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The total number of prisoners to go through the Majdanek main camp has not yet been recalculated consistent with the latest research. The number of deaths is now estimated at between 80,000 and 110,000 for the main camp alone. Most succumbed to starvation, disease, exposure, and the effects of physical torture or back-breaking labor performed under threat of violence. The SS murdered some prisoners in the gas chambers, some upon arrival, and more after deeming them too weak to work. The total number of…
Explore a timeline of key events during 1946-1948. Learn about the aftermath of the Holocaust and the obstacles survivors faced.
As the Nazis conducted the...
The Justice Case, or Jurists’ Trial, of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings tried members of the German justice administration. Browse excerpts from the verdict.
During the prewar years, the SS competed with powerful rivals in both the Nazi Party and the state apparatus for authority to direct efforts towards a “solution” of the so-called Jewish question in Germany. The SS established a special department in the SD to “research” the “Jewish question” in 1934. In 1938, SD “experts,” led by SS First Lieutenant Adolf Eichmann, demonstrated imaginative leadership in “Jewish matters” (Judenangelegenheiten) by creating a one-stop station in Vienna…
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 Fürstengrube subcamp of Auschwitz, including its establishment, administration, prisoner population, and forced labor and conditions in the camp.
The Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), created by Heinrich Himmler, brutally coordinated and perpetrated many aspects of the Holocaust.
Trials of top surviving German leaders for Nazi Germany’s crimes began in Nuremberg after World War II. Read about the Nuremberg trials.
Rescue and Resistance Some Jews survived the "Final Solution," the Nazi plan to kill the Jews of Europe, by hiding or escaping from German-controlled Europe. Most non-Jews neither aided nor hindered the "Final Solution." Relatively few people helped Jews escape. Those who did aid Jews were motivated by opposition to Nazi racism, by compassion, or by religious or moral principle. In a few rare instances, entire communities as well as individuals helped save Jews. They did so at tremendous risk. In many…
Explore a timeline of key events during 1939 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
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.
Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf (My Struggle) is the best known and most popular Nazi text ever published with over 12 million copies sold from 1925 to 1945.
The Reichstag Fire Decree of February 1933 restricted individual freedoms, and allowed Hitler's government to overrule state and local laws and overthrow state and local governments.
In the summer of 1942, the Germans made preparations to deport the Jews of Belgium. They converted military barracks in the city of Mechelen into a transit camp. Between August 4, 1942, and July 31, 1944, a total of 28 trains carrying 25,257 Jews left Mechelen for German-occupied Poland; most of them went to Auschwitz-Birkenau. This figure represented more than half of the Belgian Jews murdered during the Holocaust.
Czech resistance fighters attacked Reinhard Heydrich, acting governor of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, in an ambush near Prague in May 1942. Heydrich died of his wounds on June 4, 1942. In retaliation for the attack, the Germans destroyed the village of Lidice on June 10, 1942. The Germans shot all the men in the village and deported most of the women and children to camps in Germany. This footage shows destroyed homes and German officials inspecting the remains of the village.
Dr. J. Rebhan, chair of the Jewish council in Przemysl, Poland, signed this document certifying that Max Diamant had stable employment in the Jewish clinic. The certificate identifies Diamant as a dentist and is dated June 4, 1942. During World War II, the Germans established Jewish councils to ensure that Nazi orders and regulations were implemented. Jewish council members also sought to provide basic community services for ghettoized Jewish populations.
Otto Wolf (1927-1945) was a Czech Jewish teenager who chronicled his family's experience living in hiding in rural Moravia during World War II. His diary was published posthumously. This image shows book 4 of Otto Wolf's diary. This is the first entry by Felicitas Garda (Otto Wolf's sister) dated April 17, 1945. Felicitas continued Otto's diary after his disappearance.
Approximately 42,000 Jews were killed during Operation "Erntefest," which began at dawn on November
The Mechelen camp, halfway between Antwerp and Brussels, was a transit camp for the deportation of Jews from Belgium during the Holocaust.
Rome after the German Occupation At the time of the German occupation of northern and central Italy in early September 1943, there were approximately 12,000 Jews living in Rome. The German occupiers sought to include Italian Jews in the "Final Solution". The commander of the German Security Police (Sipo) and the Security Service (SD) in Rome levied a ransom on local Jews, demanding about 110 pounds of gold in exchange for the safety of the Jewish community of Rome. Although the Jewish community delivered…
“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.
American military tribunals presided over 12 Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings against leading German industrialists, military figures, SS perpetrators, and others.
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…
Hajj Amin al-Husayni, former Mufti of Jerusalem, participated in a pro-Axis coup in Iraq in 1941. Learn about his pro-Axis actions during WWII.
February 4-11, 1945. On this date, Allied power leaders met at Yalta in the Soviet Union to discuss the postwar order.
Learn about the establishment of Hainichen, an early Nazi concentration camp, and its prisoner population during its period of existence in 1933.
Börgermoor was part of the Nazi regime’s early system of concentration camps. It was located in the Emsland region of Prussia.
The Nazi Euthanasia Program, codenamed Aktion "T4," was the systematic murder of institutionalized people with disabilities. Read about Nazi “euthanasia.”
Nazi Germany established the killing centers of Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka as part of “Operation Reinhard,” the plan to murder all Jews in the General Government.
Page from volume 4 of a set of scrapbooks compiled by Bjorn Sibbern, a Danish policeman and resistance member, documenting the German occupation of Denmark. Bjorn's wife Tove was also active in the Danish resistance. After World War II, Bjorn and Tove moved to Canada and later settled in California, where Bjorn compiled five scrapbooks dedicated to the Sibbern's daughter, Lisa. The books are fully annotated in English and contain photographs, documents and three-dimensional artifacts documenting all…
[This video is silent] Olympic athlete Jesse Owens won four medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany: 100-meter dash, gold200-meter dash, goldBroad (long) jump, gold4x100-meter relay, gold This footage shows Owens winning the 100-meter dash in a time of 10.3 seconds. Owens was one of the 18 African Americans (16 men and 2 women) who competed in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. These athletes brought home 14 medals: 8 gold; 4 silver; and 2 bronze.
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
The 4th Armored Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating the Ohrdruf subcamp of Buchenwald in 1945.
The 89th Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating the Ohrdruf subcamp of Buchenwald in 1945.
The 26th Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating the Gusen subcamp of Mauthausen in 1945.
Unlike camps in the concentration camp system, the Theresienstadt "camp-ghetto" was subordinate to the SS officials who ran the Prague branch of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration. This reflected Theresienstadt's special status as a transit station. SS First Lieutenant Siegfried Seidl, who was responsible for establishing and commanding the camp-ghetto, reported directly to the chief of that office, SS Captain Hans Günther. Günther in turn reported to Adolf Eichmann at the Reich Security Main…
As of March 15, 1939, the Jewish religious community in Prague determined that approximately 125,000 Jews, as “defined” under the Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935, lived on the territory of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. In Contrast, on October 1, 1941, the Jewish religious community could identify 88,105, a decrease of 37,000 persons, due primarily to legal (26,000) and illegal (5,000-6,000) emigration. More than half lived in Prague. Initially, the leadership of the Jewish religious community…
The Nazis and their coalition partners used the burning of the Reichstag on February 27, 1933, as the pretext for emergency legislation that ultimately paved the way for Nazi dictatorship.
The Council for Aid to Jews (codenamed “Żegota”) was an underground rescue organization of Poles and Jews. It operated in German-occupied Poland from December 4, 1942, to January 1945 and was supported by the Polish government-in-exile. Żegota’s main objective was to coordinate efforts to save Jews from Nazi persecution and murder. Its members worked clandestinely, often risking their own lives and the lives of their families and friends. Żegota supplied tens of thousands of Polish Jews with fake…
February 24, 1920. On this date, Adolf Hitler presented a 25-point Program (the Nazi Party Platform) to a Nazi Party meeting.
African American athletes, facing racism at home, also debated whether to join or boycott the 1936 Olympic games in Germany, then under a racist dictatorship. Learn more.
Explore key dates in the history of the Theresienstadt camp/ghetto, which served multiple purposes during its existence from 1941-45.
The Nuremberg Race Laws were two in a series of key decrees, legislative acts, and case law in...
In February/March 1943, non-Jewish Germans protest the incarceration of their Jewish family members at Rosenstrasse 2-4 in Berlin. Learn about the impact of the protest.
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.
September 5, 1942. On this date, Germans issued this poster announcing the death penalty for anyone found aiding Jews who fled the Warsaw ghetto.
Announcement dropped by American planes on Shanghai near the end of the war. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]
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