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January 17, 2017
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7 p.m.

US Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024

Why Did the Holocaust Happen? A Leading Scholar on Eight Key Questions
Public Program
Jews are marched toward deportation during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. <i>National Archives and Records Administration</i>
Jews are marched toward deportation during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. National Archives and Records Administration

In his new book Why?, historian Peter Hayes explores what scholars know about the Holocaust, answering questions including: Why were Jews the primary victims? Why were Germans the instigators? Why did murder become the "Final Solution"? And, why didn’t the international community do more to help? Join us for a discussion with Hayes about the latest research and our evolving understanding of these crucial questions. The discussion will be followed by a book signing.

Peter Hayes is professor of history and German and Theodore Zev Weiss Holocaust Educational Foundation Professor of Holocaust Studies (emeritus) at Northwestern University. He also serves as chairman of the Museum’s Academic Committee.

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Holocaust Encyclopedia: Antisemitism
The word antisemitism means prejudice against or hatred of Jews. The Holocaust, the state-sponsored persecution and murder of European Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945, is history’s most extreme example of antisemitism.
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Holocaust Encyclopedia: Jewish Communities of Prewar Germany
Jews constituted less than one percent of the population of Germany during the Weimar Republic, the period from the end of World War I to the rise of National Socialism.
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Holocaust Encyclopedia: Jewish Resistance
Nazi-sponsored persecution and mass murder fueled resistance to the Germans in the Third Reich itself and throughout occupied Europe. Although Jews were the Nazis' primary victims, they too resisted Nazi oppression in a variety of ways, both collectively and as individuals.
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Holocaust Encyclopedia: German Administration of Poland
Germany attacked Poland on September 1, 1939. Within weeks, the Polish army was defeated. In October 1939, Germany annexed most of western Poland.
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