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This footage shows Joseph Goebbels, Nazi minister for propaganda and public education, speaking at the September 1935 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg. In the speech, Goebbels--a fanatic antisemite--linked Bolshevism with international Jewry and warned Nazi party members of an alleged international Jewish conspiracy to destroy western civilization. Goebbels led the purge of Jewish and other so-called "un-German" influences from the cultural institutions of Nazi Germany.
In 1933, Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany and quickly turned the nation's fragile democracy into a one-party dictatorship. Police rounded up thousands of political opponents, detaining them without trial in concentration camps. The Nazi regime also put into practice racial policies that aimed to "purify" and strengthen the Germanic "Aryan" population. A relentless campaign began to exclude Germany's one-half million Jews from all aspects of German life. For two weeks in August 1936, Adolf Hitler camouflaged his antisemitic and expansionist agenda while Berlin hosted the Summer Olympic Games. Hoping to impress the many foreign visitors who were in Germany for the games, Hitler authorized a brief relaxation in anti-Jewish activities (including even the removal of signs barring Jews from public places). The games were a resounding propaganda success for the Nazis. They presented foreign spectators with the image of a peaceful and tolerant Germany. Here, Hitler formally opens the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin. Inaugurating a new Olympic ritual, a lone runner arrived bearing a torch carried by relay from the site of the ancient Games in Olympia, Greece.
German forces entered Warsaw in September 1939. The next month, they ordered the establishment of a Jewish council (Judenrat) in the city. They chose Adam Czerniakow, a member of Warsaw's old Jewish Community Council, to lead it. Here, for German newsreels, a German propaganda company stages a meeting between Czerniakow and petitioners from the ghetto. The Germans expected Czerniakow to implement German orders, including demands for forced labor and confiscations of Jewish-owned property. Czerniakow himself sought to ease the brutality of German measures, establishing food kitchens, workshops, and vocational schools. He constantly pleaded for better conditions. He committed suicide in July 1942 rather than comply with German demands that he help in the roundup of Jews destined for deportation.
In response to growing international awareness of Nazi atrocities, the Nazis decided to allow a Red Cross investigation committee to visit the Theresienstadt ghetto in Czechoslovakia. Elaborate measures were taken to disguise conditions in the ghetto and to portray an atmosphere of normalcy. This footage, showing an orchestral performance, is part of a German propaganda film made following the Red Cross visit to Theresienstadt.
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