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The Reichstag Fire Decree of February 1933 restricted individual freedoms, and allowed Hitler's government to overrule state and local laws and overthrow state and local governments.
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…
Moses Rechnitz was born to Jewish parents in the Polish town of Bedzin on June 3, 1923. Moses was 16 years old when German troops invaded Poland in September 1939. By 1941, he was a slave laborer on a German railroad construction project outside o...
Anna Seghers was an influential, antifascist author. Her novel, in which she spoke out against social injustice, was burned in Nazi Germany in 1933. Learn more.
Identification picture of Erich Mühsam taken in the Oranienburg concentration camp. Mühsam, an anarchist and a pacifist, worked as an editor and writer; he was imprisoned during World War I for opposing the war. Arrested during the massive roundup of Nazi political opponents following the Reichstag fire (February 27, 1933), Mühsam was tortured to death in Oranienburg on July 11, 1934. Oranienburg, Germany, February 3, 1934.
A mass grave dug by Jewish forced laborers for the bodies of individuals murdered by the NKVD in Lvov prisons. The NKVD (Soviet secret police) murdered thousands of Ukrainian nationalists, as well as some Jews and Poles, before retreating from the Nazi invasion. The Germans and their Ukrainian collaborators then used the massacre as a pretext for anti-Jewish pogroms, claiming that the Jews had helped the secret police. Lvov, Poland, July 3, 1941.
After the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940, a civil administration was installed under SS auspices. Arthur Seyss-Inquart was appointed Reich Commissar. He presided over a German administration that included many Austrian-born Nazis. They in turn supervised the Dutch civil service. This arrangement was to prove fateful for the Jews of the Netherlands. During 1940, the German occupation authorities banned Jews from the civil service and required Jews to register the assets of their business…
“Fire Oaths” were statements that declared why the works of certain authors were thrown into the flames during the 1933 burning of books under the Nazi regime.
The 103rd Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating a subcamp of Kaufering in 1945.
American military tribunals presided over 12 Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings against leading German industrialists, military figures, SS perpetrators, and others.
As the Nazis conducted the...
March 3-20, 1941. During these dates, German authorities announced, established, and sealed the Krakow ghetto.
July 15, 1942. On this date, German authorities began the deportation of Dutch Jews from camps in the Netherlands.
Millions of people suffered and died in camps, ghettos, and other sites during the Holocaust....
Explore a timeline of key events during 1943 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
Page 5 of a passport issued to Setty Sondheimer by the German Consulate in Kovno on January 29, 1938. This page contains three visas: (1) visa for Kovno valid from August 27, 1940, until December 31, 1940 (2) a second visa for Kovno valid until June 30, 1941, and (3) first visa for Yokohama, Japan, valid from June 7, 1941, until June 30, 1942. Unable to emigrate from Japan, Setty remained there until she was able to emigrate to the United States in 1947. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and…
Page from volume 3 of a set of scrapbooks compiled by Bjorn Sibbern, a Danish policeman and resistance member, documenting the German occupation of Denmark. Bjorn's wife Tove was also active in the Danish resistance. After World War II, Bjorn and Tove moved to Canada and later settled in California, where Bjorn compiled five scrapbooks dedicated to the Sibbern's daughter, Lisa. The books are fully annotated in English and contain photographs, documents and three-dimensional artifacts documenting all…
After Adolf Hitler became German chancellor on January 30, 1933, the SA and the SS unleashed waves of violence against political opponents and Jews. Learn more.
Selected Features 1. Camp Commandant's House 2. Main Guard House 3. Camp Administrative Office 4. Gestapo 5. Reception Building/Prisoner Registration 6. Kitchen 7. Gas Chamber and Crematorium 8. Storage Buildings and Workshops 9. Storage of Confiscated Belongings 10. Gravel Pit: Execution Site 11. Camp Orchestra Site 12. "Black Wall" Execution Site 13. Block 11: Punishment Bunker 14. Block 10: Medical Experiments 15. Gallows 16. Block Commander's Barracks 17. SS Hospital
The Gurs camp was one of the first and largest camps established in prewar France. It was located at the foot of the Pyrenees in southwestern France, just to the south of the village of Gurs. The camp, about 50 miles from the Spanish border, was situated in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains northwest of Oloron-Sainte-Marie. The French government established the Gurs camp in April 1939, before war with Germany and well before the occupation of France in June 1940. Originally, Gurs served as a…
Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Learn about the administrative units that Germany established after annexing and occupying parts of prewar Poland.
Hitler was determined to overturn the military and territorial provisions of the Versailles treaty, among the much resented loss of the city of Danzig after WWI.
The Justice Case was Case #3 of 12 Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings against leading German industrialists, military figures, SS perpetrators, and others.
The IG Farben Case was Case #6 of 12 Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings against leading German industrialists, military figures, SS perpetrators, and others.
The High Command Case was Case #12 of 12 Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings against leading German industrialists, military figures, SS perpetrators, and others.
Unlike camps in the concentration camp system, the Theresienstadt "camp-ghetto" was subordinate to the SS officials who ran the Prague branch of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration. This reflected Theresienstadt's special status as a transit station. SS First Lieutenant Siegfried Seidl, who was responsible for establishing and commanding the camp-ghetto, reported directly to the chief of that office, SS Captain Hans Günther. Günther in turn reported to Adolf Eichmann at the Reich Security Main…
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.
Father Jacques (Lucien Bunel) provided refuge to Jews and others at a school in Avon, France. Imprisoned in several Nazi camps for his activities, he died soon after liberation.
Under the Vichy regime, the Les Milles camp held foreign Jews before emigration or, in most cases, deportation to German concentration camps and killing centers.
Explore a timeline of key events in the history of the Sobibor killing center in the General Government, the German-administered territory of occupied Poland.
The Westerbork transit camp, located in the German-occupied Netherlands, served as a temporary collection point for Jews in the Netherlands before deportation.
Blimcia's parents were religious Jews. Her father, Shaya David, and her mother, Malcia Saleschtz, had settled in Kolbuszowa, where Blimcia's mother had been raised. There, Malcia's father bought the newlyweds a home and started his new son-in-law in the wholesale flour business. 1933-39: Blimcia was born in 1938, and was raised among many aunts, uncles and cousins. Around Blimcia's first birthday, Germany invaded Poland and soon reached Kolbuszowa. Polish soldiers on horses tried to fight against the…
Max's parents, Taube and Itzik, first met as children in 1925. Taube was the daughter of a tailor who hired apprentices in his shop, and Itzik was one such apprentice. The Jewish youngsters fell in love and dreamed of getting married even though Taube's family frowned upon the match. 1933-39: In 1938 Taube and Itzik married. The couple lived in an apartment on 49 Zeromskiego Street in Radom, where Itzik opened a women's tailor shop. Max was born in July 1939. He had curly hair and blue eyes like his…
Efforts to bring the perpetrators of Nazi-era crimes to justice continue into the 21st century. Learn more about postwar trials and their legacies.
Hundreds of laws, decrees, guidelines, and regulations increasingly restricted the civil and human rights of Jews in Germany from 1933-39. Learn more.
Announcement dropped by American planes on Shanghai near the end of the war. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
German physicians conducted inhumane experiments on prisoners in the camps during the Holocaust. Learn more about Nazi medical experiments during WW2.
The 63rd Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating several of the Kaufering subcamps of Dachau in 1945.
The 80th Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating Buchenwald and the Ebensee subcamp of Mauthausen in 1945.
The Canadian 2nd Division reached the Westerbork camp on April 12, 1945. Learn about its role in WWII military campaigns and in the liberation of the camp.
The Pohl Case was Case #4 of 12 Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings against leading German industrialists, military figures, SS perpetrators, and others.
Fighting began in North Africa on September 13, 1940, when Marshal Rodolfo Graziani's Italian 10th Army launched an attack from its bases in Libya on outnumbered British forces in western Egypt. A successful British counterattack initiated on December 9, 1940, led by General Sir Archibald Wavell, resulted in Italian defeat at Tobruk (Tubruq) in eastern Libya on January 22, 1941. On February 12, 1941, German General Erwin Rommel arrived in Libya to take command of troops sent to reinforce Germany's Italian…
Explore a timeline of key events in the history of the Trawniki in German-occupied Poland.
On January 20, 1942, fifteen high-ranking Nazi Party and German government leaders gathered for an important meeting. They met in a wealthy section of Berlin at a villa by a lake known as Wannsee. Reinhard Heydrich, who was SS chief Heinrich Himmler's head deputy, held the meeting for the purpose of discussing the "final solution to the Jewish question in Europe" with key non-SS government leaders, including the secretaries of the Foreign Ministry and Justice, whose cooperation was needed. The "Final…
Most prisoners in the early Nazi camp system were political opponents of the regime. The system would grow to include other types of camps, including killing centers.
The term Kielce pogrom refers to a violent massacre of Jews in the southeastern Polish town of Kielce on July 4, 1946. Introduction Pogrom is a Russian word meaning “to wreak havoc, to demolish violently.” Historically, the term refers to violent attacks by local non-Jewish populations on Jews in the Russian Empire. During the Kielce incident, a mob of Polish soldiers, police officers, and civilians murdered at least 42 Jews and injured over 40 in the worst outburst of anti-Jewish violence in…
Social Democratic politician Otto Wels was the only German parliamentary leader to openly oppose passage of the Enabling Act, the cornerstone of Adolf Hitler's dictatorship.
Read the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation's short biography of Leah Johnson.
In July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces killed as many as 8,000 Bosniaks from Srebrenica. It was the largest massacre in Europe since the Holocaust.
The Enabling Act of March 1933 allowed the Reich government to issue laws without the consent of Germany’s parliament. It laid the foundation for the Nazification of German society.
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