Susanne was the younger of two daughters born to Jewish parents in the German capital of Berlin. Her father was a successful lawyer. Known affectionately as Sanne, Susanne liked to play with her sister on the veranda of her home and enjoyed visiting the Berlin Zoo and park with her family. 1933-39: After the Nazis came to power in January 1933, it became illegal for Jewish lawyers to have non-Jewish clients. When Susanne was 4, her father's law practice closed down and the Ledermanns moved to the…
The oldest of eight children, Josel was born in Miechow, a small town in south central Poland. His father was a machinist and locksmith. As a boy, Josel spent long days learning Hebrew in the Jewish school and taking general subjects at the public school. He was 13 years old when he left school to work in his father's shop. 1933-39: Josel met his wife, Esther, through a matchmaker, and they settled in nearby Dzialoszyce, a town with a Jewish community of about 7,000, and a beautiful synagogue that had…
Hetty was the only child of a middle-class secular Jewish family. Hetty's parents were Sephardic, the descendants of Jews who had been expelled from Spain in 1492. The family lived in an apartment above her father's clothing business. Hetty's grandparents and other relatives lived nearby. 1933-39: Hetty enjoyed growing up in the Netherlands. Her Jewish neighborhood was in the older part of Amsterdam, in the city center. When she was 6 years old, she began attending a public school. Everywhere in Amsterdam…
Wallace and his family were Polish Catholics. His father was a chemical engineer and his mother a teacher. The Germans occupied Kielce in 1939. Wallace witnessed pogroms against Jews in 1942. Wallace was active in the anti-Nazi resistance, acting as a courier between partisan groups. In 1946, in liberated Poland, Wallace witnessed the Kielce pogrom. He was reunited with his father in the United States in 1949; other family members followed. The Communist regime in Poland, however, denied his only sister…
Leopold was a teacher in Krakow, Poland, when World War II began in 1939. While serving in the Polish army, he was captured by Germans. Leopold escaped from a prisoner-of-war transport. Soon after, he met the German industrialist Oskar Schindler. The two became friends. Leopold was forced to live in the Krakow ghetto. He later worked in Schindler's factory in Bruennlitz. He and the other Jews who worked there were treated relatively well and protected from the Nazis. After the war, Leopold moved to the…
The Nazis classified Jews as the priority “enemy.” However, they also targeted other groups they considered threats to the health, unity, and security of the German people. Learn more.
Learn about Fürstengrube subcamp of Auschwitz, including its establishment, administration, prisoner population, and forced labor and conditions in the camp.
Even at the height of its power and influence in 1942–1944, the SS was not all-powerful inside Nazi Germany. In the occupied territories, the SS encroached upon the jurisdiction of the civilian authorities and even the Wehrmacht. However, as the invading Allied armies and Allied bombings from the air brought the war home to Germany in 1943–1944, the SS was challenged by two powerful rivals. The Nazi Party apparatus under the Chief of the Party Chancellery, Martin Bormann, was one of those rivals.…
Key dates associated with Hajj Amin al-Husayni, former Mufti of Jerusalem who participated in a pro-Axis coup in Iraq in 1941. Explore further
Learn about the sections of the Bergen-Belsen camp complex during WWII and the Holocaust until the camp's liberation by British forces in April 1945.
Learn more about the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor, collectively known as the Nuremberg Race Laws.
The Germans established the Blechhammer camp as a subcamp of Auschwitz in April 1941. Learn about the camp's history and conditions there.
The Diary of Anne Frank is often the first exposure readers have to the history of the Holocaust. Learn about Anne's diary, including excerpts and images.
Learn about conditions and the treatment of prisoners in Ravensbrück, the largest concentration camp for women in the German Reich.
Jewish groups worldwide helped rescue thousands during the Holocaust. Read more about efforts to save Jews from Nazi persecution and death.
Book burning is the ritual destruction by fire of books or other written materials. The Nazi burning of books in May 1933 is perhaps the most famous in history. Learn more.
The discovery of the Bergen-Belsen camp and t...
Learn more about how the Nazis identified and tattooed prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp complex.
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.
The SA established a protective custody camp at Hainewalde in March 1933. Well-known journalist and writer Axel Eggebrecht was among its early prisoners.
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.
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.
The Nazi Party Platform was a 25-point program for the creation of a Nazi state and society. Hitler presented it at the Hofbräuhaus Beerhall in Munich in February 1920.
The Nazi regime established the Buchenwald camp in 1937. Learn about the camp’s prisoners, conditions there, forced labor, subcamps, medical experiments, and liberation.
Esterwegen was part of the Nazi regime’s early system of concentration camps, created to hold people arrested as opponents of the new regime.
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