George Segal (American, 1924-2000)
The Holocaust, 1982
- Plaster, wood, and wire
- Dimensions variable
- The Jewish Museum, New York
- Purchase: Dorot Foundation Gift, 1985-176a-l
- Art © The George and Helen Segal Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Not on view
Before and during World War II, the Nazis set up an elaborate system of ghettos and camps across Germany and occupied Europe. Ghettos were created in urban areas to separate the Jews from the rest of the population and facilitate their deportation to camps. Concentration camps were used to detain Jews, political prisoners, and other perceived enemies. The Nazis built the first concentration camps, Dachau, in 1933; by the end of the war, there were thousands of camps.
Although concentration camps were not built for the purpose of mass murder, many prisoners were killed in the camps, while others died from starvation, disease, or the rigors of forced labor. The Nazis also built six death camps, or killing centers, specifically for the mass murder of Jews and Gypsies, primarily by poison gas. Most of those who arrived at the death camps were immediately sent to gas chambers to be killed. The remaining prisoners were kept alive temporarily to work in the camps.