Then they used a larger truck exhaust and it took only eight minutes to kill all the people inside.[7]. First they used a light military car, and it took more than 30 minutes for people to die.

In October 1941, in Mogilev, they tried the Gaswagen or "gas car". Then they tried dynamite, but few were killed and many were left wounded with hands and legs missing, so that the Germans had to finish them off with machine guns. Initially, they tried shooting them by having them stand one behind the other, so that several people could be killed with one bullet, but it was too slow. In 1941, after occupying Belarus, they used mental patients from Minsk asylums as guinea pigs.

In his book Russia's War, British historian Richard Overy describes how the Nazis sought more efficient ways to kill people. In addition, considerable effort was expended over the course of the Holocaust to find increasingly efficient means of killing more people; for example, by switching from carbon monoxide poisoning in the Aktion Reinhard death camps of Belzec, Sobibór, and Treblinka to the use of Zyklon B at Majdanek and Auschwitz. As prisoners entered the death camps, they were made to surrender all personal property to the Nazis, which was then precisely catalogued and tagged, and for which receipts were issued. For example, detailed lists of potential victims were made and maintained using Dehomag statistical machinery, and meticulous records of the killings were produced (for example, the precise counts of executed Jews in the Höfle Telegram).

The Holocaust was characterized by the efficient and systematic attempt on an industrial scale to assemble and kill as many victims as possible, using all of the resources and technology available to the Nazi state. Its perpetrators saw it as a form of eugenics—the creation of a better race by eliminating the designated "unfit"—along the same lines as their programs of compulsory sterilization, compulsory euthanasia, and "racial hygiene". The Holocaust was justified by claiming that the victims were Untermenschen, i.e., 'underlings' or 'subhumans', who were seen as both biologically inferior and (in the case of Jews) a potential challenge to the superiority of the 'Aryans'. The difficult decision had to be taken to make these people disappear from the earth.".

I regard myself as having no right to exterminate (ausrotten) the men—in other words, to kill them or have them killed—and to let the avengers in the form of the children grow up for our sons and grandsons to deal with. In a speech in October 1943, Heinrich Himmler, the Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel (SS), told a group of senior SS men and Nazi party leaders: "What about the women and children? I decided to find an absolutely clear solution here too. It is estimated that die Endlösung der Judenfrage (the Final Solution of the Jewish Question), as the Nazis called it during the Wannsee conference of January 1942, saw the extermination of 64 percent of all the Jews in Europe, or 35 percent of the world's Jewish population. The Holocaust was an intentional and meticulously planned attempt to entirely eradicate the target groups based on ethnicity.

The work of Ploetz and the words of Binding and Hoche were the foreshadowings of Hitler's "final solution" two decades later. Written by Karl Binding, a widely respected judge, and renowned psychiatrist Alfred Hoche, the work was key to the formulation of Nazi ideology, rhetoric and practice:. Sixteen years later, a work seminal to the development of the German eugenics movement, The Permission to Destroy Life Unworthy of Life, was published. In 1904, Alfred Ploetz founded the German Eugenics Society.

There were several characteristics to the Nazi Holocaust which, taken together, distinguish it from other genocides in history. The biblical word Shoa (שואה), also spelled Shoah and Sho'ah, meaning "calamity" in Hebrew, became the standard Hebrew term for the Holocaust as early as the early 1940s.[5] Shoa is preferred by many Jews and a growing number of others for a number of reasons, including the potentially theologically offensive nature of the original meaning of the word holocaust. The term is also used by many in a narrower sense, to refer specifically to the unprecedented destruction of European Jewry in particular. By the late 1970s, however, the conventional meaning of the word became the Nazi genocide.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word was first used to describe Hitler's treatment of the Jews from as early as 1942, though did not become a standard reference until the 1950s. Since the late 19th century, "holocaust" has primarily been used to refer to disasters or catastrophes. The word holocaust originally derived from the Greek word holokauston, meaning "a completely (holos) burnt (kaustos) sacrificial offering" to a god. .


. At least 140,000 Poles were sent to Auschwitz, and the Polish intelligentsia were the first targets of the Einsatzgruppen death squads.[4]. Additionally, scholars disagree as to what proportion of the 1.8-1.9 million non-Jewish Polish civilian deaths during the Nazi conquest and occupation of Poland were part of the Holocaust, though there is no doubt of the eventual genocidal intentions of the Nazis towards the Poles. Many scholars do not include the Nazi persecution of all of these groups in the definition of the Holocaust, with some scholars limiting the Holocaust to the genocide of the Jews; some to genocide of the Jews, Roma, and disabled; and some to all groups targeted by Nazi racism.[2] Taking all these other groups into account, however, the total death toll rises considerably, estimates generally place the total number of Holocaust victims at 9 to 11 million, though some estimates have been as high as 26 million.[3].

Other groups deemed "racially inferior" or "undesirable", Soviet military prisoners of war including Russians and other Slavs, Poles, the mentally or physically disabled, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Communists and political dissidents and criminals, were also persecuted and killed. About 220,000 Sinti and Roma were killed in the Holocaust (some estimates are as high as 800,000), between a quarter to a half of the European population. The commonly used figure for the number of Jewish victims is six million, so much so that the phrase "six million" is now almost universally interpreted as referring to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, though mainstream estimates by historians of the exact number range from five million to seven million. The Jews of Europe were the main victims of the Holocaust in what the Nazis called the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question".

This figure does not include the people who died fighting. The total number of people liquidated in the death camps is placed at approximately ten million with Jews numbering almost six million. Some also include the homosexuals and the communists. They were the Jews, the Poles, and the Gypsies.

It is widely accepted among Holocaust historians that the Nazis systematically targeted three races of people for extinction in Europe. Early elements of the Holocaust include the Kristallnacht pogrom and the T-4 Euthanasia Program, progressing to the later use of killing squads and extermination camps in a massive and centrally organized effort to exterminate every possible member of the populations targeted by the Nazis. The Holocaust is the name applied to the systematic state-sponsored persecution and genocide of the Jews of Europe along with other groups during World War II by Nazi Germany and collaborators[1]. 1–1.5 million political dissidents.

2.5–4 million Soviet POWs. 3.5–6 million other Slavic civilians. 2,000 Jehovah's Witnesses. 10,000–25,000 homosexual men.

200,000–300,000 people with disabilities. 200,000–800,000 Roma & Sinti. 1.8 –1.9 million Gentile Poles (includes all those killed in executions or those that died in prisons, labor, and concentration camps, as well as civilians killed in the 1939 invasion and the 1944 Warsaw Uprising)[17]. 5.1–6.0 million Jews, including 3.0–3.5 million Polish Jews[16].

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