Susanne was the younger of two daughters born to Jewish parents in the German capital of Berlin. Her father was a successful lawyer. Known affectionately as Sanne, Susanne liked to play with her sister on the veranda of her home and enjoyed visiting the Berlin Zoo and park with her family. 1933-39: After the Nazis came to power in January 1933, it became illegal for Jewish lawyers to have non-Jewish clients. When Susanne was 4, her father's law practice closed down and the Ledermanns moved to the…
The oldest of eight children, Josel was born in Miechow, a small town in south central Poland. His father was a machinist and locksmith. As a boy, Josel spent long days learning Hebrew in the Jewish school and taking general subjects at the public school. He was 13 years old when he left school to work in his father's shop. 1933-39: Josel met his wife, Esther, through a matchmaker, and they settled in nearby Dzialoszyce, a town with a Jewish community of about 7,000, and a beautiful synagogue that had…
Hetty was the only child of a middle-class secular Jewish family. Hetty's parents were Sephardic, the descendants of Jews who had been expelled from Spain in 1492. The family lived in an apartment above her father's clothing business. Hetty's grandparents and other relatives lived nearby. 1933-39: Hetty enjoyed growing up in the Netherlands. Her Jewish neighborhood was in the older part of Amsterdam, in the city center. When she was 6 years old, she began attending a public school. Everywhere in Amsterdam…
Wallace and his family were Polish Catholics. His father was a chemical engineer and his mother a teacher. The Germans occupied Kielce in 1939. Wallace witnessed pogroms against Jews in 1942. Wallace was active in the anti-Nazi resistance, acting as a courier between partisan groups. In 1946, in liberated Poland, Wallace witnessed the Kielce pogrom. He was reunited with his father in the United States in 1949; other family members followed. The Communist regime in Poland, however, denied his only sister…
Leopold was a teacher in Krakow, Poland, when World War II began in 1939. While serving in the Polish army, he was captured by Germans. Leopold escaped from a prisoner-of-war transport. Soon after, he met the German industrialist Oskar Schindler. The two became friends. Leopold was forced to live in the Krakow ghetto. He later worked in Schindler's factory in Bruennlitz. He and the other Jews who worked there were treated relatively well and protected from the Nazis. After the war, Leopold moved to the…
The Nazis classified Jews as the priority “enemy.” However, they also targeted other groups they considered threats to the health, unity, and security of the German people. Learn more.
Learn about Fürstengrube subcamp of Auschwitz, including its establishment, administration, prisoner population, and forced labor and conditions in the camp.
Key dates associated with Hajj Amin al-Husayni, former Mufti of Jerusalem who participated in a pro-Axis coup in Iraq in 1941. Explore further
Learn about the sections of the Bergen-Belsen camp complex during WWII and the Holocaust until the camp's liberation by British forces in April 1945.
Learn more about the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor, collectively known as the Nuremberg Race Laws.
The Germans established the Blechhammer camp as a subcamp of Auschwitz in April 1941. Learn about the camp's history and conditions there.
The Diary of Anne Frank is often the first exposure readers have to the history of the Holocaust. Learn about Anne's diary, including excerpts and images.
Learn about conditions and the treatment of prisoners in Ravensbrück, the largest concentration camp for women in the German Reich.
Jewish groups worldwide helped rescue thousands during the Holocaust. Read more about efforts to save Jews from Nazi persecution and death.
Book burning is the ritual destruction by fire of books or other written materials. The Nazi burning of books in May 1933 is perhaps the most famous in history. Learn more.
The discovery of the Bergen-Belsen camp and t...
Learn more about how the Nazis identified and tattooed prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp complex.
Survivor Elie Wiesel devoted his life to educating the world about the Holocaust. Learn about key events in the world and his life from 1928–1951.
The SA established a protective custody camp at Hainewalde in March 1933. Well-known journalist and writer Axel Eggebrecht was among its early prisoners.
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.
The Berlin-Marzahn camp was established a few miles from Berlin's city center, for the detention of Roma, on the eve of the 1936 summer Olympics.
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.
The Nazi regime established the Buchenwald camp in 1937. Learn about the camp’s prisoners, conditions there, forced labor, subcamps, medical experiments, and liberation.
Esterwegen was part of the Nazi regime’s early system of concentration camps, created to hold people arrested as opponents of the new regime.
On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The surprise attack marked a turning point in the history of World War II and the Holocaust.
"We Will Never Die" was a 1943 musical stage performance that raised awareness among Americans about the murder of European Jews. Learn more.
At Babyn Yar in late September 1941, SS and German police units and their auxiliaries perpetrated one of the largest massacres of World War II.
Learn more about the history of Yugoslavia before the Axis invasion of 1941.
In 1945, the power and influence of the SS in Nazi Germany started to decline. Learn more about the subsequent disintegration and postwar trials.
US immigration and refugee laws and policies evolved in response to World War I, the 1918 influenza pandemic, and World War II and the Holocaust. Learn more.
Key dates illustrating the relationship between Germany’s professional military elite and the Nazi state, and the German military’s role in the Holocaust.
Recalls experiences while hiding in France
Learn about the establishment and history of the Dachau subcamp München-Schwabing, and the role of Eleonore Baur (also known as Schwester Pia or Sister Pia).
Learn more about Bremen-Farge, a subcamp of Neuengamme where the majority of prisoners were used to construct an underground U-boat shipyard for the German navy.
Explore a timeline of key events during 1942 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
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.
Learn how the "First Letter to all Judges" increased the pressure on German judges to give verdicts and sentences according to Nazi principles and ideology.
The Krakow ghetto in German-occupied Poland held over 15,000 Jews. Learn more about Krakow and the ghetto’s history during the Holocaust and WWII.
In May 1939, the German transatlantic liner St. Louis sailed from Germany to Cuba. Most of the passengers were Jews fleeing Nazi Germany. Learn more about the voyage.
György Beifeld, a Jewish conscript in the Hungarian army, created a visual memoir of his experiences on the eastern front in 1942–1943 as a member of a forced-labor battalion .
The Lachwa ghetto was established in Łachwa, Poland in April, 1942. Learn more about the ghetto and uprising.
The Mir ghetto was established in Mir, Poland in 1941. Learn more about life and resistance in the ghetto.
Explore the story of over 2,000 Polish Jewish refugees who fled east to escape war-torn Europe. They sought safety in such distant places as China and Japan.
Learn about US journalists, including Edward Murrow, William Shirer, and Dorothy Thompson, and their impact during the Nazi rise to power and WWII .
In April 1944, after the German occupation of Hungary, Agi, her mother, six-year-old brother, and aunt were forced into the Munkacs ghetto. Before deportation to Auschwitz, Agi was forced to work in the ghetto's brick factory. At Auschwitz, Agi, then 14 years old, was chosen as part of a Sonderkommando. This forced-labor detachment had to sort the clothing and possessions of inmates and victims at Auschwitz. In January 1945, Agi and other prisoners were forced on a death march from Auschwitz. She was…
The Oranienburg concentration camp was established as one of the first concentration camps in Nazi Germany on March 21, 1933. Learn more
The Lackenbach internment and transit camp for Roma, located in what had been eastern Austria, was a departure point for deportations to Lodz and Auschwitz.
Syrets was a labor education camp established by the Germans outside of Kyiv. Learn more about Syrets prisoners and their daily life in the camp.
During World War II, Slovene general Leon Rupnik collaborated with the forces of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Rupnik was appointed president of the Provincial Government of the German-occupied Province of Ljubljana in 1943. He was convicted of treason and executed in 1946. In 2020, his sentence was annulled on a technicality.
Madeline was born into a middle class family in an area of Czechoslovakia that was annexed by Hungary in 1938-1939. Her father worked out of their home and her mother was a homemaker. Madeline attended high school. In April 1944 her family was forced into a Hungarian ghetto. The family lived in the ghetto for two weeks before being transported to Auschwitz. Madeline and her mother were separated from her father and older brother. Neither her father nor brother survived the war. A week after arriving in…
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