1943 watercolor landscape of Theresienstadt painted by Otto Samisch. Despite the terrible living conditions and the constant threat of deportation, Theresienstadt had a highly developed cultural life.
This poster from 1945 shows an embattled German family proclaiming, "Frontline City Frankfurt will be held!" A Frontstadt was a city Hitler declared must be defended against Allied attack at all costs. In the final months of the war, propaganda efforts were directed at rallying the populace for a final defense of the country.
Miles Lerman (who married Regina's sister Krysia), Lodz, Poland, 1945.
Photograph of Regina (Renia) taken on June 2, 1945, in Lodz, Poland.
A Czech postage stamp issued in 1957, commemorating the fifteenth anniversary of the destruction of Lidice.
Scene during the 2001 Days of Remembrance ceremony, in the Rotunda of the US Capitol. Flags of the liberating divisions feature prominently in the Museum's Days of Remembrance ceremonies. Washington, DC, 2001.
Benjamin Meed (left) with Fred S. Zeidman, Colin L. Powell, Elie Wiesel, and Ruth B. Mandel at the 2003 Days of Remembrance ceremony in the US Capitol Rotunda.
Blanka was an only child in a close-knit family in Lodz, Poland. Her father died in 1937. After the German invasion of Poland, Blanka and her mother remained in Lodz with Blanka's grandmother, who was unable to travel. Along with other relatives, they were forced into the Lodz ghetto in 1940. She and her mother were deported to the Ravensbrueck camp in Germany in 1944. From Ravensbrueck, Blanka and her mother were sent to a subcamp of Sachsenhausen. Blanka was forced to work in an airplane factory (Arado-Werke). Her mother was sent to another camp. Soviet forces liberated Blanka in spring 1945. Blanka, living in abandoned houses, made her way back to Lodz. She discovered that none of her relatives, including her mother, had survived. Blanka then moved westward to Berlin, eventually to a displaced persons camp. She immigrated to the United States in 1947.
After the war, her journey took her to the United States. Her experiences reveal the complexity of starting over.
Born Naftali Saleschutz, Norman was the youngest of nine children in a devout Hasidic Jewish family. They lived in Kolbuszowa, Poland. In the Hasidic tradition, he wore a long black coat and shoulder-length earlocks. He first faced antisemitism in the second grade when his teacher cut one earlock off each Jewish boy.
Born as Regina Laks in 1929, she was raised in Starachowice, an industrial city in central Poland. Her mother, Pola Tennenblum, was an active member of the Zionist movement. Her father, Isaac Laks, was an engineer in the lumber industry. She had two older sisters.
This 2005 Syrian edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion claims that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, were orchestrated by a Zionist conspiracy. The final chapter predicts the eventual destruction of the State of Israel. Published in Damascus, Syria, 2005. Gift of the Embassy of Israel.
Aron was born to a middle-class Jewish family in Slonim, a part of Poland between the two world wars. His parents owned a clothing store. After studying in a technical school, Aron worked as a motion-picture projectionist in a small town near Slonim. The Soviet army took over Slonim in September 1939. War broke out between Germany and the Soviet Union in June 1941. Aron returned to Slonim. The Germans soon occupied Slonim, and later forced the Jews into a ghetto.
A British soldier removes refugees, wounded resisting the British, from the ship Exodus 1947. Haifa, Palestine, July 20, 1947.
A British soldier watches women SS guards who were forced to carry victims' corpses to mass graves. Bergen-Belsen, Germany, after April 15, 1945.
A Czech woman who witnessed the Nazi massacre of the male inhabitants of Lidice is sworn in at the RuSHA trial in Nuremberg, case #8 of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings. Germany, October 30, 1947.
A Dutch survivor of the Ohrdruf camp shows the camp's gallows, which the Germans used to execute prisoners, to US forces (including Generals Eisenhower, Bradley, and Patton). Germany, April 12, 1945.
A German Jewish prisoner named Rosenthal pushes a cart in the stone quarry of the Im Fout labor camp in Morocco. The camp housed a group of foreign workers, many of whom fell ill because of poor living conditions. Im Fout, Morocco, 1941-42.
A German soldier stands guard on the eastern front. Soviet Union, February 28, 1944.
A German soldier stands on a toppled Polish monument. Krakow, Poland, 1940.
This statue commemorated the Polish victory at Grunwald over the Teutonic knights in 1410. In accordance with the plans of German occupation authorities in Poland, all physical symbols of Polish national culture were to be obliterated to make way for the "Germanization" of the country.
A German teacher singles out a child with "Aryan" features for special praise in class. The use of such examples taught schoolchildren to judge each other from a racial perspective. Germany, wartime.
In Berlin, a German woman reads a copy of the Berliner Illustrierte newspaper, featuring photographs of Mussolini's official visit to Berlin in September 1937.
A Hitler Youth ceremony, typical of those conceived by Baldur von Schirach. They aimed to strengthen dedication to Hitler. Members recited verses, sang patriotic songs, and performed "mock funerals" for "fallen comrades." Germany, date uncertain.
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