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Is the word holocaust a Hebrew-derived word?




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Answer: no

The word holocaust, burnt offering, derives from the Greek holos, whole, and kaustos, burn. The Hebrew-derived equivalent term is shoah, catastophe. Note the term holocaust implies a sacraficial purpose to the slaughter (i.e., gives it some transcendental meaning), whereas the term shoah, catastrophe, implies a neutral car-accident-like quality.

1942 News Chron. 5 Dec. 2/2 Holocaust... Nothing else in Hitler's record is comparable to his treatment of the Jews....The word has gone forth that..the Jewish peoples are to be exterminated....The conscience of humanity stands aghast.


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