Glossary beginning with G

Gas chamberssearch for term

Sealed rooms in killing centers such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, Majdanek and other concentration camps, and also the killing centers of Operation T4. Jewish and other prisoners (Sinti, the disabled, etc.) were crowded into these rooms, and poison gas (Cyclon B) or carbon monoxide was released, killing the prisoners. Cyclon B was used at Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek, the other killing centers used carbon monoxide. More than 3 million people were murdered in this way.

General Government search for term

The German name for the administrative unit comprising those parts of occupied Poland that were not incorporated into the Reich. It initially included four districts: Cracow, Lublin, Radom, and Warsaw, containing 12 million inhabitants. After the invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, the fifth district, Lviv [Lemberg], was added as the district of Galicia. The Generalgouvernement comprised of an area of 94,000 km2 with about 12 million inhabitants (about 10 million Poles, 1.5 million Jews, 650,000 Germans and more than 500,000 Ukrainians and Byelorussians). Its capital was Krakow which was also the seat of General Governor Dr. Hans Frank. The official languages were German and Polish. Nazi plans included the elimination of the Polish school and education system except for primary schools, and the theft and destruction of Polish cultural goods. The Polish population was exposed to hunger, deportation to Germany as forced labourers, expulsion, public executions and the »pacification« of villages. The Jewish population was interned in ghettos from 1942 to 1944 and almost completely exterminated by the end of 1943.

Synonyms: Generalgouvernement
German-Soviet Boundaries and Friendship Treatysearch for term

Together with the non-aggression pact between the German Reich and the Soviet Union, it stipulates the division of East and Central Europe into a German and a Soviet domain of interest following the attack on Poland, signed on 28 September 1939, provided for the division of Poland and was the basis for other German-Soviet agreements and secret protocols signed at the same time and for an exchange of letters between Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyatcheslav M. Molotov, made corrections to the German-Soviet borderline (Lithuania went to the Soviet Union who in return renounced to the Voyevodstvo of Lublin and the Eastern part of the Vojevodstvo of Warsaw) and outlined the principles of jointly fighting the Polish underground resistance movement.

Gestaposearch for term

Secret State Police established in Prussia in 1933, by 1936, its authority extended throughout Germany. Together with the Kriminalpolizei, i.e., the nonuniformed detective forces, the Gestapo constituted the Sicherheitspolizei or Security Police.

Synonyms: Geheime Staatspolizei
Ghettosearch for term

The Nazis revived the medieval term 'ghetto' to describe their compulsory "Jewish quarters". Ghettos were poor sections of a city where all Jews from the city and surrounding areas were forced to reside. Surrounded by barbed wire or walls, the ghettos were sealed and no one could leave. Established mostly in German-occupied Eastern Europe (for example, Lodz, Warsaw, Vilna, Riga, Minsk), the ghettos were characterized by overcrowding, starvation and heavy labor. All ghettos were eventually dissolved, and the Jews and Gypsies that had resided there were deported and murdered.

Gross Rosensearch for term

Concentration camp in Lower Silesia opened in August 1940 for Polish male prisoners. Initially a subsidiary of Sachsenhausen, by May 1941 Gross-Rosen became an independent concentration camp. On February 13, 1945, the camp was liberated by the Soviet Army.

Synonyms: Groß Rosen
Gypsies search for term

Considered a pejorative collective term for Roma and Sinti. These nomadic people are believed to have come originally from northwest India, which they left for Persia in the first millennium A.D. Traveling mostly in small caravans, Roma and Sinti first appeared in western Europe after the fourteenth century. By the sixteenth century, they had settled in every country of Europe. It is estimated that between 250,000-500,000 Roma and Sinti perished in the gas chambers, concentration camps, ghettos, and mass executions of German-occupied Europe during World War II.

Synonyms: Roma, Sinti, Sinti und Roma, Zigeuner