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The Holocaust
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp after liberation. - AN19780689-019 Bergen-Belsen concentration camp after liberation.

Adolf Hitler's diplomatic and military victories by the end of 1941 put all European Jewry, including the core of some nine million living in Poland and the western Soviet Union, in jeopardy. Nazi SS members and local security units shot over one million before Reinhardt Heydrich, deputy leader of the SS, proposed the "final solution" ( Endlösung ) early in 1942. Jews were sent to concentration camps such as Auschwitz, Treblinka and Sobibor to be gassed to death on arrival or worked to exhaustion and then killed. Well over six million people died, including others on the extinction list -- Gypsies and other minorities, the mentally incompetent and the physically crippled.

Hitler began to implement his theories of racial superiority and to deprive German Jews of the privileges of full citizenship soon after coming to power early in 1933. Those trying to escape were frustrated by immigration restrictions in the Western democracies, including Canada, which took only a very small number of Jewish refugees.

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