A Dictionary of Terms
1 . Einsatzgruppen - Active Military Duty Battalions of the Nazis - compiled mainly of sections of the police- who accompanied the German Military Forces in the war in order ‘to purify the area from its threatening elements.’
2 . Aktion - The forced ‘gathering’ and deportation of the Jews from urban centers and ghettos to the death camps.
3 . General Government - The area of central occupied Poland in World War Two that was administered by the Germans under the command of Dr. Hans Franke.
4 . Gestapo - The State political police in the Third Reich.
5 . Vanessee Conference - The conference that was called by the head of the Secret Police, Heydrich, and which took place in January 1942, in Vanessee, a suburb of Berlin. Its purpose was to coordinate the activities of the various sections in carrying out ‘the final solution of the Jewish problem’ The participants were the heads of the various government offices, and representatives of the local German authorities and the police.
6 . The Nuremberg Laws - Two basic laws that were passed as laws of the State at a convention of the Nazi Party, in September 1935. According to these laws, Jews were deprived of their civil rights and were forbidden to marry or have sexual relations with members of the ‘Aryan Race’.
7 . Nazi - An abbreviation of National Socialist, signifying a member of the National Socialist Party.
8 . Selection - The process of selecting Jews in the ghettos and in the camps for their ability ( temporary) to work; those found lacking were sent straight to the gas chambers.
9 . SS - At the beginning, these were the personal bodyguards of Hitler and the higher ranks of the party. Later on, they became the elite of the Nazi party who had complete authority over the police, the concentration camps, and all the military and economic power of Germany. Himmler and Heydrich stood at the head of the SS, which was in charge of carrying out the liquidation of the Jews.
10 . The Final Solution - (of the Jewish Question) - A euphemism for the total liquidation of the Jews.