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However, the Jews were not the only victims of Nazism. It is estimated that as many as 15 million civilians were killed by the Nazi regime, including millions of Slavs and 'asiatics', 200,000 Gypsies and members of various other groups. Furthermore, thousands of people, including Germans of African descent, were forcibly sterilized.1
The word holocaust originally derived from the Greek word holokauston, meaning "a completely (holos) burnt (kaustos) sacrificial offering", or "a burnt sacrifice offered to God". In Greek and Roman pagan rites, gods of the earth and underworld received dark animals, which were offered by night and burnt in full. Holocaust was later used to refer to a sacrifice Jews were required to make by the Torah.2
Initially, the Nazis used killing squads, the Einsatzgruppen to conduct huge open-air killings, in some instances murdering as many as 33,000 people or more in a single day, as in the case of Babi Yar. However, by 1942, the Nazi leadership decided to implement the Final Solution, the genocide of all Jews in Europe, and increase the pace of the Holocaust. While concentration camps and labor camps to contain political enemies had existed since soon after the Nazis came to power in 1933, the Nazi leadership built six extermination camps, including Treblinka and Auschwitz, specifically to kill Jews. ...