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During World War II, SS and police leaders played a key role in the mass murder of Europe’s Jews. Learn how Himmler combined the SS and police to create a radical weapon for the Nazi regime.
After Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Siegfried fled with a friend. They attempted to get papers allowing them to go to France, but were turned over to the Germans. Siegfried was jailed, taken to Berlin, and then transported to the Sachsenhausen camp near Berlin in October 1939. He was among the first Polish Jews imprisoned in Sachsenhausen. Inmates were mistreated and made to carry out forced labor. After two years, Siegfried was deported to the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, where he was…
US State Department official Breckinridge Long supervised the Visa Division, which placed new restrictions on immigration to the US in the 1940s. Learn more.
Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. After the German occupation, Sarah (then just three years old) and her mother were forced into a ghetto. One day, a Polish Catholic policeman warned them that the ghetto was about to be liquidated. He sheltered Sarah and her mother first in his house, then in a potato storage bunker, and then in a chicken coop on his property. Sarah hid there for more than two years, until the area was liberated by Soviet forces. After the war, Sarah emigrated from…
As the Nazis conducted the...
The Lackenbach internment and transit camp for Roma, located in what had been eastern Austria, was a departure point for deportations to Lodz and Auschwitz.
Joseph Goebbels, Nazi politician, propagandist, and radical antisemite, was Reich Minister for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment from 1933 until 1945.
The Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls were developed as Nazi Party youth groups to indoctrinate children and youth in Nazi ideology and policy.
The Security Police (Sicherheitspolizei, SiPo) was a new German police organization created by SS leader and Chief of the German Police Heinrich Himmler in 1936. The Security Police united the criminal police (Kripo) and the political police (Gestapo). It was closely aligned with the SD (Sicherheitsdienst), the intelligence agency of the SS. The institution and individuals of the Security Police were major perpetrators of the Holocaust.
In the spring of 1939, Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus rescued 50 Jewish children from Vienna, Austria, by bringing them to the United States. Learn about their mission.
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.