A second RCA Radiogram telegram from Rabbi Grodzenski, Chief Rabbi of Vilna, to the Central Relief Committee in New York. He requests aid for refugees who have gathered in Vilna. The telegram says that more than 1,600 yeshiva students and their families from over 10 cities throughout Poland have fled to Vilna, where they remain in terrible living conditions. November 5, 1939. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
The Riegner telegram was a...
The front page of the New York World Telegram newspaper from Tuesday, October 1, 1946, announcing the sentences of the International Military Tribunal defendants.
On May 25, 1939, artist Moritz Schoenberger sent this radiogram (a telegram sent by radio) from the ocean liner "St. Louis" during the voyage from Hamburg, Germany, to Havana, Cuba. On this voyage, the "St. Louis" carried over 900 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. The telegram reads, in part, "Physically and spiritually recovered and invigorated most confident about reaching Havana Saturday. Money received. Many thanks. Kisses. Papa." Schoenberger's optimism proved unfounded. Cuban authorities…
The SS Quanza was a Portuguese ship chartered by 317 Jewish refugees attempting to escape Nazi-dominated Europe in August 1940. Learn about its journey.
The SS Quanza was a Portuguese ship chartered by Jewish refugees attempting to escape Nazi-dominated Europe in August 1940. Passengers with valid visas were allowed to disembark in New York and Vera Cruz, but that left 81 refugees seeking asylum. On September 10, 1940, they sent this telegram to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to implore her for help.
The American Jewish Congress led anti-Nazi protest rallies in the 1930s and 1940s. Learn about the AJC's creation, leadership, activities, and rescue efforts.
Explore a timeline of key events during 1942 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
Hermann Göring held many positions of power and leadership within the Nazi state. Learn about key dates in the life of Hermann Göring.
Eduard Schulte was a prominent German industrialist and secret anti-Nazi who leaked the first report to the west that the Nazis intended to murder all Jews in Europe.
Karl Höcker’s album shows him in close contact to the main perpetrators at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Learn about his 1963 trial and the significance of his album.
American journalist, foreign correspondent, author, and pioneer radio broadcaster William L. Shirer was one of the key observers and chroniclers of the Nazi regime.
Explore a timeline of key events in the history of World War I and its aftermath. Learn about the conflict and its divisive peace.
Amid intensifying anti-Jewish measures and the 1938 Kristallnacht ("Night of Broken Glass") pogrom, Johanna's family decided to leave Germany. They obtained visas for Albania, crossed into Italy, and sailed in 1939. They remained in Albania under the Italian occupation and, after Italy surrendered in 1943, under German occupation. The family was liberated after a battle between the Germans and Albanian partisans in December 1944.
Learn about the Jewish population of Denmark, the German occupation, and resistance and rescue in Denmark during WWII and the Holocaust.
Background The German attack on Poland in September 1939 trapped nearly 3.5 million Jews in German- and Soviet-occupied territories. In late 1940 and early 1941, just months before the Germans initiated the mass murder of Jews in the Soviet Union, some 2,100 Polish Jews found temporary safe haven in Lithuania. Few of these refugees could have reached permanent safety without the tireless efforts of many individuals. Several Jewish organizations and Jewish communities along the way provided funds and…
Eleanor Roosevelt, longest serving First Lady in US history, used her social and political influence to intervene on behalf of refugees before and during WWII.
Gerda and her parents obtained visas to sail to Cuba on the "St. Louis" in May 1939. When the ship arrived in Havana harbor, most of the refugees were denied entry and the ship had to return to Europe. Gerda and her parents disembarked in Belgium. In May 1940, Germany attacked Belgium. Gerda and her mother escaped to Switzerland. After the war, they were told that Gerda's father had died during deportation.
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.
View an animated map describing the voyage of the St. Louis and the fate of its passengers, Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in May-June, 1939.
Martin Niemöller Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps, despite his ardent nationalism. Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation: “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out...” The son of Lutheran pastor Heinrich Niemöller, Martin Niemöller was born in the Westphalian town of Lippstadt, Germany, on January 14, 1892.…
On November 9–10, 1938, the Nazi regime coordinated a wave of antisemitic violence. This became known as Kristallnacht or the "Night of Broken Glass." 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.
Why did the United States go to war? What did Americans know about the “Final Solution”? How did Americans respond to news about the Holocaust? Learn more.
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.