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Ivo grew up in a middle-class Jewish family in Zagreb. He experienced little overt antisemitism until the Germans and their allies invaded Yugoslavia in April 1941 and installed a fascist Ustasa government in Croatia. The Ustasa regime began killing Jews, Serbs, and Roma (Gypsies). Ivo's family escaped to Italian-occupied territory, where the Italians tried to protect Jewish refugees. Ivo lived in Italian internment camps, including the Rab island camp, before moving to mainland Italy in 1944. He worked…
Barbara was born in the province of Arad in northern Transylvania, Romania. She went to school until the Hungarian army occupied the area in 1940 and she was no longer allowed to attend. After the Germans occupied Hungary in 1944, discrimination against Jews intensified. Barbara and her family were forced into the Oradea ghetto. She worked in the ghetto hospital until she was deported to the Auschwitz camp. At Auschwitz, she worked in the kitchens to receive extra food. She was deported to another camp,…
Book burnings and bans were not exclusive to—and did not end with—the Nazi regime. Learn more about the symbolism of book burnings.
In the spring of 1939, Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus rescued 50 Jewish children from Vienna, Austria, by bringing them to the United States. Learn about their mission.
June 6, 1944. On this date, US, British, and Canadian troops land on the beaches of Normandy, France.
In 1942, Sam was forced into a ghetto in his hometown and assigned to work in a munitions factory. In 1944 he was transported to Auschwitz and then forced to work in a train factory. He survived eight days on a death march after the evacuation of Auschwitz by the Nazis. He was liberated by Soviet units in January 1945. He lived in a displaced persons camp in Germany where worked for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. In 1947, he immigrated to the United States.
The War Refugee Board was formed in 1944 by executive order under President Roosevelt. It was tasked with the rescue and relief of victims of Nazi oppression.
Learn more about American Zionist and activist Peter H. Bergson (born Hillel Kook).
Children's diaries bear witness to some of the most heartbreaking experiences of the Holocaust. Learn about the diary and experiences of Chaim Kozienicki.
On November 9–10, 1938, the Nazi regime coordinated a wave of antisemitic violence in Nazi Germany. This became known as Kristallnacht or the "Night of Broken Glass."
The Ohrdruf camp was a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, and the first Nazi camp liberated by US troops.
Learn more about the Holocaust Encyclopedia’s key terms and selected youth movements related to resistance in the smaller ghettos of eastern Europe.
Recommended resources, topics, context, rationale, and critical thinking questions if you have limited time to teach about the Holocaust.
Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. After the German occupation, Sarah (then just three years old) and her mother were forced into a ghetto. One day, a Polish Catholic policeman warned them that the ghetto was about to be liquidated. He sheltered Sarah and her mother first in his house, then in a potato storage bunker, and then in a chicken coop on his property. Sarah hid there for more than two years, until the area was liberated by Soviet forces. After the war, Sarah emigrated from…
Morris grew up in a very religious Jewish household and was active in a Zionist sports league. When the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939, Morris's town was severely damaged. Morris's family was forced to live in a ghetto, and Morris was assigned to forced labor. After a period of imprisonment in Konskie, a town about 30 miles from Przedborz, Morris was deported to the Auschwitz camp. He was assigned to the Jawischowitz subcamp of Auschwitz. In January 1945, Morris was forced on a death march and…
Fritzie's father immigrated to the United States, but by the time he could bring his family over, war had begun and Fritzie's mother feared attacks on transatlantic shipping. Fritzie, her mother, and two brothers were eventually sent to Auschwitz. Her mother and brothers died. Fritzie survived by pretending to be older than her age and thus a stronger worker. On a death march from Auschwitz, Fritzie ran into a forest, where she was later liberated.
In May 1940, the Germans occupied the Netherlands. In 1942, it took Liny, her mother, and her sister six months to escape to southern France. They pretended to be Protestant, obtained visas to travel through Spain and Portugal, and were on one of the last trains to cross into Spain after the Germans took over southern France. They boarded a Portuguese ship bound for Dutch Guiana (Suriname). Liny was placed in a refugee camp, and then worked in the Dutch embassy in Washington D.C. She eventually settled in…
Explore a timeline of key events during 1944 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
US filmmaker and photographer Julien Bryan was one of the few western photographers left in Warsaw upon the German invasion of Poland in September 1939.
Allowing arrests without a warrant or judicial review was a key step in the process by which the Nazi regime moved Germany from a democracy to a dictatorship
US State Department official Breckinridge Long supervised the Visa Division, which placed new restrictions on immigration to the US in the 1940s. Learn more.
Nazi Germany and its allies established over 44,000 concentration camps and incarceration sites during the Holocaust. Read about the Nazi camp system.
Varian Fry was an American journalist who helped anti-Nazi refugees escape from France between 1940 and 1941. Learn about his rescue efforts.
Blood libels were false allegations that Jews used the blood of non-Jewish children in rituals. Nazi propagandists used this false charge in their antisemitic propaganda.
Explore Jacob Wiener’s biography and learn about his experiences during Kristallnacht in Würzburg, Germany.
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.