What does Holocaust mean? - Memory makes us free

What does Holocaust mean?

The word Holocaust derives from Greek and successively from Latin.

This term is the Greek translation of the Jewish sacrifice called “Olah” (raising) a sacrifice that is “burned”, and appreciated by God.

The best-known meaning of this term is sadly connected to the persecution and extermination of about six million Jews, carried out by the Nazi regime and by its collaborators.

It is important to say that the association of the Jews extermination to the sacrificial offering of the ancient world has annoyed many communities, it regards an ambiguity that produces embarrassment, and for this reason- when we talk about Jews genocide- we prefer to use another term, taken from Hebrew and considered more appropriate due to its connection to the meaning of “destruction”, “Shoah”. 

Nevertheless, the term “Holocaust” is still the most utilized word in the Anglo-Saxon world to identify the Jews’ genocide.

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