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PHIL 051: Human Rights and Atrocities (SC)

The Holocaust

The Holocaust is usually associated with the Nazi implementation of the Final Solution during the final years of World War II. Between 1942-1945, millions of people—Jews, political prisoners, Roma, and many other groups—were forced into labor camps and eventually killed. The concentration camps and gas chambers are the indelible symbols of the Holocaust, thought the persecution of Jews and other groups began long before Auschwitz was erected. Prior to the policies of annihilation and just shortly after the Nazis rose to power, Jewish businesses were boycotted, Jews were fired from positions their universities, and Jews who were citizens of other nations were expelled from Germany. After the campaign of removal, the wide-spread distribution of anti-Semitic propaganda, and the introduction of the Nuremberg Laws, the Nazis escalated the violence in the form of pogroms, such as Kristallnacht in 1938, where Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues were destroyed. In 1941, the mobile killing units (Einsatzgruppen) were dispatched with the express purpose of killing Jews, Communists, and resistors. Approximately 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust and Jewish society was nearly eradicated from Europe.

Recommended Books on the Holocaust

Research Leads

These links can help you start (or continue) exploring this atrocity from a variety of perspectives. Library resources such as Tripod and Proquest often work better for academic research than just using Google, because you will be more likely to find academic sources (e.g. peer-reviewed journal articles).

There are strategies for searching databases (and Google) more effectively, and Swarthmore's librarians would be happy to share their knowledge with you. Contact Anne Garrison (Humanities Librarian - agarris1@swat) or Sarah Elichko (Social Sciences Librarian selichk1@swat) to get some tips for your research.

Why use reference books?

Use the index (or search) these books to identify entries related to your areas of interest. This is particularly helpful for topics that have been studied extensively, such as the Holocaust, to help you filter out which sources to start with. You might not find entries that narrowly focus on your topic; if so, try to find entries that relate broadly.

Use reference books to:

  • Contextualize your topic (and get background information)
  • Identify which aspects of a topic interest you
  • Get citations for relevant books, articles, and primary sources

The Holocaust