The “Final Solution” was an euphemism for Nazi Germany’s plans to solve what they called the “Jewish problem” by annihilating the Jewish population.

Stages

Whether it was planned like this from the beginning is uncertain, but the Final Solution was implemented in stages. Firstly, Nazi Germany implemented anti-Jewish legislation, boycotts, the ghetto-system and Jews were encouraged to emigrate. Then, in 1941, with the German invasion of the Soviet Union, killing squads started eradicating whole Jewish communities using shootings or gas vans. This however placed a huge psychological burden on the soldiers who did the killing, so the Nazi’s decided to rather move on to the third stage: death camps. Jews were systematically deported from all across Europe to six extermination camps where they were killed in great numbers in gas chambers.

This article is part of our larger educational resource on World War Two. For a comprehensive list of World War 2 facts, including the primary actors in the war, causes, a comprehensive timeline, and bibliography, click here.