The genocidal destruction of European Jewry, known as the Holocaust, represents the single most disturbing catastrophe in this catastrophe-filled 20th century. Knowledge of the Holocaust has forced a serious re-evaluation of contemporary theology and philosophy, spawned a vast literature in many fields and has placed on the human agenda the central issue of survival into the 21st century, namely the reconciliation of civilization with technology. For psychiatry, the Holocaust encompasses a complex of significant events, including the exodus of European psychiatrists and psychoanalysts from Germany and Austria; the role of German psychiatry in the experimentation with wholesale slaughter and subsequent genocide; and the resistance of post-war psychiatry to deal appropriately with survivors in matters of compensation and of treatment. Nazi ideology forced the expulsion of Jewish psychiatrists and psychoanalysts who enriched North American psychiatry but who also suffered grievous personal losses, a fact which may have influenced their post-war careers.