By September 1939, over half of German Jews had emigrated. WWII would accelerate the persecution, deportation, and later, mass murder, of the remainder of Germany's Jews.
Nazi anti-Jewish laws began stripping Jews of rights and property from the start of Hitler’s dictatorship. Learn about antisemitic laws in prewar Germany.
The Transcarpathian region of Ukraine is an area known historically as Subcarpathian Rus. Jews first came to Subcarpathian Rus, then covering the four northeastern counties of the Hungarian kingdom, from Poland in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They were fleeing the Chmielnicki massacres. Jewish immigration into Subcarpathian Rus increased after the Partitions of Poland in the late eighteenth century. The Region The conservativism and traditionalism of the Jews of Subcarpathian Rus resulted…
The 45th Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating the Dachau concentration camp in 1945.
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.
Nazi propaganda linked Jews and Freemasons and claimed there was a “Jewish-Masonic” conspiracy. Learn more about Freemasonry under the Nazi regime.
A Project of the Miles Lerman Center This article excerpted from Nechama Tec, Resilience and Courage: Women, Men, and the Holocaust, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003, pp. 336-339. Little is known about the Jews of wartime Stanislawow, their lives, resistance, and deaths. In this brief and blurred history a chemical engineer named Anda Luft played an unusual role. If we examine this young woman's actions and those of the people around her we shall find some recurrent motifs. The liquidation of the…
Explore key dates in the history of the Theresienstadt camp/ghetto, which served multiple purposes during its existence from 1941-45.
Learn about the role of Theresienstadt in the deportation of German and Austrian Jews to killing sites and killing centers in the east.
Auschwitz was the largest camp established by the Germans. It was a complex of camps, including a concentration camp, killing center, and forced-labor camp.
Learn about the role of the legal profession as the Nazi leadership gradually moved Germany from a democracy to a dictatorship.
Bumke, Erwin: President of Germany's Supreme Court from 1929 through 1945. Bumke had a reputation as an apolitical lawyer of the old school. Nevertheless, he joined the German National People's Party (DNVP) in 1919 and the Nazi Party in May 1937 and became a compliant servant of the Nazi regime. Concentration camps: Places of incarceration under the administration of the SS, in which people were held without regard to due process and the legal norms of arrest and detention. In addition to concentration…
Explore an outline of the main definitional elements of the crime of genocide and how significant aspects of the law have developed through recent cases.
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.
Background On September 1, 1939, German forces invaded Poland and defeated the Polish Army within weeks. Most of the westernmost Polish territory was annexed directly to the Reich; the remainder of the areas conceded to Germany by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and Germany became the so-called General Government (Generalgouvernement), administered by the German occupiers. In accordance with the Pact’s secret protocols, the Soviet Union annexed most of eastern Poland after…
Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg was a German general who gained ren...
Beginning in 1933, the Nazis took control of and subsequently transformed the police forces of the Weimar Republic into instruments of state repression and, eventually, of genocide. They did so by Nazifying policing. The new government removed anti-Nazi police leaders, reorganized Germany’s police forces, and reoriented police culture towards Nazism.
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…
Kovno had a rich and varied Jewish culture. Learn about the Soviet and German occupations of Kovno, ghettoization, secret archives, and resistance in Kovno during WWII and the Holocaust.
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.
Nazi officials implemented the Jewish badge as a key element in their plan to persecute and eventually destroy the Jewish population of Europe. Learn more
The Danish resistance movement, assisted by many ordinary citizens, coordinated the flight of some 7,200 Jews to safety in nearby neutral Sweden. Learn more about rescue in Denmark.
During World War II, SS and police leaders played a key role in the mass murder of Europe’s Jews. Learn how Himmler combined the SS and police to create a radical weapon for the Nazi regime.
Joseph Goebbels, Nazi politician, propagandist, and radical antisemite, was Reich Minister for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment from 1933 until 1945.
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.
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