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Yakov was the youngest of four children born to a poor religious Jewish family in the village of Matsiov in Ukraine. Six years after Yakov was born, Matsiov was ceded to Poland. When Yakov was 14 his mother died and he had to quit school in order to work. Yakov was a Zionist and hoped to settle in Palestine [Yishuv]. 1933-39: In the Young Pioneers, a Zionist group, Yakov directed the dramatic productions the group put on to raise money for the Zionist cause. It was in the Young Pioneers that he met Chava,…
Manon's Christian parents lived in Paris. Roger Marliac, her father, originally from a wealthy family, supported his family by selling produce at small marketplaces. Margarit, her mother (called Maguy by her friends), had a university degree in science. The family lived in a large apartment in a fashionable neighborhood near the Eiffel Tower. 1933-39: Manon, the Marliacs' second child, was born in 1937. She was 2 years old when her father was drafted into the French army as the country mobilized for a…
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…
Learn about Fürstengrube subcamp of Auschwitz, including its establishment, administration, prisoner population, and forced labor and conditions in the camp.
Now a national memorial site, the Ardeatine Caves outside Rome were the site of a German reprisal for a bombing by Italian resistance operatives in March 1944.
The War Refugee Board was a significant US attempt to rescue and relieve Jews and other endangered people under German occupation. Learn about its activities.
Paul von Hindenburg was President of the Weimar Republic from 1925 until his death in 1934. Learn more about his life and role in the Nazi rise to power.
Rescue efforts during the Holocaust ranged from the isolated actions of individuals to organized networks both small and large.
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.
In this German propaganda newsreel, the former Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husayni, an Arab nationalist and prominent Muslim religious leader, meets Hitler for the first time. During the meeting, held in in the Reich chancellery, Hitler declined to grant al-Husayni’s request for a public statement--or a secret but formal treaty--in which Germany would: 1) pledge not to occupy Arab land, 2) recognize Arab striving for independence, and 3) support the “removal” of the proposed Jewish homeland in…
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.
Communist ideas spread rapidly in Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries, offering an alternative to both capitalism and far-right fascism and setting the stage for a political conflict with global repercussions.
The Nazis used public humiliation tactics to degrade their victims and to reinforce Nazi racial ideology for German citizens and populations under Nazi occupation.
Learn about the establishment of and conditions in Melk, a subcamp of the Mauthausen camp system in Austria.
Gleichschaltung is the German term applied to the Nazification of all aspects of German society following the Nazi rise to power in 1933.
Key dates in the use of the term genocide as part of the political, legal, and ethical vocabulary of responding to widespread threats of violence against groups.
Esterwegen was part of the Nazi regime’s early system of concentration camps, created to hold people arrested as opponents of the new regime.
Explore Jacob Wiener’s biography and learn about his experiences during Kristallnacht in Würzburg, Germany.
The Burmese military has targeted the Rohingya people because of their ethnic and religious identity. The military’s actions constitute genocide and crimes against humanity. Learn more
In 1945, the power and influence of the SS in Nazi Germany started to decline. Learn more about the subsequent disintegration and postwar trials.
Stephen Wise (1874–1949) was a prominent Jewish leader in the United States between 1933-1945. Learn more about his work during the Holocaust.
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.