In June 1944, the Soviet Union launched a massive offensive against the German army in eastern Europe. Soviet forces liberated Vilna in July 1944, after bitter street fighting with the German garrison. They then continued on toward Kovno, the capital of Lithuania. This Soviet footage depicts the battle for Vilna and the final liberation of the city by the Soviet army.
The German army occupied Lodz, Poland, in September 1939. From early February 1940, Jews in Lodz were forced to move to a designated ghetto area, which was sealed on April 30, 1940. This German footage illustrates conditions during winter in the Lodz ghetto. Winter in the ghettos aggravated existing hardships, depleting already sparse supplies of food and fuel.
The Medical Case was one of 12 war crimes trials held before an American tribunal as part of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings. The trial dealt with doctors and nurses who had participated in the killing of physically and mentally impaired Germans and who had performed medical experiments on people imprisoned in concentration camps. Here, chief prosecutor Brigadier General Telford Taylor reads into evidence a July 1942 report detailing Nazi high-altitude experiments and outlines the prosecution's goals…
After word reached America of the Nazi killing of European Jewry, pressure mounted on the Roosevelt administration to help European Jews. To spur action, playwright Ben Hecht prepared a memorial to the Jewish victims of Nazi persecution, "We Will Never Die." The pageant, sponsored by the Zionist Revisionist Bergson Group, was part of a mass demonstration at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Later seen in other US cities, the show was part of the Bergson Group's effort to pressure Washington to act…
The German army occupied Krakow, Poland, in September 1939. In March 1941, the Germans ordered the establishment of a ghetto in Krakow. In this footage, Polish Jews are forced to move into the Krakow ghetto. They wear the required armbands, used to distinguish the Jewish population from the rest of the city's residents. By late 1941, there were some 18,000 Jews imprisoned in the Krakow ghetto.
In 1936, Germany and Italy signed a military alliance. The two powers formed the so-called Berlin-Rome Axis. This footage shows Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini's state visit to Germany in September 1937. He met with Hitler in Munich and the two leaders also toured other parts of Germany. During the state visit, Mussolini attended a military parade in Berlin, Germany's capital. Although both dictators declared their desire for peace, Germany would begin World War II in 1939. Italy would then enter…
Soon after the Nazis assumed power in Germany, they launched a campaign to deprive Jews of their place in society. The effort began with an organized boycott of Jewish-owned businesses. Gangs arrested Jews, painted "Jews forbidden" onto shop windows, chanted antisemitic slogans, and blocked store entrances.
US forces liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 11, 1945. This footage records examples of Nazi atrocities (shrunken head, pieces of tattooed human skin, preserved skull and organs) discovered by the liberating troops.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the German city of Nuremberg was host to massive and lavish rallies for the Nazi Party. This film footage, produced by Julien Bryan in 1937, shows saluting crowds in the Nuremberg stadium watching groups parade past Adolf Hitler.
Hitler congratulates industrialist Gustav Krupp after presenting him with a Nazi party honor. After the ceremony, they toured a Krupp factory. This footage comes from the film "The Nazi Plan," produced and used by the United States in the prosecution at the Nuremberg trials.
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