What is the “Final Solution?”

The “Final Solution” was a term used by Nazis to answer the question “what should happen to Europe’s Jews?” Hitler wanted the Jews to leave Germany but when that didn’t happen, Nazis organized Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing squads) to go to the Jews and kill them. In the first nine months of the war, the Einsatzgruppen shot more than half a million people. In late 1941, to speed up the extermination of Jews, Nazis changed tactics and began sending the Jews to death camps. 

 

Throughout Nazi-occupied Europe, Jews were forced onto cattle cars and transported to concentration and death camps. With each country Hitler conquered, Hitler’s “Jewish Problem” got bigger as there were increasing numbers of Jews in German lands.

 Jews from Subcarpathian Rus undergo a selection on the ramp at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Photo: Jews from Subcarpathian Rus undergo a selection on the ramp at Auschwitz-Birkenau. May 1944.

Photo credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Yad Vashem (Public Domain).