"There were not six million Jews murdered; there was one murder, six million times."Holocaust survivor Abel Herzberg Judge Thomas Buergenthal was one of the youngest survivors of the Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen concentration camps. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 17. Judge Buergenthal devoted his life to international and human rights law. He served as chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience; was named the Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law…
Fritzie's father immigrated to the United States, but by the time he could bring his family over, war had begun and Fritzie's mother feared attacks on transatlantic shipping. Fritzie, her mother, and two brothers were eventually sent to Auschwitz. Her mother and brothers died. Fritzie survived by pretending to be older than her age and thus a stronger worker. On a death march from Auschwitz, Fritzie ran into a forest, where she was later liberated.
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.
As of mid-2022, there were about 27 million refugees. Learn more about these refugees, the violence they face, and the global impact of the refugee crisis.
Learn about the origins and legacy of Pastor Martin Niemöller's famous postwar words, “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out…”
The Nazi regime targeted Jehovah’s Witnesses for persecution. Learn about the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany before and after the Nazi rise to power.
Learn more about Jewish resistance efforts in the smaller ghettos of eastern Europe and the obstacles and limitations Jews faced.
Learn more about the Armenian Genocide, which was the physical annihilation of ethnic Armenian Christians living in the Ottoman Empire between 1915-1916.
Learn more about the SS and the organization’s involvement in perpetrating the Holocaust.
Stephen Wise (1874–1949) was a prominent Jewish leader in the United States between 1933-1945. Learn more about his work during the Holocaust.
Between 1942-1945, over 116,000 Polish refugees immigrated to Iran. Learn more about their motivations to relocate and life in Iran during the war.
Klaus Barbie, chief of the Gestapo in Lyon, France, was nicknamed the "Butcher of Lyon" for his brutal actions towards Jews and members of the French Resistance.
Throughout history Jews have faced prejudice and discrimination, known as antisemitism. Learn more about the long history of antisemitism.
Varian Fry was an American journalist who helped anti-Nazi refugees escape from France between 1940 and 1941. Learn about his rescue efforts.
Read about the Nazi persecution of Black people, as well as Black people's experiences in Germany before the Nazi rise to power.
Learn about the Holocaust, the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.
Edward was born to a Jewish family in The Hague. In 1929, the family moved to the United States. Because his father had difficulty finding employment, Edward and his family returned to the Netherlands in 1932. They were living in the town of Delft and running a small clothing store when war broke out. Germany invaded the Netherlands in May 1940. Anti-Jewish decrees were instituted, increasing in severity to the point that Jews could no longer own businesses and were forced to wear a yellow badge after May…
Both of Charlene's parents were local Jewish community leaders, and the family was active in community life. Charlene's father was a professor of philosophy at the State University of Lvov. World War II began with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. Charlene's town was in the part of eastern Poland occupied by the Soviet Union under the German-Soviet Pact of August 1939. Under the Soviet occupation, the family remained in its home and Charlene's father continued to teach. The Germans…
Ruth was four years old when the Germans invaded Poland and occupied Ostrowiec. Her family was forced into a ghetto. Germans took over her father's photography business, although he was allowed to continue working outside the ghetto. Before the ghetto was liquidated, Ruth's parents sent her sister into hiding, and managed to get work at a labor camp outside the ghetto. Ruth also went into hiding, either in nearby woods or within the camp itself. When the camp was liquidated, Ruth's parents were split up.…
The Germans occupied David's town, previously annexed by Hungary, in 1944. David was deported to Auschwitz and, with his father, transported to Plaszow. David was sent to the Gross-Rosen camp and to Reichenbach. He was then among three of 150 in a cattle car who survived transportation to Dachau. He was liberated after a death march from Innsbruck toward the front line of combat between US and German troops.
In June 1941, Richard was ordered to active duty in the US Army. After a period of training, he was sent to Europe. He entered Austria in April 1945. A patrol came upon the Mauthausen camp and Richard was appointed to take command of the camp. He organized those inmates who had survived in the camp until liberation in May 1945, and brought in two field hospitals. After 35 days in Mauthausen, he was transferred to a post in the Austrian Alps.
Walter was born in Kassel, north central Germany, but grew up in the Rhineland. As a youth, Walter questioned the German superiority and antisemitism he was taught. His father, an anti-Nazi, refused to allow Walter to enter one of the Adolf Hitler Schools, but did permit him to join the Hitler Youth. However, Walter's rebellious streak led him to hide a Jewish friend in his basement. He also formed a gang that played pranks on young Nazis and helped French prisoners of war. They called themselves Edelweiss…
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.
As a boy, Bill attended school in Burgsteinfurt, a German town near the Dutch border. After the Nazis came to power in Germany in January 1933, Bill experienced increasing antisemitism and was once attacked on his way to Hebrew school by a boy who threw a knife at him. In 1936, he and his family left Germany for the Netherlands, where they had relatives and thought they would be safe. However, after Germany invaded the Netherlands in May 1940, antisemitic legislation--including the order to wear the Jewish…
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