Mobile Killing Squads After the German army invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, a new stage in the Holocaust began. Under cover of war and confident of victory, the Germans turned from the forced emigration and imprisonment of Jews to mass murder. Special action squads, or Einsatzgruppen, made up of Nazi (SS) units and police, moved with speed on the heels of the advancing German army. Their job was to kill any Jews they could find in the occupied Soviet territory. Some residents of the occupied…
Trials of top surviving German leaders for Nazi Germany’s crimes began in Nuremberg after World War II. Read about the Nuremberg trials.
The Decree against Public Enemies was a key step in the process by which the Nazi leadership moved Germany from a democracy to a dictatorship.
After WWII, many Holocaust survivors, unable to return to their homes, lived in displaced persons camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy. Read about Feldafing DP camp.
The Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), created by Heinrich Himmler, brutally coordinated and perpetrated many aspects of the Holocaust.
Prosecutors before the IMT based the case against 22 leading Nazi officials primarily on thousands of documents written by the Germans themselves. Learn more.
January 27, anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, is designated by the United Nations General Assembly as International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD).
Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, beginning World War II. German forces swiftly overran Polish border defenses and approached Warsaw, Poland's capital city. Warsaw suffered heavy air attacks and artillery bombardments during the campaign. The city surrendered on September 28. This footage shows German forces entering Warsaw amidst the destruction caused by their bombardment of the city.
Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in January 1933. Soon thereafter, terror actions against opponents of Nazism began: Jews were a major target in these campaigns. Many Jews were subjected to public humiliation or arrest, and others were forced to quit their posts. Anti-Jewish measures climaxed with the April 1, 1933, boycott of Jewish-owned businesses. This footage depicts a Jewish anti-Nazi march in Chicago.
[This video is silent] The film "The Nazi Plan" was shown as evidence at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg on December 11, 1945. It was compiled for the trial by Budd Schulberg and other US military personnel, under the supervision of Navy Commander James Donovan. The compilers used only German source material, including official newsreels. This footage is titled "Opening of the Official Anti-Semitic Campaign 1 April 1933."
Roma (Gypsies) remove bodies from the Iasi-Calarasi death train during its stop in Tirgu-Frumos. Two trains left Iasi on June 30, 1941, bearing survivors of the pogrom that took place in Iasi on June 28-29. Hundreds of Jews died on the transports aboard crowded, unventilated freight cars in the heat of summer. Romania, July 1, 1941.
Nazi officials and Catholic bishops listen to a speech by Wilhelm Frick, Reich Minister of the Interior, at an official ceremony in the Saarbrucken city hall marking the reincorporation of the Saarland into the German Reich. March 1, 1935. Among those pictured is Joseph Goebbels (seated at the far right), Franz Rudolf Bornewasser (Bishop of Trier) and Ludwig Sebastian (Bishop of Speyer).
Following the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, Warsaw suffered heavy air attacks and artillery bombardment. German troops entered the city on September 29, shortly after its surrender. This photograph was taken by Julien Bryan, an American documentary filmmaker who captured the German bombardment and its impact on the Polish citizenry. Warsaw, Poland, ca. 1939.
The Kracowski family was living in Bialystok when German Order Police Battalion 309 killed 2,000-3,000 Jews on June 27, 1941. Dr. Samuel Kracowski was among the hundreds of Jews locked in the Great Synagogue and burned alive. After the Germans ordered the establishment of a ghetto in Bialystok, Samuel's wife, Esther, and children, Ewa and Julek, were given a room in the ghetto clinic. Photo dated September 1, 1935. Samuel and Esther are seated in the center, with Julek seated in the front row on the…
View of a criminal wing in the prison at Nuremberg, housing war crimes trials defendants. Baltic guards under the supervision of American authorities patrol the wing and keep constant watch over the prisoners. The upper floors are screened off with heavy chicken wire to discourage suicide attempts. Nuremberg, Germany, between November 20, 1945, and October 1, 1946.
An SA member instructs others where to post anti-Jewish boycott signs on a commercial street in Germany. A German civilian wearing a Nazi armband holds a sheaf of anti-Jewish boycott signs, while SA members paste them on a Jewish-owned business. Most of the signs read, "Germans defend yourselves against Jewish atrocity propaganda/Buy only at German stores." Germany, ca. April 1, 1933.
On August 1, 1936, Hitler opened the 11th Summer Olympic Games. Inaugurating a new Olympic ritual, a lone runner arrived bearing a torch carried by relay from the site of the ancient Games in Olympia, Greece. This photograph shows an Olympic torch bearer running through Berlin, passing by the Brandenburg Gate, shortly before the opening ceremony. Berlin, Germany, July-August 1936.
Gertruda Nowak was born to a Roman Catholic family in Poland. The Germans invaded her country on September 1, 1939. Gertruda's father was later accused of working for the Polish underground and taken away. The Germans then came for the rest of the...
Born to Jewish parents in Poland, Gisha Galina Bursztyn moved to the city of Warsaw after she married. On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Warsaw fell four weeks later, and a ghetto was set up in November 1940. During a massive roundup i...
Julien Bryan’s ten-minute film Siege, first non-Nazi produced footage of the start of WWII, records horror and chaos in Warsaw following the German invasion.
The Law against the Founding of New Parties proclaimed the Nazi Party as the only political party in Germany, which became a one-party dictatorship led by the Nazis.
After WWII, many Holocaust survivors, unable to return to their homes, lived in displaced persons camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy. Read about Bad Reichenhall DP camp.
For centuries, Roma (labeled “Gypsies”) were scorned across Europe. Read more about Romani peoples, including the Sinti, and their lives in Europe.
Learn about the rescue activities and the fates of Ona Simaite in Lithuania, Joop Westerweel in the Netherlands, and Irena Sendler in Poland.
“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.
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