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holocaust etymology

Posted By: Martha Murphy on March 29, 2004
The term "holocaust" was not coined to refer to the destruction of Jewish people by the Nazis. The term, spelled with a lower-case "h," dates back to Middle English, when it referred to a burnt offering, according to Dictionary.com.

Spelled with a capital "H," the term does refer to the atrocities carried out against the Jewish people by the Nazis, probably because of the use of cremation.

However, the wanton or reckless campaign of genocide against the American Indians over 400 years certainly merits the use of the term, at least with a small "h,"as does the enslavement and murder committed against Africans in America for at least 300 years. Let us not point a finger at the Nazis without remembering the injustices done to these groups of people in our own nation.
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 holocaust etymology by Martha Murphy on March 29, 2004
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