Browse an alphabetical list of artifacts from the Holocaust and World War II. Each object tells a story about the history and demonstrates human experiences during the time period.
Stanislava Roztropowicz kept a diary from 1943-1944. In it, she describes her family's decision to hide an abandoned Jewish girl, Sabina Heller (Kagan). Sabina Kagan was an infant when SS mobile killing squads began rounding up Jews in her Polish village of Radziwillow in 1942. Her parents persuaded a local policeman to hide the family. The policeman, however, soon asked the Kagans to leave but agreed to hide baby Sabina. Her parents were captured and killed. Sabina was concealed in a dark basement,…
This tan backpack was used by Ruth Berkowitz to carry her belongings as she fled from Warsaw via Lithuania and the Soviet Union to Japan. Most of her possessions were confiscated by both the Nazis and the Soviets during her journey. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
These tiny black, white, gold, and clear glass beads were used by Rachel “Chelly” de Groot from November 1942 to April 1944 and recovered by her brother Louis after the war. Chelly used the beads to make handicrafts. On November 16, 1942, Chelly, then 15, Louis, 13, and their parents Meijer and Sophia left Arnhem and went into hiding after the Dutch police warned them of a raid. Meijer and Sophia hid in Amsterdam while Chelly and Louis moved around to different locations. In summer or fall 1943,…
(Middle, left and bottom) In the drawing at the middle, left, Hungarian soldiers use an ax to cut up a dead horse in order to get meat to sustain themselves. The image at the bottom, titled "The Long Trip, February 1943," shows a Hungarian soldier walking along a road past a dead horse and an abandoned harrow that is half buried in the snow. [Photograph #58110]
(Top) A drawing dated October 1942 depicting the events of August 28 when Beifeld was wounded near the front lines. His caption reads: "I get wounded and manage to get away from the dangerous bend in the [Don] river]." (Bottom left) Skull of a Soviet soldier with the caption 'Keep Smiling.' (Bottom right) Map entitled 'Dangerous Curve' depicting the bend in the Don River where the Soviet army was threatening to break through. [Photograph # 58061]
(top) "Watercolor entitled 'Partisan hotel and public house', Krassnolipia, Ukraine, until July 31, 1942"; (middle) "Drawing entitled 'The interrogation of partisans captured by our unit'"; (bottom) "Watercolor entitled 'My lodgings in Krassnolipia'" [Photograph #58040]
(Bottom) A drawing illustrating the patriotism of the Hungarian Jewish Labor Serviceman. Despite the fact that the Jew is denied the right to wear a military uniform and bear arms, Erno Steiner picks up the abandoned machine gun of First Lieutenant Hevessy of the 4th Infantry Division and starts firing at Soviet troops to fend them off. [Photograph #58015]
(Top and bottom) The image at the top shows Hungarian soldiers abandoning their trenches on the front lines as a Soviet tank overruns the barbed wire fortification separating the two armies. The drawing at the bottom captioned "Alarm," shows Hungarian soldiers running back and forth sounding the alarm of the Soviet counteroffensive. The drawings are dated Jan 11 and 13, 1943. [Photograph #58103]
(Bottom) View of fortifications built at Kalimovka to defend the advancing troops of the 4th Infantry Division of the Hungarian 2nd Army. In the lower right corner of the drawing, men prepare the grave of Jewish Labor Serviceman Nandor Klein, the first fatality of the company. The Hungarian caption reads: The death of our first hero, Nandor Klein, his grave, June 5, 1942." Klein was killed by a stray Soviet bullet on his way back to base. [Photograph #58013]
(Top) A map dated August 1942 showing the area of the late summer skirmishes between Hungarian and Soviet forces. It also shows the crucial bend in the Don River near the town of Uryv, where the fateful Soviet breakthrough occurred in January 1943. (Bottom) "Fairy tale nights along the Don River, August 1942." [Photograph #58058]
A page of drawings illustrating the contribution of Jewish Labor Servicemen to the war effort. At the top: "The different platoons work hard at the battle front and in the no man's land [between the armies]. They actively participate in the fighting. They carry ammunition to the Hungarian soldiers." In the middle: "They defuse land mines. They bury the dead, including those that had been left unburied from the winter campaign. They carry soldiers wounded on the front lines to safety." At the bottom: "For…
(Middle) In a take-off of travel posters advertising peaceful vacation spots, Beifeld draws a picture of a Hungarian military tent pitched next to a tree on which a bird is cheerfully chirping. Next to the tent the artist writes "Peaceful Surroundings" but above, a Soviet bomber releases a bomb aimed at the tent. [Photograph #58022]
(Bottom) In a drawing dated April 18, 1942, Beifeld shows the school where the Hungarian Labor Service company 109/13 was quartered in Csobanka (Szentendre district), Hungary, before its departure for the Ukraine. A group of Hungarian soldiers [assigned to the labor service company] sits outside in the schoolyard. [Photograph #57947]
Watercolor depicting Hungarian soldiers from a medical unit moving into a Russian village and setting up operations, April 10, 1943. [Photograph #58122]
View of the countryside in Csobanka, Hungary, as the Hungarian Labor Service company 109/13 departs on the morning of April 20, 1942. [Photograph #57952]
In a drawing dated April 14, 1942, Beifeld shows houses in Csobanka (Szentendre district), Hungary, where the Hungarian military officers assigned to the labor service company were quartered before their departure for the Ukraine. [Photograph #57949]
(Top) A map showing the progress of the advance of the Hungarian 2nd Army toward the Don River as of July 1942. [Photograph #58034]
Drawing entitled 'Christmas Apotheosis! Don't let them do it' in which a member of a Hungarian medical unit stands behind a wounded Hungarian soldier as Russian tanks are destroying a Christmas tree. [Photograph #58087]
Collage entitled: "Mementos from the Russian campaign," which includes a watercolor of Stalin with the caption: 'Russia a meeting place for foreigners 1942-43' (top); a commuter train ticket issued to military personnel who carried the special SAS [Hurry, Immediate, Urgent] draft notice (middle, right); a pseudo travel brochure cover entitled 'Spend your summer vacation in merry Russia' (bottom, left); and the original design for the cover of the labor company's journal entitled 'Hungarian Royal 109/13…
(top) "Watercolor entitled 'Sports weeks in Uryv, September 1942' in which a Russian tank attacks a Hungarian unit in Uryv."; (bottom) "Watercolor entitled 'Quiet Don: a detailed map of the Don River area' featuring images of dead soldiers, horses and spilled blood on a map of the Don River." [Photograph #58060]
Pass issued to Benjamin Ferencz, war crimes investigator and later chief prosecutor in the Einsatzgruppen Trial. This pass granted the bearer free movement within the US-occupied zone of postwar Germany.
International Military Tribunal entry pass for Benjamin Ferencz, war crimes investigator and later chief prosecutor in the Einsatzgruppen Trial.
Soviet forces liberated the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in April 1945. In the camp, Soviet soldiers found this German edition of the Old and New Testaments on a dead prisoner, a Jehovah's Witness. The bible was sent to the prisoner's surviving family members.
The family bible shown here belonged to Andre Trocme and contains annotations he made in preparation for his sermons. Trocme was a Protestant pastor in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France. During the war, he and the town's residents helped shield Jews, especially Jewish children, and others from the Germans. The operation saved thousands of refugees, including about 5,000 Jews. His handwritten inscription in French reads, in part, "Happy are those hungry and thirsty of justice; for they will be satisfied."
These blacksmith's bellows were used by Romani (Gypsy) artisan Juri Cervenuak in Trebisov, Slovakia, in 1939. Many Roma traditionally worked as craftsmen and were blacksmiths, cobblers, tinsmiths, horse dealers, and toolmakers.
We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.