The forgotten part of the Holocaust that didn’t occur in Europe…

by Phil Schneider

Was the Holocaust merely a European tragedy?  Absolutely not.

First of all, many people know that Hitler was working on conquering the world and killing world Jewry.  However, what is not well-known is that Hitler and the Nazi party succeeded in reaching beyond Europe at certain points.  The Nazi killing machine stretched beyond Germany, Poland, Austria, and Rumania.  The Holocaust was a heartless, racist, systematized plan to destroy all world Jewry.

Conquering the world

Adolf Hitler began his attempts to take over the world by encroaching first on neighboring European countries.
In 1938, Hitler annexed Austria. Surprisingly, this didn’t bother other European countries that much.  Then, Hitler began to encroach on areas of Czechoslovakia. Hitler’s ally, Italy, conquered Albania.

But, in 1939, the big German invasion of Poland began. First, Hitler signed a pact with the Soviet Union that basically split up Poland between the two major powers.

Then, in September 1939, the blitzkrieg began – a lightning fast conquering of Poland by the Nazi war machine.  Soon after, Germany conquered Belgium and France.

A year or two after the war began, Germany and its allies extended their forces to fight against the Soviet Union and into Africa.  The invasion of the Soviet Union was termed Operation Barbarossa.  This would prove to be a turning point in the war.  Meanwhile, the invasion of North Africa by German forces and its allies took place.

The Turning Points of World War II

In both the Soviet Union and North Africa, German forces succeeded – at first.  But, then, the weather conditions and the ingenuity of the Allied forces prevailed.

In the Soviet Union, the German forces conquered the Ukraine and pushed back the Soviet forces all the way to Moscow and Leningrad.  But, most of the advances occurred in the summer and the fall.  Now, by the time, they reached the large Soviet population centers, it was getting cold – very cold. Ultimately, the Soviet forces repelled the advancing German army and pushed them back more than 50 miles. The Russian Army would ultimately push the German army all the way back to Berlin itself.

In North Africa, the Germany army and its allies first conquered swaths of land in Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya.  But, Field Marshal Montgomery led the British forces to repel the German army in Egypt.

The Holocaust in North Africa

Part and parcel of the Nazi plans to take over the world included the systematic killing of all Jews in lands that they occupied.  As North Africa was occupied, subjugation of Jews and occasional killing of Jews also took place.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews in Tunisia, Algeria and Libya were forced into slave labor camps and others were sent to their deaths in concentration camps.  It is true that this is the unknown part of the Holocaust.

However, the length of time that the Holocaust took part in North Africa was not very long – a year or two at most.  The scope of the Holocaust in Africa was nowhere close to the scope of the horrible tragedy in Europe.  Thousands – perhaps tens of thousands were impacted.  In Europe, the Nazis killed millions of Jews, and the Holocaust lasted for 5+ years.

But, the basic message of this video is correct.  It is a tragic episode of the Holocaust that must also be remembered.


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