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 Rae Kushner.
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 the Ravensbrück camp for women.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the US Army's Center of Military History have worked together to define, recognize, and honor all the US Army divisions that took part in the liberation of prisoners from Nazi concentration camps and other sites of incarceration.
Between the Nazi rise to power in 1933 and Nazi Germany's surrender in 1945, more than 340,000 Jews emigrated from Germany and Austria. Tragically, nearly 100,000 of them found refuge in countries subsequently conquered by Germany. German authorities would deport and kill the vast majority of them. The search for refuge frames both the years before the Holocaust and its aftermath.
The Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) was a new agency created by Heinrich Himmler in September 1939, shortly after the German invasion of Poland. The office formalized the relationship between the SS intelligence service (SD) and the Security Police, which consisted of the Kripo (Criminal Police) and Gestapo. The RSHA was an ideologically radical and brutal institution responsible for coordinating and perpetrating many aspects of the Holocaust.
The Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and the State 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.
Reinhard Heydrich was one of the main architects of the “Final Solution.” He was chief of the Reich Security Main Office, the SS and police agency most directly concerned with implementing the Nazi plan to murder Jews of Europe during World War II.
Before the Nazi takeover of power in 1933, Europe had a vibrant, established, and diverse Jewish culture. By 1945, most European Jews—two out of every three—had been killed.
Despite the indifference of most Europeans and the collaboration of others in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust, individuals in every European country and from all religious backgrounds risked their lives to help Jews. Rescue efforts ranged from the isolated actions of individuals to organized networks both small and large.
After the denial of safe haven in Cuba and neglected appeals for entrance into the United States, the passengers of the St.Louis disembarked in Great Britain, France, Belgium, or the Netherlands. Their fate of the passengers in each depended on many factors subsequently, including geography and the course of the war against Germany.
In 1933, Nazi students at more than 30 German universities pillaged libraries in search of books they considered to be "un-German." Among the literary and political writings they threw into the flames were the works of Richard Nikolaus Coudenhove-Kalergi.
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