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  • Breckinridge Long

    Article

    US State Department official Breckinridge Long supervised the Visa Division, which placed new restrictions on immigration to the US in the 1940s. Learn more.

    Breckinridge Long
  • Kurt Gerstein

    Article

    German SS officer Kurt Gerstein was assigned to the Hygiene Institute of the Waffen SS. He was called upon to assist in the implementation of the "Final Solution." After witnessing atrocities at the Belzec and Treblinka killing centers, he tried to inform foreign diplomats, Vatican officials, and members of the political resistance within Germany about Nazi German atrocities. While in Allied custody after the war, Gerstein wrote a report documenting the atrocities he had witnessed. 

  • Erika Eckstut

    Article

    Explore Erika Eckstut's biography and learn about the difficulties and dangers she faced in the Czernowitz ghetto.

  • Laura Litwak

    ID Card

    Laura was the second of five children born to religious Jewish parents in the industrial city of Lvov. She was often called affectionately by her nickname, Lorka. Coming from an educated family living in a multi-ethnic part of Poland, she grew up speaking Polish, Russian, German and Yiddish. As a young woman, she earned a humanities degree from St. Nicholas University in Lvov. 1933-39: In April 1935 Laura became Mrs. Daniel Schwarzwald. Her husband was a successful lumber exporter, and they lived in a…

    Laura Litwak
  • Dezso Rozsa

    ID Card

    Dezso was from a Jewish family in Hungary's capital, Budapest. His father had been a violinist. Dezso earned a university degree in English, and became a language teacher. He wrote a number of high school grammar textbooks. In 1914 he married Iren Hajdu, who was a mathematician. The couple had two children; a daughter, Eva, born in 1918, and a son, Pal, born seven years later. 1933-39: Dezso fears for the worst now that the antisemitic Prime Minister Teleki has taken power again. Nineteen years ago, in…

    Dezso Rozsa
  • Wladyslaw Tadeusz Surmacki

    ID Card

    Born to Catholic parents, Wladyslaw attended schools in Warsaw and earned a degree in survey engineering in Moscow in 1914. After fighting in World War I, he commanded a horse artillery division in Warsaw, worked for Poland's Military Geographic Institute, and taught topography courses. He started a family in 1925, and after he retired from the army in 1929 he founded a surveying company. 1933-39: When war with Germany became imminent in the summer of 1939, Wladyslaw volunteered to fight but was rejected…

    Wladyslaw Tadeusz Surmacki
  • Maria Justyna

    ID Card

    Maria was born to Roman Catholic parents in the industrial town of Piotrkow Trybunalski in central Poland. Her father and mother were school teachers. Maria attended grade school and secondary school in Piotrkow. She and her older sister, Danuta, became friends with two Jewish girls, Sabina and Helena Szwarc. Although their houses were more than a mile apart, the girls often played together. 1933-39: The Germans invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and occupied Piotrkow four days later. Most schooling for…

    Maria Justyna
  • Walter Szczeniak

    ID Card

    Walter was the oldest of eight children born to Polish-Catholic immigrant parents in a town near Boston, Massachusetts. The family moved back to Poland when Walter was a child, and lived on a family farm near Ostroleka in northern Poland that Walter's mother had inherited. Because his father's American nickname was "Stetson," Walter was mistakenly registered as "Charles Stetson" on his American birth certificate. 1933-39: After Walter completed secondary school, his father sent him to the University of…

    Tags: Auschwitz
    Walter Szczeniak
  • Nenad Dusan Popovic

    ID Card

    Nenad was the youngest of nine children born to Serbian Orthodox landowners in the eastern Croatian part of Yugoslavia. During World War I the Popovic family was evacuated to Vukovar by the Austro-Hungarian army, which was then at war with Serbia. In 1928 Nenad moved to Belgrade, where he attended Belgrade University, graduating with a law degree in 1932. 1933-39: Nenad's specialty was law related to economics and he found a job in the economic research department of the Yugoslav central bank in Belgrade.…

    Nenad Dusan Popovic
  • Peter Black describes why it is important to continue pursuing justice, even decades after the events

    Oral History

    In the 1980s and 1990s, historian Peter Black worked for the US Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations, as part of a team tracking and prosecuting suspected war criminals. Black later served as the Senior Historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

    Peter Black describes why it is important to continue pursuing justice, even decades after the events

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