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Amalie Petranka (later Salsitz) at 22 years of age. She gave this photo to Norman Salsitz shortly after they met. Photograph taken in Stanislawow, Poland, on October 10, 1939.
Learn about Fürstengrube subcamp of Auschwitz, including its establishment, administration, prisoner population, and forced labor and conditions in the camp.
Read the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation's short biography of Abe Asner.
At the Berga-Elster subcamp of Buchenwald, prisoners were forced to do dangerous and brutal work in tunnels to support fuel production for the German war effort.
Learn about the establishment of and conditions in Melk, a subcamp of the Mauthausen camp system in Austria.
Mobile Killing Squads After the German army invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, a new stage in the Holocaust began. Under cover of war and confident of victory, the Germans turned from the forced emigration and imprisonment of Jews to mass murder. Special action squads, or Einsatzgruppen, made up of Nazi (SS) units and police, moved with speed on the heels of the advancing German army. Their job was to kill any Jews they could find in the occupied Soviet territory. Some residents of the occupied…
On January 20, 1942, fifteen high-ranking Nazi Party and German government leaders gathered for an important meeting. They met in a wealthy section of Berlin at a villa by a lake known as Wannsee. Reinhard Heydrich, who was SS chief Heinrich Himmler's head deputy, held the meeting for the purpose of discussing the "final solution to the Jewish question in Europe" with key non-SS government leaders, including the secretaries of the Foreign Ministry and Justice, whose cooperation was needed. The "Final…
The Jewish children of Lodz suffered harsh conditions after the German invasion of Poland. Read excerpts from diaries where they recorded their experiences.
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
Under the protection of the Bielski partisan group, founded by brothers Tuvia, Asael, and Zus, over 1,200 Jews survived after fleeing into forests in western Belarus.
Benjamin, called "Benno" by his family and friends, grew up in a religious Jewish household in Amsterdam. Benno's father, a successful diamond manufacturer, was president of the Amsterdam Jewish community. Benno had two younger sisters and enjoyed collecting stamps. 1933-39: After he obtained some work experience in a department store, Benno joined his father in the diamond business. Benno adhered strictly to Jewish law. He loved tennis and skiing, and in 1938, while skiing in Switzerland, he met a girl…
Rachel, born Rachel Karpus, was born to a Jewish family in the northeastern Polish city of Vilna. At the age of 16, Rachel married Reuven Galperin, a typesetter for a Jewish newspaper in the city, and the couple subsequently had 16 children. Only nine of the children lived to the 1930s. 1933-39: In addition to caring for her children, Rachel also operated a small grocery on Nowigorod Street. In 1938 Rachel's husband died. One year later, on September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland and 17 days after that…
Betje and her sister Saartje were born to Jewish parents in the town of Zwolle in the Netherlands' north central province of Overijssel. Betje was known affectionately as "Bep" to her friends. The Jakobs family owned a successful sporting goods store. 1933-39: As a young girl, Betje enjoyed playing the piano, knitting and tennis. At age 16, while still in secondary school, she began to date Maurits Wijnberg, a boy two years her senior, whose family owned Zwolle's Hotel Wijnberg. 1940-42: The Germans…
Learn about the establishment of the Theresienstadt camp/ghetto, which served multiple purposes from 1941-45 and had an important propaganda function for the Germans.
October 15, 1941. On this date, Walter Stahlecker submitted a report on the killing of Jewish civilians in the northwestern Soviet Union.
Under the Vichy regime, the Les Milles camp held foreign Jews before emigration or, in most cases, deportation to German concentration camps and killing centers.
The “Tehran Children” is the name used to refer to a group of Polish Jewish children, mainly orphans, who escaped the Nazi German occupation of Poland. This group of children found temporary refuge in orphanages and shelters in the Soviet Union, a...
Children's diaries bear witness to some of the most heartbreaking events of the Holocaust. Learn about the diary and experiences of Jutta Szmirgeld.
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.
Young people's diaries capture some of the most heartbreaking experiences of the Holocaust. Learn about the diary and experiences of David Sierakowiak.
Children's diaries bear witness to some of the most heartbreaking events of the Holocaust. Learn about the diary and experiences of Sara Rachela Plagier.
In March 1943, Bulgarian authorities transported the entire Jewish community of Monastir to a transit camp from which they were deported to Treblinka.
The Uckermark camp was one of the so-called youth protection camps that the Nazi regime established for young people who were alleged to have strayed from Nazi norms and ideals.
A Black Sea port in the southwestern Ukraine, Odessa had a population of nearly 600,000 in 1939. Roughly 180,000 were Jews, about 30 percent of the total. Romanian Occupation On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany and its Axis allies, including Romania, invaded the Soviet Union. In August 1941, Romanian troops set siege to Odessa. The city surrendered on October 16, 1941. At least half of the city's Jewish population had fled Odessa before Axis troops surrounded the city. Between 80,000 and 90,000 Jews remained…
Explore a timeline of key events during 1942 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
The Nazi Party targeted German youth as a special audience for its propaganda messages. Read more about the indoctrination of youth.
Forced Labor In German-occupied areas, the Nazis singled out Jewish laborers for cruel treatment. Jewish laborers were also subjected to humiliating treatment, as when SS men forced religious Jews to submit to having their beards cut. The ghettos served as bases for utilizing Jewish labor, as did forced-labor camps for Jews in occupied Poland. In the Lodz ghetto, for example, the Nazis opened 96 factories. The ability to work could save one's life, but most often only temporarily. Jews deemed unproductive…
Decrees that ordered Jews to wear special badges for purposes of identification existed before the Nazi era. Learn about this history.
Containers of Zyklon B poison gas pellets found at the Majdanek camp after liberation. Poland, after July 22, 1944.
A group of 1,500 Armenian children at a refugee camp of the Near East Relief organization in Alexandroupolis. Greece, 1921–22.
The defendants listen as the prosecution begins introducing documents at the International Military Tribunal trial of war criminals at Nuremberg. November 22, 1945.
Charred remains of corpses near crematoria in the Majdanek camp, after liberation. Poland, after July 22, 1944.
View of watchtower and fence at the Majdanek camp, after liberation. Poland, after July 22, 1944.
After the occupation of Odessa, Ukrainian Jews wait to register. Odessa, Soviet Union, October 22, 1941.
War Refugee Board During World War II, it became increasingly clear to American citizens that Nazi Germany and the other Axis powers were murdering European Jews. In January 1944, Treasury Department staff, led by Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., persuaded President Franklin D. Roosevelt to establish the War Refugee Board. Roosevelt tasked this organization, nominally headed by the Secretaries of State, War, and Treasury, with carrying out an official American policy of rescue and relief.…
Resistance inside Germany Despite the high risk of being caught by police with the help of their many informers, some individuals and groups attempted to resist Nazism even in Germany. Socialists, Communists, trade unionists, and others clandestinely wrote, printed, and distributed anti-Nazi literature. Many of these rebels were arrested and imprisoned in concentration camps. There were many plots to assassinate Hitler during the war. After the important Soviet victory at Stalingrad in early 1943, when…
Photograph taken during the wedding of Ibby Neuman and Max Mandel at the Bad Reichenhall displaced persons' camp. Germany, February 22, 1948.
Jan Karski and General Colin Powell meet during the opening ceremonies of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Washington, DC, April 22, 1993.
GIs keep low inside a landing craft during an assault across the Rhine at Oberwesel, Germany. March 22, 1945. US Army Signal Corps photograph.
Christoph Probst, a member of the White Rose student opposition group. Probst, arrested and condemned to death by the People's Court, was executed on February 22, 1943.
Aerial view of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice, where the International Military Tribunal tried 22 leading German officials for war crimes. Nuremberg, Germany, November 1945.
A column of refugees in the Soviet Union, following the German invasion of Soviet territory on June 22, 1941. Soviet Union, between 1941 and 1944.
Soviet refugees sit around a fire in a makeshift camp, following the German invasion of Soviet territory on June 22, 1941. Soviet Union, between 1941 and 1944.
German Jews trying to emigrate to Palestine form long lines in front of the Palestine and Orient Travel Agency. Berlin, Germany, January 22, 1939.
German police round up Jews in the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam, blockaded following anti-Nazi violence. Amsterdam, the Netherlands, February 22, 1941.
HIAS immigration certificate issued to Manius Notowicz in Munich, Germany. The document states that Notowicz will travel on the Marine Flasher on February 22, 1947, to New York City.
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.
One of seven children, Sarah was raised in a Yiddish-speaking, religious Jewish home in Sokolow Podlaski, a manufacturing town in central Poland with a large Jewish population of some 5,000. Sarah's parents ran a grain business. In 1930, Sarah began attending public elementary school in Sokolow Podlaski. 1933-39: After graduating from middle school in 1937 at the age of 14, Sarah helped out her now widowed mother in the family's grain business. Two years later, Germany attacked Poland. German aircraft…
Herschel was the youngest of three sons born to Yiddish-speaking Jewish parents. When Herschel was a child, his family moved to Radom, an industrial city which had a large Jewish population. By 1930, Herschel had finished his schooling and was helping in his father's shoemaking business. With the help of a friend, he later found a full-time job as a house painter. 1933-39: Herschel's career as a painter was interrupted for two years when he was drafted into the Polish cavalry at the age of 20. When…
Mina, born Mina Friedman, was the youngest of four daughters born to a Jewish family in the Lithuanian town of Jonava. At the age of 18, Mina married Osser Beker, a lumber dealer. The couple settled in Jonava where Mina worked as a seamstress. The Bekers had two sons and two daughters, but their oldest son died in a childhood accident. 1933-39: Mina's son Abe attended a Jewish religious school in Jonava. But since Mina had received an extensive Jewish education, she decided to teach her daughters at home.…
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