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Section: Responses to the Holocaust

Responses to the Holocaust

The world was aware of the Nazi's antisemitic policies and actions from the very beginning. This photograph of the book burning in Germany during March 1933 appeared in News Week on 27 March 1933. Why did the world not act against the Nazis?
The world was aware of the Nazi's antisemitic policies and actions from the very beginning. This photograph of the book burning in Germany during March 1933 appeared in News Week on 27 March 1933. Why did the world not act against the Nazis? © 2011 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The Holocaust is very difficult to understand. It tested human nature and led to extreme reactions. Some writers today, when they consider the Holocaust, categorise the people affected in the following ways: as victims, as perpetrators, as bystanders and as rescuers.

This section gives examples from each category and explains how people across the world responded to the events in Nazi controlled Europe. This includes the treatment of communities and peoples by the Nazis and their accomplices.

More importantly, the section seeks to question why some people acted in a way that enabled or allowed the Nazis to carry out their inhumane polices and why others acted to protect and save lives.

Topics in this section

How did Great Britain respond?
How did Great Britain respond?
How did Jews respond?
How did Jews respond?
How did organisations respond?
How did organisations respond?
Righteous among the Nations
Righteous among the Nations
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Survival and legacy

Survival and legacy

What happened in August