<p>A transport of Jewish prisoners forced to march through the snow from the Bauschovitz train station to <a href="/narrative/5386">Theresienstadt</a>. Czechoslovakia, 1942.</p>

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  • "Web of Communications" chart, July 1940

    Document

    Diagram showing "the web of communications" between Japanese diplomats and members of the Polish resistance in the Baltic states and Scandinavia. The "Konsulat japonski Kowno" refers to Sugihara. Despite its ties with Nazi Germany, Japan pursued its own course in foreign policy. After the Germans occupied Poland and the Netherlands, Japan continued relations with both the Polish and Dutch governments-in-exile in London. July 1940.

    "Web of Communications" chart, July 1940
  • A notice sent by the American Consulate General in Berlin regarding immigration visas

    Document

    A notice sent by the American Consulate General in Berlin to Arthur Lewy and family, instructing them to report to the consulate on July 26, 1939, with all the required documents, in order to receive their American visas.

    German Jews attempting to immigrate to the United States in the late 1930s faced overwhelming bureaucratic hurdles. It was difficult to get the necessary papers to leave Germany, and US immigration visas were difficult to obtain. The process could take years.

    A notice sent by the American Consulate General in Berlin regarding immigration visas
  • Aaron A. Eiferman Letter: Page 1

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    Aaron A. Eiferman, a member of the 12th Armored Division, wrote this letter to his wife in the United States. Writing "We have seen what can be called the living dead," he describes his experiences as the 12th overran a Dachau subcamp in the Landsberg area on April 27, 1945.

    Aaron A. Eiferman Letter: Page 1
  • Advertisement for the Violetta women's club

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    A newspaper advertisement for the Damenklub Violetta, a Berlin club frequented by lesbians, 1928. Before the Nazis came to power in 1933, lesbian communities and networks flourished in Germany.

    Advertisement for the Violetta women's club
  • American propaganda announcement

    Document

    Announcement dropped by American planes on Shanghai near the end of the war. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]

    American propaganda announcement
  • Anti-Nazi Cartoon

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    This cartoon, “The Modern Mercury” by Jerry Doyle, appeared in The Philadelphia Record, December 7, 1935. The faded large figure in the background bears the label “Olympics ideals of sportsmanship and international good will.” The image of Hitler in the foreground bears the words “1936 Olympics,” “Intolerance and discrimination,” and “Nazism.”

    Anti-Nazi Cartoon
  • Antisemitic cartoon

    Document

    Antisemitic cartoon showing a Jew leading a Soviet official by a leash. It reads "The 'ideal' person for the chosen people: There’s no accounting for taste."

    Antisemitic cartoon
  • Antisemitic illustration

    Document

    Antisemitic propaganda of an agricultural worker kicking a stereotypically depicted Jewish man through a fence. It reads "German export: Out of our German country with the slimy Jewish band."

    Antisemitic illustration
  • Cartoon depicting enemies of the Nazis

    Document

    Cartoon depicting Jews, communists, and other enemies of the Nazis hanging on a gallows, 1935

    Cartoon depicting enemies of the Nazis
  • Census Card

    Document

    On December 17, 1941, the Romanian government issued a decree requiring a census of all those with "Jewish blood.” All persons having one or two Jewish parents or two Jewish grandparents were ordered to register at the Central Jewish Office. This is a census certificate issued by that office in 1942.

    Census Card
  • Census Card

    Document

    On December 17, 1941, the Romanian government issued a decree requiring a census of all those with “Jewish blood.” All persons having one or two Jewish parents or two Jewish grandparents were ordered to register at the Central Jewish Office. This is a census certificate issued by that office in 1942.

    Census Card
  • Certificate of "Aryan" Descent

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    A certificate of "Aryan" descent, issued to Joseph Schäfer of Mühlheim, Germany. To prove one's "Aryan" racial status in Nazi Germany, an individual had to trace their ancestry back to 1800. Signed by an official justice of the peace, this certificate attests to Schäfer's parentage and baptism. Dated January 14, 1936.

    Certificate of "Aryan" Descent
  • Certificate of Polish citizenship (inside)

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    Many refugees had difficulties replacing lost or invalidated personal identification documents. The certificate of Polish citizenship shown here was valid in place of a passport. A Polish Jewish refugee used this certificate to travel legally from Lithuania, through the Soviet Union, to Japan. It contains the Curacao notation needed to obtain Soviet and Japanese visas. The bearer of this certificate aimed to reach Palestine, but ended up spending most of the war in Calcutta, India, part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]

    Certificate of Polish citizenship (inside)
  • Dismissal letter

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    During the interwar period Dr. Susanne Engelmann served as the principal of a large public high school for girls in Berlin. This letter notified her of her dismissal, as a "non-Aryan," from her teaching position. The dismissal was in compliance with the Civil Service Law of April 7, 1933.

    On April 7, the German government issued the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service (Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums), which excluded Jews and political opponents from all civil service positions. 

    Dismissal letter
  • Dismissal letter from the Berlin transit authority

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    A letter written by the Berlin transit authority (Berliner Verkehrs Aktiengesellschaft) to Viktor Stern, informing him of his dismissal from his post with their agency as of September 20, 1933. This action was taken to comply with provisions of the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service.

    On April 7, the German government issued the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service (Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums), which excluded Jews and political opponents from all civil service positions. 

    Dismissal letter from the Berlin transit authority
  • Document Belonging to Chief Prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz

    Document

    One page of a document belonging to Chief Prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz listing the defendants in the Einsatzgruppen Case along with their position and crimes, line of defense, counts against them, and sentence.

    Document Belonging to Chief Prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz
  • Documentation for a false identity: Simone Weil

    Document

    Simone Weil kept this blank identification card bearing her picture in case her cover as "Simone Werlin" were blown and she needed to establish a new false identity. Both resistance workers and sympathetic government employees provided her the necessary stamps and signatures. Such forged documents assisted Weil in her work rescuing Jewish children as a member of the relief and rescue organization Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (Children's Aid Society; OSE).

    Documentation for a false identity: Simone Weil
  • German Map of the Baltic Countries

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    This German map indicates the number and distribution of Jews living in the Baltic countries as of 1935. It served as a reference for the SS mobile killing squad assigned to carry out the mass murder of the Jews there.

    German Map of the Baltic Countries
  • German passport Issued to Erna "Sara" Schlesinger (inside)

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    German police authorities issued this passport to Erna "Sara" Schlesinger on July 8, 1939, in Berlin. This first page of the passport illustrates the German laws that facilitated the identification of Jews in Germany. From 1938, German regulations required that Jewish women with a first name of "non-Jewish" origin use the middle name "Sara" on all official documents. Jewish men had to add the name "Israel". The letter "J" (standing for "Jude," that is, the word "Jew" in German) was stamped in red on the passports of Jews who were also German nationals. Erna Schlesinger emigrated to the United States in 1939.

    German passport Issued to Erna "Sara" Schlesinger (inside)
  • German passport issued to Alice "Sara" Mayer (inside)

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    A German passport issued to Alice Mayer on February 24, 1939, in Bingen, Germany. Mayer's daughter, Ellen, is also listed on the passport. Both mother and daughter's names include the middle name "Sara." This middle name became a mandatory addition required by a law of August 17, 1938. Thereafter, all Jewish women in Germany with a first name of "non-Jewish" origin had to add "Sara" as a middle name on all official documents. Jewish men had to add the name "Israel". This enabled German officials to identify them as Jewish.

    German passport issued to Alice "Sara" Mayer (inside)
  • Hand-drawn plan of Westerbork transit camp

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    The Dutch government established a camp at Westerbork to intern Jewish refugees who had entered the Netherlands illegally. This sketch of the Westerbork transit camp was made by a Jewish inmate who was able to emigrate to the United States. In early 1942, the German occupation authorities decided to enlarge Westerbork and convert it into a transit camp for Jews. The systematic concentration of Jews from the Netherlands in Westerbork began in July 1942. From Westerbork, Jews were deported to the killing centers in German-occupied Poland.

    Hand-drawn plan of Westerbork transit camp
  • Identification papers issued to Erika Tamar

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    Identification papers issued to Erika Tamar stating that she was born in Vienna on June 10, 1934. Erika was one of the 50 children rescued by Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus.

    Identification papers issued to Erika Tamar
  • Ilona Kellner's recipe for butter scones with jam

    Document

    Ilona Kellner and her family lived in Pelsöc, which became part of Hungary before World War II. Following the German occupation of Hungary, Ilona, her sister Vera, and her parents Karoly and Jolan were forced into a ghetto in another area of the town. In mid-June, the family was deported to the Auschwitz camp in German-occupied Poland. Ilona's parents were killed in the gas chambers at Birkenau.

    In early August, Ilona and her sister were deported to Hessisch Lichtenau, a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp. They were part of a transport of 1,000 Hungarian women taken to Germany to fill a labor shortage. At the labor camp, Ilona worked as a translator and messenger and tidied the factory there. She smuggled blank pages out of wastebaskets and used them to record hundreds of recipes dictated by her fellow women prisoners, along with some of her own recipes.

    This page shows Ilona Kellner's recipe for "butter scones with jam," written on the back of a blank munitions factory form.

    Ilona Kellner's recipe for butter scones with jam
  • Ilona Kellner's recipe for various strudel fillings

    Document

    Ilona Kellner and her family lived in Pelsöc, which became part of Hungary before World War II. Following the German occupation of Hungary, Ilona, her sister Vera, and her parents Karoly and Jolan were forced into a ghetto in another area of the town. In mid-June, the family was deported to the Auschwitz camp in German-occupied Poland. Ilona's parents were killed in the gas chambers at Birkenau.

    In early August, Ilona and her sister were deported to Hessisch Lichtenau, a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp. They were part of a transport of 1,000 Hungarian women taken to Germany to fill a labor shortage. At the labor camp, Ilona worked as a translator and messenger and tidied the factory there. She smuggled blank pages out of wastebaskets and used them to record hundreds of recipes dictated by her fellow women prisoners, along with some of her own recipes.

    This page shows Ilona Kellner's recipe for various strudel fillings, written on the back of a blank munitions factory form.

    Ilona Kellner's recipe for various strudel fillings
  • Intourist service voucher for the Trans-Siberian Railroad

    Document

    Voucher for travel on the Trans-Siberian Railroad purchased at the "Intourist Travel Company of the USSR" in England for Joseph and Ruth Schaffer. Thousands of Jewish refugees fled Nazi Europe on the Trans-Siberian Railroad through the Soviet Union to Japan with the help of Japanese visas provided by Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]

    Intourist service voucher for the Trans-Siberian Railroad

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