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During the interwar period Dr. Susanne Engelmann served as the principal of a large public high school for girls in Berlin. This letter notified her of her dismissal, as a "non-Aryan," from her teaching position. The dismissal was in compliance with the Civil Service Law of April 7, 1933. 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 from all civil…
January 27, anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, is designated by the United Nations General Assembly as International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD).
Pants worn by Marjan Glass as he dug anti-tank ditches for the defense of Warsaw, Poland, and then as he hastily fled the city ahead of the German advance on September 7, 1939. Glass, a lawyer, escaped with his wife and three-year-old son, and his wife's mother and brother. He left without taking the time to change from his soiled work clothing. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
Hannah Szenes (Senesh) was one of 32 Jewish volunteer parachutists from Palestine that the British Army sent behind German lines for resistance and rescue efforts. On June 7, 1944, Szenes infiltrated German-occupied Hungary. The Germans captured her...
Browse a series of articles describing how some Jews survived the Holocaust; rescue efforts; anti-Nazi resistance groups; and revolts against Nazi oppression in the Warsaw ghetto and in killing centers.
German civilians from Ludwigslust file past the corpses and graves of 200 prisoners from the nearby concentration camp of Wöbbelin. The US Army ordered the townspeople to bury the corpses on the palace grounds of the Archduke of Mecklenburg. Germany, May 7, 1945. Outraged by what they found upon entering the camp, the ranking Allied commanders in the area forced civilians from the nearby towns of Schwerin, Hagenow, and Ludwigslust to view the concentration camp and then bury the bodies of prisoners…
John Perry, a movie photographer with Unit 129, films GIs of the 290th Infantry Regiment, 75th Infantry Division, and 4th Cavalry Group ferreting out German snipers near Beffe, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. Twelve Germans were killed. The scene was photographed by Carmen Corrado of the 129th. January 7, 1945. US Army Signal Corps photograph taken by C.A. Corrado.
John Perry, a movie photographer with Unit 129, films GIs of the 290th Infantry Regiment, 75th Infantry Division, and 4th Cavalry Group ferreting out German snipers near Beffe, Belgium, in early January 1945. Twelve Germans were killed. The scene was photographed by Carmen Corrado of the 129th. January 7, 1945. US Army Signal Corps photograph taken by C.A. Corrado.
Jewish parachutist Hannah Szenes with her brother, before leaving for a rescue mission. Palestine, March 1944. Between 1943 and 1945, a group of Jewish men and women from Palestine who had volunteered to join the British army parachuted into German-occupied Europe. Their mission was to organize resistance to the Germans and aid in the rescue of Allied personnel. Hannah Szenes was among these volunteers. Szenes was captured in German-occupied Hungary and executed in Budapest on November 7,…
Hannah Szenes on her first day in Palestine. Haifa, Palestine, September 19, 1939. Between 1943 and 1945, a group of Jewish men and women from Palestine who had volunteered to join the British army parachuted into German-occupied Europe. Their mission was to organize resistance to the Germans and aid in the rescue of Allied personnel. Hannah Szenes was among these volunteers. Szenes was captured in German-occupied Hungary and executed in Budapest on November 7, 1944, at the age of 23.
Elisabeth, Hans Werner, and Paul Gerhard Kusserow. Because they were the children of Jehovah's Witnesses, all three were forcibly removed from school on March 7, 1939, and kept separated from their family, which was accused of spiritual and moral neglect, until their liberation in April 1945. This photograph was taken at the Kusserow home in Bad Lippspringe, 1936-1939.
German Domination Until the winter of 1942-1943, the German army was victorious in an almost unbroken chain of battlefield successes. Europe lay under German domination. After a successful German advance in summer 1942, the battle for the city of Stalingrad in late 1942 proved a turning point. Soviet forces halted the German advance at Stalingrad on the Volga River and in the Caucasus. After this defeat, German troops were forced on the defensive, beginning the long retreat westward that was to end…
“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 95th Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating Werl, a prison and civilian labor camp, in 1945.
Capturing the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen was a major milestone for US forces in WWII, allowing the Allies to move troops and tanks across the Rhine river. Learn more.
Crossing the Rhine River allowed US and British troops to advance into the interior of Germany, helping to bring about the defeat of the Third Reich in WWII
Vastly outgunned and outnumbered, some Jews in ghettos and camps resisted the Germans with for...
American military tribunals presided over 12 Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings against leading German industrialists, military figures, SS perpetrators, and others.
Diaries bear witness to some of the most heartbreaking experiences of the Holocaust. Read excerpts from the diary of an anonymous child in the Lodz ghetto.
The Tunisian campaign began with an Allied amphibious landing near Sfax in eastern Tunisia on January 5, 1943, and an attack on German positions at Gafsa in west central Tunisia on March 17, 1943. On February 4, 1943, the British Eighth Army crossed the border from Libya into Tunisia. Squeezed between US and British Commonwealth forces and cut off from his supply bases, German General Erwin Rommel attempted to stall the Allies with defensive operations. German and Italian troops managed to rout the US…
After WWII, many Holocaust survivors, unable to return to their homes, lived in displaced persons camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy. Read about Deggendorf DP camp.
As the Nazis conducted the...
Learn more about Bremen-Farge, a subcamp of Neuengamme where the majority of prisoners were used to construct an underground U-boat shipyard for the German navy.
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…
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
How did the United States respond to the Holocaust and World War II? Start learning today.
Under the most adverse conditions, Jewish prisoners initiated resistance and uprisings in some of the ghettos and camps, including Bialystok, Warsaw, Treblinka, and Sobibor.
The 9th Armored Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating Zwodau and Falkenau an der Eger, Flossenbürg subcamps, in 1945.
The Hostage Case was Case #7 of 12 Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings against leading German industrialists, military figures, SS perpetrators, and others.
Explore a timeline of key events in Nazi Germany during 1934.
The US 8th Infantry and the 82nd Airborne Divisions arrived at the Wöbbelin camp in May 1945, witnessing the deplorable living conditions in this subcamp of the Neuengamme concentration camp.
As part of the Holocaust, the Germans murdered about 90% of Jews in Lithuania. Read more about the tragic experience of Lithuanian Jews during World War II.
The first conviction for the crime of genocide came after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, when Jean-Paul Akayesu was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity.
Explore a timeline of key events in Nazi Germany during 1933.
World War II in Europe During World War II, Germany overran much of Europe using a new tactic called the "Blitzkrieg" (lightning war). Blitzkrieg involved the massing of planes, tanks, and artillery. These forces would break through enemy defenses along a narrow front. Air power prevented the enemy from closing the breach. German forces encircled opposing troops, forcing them to surrender. Using the Blitzkrieg tactic, Germany defeated Poland (attacked in September 1939), Denmark (April 1940), Norway…
Explore a timeline of key events during 1944 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
The Nuremberg Race Laws were two in a series of key decrees, legislative acts, and case law in...
October 7, 1944. On this date, the Sonderkommando working at Crematorium IV in Auschwitz-Birkenau rose in revolt.
Adolf Hitler was determined to overturn the military and territorial provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. Learn more about Nazi German territorial aggression before WWII.
This US policy extended mat...
The 2nd Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating Leipzig-Schönefeld and Spergau/Zöschen in 1945.
The 82nd Airborne Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating the Wöbbelin subcamp of Neuengamme in 1945.
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…
The Operation Operation Torch was the Anglo-American invasion of French Morocco and Algeria during the North African Campaign of World War II. It began on November 8 and concluded on November 16, 1942. It resulted from an uneasy compromise between the Western Allies, and was intended to relieve pressure on the Soviet Union by imperiling Axis forces in the region and by enabling an invasion of Southern Europe in 1943. Commanded by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the operation was designed as a pincer…
Key dates in the life of Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Reich Security Main Office, the SS and police agency most directly concerned with implementing Final Solution.
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…
Read the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation's short biography of Abba Kovner.
Read the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation's short biography of Rae Kushner.
April 25, 1945. On this date, Soviet and American troops met at Torgau, Germany.
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