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The Germans invaded Poland in September 1939. When Makow was occupied, Sam fled to Soviet territory. He returned to Makow for provisions, but was forced to remain in the ghetto. In 1942, he was deported to Auschwitz. As the Soviet army advanced in 1944, Sam and other prisoners were sent to camps in Germany. The inmates were put on a death march early in 1945. American forces liberated Sam after he escaped during a bombing raid.
Abraham was raised in Czestochowa, Poland, and became a barber. He and his family were deported to the Treblinka killing center from the Czestochowa ghetto in 1942. At Treblinka, Abraham was selected for forced labor. He was forced to cut women's hair before they were gassed, and he sorted clothing from arriving transports. Abraham escaped from the camp in 1943 and made his way back to Czestochowa. He worked in a labor camp from June 1943 until liberation by Soviet troops in 1945.
Ruth was four years old when the Germans invaded Poland and occupied Ostrowiec. Her family was forced into a ghetto. Germans took over her father's photography business, although he was allowed to continue working outside the ghetto. Before the ghetto was liquidated, Ruth's parents sent her sister into hiding, and managed to get work at a labor camp outside the ghetto. Ruth also went into hiding, either in nearby woods or within the camp itself. When the camp was liquidated, Ruth's parents were split up. Ruth was sent to several concentration camps before eventually being deported to Auschwitz. After the war, Ruth lived in an orphanage in Krakow until she was reunited with her mother.
Miso's family lived in Topol'cany. The Hlinka Guard (Slovak fascists) took over the town in 1939. In 1942, Miso was deported to the Slovak-run Novaky camp. Later in the year, he was deported to the Auschwitz camp in Poland. He was forced to labor first in the Buna works and then in the Birkenau "Kanada" detachment, unloading incoming trains. As the Allies advanced in late 1944, prisoners were transferred to camps in Germany. Miso escaped during a death march from Landsberg and was liberated by US forces.
Tomasz was born to a Jewish family in Izbica. After the war began in September 1939, the Germans established a ghetto in Izbica. Tomasz's work in a garage initially protected him from roundups in the ghetto. In 1942 he tried to escape to Hungary, using false papers. He was caught but managed to return to Izbica. In April 1943 he and his family were deported to Sobibor. Tomasz escaped during the Sobibor uprising. He went into hiding and worked as a courier in the Polish underground.