Using Testimonies for Researching and Teaching about the
Holocaust, Part 2
a liberal Zionist
term used by the Germans to describe a raid on a ghetto that usually resulted in
mass murder and/or transfer to a concentration camp.
referring to a form of behavior in which an individual takes risks on behalf of
others and does not receive any tangible rewards for the risktaking.
prejudice against Jews; dislike of Jews; the persecution of Jews.
referring to a monastic order for the Catholic Church.
referring to Marxist ideology that guided the Soviet Union after the Russian
term used to refer to those survivors of the Holocaust who had no homes after
the war and were often placed in Displaced Persons Camps.
SS mobile killing units, attached to the German Army, whose purpose was to
locate and murder Jews in Eastern Poland and Russia. Over a million Jews were
murdered in these actions.
Final Solution: Nazi
term for the annihilation of Jews in Europe; plans for this program developed in
the winter of 1941 and implementation began with the gassing of Jews in Chelmno
in December 1941. By 1942 death centers were established in Poland for carrying
out the program.
refers to the large area in central Poland that was under Nazi control. Hans
Frank, a longtime member of the Nazi Party, served as the Governor General of
Gentile: a term used
by Jews to refer to Christians; the term Righteous Gentiles is sometimes used to
refer to rescuers during the Holocaust.
for Geheimnis Staats Polizei or Secret State Police. This organization was part
of the SS and was in control of dealing with all political enemies of the Nazi
regime. Its tactics often involved terror and arbitrary arrest. In 1939, it
was placed in charge of expelling Jews from all Nazi-occupied territories.
Ghetto: term refers to
the section of a city where Jews were forced to live. The area could be
cordoned off with barbed wire or a wall. Punishments were harsh for Jews found
outside the closed off area or found escaping the area designated for Jews.
term meaning a Jewish Council. During the Holocaust German occupation forces
established these councils in each ghetto to administer Jewish affairs in the
Kielce: a city in
Poland. After World War II, the local population participated in a pogrom
against surviving Jews who were returning from the death camps and forests.
During the war Nechama’s family hid out with a Polish family in this city.
Lublin: a city in
Poland that was founded in the fourteenth century. Before the Nazi era there
was a substantial Jewish population. The death camp Majdanek was located at the
edge of the city. Nechama Tec was born in Lublin.
Memoir: an account of a
particular period during a person’s life.
Monograph: term used to
refer to an academic study of a particular topic.
Nazi-Soviet Pact: This
was an agreement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union on August 30, 1939.
When Germany conquered Poland, the two signatories agreed to divide Poland.
Both countries also agreed to remain neutral in the event either country should
be involved in a war. The pact was broken in June 1941 when Germany invaded the
term referring to a partisan detachment. In the Polish and Russian forests,
there were Russian, Polish and Jewish otriads.
referring to guerrilla type fighters who resisted the German occupation forces.
Often partisan units were organized in forests and scavenged for food in
surrounding towns and villages.
referring to Jews who pretended to be Christian during the Holocaust. For
example, Jews who had a Polish appearance in Poland could “pass” as Christians,
often by taking on Polish names and learning Catholic prayers and rituals.
referring to Christians and Jews who often risked their lives during the
Holocaust to save Jews. Rescuer activities ranged from offering a day’s worth
of food to hiding a group of Jews over several years.
referring to individuals who opposed Nazi occupation of Europe.
Soviet Union: term
referring to the government of the Russian Empire after the Russian Revolution
SS: Abbreviation for
the German word Schutzstaffel or protective squads. These were elite
units that originally were designed to protect Hitler and other members of the
early National Socialist Party. The SS grew from of body of 200 to four million
by 1940. Heinrich Himmler headed the organization, which eventually controlled
all aspects of the “Final Solution”. The Secret Police (Gestapo) came under the
SS; also under the SS authority were the concentration camps, death camps and
referring to a person’s story. For the Holocaust, both written and oral forms
of testimony have been collected.
referring to the 20th century movement to found a separate state for
Jews in Palestine. The state of Israel was created in 1948.