രണ്ടാം ലോകമഹായുദ്ധകാലത്ത് അഡോൾഫ് ഹിറ്റ്ലറുടെ നേതൃത്വത്തിൽ ജർമൻ നാസികൾ ചെയ്ത കൂട്ടക്കൊലകളുടെ പരമ്പരകൾക്ക് പൊതുവായി പറയുന്ന പേരാണ് ഹോളോകോസ്റ്റ് അഥവാ ഹോളോകോസ്റ്റ് (ഗ്രീക്ക് ὁλόκαυστον (holókauston): ഹോളോസ്, "പൂർണ്ണമായും" + കോസ്തോസ്, "എരിഞ്ഞുതീരുക" എന്നീ പദങ്ങളിൽനിന്ന്).. ഇതരഭാഷകളിൽ ഹഷോഅ (ഹീബ്രു: השואה), ചുർബേൻ (യിദ്ദിഷ്: חורבן) എന്നൊക്കെ ഇതറിയപ്പെടുന്നു. ഏതാണ്ട് അറുപതു ലക്ഷത്തോളം ജൂതന്മാർ ഇക്കാലത്ത് വധിക്കപ്പെട്ടു.
ജൂതന്മാരെ കൂടാതെ റോമേനിയക്കാരും സോവ്യറ്റ് പൗരന്മാരും സോവ്യറ്റ് യുദ്ധത്തടവുകാരും പോളണ്ടുകാരും വികലാംഗരും സ്വവർഗ്ഗഭോഗികളായ പുരുഷന്മാരും യഹോവയുടെ സാക്ഷികളും രാഷ്ട്രീയപരമായും മതപരമായും നാസികളുടെ വൈരികളായിരുന്നവരുമൊക്കെ ഇക്കാലത്ത് കൂട്ടക്കൊലയ്ക്ക് ഇരകളായി. എന്നിരുന്നാലും, മിക്ക പണ്ഡിതന്മാരും ഹോളോകോസ്റ്റ് എന്ന പദം കൊണ്ട് നിർവചിക്കുന്നത് യൂറോപ്യൻ ജൂതന്മാരുടെ കൂട്ടക്കുരുതിയെ അഥവാ നാസികളുടെ ഭാഷയിൽ "ജൂതന്മാരുടെ പ്രശ്നത്തിനുള്ള ആത്യന്തികപരിഹാരത്തെയാണ്". നാസിവാഴ്ചയുടെ കാലഘട്ടത്തിൽ ഇത്തരത്തിൽ കൊലചെയ്യപ്പെട്ടവരുടെ മൊത്തം കണക്കെടുത്താൽ ഏതാണ്ട് 90 ലക്ഷത്തിനും ഒരുകോടി പത്തുലക്ഷത്തിനും ഇടയ്ക്ക് ആളുകളുണ്ടാവും.
- "The Auschwitz Album", Yad Vashem.
- Niewyk, Donald L. The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust, Columbia University Press, 2000, p.45: "The Holocaust is commonly defined as the murder of more than 5,000,000 Jews by the Germans in World War II." Also see "The Holocaust", Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2007: "the systematic state-sponsored killing of six million Jewish men, women and children, and millions of others, by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II. The Germans called this "the final solution to the Jewish question".
- Niewyk, Donald L. and Nicosia, Francis R. The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust, Columbia University Press, 2000, pp. 45-52.
- Weissman, Gary. Fantasies of Witnessing: Postwar Attempts to Experience the Holocaust, Cornell University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-8014-4253-2, p. 94: "Kren illustrates his point with his reference to the Kommissararbefehl. 'Should the (strikingly unreported) systematic mass starvation of Soviet prisoners of war be included in the Holocaust?' he asks. Many scholars would answer no, maintaining that 'the Holocaust' should refer strictly to those events involving the systematic killing of the Jews'."
- "The Holocaust: Definition and Preliminary Discussion", Yad Vashem: "The Holocaust, as presented in this resource center, is defined as the sum total of all anti-Jewish actions carried out by the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945: from stripping the German Jews of their legal and economic status in the 1930s, to segregating and starving Jews in the various occupied countries, to the murder of close to six million Jews in Europe. The Holocaust is part of a broader aggregate of acts of oppression and murder of various ethnic and political groups in Europe by the Nazis."
- Niewyk, Donald L. The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust, Columbia University Press, 2000, p.45: "The Holocaust is commonly defined as the murder of more than 5,000,000 Jews by the Germans in World War II. Not everyone finds this a fully satisfactory definition. The Nazis also killed millions of people belonging to other groups: Gypsies, the physically and mentally handicapped, Soviet prisoners of war, Polish and Soviet civilians, political prisoners, religious dissenters, and homosexuals."
- "Holocaust," Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2007: "the systematic state-sponsored killing of six million Jewish men, women, and children and millions of others by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II. The Germans called this "the final solution to the Jewish question" (emphasis added).
- "Holocaust", Encarta: "Holocaust, the almost complete destruction of Jews in Europe by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II (1939–1945). The leadership of Germany’s Nazi Party ordered the extermination of 5.6 million to 5.9 million Jews (see National Socialism). Jews often refer to the Holocaust as Shoah (from the Hebrew word for “catastrophe” or “total destruction”)."
- Paulsson, Steve. "A View of the Holocaust", BBC: "The Holocaust was the Nazis' assault on the Jews between 1933 and 1945. It culminated in what the Nazis called the 'Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe', in which six million Jews were murdered. The Jews were not the only victims of Nazism. It is estimated that as many as 15 million civilians were killed by this murderous and racist regime, including millions of Slavs and 'asiatics', 200,000 Gypsies and members of various other groups. Thousands of people, including Germans of African descent, were forcibly sterilised."
- "The Holocaust", Auschwitz.dk: "The Holocaust was the systematic annihilation of six million Jews by the Nazis during World War 2. In 1933 nine million Jews lived in the 21 countries of Europe that would be military occupied by Germany during the war. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been killed. 1.5 million children were murdered. This figure includes more than 1.2 million Jewish children, tens of thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of handicapped children."
- "Holocaust—Definition", Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies: "HOLOCAUST (Heb., sho'ah). In the 1950s the term came to be applied primarily to the destruction of the Jews of Europe under the Nazi regime, and it is also employed in describing the annihilation of other groups of people in World War II. The mass extermination of Jews has become the archetype of GENOCIDE, and the terms sho'ah and "holocaust" have become linked to the attempt by the Nazi German state to destroy European Jewry during World War II … One of the first to use the term in the historical perspective was the Jerusalem historian BenZion Dinur (Dinaburg), who, in the spring of 1942, stated that the Holocaust was a "catastrophe" that symbolized the unique situation of the Jewish people among the nations of the world."
- Also see the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies list of definitions: "Holocaust: A term for the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and annihilation of European Jewry by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945."
- "The Holocaust", Compact Oxford English Dictionary: "(the Holocaust) the mass murder of Jews under the German Nazi regime in World War II."
- The 33rd Annual Scholars' Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches defines the Holocaust as "the Nazi attempt to annihilate European Jewry," cited in Hancock, Ian. "Romanies and the Holocaust: A Reevaluation and an Overview", Stone, Dan. (ed.) The Historiography of the Holocaust. Palgrave-Macmillan, New York 2004, pp. 383–396.
- Bauer, Yehuda. Rethinking the Holocaust. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2001, p.10.
- Dawidowicz, Lucy. The War Against the Jews: 1933–1945. Bantam, 1986, p.xxxvii: "'The Holocaust' is the term that Jews themselves have chosen to describe their fate during World War II."
- Donald Niewyk suggests that the broadest definition, including Soviet civilian deaths, would produce a death toll of 17 million.  Estimates of the death toll of non-Jewish victims vary by millions, partly because the boundary between death by persecution and death by starvation and other means in a context of total war is unclear. Overall, about 5.7 million (78 percent) of the 7.3 million Jews in occupied Europe perished (Gilbert, Martin. Atlas of the Holocaust 1988, pp. 242-244). Compared to five to 11 million (1.4 percent to 3.0 percent) of the 360 million non-Jews in German-dominated Europe. Small, Melvin and J. David Singer. Resort to Arms: International and civil Wars 1816-1980 and Berenbaum, Michael. A Mosaic of Victims: Non-Jews Persecuted and Murdered by the Nazis. New York: New York University Press, 1990