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The Holocaust, one of the most significant events of the 20th century, can now be studied on that defining technology of the 21st, the Internet. The Holocaust Chronicle Web site you are visiting now contains every word and a generous selection of images from the companion book of the same title, a massive, not-for-profit volume conceived and published by Chicago-based Publications International, Ltd., one of America's most prolific book publishers. Information that you will find in the book and on this Web site has been gathered and fact-checked by top Holocaust scholars.

Stretching from 1933 to 1945, the Holocaust was Nazi Germany's state-sanctioned persecution of Europe's nine million Jews and other minorities. It began with restrictive laws that were passed when Adolf Hitler took power, and eventually encouraged a level of antisemitic hatred sufficient to result in the deaths of at least six million Jewish men, women, and children, as well as many thousands of other targeted groups: Gypsies, Freemasons, artists and intellectuals, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, prisoners of war, and Communists and other political opponents. The Nazis' horrifying complex of concentration camps that stretched across Europe and even into North Africa found its ultimate expression in six death camps built by the Germans in Poland for the express purpose of exterminating as many Jews as quickly as technology and hate allowed.

Whether you browse this Web site, page through it, or search for specific, cross-referenced information, you'll find dramatic information grounded in rock-solid scholarship, complemented by a wealth of images; generous, fact-filled captions; hundreds of sidebar essays focusing on significant people, events, and issues; dozens of useful maps; and an exclusive timeline of Holocaust-related events spanning the years 1000 B.C. through 1999.

The Holocaust is hatred carried to the nth degree. Equally, it is a human story, with victims and perpetrators, heroes and villains--and far too many people around the globe who remained indifferent to this terrible crime even as it was being committed. The Holocaust Chronicle Web site makes this titanic event accessible to all who care to listen to the lessons it can teach.


A Message from the Publisher

A booklet published in Jerusalem in 1940 by the United Aid Committee for the Jews in Poland termed the extermination of Europe’s Jews sho’ah, a Hebrew word for mass slaughter. In the 1950s the word “Holocaust” came into common usage to describe the catastrophe that befell Jews during the war years.

The Holocaust Chronicle is a remembrance designed to be held in one’s hands. It is a portable archive that demands to be looked at and read. Although its weight and heft cannot capture the immensity of its subject, the volume’s size does suggest that this is a topic that must be openly confronted.

The book is a not-for-profit enterprise made available to the widest possible audience via a low price that will allow widespread distribution to schools, universities, synagogues, public libraries, churches, and retail outlets. Its goal is the truth, scrupulously researched and vividly expressed in words and pictures.

Equally notable is the book’s companion project, the detailed, cross-referenced Holocaust Chronicle Web site you are visiting now. It includes the book’s complete text and index, plus all of the book's images. Because Holocaust-related developments cross news wires daily, the Web site is regularly updated.

Black-and-white photographs and mottled motion picture footage may lead young people to conclude that the Holocaust happened so long ago as to be unknowable, even irrelevant. Some older people may have convinced themselves that the past is past, and that the Holocaust is a dead issue. But in the great continuum of history, the horror took place only yesterday. Thousands of Holocaust survivors still live, and those who were the youngest and most helpless are not elderly but merely middle-aged.

We owe it not merely to the Holocaust victims to remember what happened, but to all people now living, and to all those yet to be born, to remember, and to ponder. Only in our remembrance and open discussion is there a chance, a hope, that another Holocaust will never happen.

Louis Weber

The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2002 Publications International, Ltd.