chapter  4
An Illustrative Supergenocide: The Holocaust
Pages 18

The Holocaust was an immense crime against humanity and is the quintessential genocide. It sought the annihilation of the entire Jewish population of Europe. It was the deliberate policy decision of a powerful state that mobilized all of its resources to destroy an entire people. They were killed not for what they had done but for the simple fact of their existence. Gypsies, Russians, Poles, and other eastern European peoples, and even ethnic Germans deemed physically or mentally defective were also victims of Nazi racial ideology. Nazi military, police officials, and guards practiced highly organized brutality on a previously unknown scale. Why were Jews worked to death on senseless, unproductive tasks when the Reich had an acute labor shortage? Why were skilled Jewish armament workers killed despite pressing military needs of the Wehrmacht? Why did the Nazis insist they were fighting an omnipotent Jewish power even as their mass murder of Jews revealed their enemy’s powerlessness? Professor Robert Wistrich thoughtfully addressed these questions in 2001, drawing on decades of research on the Holocaust.1