The Nazi regime targeted all Jews, both men and women, for persecution and eventually death. The regime frequently subjected women, however, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to brutal persecution that was sometimes unique to the gender of the victims. Nazi ideology also targeted Roma (Gypsy) women, Polish women, and women with disabilities living in institutions.
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As Allied troops moved across Europe in a series of offensives against Nazi Germany, they began to encounter tens of thousands of concentration camp prisoners. Many of these prisoners had survived forced marches into the interior of Germany from camps in occupied Poland. These prisoners were suffering from starvation and disease.
The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.
In Europe, antisemitism, nationalism, ethnic hatred, anti-communism, and opportunism induced citizens of nations Germany occupied to collaborate with the Nazi regime in the annihilation of the European Jews and with other Nazi racial policies.