While Japanese diplomats in Washington, DC, negotiated with Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Japanese planes bombed the naval base at Pearl Harbor. American outrage at the surprise attack overcame isolationist sentiment and the United States declared war on Japan the following day.
World War II in the Pacific theater ended with the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945. The surrender was signed in Tokyo Bay aboard the American battleship USS "Missouri." Foreign Minister Shigemitsu headed the Japanese delegation. General Douglas MacArthur accepted the surrender on behalf of the Allies. Admiral Nimitz signed for the US and Admiral Fraser for Britain. Representatives of all the Allied nations attended the signing.
In the 1930s, famous Tennessee jazz musician Valaida Snow was known as “Little Louis” because her talent with a trumpet rivaled the legendary Louis Armstrong. She performed around the world, but it was a tour of Europe that would haunt her for the rest of her life.
While in German-occupied Denmark, Snow is said to have been arrested and imprisoned in Copenhagen. It is still unclear why she was arrested or what was done to her while she was held, but after her release in a May 1942 prisoner exchange, Snow never recovered emotionally. She continued to perform in the United States, but never regained her former success. She died in 1956 at the age of 51.
Soldiers of the Jewish Brigade, British Eighth Army, in the Faenza area of Italy. The Jewish Brigade took part in the final stages of the Allied offensive in Italy.
Beginning in 1941, the Germans deported Jews in Germany to the occupied eastern territories. At first, they deported thousands of Jews to ghettos in Poland and the Baltic states. Those deported would share the fate of local Jews. Later, many deportation transports from Germany went directly to the killing centers in occupied Poland. In this footage, a German propaganda unit films recent arrivals from Magdeburg, Germany, in a collection center run by the Jewish council in the Warsaw ghetto. In July 1942, the Nazis began mass deportations of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to the nearby Treblinka killing center.
The ship "Henrietta Szold," carrying more than 500 Jewish illegal immigrants from Greece to Palestine, arrived in Haifa on August 14, 1946. British authorities immediately interned the immigrants and deported them to British internment camps on the island of Cyprus.
The postwar movement of about 250,000 mainly eastern European Jewish survivors to displaced persons camps and to the West, with the goal of reaching Palestine, was known as the "Brihah" ("flight"). Here, Jewish refugees cross illegally into Italy, probably to charter a ship to sail to Palestine. The British restricted Jewish immigration into Palestine and deported "illegal" immigrants to detention camps in Cyprus.
After the Munich agreement and the Czech surrender of the Sudetenland to Germany, German authorities expelled these Jewish residents of Pohorelice from the Sudetenland to Czechoslovakia. The Czech government, fearing a flood of refugees, refused to admit them. The Jewish refugees were then forced to camp in the no-man's-land between Bruno and Bratislava on the Czech frontier with Germany.
US forces liberated the Dachau concentration camp in Germany in April 1945. Here, survivors of the camp stand during the singing of "Hatikva" ("Hope") before Rabbi David Eichhoren, a US army chaplain, leads one of the first Jewish prayer services after liberation.
Shortly after the German occupation of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in April 1941, the Germans forced Jews to clear the rubble caused by the heavy bombardment of the city. This German newsreel footage shows Jews clearing some of the rubble. Most of the city's Jews were later arrested and interned in camps. The German army later shot the Jewish men in retaliation for Serb resistance; the Germans killed the Jewish women and children in gas vans. Only about 2,200 Jews of Belgrade returned to the city after the war.
Julius Streicher, Nazi leader and publisher of the antisemitic newspaper "Der Stuermer" (The Attacker), makes a speech accusing Jews of trying to control the world and living by the exploitation of non-Jews. According to Streicher, the only answer for Germany is to solve the "Jewish question."
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