Decrees that ordered Jews to wear special badges for purposes of identification existed before the Nazi era. Learn about this history.
Before the Nazi rise to power, Jews represented less than 1% of Germany's population. Learn more about Jewish communities in Germany before the Holocaust.
Adolf Hitler came to power with the goal of establishing a new racial order in Europe dominated by the German “master race.” This goal drove Nazi foreign policy. Learn more
In September 1939, the Germans launched a campaign of terror intended to destroy the Polish nation and culture. Learn more about the German occupation of Poland.
After WWII, many Holocaust survivors, unable to return to their homes, lived in displaced persons camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy. Read about Foehrenwald DP camp.
After WWII, many Holocaust survivors, unable to return to their homes, lived in displaced persons camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy. Read about Cinecittà DP camp.
Explore Frank Liebermann’s biography and learn about his experiences of antisemitism in his home town in Germany before World War II.
Frances Perkins was FDR's secretary of labor. Learn about her role in the rescue of European Jews whose lives were threatened by the Nazi regime.
During World War II, members of Jewish youth movements in Poland embraced leadership roles in ghetto resistance and partisan fighting organizations. Learn more.
Learn more about the efforts of L.P.J. de Decker, Jan Zwartendijk, and Chiune Sugihara to help Polish Jewish refugees escape Lithuania during the war.
In 1939, the French government established the Gurs camp. Learn more about the history of the camp before and after the German invasion of France.
As part of the Holocaust, the Germans murdered about 90% of Jews in Lithuania. Read more about the tragic experience of Lithuanian Jews during World War II.
The 11th Armored Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating Mauthausen and Gusen in 1945.
Nazi Germany invaded Paris in May, 1940. Learn more about Paris during World War II and the fate of the Jewish population.
In 1944, Waffen-SS troops massacred residents of Oradour-sur-Glane, a small village in France. Learn about the German occupation and destruction of the village.
In 1940, the Nazis established Lublin (Majdanek) concentration camp in Lublin, Poland. Learn more about camp conditions.
When WWII began, most Americans wanted the US to stay isolated from the war. From December 1941, the majority rallied in support of intervention to defeat the Axis powers.
For centuries, Roma (labeled “Gypsies”) were scorned across Europe. Read more about Romani peoples, including the Sinti, and their lives in Europe.
Learn more about Jewish prisoners and the various uprisings and armed resistance movements in killing centers and other Nazi camps.
Yitzhak Gitterman was a director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Poland and a member of the underground Jewish Fighting Organization.
Children's diaries bear witness to some of the most heartbreaking events of the Holocaust. Learn about the diary and experiences of Israel Unikowski.
The Chelmno killing center was the first stationary facility where poison gas was used for mass murder of Jews. Killing operations began there in December 1941.
Japan’s aerial attack on Pearl Harbor changed many Americans' attitudes toward involvement in WWII. Learn more about the events, facts, and background info.
Potential immigrants to the US from Nazi-occupied territory faced many obstacles, including restrictive quotas and complicated requirements for obtaining visas.
The 45th Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating the Dachau concentration camp in 1945.
Survivor Elie Wiesel devoted his life to educating the world about the Holocaust. Explore key events in the world and his life from 1952 until his death in 2016.
Börgermoor was part of the Nazi regime’s early system of concentration camps. It was located in the Emsland region of Prussia.
On November 9–10, 1938, the Nazi regime coordinated a wave of antisemitic violence. This became known as Kristallnacht or the "Night of Broken Glass." Learn more
The National Socialist German Worker’s Party, also known as the Nazi Party, was the far-right racist and antisemitic political party led by Adolf Hitler.
Learn about the voyages of the ships Orduña, Flandre, and Orinoco in May 1939, carrying Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany and seeking safety in Cuba.
Throughout the 1930s and 40s, Nazi Germany invaded much of Eastern and Western Europe. Learn more about German rule in occupied territories.
Short biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, who would become the longest serving First Lady in US history.
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.
The United States declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941, following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Learn more about World War II in the Pacific.
Towards the end of 1940, Hungary joined the Axis powers and invaded Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. Learn more about Hungary before the German occupation.
After WWII, many Holocaust survivors, unable to return to their homes, lived in displaced persons camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy. Read about Bergen-Belsen DP camp.
Emanuel Ringelblum was a Warsaw-based historian and social welfare worker before WWII. Learn about the secret archive he would establish in the Warsaw ghetto.
After WWII, many Holocaust survivors, unable to return to their homes, lived in displaced persons camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy. Read about Landsberg DP camp.
Nazi Germany and its allies established over 44,000 concentration camps and incarceration sites during the Holocaust. Read about the Nazi camp system.
Learn about some of the origins of Holocaust denial, including the euphemistic language the Nazis used to describe their policies and actions.
The Grafeneck T4 Center was the first centralized killing center to be established by German authorities within the context of the Nazi “euthanasia,” or T4, program.
Dachau was the first and longest operating Nazi concentration camp. Learn about the camp's early years, prisoners, medical experiments, and liberation.
The Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls were developed as Nazi Party youth groups to indoctrinate children and youth in Nazi ideology and policy.
Read the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation's short biography of Sam Gruber.
Read the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation's short biography of Dora Oltulski.
Originally a subcamp of Buchenwald, Dora-Mittelbau became the center of an extensive network of forced-labor camps for the production of V-2 missiles and other weapons.
The 2nd Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating Leipzig-Schönefeld and Spergau/Zöschen in 1945.
The 8th Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating the Wöbbelin subcamp of Neuengamme in 1945.
The US Army Signal Corps had a crucial role in documenting—in both film and photographs—the atrocities perpetrated during the Holocaust.
Beginning in 1979, the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) opened hundreds of investigations and initiated proceedings of Nazi war criminals. 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.