The D-Day invasion of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944, was one of the most important military operations to the western Allies’ success during World War II. By the end of June, more than 850,000 US, British, and Canadian troops had come ashore on the beaches of Normandy.
Between 1933 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its allies established more than 44,000 camps and other incarceration sites (including ghettos). The perpetrators used these locations for a range of purposes, including forced labor, detention of people deemed to be "enemies of the state," and mass murder. Millions of people suffered and died or were killed. Among these sites was Dachau, the longest operating camp.
Between 2003 and 2005, an estimated 200,000 civilians died from violence, disease, and starvation as a result of a campaign of violence in Darfur by the Sudanese government. Two million were displaced from their homes. In 2004, the US Secretary of State called the violence in Darfur a genocide.
Despite great obstacles, Jews throughout occupied Europe attempted armed resistance against the Germans and their Axis partners. They faced overwhelming odds and desperate scenarios, including lack of weapons and training, operating in hostile zones, parting from family members, and facing an ever-present Nazi terror. Yet thousands resisted by joining or forming partisan units. Among them was David Broudo.
The Jewish children of Lodz suffered unfolding harsh realities after the German invasion of Poland. Some of the children, among them Dawid Sierakowiak, recorded their experiences in diaries. Their voices offer a view into the struggle of a community and its young to live in spite of the most difficult circumstances.
The Nazi regime under Adolf Hitler aimed to purify the genetic makeup of the population through measures known as racial hygiene or eugenics. Scientists in the biomedical fields, many of them medically trained experts, played a role in legitimizing these policies and helping to implement them.
In January 1945, the Third Reich stood on the verge of military defeat. As Allied forces approached Nazi camps, the SS organized “death marches” (forced evacuations) of concentration camp inmates, in part to keep large numbers of concentration camp prisoners from falling into Allied hands.
Read a first-hand account of the difficult debates that took place about resistance within the ghettos.
The Nazis frequently used propaganda to disguise their political aims and deceive the German and international public. They depicted Germany as the victim of Allied and Jewish aggression to hide their true ideological goals and to justify war and violence against innocent civilians.
The Decree against Public Enemies was one of a series of key decrees, legislative acts, and case law in the gradual process by which the Nazi leadership moved Germany from a democracy to a dictatorship.
A key part of Nazi ideology was to define the enemy and those who posed a threat to the so-called “Aryan” race. Nazi propaganda was essential in promoting the myth of the “national community” and identifying who should be excluded. Jews were considered the main enemy.
For the Jews who survived the Holocaust, the end of World War II brought new challenges. Many could not or would not return to their former homelands, and options for legal immigration were limited. In spite of these difficulties, these Jewish survivors sought to rebuild their shattered lives by creating flourishing communities in displaced persons camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy. In an unparalleled six-year period between 1945 and 1951, European Jewish life was reborn in camps such as Deggendorf.
German policies varied from country to country, including direct, brutal occupation and reliance upon collaborating regimes. Until 1943, the German occupation regime took a relatively benign approach to Denmark.
In 1941, the Nazi leadership decided to implement the "Final Solution," the systematic mass murder of European Jewry. Unlike concentration camps, which served primarily as detention and labor centers, killing centers (commonly referred to as "extermination camps" or "death camps") were almost exclusively "death factories."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor and theologian known for his opposition to National Socialism. His ties to the July 20, 1944, conspiracy to overthrow the Nazi regime led to his execution in 1945. His theological writings are regarded as classics throughout the Christian world.
For the Jews who survived the Holocaust, the end of World War II brought new challenges. Many could not or would not return to their former homelands, and options for legal immigration were limited. In spite of these difficulties, these Jewish survivors sought to rebuild their shattered lives by creating flourishing communities in displaced persons camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy. In an unparalleled six-year period between 1945 and 1951, European Jewish life was reborn in camps such as those in the Steiermark district of Austria.
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