By Mike Smith
Detroit Jewish News Foundation Archivist

The term Holocaust was not used as a historical concept until after World War II when the world finally understood that the Nazi party and its collaborators had systemically and brutally attempted to annihilate the Jews of Europe.

Unlike America’s mainstream media, the Jewish News and its predecessor, the Detroit Jewish Chronicle, continually published reports about Nazi atrocities during World War II.

An exhibit, assembled by Detroit Jewish News Foundation Archivist Mike Smith, was shown at the Holocaust Memorial Center late last year. On this “Looking Back” page, we will offer selected exhibit panels showing the history of what we now call the Holocaust as it unfolded in the pages of these publications.

As reported in the Detroit Jewish Chronicle, Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany on Jan. 30, 1933, when he was appointed chancellor by Germany’s President Paul von Hindenburg. More than one-third of the seats in the Reichstag were occupied by Nazi Party members.

Within two months, Hitler and his supporters in Germany’s Reichstag passed the Enabling Act of 1933, which essentially transformed Hitler’s chancellorship into a dictatorship. With complete control of Germany, Hitler and the Nazis incrementally enacted anti-Semitic laws and began hostile actions against Jews.

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