Holocaust Teacher Resource Center

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Vocabulary List

Pages 25-27

Anchluss – Hitler’s first priority for Austria was for union with the Reich. The unification was declared on March 12, 1938.

Ardennes – The plateau region of northern France, southeast Belgium, and Luxembourg struck by German forces. This invasion occurred where the Allied forces least expected it.

Bessarabia – Region in southwest European USSR belonging to Rumania until Russia delivered an ultimatum to Rumania demanding the ceding of Bessarabia to Russia. Bessarabia also had been given over to the Russian sphere of influence through the Nazi-Soviet Pact.

Bolshevism – The strategy developed by the Bolsheviks between 1903 and 1917 with a view to seizing state power and the establishment of a dictatorship of the proletariat

Bormann, Martin – The Reichleader who became the Deputy Leader under Hitter and was very influential as Hitler’s secretary. He held a position in court second to none in Hitler’s eyes.

Braun, Eva – Hitler’s mistress who married him just before their suicide on April 30, 1945. Her marriage to Hitler was a “reward” for her love and loyalty.

Buna – A trademark for synthetic rubber.

Coup d’etat – Vigorous action, usually violent and involving the use of military force, to suddenly overthrow a legal government and replace it with a new governing authority in violation of constitutional laws.

Dollfuss, Chancellor – The Chancellor of Austria whose government imprisoned several Austrian Nazis. He was killed in July 1934 when the Austrian Nazis attempted a putsch.

Dunkirk – The city where the evacuation of Allied troops took place. This was called the “Miracle of Dunkirk” and proved to be a great reprieve for the Allies.

El Alamein – A city in Egypt 65 miles from the delta of the Nile where Rommel’s forces were defeated resulting in 59,000 German casualties.

Fascist – A philosophy or system of government that is marked by stringent social and economic control, a strong, centralized government usually headed by a dictator, and often a policy of belligerent nationalism.

The Final Solution – The “Final Solution to the Jewish Problem” formally enunciated at the Wannsee Conference of January 20, 1942. The decision to systematically murder all the Jews in Europe rather than follow the previous policy of forced emigration.

Frei Korps – A Volunteer corps of ex-soldiers and adventurers that sprang up all over Germany to put down the leftist uprisings, “protect” the eastern frontier, and loot and fight for love of the game. The organizer of the first Frei Korps, called the Volunteer Territorial Rifle Corps, was General Ludwig von Maericker.

Genocide – The systematic, planned annihilation of a racial, political, or cultural group.

Gobbles, Josef – The Propaganda Chief chosen by Hitler to be Germany’s Chancellor after his death.

Guderian, General Heinz – In command of the 19th Panzer Corps, consisting of 3 Panzer divisions. First sent through the Luxembourg border, he was stopped by Hitler when Goering promised the German Luftwaffe could destroy the Allied forces trapped in the Dunkirk pocket.

Henlein, Konrad – The leader of the German minority in Czechoslovakia, he received orders from Hitler and started an uprising in the Sudetenland to put pressure on the Czech government..

Himmler, Heinrich – After Robin’s death, Himmler became the Chief of the Schutzstaffel (SS), a rival military arm of the Nazi Party. He also presided as Chief of the German Police and the special “Death head” branches of the SS.

Hindenburg, Oskar – The Reichpraesident, Hindenberg’s son. He was also part of the palace’s unofficial advisors and very close to his father.

Hindenburg, Paul von  – The 86-year-old President of Germany who appointed Hitler as Chancellor of a coalition government with the right wing Nationalist Party in 1933. He died in August of 1934 and Hitler gained total power.

Hugenberg, Alfred – Leader of the right wing German Nationalist Party.

Lebensraum – “living space” – A topic Hitler discussed thoroughly in his first volume of Mein Kampf which refers to Hitler’s obsession with gaining new land, particularly from Europe, even at the expense of other nations.

Low Countries – Refers to the countries of Belgium and the Netherlands, where the Allies predicted the German army to strike.

Ludendorff, Erich (1865-1931) – German general who wielded real political power. He took up extreme nationalistic politics, marched with Hitler in the Munich Putsch of November 1923, and was subsequently tried for treason.

Marxism – The political and economic ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles. Developed into a system of thought that gives class struggle a primary role in leading society from a bourgeois democracy under capitalism to a socialist society

Mein Kampf – The writings of Adolf Hitler, a blue-print for terror. First published in July 1925, the title can be translated as “My Struggle.”

Messier, Otto – Chief of the Presidential Chancellery and accordingly privy to most of the palace intrigue.

Memel – The land on the northern frontier of East Prussia that belonged to Lithuania and was annexed to Germany on March 24, 1959.

Morell, Thoedor – Hitler’s personal “quack” doctor who administered poisonous drugs to him daily. Morell helped contribute to Hitler’s downfall as his physical and mental health declined.

Munich Agreement – A series of meetings, September 29-30, 1938, between Britain, France, Italy and Germany to solve the crisis in Czechoslovakia. Eventually, the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, which held the country’s frontier fortifications, was ceded to Hitler to stop the possibility of war.

Mussolini, Benito – The leader of Fascist Italy who advocated military solutions to the country’s problems. His alliance with Germany against the Soviet Union was the Rome Berlin Axis agreement of October 19, 1936.

National Socialistche Deutsche Arbeiterparteilof – Hitler’s political party, abbreviated as “Nazi.”

Neurath, Konstantin von – The Foreign Minister appointed by Hindenberg who was against Hitler’s foreign policy “both physically and spiritually.” He was relieved of the post of Foreign Minister by Hitler and given the empty title “President of the Secret Cabinet Council.”

“Night of the Long Knives” – The brutal murder of 200 SA men, including Ernst Rohm carried out under Hitler’s direct orders on June 30, 1934. This finished the SA as a major force and cemented the SS as the “elite” party military organization

Nuremburg Laws – Hitler’s anti-Jewish legislation stripping citizenship from all German Jews. These laws persecuted the Jews because of their so-called racial identity. Later imposed on land occupied by the Nazis. Served as a model for the eventual extermination of the Gypsies.

Operation Barbarossa – The plan for German Armed Forces to crush Russia in a quick campaign before the end of the war against England.

Pact of Steel – A pact signed May 22, 1939 securing a military alliance between Italy and Germany as suggested by Mussolini.

Papen, Franz von – A noble Swiss socialite note for personal charm over ability He lacked political stature. He was a onetime General Staff Officer, and was chosen as Chancellor by captivating the affections of the president.

Pearl Harbor – The Japanese air strike on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, in Hawaii with the purpose of destroying the Pacific Fleet. This ever marked the entrance of the United States into World War II.

Plebiscite – A direct vote in which all people are invited to accept or refuse the government of the person or party initiating the consultation.

Propaganda – The systematic propagation of given doctrine or allegations reflecting its views and interest; material distributed by the advocates of a doctrine.

Putsch (1923) – A sudden attempt by a group to overthrow a government.

Reichwehr – The military force numbering 500,000 men, organized in Germany in 1919. It was reduced to 100,000 by 1921 under the terms of the Versailles Treaty “Reichwehr” literally refers to the armed forces of the Reich, including both the Army and Navy of the Weimar Republic.

Reichstag – The German Parliament (building) burned in February 1933 and blamed on the Communists. Likely set ablaze by the Nazis themselves.

Rhineland – The region along the Rhine River in western Germany. A portion 50 kilometers deep along the east bank was stipulated by the Versailles Treaty to be demilitarized.

Rohm, Ernst – A former regular of the Bavarian Army and the Reichswehr, he organized ex-soldiers and Frei Korps men into a street fighting force called the Sturmabteilung (SA). The SA was one of the essential elements of the Nazi Party by 1920.

Rommel, Field Marshall Erwin – Commanded the Panzergruppe Afrika, He was in favor of attacking the British forces in the Middle East by hitting the Suez.

SA (Sturmabteilung) – The storm troops of the early Nazi Party organized in 1921 by Capt. Ernst Rohm. It was made up of ex-soldiers and Frei Korps men and used as a street fighting force. Later they become known as the “Brown Shirts.”

Saarland – The region of western Germany in the Sara Valley which, historically has been contested with France.

Schacht, Hjalmar – General Plenipotentiary for War Economy under Hitler. He started as President of the Reichbank during the Weimar era to 1950. He consistently warned Hitler of the economic dangers of inflation and criticized the production of high cost substitutes for commodity methods of exportation. Schacht preferred to work within his own economic principals.

Schleicher, Kurtum – A prewar subaltern in Hidenberg’s old regiment; he became friends with Oskar Hindenberg. He attended the “Kreigsakademie.” impressed Groenner, and quickly became the First Quartermaster General. lie was selected to he Groener’s adjutant. Because he was close to top military and political figures, he had great opportunities for intrigue and personal advancement. Later he was put in charge of the Reichwehrministerium by Groener.

Schuschnigg, Kurt von – The Chancellor of Austria who was forced to accept Hitler’s offer to legalize Austrian Nazis, grant general Austrian amnesty and appoint Seyss-Inquart as the Minister of the Interior. As a result, the Austrian government fell and the Nazis took over.

Slovak – A member of a Slavic people living in Slovakia.

SS Divisions – (Schutzstaffel); “Black Shirts.” An organization created and commanded by Hitler himself, first as bodyguards and later in control of organizing and running the concentration camps.

Stalingrad – Hitler personally wanted to take over this Russian city in with the German Sixth Army. Instead, the Russians cut off Stalingrad from the north and south, forcing the German Army to retreat or be defeated. Hitler would not retreat and the army was defeated.

Strasser, Gregor – Leader of the rival North Germany Nazi movement.

Sudetenland – The region of Northwest Czechoslovakia along the Polish border containing a German minority. The rise of the Sudeten German party in Czechoslovakia was subsidized by the German foreign office and controlled by Ribbontrop. Hitler wanted this area to be ceded to Germany.

Teutonic – Relating to the German language and culture.

Typhus – An infectious disease carried by fleas, lice, or mites. Deadly to the malnourished inmates of the death camps.

U-Boat – (Untersuboat). A submarine campaign started in WWI and carried over to WWII. Early success was largely neutralized by British and US Naval Forces.

Versailles Treaty – A treaty signed June 28, 1919 after WWI putting restrictions on Germany’s military power. The purpose of treaty was to shrink Germany’s military establishment and potential to rearm.

Volk – The German word for people.

Volkischer Brobachter – Hitler’s newspaper used for propaganda and support from German citizens.

Weimar Republic -The constitutional democracy of Germany crushed by Hitler in 1933.