Difference Between Holocaust and Genocide

Holocaust vs Genocide

Since holocaust and genocide are two much-discussed elements in the history of the world between which the difference has been much obscure, it is very important to know the difference between holocaust and genocide. They are known as two forms of extreme crimes that can ever be committed against humanity. Originated during the reign of Adolf Hitler, holocaust was followed by another similar practice which came to known as genocide. This article seeks to explore what holocaust and genocide are and the differences between holocaust and genocide. Although there are succinct differences between holocaust and genocide, they are quite similar in terms of mass killings committed by both events.

What is a Holocaust?

Originated in 1933 with Adolf Hitler gaining ruling power in Germany, holocaust is referred to as a means of persecution and massacre of humans due to their race or any other factor which is found inferior. During Hitler’s time, Nazis, an ethnicity that was considered superior, began to exterminate Jews, an ethnicity that was termed racially inferior. Thousands and thousands of Jews lost their lives in Nazi holocaust. According to historical records, it is estimated that around six million Jews were massacred by Nazis along with a total of about eleven million people who were massacred in the holocaust. The amount of Jewish killed by Nazis was approximately two-thirds of Jew population in Europe. The elimination process of Jews was done gradually with first persecuting and banning their business and then with excluding them from public life. After some time, they were held prisoners and were murdered.

What is a Genocide?

Genocide is the term referring to the crime that is known as the cruelest crime ever committed against humanity. It is the mass extermination of a group of people who are considered as correct to be eliminated from the society. Thereby, by genocide, a selected group of people are entirely exterminated from the society and made an extinct group. The genocide, originated in 1943, was a type of massacre came into practice after the Nazis’ holocaust. The term ‘genocide’ was coined by a Jewish-Polish lawyer named Dr. Lemkin whose entire family, except his brother and himself, was murdered in the holocaust. He later launched a campaign to draw attention of authorities to the cruelty of genocide and thereby legalized it as a crime under the UN international law between 1948 and 1951. World history records of three genocides.

Difference Between Holocaust and Genocide

What is the difference between Holocaust and Genocide?

• Both holocaust and genocide are mass killings of people due to ethnic, racial, religious or sexual reasons with a view to exterminating that entire group of people.

• Genocide is the common term for this kind of mass murders, yet holocaust especially refers to the extermination of the Jews by Nazis during the ruling of Adolf Hitler.

• Genocide is now considered as a crime although holocaust was not considered a crime then.

Judging by the above mentioned differences, it is comprehensible that holocaust is now considered under genocide and thereby extermination of an entire community is recognized a crime.


Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide