Many different kinds of railway cars were used for deportations. They varied in size and weight. The railway car on display in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Permanent Exhibition is of just one type used. The dimensions of the railway car in the Museum's exhibition are as follows: Total length 31 feet 6 inches (9.6 meters); interior space for deportees 26 feet 2 inches (8 meters). Total height 14 feet (4.3 meters) from the bottom of the wheel to the highest point of the car; interior space…
May 13, 1939. On this date, the German transatlantic liner St. Louis left Hamburg, Germany for Havana, Cuba.
In this portrait, Helena Husserlova, wearing a Jewish badge, poses with her daughter Zdenka who is holding a teddy bear. The photograph was taken shortly before they were deported to Theresienstadt. Zdenka was born in Prague on February 6, 1939. On October 10, 1941, when Zdenka was just two and a half years old, her father was deported to the Lodz ghetto. He died there almost a year later, on September 23, 1942. Following his deportation, Helena and Zdenka returned to Helena's hometown to live with…
Gerhard and Margot's mother came from a Protestant family. She met her future husband when she went to work in the telephone exchange at his company. She converted to Judaism in 1920. The couple married in 1920, and in 1923 had their twins Gerhard and Margot. Both Gerhard and Margot would become active in Jewish youth movements, and took on Hebrew names (Gad and Miriam). On February 17, 1943, Gad was ordered to report to the temporary internment camp established at a former Jewish community building on…
Teenager Simon Jeruchim learned of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France (D-Day) on a shortwave radio. He painted a watercolor depiction of the bombing and burning of a town situated on a river. He titled the piece "Memory of June 6, 1944." Simon Jeruchim was born in Paris in 1929 to Samuel and Sonia (née Szpiro), Jewish émigrés from Poland. In July 1942, Simon’s parents were able to find hiding places for him and his siblings, but they were arrested and deported to…
Explore a timeline of key events during the history of the Krakow ghetto in German-occupied Poland.
The voyage of the St. Louis, a German ocean liner, dramatically highlights the difficulties faced by many people trying to escape Nazi terror. Learn more.
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.
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.
During the Holocaust, some children went into hiding to escape Nazi persecution. They faced constant fear, dilemmas, and danger.
The 84th Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating two Neuengamme subcamps, Hannover-Ahlem and Salzwedel, in 1945.
The 90th Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating the Flossenbürg concentration camp in 1945.
The 83rd Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating the Langenstein subcamp of Buchenwald in 1945.
The 63rd Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating several of the Kaufering subcamps of Dachau in 1945.
The 82nd Airborne Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating the Wöbbelin subcamp of Neuengamme 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 US Army Signal Corps had a crucial role in documenting—in both film and photographs—the atrocities perpetrated during the Holocaust.
The Ministries Case was Case #11 of 12 Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings against leading German industrialists, military figures, SS perpetrators, and others.
Learn more about Frank Bleichman, a Polish partisan who resisted and fought against the Nazis during World War II.
Learn more about Holocaust deniers, public misinformation, and antisemitism.
Learn more about the Western Desert campaign in Egypt and Libya between 1940-1943.
Börgermoor was part of the Nazi regime’s early system of concentration camps. It was located in the Emsland region of Prussia.
Germany started World War II in Europe on September 1, 1939, by invading Poland. War would continue until 1945. Learn more about key events in the history of WWII.
Explore a timeline of key events in the history of World War I and its aftermath. Learn about the conflict and its divisive peace.
Protestant pastor Martin Niemöller emerged as an opponent of Adolf Hitler and was imprisoned in camps for 7 years. Learn about the complexities surrounding his beliefs.
Explore a timeline of key events during 1941 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
Explore a timeline of key events during 1943 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
In March 1943, Bulgarian authorities transported the entire Jewish community of Monastir to a transit camp from which they were deported to Treblinka.
Halle an der Saale was a satellite camp of Buchenwald concentration camp. It was established by the Nazis in Saxony, Germany in 1941.
Learn about the Freiburg subcamp of Flossenbürg, including its establishment, prisoner population, and conditions there.
At the Berga-Elster subcamp of Buchenwald, prisoners were forced to do dangerous and brutal work in tunnels to support fuel production for the German war effort.
After the Holocaust, the IMT charged the first case of “incitement to genocide.” Learn more about the crime and its application in modern genocide law.
Rudolph Daniel Sichel (b. 1915) left Germany in 1934 for England and then immigrated to the United States in 1936. His father, who had remained in Germany, was arrested during Kristallnacht, sent to Buchenwald for a couple of months, forced to sell his store at a loss, and immigrated to the United States with Rudolph's mother shortly after. Sichel joined the US Army in 1943, attending courses at the Military Intelligence Training Center at Camp Ritchie, MD. He landed on Utah Beach in July 1944 and was…
Judith was the younger of two children born to religious, middle-class Jewish parents. Judith's mother, Clara, was Sephardic, a descendant of Jews who had been expelled from Spain in 1492. Her father, Lodewijk, was a traveling representative for a firm based in Amsterdam. The family lived in an apartment in a new section of Amsterdam on the southern outskirts. 1933-39: Judith attended grade school with her cousin Hetty who was the same age. Judith loved to study. Her mother taught piano to students who…
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…
Mirjana was the second of three children born to well-to-do Serbian parents in the capital of Bosnia, in central Yugoslavia. Her father was a successful businessman and prominent Serbian nationalist. Like her parents, Mirjana was baptized in the Serbian Orthodox faith. Mirjana attended elementary school in the multi-ethnic city of Sarajevo. 1933-39: While in secondary school, Mirjana studied foreign languages and toured western Europe. In 1938 she graduated. That fall she enrolled as a student of English…
Cedomir was the oldest of five children born to Serbian Orthodox parents. The Soraks lived in the multi-ethnic city of Sarajevo, the capital of the region of Bosnia. Cedomir's father, Milan, was an engineer employed by the Yugoslav state railways, and his Hungarian-born mother, Andjelija, was a housewife. 1933-39: The Sorak family moved to Zagreb after Cedomir's father was promoted to the position of assistant director of the rail system in the region of Croatia. He graduated from secondary school in 1938…
Wladyslaw was born to Catholic parents in Russian-occupied Poland. He grew up in Plock, a town located in a rural area north of Warsaw. Wladyslaw married in 1918 and he and his wife, Marie, raised four children. 1933-39: Wladyslaw worked as a bookkeeper, and then as an accountant for a local farmers' cooperative. In 1931 he was sent to the town of Wyszogrod to close a failing branch of the farmers cooperative. A year later, he organized a new, successful cooperative in Wyszogrod with local farmers and…
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…
Margit was born to a Jewish family in the city of Szentes. In 1919 she married and had a son, Gyorgy. When Gyorgy was still a baby, Margit divorced, but she remarried several years later. Her new husband, Vilmos Fekete, worked as a manager in a large electric company in Ujpest, a suburb of Budapest. Margit settled there and her son stayed in Szentes with his grandparents. 1933-39: Margit and her son saw each other as often as possible. Margit would travel by bus to Szentes to spend the Jewish holidays…
June 6, 1944. On this date, US, British, and Canadian troops land on the beaches of Normandy, France.
Polish hostages in the Old Market Square. Bydgoszcz, Poland, September 9–10, 1939. Just after the German invasion of Poland, armed groups of ethnic Germans in the city of Bydgoszcz staged an uprising against the local Polish garrison. This was put down by the next day, one day prior to the entrance of German troops in the city on September 5. A local command structure was quickly put into place by Major General Walter Braemer, and in response to continued attacks upon German personnel in the city,…
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…
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.
At the July 1938 Evian Conference, delegates from nations and organizations discussed the issue of Jewish refugees fleeing persecution in Nazi Germany. Learn more
The Germans and their collaborators used paper records and local knowledge to identify Jews to be rounded up or killed during the Holocaust.
Jews were the main targets of Nazi genocide. Learn about other individuals from a broad range of backgrounds who were imprisoned in the Nazi camp system.
Explore a timeline of key events in the history of Nazi Germany during 1938.
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.
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.
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