Browse an alphabetical list of documents from the Holocaust and World War II. These typed, handwritten, and artistic records are evidence of human experiences before, during, and after the Holocaust and war.
Page from Earl G. Harrison's notebook, recording his impressions of Linz, Austria, while on a tour of displaced persons camps in 1945.
Special pass issued to rabbinical student Chaim Gorfinkel. Yeshiva students had to obtain special passes from Japanese authorities to leave the "designated area" in order to continue their studies at the Beth Aharon Synagogue, which was located outside the zone. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
Special pass issued to rabbinical student Moshe Zupnik. Yeshiva students had to obtain special passes from Japanese authorities to leave the "designated area" in order to continue their studies at the Beth Aharon Synagogue, which was located outside the zone. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
Most Polish Jewish refugees stayed in Japan much longer than their 10-day transit visas allowed. Many feared the day when Japanese authorities would no longer extend their stay with permits like the one shown here. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
Japanese authorities issued this "Permit for stay in Japan" to Ruth Segal (Rys Berkowicz). After several unsuccessful attempts to obtain visas for the United States, Ruth's father was able to secure a visa for her to go to New Zealand, in the British Commonwealth of Nations. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
Plan of the two-propeller passenger liner the "St. Louis," showing cabins and room numbers. In 1939, this German ocean liner carried almost 1,000 Jewish refugees seeking temporary refuge in Cuba. It was forced to return to Europe after Cuba and then the United States refused to allow the refugees entry.
Polish citizenship certificate issued to Samuel Solc on December 16, 1939, by the Britannic Majesty's Legation in Kovno, charged with representing Polish interests in Lithuania. Samuel decided to emigrate to Palestine in late 1939. His journey lasted over two years and took him through eight countries. Samuel arrived in Palestine on February 6, 1942, after stays in Lithuania; Kobe, Japan; Shanghai, China; and Bombay, India. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
This page of a Polish citizenship certificate issued to Samuel Solc contains two visas. The first (left), stamped by the British Passport control in Shanghai, allowed Samuel to travel to Palestine via Burma, India, Egypt, and Rangoon. The second visa (right) bears the British Mandate "Government of Palestine" stamp, dated February 6, 1942, and allowed Samuel to remain in Palestine permanently. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
Polish-language newspaper for refugees in Shanghai: Wiadomosci, "News for War Refugees in Shanghai." [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
Postcard depicting sights in Munkacs, Czechoslovakia. 1938.
A Jewish refugee purchased this postcard of the Lenin Library during a stopover in Moscow. Soviet Union, 1940-1941. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
Postcard depicting different sights in Munkacs. Czechoslovakia, 1938.
Postcard depicting sights in Munkacs. Czechoslovakia, 1938.
Family and friends of Ruth Segal (Rys Berkowicz) sent this postcard to her in Kobe, Japan. They sent the postcard from Warsaw, in German-occupied Poland, on June 20, 1941. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
A postcard sent to Ruth Segal (Rys Berkowicz) care of the Jewish Community (JewCom) in Kobe, Japan. Family and friends in German-occupied Warsaw, Poland, sent the postcard on June 20, 1941. It bears stamps both from the Jewish council (Judenrat) in the Warsaw ghetto and from German censors. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
Proclamation issued on February 18, 1943, by the Imperial Japanese Army and Nazy authorities establishing, for reasons of "military necessity," a "designated area" for "stateless refugees" in the Hongkew area of the International Settlement. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
On May 25, 1939, artist Moritz Schoenberger sent this radiogram (a telegram sent by radio) from the ocean liner "St. Louis" during the voyage from Hamburg, Germany, to Havana, Cuba. On this voyage, the "St. Louis" carried over 900 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. The telegram reads, in part, "Physically and spiritually recovered and invigorated most confident about reaching Havana Saturday. Money received. Many thanks. Kisses. Papa." Schoenberger's optimism proved unfounded. Cuban authorities…
Soviet authorities issued this receipt, in Russian, to Moshe Zupnik for the rubles they confiscated from him before he left the Soviet Union. Soviet authorities routinely confiscated most rubles and other valuables from Jewish refugees before they boarded steamers bound for Japan and left the Soviet Union. Vladivostok, Soviet Union, January 22, 1941. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
The Slovak National Council for Social Solicitude issued this registration certificate to Mikulas Diamant on July 25, 1945, in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. This view shows the front and back cover. The certificate ensured repatriation and safe return home.
Safe conduct pass issued to Hans Landesberg in the Djelfa internment camp, releasing him to leave for Algiers. Djelfa, Algeria, January 26, 1943. Hans was born in Vienna, Austria, and went to medical school. After graduating, he left for Paris and joined a battalion of the International Brigade to fight in the Spanish Civil War. He returned to France in February 1939, only to be interned first in Argeles and then in Gurs. Some time after the French surrender to Nazi Germany in June 1940, Hans and other…
A letter from Salek and Eda Kuenstler to Sophia Zendler promising land in exchange for hiding their daughter.
A second RCA Radiogram telegram from Rabbi Grodzenski, Chief Rabbi of Vilna, to the Central Relief Committee in New York. He requests aid for refugees who have gathered in Vilna. The telegram says that more than 1,600 yeshiva students and their families from over 10 cities throughout Poland have fled to Vilna, where they remain in terrible living conditions. November 5, 1939. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
Seward Daily Gateway (Alaska) article from April 14, 1933, titled "Great Bonfires of Forbidden Books in Germany to Blaze." This article from Berlin, written the month before the book burnings took place, reported that "Great bonfires will be burning on the campus of German universities in a few days, when the latest Nazi decree goes into effect. The Hitler regime is continuing its nationalistic crusade, has ordered that all books which deal with non-German subjects or espouse non-German causes, must be…
After adopting a new identity in late 1943, Simone Weil falsified her student card from the year 1938-1939 to bear her assumed name, Simone Werlin. The card verified enrollment in the School of Social Work in Strasbourg. Using forged and falsified documents, Weil was able to move to Chateauroux, France, and establish an operation to rescue Jewish children as a member of the relief and rescue organization Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (Children's Aid Society; OSE).
Simone Weil earned this diploma, which certified her to teach kindergarten in France, from the School of Social Work in Strasbourg in 1940. Weil assumed a false identity in late 1943 to facilitate her resistance activities as a member of the relief and rescue organization Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (Children's Aid Society; OSE). Among the papers documenting Weil's new identity was a forged version of this diploma bearing the name "Simone Werlin".
The Soviet travel agency Intourist issued this type of luggage tag, showing a route map, to passengers on the Trans-Siberian Express. Some Jewish refugees traveled on the Trans-Siberian Express as they fled eastward. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
Protective document issued to a Jewish woman by the Swedish embassy in Budapest, Hungary, in 1944. Such documents protected the bearer from immediate deportation by the Germans to the Auschwitz killing center in occupied Poland. The "W" in the lower left corner indicates that Raoul Wallenberg initialed the document.
Simone Weil used this forged diploma and other false papers to document a new identity assumed in late 1943. As Simone Werlin, she could avoid arrest and change residence to facilitate her rescue of Jewish children as a member of the relief and rescue organization Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (Children's Aid Society; OSE). Weil had earned the diploma, which certified her to teach kindergarten in France, from the School of Social Work in Strasbourg in 1940. The director of the school willingly forged this…
The back of Samuel Soltz's citizenship papers illustrates the vast array of bureaucratic stamps and visas needed to emigrate from Europe in 1940–41. The stamp in the top left, dated August 21, 1940, represents a visa from the Japanese consul to Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara. Sugihara issued thousands of visas to enable Jews to escape.
The Nazis made Jewish leaders responsible for the distribution of food supplies and other necessities allotted to ghetto residents. Due to grossly inadequate supplies, the Juedische Selbstverwaltung Theresienstadt (Jewish Administration of Theresienstadt) issued ration cards such as this one. The columns count points allotted for various goods identified by letters of the alphabet. Boxes were removed as residents exchanged points for food or other goods. This view shows the front of the card. Issued in the…
A train ticket for travel on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
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.
Dr. J. Rebhan, chair of the Jewish council in Przemysl, Poland, signed this document certifying that Max Diamant had stable employment in the Jewish clinic. The certificate identifies Diamant as a dentist and is dated June 4, 1942. During World War II, the Germans established Jewish councils to ensure that Nazi orders and regulations were implemented. Jewish council members also sought to provide basic community services for ghettoized Jewish populations.
Yiddishe Shtime fun Vaytn Mizrekh (Jewish Voice of the Far East), Shanghai, December 1945. Includes black border notice of 5,700,000 Jewish victims. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
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