Key dates in the history of the Sachsenhausen camp in the Nazi camp system, from its establishment in 1936 to the postwar trial of camp staff in 1947.
The word antisemitism means prejudice against or hatred of Jews. The Holocaust is history’s most extreme example of antisemitism. Learn more.
Germany invaded Norway on April 9, 1940. Read more about this invasion, the collaborator Vidkun Quisling, and the tragic fate of Norway’s Jews.
At the Kaufering complex, part of the Dachau camp system, prisoners were forced to labor under brutal conditions to build underground facilities for German fighter aircraft production.
American-Jewish journalist and author Ben Hecht co-wrote the We Will Never Die pageant and advocated for the rescue of Jewish victims from Nazism. Learn more.
The term genocide refers to violent crimes committed against groups with the intent to destroy the existence of the group. Learn about the origin of the term.
Polish-Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin introduced the word genocide in 1944 and lobbied tirelessly for its addition as a crime in international law.
The IG Farben Case was Case #6 of 12 Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings against leading German industrialists, military figures, SS perpetrators, and others.
The Hostage Case was Case #7 of 12 Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings against leading German industrialists, military figures, SS perpetrators, and others.
A notice sent by the American Consulate General in Berlin to Arthur Lewy and family, instructing them to report to the consulate on July 26, 1939, with all the required documents, in order to receive their American visas. German Jews attempting to immigrate to the United States in the late 1930s faced overwhelming bureaucratic hurdles. It was difficult to get the necessary papers to leave Germany, and US immigration visas were difficult to obtain. The process could take years.
World War II lasted from 1939 to 1945, when the Allies defeated the Axis powers. Learn about key invasions and events during WWII, also known as the Second World War.
Hermann Göring held many positions of power and leadership within the Nazi state. Learn about key dates in the life of Hermann Göring.
Hundreds of laws, decrees, guidelines, and regulations increasingly restricted the civil and human rights of Jews in Germany from 1933-39. Learn more.
Adolf Hitler established himself as absolute Führer, or leader, of the Nazi Party by 1921. Learn more about Hitler in the years 1919-1924.
Germany started World War II in Europe on September 1, 1939, by invading Poland. War would continue until 1945. Learn more about WWII and genocide in Europe.
Learn about some key dates in the life of Adolf Hitler, one of Europe's most ruthless dictators, who led the Nazis from 1921 and Germany from 1933-45.
The "Jewish boycott" ("Judenboykott") of April 1, 1933, was the first coordinated action undertaken by the Nazi regime against Germany’s Jews. Learn more.
Key dates in the use of the term genocide as part of the political, legal, and ethical vocabulary of responding to widespread threats of violence against groups.
Hitler rose to power during a time of economic and political instability in Germany. Learn more about how and when Hitler came to power.
May 7, 1945. On this date, German armed forces surrendered unconditionally to Allied forces in the west.
July 9, 1944. On this date, Raoul Wallenberg arrived in Budapest and began his wartime rescue efforts.
April 25, 1945. On this date, Soviet and American troops met at Torgau, Germany.
January 12, 1951. On this date, the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide entered into force.
Portrait of Herschel Grynszpan taken after his arrest by French authorities for the assassination of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath. Grynszpan (1921-1943?). Born in Hannover, Germany, was the son of Polish Jews who had immigrated to Germany. In 1936 Grynszpan fled to Paris. On November 7, 1938, after having learned of the expulsion of his parents from Germany to Zbaszyn the Polish frontier, Grynszpan assassinated Ernst vom Rath, the third secretary of the German embassy in Paris. The diplomat's…
Kristallnacht—literally, "Crystal Night"—is usually translated from German as the "Night of Broken Glass." It refers to the violent anti-Jewish pogrom of November 9 and 10, 1938. The pogrom occurred throughout Germany, which by then included both Austria and the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia. Hundreds of synagogues and Jewish institutions all over the German Reich were attacked, vandalized, looted, and destroyed. Many were set ablaze. Firemen were instructed to let the synagogues burn but to…
By the process of "Aryanization" in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945, Jewish-owned businesses and property were transferred to non-Jews. Learn more.
Key dates in the life of Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Reich Security Main Office, the SS and police agency most directly concerned with implementing Final Solution.
The Theresienstadt camp-ghetto existed from 1941 to 1945. Learn about its final weeks, liberation, and the postwar trials of SS commandants and other staff.
Jews have lived across Europe for centuries. Learn more about European Jewish life and culture before the Holocaust.
Explore a timeline of key events during 1940 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
Learn about the German annexation of Austria, the establishment of Nazi camps, Kristallnacht, and deportations from Austria during the Holocaust.
The Einsatzgruppen were German special duty squads, composed primarily of SS and police personnel. The commanders and officers were also members of the Security Police and the Security Service. The units were directly subordinate to the Reich Security Main Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt or RSHA) in Berlin and were to operate regionally in coordination with higher SS and police leaders. Ordered to follow the German army into the Soviet Union, the Einsatzgruppen were dependent upon the army for supplies…
To implement their policies, the Nazis had help from individuals across Europe, including professionals in many fields. Learn about the role of German clergy and church leaders.
On September 5, 1942, the SS and Police Leader of the Warsaw District issued this announcement threatening the death penalty for anyone who aided Jews who had left the ghetto without authorization. This poster was put up in the wake of the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to the Treblinka killing center in summer 1942. SS officials were well aware that thousands of Jews had fled the ghetto to go into hiding and urged people to turn them in. The poster reminds the city's non-Jewish…
Learn more about the Western Desert campaign in Egypt and Libya between 1940-1943.
German forces occupied Riga, Latvia in July 1941. Learn more about the establishment of the Riga ghetto, mass shootings of Jews, and Jewish resistance.
Germany started World War II in Europe on September 1, 1939, by invading Poland. War would continue until 1945. Learn more about key events in the history of WWII.
Explore a timeline of key events during 1941 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
Learn how the "First Letter to all Judges" increased the pressure on German judges to give verdicts and sentences according to Nazi principles and ideology.
Halle an der Saale was a satellite camp of Buchenwald concentration camp. It was established by the Nazis in Saxony, Germany in 1941.
Learn about the Freiburg subcamp of Flossenbürg, including its establishment, prisoner population, and conditions there.
The Wagner-Rogers Bill proposed admitting 20,000 refugee children to the US from the Greater German Reich in 1939–40, but did not become law. Learn more
At the Berga-Elster subcamp of Buchenwald, prisoners were forced to do dangerous and brutal work in tunnels to support fuel production for the German war effort.
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.
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…
A letter written by the Berlin transit authority (Berliner Verkehrs Aktiengesellschaft) to Viktor Stern, informing him of his dismissal from his post with their agency as of September 20, 1933. This action was taken to comply with provisions of the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service. On April 7, the German government issued the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service (Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums), which excluded Jews and political opponents…
The third of five brothers, Welwel was born to Jewish parents who lived 35 miles east of Warsaw in the small predominantly Jewish town of Kaluszyn. His father was a cattle merchant who purchased cows and sold the meat to butchers in the Warsaw region. Welwel spent most of his free time with a group of Jewish friends who lived in his neighborhood and who attended the same public school. 1933-39: Every summer evening Welwel, Abram Kisielnicki, and some other pals, like to stroll along Kaluszyn's main…
Jocheved, or Jadza as she was called at home, was born in the industrial city of Lodz, Poland's second-largest city. Before the war, one-third of Lodz's inhabitants were Jewish. The Kuzdas kept a traditional Jewish home and placed importance on their children's education. Jocheved had two older sisters, Sarah and Regina. 1933-39: Jocheved was 9 when the war broke out in September 1939. Instead of starting school, she stayed at home listening to the bombs exploding. Her father and sister tried to get to…
Tomas' parents were Jewish. His father, Robert Kulka, was a businessman from the Moravian town of Olomouc. His mother, Elsa Skutezka, was a milliner from Brno, the capital of Moravia. The couple was well-educated and spoke both Czech and German. They married in 1933 and settled in Robert's hometown of Olomouc. 1933-39: Tomas was born a year and a day after his parents were married. When Tomas was 3, his grandfather passed away and the Kulkas moved to Brno, which was his mother's hometown. On March 15,…
One of two children born to religious Jewish parents, Ema was raised in the small Moravian town of Lomnice, where her mother ran a general store. In 1901 Ema married Eduard Skutecky, a regular customer at her mother's store. The couple settled in the city of Brno, where they raised three children. Eduard ran a shipping company. 1933-39: By 1933 Ema's three children were grown and had moved out. Four years later her husband passed away, and Ema moved in with her eldest daughter, Elsa. Elsa and her husband…
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