A newspaper advertisement for the Damenklub Violetta, a Berlin club frequented by lesbians, 1928. Before the Nazis came to power in 1933, lesbian communities and networks flourished in Germany.
Prewar photo of Ala Gertner. Bedzin, Poland, 1930s. After being deported to Auschwitz, Ala Gertner took fate into her own hands. Upon arrival, she was assigned to forced labor at a nearby armaments factory. After learning that they were going to be killed, Gertner, along with fellow female prisoners, began smuggling gunpowder and explosives from the factory with plans to destroy one of the crematoriums. During the uprising in October 1944, the prisoners killed three guards. They also set fire to…
Key dates in the life of Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Reich Security Main Office, the SS and police agency most directly concerned with implementing Final Solution.
Explore a timeline of key events during 1940 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
The Enabling Act of March 1933 allowed the Reich government to issue laws without the consent of Germany’s parliament. It laid the foundation for the Nazification of German society.
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.
The European rail network played a crucial role in the implementation of the Final Solution. Millions were deported by rail to killing centers and other sites.
Learn about the German annexation of Austria, the establishment of Nazi camps, Kristallnacht, and deportations from Austria during the Holocaust.
The 71st Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating the Gunskirchen subcamp of Mauthausen in 1945.
The 80th Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating Buchenwald and the Ebensee subcamp of Mauthausen in 1945.
The Ministries Case was Case #11 of 12 Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings against leading German industrialists, military figures, SS perpetrators, and others.
Difficult debates took place within ghettos about whether and how to resist under the most adverse conditions. Read a rare account from the Lokacze ghetto.
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.
Under the most adverse conditions, Jewish prisoners initiated resistance and uprisings in some Nazi camps, including the Sobibor killing center.
The Kielce pogrom was a violent massacre in the town of Kielce, Poland in 1946. Learn more about the events that led up to the attack and the aftermath.
World War II was the largest and most destructive conflict in history. Learn about key WWII dates in this timeline of events, including when WW2 started and ended.
The Jewish children of Lodz suffered harsh conditions after the German invasion of Poland. Read excerpts from diaries where they recorded their experiences.
Iranian diplomat Abdol Hossein Sardari gave critical assistance to Iranian Jews in occupied France (1940-1944) to protect them from Nazi persecution.
Jews were the primary targets for mass murder by the Nazis and their collaborators. Nazi policies also led to the brutalization and persecution of millions of others.
The Lachwa ghetto was established in Łachwa, Poland in April, 1942. Learn more about the ghetto and uprising.
With help from allies and collaborators, German authorities deported Jews from across Europe to killing centers. The vast majority were gassed almost immediately after their arrival in the killing centers.
Authorities in Berlin, Germany, sent this notice to Barbara Wohlfahrt, informing her of her husband Gregor's execution on the morning of December 7, 1939. Although he was physically unfit to serve in the armed forces, the Nazis tried Wohlfahrt for his religious opposition to military service. As a Jehovah's Witness, Wohlfahrt believed that military service violated the biblical commandment not to kill. On November 8, 1939, a military court condemned Wohlfahrt to beheading, a sentence carried out one month…
During the interwar period Dr. Susanne Engelmann served as the principal of a large public high school for girls in Berlin. This letter notified her of her dismissal, as a "non-Aryan," from her teaching position. The dismissal was in compliance with the Civil Service Law of April 7, 1933. On April 7, the German government issued the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service (Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums), which excluded Jews and political opponents from all civil…
Gucia was born to middle-class Jewish parents in Radom, an industrial city known for its armaments factory, in which Jews were not allowed to work, and for a leather industry, in which many Jews were employed. Radom had a large and active Jewish community, and at home Gucia's family spoke both Polish and Yiddish. Gucia completed her schooling in Radom. 1933-39: As a young woman, Gucia was introduced to Benjamin Frydmacher, a young Jewish tanner from Lublin who occasionally came to Radom to visit his…
Josef was born to Yiddish-speaking, religious Jewish parents in the town of Viseu de Sus in Transylvania, a region of Romania that belonged to Hungary until 1918. In 1890 he married Emma Geisler from the nearby town of Bistrita. The couple had four children and after 1910 the family lived at #4 Hid Street in Viseu de Sus. Josef was a merchant who owned a stall in Viseu de Sus's public market. 1933-39: By 1939 two of Josef's grown sons had moved to the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Josef and his wife…
Adolphe was born to Catholic parents in Alsace when it was under German rule. He was orphaned at age 12, and was raised by his uncle who sent him to an art school in Mulhouse, where he specialized in design. He married in the village of Husseren-Wesserling in the southern part of Alsace, and in 1930 the couple had a baby daughter. In 1933 the Arnolds moved to the nearby city of Mulhouse. 1933-39: Adolphe worked in Mulhouse as an art consultant for one of France's biggest printing factories. When he wasn't…
Rozia was the second-oldest of nine children born to religious Jewish parents in Starachowice, a town in east-central Poland. Their small one-story house served as both the family's residence and their tailor shop. The tailoring was often done in exchange for goods such as firewood or a sack of potatoes. Rozia worked in the shop sewing women's clothing. 1933-39: Rozia married a Jewish tailor from Radom, a large town some 60 miles south of Warsaw. The couple settled in Starachowice, and they ran a tailor…
Thomas' father, Heinz, was a German-Jewish refugee who had married Henriette De Leeuw, a Dutch-Jewish woman. Frightened by the Nazi dictatorship and the murder of Heinz's uncle in a concentration camp, they immigrated to the Netherlands when Henriette was nine months pregnant with Thomas' older brother. They settled in Amsterdam. 1933-39: Thomas, also known as Tommy, was born 18 months after his older brother, Jan-Peter. In 1939 the parents and brother of Tommy's father joined them in the Netherlands as…
The youngest of eight children, Helen was born and raised in a religious Jewish family living in a town in northeastern Hungary. She was the "baby" of the family and the focus of everyone's hopes and affection. Although her Hebrew name was Hannah, her family called her by her nickname, Potyo, which meant "the dear little one." 1933-39: Helen liked school, but was afraid because some of the kids and teachers hated Jews. There was talk that there might be a war. Her mother wanted them to leave Hungary…
Vladan was the oldest of five children born to well-to-do Serbian Orthodox parents in the village of Gnjilane in the Serbian part of Yugoslavia. Vladan went to Montpelier, France, where he earned a law degree from the university. When Vladan returned to Yugoslavia, he worked as an attorney in Belgrade. He married and had one daughter. 1933-39: Vladan's wife died in 1933, and his 4-year-old daughter went to live with her maternal great-aunt. Meanwhile, Vladan had expanded his law practice and was…
Israel was born to a religious Jewish family living in the town of Slonim. He was called Yisroel by his Yiddish-speaking parents. Israel's father, Lazar Milkow, was a baker who supported his family on a meager income. 1937-39: Israel's grandparents and many of his mother's relatives lived in a nearby village called Kaslovchina. Each summer one of the Milkow boys was invited to stay in Kaslovchina with their Uncle Herschel who worked as a farmer and horse trader. In September 1939 Slonim became part of the…
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…
April 17, 1945. On this date, Felicitas Wolf wrote her first entry in her brother Otto's diary after his disappearance.
November 3, 1943. On this date, SS and police units implemented "Operation Harvest Festival" (also known as Aktion Erntefest).
German personnel on Grzybowska Street arrest and search Jewish men who supposedly hid weapons prior to the German occupation of Warsaw. Warsaw, Poland, October-December 1939. This is one of a series of photos taken by Arthur Grimm, an SS propaganda company photographer, documenting the investigative work of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) in occupied Warsaw for the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung. Although only some of the photos were published, it is likely that the incidents depicted in the BIZ were staged…
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.
Explore a timeline of the history of the Bergen-Belsen camp in the Nazi camp system. Initially a POW camp, it became a concentration camp in 1943.
The Decree against Public Enemies was a key step in the process by which the Nazi leadership moved Germany from a democracy to a dictatorship.
At great risk, George Kadish secretly documented life in the Kovno ghetto in Lithuania, creating a key photographic record of ghetto life during the Holocaust.
The Germans established the Althammer camp in September 1944. It was a subcamp of Auschwitz. Read more about the camp's history and conditions there.
Leading German physicians and administrators were put on trial for their role during the Holocaust. The resulting Nuremberg Code was a landmark document on medical ethics. Learn more
Anne Frank is among the most well-known of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust. Discover who Anne Frank was and what happened to her.
Under the Nazis, Jewish and other “non-Aryan” women were often subjected to brutal persecution. Learn more about the plight of women during the Holocaust.
Despite the Nazi Party's ideology of keeping women in the home, their roles expanded beyond wives and mothers.
Learn about the establishment and administration of displaced persons camps after WWII and the experiences of Jewish DPs.
At the Wannsee conference of January 1942, Nazi Party and German government officials gathered to coordinate implementation of the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.”
Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel was commander of all German armed forces during World War II. Learn about his military career and postwar trial.
Read a summary extract from Eliezer Breslin’s testimony on escaping from the Mir ghetto, given during the WWII war crimes investigation into Semion Serafinowicz.
The SA (Sturmabteilung) was a paramilitary organization integral to Hitler’s ascension to power. Learn more about the rise and fall of the SA.
Prosecutors before the IMT based the case against 22 leading Nazi officials primarily on thousands of documents written by the Germans themselves. Learn more.
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