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Shoah / Holocaust

Shoah / Holocaust

The Hebrew word Shoah (disaster, catastrophe, ordeal) stands for annihilation of Jews.


Jews both in and outside Israel were familiar with the term, even before the Holocaust, due to the long history of enmity towards Jews and the related pogroms. The term was used in Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948. It has since been used primarily by Jews.


Holocaust (holókaustos, in Greek) literally means «totally burned». In ancient times, the term referred to the widespread religious practice of burning animals as sacrifices. The word was used in the Greek Bible translation, the Septuagint (LXX), and Martin Luther translated it as «burnt sacrifice». Today, many Jews avoid using the word Holocaust. They feel that it consigns them to the role of victim and gives the persecution of Jews positive religious connotations.


Volvieron del Sur only uses the term Shoah.

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