The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) was established in November 1943 to aid refugees fleeing Axis aggression. After World War II, UNRRA sought to assist millions of refugees displaced by the war and its consequences. In the aftermath of the war, worldwide food shortages threatened millions with starvation and the world looked to the United States for assistance. In this footage, UNRRA's fourth council meeting convenes in Atlantic City. Director-General Herbert H. Lehman pleads for understanding among nations as a prerequisite for world peace.
In the summer of 1945, representatives of the victorious Allied nations—the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union—met in London to discuss the formation of an International Military Tribunal. The questions on the table were daunting: how and where such a court would convene, what the criminal charges would be, and which perpetrators would be put on trial. US President Harry S. Truman issued an executive order designating Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson to be the US representative and chief prosecutor. This film clip contains part of Jackson's opening statement to the International Military Tribunal.
During World War II , the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker relief organization, provided food, shelter, and other aid to thousands of Jewish refugees—especially Jewish children—in France. The Quakers were active throughout France, even in areas occupied by German forces. In this footage, Quaker relief workers feed children at one of the Quaker-established schools in Marseille in the unoccupied southern zone of France.
On November 9, 1938, the Nazis led a nationwide pogrom against Jews. During the pogrom, known as "Kristallnacht" (the "Night of Broken Glass"), bands of Storm Troopers (SA) destroyed thousands of Jewish-owned businesses and hundreds of synagogues. Almost 100 Jews were killed in the process. This footage shows scenes from a protest rally in New York City. Rabbi Stephen S. Wise voiced the outrage of the American Jewish community. As part of an official protest by the United States government against the violence, President Franklin D. Roosevelt recalled America's ambassador from Germany.
Portion of the speech in which President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked the US Congress to declare war on Japan following the previous day's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
In this footage, General Dwight Eisenhower, General George Patton, and Major General Lewis Craig inspect conditions at the Feldafing displaced persons camp near Wolfratshausen, Germany. Feldafing was one of the first displaced persons camps to house primarily Jewish refugees. In August 1945, Eisenhower ordered that Feldafing be used as a model for the establishment of other camps for Jewish displaced persons in the US occupation zones of Germany and Austria.
The Dachau concentration camp, northwest of Munich, Germany, was the first regular concentration camp the Nazis established in 1933. About twelve years later, on April 29, 1945, US armed forces liberated the camp. There were some 30,000 starving prisoners in the camp at that time. In this footage, soldiers of the US Seventh Army feed and disinfect survivors of the camp.
In Nazi usage, "euthanasia" referred to the killing of those whom the Nazis deemed "unworthy of life." In 1941 the Hadamar psychiatric clinic served as one of the euthanasia killing centers in Germany. Patients selected by German doctors for euthanasia were transferred to Hadamar or one of the other facilities and were killed in gas chambers. Over 10,000 people were gassed at Hadamar before the Euthanasia Program officially ended in August 1941. Although the program had officially ended, killings continued at Hadamar by means of lethal injections. After the war, US personnel filmed the facility and cared for surviving patients.
The Ustase were pro-German Croatian fascists. After the Axis invasion and partition of Yugoslavia in April 1941, the Germans established a dependent Croatian state. Led by Ante Pavelic, the Croatian regime began a genocidal campaign against minority groups and killed hundreds of thousands of Serbs and tens of thousands of Jews in Croatia. This possibly staged Ustase footage shows Ustase paramilitary forces rounding up villagers in rural Croatia. In May 1945, Yugoslav partisans under Marshal Tito--with Soviet support--overturned the Croatian regime.
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.