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History Research Guide - World War II: Holocaust

A guide to the resources available in the library on World War II.

Books in the Library

Possible Topics

Here are some topic questions to help you get started on your paper.

Throughout the 30s there was a rising eugenics movement in America and Europe. What message did the eugenics movement have? Did Hitler use any aspects of the eugenics movement to justify the Holocaust? Do you agree that the eugenics movement facilitated the German acceptance of the Holocaust?

What exactly is the Holocaust? Why did Hitler and the Nazis target Jews? Did they only target Jews or were other groups included in the Holocaust? Were those other groups treated any better or worse? Explain the Nazi reasoning behind the necessity of the Holocaust.

Which concentration camp had the highest death rate? Which camp had the worst treatment? What was the typical experience for a Holocaust victim? What type of treatment did camp victims recieve? What did they fear most? Did survivors ever have any happy moments in camp?  

Several people worked to rescue the Jews from the Nazis. Can we estimate how many Jews were saved by these rescuers? What methods of rescue did they use? Did these people risk their lives out of greed, compassion, moral compulsion, or the desire to resist?

The obedience to authority study done by Milgram shows that the German people were compelled to accept Nazi atrocities. How does the study show that? What else have psychologists discovered while trying to understand the psychology of the Nazi regime? What does the holocaust tell us about our humanity?

Starving Inmate of Camp Gusen, Austria

Starving Inmate of Camp Gusen, Austria
Starving Inmate of Camp Gusen, Austria photgraphed by Sam Gilbert, May 12, 1945. Courtesy of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

Online Resources

Reference Books

Juvenile Non-Fiction Books