The solar chromosphere at the limb seen in D3 is an irregular bright band 1000 km thick with a dark band 1000 km thick beneath. The D3 chromosphere disappears in coronal holes. It is shown that the D3 emission, as well as the other He I and He II lines, can be explained quantitatively by photoionization by coronal back-radiation. A Chapman layer with N(He)H = 5 times 10 to the 17th power is formed near tau = 1 in the He I and He II continua. The chromospheric He emission or absorption is weak in coronal holes because there is no coronal back-radiation. Based on this model, the soft X-ray flux from stars with He 10830-A absorption lines is estimated as proportional to the 10830-A equivalent width and the apparent area.