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Jewish groups worldwide helped rescue thousands during the Holocaust. Read more about efforts to save Jews from Nazi persecution and death.
While living under an assumed identity after escaping from the Lvov ghetto, Selma Schwarzwald received a toy bear that she kept with her for many years. Read about Refugee the bear.
Survivor Elie Wiesel devoted his life to educating the world about the Holocaust. Learn about key events in the world and his life from 1928–1951.
Survivor Elie Wiesel devoted his life to educating the world about the Holocaust. Explore key events in the world and his life from 1952 until his death in 2016.
The SA established a protective custody camp at Hainewalde in March 1933. Well-known journalist and writer Axel Eggebrecht was among its early prisoners.
Explore a timeline of key events during the history of the Treblinka killing center in German-occupied Poland.
Stephen Wise (1874–1949) was a prominent US Jewish leader in the 1933–1945 period. Born in Budapest in 1874 and the grandson of the Chief Rabbi of Eger, Hungary (a town about sixty miles northeast of Budapest), Stephen Wise immigrated to New York as a child. After his ordination as a Reform rabbi, he led a congregation in Portland, Oregon, where his liberal political convictions inspired him to fight for child labor laws and for the demands of striking workers. A charismatic orator, he became a…
Explore Jacob Wiener’s biography and learn about his experiences during Kristallnacht in Würzburg, Germany.
The Mauthausen concentration camp was established following the Nazi incorporation of Austria in 1938. Learn about the harsh conditions in the camp.
Prominent SS physician Josef Mengele, called the "angel of death" by his victims, conducted inhumane medical experiments on prisoners in the Auschwitz camp.
The Herzogenbusch concentration camp in the Netherlands began functioning in January 1943. Learn about its establishment, administration, prisoners, and conditions there.
The Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls were developed as Nazi Party youth groups to indoctrinate children and youth in Nazi ideology and policy.
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.
Gerd was the eldest of four children. His father, Josef, had left Ukraine in 1913 and opened a bicycle sales and repair shop in Bremen. His mother, Selma, was descended from a distinguished Jewish family and had been a kindergarten teacher and a bookkeeper for a large firm. As a child, Gerd experienced the hardships of the Depression and witnessed the violent street fights between the Nazis and their political opponents, the Communists and Socialists. 1933–39: When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Gerd…
Isadore was born to a Jewish family in Kielce, Poland. Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. Isadore and his family were forced into the Kielce ghetto, which was established in April 1941. When his parents were deported to the Treblinka killing center in 1942, Isadore went with them rather than remaining behind for forced labor. After arrival at the camp, Isadore hid in a pile of bodies. His parents were killed. Isadore survived by working in the camp. On August 2, 1943, prisoners at Treblinka revolted…
Joseph Leo Diamantstein was born in Heidelberg, Germany, on December 1, 1924, to Jewish parents. He was the youngest of four children. His family experienced antisemitism in Frankfurt, and ultimately decided to leave Germany. Beginning in 1933, the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls had an important role to play in the new Nazi regime. Through these organizations, the Nazi regime planned to indoctrinate young people with Nazi ideology. This was part of the process of Nazifying German…
Vidkun Quisling, Minister President of Norway from 1942 to 1945, was a Norwegian fascist and Nazi collaborator. His last name has come to mean “traitor” or “collaborator.”
Learn about the history of discrimination against Roma in Europe and how the Nazi regime committed genocide against European Roma during WWII.
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.
Explore a timeline of key events during 1941 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the world was faced with a challenge—how to seek justice for an almost unimaginable scale of criminal behavior, including the annihilation of European Jewry. Even as a vocabulary emerged to describe the atrocities that would come to be known as the Holocaust, legal experts sought to establish a new body of law to address the unprecedented crimes perpetrated by the Axis powers. A series of war crimes trials convened by the Allied powers and European governments…
Learn how the "First Letter to all Judges" increased the pressure on German judges to give verdicts and sentences according to Nazi principles and ideology.
Learn about the history of Sighet, birthplace of Elie Wiesel. The Jewish population of Sighet was deported to Auschwitz in May 1944. Most of the deportees were gassed on arrival.
The Riegner telegram was a...
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.
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.
Italy was home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in Europe. It was also a member of the Axis alliance with Nazi Germany. Learn about Italy during WWII and the Holocaust.
As the Nazis conducted the...
Learn about the Freiburg subcamp of Flossenbürg, including its establishment, prisoner population, and conditions there.
Treblinka was one of three killing centers in Operation Reinhard, the SS plan to murder almost two million Jews living in the German-administered territory of occupied Poland.
Beginning in 1933, the Nazi regime harassed and destroyed lesbian communities and networks that had developed during the Weimar Republic.
In March 1942, the Hodonin camp was classified as a camp for Roma. It was a transfer station during deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Learn about the camp and its history.
The National Socialist German Worker’s Party, also known as the Nazi Party, was the far-right racist and antisemitic political party led by Adolf Hitler.
From July 1941-May 1944, the SS camp at Trawniki had several purposes. It is best known as the training site for auxiliary police guards used in Nazi killing centers. Learn more.
Reinhard Heydrich, Reich Security Main Office chief, was one of the main architects of the “Final Solution," the Nazi plan to murder the Jews of Europe.
SS Chief Heinrich Himmler was chief architect of the "Final Solution." Learn more about Himmler, one of the most powerful men after Hitler in Nazi Germany.
After WWII, prosecutors faced the challenge of assessing the guilt of propagandists whose words, images, and writings had supported Nazi brutality and mass murder.
The Nazis frequently used propaganda to disguise their political aims and deceive the German and international public. Learn more.
The Auschwitz camp system, located in German-occupied Poland, was a complex of 3 camps, including a killing center. Learn about the history of Auschwitz.
Between 1933 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its allies established more than 44,000 camps and other incarceration sites (including ghettos). The perpetrators used these locations for a range of purposes, including forced labor, detention of people deeme...
Explore firsthand testimony about the occupation of Mlynów, the establishment of the ghetto, resistance activities, and the destruction of the ghetto.
When WWII began, most Americans wanted the US to stay isolated from the war. From December 1941, the majority rallied in support of intervention to defeat the Axis powers.
More than one thousand unaccompanied refugee children fleeing Nazi persecution arrived in the United States between 1933 and 1945. Learn more
In the aftermath of the Holocaust, most survivors felt there was no future for Jews in Europe. They desired a homeland where Jews would no longer be a vulnerable minority. Those hopes were realized on May 14, 1948, when the modern State of Israel was established. Jews have had historical and religious connections to the Land of Israel for thousands of years.
US immigration and refugee laws and policies evolved in response to World War I, the 1918 influenza pandemic, and World War II and the Holocaust. Learn more.
Former Mufti of Jerusalem Hajj Amin al-Husayni was an exiled political leader who sought an alliance with the Axis Powers. Learn about his wartime propaganda efforts.
President Barack Obama visited Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany on June 5, 2009. In a speech at the site, he repudiated Holocaust denial. Browse transcript.
Browse a timeline listing some key events in the evolution of Holocaust denial and the distortion of the facts of the Holocaust.
As the Nazis conducted the...
Persecution of Jews and other targeted groups was already government policy in Germany once the Nazis were in power in 1933. But following the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, war provided the opportunity and motivation for more ext...
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