The younger of two children born to Jewish parents, Rachela grew up in Radom, an industrial town located some 60 miles south of Warsaw. One-quarter of the city's 100,000 prewar population was Jewish. Rachela's father was a Zionist and was active in municipal affairs. Her mother did volunteer work. l933-39: Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. On September 5, with the Germans rapidly advancing, Rachela's family sought temporary safety with relatives in Warsaw. They got separated along the way.…
The son of a rabbi, Jeno was raised in the town of Sighet in Transylvania. The region was multi-ethnic, and Jeno grew up in a family that knew Yiddish, Hungarian, Romanian, German and Hebrew. During World War I, when Sighet was near the front, Jeno's family fled to Hungary. There Jeno met Eszter Mendel, whom he married after the war. The couple settled in the town of Cristuru-Secuiesc in Romania. 1933-39: As a jeweler, Jeno is one of only two watchmakers in Cristuru-Secuiesc; the other is a German who…
Robert was raised by Hungarian-speaking parents in Kosice, a town in eastern Slovakia with a sizable Jewish community of 7,000. The Grubers were a traditional Jewish family and they observed the Jewish Sabbath, dietary laws, and holidays. Robert's father owned a small jewelry shop. 1933-39: When Robert was 5, Kosice was taken over by the Hungarians, who were led by a dictator named Horthy. He stood on the main street with his parents, watching the soldiers march into town in a victory parade. They were…
Bela's city of Bratislava, located on the banks of the Danube river, had an old and important Jewish community. Bela was the eighth child in his large Jewish family. His father was a furrier. At age 16 Bela began working as a salesman for a textile business. In 1930 he was called up for 18 months of army service. 1933-39: Bela and his wife moved to the Slovakian city of Zilina. Their son was born in November 1937. Bela worked for a German photographic company until 1938, when he lost his job because he…
April 25, 1933. On this date, the German government issued the Law against Overcrowding in Schools and Universities, limiting the amount of Jewish students.
September 5, 1942. On this date, Germans issued this poster announcing the death penalty for anyone found aiding Jews who fled the Warsaw ghetto.
Shony was born to religious Jewish parents in a small Transylvanian city. He began to learn the violin at age 5. His town was occupied by Hungary in 1940 and by Germany in 1944. In May 1944, he was deported to the Auschwitz camp in Poland. He was transferred to the Natzweiler camp system in France and then to Dachau, where he was liberated by US troops in April 1945. In 1950, he immigrated to the United States, and became a composer and a professional violinist.
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…
Explore a timeline of key events in Nazi Germany during 1933.
Read a detailed timeline of the Holocaust and World War II. Learn about key dates and events from 1933-45 as Nazi antisemitic policies became more radical.
Explore a timeline of key events during 1944 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
Hermann Göring held many positions of power and leadership within the Nazi state. Learn about key dates in the life of Hermann Göring.
Learn about the role of the legal profession as the Nazi leadership gradually moved Germany from a democracy to a dictatorship.
Learn more about the Holocaust Encyclopedia’s key terms and individuals in the Nazi judicial system.
Learn more about the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor, collectively known as the Nuremberg Race Laws.
Jewish military officer Alfred Dreyfus was wrongfully convicted of treason against France in 1894. The trial and ensuing events are known as the “Dreyfus Affair.” Learn more.
Nazi Germany and its allies established over 44,000 concentration camps and incarceration sites during the Holocaust. Read about the Nazi camp system.
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.
Parents, children, and rescuers faced daunting challenges once the decision was made for a child to go into hiding during the Holocaust.
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 Berlin-Marzahn camp was established a few miles from Berlin's city center, for the detention of Roma, on the eve of the 1936 summer Olympics.
The Nazi Party Platform was a 25-point program for the creation of a Nazi state and society. Hitler presented it at the Hofbräuhaus Beerhall in Munich in February 1920.
Gleichschaltung is the German term applied to the Nazification of all aspects of German society following the Nazi rise to power in 1933.
The Nazi regime established the Buchenwald camp in 1937. Learn about the camp’s prisoners, conditions there, forced labor, subcamps, medical experiments, and liberation.
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
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.