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June 9, 1942. On this date, German forces destroyed the village of Lidice as retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague.
In this portrait, Helena Husserlova, wearing a Jewish badge, poses with her daughter Zdenka who is holding a teddy bear. The photograph was taken shortly before they were deported to Theresienstadt. Zdenka was born in Prague on February 6, 1939. On October 10, 1941, when Zdenka was just two and a half years old, her father was deported to the Lodz ghetto. He died there almost a year later, on September 23, 1942. Following his deportation, Helena and Zdenka returned to Helena's hometown to live with…
In Nazi Germany, the Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment spread ideology. It controlled the media and theater. Joseph Goebbels was its director. Learn more.
Read the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation's short biography of Leon Bakst.
Read the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation's short biography of Allen Small.
Einsatzgruppen, often called “mobile killing units,” are best known for their role in the murder of Jews in mass shooting operations during the Holocaust.
German physicians conducted inhumane experiments on prisoners in the camps during the Holocaust. Learn more about Nazi medical experiments during WW2.
When World War II ended in 1945, six million European Jews were dead, killed in the Holocaust. About 1.5 million of the victims were children.
The 2nd Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating Leipzig-Schönefeld and Spergau/Zöschen in 1945.
Economic, governmental, and political life in the Jewish community of Kalisz between World War and World War II.
Despite great obstacles, Jews throughout occupied Europe attempted armed resistance against th...
The Hadamar Trial of October 1945 was the first mass atrocity trial held in the US occupation zone of Germany following World War II.
Young people's diaries bear witness to some of the most heartbreaking experiences of the Holocaust. Learn about the diary and experiences of Jakub Lapides.
The German-Soviet Pact paved the way for the joint invasion and occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in September 1939.
Hermann Göring was head of the German air force. He was one of 22 major war criminals tried by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. Here, Göring testifies about his order of July 31, 1941, authorizing Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Reich Security Main Office, to plan a so-called "solution to the Jewish question in Europe." The Tribunal found Göring guilty on all counts and sentenced him to death. Göring committed suicide shortly before his execution was to take place.
Mendel was raised in a large, Yiddish-speaking, religious Jewish family in Sokolow Podlaski, a manufacturing town in central Poland with a large Jewish population of about 5,000. Upon completing school, Mendel worked as a shoemaker. He was also active in a local Zionist organization. 1933-39: Mendel was married and had a family when the Germans invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Aircraft bombed the town's market and other civilian targets before victorious German troops marched into Sokolow Podlaski on…
Channah was one of six children born to a Jewish family. In 1914, a year after her father died, the family fled during World War I to Russia. After the war they returned to Lithuania and settled in the village of Pampenai in a house owned by Channah's grandparents. When Channah's three oldest siblings moved to South Africa in the 1920s, Channah helped support the family by sewing. 1933-39: Channah was working as a seamstress in Pampenai when, in the mid 1930s, she met and married Channoch Zaidel. The…
Marriage certificate obtained by Dr. Mohamed Helmy stating that Anna Gutman (Boros) married an Egyptian man in a ceremony held in Helmy’s home. Dr. Helmy also received certification from the Central Islamic Institute in Berlin attesting to Anna’s conversion to Islam, which the marriage certificate reflects. Translation: Marriage certificate On Wednesday June 16, 1943, we have certified the marriage contract between Abdelaziz Helmy Hammad, 36 years old, who was born on May 6th, 1906, in Faqous,…
Elka was raised in a large, Yiddish-speaking Jewish family in Sokolow Podlaski, a manufacturing town in central Poland with a large Jewish population of some 5,000. Elka was 14 when she graduated from middle school. After completing her schooling, she became a tailor. Working at home, she made clothes for different clothiers in town. 1933-39: Elka was unmarried and living with her parents when war between Germany and Poland broke out on September 1, 1939. German aircraft bombed Sokolow Podlaski's market…
Sally was an only son born to Jewish parents in the Baltic port of Liepaja. When Sally was a child, his family moved to Aizpute, a small town 25 miles northeast of Liepaja. There his parents, along with a partner, opened a dry-goods store. Sally attended a German-language private Jewish school in Aizpute. 1933-39: The Izikowitz's store was well-known in the city. People purchased fabric there to be made into clothes or furniture coverings. In 1939 Sally graduated secondary school. Germany invaded Poland…
Henry Morgenthau Jr had a key role in creating and operating the War Refugee Board, a government agency tasked with rescuing and providing relief for Jews during the Holocaust.
These tiny black, white, gold, and clear glass beads were used by Rachel “Chelly” de Groot from November 1942 to April 1944 and recovered by her brother Louis after the war. Chelly used the beads to make handicrafts. On November 16, 1942, Chelly, then 15, Louis, 13, and their parents Meijer and Sophia left Arnhem and went into hiding after the Dutch police warned them of a raid. Meijer and Sophia hid in Amsterdam while Chelly and Louis moved around to different locations. In summer or fall 1943,…
Ben Ferencz investigated and prosecuted Nazi crimes and devoted his career to creating an international system of justice. Learn about his activities and impact.
April 13, 1945. On this date, Otto Wolf, a teen diarist who chronicled his family's experience in hiding, wrote his last diary entry before his death.
April 17, 1945. On this date, Felicitas Wolf wrote her first entry in her brother Otto's diary after his disappearance.
April 20-21, 1945. On this date, SS guards evacuated prisoners from the Sachsenausen concentration camp in Germany.
Key dates in the history of the SS (Schutzstaffel; Protection Squadrons), charged with the leadership of the “Final Solution,” the murder of European Jews.
Adolf Eichmann was a key figure in implementing the “Final Solution,” the Nazi plan to kill Europe's Jews. Learn more through key dates and events.
Learn about photographs contained in Karl Höcker’s album depicting official visits, ceremonies, and the social activities of the Auschwitz camp staff.
Trials of top surviving German leaders for Nazi Germany’s crimes began in Nuremberg after World War II. Read about the Nuremberg trials.
The Warsaw ghetto uprising was the largest uprising by Jews during World War II. 100s of ghetto fighters fought heavily armed and well-trained Germans for nearly a month.
Earl G. Harrison, Commissioner for Immigration and Naturalization under FDR, is known for a report harshly criticizing the US and British treatment of Jewish DPs.
The liberation of concentration camps toward the end of the Holocaust revealed unspeakable conditions. Learn about liberators and what they confronted.
During the Holocaust, the creation of ghettos was a key step in the Nazi process of ultimately destroying Europe's Jews. Learn about the Vilna ghetto.
Learn about the Stutthof camp from its establishment until liberation in May 1945, including conditions, forced labor, subcamps, and death marches.
German policies varied from country to country, including direct, brutal occupation and reliance upon collaborating regimes. In Greece, over 80% of its prewar Jewish population was murdered.
During the first three years of World War II, from September 1939 through November 1942, a series of military victories permitted German domination of the European continent. In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Within weeks the Poles surrendered. The Germans annexed the former free city of Danzig and all of western Poland, including the provinces of West Prussia, Poznan, Upper Silesia, and Lodz (renamed Litzmannstadt). Central and southern Poland were organized into the Generalgouvernement…
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum opened in April 1993. Explore the history of the nation's memorial to the millions murdered during the Holocaust.
Learn about the background and traditional observances of Purim, a Jewish holiday marking the deliverance of the Jews from a royal death decree.
Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel was commander of all German armed forces during World War II. Learn about his military career and postwar trial.
A Project of the Miles Lerman Center Summary extract from the testimony of Eliezer Breslin given to detectives from New Scotland Yard in Israel on May 22, 1995, during the investigation into Semion Serafinowicz, the former chief of the Belorussian police in Mir. The first ghetto was established three weeks after the German invasion and consisted only of a few streets, Zavalne Street and Visoka Street. It was not exactly a ghetto; it wasn't enclosed by a barbed wire fence. In this area the houses were…
Martin Weiss and his family were deported to Auschwitz in 1944. Explore Marty’s biography and his description of arrival in Auschwitz.
Almost one third of the six million Holocaust victims were murdered in mass shootings.
David was born to a middle class Jewish family and attended a Jewish school. In August 1941, after the Germans occupied Kovno, he was forced into the Kovno ghetto, where he shared two rooms with his immediate and extended family. Many members of his extended family were killed during the Great Aktion in Kovno in October 1941. David worked in a forced-labor brigade in the ghetto. In March 1944, he witnessed the Kinder Aktion and was able to save his nephew. During the destruction of the Kovno ghetto, David…
Elie Wiesel was a human rights activist, author, and teacher who reflected on his experience during the Holocaust in more than 40 books. Learn more.
The Lackenbach internment and transit camp for Roma, located in what had been eastern Austria, was a departure point for deportations to Lodz and Auschwitz.
Learn about the establishment and history of the Dachau subcamp München-Schwabing, and the role of Eleonore Baur (also known as Schwester Pia or Sister Pia).
Learn more about Bremen-Farge, a subcamp of Neuengamme where the majority of prisoners were used to construct an underground U-boat shipyard for the German navy.
The Wagner-Rogers Bill proposed admitting 20,000 refugee children to the US from the Greater German Reich in 1939–40, but did not become law. Learn more
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