Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission Awareness - Education - Inspiration

Definition of Holocaust and genocide


By THGC Admin

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Guidelines for Teaching convey the importance of precise language in fostering discussions of the Holocaust and genocides. In recent days, social media platforms and other venues have too often supported the proliferation of insensitive, dubious, and even false comparisons to those histories. Especially troubling are the seemingly countless occasions when contemporary political figures and their actions have been labeled “Nazi” or “Hitler.” Such careless references inevitably demonstrate ignorance of the specific features of each side of the comparison. They obscure, rather than clarify, past and current events, and thereby stifle any reasonable understanding of them.

To promote discernment, the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission directs attention to the following definitions:

Holocaust Definition

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.

(Source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Genocide Definition

[A]ny of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

1. Killing members of the group;
2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

(Source: United Nations Genocide Convention)

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