The Holocaust

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]. 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.

It is widely accepted among Holocaust historians that the Nazis systematically targeted three races of people for extinction in Europe. They were the Jews, the Poles, and the Gypsies. Some also include the homosexuals and the communists. The total number of people liquidated in the death camps is placed at approximately ten million with Jews numbering almost six million. This figure does not include the people who died fighting.

The Jews of Europe were the main victims of the Holocaust in what the Nazis called the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question". 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.

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. 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. 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]

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. At least 140,000 Poles were sent to Auschwitz, and the Polish intelligentsia were the first targets of the Einsatzgruppen death squads.[4]


Etymology and usage of the term

The word holocaust originally derived from the Greek word holokauston, meaning "a completely (holos) burnt (kaustos) sacrificial offering" to a god. Since the late 19th century, "holocaust" has primarily been used to refer to disasters or catastrophes. 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. By the late 1970s, however, the conventional meaning of the word became the Nazi genocide. The term is also used by many in a narrower sense, to refer specifically to the unprecedented destruction of European Jewry in particular.

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.

Child survivors of the Holocaust filmed during the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Red Army. January, 1945

Features of the Nazi Holocaust

There were several characteristics to the Nazi Holocaust which, taken together, distinguish it from other genocides in history.

Premeditation

In 1904, Alfred Ploetz founded the German Eugenics Society. Sixteen years later, a work seminal to the development of the German eugenics movement, The Permission to Destroy Life Unworthy of Life, was published. 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:

The work of Ploetz and the words of Binding and Hoche were the foreshadowings of Hitler's "final solution" two decades later.

Locations of mass killings carried out by the Nazi Einsatzgruppen death squads in Eastern Europe.

The Holocaust was an intentional and meticulously planned attempt to entirely eradicate the target groups based on ethnicity. 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.

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. 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. The difficult decision had to be taken to make these people disappear from the earth."

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'. 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".

Efficiency

Ghettos established in Europe in which Jews were confined, in ghettos and later in temporary concentration centers and later shipped to extermination camps.

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.

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). 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. 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.

In his book Russia's War, British historian Richard Overy describes how the Nazis sought more efficient ways to kill people. In 1941, after occupying Belarus, they used mental patients from Minsk asylums as guinea pigs. 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. 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. In October 1941, in Mogilev, they tried the Gaswagen or "gas car". First they used a light military car, and it took more than 30 minutes for people to die. Then they used a larger truck exhaust and it took only eight minutes to kill all the people inside.[7]

Alleged corporate involvement in the Holocaust has created significant controversy in recent years. 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. Technology developed by IBM also played a role in the categorization of prisoners, through the use of index machines.

Scale

Major deportation routes to the extermination camps in Europe.

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. 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. Hundreds of thousands also died in the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Yugoslavia, and Greece.

Documented evidence suggests that the Nazis planned to carry out their 'final solution' in Britain, North America, and Palestine if these regions were conquered. 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.

Cruelty

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. Nazis carried out cruel and deadly medical experiments on prisoners, including children. Dr. 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. Many of these experiments were intended to produce 'racially pure' babies and as research into weapons and techniques of war. 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 prisoners did not survive. Day to day life in the concentration camps was also brutal, with the Nazis regularly carrying out beatings and acts of torture.

Victims

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". 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. [8]

Jews

Nazis in uniform in Vienna, Austria 1938 mock Jews forced to scrub streets

Anti-Semitism was common in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s (though its roots go back much further). 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. 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).

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. A series of increasingly harsh racist laws were soon passed in quick succession. 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. 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. 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.

In 1936, Jews were banned from all professional jobs, effectively preventing them exerting any influence in education, politics, higher education and industry. On 15 November of 1938, Jewish children were banned from going to normal schools. 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.

Heinrich Himmler (left), leader of the SS (responsible for rounding up Jews), with Adolf Hitler (right).

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

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.

By the end of the war, much of the Jewish population of Europe had been killed in the Holocaust. 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. Greece, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Lithuania, Bohemia, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Latvia each had over 70% of their Jewish population destroyed. 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. Some Jews outside Europe under Nazi occupation were also affected by the Holocaust.

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. 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. 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.

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. Thousands of Soviet peasant villages were annihilated by German troops for more or less the same reason. 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]

At the same time, not all Slavs were targeted by the Nazis. The Slavs of Croatia and Slovakia were allies of Nazi Germany, and participated as collaborators in the Holocaust.

Roma, Sinti, and Manush ('Gypsies')

Gypsy arrivals in the Belzec death camp await instructions

Proportional to their population, the death toll of Romanies (Roma, Sinti, and Manush) in the Holocaust was the worst of any group of victims. Hitler's campaign of genocide against the Romani population of Europe involved a particularly bizarre application of Nazi "racial hygiene". 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. 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.

Gay men

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.

Initially homosexuality was discreetly tolerated while officially shunned, and the early Nazi leadership included a number of known homosexuals. 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.

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. An additional unknown number were institutionalized in state-run mental hospitals. Hundreds of European gay men living under Nazi occupation were castrated under court order. 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. Some gay men were also used in medical experiments. 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]. Lesbians were not normally treated as harshly as gay men. They were labeled "anti-social," but were rarely sent to camps for the engaging in homosexuality.

Jehovah's Witnesses

The Nazis also targeted some religious groups. Around 2,000 Jehovah's Witnesses perished in concentration camps, where they were held for political and ideological reasons. They refused involvement in politics, would not say "Heil Hitler", and did not serve in the German army.

Disabled people

Several hundred thousand mentally and physically disabled people also were exterminated. 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. Around 400,000 individuals were sterilized against their will for having mental deficiencies or illnesses deemed to be hereditary in nature. 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.

Others

Black and Asian residents in Germany, and black prisoners of war, were also victims; often being singled out in internment camps. [14] However, Japan was part of the Axis Pact with Germany, and no Japanese were known to be deliberately imprisoned or killed.

About 100,000 communists were killed. There had earlier been attempts at sterilizing them using X-rays.

Death toll

General (later US President) Dwight Eisenhower inspecting prisoners' corpses at a liberated concentration camp, 1945

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. Recently declassified British and Soviet documents have indicated the total may be somewhat higher than previously believed[15]. However, the following estimates are considered to be highly reliable. The estimates:

  • 5.1–6.0 million Jews, including 3.0–3.5 million Polish Jews[16]
  • 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]
  • 200,000–800,000 Roma & Sinti
  • 200,000–300,000 people with disabilities
  • 10,000–25,000 homosexual men
  • 2,000 Jehovah's Witnesses

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. 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. 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]

Map titled "Jewish Executions Carried Out by Einsatzgruppe A" from the December 1941 Jager Report by the commander of a Nazi death squad. Marked "Secret Reich Matter," the map shows the number of Jews shot in the Baltic region, and reads at the bottom: "the estimated number of Jews still on hand is 128,000."

Lucy Davidowicz used prewar census figures to estimate that 5.934 million Jews died. Using official census counts may cause an underestimate since many births and deaths were not recorded in small towns and villages. Another reason some consider her estimate too low is that many records were destroyed during the war. Her listing of deaths by country is available in the article about her book, The War Against the Jews.[21]

One of the most authoritative German scholars of the Holocaust, Prof. 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]

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.

  • 3.5–6 million other Slavic civilians
  • 2.5–4 million Soviet POWs
  • 1–1.5 million political dissidents

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 summary of various sources' estimates on the number of Nazi regime victims is given in Matthew White's online atlas of 20th century history.

Searching for records of victims

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. These efforts became much less intense as the years went by. More recently, however, there has a been a resurgence of interest by descendants of Holocaust survivors in researching the fates of their lost relatives. Yad Vashem provides a searchable database of three million names, about half of the known direct Jewish victims. 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.

Other databases and lists of victims' names, some searchable over the Web, are listed in Holocaust (resources).

Execution of the Holocaust

Concentration and Labor Camps (1933-1945)

Main articles: Concentration camp , Nazi concentration camp badges. Major concentration camps in Europe, 1944.

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". These early concentration camps were eventually consolidated into centrally run camps, and by 1939, six large concentration camps had been established. 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.

Concentration camp inmates during the Holocaust

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. 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. The transportation of prisoners was often carried out under horrifying conditions using rail freight cars, in which many died before they reached their destination. 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.

Pogroms (1938-1941)

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. 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. Similar events took place in Vienna at the same time.

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.

Euthanasia (1939-1941)

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. Between 1939 and 1941, over 200,000 people were killed.

Ghettos (1940-1945)

Main articles: Ghetto , Warsaw Ghetto , Vilna Ghetto. A child dying in the streets of the crowded Warsaw Ghetto, where hunger and disease were endemic.

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. 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). 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. From 1940 through 1942, disease (especially typhoid) and starvation killed hundreds of thousands of Jews confined in the ghettos.

On July 19, 1942, Heinrich Himmler ordered the start of the deportations of Jews from the ghettos to the death camps. 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. Many other ghettos were completely depopulated. 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.

Death squads (1941-1943)

The 1941 massacre at Babi Yar was similar to many other mass killings of Jews. Over 33,000 Jews were shot in the course of two days by Nazi Einsatzgruppen and local Ukrainian forces.

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. 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.

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. 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. 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. These, and similar slaughters throughout Europe, killed around 100,000 Jews per month for five months. 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.

Extermination camps (1942-1945)

Selection at the Auschwitz-Birkenau ramp in 1944, where the Nazis chose who to kill immediately and who use as slave labor or for medical experiments. The entrance to the main camp is in the background.

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. Over three million Jews would die in these extermination camps. 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. 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.

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

Empty Giftgas canisters and hair shaved from the victims, as seen in the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum

the latter possessing four gas chambers and crematoria. 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. At the peak of operations, Birkenau's gas chambers killed approximately eight thousand a day.

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. The Nazis also forced some prisoners to work in the collection and disposal of corpses, and to mutilate them when required. 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.

Death marches and liberation (1944-1945)

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. 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. Prisoners who lagged behind or fell were shot. The largest and best known of the death marches took place in January 1945, when the Soviet army advanced on Poland. 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. Around 15,000 died on the way.

In July, 1944, the first major Nazi camp, Majdanek, was discovered by the advancing Soviets, who eventually liberated Auschwitz in January 1945. 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. Concentration camps were also liberated by American and British forces, including Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on April 15. Some 60,000 prisoners were discovered at the camp, but 10,000 died from disease or malnutrition within a few weeks of liberation.

Resistance and rescuers

Resistance

SS officers walking through the destroyed Ghetto after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

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. There are, however, many cases of attempts at resistance in one form or another.

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. The ZOB and smaller organizations held out against the Nazis for 27 days, before all were killed. There were also other Ghetto Uprisings, though none were successful against the German military.

There were also major resistance efforts in three of the extermination camps. In August 1943 an uprising also took place at the Treblinka extermination camp. Many buildings were burnt to the ground, and seventy inmates escaped to freedom, but 1,500 were killed. Gassing operations were interrupted for a month. In October 1943 another uprising took place at Sobibór extermination camp. 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. The escape forced the Nazis to close the camp. 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. Female prisoners had smuggled in explosives from a weapons factory, and Crematorium IV was partly destroyed by an explosion. The prisoners then attempted a mass escape, but all 250 were killed soon after.

There were a number of Jewish partisan groups operating in many countries (see Eugenio Calò for the story of a Jewish Italian partisan). Also, Jewish volunteers from the Palestinian Mandate, most famously Hannah Szenes, parachuted into Europe in an attempt to organize resistance.

Rescuers

Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and his colleagues saved as many as 100,000 Hungarian Jews by providing them with diplomatic passes.

In two cases, entire countries resisted the deportation of their Jewish population. 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. When the Jews returned home at war's end, they found their houses and possessions waiting for them, exactly as they left them. 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.

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. 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. In a few cases, individual diplomats and people of influence, such as Oskar Schindler or Nicholas Winton, protected large numbers of Jews. Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, the Italian Giorgio Perlasca, Chinese diplomat Ho Fengshan and others saved tens of thousands of Jews with fake diplomatic passes. Chiune Sugihara saved several thousands of Jews by issuing them with Japanese visas against the will of his Nazi-aligned government.

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. 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.

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.

Perpetrators and collaborators

Who was directly involved in the killings?

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. 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. And, though there was no single military unit in charge of the Holocaust, the SS under Himmler was the closest. From the SS came the Totenkopfverbände concentration camp guards, the Einsatzgruppen killing squads, and many of the administrative offices behind the Holocaust. 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. 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]

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. 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.

The Romanian Antonescu regime was directly responsible for the deaths of between 280,000 and 380,000 Jews. An official report[24]. 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. 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. 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. Nearly 100,000 Jews were killed in occupied Odessa and over 10,000 were killed in the Iasi pogrom. The Romanians also massacred Jews in the Domanevka and Akhmetchetka concentration camps.

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. The deported numbered about 8,369, and only about a thousand survived. 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.

Bulgaria, despite saving its own Jewish population, deported 11,000 Jews from occupied Greek and Yugoslavian territories. The Vichy French government and French police in Nazi-occupied France participated in the roundups of 75,000 Jews. The Netherlands civilian administration and police participated in the roundups of 100,000 Jews. A Dutch group, Henneicke Column, hunted and "delivered" 9,000 Jews for deportation[26]. Norwegian police rounded up 750 Jews. Slovakia's Tiso regime deported approximately 70,000 Jews, of whom 65,000 were killed.[27]

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. Hungarian army and police units killed several thousand Jews and Serbs in Novi Sad in January 1942. 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. 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. Moreover, 20,000 Budapest Jews were shot by the banks of the Danube by Hungarian forces. 70,000 Jews were forced on a death march to Austria—thousands were shot and thousands more died of starvation and exposure. [28]

Killing of 5,000 Jews in Kovno by Lithuanian nationalists in June 1941. The SS urged anti-communist partisan leader Klimatis to attack the Jews to show that "the liberated population had resorted to the most severe measures against the ... Jewish enemy."

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. The Ustase also deported 7,000 more Jews to German extermination camps.[29]

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. German Einsatzgruppen, together with Ukrainian auxiliary units, killed 33,000 Kievan Jews in Babi Yar in September 1941. Ukrainian auxiliaries participated in a number of killings of Jews, among them in Romanian concentration camps in Bogdanovka and in Latvia.

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. 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]

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. (source: Max Jakobson Commission Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity)

Who authorized the killings?

Hitler authorized the mass killing of those labelled by the Nazis as "undesirables" in the T-4 Euthanasia Program. 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. 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). 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. 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.

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.

Who knew about the killings?

Some claim that the full extent of what was happening in German-controlled areas was not known until after the war. However, numerous rumors and eyewitness accounts from escapees and others gave some indication that Jews were being killed in large numbers. 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. 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. 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]. 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. 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. 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:

Debate also continues on how much average Germans knew about the Holocaust. 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. 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].

Historical interpretations

Why did people participate in, authorize, or tacitly accept the killing?

Obedience

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. 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. These results were confirmed in other experiments as well, such as the Stanford prison experiment.

Functionalism versus intentionalism

A major issue in contemporary Holocaust studies is the question of functionalism versus intentionalism. 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. 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. Functionalists hold that Hitler was anti-Semitic, but that he did not have a masterplan for genocide. 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. Functionalists stress that the Nazi anti-Semitic policy was constantly evolving in ever more radical directions and the end product was the Holocaust.

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. Later Dawidowicz was to date the decision for genocide back to November 11, 1918. Other Intentionalists like Andreas Hillgruber, Karl Dietrich Bracher and Klaus Hildebrand suggested that Hitler had decided upon the Holocaust sometime in the early 1920s. 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. Yet another group of intentionalist historians such as the American Arno J. Mayer claimed Hitler only ordered the Holocaust in December 1941.

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. 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. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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 "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. 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". Not until July 1941 did the term "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" come to mean extermination.

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.

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. 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.

Revisionists and deniers

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. 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. 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."

Holocaust deniers almost always prefer to be called Holocaust revisionists. Most scholars contend that the latter term is misleading. 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. In contrast, Holocaust deniers typically willfully misuse or ignore historical records in order to attempt to prove their conclusions, as Gordon McFee writes:

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. In late 2005, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced the Holocaust of European Jewry as a "myth". [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).

Aftermath

Displaced Persons and the State of Israel

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. 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. As a result, more than 250,000 languished in DP camps for years after the war ended.

Jews were smuggled into Palestine by Berihah using a number of routes.

While Zionism had been prominent before the Holocaust, afterwards it became almost universally accepted among Jews. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Legal proceedings against Nazis

Defendants at the Nuremberg Trials - Front row: Göring, Heß, von Ribbentrop, and Keitel. Second row: Dönitz, Raeder, Schirach, Sauckel.

There were a number of legal efforts established to bring Nazis and their collaborators to justice. 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. In total, 5,025 Nazi criminals were convicted between 1945-1949 in the American, British and French zones of Germany. 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. An ongoing effort to pursue Nazis and collaborators resulted, famously, in the trial of Holocaust organizer Adolf Eichmann in Israel in 1961.

Legal action against genocide

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. 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.

Impact on culture

Holocaust theology

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. Some believers and apostates question whether people can still have any faith after the Holocaust, and some
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Some believers and apostates question whether people can still have any faith after the Holocaust, and some . The game has been blamed by many educators for a fall in performance in school.[citation needed] The game is indeed so addictive that it has been nicknamed WarCrack, in a manner like EverQuest named EverCrack. 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. Further criticisms have focused on the addictive nature of WoW. 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. Blizzard have responded by outlining the policy they based this decision on, "To promote a positive game environment for everyone and help prevent such harassment from taking place as best we can, we prohibit mention of topics related to sensitive real-world subjects in open chat within the game, and we do our best to take action whenever we see such topics being broadcast.". 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. The incident occured after several players were cited for "harassment" after advocating a group for gay-straight alliance[8] [9].

An ongoing effort to pursue Nazis and collaborators resulted, famously, in the trial of Holocaust organizer Adolf Eichmann in Israel in 1961. Blizzard garnered criticism for their decision in January 2006 to ban mention of homosexuality in-game. 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. The RP and RP-PvP also have naming and chat rules to encourage roleplaying. In total, 5,025 Nazi criminals were convicted between 1945-1949 in the American, British and French zones of Germany. On a Normal or RP realm, players can only attack opposing faction members that willingly choose to "flag" themselves. 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. On a PvP or RP-PvP realm certain areas known as "contested areas" allow players to freely attack members of the opposing faction.

There were a number of legal efforts established to bring Nazis and their collaborators to justice. Normal, Player versus Player (PvP), roleplaying (RP) and roleplaying player versus player (RP-PvP). 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. There are four different kinds of realm. 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. Users may have up to ten characters per each realm, up to a maximum of fifty characters per account. 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. World of Warcraft also uses servers, known as 'realms' to allow players to choose their preferred gameplay type, and to allow the game to support as many subscribers as it does.

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. Some of the expansion's features will be available to all players, though the most significant additions – visiting Outland, creating characters of the two new races, and so on – will require the Burning Crusade to be installed. While Zionism had been prominent before the Holocaust, afterwards it became almost universally accepted among Jews. The expansion will also feature Outland as a new playable zone, as well as a new flying mount, usable only in Outland, for high-level players. As a result, more than 250,000 languished in DP camps for years after the war ended. It will include an increased level cap of 70, a new crafting profession, and two new races, one of which being the Blood Elves for the Horde. 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. On October 28, 2005 Blizzard revealed that the first expansion pack will be called World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.

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. However, it is possible to launch World of Warcraft without the Blizzard Launcher by opening WoW.exe (typically found at C:Program FilesWorld of WarcraftWoW.exe). [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). The Blizzard Launcher is automatically opened by default desktop and start menu shortcuts. In late 2005, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced the Holocaust of European Jewry as a "myth". The Launcher was designed to report cheats that would be considered a bannable offense to the user so they may avoid starting the game (and Warden) before removing them. 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. In November 2005, Blizzard introduced patch version 1.8.3 which added the Blizzard Launcher application.

In contrast, Holocaust deniers typically willfully misuse or ignore historical records in order to attempt to prove their conclusions, as Gordon McFee writes:. In November 2005, it was proven that the XCP rootkit secretly included with Sony music CDs in the US for the purposes of copy prevention could be used to disguise cheat programs from The Warden. 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. However, such anti-cheat software can only follow a set of rules, so there follows a cat and mouse game as the game developers and cheat programmers attempt to circumvent each other. Most scholars contend that the latter term is misleading. In particular, Blizzard relies heavily on a technology known as The Warden which can detect some botting and cheating programs. Holocaust deniers almost always prefer to be called Holocaust revisionists. Although Blizzard continues to ban players when they are detected as cheating, many players have found ways to escape detection.

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.". Debates regarding the game's EULA as well as the rights of the players continue. 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. There has been some controversy as to the legality of The Warden, since it allegedly uses techniques similar to spyware in order to analyse other running software on the players' PCs, as well as the file system.[7] However, software such as anti-virus software loosely falls into this definition as well. 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. Blizzard makes heavy use of a system known as The Warden on the Windows version of the game in order to detect third-party programs, such as botting software. 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. So far, Blizzard has banned well over 25,000 players from the game.

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. Blizzard takes action against anyone who exploits the game by temporarily and permanently suspending accounts. 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. The World of Warcraft End User License Agreement specifically forbids these kinds of activities. Not until July 1941 did the term "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" come to mean extermination. This has since been stopped by modifying the linguistics engine to remove punctuation and numbers from the text. 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". One common exploit was the use of leet (an example is '|-|()// |2 U?', read as 'how r u?') to communicate between the Horde and the Alliance, since symbols and numbers were left unmodified in otherwise scrambled communications.

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. Such abuse ranges from gold farming to selling accounts on eBay. 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. As with all massively multiplayer online games, World of Warcraft has had its share of players who exploit the world of Azeroth. 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. WoWWiki [6] has several resources for information about WoW User Interface customization. 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. Blizzard has stated on the official forums that any modification that uses the Lua programming language will not be considered an exploit, though Blizzard reserves the right to change information available via the Lua language if the modification changes the nature of encounters in the game.

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. Use of these is against the Terms of Service agreed to when playing the game, and as such, may lead to possible suspension or closure of accounts. 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. Some programs that operate stand-alone, independent of World of Warcraft may be considered exploits, especially if they automate operation beyond that made available using the built-in macro functionality, or pass information in or out of the game. 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. Blizzard has released a User Interface Customization tool which they call "Cui" [5].. 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. All addons are created using the Lua programming language and XML, and images used for any modification are created using the .TGA (Targa) and .BLP image formats.

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. There are also various cosmetic mods, including one that reproduces the infamous 'Leeroy Jenkins' sound [4]. 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. The range of modifications that are available can be anything from ways to control Winamp in-game, to adding extra rows of button bars for spells, skills and more. 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. At a simple level it allows full control over the content of toolbars and hot keys, as well as macros to automate sets of operations and the ability to script much more elaborate tools. 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. Modifying the user interface (UI) of a game is nothing new, but Blizzard has included exceptional support for modifications.

Mayer claimed Hitler only ordered the Holocaust in December 1941. The upgrade from 10.3.5 to 10.3.9 is a free download from Apple. Yet another group of intentionalist historians such as the American Arno J. This is being done to help support upcoming x86-based Macs. 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. Note: In the patch notes for version 1.9.0, Blizzard announced that the operating system requirement for Mac OS X will increase from 10.3.5 to 10.3.9 in a future (beyond 1.9.0) patch or expansion. Other Intentionalists like Andreas Hillgruber, Karl Dietrich Bracher and Klaus Hildebrand suggested that Hitler had decided upon the Holocaust sometime in the early 1920s. This is discouraging for those who are not on an unlimited internet usage plan.

Later Dawidowicz was to date the decision for genocide back to November 11, 1918. Furthermore, they have not yet considered making it possible to play WOW as single player/Offline, that is: you play alone against the computer controlling NPCs. 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. FreeBSD users have also been successful in using Wine to run the game. Functionalists stress that the Nazi anti-Semitic policy was constantly evolving in ever more radical directions and the end product was the Holocaust. However, support for World of Warcraft is present in Windows API implementations Wine and Cedega, allowing the game to be played on Linux. 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. As of July 2005, Blizzard has no immediate plans to release a Linux version, but there is an online petition aimed at convincing Blizzard to release a true Linux port.

Functionalists hold that Hitler was anti-Semitic, but that he did not have a masterplan for genocide. World of Warcraft allows all users to play together, regardless of their operating system. 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 following requirements are as stated on the official World of Warcraft website, but generally players believe that these specifications are too low for the game to be played enjoyably. 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. Boxed copies of the game use a hybrid CD to install the game, eliminating the need for separate Mac and Windows retail products. A major issue in contemporary Holocaust studies is the question of functionalism versus intentionalism. World of Warcraft runs natively on both Macintosh and Microsoft Windows platforms.

These results were confirmed in other experiments as well, such as the Stanford prison experiment. [3]. 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.
On February 2, 2006, the game won the "Grand Prix" award at the 2006 Imagina Games Awards. 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. World of Warcraft won critical acclaim in 2004 and achieved many awards as a result of this, some which can be found at the official World of Warcraft list of awards. 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]. The impact of this on Blizzard's revenue is still to be determined.

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. On August 3, 2005, China implemented legislation which forbids minors from playing games in which players kill each other. Debate also continues on how much average Germans knew about the Holocaust. [2]. 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:. Due to World of Warcraft's high sales it has been described as a "runaway success" with "overwhelming popularity", which other games, like The Matrix Online, blame for their lackluster sales. 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. Blizzard also stated that at any given time at least 500,000 subscribers are online.

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. These numbers exclude all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or canceled subscriptions, and expired pre-paid cards. 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]. 1.5 million of these are from the Chinese launch on July 7, 2005. 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. Over 1 million of these players live in the US. 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. As of December 2005, World of Warcraft has more than 5,000,000 players worldwide, making it the most popular MMORPG in the world.

However, numerous rumors and eyewitness accounts from escapees and others gave some indication that Jews were being killed in large numbers. Still, in certain high population areas (like Ironforge or Orgrimmar), players continue to experience game performance delays. Some claim that the full extent of what was happening in German-controlled areas was not known until after the war. When more servers were added, these queues became less common and sales of the game resumed. 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. Due to the massive initial sales, there were also periods where players had to wait in queues before playing, as some realms were at their maximum player limit. 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. Sales were limited accordingly until more servers, called worlds, or realms, could be assembled.

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. Partly because of the huge number of people who bought the game, along with server instability, Blizzard chose to stop selling copies of the game some time after the launch. 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). As is common with the launch of a MMORPG, World of Warcraft had its share of problems at first. 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. And, as with any game, it has its own terminology. Hitler authorized the mass killing of those labelled by the Nazis as "undesirables" in the T-4 Euthanasia Program. World of Warcraft was declared by many in the computer gaming industry, including GameSpot and GameSpy, as 2004's game of the year.

(source: Max Jakobson Commission Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity). The game won high praise at E³ in 2003, including Gamer's Pulse's Best of Show award. 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. The game was released in China on June 6, 2005. 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]. On March 2, 2005, 100,000 testers signed up for China's WoW beta test within the first hour. 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. The game was released in Europe on February 11, 2005 with English, French and German language versions.

Ukrainian auxiliaries participated in a number of killings of Jews, among them in Romanian concentration camps in Bogdanovka and in Latvia. Though not officially released in South Korea until January 18, 2005, it had been found on store shelves since November 2004. German Einsatzgruppen, together with Ukrainian auxiliary units, killed 33,000 Kievan Jews in Babi Yar in September 1941. The game sold more than 240,000 copies in its first 24 hours on the market, more than any other PC game in history. 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. The collector's box contained the following items:. The Ustase also deported 7,000 more Jews to German extermination camps.[29]. One was the regular CD edition, and the other was the limited Collector's Edition.

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. Blizzard released two versions of the game upon its launch. [28]. The game was simultaneously released on both Windows and Macintosh computer systems in North America, Australia and New Zealand on November 23, 2004. 70,000 Jews were forced on a death march to Austria—thousands were shot and thousands more died of starvation and exposure. Rest increases whether or not a character is logged in, but slowly enough (10 days to reach a fully-rested state in an inn) that it is most easily noticed when a character is first logged in after not having been played for several hours or days. Moreover, 20,000 Budapest Jews were shot by the banks of the Danube by Hungarian forces. Players can increase the rate at which their characters gain rest by a factor of four by returning to an inn or capital city to log off.

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. However, in order to prevent players exploiting this by leaving one character logged off in an inn while playing another, the maximum amount of rest a character can accumulate is capped at 1.5 levels' worth; the quantity of experience this represents varies depending on the character's level. 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. This feature allows someone who has been away from the game for a period of time to double his leveling capability until he leaves the rested state, providing a "catch up" incentive upon returning to the game. Hungarian army and police units killed several thousand Jews and Serbs in Novi Sad in January 1942. While in rested state, a character will earn twice as much experience as would normally be gained from killing monsters, but will gain the standard amount of experience from completing quests and exploring. 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. The other system used by Blizzard to help the casual player is the "rested state".

Slovakia's Tiso regime deported approximately 70,000 Jews, of whom 65,000 were killed.[27]. Many players find grinding uninteresting and opt instead to continue to do quests. Norwegian police rounded up 750 Jews. For example, players gain similar experience overall from completing quests as by only killing monsters ('grinding'). A Dutch group, Henneicke Column, hunted and "delivered" 9,000 Jews for deportation[26]. In particular the game play has been changed to make it more even and fair for both hardcore and casual players. The Netherlands civilian administration and police participated in the roundups of 100,000 Jews. Blizzard has used World of Warcraft to make some changes to the typical MMORPG in response to the common complaints received from players about other games in this genre.

The Vichy French government and French police in Nazi-occupied France participated in the roundups of 75,000 Jews. As World of Warcraft is a constant work in progress, there are a number of issues affecting it. Bulgaria, despite saving its own Jewish population, deported 11,000 Jews from occupied Greek and Yugoslavian territories. These memes gain notoriety through postings on the World of Warcraft Forums. 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. There are various other memes, including "Face Melting", a reference to a very long thread on the priest forums on the World of Warcraft website which consisted of players saying "You will melt faces as a Shadow Priest in PvP" in different ways. The deported numbered about 8,369, and only about a thousand survived. On some servers and to a lesser extent, YTMND, has become a popular meme.

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. Also, there is a similarly reckless Arachnos Soldier NPC in the game City of Villains by the name of "Jenkins." In an amazing sign of the prevalence of the Jenkins joke, he was even part of a clue on the November 16th, 2005 episode of the TV game show College Jeopardy!. The Romanians also massacred Jews in the Domanevka and Akhmetchetka concentration camps. Or, in Adventure Quest, where a direct tribute to Leeroy Jenkins is replayed by players in the Vamprook Spyre. Nearly 100,000 Jews were killed in occupied Odessa and over 10,000 were killed in the Iasi pogrom. Leeroy's popularity is even present in other games such as Guild Wars, where an NPC named Kilroy Stonekin rushes into battle, disrupting a perfectly good plan, while yelling his name in a direct reference. 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. Another popular phenomenon in the community is a video starring a player named Leeroy Jenkins, intended to provide publicity for Leeroy's guild.

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. In addition to playing the game itself and conversing on discussion forums provided by Blizzard, World of Warcraft players often participate in the World of Warcraft virtual community in creative ways, including fan artwork, comic strip style storytelling or even recording songs devoted to deleted NPCs such as Captain Placeholder. 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.
. An official report[24].
. The Romanian Antonescu regime was directly responsible for the deaths of between 280,000 and 380,000 Jews. One of the more elaborate instances being RFD, otherwise known as Razorfen Downs, which consists of many hallways and rooms, and houses a long, elaborate spiral in the center, requiring users to fight everything in the way to advance.

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. Instances are very elaborate dungeons that require good skills and organization to conquer. 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. Some rare items such as armor sets, epic weapons, rare mounts, etc. 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]. Instances in World of Warcraft also feature many more rare item drops than just the world itself. 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. kill a certain number of enemies, or collect a certain number of objects).

From the SS came the Totenkopfverbände concentration camp guards, the Einsatzgruppen killing squads, and many of the administrative offices behind the Holocaust. Therefore, instanced dungeons tend to be much more interesting than normal areas, in which quest requirements are very simple (e.g. And, though there was no single military unit in charge of the Holocaust, the SS under Himmler was the closest. For example, requiring that a large group of enemies be defeated so that one can pull a lever to rotate a bridge in order to access a new section of the map makes sense when one group is traversing the dungeon linearly; it makes far less sense in public areas where hundreds of other players might be in the same area. 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. Typically, instanced dungeons are more elaborate and require more steps to be taken in a particular order for successful completion than are necessary in the main world. 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. The recently added Zul'Gurub and Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj instances allow for a maximum of 20 people and offers a more casual gameplay experience.

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. These are the toughest areas in the game and success in these four instances is virtually impossible without great organization and good equipment. 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. As of late 2005 there are four instances which allow for a maximum of 40 people: Onyxia's Lair, Molten Core, Blackwing Lair and the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj. 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. Instances will allow only a certain maximum group size to enter, ranging from 5-man groups in some small instances, to 40-man raids. Chiune Sugihara saved several thousands of Jews by issuing them with Japanese visas against the will of his Nazi-aligned government. This way a party can experience a dungeon without interference from other players, and cannot zerg it by bringing in outside help to overwhelm the opposition.

Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, the Italian Giorgio Perlasca, Chinese diplomat Ho Fengshan and others saved tens of thousands of Jews with fake diplomatic passes. Instances, or "Instanced dungeons", are dungeons that have been designed and tailored specifically for certain sizes of groups and are duplicated for each group that enters it. In a few cases, individual diplomats and people of influence, such as Oskar Schindler or Nicholas Winton, protected large numbers of Jews. World of Warcraft also features instances. 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. Given that every game like World of Warcraft has had new content sold as a new game expansion, this might be added in a future expansion for this game. 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. The 3rd major continent, Northrend, which was featured in Warcraft III and The Frozen Throne expansion, does not appear in the World of Warcraft at all.

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. The second-to-last content patch (1.8) introduces Emeriss, Taerar, Ysondre, and Lethon, four outdoor raid encounter dragons that protect the four portals to the Emerald Dream, and hints at further development of this storyline. When the Jews returned home at war's end, they found their houses and possessions waiting for them, exactly as they left them. It is unknown where this device is, how to acquire it, or whether its currently in the game right now at all. 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. He says that Eranikus is not dead and he can contact him, but he needs a powerful augur device that was stolen from him. In two cases, entire countries resisted the deportation of their Jewish population. The current quest chain ends when you talk to Umbranse the Spiritspeaker.

Also, Jewish volunteers from the Palestinian Mandate, most famously Hannah Szenes, parachuted into Europe in an attempt to organize resistance. It is also thought that the Essence of Eranikus trinket quest will be continued and will include Emerald Dream content. There were a number of Jewish partisan groups operating in many countries (see Eugenio Calò for the story of a Jewish Italian partisan). The green dragon and younger sister to Alexstrasza, she was empowered by the titan Eonar to be bound to the Emerald Dream in an eternal trance to forever watch over the wilds and the Druids. The prisoners then attempted a mass escape, but all 250 were killed soon after. Ysera or the Dreamer is one of the five Dragon Aspects that watch over the world of Azeroth. Female prisoners had smuggled in explosives from a weapons factory, and Crematorium IV was partly destroyed by an explosion. The other four portals, in Ashenvale, Duskwood, Feralas, and the Hinterlands are connected to the Emerald Dream.

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. (Note: This is speculation based on lore; there may be more to opening the portal than just acquiring the Book of Medivh.). The escape forced the Nazis to close the camp. The Naxxaramas Necropolis is not yet implemented, although you can see an inactive portal deep inside Stratholme. 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. This book might be found on Kel'Thuzad who ought to be found in the Naxxaramas Necropolis, above Stratholme. In October 1943 another uprising took place at Sobibór extermination camp. Some speculate that this portal will be opened when a player acquires the Book of Medivh.

Gassing operations were interrupted for a month. It is thought that this portal will be opened when the expansion set is released. Many buildings were burnt to the ground, and seventy inmates escaped to freedom, but 1,500 were killed. Information released recently says that, come the expansion, The Dark Portal will lead to Outland. In August 1943 an uprising also took place at the Treblinka extermination camp. It is however not advised as it is a bannable offense. There were also major resistance efforts in three of the extermination camps. It is possible to enter these zones, either accidentally or intentionally.

There were also other Ghetto Uprisings, though none were successful against the German military. Some examples of this are:. The ZOB and smaller organizations held out against the Nazis for 27 days, before all were killed. As of early 2006 a number of areas in the virtual world have yet to be implemented. 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. They are:. There are, however, many cases of attempts at resistance in one form or another. Some of the notable landmarks and locations in the game that were featured in previous Warcraft games, namely Warcraft III, are featured in the game.

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. This forced the Horde to mainly reside in Kalimdor, and the Alliance to settle predominantly in the Eastern Kingdoms. Some 60,000 prisoners were discovered at the camp, but 10,000 died from disease or malnutrition within a few weeks of liberation. While not all of the history of the four years between the end of The Frozen Throne and the start of World of Warcraft has been revealed, it is known that the conflict between the Horde's forces and the marines of the Theramore Isles at the end of the Orc mini-campaign were the kindling for the current conflict. Concentration camps were also liberated by American and British forces, including Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on April 15. The new World Tree of Teldrassil is off the northwestern coast of Kalimdor. 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. The current virtual world is built around two main continents: The Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor.

In July, 1944, the first major Nazi camp, Majdanek, was discovered by the advancing Soviets, who eventually liberated Auschwitz in January 1945. Some even grant a chance-on-hit ability, like the chance to spin the weapon wildly (damaging every hostile in the area) or hurl a fireball at enemies. Around 15,000 died on the way. Better weapons have a higher DPS (damage per second) and grant better increases to the player's attributes. 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. Some classes rely more heavily on weapons than others, the Warrior relying on weapons the most heavily while the Mage hardly ever engages in physical combat. The largest and best known of the death marches took place in January 1945, when the Soviet army advanced on Poland. Warriors can equip every weapon available in the game with the exception of wands.

Prisoners who lagged behind or fell were shot. Weapons: Every class can equip a melee weapon, while most can equip a ranged weapon such as a bow, wand, crossbow, or gun. 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. these usually provide no additional protection, instead boosting attributes or granting useful, sometimes bizarre abilities. 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. In addition, two rings, two trinkets, and a neck piece can be equipped to the character. 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. Armour can be equipped to the head, shoulders, back, chest, wrists, hands, legs, waist, and feet.

The Nazis also forced some prisoners to work in the collection and disposal of corpses, and to mutilate them when required. Armour is used to reduce damage taken from melee attacks, with cloth providing the least protection and plate providing the most. 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. Warriors and Paladins can equip Cloth, Leather, and Mail armor prior to level 40, at which point they can upgrade to Plate armor. At the peak of operations, Birkenau's gas chambers killed approximately eight thousand a day. Hunters, Shamans, Druids, and Rogues are restricted to Leather and Cloth armor; however, the former two can upgrade to Mail at level 40. 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. Mages, Priests, and Warlocks are restricted to Cloth armor.

the latter possessing four gas chambers and crematoria. Types of Armour and Requirements: There are several different types of armor in the game, but not every class can wear every kind. The largest death camp built was Auschwitz-Birkenau, which had both a labor camp (Auschwitz) and an extermination camp (Birkenau);. A few of the many available include: rabbit, parrot, snake, or chicken. More than 1.7 million Jews were killed at the three Aktion Reinhard camps by October 1943. Another set of miscellaneous items purchasable are non-combat pets, often stored in a crate in the player's inventory. In 1942, the Nazis began this most destructive phase of the Holocaust, with Aktion Reinhard, opening the extermination camps of Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka. Around major holidays (Christmas, Halloween, Chinese New Year, etc), special holiday-specific items and decorations appear in the game.

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. Miscellaneous Items: These items include balls that can be tossed back and forth between two people, snowballs, fireworks, alcohol, and many other novelty items (such as a flute that makes people dance). 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. Leatherworkers require skins and pelts to create items, and Alchemists require herbs and flowers. Over three million Jews would die in these extermination camps. that can be made by disenchanting green or better quality items. 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. Enchanters require essences, dusts, shards, crystals, etc.

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. Tailoring materials are usually some form of cloth, such as linen. These, and similar slaughters throughout Europe, killed around 100,000 Jews per month for five months. For example, ores and stones are materials for several Blacksmith and Engineering recipes. 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. Materials: Materials, or "mats", are the components to make an item through a profession. 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. Any soul shard collected is automatically put into the soul shard bag.

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. These bags are unique to warlocks, who have always had trouble with having to carry so many soul shards. 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. Soul shard bags have more slots than other bags as well, but only carry soul shards. 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. They also increase your firing speed. 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. Ammo bags have more slots than normal bags, however only ammo, such as arrows and bullets, can be put into them.

Many other ghettos were completely depopulated. There are also two types of special bags: Ammo bags and the new soul shard bags, introduced in patch 1.9. 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. For example, twenty Silk Cloth can occupy one slot, meaning Silk Cloth can stack up to 20, while a bolt of Linen can stock up to 10. On July 19, 1942, Heinrich Himmler ordered the start of the deportations of Jews from the ghettos to the death camps. Not all items are stackable, and the maximum stacking number varies from item to item. From 1940 through 1942, disease (especially typhoid) and starvation killed hundreds of thousands of Jews confined in the ghettos. Every item occupies one slot in a bag, unless it is "stackable." Stackable simply means that several items will occupy one slot in a bag.

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. They come in numerous carrying capacities, starting with a 4 slot bag, and increase in increments of two, up to 18. 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). Bags: Bags allow players to carry items. 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. There is speculation that the legendary mount has a faster speed than the standard epic mount. Between 1939 and 1941, over 200,000 people were killed. This is believed to be a one-of-a-kind item, even though some speculate that it may be a very rare mount drop in AQ as well, such as the mounts found in Zul'Gurub and Stratholme.

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 special mount, given to the one who opened the gates of Ahn'Qiraj, is also a legendary item. 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. Orange items, referred to as "legendary" quality, are the most powerful and rare in the game with only two weapons, and a necklace classified "legendary". Similar events took place in Vienna at the same time. With an exceptionally low drop rate, these items are hard to come by, and they are usually limited to boss drops or quest rewards. 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. An item that has its name written in purple is extraordinarily powerful, and is referred to as an "epic" item.

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. Blue items, too, sometimes carry an "Of the..." suffix. 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. Blue items are usually dropped by enemies in instances, and usually have better attribute increases than green items. The transportation of prisoners was often carried out under horrifying conditions using rail freight cars, in which many died before they reached their destination. An item of Blue rarity is powerful, and is classified as rare. 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. For example, items with the suffix "Of the Bear" carry Strength and Stamina boosts.

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. Green items often carry a suffix with an animal name, such as "Of the Bear" or "Of the Monkey." These tell what attributes the item carries. 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. An item of Green rarity is uncommon, and can be very useful. These early concentration camps were eventually consolidated into centrally run camps, and by 1939, six large concentration camps had been established. An item with a white name is often useful to someone. 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". Grey body parts from beasts are surprisingly lucrative, selling often for several times what other grey items of similar level would sell for; this is to compensate for the fact that beasts do not drop cash.

Other databases and lists of victims' names, some searchable over the Web, are listed in Holocaust (resources). These items are often known as "Vendor Trash" or "Vendor Fodder," as they are easily sold for a moderate amount of money to any vendor. 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. An item with a gray name is often worthless. Yad Vashem provides a searchable database of three million names, about half of the known direct Jewish victims. Rarity: The rarity of an item may be noted by the coloring of the item's name. More recently, however, there has a been a resurgence of interest by descendants of Holocaust survivors in researching the fates of their lost relatives. The deeper the color, the higher the rarity, and the higher stat boost it will grant.

These efforts became much less intense as the years went by. A weapon or piece of armor that boosts attributes will have its name written typically in green, blue, or purple, depending on how high the boost is. 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. Weapons may also boost attributes in a similar faction. 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. Some armor also can grant increases to critical hit percentage, dodge percentage, etc., and some grant unique abilities. 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. Attributes: Some items carry bonuses to a character's attributes.

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. There are various types of items in World of Warcraft, ranging from axes to flowers to animal organs. 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]. These special raptor and tiger-type mounts are very rare and take hours of game time to earn. One of the most authoritative German scholars of the Holocaust, Prof. Lastly, there are quests that are not very well known that can be done by each faction to gain a unique mount. Her listing of deaths by country is available in the article about her book, The War Against the Jews.[21]. Popular rumor has it that there are insectoid mounts as fast or faster than the epic level mounts of other species in the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj instance, added in January 2006.

Another reason some consider her estimate too low is that many records were destroyed during the war. Additionally, Baron Rivendare in Stratholme and Bloodlord Mandokir and High Priest Thekal of Zul'Gurub have a low chance of dropping epic mounts, unique to each individual, as well. Using official census counts may cause an underestimate since many births and deaths were not recorded in small towns and villages. Players who reach PvP rank 11 gain access to cheaper versions of the epic mounts. Lucy Davidowicz used prewar census figures to estimate that 5.934 million Jews died. There are several other ways to acquire a mount as well. 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]. That said, the price is subject to discounts for honored reputation with your faction or attainment of rank three (of fourteen) in PvP Combat.

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. In addition, if you are not a Paladin or Warlock, you must learn the riding skill before you can use a mount, which costs twenty gold. 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 Warlock and Paladin classes gain access to free mounts at level 40, and a cheaper mount at level 60, whereas every other class needs to pay 90 gold for their standard mount, or 1000 gold for their epic mount. The estimates:. The first is availible at level 40 and gives a 60% increase to movement speed, while the other mount (commonly referred to as an "epic" mount) becomes available at level 60 and gives a 100% bonus to movement speed. However, the following estimates are considered to be highly reliable. World of Warcraft offers different types of mounts that move players faster around the world.

Recently declassified British and Soviet documents have indicated the total may be somewhat higher than previously believed[15]. Additonally, the formula to calculate the amount of mana regenerated per second varies depending on the class. 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. Trolls have an inherent passive racial ability that keeps 10% of their health regeneration active during combat. There had earlier been attempts at sterilizing them using X-rays. Healing rotations can be used to counter this, though. About 100,000 communists were killed. This says that spirit will not regenerate mana until 5 seconds have passed since the last spell cast - which effectively nullifies mana regeneration if you cast continuously.

[14] However, Japan was part of the Axis Pact with Germany, and no Japanese were known to be deliberately imprisoned or killed. Mana does, but it is important to take the "5-second rule" into account. Black and Asian residents in Germany, and black prisoners of war, were also victims; often being singled out in internment camps. Regardless of how high your spirit is, your health does not regenerate in combat. 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. Each point of spirit increases the amount of mana regenerated by 1/8 and health by 1/9 per tick (every 2 seconds). Around 400,000 individuals were sterilized against their will for having mental deficiencies or illnesses deemed to be hereditary in nature. Spirit increases the rate at which you recover health and mana.

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. Stamina is especially important for Warriors and Warlocks, but is also important for any class that focuses on player versus player combat as the more stamina a player has, the longer the player survives. Several hundred thousand mentally and physically disabled people also were exterminated. Each point of Stamina increases a character's health by 10. They refused involvement in politics, would not say "Heil Hitler", and did not serve in the German army. Intellect is also used to determine the rate at which weapon skill increases. Around 2,000 Jehovah's Witnesses perished in concentration camps, where they were held for political and ideological reasons. This attribute is very important for casting classes (Mages, Warlocks, Priests, Druids, Shamans), and is also used by the Paladins and Hunters, although it is not of the highest priority.

The Nazis also targeted some religious groups. A level 60 mage will gain a 1% crit chance w/ spells for each 59.5 int they have.). They were labeled "anti-social," but were rarely sent to camps for the engaging in homosexuality. It is also linked to the critical strike chance with spells (Crit chance varies for every class/level. Lesbians were not normally treated as harshly as gay men. Each point of Intellect increases the character's mana by 15. 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]. This attribute is generally important for all melee classes (Warriors, Shamans, Paladins, Rogues and feral Druids) although Hunters also benefit from strength.

Some gay men were also used in medical experiments. It is also linked to the amount of damage blocked by a shield. 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. Each point of strength increases attack power by 2 points for Warriors, Paladins, Shamans and Druids, while Priests, Mages, Warlocks, Rogues and Hunters get 1 attack power per strength. Hundreds of European gay men living under Nazi occupation were castrated under court order. It is said for example that a level 60 Rogue gains a 1% chance to get a critical strike for every 29 Agility, and a level 60 Hunter receives 1% for every 53 Agility. An additional unknown number were institutionalized in state-run mental hospitals. Hunters and Rogues generally need as much as an agility boost as possible from gear (in game equipment).

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. Agility is also linked to a character's chance to dodge and perform a critical strike with a weapon (although the degree of effect varies for each class). 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. Hunters, Rogues and Druids also gain 1 point of melee attack power per point of Agility, although Druids only get attack power when shape-shifted to a Cat. Initially homosexuality was discreetly tolerated while officially shunned, and the early Nazi leadership included a number of known homosexuals. Each point of Agility increases armor by 2 points, and ranged attack power by 2 points. 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. For classes that rely on melee combat, strength is more important than spirit, while spell casters will benefit more from a spirit and intelligence boost than from a boost in strength.

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. For each class, different attributes are more important. 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. These attributes hold a key role in determining a character's health (hit points), mana (is used up by casting spells), attack power (each point of attack power increases a character's damage per second by 1/14), armor (reduces the amount of damage you take), dodge chance, critical strike chances (a default of double damage with ranged and melee weapons, a default of 1.5 times with spells), health regeneration, and mana regeneration. Hitler's campaign of genocide against the Romani population of Europe involved a particularly bizarre application of Nazi "racial hygiene". Strength (STR), Intellect (INT), Spirit (SPI), Agility (AGI), and Stamina (STA) are the attributes of World of Warcraft. Proportional to their population, the death toll of Romanies (Roma, Sinti, and Manush) in the Holocaust was the worst of any group of victims. They are as follows.

The Slavs of Croatia and Slovakia were allies of Nazi Germany, and participated as collaborators in the Holocaust. Attributes are used by the game to calculate strengths and weaknesses for each character. At the same time, not all Slavs were targeted by the Nazis. In the upcoming expansion, the Jewel Crafting profession will be introduced. 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]. These types of players will typically offer gathered items for sale in the game's auction houses. Thousands of Soviet peasant villages were annihilated by German troops for more or less the same reason. Some players choose to select only "gathering" professions, opting to simply supply resources to players with item creation skills.

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 most commonly paired skills are as follows: Mining and Blacksmithing, Mining and Engineering, Skinning and Leatherworking, Herbalism and Alchemy, and to a lesser extent, tailoring and enchanting. 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. Many players choose to pair two related professions, thus allowing the character to gather the required materials for the crafting skill. 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. Essentially, there are two types of professions: gathering and item creation. 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. In addition to the character classes, a player may choose two primary professions and all three secondary professions that the game offers, if they so choose.

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. Some will merely offer advice or further the story, while others patrol around set paths to keep cities defended against overzealous players. Greece, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Lithuania, Bohemia, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Latvia each had over 70% of their Jewish population destroyed. NPCs in major and minor cities can sell you merchandise, train you in your selected profession and class, sell you mounts, connect you to the Auction House (an eBay-like place to buy and sell items), and provide all services that are needed in the game. 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. Early in the game, most mobs will be neutral.

By the end of the war, much of the Jewish population of Europe had been killed in the Holocaust. There are also neutral NPCs that will only attack you when provoked, their name displayed in yellow. 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. Any character with his name displayed in red is hostile towards you and should either be avoided or dealt with caution. 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]. There are also several hostile NPCs, mainly the NPCs of the opposing faction and mobs (enemies controlled by AI). 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. They will be found automatically in any city allied with your faction, as well as any city you have earned a reputation of friendly or better with.

Josef Bühler urged Reinhard Heydrich to proceed with the Final Solution in the General Government. First are the friendly NPCs, whose names are displayed in green. Dr. NPCs have many types. In January 1942, during the Wannsee conference, several Nazi leaders discussed the details of the "Final Solution of the Jewish question" (Endlösung der Judenfrage). NPCs are the characters that can only interact with player characters through scripted events or AI. As the war started, large massacres of Jews took place, and, by December 1941, Hitler decided to completely exterminate European Jews. The color of a PC's name tag can vary from blue, green, yellow, or red depending on faction, location, and play combat status.

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. Player Characters are people around the world actively playing the game. On 15 November of 1938, Jewish children were banned from going to normal schools. There are two types of characters in the game: Player Characters(PC) and Non-Player Characters (NPCs), the latter having many different offshoots. In 1936, Jews were banned from all professional jobs, effectively preventing them exerting any influence in education, politics, higher education and industry. There are 20 possible combinations of race and class for each faction, for a total of 40 combinations across both factions. 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. Classes are also limited by race.

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. Two of the classes are faction-specific: Paladins for the Alliance, and Shamans for the Horde. 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. The nine available classes are Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock and Warrior. A series of increasingly harsh racist laws were soon passed in quick succession. The races are split into two equally sized factions, the Alliance and the Horde:. 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. When creating a character in World of Warcraft, the player can choose from eight different races and nine different character classes.

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). Players create characters which serve as their avatar in the online world of Azeroth. 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. The two factions currently in the game are the Alliance and Horde, both consisting of different races. Anti-Semitism was common in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s (though its roots go back much further). Users can create up to 10 characters per realm which range from a diverse amount of races and classes. [8]. Characters in the World of Warcraft are tied to specific user accounts which can be used in all servers, or realms.

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". This level of popularity eventually led major MMORPG developers such as Sony Online Entertainment to re-think the way they are making games, even changing the gameplay of their past successful titles. Day to day life in the concentration camps was also brutal, with the Nazis regularly carrying out beatings and acts of torture. As of January 2006, World of Warcraft is one of the most popular MMORPGs in the world, with more than 5.5 million active subscriptions. Many of these prisoners did not survive. World of Warcraft is set four years after the events at the conclusion of Blizzard's previous release, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.

Another way the Nazis killed Jews were by putting them in tanks and dropping gas on them for short periods of time. The Warcraft games are set in the eponymous Warcraft Universe, a fantasy setting introduced by Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994. Many of these experiments were intended to produce 'racially pure' babies and as research into weapons and techniques of war. It is the 4th game in the Warcraft series, excluding expansion packs and the canceled Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans. 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. World of Warcraft (commonly abbreviated as WoW) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Blizzard Entertainment. Dr. Players will try to access files not yet in game and then host them on websites to expose content not yet released (usually new zones, items, and graphics).

Nazis carried out cruel and deadly medical experiments on prisoners, including children. Data Mining – This is typically most common around the time that a patch is released on the public test realm. 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. These exploits are usually not discovered right away and are allowed to be used (though typically thought of as unfair) until stated otherwise by Blizzard. 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. This includes using wall-walking (removed in patch 1.9) to get into unfinished areas or abilities like the Sentry Totem to make one's character unattackable by other players. Documented evidence suggests that the Nazis planned to carry out their 'final solution' in Britain, North America, and Palestine if these regions were conquered. Game Mechanics Exploits – There are also other exploits involving the physics of the game, sometimes in conjunction with items.

Hundreds of thousands also died in the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Yugoslavia, and Greece. The bot will kill monsters, loot gold, mine ore, collect herbs or gain levels automatically without the player having to be in front of the computer. 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. Botting – A player who runs a third party program to control their character. 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. Speed Hacking/Teleporting/subterrain travel – Since character position in World of Warcraft is determined by the client side, it is possible for players to send out artificial positional data and be instantly transported to any part of the world (even underground) or used to speed up traveling speed by increasing positional deltas. Technology developed by IBM also played a role in the categorization of prisoners, through the use of index machines. DirectX 9.0c.

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. 32 MB 3D graphics card with hardware transform and lighting, such as GeForce 2 or better. Alleged corporate involvement in the Holocaust has created significant controversy in recent years. 256 MB RAM or more (512 MB recommended, 1 GB for comfortable play). Then they used a larger truck exhaust and it took only eight minutes to kill all the people inside.[7]. 800 MHz or higher CPU. First they used a light military car, and it took more than 30 minutes for people to die. Windows 98/ME/2000/XP:

    .

    In October 1941, in Mogilev, they tried the Gaswagen or "gas car". Mac OS X v10.3.9 or newer (see note below). 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. ATI or Nvidia video hardware with 32 MB VRAM or more. 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. 512 MB RAM or higher; DDR RAM recommended. In 1941, after occupying Belarus, they used mental patients from Minsk asylums as guinea pigs. 933 MHz or higher G4, G5, or Intel processor.

    In his book Russia's War, British historian Richard Overy describes how the Nazis sought more efficient ways to kill people. Mac OS X:

      . 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. 56k or higher modem with an Internet connection. 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. 5 GB or more of available hard drive space. 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). General requirements:
        .

        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. An exclusive in-game pet for every character, chosen from a Zergling, Panda, and Mini Diablo. 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". A cloth map of Azeroth. 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 Art of World of Warcraft (Hardcover book). The difficult decision had to be taken to make these people disappear from the earth.". A Collector's Edition manual.

        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. A Collector's Edition Soundtrack. 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. A Behind the Scenes DVD. 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. A guest pass to the game, providing a player's friend with 10-day access. The Holocaust was an intentional and meticulously planned attempt to entirely eradicate the target groups based on ethnicity. A One-month subscription to the game.

        The work of Ploetz and the words of Binding and Hoche were the foreshadowings of Hitler's "final solution" two decades later. The entire game on both one DVD and four CDs. 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:. Other popular online games such as Diablo II (which was made by Blizzard), Neverwinter Nights, and Counter-Strike often lack the dedicated support, server resources, and consistent additions of new content seen in WoW. Sixteen years later, a work seminal to the development of the German eugenics movement, The Permission to Destroy Life Unworthy of Life, was published. With the financial resources and investment Blizzard has in making their customers happy, they appear to address issues quickly and effectively when compared to other online games. In 1904, Alfred Ploetz founded the German Eugenics Society. Rewards for completing such challenges are in the form of better character equipment, which makes for a better experience when attempting other quest or PvP content.

        There were several characteristics to the Nazi Holocaust which, taken together, distinguish it from other genocides in history. The epic nature of some instanced dungeons provides a more content-rich and interesting experience for those who wish to immerse themselves in the world for the amount of time required to complete such instances. 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 Priest class will be revamped in the upcoming patch 1.10. The term is also used by many in a narrower sense, to refer specifically to the unprecedented destruction of European Jewry in particular. Lately, significant changes to the Paladin have been made in patch 1.9. By the late 1970s, however, the conventional meaning of the word became the Nazi genocide. In recent patches Blizzard has revamped certain classes to make them more viable and playable such as Hunters and Druids, which were revamped in patches 1.7 and 1.8, respectively.

        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. Classes are generally balanced, though specialization in some of the talent trees is generally not practical. Since the late 19th century, "holocaust" has primarily been used to refer to disasters or catastrophes. In addition to playing the "actual" game, players can interact socially, explore the various landscapes, or participate in the game's virtual economy. The word holocaust originally derived from the Greek word holokauston, meaning "a completely (holos) burnt (kaustos) sacrificial offering" to a god. Players can experience the questing content alone, with friends, or with a gaming guild. . Since the game is based on a community of players with the ability to interact in many ways, the gaming experience is always evolving and new.


        . Many players become irritated with issues like 'ganking' (one or often more players of the opposing race repeatedly killing a character), quests which involve traveling through hostile lands (relates to ganking problems), and the collection of Honor Points (gained from killing hostile players) to earn special items. At least 140,000 Poles were sent to Auschwitz, and the Polish intelligentsia were the first targets of the Einsatzgruppen death squads.[4]. Focus on PvP (Player versus Player) combat: Issues with balance in the game have put off many players, especially with the game's focus on PvP combat for developing content. 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. The issues were suspected to be Blizzard's upstream Internet service provider [1]. 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]. For example, in September 2005, Blizzard gave all European players two free days of play as compensation for repeated network failures.

        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. Due to failures in these, there have been times when the game has been unplayable by a large number of players. 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. World of Warcraft is not playable offline: As with other online games, server and network stability is critical. 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. This means that none of the bosses will spawn again until after that time period is up and the entire instance resets itself. The Jews of Europe were the main victims of the Holocaust in what the Nazis called the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question". Once a group of players kill the first boss, their future progress is saved and stored for one week from the first boss kill, or to when the weekly server maintenance takes place, whichever happens first.

        This figure does not include the people who died fighting. However, Blizzard has made it so that the instance does not have to be done in one, large chunk. The total number of people liquidated in the death camps is placed at approximately ten million with Jews numbering almost six million. The Molten Core (a commonly run, high-level instance usually referred to as 'MC') can usually take as long as six hours to complete. Some also include the homosexuals and the communists. Long time online required at high level: High-level dungeons can take many hours of party finding, strategy discussion, and battles. They were the Jews, the Poles, and the Gypsies. This balancing action is sometimes called 'buffing' or 'nerfing,' depending on whether the change strengthened or weakened the class.

        It is widely accepted among Holocaust historians that the Nazis systematically targeted three races of people for extinction in Europe. Blizzard periodically releases patches which, along with adding features or fixing bugs, also attempt to balance gameplay by updating the class skill trees and spells. 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. Unbalanced classes: Many people tend to believe that certain classes or races are over- or underpowered. 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]. This will provide the Horde with a so-called "pretty race," which is one of the previous reasons a player might choose Alliance over the Horde races. 1–1.5 million political dissidents. This issue will possibly be addressed in the expansion, where it has been announced that the Blood Elves will be a new playable race for the Horde.

        2.5–4 million Soviet POWs. This affects PvP and the quality of gameplay for some players. 3.5–6 million other Slavic civilians. Lopsided Horde to Alliance ratio: Many of the servers are becoming outnumbered, with many servers suffering a 2:1 ratio of Alliance to Horde. 2,000 Jehovah's Witnesses. The opposite of this is also true; some servers are too overpopulated and are hard to play on because of server load and long queues to log in. 10,000–25,000 homosexual men. Blizzard has taken certain measures to alleviate this problem by allowing character transfers on certain servers, but it is still something of a problem.

        200,000–300,000 people with disabilities. Certain low population servers are experiencing a vast number of players leaving the servers, making it harder for people to find groups, and affecting the in-game economy. 200,000–800,000 Roma & Sinti. Population: Some World of Warcraft players created characters on servers with medium to low populations. 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]. This way the people will be spread among these cities instead of lagging one correspondent area. 5.1–6.0 million Jews, including 3.0–3.5 million Polish Jews[16]. The Auction House, the trade channel, and the group channel are now linked with every capital city since the patch 1.9 updated 2005-11-23.

        This may no longer be a serious problem, especially since changes were made to the Auction House. Serious lag — or slow operation — often occurs on weekend nights, and in the central cities of the Warcraft world, such as Ironforge and Orgrimmar (sometimes nicknamed "Lagforge", "Laggerforge" and "Lagrimmar"), where large concentrations of players congregate. Lag: The popularity of the game means that at times, so many people are on-line that the servers become overloaded and very slow. There are four other portals, located in Duskwood, Ashenvale Forest, Feralas, and The Hinterlands that are the sites of four extremely powerful green dragons.

        One portal, the Dark Portal, is present but currently serves no purpose. Several islands named on the map cannot be reached, such as Kul Tiras, Tol Barad, Zul'Dare, Crestfall, and Sunwell Grove. In Azeroth (confusingly both the name of the eastern continent and the name of the world): Medivh's Tower (in Deadwind Pass). In Khaz Modan: Grim Batol (in the far east of the Wetlands).

        In Lordaeron: Gilneas (south of the Greymane Wall), Quel'Thalas (north-east of Stratholme), and Zul'Aman (east of Quel'Thalas). In Kalimdor: Mount Hyjal (south-west of Winterspring) and the Caverns of Time and Uldum (both in Tanaris). Hyjal, where the final battle against Archimonde was held and the fall of the Burning Legion's Second Invasion took place. These regions surround Mt.

        Areas to the north include Ashenvale Forest, Felwood, Winterspring, Azshara and the Moonglade. Kalimdor, home to the Tauren, Orcs, Trolls, and Night Elves. The Blasted Lands, home of the original Dark Portal out of which the Orcs first came into Azeroth. The Eastern and Western Plaguelands, including places such as Andorhal, the place of origin of the Scourge and the Plague of Undeath, and Stratholme, the site of Arthas' initial fall into insanity.

        Here they are engineering a new plague to wipe out the Scourge and all humans in Azeroth. The Undercity, which resides under the Ruins of Lordaeron, is the main city of the Undead, ruled by Sylvanas Windrunner and Varimathras. Because of these advantages, warriors are among the most common classes played in World of Warcraft. Warriors can also use all types of armor.

        Warriors are very powerful in melee combat and can use all types of weapons except wands. Warrior: An adept mercenary type class that specializes in damage mitigation and keeping the focus of monsters on him or in doing massive amounts of damage. The bulk of the Warlock's spells do shadow damage, but some of their nukes (and both their area damage spells) do fire damage. Warlocks can only wear cloth armor, but unlike mages usually have much higher amounts of health.

        At higher levels warlocks can summon more powerful demons such as the Infernal and Doomguard, which require the use of reagents bought from vendors and can turn on their casters if not carefully employed. Warlocks can summon demons as pets for various purposes: the Imp (magical ranged damage and stamina buff), Voidwalker (tank), Succubus (crowd control, melee damage), and Felhunter (anti-caster). Warlock: Warlocks, depending on how the user plays, can either do ranged burst-damage as a mage, or use Damage over Time (DoT) spells to defeat their opponent. The Shaman class is only available to the Horde side.

        A well played Shaman can be extremely adept at Player vs Player combat, with spell interrupts for casters and slowing spells for melee classes. Shamans can use mail armor once they reach level 40. Shamans use totems in combat to heal or cure their parties, slow the enemy, or deal damage to them. However, Shamans generally have inferior tanking abilities to a Paladin, compensating for this with higher damage.

        Shamans are basically the Horde's Paladin, capable of healing and fighting in melee combat. Shaman: Shamans are a hybrid class combining melee and magical abilities. Every race has access to the Rogue as of January 2006, with the exception of the Tauren. Rogues mostly wear leather armor, yet they possess the ability to wear cloth armor as well.

        Rogues specialize in quick strikes from the shadows, and are very adept at stealth and poisoning targets, as well as lockpicking. Rogue: Rogues are assassins that prefer to fight quickly and discretely, often employing underhanded tactics. Priests are often found working in groups or teams with other classes in order to gain levels faster. Priests are only able to wear cloth armor and only have access to a limited number of weapons.

        Priest: The Priest is the most powerful healer in the game, although specialisation into the Shadow talent tree allows them to become quite formiddable damage dealers and is therefore a popular choice of talents for Player versus Player combat. Paladins are only available to the Alliance side. Paladins are a very good group-oriented class. Paladins are able to make themselves immune to all damage, which gives them time to fully heal during combat, making them difficult to kill in Player versus Player combat.

        Paladins have seals, auras, and blessings to use in combat to buff themselves as well as other players. Paladins can use all armor types and most weapon types (but not ranged weapons). Paladins are a hybrid class, not able to tank or deal damage as well as a Warrior, and not able to heal as well as a Priest. Paladin: Paladins are a powerful combination of a warrior and a priest.

        Alternatively, they can specialise in the frost tree and do ranged area damage with a snare component, preventing the monsters or players from reaching the mage. When specialised partly in the arcane tree (as most mages tend to be) they can do large ininterruptable area damage at point-blank range. One of the biggest strengths of the mage is area damage. Mages also have a large amount of utility, such as conjuring water to allow party members to spend less time resting or creating portals to travel to cities far away.

        They rely on the ability to destroy opponents at long range, as they can only use cloth type armor and have low health. Mages specialize in ranged spell damage, often being able to kill the opponents before they reach the Mage. Mage: Mages are a very powerful spellcaster-type class. Hunters wear leather armor, and gain the ability to use mail armor at level 40.

        Hunters can also lay traps, cast self-buffing "aspects" to boost both combat and non-combat abilities, and increase their damage output with an array of magical shots and "stings". They can train wild animals as pets for use in combat, where the pet engages enemy targets in melee while the Hunter attacks from a distance. Hunter: Hunters specialize in ranged weaponry and are excellent for solo play. A smart Druid can therefore be very difficult to defeat, as he can change between taking damage as a Warrior, healing as a Priest or doing Rogue-like damage - but not quite as well as the original class.

        Druids have the ability to transform into different animals with many different abilities. Druid: Druids are one of the more versatile classes in the game, making them good for multiple play styles. Additionally, there are many NPC races such as Goblins, Ogres, High Elves, Murlocs and Nagas. Blood Elves will be added in the upcoming Burning Crusade expansion.

        Forsaken) and Trolls. The Horde currently consists of Orcs, Tauren, Undead (a.k.a. An unknown race will be added in the upcoming Burning Crusade expansion. The Alliance currently consists of Humans, Night Elves, Dwarves and Gnomes.

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