Jennifer Rich, Michael Dickerman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Second World War was a vast global catastrophe, leaving no corner of Europe unscathed. The Nazis sought to achieve a pure Aryan race biologically and conquer the space to create a powerful Aryan society. This belief in racial superiority, and the worthlessness of all others, especially the Jews, is at the heart of the most well-known and well-studied genocide in history, the Holocaust. As shown in this chapter, the Nazi characterization of all Jews, everywhere, as being racially and biologically subhuman and an existential threat to all Western civilization, but especially to the Aryan race, was unique to the Jews – no other group was so characterized. That characterization translated into the Nazis’ unique intention to annihilate the entirety of the Jewish people – of every age, gender, political or financial level, education, livelihood, level of observance and identification as a Jew (including none), and geographic location. It is this that explains the association of genocide during the Second World War with that of the Jews.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge History of the Second World War
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780429848483
ISBN (Print)9781138317086
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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