what is the difference between holocaust and genocide ? the crimes against humanity and war crimes ?

do clear definitions exists today?

The holocaust was a genocide.

Edit: I think holocaust used to mean a Jewish sacrifice at an altar. However now if you say Holocaust most understand to mean specifically the genocide of Jews by Hitler.

Copied from the Merriam Webster online Dictionary:
noun \ˈje-nə-ˌsīd\
: the deliberate killing of people who belong to a particular racial, political, or cultural group

Full Definition of GENOCIDE
: the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group
— geno•cid•al adjective
First Known Use of GENOCIDE

noun \ˈhō-lə-ˌkȯst, ˈhä- also -ˌkäst or ˈhȯ-lə-kȯst\
the Holocaust : the killing of millions of Jews and other people by the Nazis during World War II
: an event or situation in which many people are killed and many things are destroyed especially by fire
Full Definition of HOLOCAUST
: a sacrifice consumed by fire
: a thorough destruction involving extensive loss of life especially through fire
a often capitalized : the mass slaughter of European civilians and especially Jews by the Nazis during World War II —usually used with the
b : a mass slaughter of people; especially : genocide
See holocaust defined for English-language learners »
See holocaust defined for kids »
Examples of HOLOCAUST

  1. The museum is devoted to the Holocaust.
  2. There were fears of a nuclear holocaust.
    Origin of HOLOCAUST
    Middle English, from Late Latin holocaustum, from Greek holokauston, from neuter of holokaustos burnt whole, from hol- + kaustos burnt, from kaiein to burn — more at caustic
    First Known Use: 13th century

interesting , so word “genocide” - was unknown to international practice prior to the end of World War II

Exactly. It was created in reference BOTH to the Holocaust and the mass killings of Armenians in 1915.

The word “holocaust” was originally the English word for “bunt offering” or “sacrifice (offering) made by fire.” It appeared in Bible translations to describe Jewish offerings made at the Tent of Meeting and later the Temple upon the altar in which a sacrifice to the Lord was consumed with fire, its rising smoke symbolizing its offering to Heaven.

When the persecution of the Jews occurred during World War II and became widely known to the international public this became known as “The Holocaust.”

While technically the word “holocaust” can still be used in American English to refer to an offering made by fire, in 2011, the Catholic Bishops published the Revised New American Bible in which they replaced the use of the term “holocaust” with “burnt offering” as the word “holocaust” is almost exclusively used to refer to this sad chapter in human history.


  1. it’s been used to refer to massacres for hundred of years
  2. the first event to popularly called the “holocaust” was the Armenian genocide
    3)The term Holocaust only atarted to be used on a large scale to the actions by Nazis during the 1960s.

Thank you.
I was curious about the differences, the genocide against the Ukrainians is called ‘‘Holodomor-genocide’’ and not ‘‘Holocaust’’.
Tke word itself is interesting, “holod” (hunger or famine) and “mor” (mass death as in a plague)
also I found out that the word “holocaust” is isually traced to Wycliffe’s translation of the Bible as a burnt offering, and indeed it is an English word from the ancient Greek words “kolos” (whole) and “caustos” (to burn). In reference to Hitler’s destruction of the Jews, it came to be used as a not quite exact translation of the Hebrew word “Shoah” (complete and utter destruction)

But there is no doubt that the most terrible tragedy of the twentieth century is the Holodomor of Ukrainians, where 10 000 000 innocent people were killed. And there is a great injustice that history was silent for so long about it.
But the Lord of Truth - ashamed the children of the devil , and the world eventually will have learn about this terrible tragedy more and more.

I think you’ll find that Mao’s famine of 1959-61 killed double that figure.

By the way, I remember being taught about dekulakisation, forced collectivisation, the famine in the Ukraine, the nation killing deportations etc at school in the 1980s so history wasn’t exactly silent then.

In the 1970-1980s the diaspora made tremendous efforts to inform Western societies, media and universities about Holodomor of 1932-33.
The Holodomor was a taboo subject in Soviet Ukraine, also many American scholars supported the misleading views that famine was not manmade, and was not a result of some policy but was a result of some hysteria and so on…
We are not the people who complain on the whole world about non existent numbers of victims, and no compensations, no one pays to us, but what is interesting - the ''nonexistent dead horse is guilty in the genocide of Ukrainians . Nonexistent dead horse is to blame.

Perhaps expressing your views in a more welcoming environment would be less frustrating for you?

The more I explore this the more I can see the glaring injustice.
Look, for 300 years Rus-Ukraine was a colony of Moscow Empire. But for those 30 years of Bolsheviks, Commissars, Kaganoviches we suffered incomparably greater losses than the rest of the colonial time.
in the decade of the 20s 40s, more than 20 million Ukrainians were killed.
On what traditions on which books were brought up those misanthropes?
Who created this political system?
On whom held this political system all the years?
Who will answer for Ukrainian Holodomor ?

Oh, come on, this isn’t some sort of voyage of discovery you’re on, you started with the ‘answer’ and are finding different ways of saying it - I’m waiting for the ‘Some say that certain naughty people diverted the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, any comments from professional scientists and what’s the link to the Holodomor?’ thread.

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