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  • The Wannsee Conference and the "Final Solution"

    Article

    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…

    The Wannsee Conference and the "Final Solution"
  • Charles Bedzow

    Article

    Read the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation's short biography of Charles Bedzow.

    Charles Bedzow
  • Bosnia

    Article

    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.

    Bosnia
  • Advertisement for the Violetta women's club

    Document

    A newspaper advertisement for the Damenklub Violetta, a Berlin club frequented by lesbians, 1928. Before the Nazis came to power in 1933, lesbian communities and networks flourished in Germany.

    Advertisement for the Violetta women's club
  • Soviet and US Troops Meet at Torgau

    Timeline Event

    April 25, 1945. On this date, Soviet and American troops met at Torgau, Germany.

    Soviet and US Troops Meet at Torgau
  • German Surrender

    Timeline Event

    May 7, 1945. On this date, German armed forces surrendered unconditionally to Allied forces in the west.

    German Surrender
  • Liberation: An Overview

    Article

    Learn more about the end of Nazi tyranny in Europe and the liberation of camps and other sites of Nazi crimes. This article includes dates of liberation of some of the camps.

    Liberation: An Overview
  • At the Killing Centers

    Article

    After deportation trains arrived at the killing centers, guards ordered the deportees to get out and form a line. The victims then went through a selection process. Men were separated from women and children. A Nazi, usually an SS physician, looked quickly at each person to decide if he or she was healthy and strong enough for forced labor. This SS officer then pointed to the left or the right; victims did not know that individuals were being selected to live or die. Babies and young children, pregnant…

    At the Killing Centers
  • Columbia-Haus

    Article

    The Columbia-Haus camp was one of the early camps established by the Nazi regime. It held primarily political detainees. Learn more about the history of the camp.

  • World War I and its Aftermath: Key Dates

    Article

    Explore a timeline of key events in the history of World War I and its aftermath. Learn about the conflict and its divisive peace.

    World War I and its Aftermath: Key Dates
  • Axis Powers in World War II

    Article

    The three principal partners in the Axis alliance were Germany, Italy, and Japan. Learn more about the Axis powers in WW2.

    Axis Powers in World War II
  • The Eastern Front: The German War against the Soviet Union

    Article

    Nazi Germany and its allies invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. They quickly conquered large expanses of Soviet territory. German forces waged a “war of annihilation” against the Soviet Union and its peoples, killing millions of civilians. However, the Soviet armed forces eventually pushed the German military back and finally conquered Berlin in spring 1945. Often referred to as the “eastern front,” the German-Soviet theater of war was the largest and deadliest of World War II.

    The Eastern Front: The German War against the Soviet Union
  • Chelmno

    Article

    The Chelmno killing center was the first stationary facility where poison gas was used for mass murder of Jews. Killing operations began there in December 1941.

    Chelmno
  • Lachwa

    Article

    As the Nazis conducted the...

  • Oradour-sur-Glane

    Article

    Oradour-sur-Glane was a small farming village of around 350 inhabitants, located near Clermont-Ferrand, some 15 miles west-north-west of Limoges. During World War II, it was located in the German-occupied zone of France. On June 10, 1944, troops of the 2nd Waffen-SS Panzer Division (armored division), Das Reich, massacred 642 people, almost the entire population, and then destroyed the village. After the war, Oradour-sur-Glane rivaled Lidice as an iconic symbol of German crimes against civilians in…

    Tags: resistance
    Oradour-sur-Glane
  • Truman proclaims victory in Europe

    Film

    World War II began with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and ended in Allied victory in Europe with the German surrender in May 1945. May 8 was proclaimed VE (Victory in Europe) Day. In this footage, United States president Harry S. Truman proclaims victory in Europe and promises to continue the war in the pacific until the unconditional surrender of Japan.

    Truman proclaims victory in Europe
  • Beads used by a Dutch Jewish girl in hiding

    Artifact

    These tiny black, white, gold, and clear glass beads were used by Rachel “Chelly” de Groot from November 1942 to April 1944 and recovered by her brother Louis after the war. Chelly used the beads to make handicrafts. On November 16, 1942, Chelly, then 15, Louis, 13, and their parents Meijer and Sophia left Arnhem and went into hiding after the Dutch police warned them of a raid. Meijer and Sophia hid in Amsterdam while Chelly and Louis moved around to different locations. In summer or fall 1943,…

    Beads used by a Dutch Jewish girl in hiding
  • Lodz

    Article

    The city of Łódź (Lodz) is located about 85 miles southwest of Warsaw, Poland. The Jews of Lodz formed the second largest Jewish community in prewar Poland, after Warsaw. German troops occupied Lodz on September 8, 1939. This was one week after Germany invaded Poland on September 1. Lodz was annexed to Germany as part of the Warthegau. The Germans renamed the city Litzmannstadt, after a German World War I general, Karl Litzmann. The Lodz Ghetto In early February 1940, the Germans established a ghetto…

    Lodz
  • Dawid Sierakowiak

    Article

    Young people's diaries capture some of the most heartbreaking experiences of the Holocaust. Learn about the diary and experiences of David Sierakowiak.

    Dawid Sierakowiak
  • Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings, Case #9, The Einsatzgruppen Case

    Article

    The Einsatzgruppen Case was Case #9 of 12 Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings against leading German industrialists, military figures, SS perpetrators, and others.

    Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings, Case #9, The Einsatzgruppen Case
  • Berta Koselova Krakauerova

    ID Card

    Berta was born to a Jewish family. Orphaned when she was a child, she was raised by her Uncle Poldi in Vienna. In 1899 she married Bernard Krakauer, a Jewish businessman from her hometown of Mikulov. As was the custom for orphans, Berta wore a black dress at her wedding. The couple settled in the town of Hodonin, where Bernard opened a dry goods and clothing store. They raised six children. 1933-39: With their children grown, Berta's husband retired in 1938. He sold the business and moved with Berta and…

    Berta Koselova Krakauerova
  • Max Krakauer

    ID Card

    Max was the oldest of six children born to Jewish parents in the small Moravian town of Hodonin, where his father ran a dry-goods and clothing store. His family spoke both Czech and German at home, and Max attended German-language schools in Hodonin and Lipnik. He completed his education in 1920. Born with a heart condition, Max lived a sheltered life. 1933-39: Max's father, Bernard, was getting on in years and wanted to retire. Max was not strong enough to take over the business, so the Krakauers sold…

    Max Krakauer
  • Dora Unger

    ID Card

    Dora, her parents, brother, aunt, uncle, and two cousins lived together in her grandfather's home in Essen, Germany. The Ungers were an observant Jewish family, and when Dora was 8, she began to regularly attend meetings of Brit HaNoar, a religious youth organization. 1933-39: In October 1938 a teacher, with tears in her eyes, came to Dora at the municipal pool, saying "Jews cannot swim here anymore." Just weeks later, on November 9, Jews were arrested and their property destroyed. A neighbor tried to…

    Dora Unger
  • Rebecca Pissirilo

    ID Card

    Rebecca was the oldest of three children born to Ladino-speaking, Sephardic-Jewish parents. The Pissirilos lived in Kastoria, a small town in the mountainous region of Greek Macedonia near the Albanian border. Rebecca's father was a successful fabric merchant. The Pissirilo children attended public schools. 1933-39: After finishing elementary school, Rebecca went on to study at secondary school. She liked to sing and enjoyed studying. Rebecca kept a diary, like some of the other girls in her class. The…

    Rebecca Pissirilo
  • Chaya Szabasson Rubinstein

    ID Card

    In 1930 Chaya married Mordecai Rubinstein, a businessman, and moved with him from her hometown of Kozienice to the nearby city of Radom. Chaya had been raised in a religious, Yiddish-speaking Jewish family, and her father owned a lumber mill near the Kozienice birch forest. In Radom, Chaya's husband operated a small bus line. 1933-39: Chaya gave birth to a daughter, Gila, in 1933. In the mid 1930s the Rubinsteins moved back to Kozienice. There, they were trapped when German troops invaded [Poland] in…

    Chaya Szabasson Rubinstein
  • David Birnbaum

    ID Card

    David, known as Dudek by his family and friends, came from Radom, a city with a large Jewish population. David's family was involved in Zionist activities, and David attended a Jewish religious school every afternoon after returning from public school. His father owned a distillery. 1933-39: The Germans invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and Radom was occupied on September 8, 1939. The Germans were seizing Jewish men to work as slave laborers, and the Birnbaum family knew that they might spare those who…

    David Birnbaum
  • Margit Nemeth Fekete

    ID Card

    Margit was born to a Jewish family in the city of Szentes. In 1919 she married and had a son, Gyorgy. When Gyorgy was still a baby, Margit divorced, but she remarried several years later. Her new husband, Vilmos Fekete, worked as a manager in a large electric company in Ujpest, a suburb of Budapest. Margit settled there and her son stayed in Szentes with his grandparents. 1933-39: Margit and her son saw each other as often as possible. Margit would travel by bus to Szentes to spend the Jewish holidays…

    Margit Nemeth Fekete
  • Shaye Rothkopf

    ID Card

    Shaye's town in the province of Lodz had a Jewish community that comprised almost one-third of the town's population. Shaye was very young when his father died during World War I. Afterwards, his grandparents helped to support his family. When Shaye was a teenager, his mother died. He and his siblings then lived with their grandparents. 1933-39: Swimming was Shaye's favorite pastime and he'd go with his friends to the banks of the Vistula River on every possible occasion. He worked in Lodz for a company…

    Shaye Rothkopf
  • Leah Kohl Rapaport

    ID Card

    Leah and her four brothers were raised in a religious Jewish family in the city of Lvov. After obtaining her high school diploma, Leah attended university for one year. In 1931 she married Joseph Rapaport, and the couple settled in Warsaw. 1933-39: The Rapaports lived in the suburbs, and Joseph worked as a banker. Their daughter Zofia was born in May 1933. Each year at the Jewish holiday of Passover, they returned to Lvov to visit Leah's parents. Two days after Joseph was mobilized for military duty in…

    Tags: Lvov hiding
    Leah Kohl Rapaport
  • Lifcia Najman

    ID Card

    Lifcia and her brother and two sisters were born to religious Zionist parents in Radom, a major center of Polish leather production. The city had more than 100 tanneries and shoe factories. Lifcia's father worked as a leather broker, matching manufacturers with clients who sought specific types of leather. The Najman family lived in a two-room apartment in the center of town. 1933-39: At secondary school, Lifcia learned math, science, Polish language, history, and German. Three times a week she attended a…

    Lifcia Najman
  • Death Marches

    Article

    As Allied forces approached Nazi camps in the last months of WWII, the SS organized brutal “death marches” (forced evacuations) of concentration camp inmates.

  • Eduard Schulte

    Article

    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.

  • The Biological State: Nazi Racial Hygiene, 1933–1939

    Article

    Nazism was “applied biology,” stated Hitler deputy Rudolf Hess. During the Third Reich, a politically extreme, antisemitic variation of eugenics determined the course of state policy. Hitler’s regime touted the “Nordic race” as its eugenic ideal and attempted to mold Germany into a cohesive national community that excluded anyone deemed hereditarily “less valuable” or “racially foreign.” Public health measures to control reproduction and marriage aimed at strengthening the “national…

    The Biological State: Nazi Racial Hygiene, 1933–1939
  • The Movement to Boycott the Berlin Olympics of 1936

    Article

    Soon after Hitler came to power, debates began outside Germany about taking part in Olympics hosted by the Nazi regime. Learn more about calls to boycott the Games.

    The Movement to Boycott the Berlin Olympics of 1936
  • Life in the Ghettos

    Article

    Life in the Ghettos Life in the ghettos was usually unbearable. Overcrowding was common. One apartment might have several families living in it. Plumbing broke down, and human waste was thrown in the streets along with the garbage. Contagious diseases spread rapidly in such cramped, unsanitary housing. People were always hungry. Germans deliberately tried to starve residents by allowing them to purchase only a small amount of bread, potatoes, and fat. Some residents had some money or valuables they could…

    Life in the Ghettos
  • Nuremberg Trials

    Article

    Trials of top surviving German leaders for Nazi Germany’s crimes began in Nuremberg after World War II. Read about the Nuremberg trials.

    Nuremberg Trials
  • 1945: Key Dates

    Article

    Explore a timeline of key events during 1945 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, the Holocaust, and liberation and the aftermath of the Holocaust.

    Tags: key dates
    1945: Key Dates
  • Flossenbürg: Key Dates

    Article

    Explore a timeline of the history of the Flossenbürg camp in the Nazi camp system from its establishment in 1938 until liberation in 1945.

    Flossenbürg: Key Dates
  • King Christian X of Denmark

    Article

    Did King Christian X of Denmark wear a yellow star in support of the Danish Jews? Read more about the historical truth behind the legend.

  • George Kadish

    Article

    At great risk, George Kadish secretly documented life in the Kovno ghetto in Lithuania, creating a key photographic record of ghetto life during the Holocaust.

    George Kadish
  • Althammer

    Article

    The Germans established the Althammer camp in September 1944. It was a subcamp of Auschwitz. Read more about the camp's history and conditions there.

  • The Nuremberg Code

    Article

    Leading German physicians and administrators were put on trial for their role during the Holocaust. The resulting Nuremberg Code was a landmark document on medical ethics. Learn more

    The Nuremberg Code
  • Anne Frank Biography: Who was Anne Frank?

    Article

    Anne Frank is among the most well-known of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust. Discover who Anne Frank was and what happened to her.

    Anne Frank Biography: Who was Anne Frank?
  • Notice of Gregor Wohlfahrt's execution

    Document

    Authorities in Berlin, Germany, sent this notice to Barbara Wohlfahrt, informing her of her husband Gregor's execution on the morning of December 7, 1939. Although he was physically unfit to serve in the armed forces, the Nazis tried Wohlfahrt for his religious opposition to military service. As a Jehovah's Witness, Wohlfahrt believed that military service violated the biblical commandment not to kill. On November 8, 1939, a military court condemned Wohlfahrt to beheading, a sentence carried out one month…

    Notice of Gregor Wohlfahrt's execution
  • Tarnow

    Article

    Learn about the prewar Jewish community of Tarnow, German occupation, deportations and killings of the Jewish population, ghettoization, and resistance.

  • Adolf Hitler: Key Dates

    Article

    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.

    Adolf Hitler: Key Dates
  • Klaus Barbie: The Butcher of Lyon

    Article

    Klaus Barbie, chief of the Gestapo in Lyon, France, was nicknamed the "Butcher of Lyon" for his brutal actions towards Jews and members of the French Resistance.

    Tags: perpetrators
  • Les Milles Camp

    Article

    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.

    Tags: camps
    Les Milles Camp
  • Berlin-Marzahn (camp for Roma)

    Article

    The Berlin-Marzahn camp was established a few miles from Berlin's city center, for the detention of Roma, on the eve of the 1936 summer Olympics.

  • Melk

    Article

    Learn about the establishment of and conditions in Melk, a subcamp of the Mauthausen camp system in Austria.

    Melk

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