Difference Between Genocide and Holocaust (With Table)

The vibes created by the two terms genocide and holocaust are pretty much scary and disturbing, but these terms have been frequently executed throughout human history. These terms are closely related but there are some differences and one is part of the other. Holocaust research began in the 1950s before addressing the greater picture of the phenomena, where the “Shoah” is a component of contemporary genocide and includes features of genocidal efforts as well.

This article focuses on the differences and aspects of the terms genocide and holocaust. They might be used interchangeably but they sure aren’t the same.

Genocide vs Holocaust

The difference between genocide and holocaust is that genocide is referred to the act of killing a significant number of individuals from a certain nationality or ethnic group with the intent of eliminating that country or cultural minority whereas holocaust is a nuclear annihilation or slaughter, such as that produced by fire or global annihilation.

Genocide is based on the systematic eradication of a certain lot of persons, notably demonstrated by the Nazis’ attempt to exterminate the Native state in the 1940s. But there’s a complexity of legal ideas underneath that basic definition, including what constituted genocidal so when the word may be used. Dr. Lemkin worked to get genocidal recognized as a violation of international human rights law after experiencing the atrocities of the Holocaust, that every individual of his clan save his brother was slaughtered.

Holocaust is the methodical nation slaughter of polish jews, women, and kids, as well as countless other, by Nazi Germany and its accomplices throughout Second World War is known as the Holocaust, Hebrew Shoah “Catastrophe,” Yiddish and Hebrew Urban “Destruction.” “The definitive answer to the Jewish question,” as the Germans put it.

In the years after their release, Latin Jews and survivors used the term “urban” to characterize the Babylonian demolition of Jerusalem’s First Church in 586 BCE as well as the Roman devastation of Jerusalem’s Second Temple in 70 CE.

Comparison Table Between Genocide and Holocaust

Parameters of ComparisonGenocide Holocaust
DefinitionA general term for mass destruction and absolute carnage. It is a mother term for its types like holocaust that causes genocide.Chemical warfare or slaughter, such as that produced by fire or global conflict that causes a mass murder is called holocaust.
OriginAccording to the Political Destabilisation Task Force, 43 mass murders occurred between 1956 and 2016, resulting in the deaths of around 60 % of the population. After this mishap the erm “genocide” came into action.The Holocaust was the systematic government-sanctioned murder of 6 million Jewish adults, families, and babies, as well as millions of everyone else, by Nazi Germany.
Degree of DeathThe degree of deaths ranges above the majority population of a community, group or even a country!The degree of death toll is major and brutal when compared to terms like assasination and murders.
Toll and MagnitudeDeath toll goes berserk when a genocide occurs, it is gruesome and brutal just like holocaust.Death toll can range from 1000 and above and can extend till lakhs of people.
Etymology1940s: from Greek genos ‘race’ + cide. Raphael Lemkin originated the title in his 1944 book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe.Middle English: from Old French holocauste, via late Latin from Greek holokauston

What is Genocide?

Genocide is defined as the wholesale slaughter of civilians for the purpose of resolving relevant international religious or ethnic conflicts. Although the phrase itself is new, annihilation and extermination have undoubtedly been performed across human history. The goal of the actions is defined by the general intent component: “to eliminate a regional, ethnoreligious, racial, or religious group, as such, wholly or partially .” Genocide is distinguished from other criminal offenses such as wartime criminal offenses by its particular purpose.

Before it was declared a crime under state legislation, extermination and genocide was seen as legitimate power. “Imagine the instance of a peasant who owns a group of hens, he murders people for a living, and it’s his business interfering is considered trespassing”, that’s hoe Lemkin got answered when he considered asking about the genocide being “legal” by his professor.

As per political commentator Douglas Irvin-Erickson, many global leaders “assumed nations had the authority to commit extermination against individuals inside their boundaries” as late as 1959. Any of the following acts perpetrated with the purpose to eliminate a regional, ethnic, racial, or religious group in its entirety or in part:

1. Assassinating members of the gang causing significant physical or emotional harm to group members
2. Deliberately imposing on a group of people circumstances of existence that are designed to kill them which for the most part
3. Putting in place steps to avoid pregnancies inside the organization
4. Shifting children from one group to the next violently.

What is Holocaust?

The Holocaust, was Nazi plan to exterminate all Jews of Europe throughout the Second World War, is now considered genocidal. However, at the Original trial in the early interwar years, offenders were charged with aggressiveness, war crimes, atrocities, and other offenses rather than genocide. This Holocaust is sometimes referred to as the “paragon” of extermination or genocide.

The methodical nation slaughter of polish jews, women, and kids, as well as countless others, by Nazi Germany and its accomplices throughout Second World War, is known as the “Holocaust”, known as shoah in Hebrew aka catastrophe. “

The situation of the holocaust was controlled directly by the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. As anti-Semitism grew in Germany, a proper term of a Jewish, as well as an Aryan, became necessary. The Nuremberg Laws—the Legislation also for Security of European Blood and German honor and the Legislation of the Fuehrer Citizen—became the cornerstone of anti-Jewish regulations and a justification for describing and categorizing Jews in all German-controlled lands after being codified on September 15, 1935, at the biennial Nazi Party meeting in Nuremberg.

In the years after their release, Latin Jews and survivors used the term “urban” to characterize the Babylonian demolition of Jerusalem’s First Church in 586 BCE as well as the Roman devastation of Jerusalem’s Medieval Church in 70 CE.

Main Differences Between Genocide and Holocaust

  1. Genocide is mass murder or annihilation of a major group of people but holocaust is a term used for the Nazi situation.
  2. Genocide is a broader term when compared to the holocaust.
  3. The word genocide was termed in 1944 by Lemkin whereas holocaust was termed during World War 2 by the Nazis.
  4. Holocaust can be considered as modern genocide whereas not all genocides are holocausts.
  5. The term genocide is pronounced as jeh·nuh·side whereas holocaust being a type of genocide is pronounced as haw·luh·kawst.


In a book exposing Nazi tactics of deliberately eliminating regional and cultural communities, Polish Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959) created the word “genocide.” Operation Holocaust was brought in by the Nazis and Hitler to exterminate European Jews. Many people are still terrified by these words, and the cinders of genocide slaughter and gas cell corpses still send out terrifying fumes.

Both the terms deal with human mass extermination and are quite crucial. One is a broader and un-segregated term whereas the other being a strong scenario that once blew away humanity amongst humans.


  1. https://www.britannica.com/event/Holocaust
  2. https://www.holocaustremembrance.com/resources/educational-materials/holocaust-and-other-genocides
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