Definitions & Terminology for Holocaust Survivors
Who is considered a 'Survivor?'
Survivors of the Holocaust are defines as persons who lived in one of the countries that was occupies by, or under influence of, the Nazi regime for any length of time between 1933 and 1945. Included in this group are those who were forced to feel their place of residence because of persecution by the Nazis. Survivors, therefore, may have experienced uprooting, deportation, labor and or extermination camps. They may have lived under false identities, in hiding or been perpetually on the run. Depending on where they lived, individual Survivors may have suffered under Nazi persecution for up to six years.
Shoah: Hebrew word for the Nazi Holocaust
Holocaust: The persecution and murder of European Jewry during World War II
Nazi: The ruling party of Germany during World War II and also a person who
was a member of the party
Hitler: Leader of the Nazi party who ordered and supervised the murder of
Final Solution: The official Nazi term for the extermination of all European Jewry
Ghetto: A sealed and fenced/walled area of a city to which Jews were confined
under overcrowded and unsanitary conditions
Camps: All the locked and guarded areas where Jews were imprisoned.
- Labor Camps: Jews were barely kept alive and used for slave labor
- Concentration camps: Holding areas where people starved to death,
were used in inhumane medical experiments or were eventually killed
- Death or extermination camps: Set up for the specific purpose of
systematically exterminating all inmates. (Near the end of the war,
most camps became death camps)
Lager: German word for 'camp.' Often also referred to as the sleeping barracks
in the concentration camps
Partisans: Underground resistance fighters, including many Jewish men and women
For more key words and definitions Download our free Guidebook: Caring for Holocaust Survivors with Sensitivity at the End of Life
This helpful guidebook provides a deeper understanding of end-of-life issues that may manifest in the Holocaust Survivor at the end of life.