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The Holocaust

The Holocaust Resource Center

The Perpetrators

Hundreds of thousands of people were involved, either directly or indirectly, in implementing the Final Solution. The core organizers, planners and perpetrators of the annihilation of European Jewry came from the SS who fervently believed in the Nazi ideology – they were the backbone of the extermination camps and the mobile killing units personnel. Other SS personnel ran the immense bureaucracy of murder, occasionally from their office. It was not solely members of the SS who were actively involved in the implementation of the Final Solution. Soldiers in the Wehrmacht and the German police aided and officials from the civil apparatus that the Germans maintained in the occupied lands also participated.

Ordinary people from other nations also took part in the killing, whether as private individuals or as collaborators with the Nazi apparatus. Some people enlisted in the Waffen SS for active service owing to their belief in the Nazi ideology. Others acted out of opportunistic, monetary and career motives. In some cases their deeds were a reflection of the general brutalization of their environment, an effect of the Nazi policy and the circumstances of the war, which completely shattered basic moral values.

Total Sources (by media type):

Diaries and Letters 3
Documents 19
Lexicon Entries 86
Photographs 37
Total Sources 145
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