Explore Estelle Laughlin’s biography and learn about her experiences during the Warsaw ghetto uprising.
"We Will Never Die" was a 1943 musical stage performance that raised awareness among Americans about the murder of European Jews. Learn more.
Jozef Tiso was a Slovak politician and a Roman Catholic priest. From 1939 to 1945, he was the president of the Slovak Republic, one of Nazi Germany’s allies.
Beginning in 1938, the Nazis increased their territorial control outside of Germany. By 1942, three years into World War II, Nazi Germany reached the peak of its expansion. At the height of its power, Germany had incorporated, seized, or occupied most of the continent. However, also in 1942, the Allied Powers started to systematically bomb Germany. They would continue to do so until Germany's surrender in 1945, weakening the war effort and demolishing cities. Slowly, the Allied Powers began pushing…
Gerd was the eldest of four children. His father, Josef, had left Ukraine in 1913 and opened a bicycle sales and repair shop in Bremen. His mother, Selma, was descended from a distinguished Jewish family and had been a kindergarten teacher and a bookkeeper for a large firm. As a child, Gerd experienced the hardships of the Depression and witnessed the violent street fights between the Nazis and their political opponents, the Communists and Socialists. 1933–39: When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Gerd…
Israel was raised in Kovno, Lithuania, and graduated from law school there in 1933. Because of anti-Jewish discrimination, he was unable to practice law. The Germans invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, occupying Lithuania. The Kovno ghetto was established that August. By claiming to be a mechanic, Israel escaped several massacres. He was forced to work on a wooden airport runway outside the ghetto. After he escaped, Israel, his wife, and son hid in a potato pit for 9 months until liberation by Soviet…
Explore a timeline of key events during 1942 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
In 1944, Waffen-SS troops massacred residents of Oradour-sur-Glane, a small village in France. Learn about the German occupation and destruction of the village.
Learn about the history of Sighet, birthplace of Elie Wiesel. The Jewish population of Sighet was deported to Auschwitz in May 1944. Most of the deportees were gassed on arrival.
The Weimar Republic was a liberal democratic republic founded in Germany in the aftermath of WWI. Learn about the era’s political and economic crises and social trends.
Shortly after taking power in January 1933, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis took control of German newspapers, detailing how the news was to be reported.
In May 1939, the German transatlantic liner St. Louis sailed from Germany to Cuba. Most of the passengers were Jews fleeing Nazi Germany. Learn more about the voyage.
Learn about the Flossenbürg camp from its establishment until liberation in April 1945, including conditions, forced labor, subcamps, and death marches.
Listing of the 24 leading Nazi officials indicted at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. Learn about the defendants and the charges against them.
Explore the story of over 2,000 Polish Jewish refugees who fled east to escape war-torn Europe. They sought safety in such distant places as China and Japan.
The Oranienburg concentration camp was established as one of the first concentration camps in Nazi Germany on March 21, 1933. Learn more
In 1939, the Nazis established the Mannschafts-Stammlager (Stalag) IX B camp in Germany. Learn more about the camp’s history, prisoners, and liberation.
Joseph Goebbels, Nazi politician, propagandist, and radical antisemite, was Reich Minister for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment from 1933 until 1945.
Elie Wiesel was a human rights activist, author, and teacher who reflected on his experience during the Holocaust in more than 40 books. Learn more.
Vidkun Quisling, Minister President of Norway from 1942 to 1945, was a Norwegian fascist and Nazi collaborator. His last name has come to mean “traitor” or “collaborator.”
After the Holocaust, the IMT charged the first case of “incitement to genocide.” Learn more about the crime and its application in modern genocide law.
Learn more about Iran during World War I and World War II.
Explore this question to learn about the motivations and challenges of those who aided Jews
Reinhard Heydrich, Reich Security Main Office chief, was one of the main architects of the “Final Solution," the Nazi plan to murder the Jews of Europe.
The Moringen camp was one of the so-called youth protection camps that the Nazi regime established for young people who were alleged to have strayed from Nazi norms and ideals.
Börgermoor was part of the Nazi regime’s early system of concentration camps. It was located in the Emsland region of Prussia.
The American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker relief organization, helped thousands of people before, during, and after World War II. Learn about its refugee aid work.
In 1940, the Nazis established Gusen concentration camp. Learn more about camp conditions, forced labor, and liberation.
Explore firsthand testimony about the occupation of Mlynów, the establishment of the ghetto, resistance activities, and the destruction of the ghetto.
In March 1942, the Hodonin camp was classified as a camp for Roma. It was a transfer station during deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Learn about the camp and its history.
Explore a timeline of key events in the history of World War I and its aftermath. Learn about the conflict and its divisive peace.
The National Socialist German Worker’s Party, also known as the Nazi Party, was the far-right racist and antisemitic political party led by Adolf Hitler.
The Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service, SD) was a Nazi intelligence agency. Ideologically radical and part of the SS, it was a key perpetrator of the Holocaust.
Budy was one of more than 40 subcamps that the SS administered as part of the Auschwitz camp complex. Learn more.
The three principal partners in the Axis alliance were Germany, Italy, and Japan. Learn more about the Axis powers in WW2.
The Nuremberg Special Court ruled on the Katzenberger Race Defilement Case in 1942. Learn more about the outcome and impact of the case.
Explore this question to learn about the responses of leaders and citizens
This discussion question focuses on the history of racial antisemitism in Germany and its relationship to racism in the United States.
The Jewish children of Lodz suffered harsh conditions after the German invasion of Poland. Read excerpts from diaries where they recorded their experiences.
Key dates illustrating the relationship between Germany’s professional military elite and the Nazi state, and the German military’s role in the Holocaust.
The Anschluss, Germany's annexation of Austria in March 1938, was the Nazi German regime’s first act of territorial aggression and expansion. Learn more.
Nazi Germany’s territorial expansion and the radicalization of Nazi anti-Jewish policies triggered a mass exodus. Learn about the US and the refugee crisis of 1938–41.
Learn about conditions and forced labor in Dora-Mittelbau, the center of an extensive network of forced-labor camps for the production of V-2 missiles and other weapons.
Learn about the Holocaust, the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.
Many Europeans witnessed acts of persecution, including violence against Jews and, later, deportations. While few were aware of the full extent of the Nazi "Final Solution," this history poses difficult and fundamental questions about human behavi...
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.