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  • Pogroms

    Article

    Background Pogroms Pogrom is a Russian word meaning “to wreak havoc, to demolish violently.” Historically, the term refers to violent attacks by local non-Jewish populations on Jews in the Russian Empire and in other countries. The first such incident to be labeled a pogrom is believed to be anti-Jewish rioting in Odessa in 1821. As a descriptive term, “pogrom” came into common usage with extensive anti-Jewish riots that swept the southern and western provinces of the Russian Empire in…

    Pogroms
  • German Jewish Refugees, 1933–1939

    Article

    It was becoming more and more evident that, um, that Jews, uh, should leave if anybody at all would have them, and not very many countries would have them.—Kurt Klein Several factors determined the ebb and flow of emigration of Jews from Germany. These included the degree of pressure placed on the Jewish community in Germany and the willingness of other countries to admit Jewish immigrants. However, in the face of increasing legal repression and physical violence, many Jews fled Germany. Until…

    German Jewish Refugees, 1933–1939
  • Final Solutions: Murderous Racial Hygiene, 1939–1945

    Article

    World War II provided both pretext and cover to new programs for killing “undesirables” regarded as burdens on national resources. Using arguments advanced by some physicians and jurists in the 1920s, the Nazis justified murder in the name of euthanasia—“mercy death”—and enlisted hundreds of asylum directors, pediatricians, psychiatrists, family doctors, and nurses. Many of those who had earlier rejected euthanasia as a eugenics measure came to support murder “for the good of the…

  • Hermann Ludwig Maas

    Article

    Hermann Ludwig Maas, a Protestant pastor in Heidelberg, Germany, was a rescuer and clergyman who stood in solidarity with the Jewish community.

  • Avraham Tory

    Article

    Learn about the Kovno ghetto diary and other documents Avraham Tory saved in a secret archive that documented life in the ghetto.

    Avraham Tory
  • 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
  • Nikola Mrvos

    ID Card

    The oldest of five children, Nikola was born in a small village in the Croatian part of Yugoslavia. Like his parents, Nikola was baptized in the Serbian Orthodox faith. After receiving his medical degree from Prague University, he married, and in 1912 moved with his wife to Serbia. During World War I he served in the Serbian army, and then settled in Novi Sad where he co-owned a medical clinic. 1933-39: Nikola and his wife raised three children in Novi Sad. Then difficult times brought on by the 1930s…

    Tags: Yugoslavia
    Nikola Mrvos
  • 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

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