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  • Books burn as Goebbels speaks


    In their drive to rid the country of all that they deemed "un-German," the Nazis publically burned books in cities across Germany. Here in front of the Opera House in Berlin, a chanting crowd burns books written by Jews and leftist intellectuals. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's minister of propaganda and public information, speaks of the intended "reeducation" of Germany.

    Books burn as Goebbels speaks
  • Germany rejects disarmament and international cooperation


    Adolf Hitler's foreign policy aimed at establishing a European empire for Germany through war. This policy required the rapid expansion of Germany's military capabilities. The Geneva Disarmament Conference, beginning in 1932, sought to avoid another European war by negotiating a reduction in armaments. Hitler repudiated this effort by withdrawing Germany from the conference in October 1933. At the same time, he rejected collective security in international affairs by withdrawing from the League of Nations.…

    Tags: Germany
    Germany rejects disarmament and international cooperation
  • Remilitarization of the Rhineland


    Provisions of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles forbade Germany (defeated in World War I) to station armed forces in a demilitarized zone in the Rhineland—a region in western Germany bordering France, Belgium, and part of the Netherlands. The treaty stipulated that Allied forces—including US troops—would occupy the region. In a blatant violation of the treaty, on March 7, 1936, Hitler ordered German troops to reoccupy the zone. Hitler gambled that the western powers would not intervene. His…

    Remilitarization of the Rhineland
  • Opening of 1936 Summer Olympic Games


    In 1933, Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany and quickly turned the nation's fragile democracy into a one-party dictatorship. Police rounded up thousands of political opponents, detaining them without trial in concentration camps. The Nazi regime also put into practice racial policies that aimed to "purify" and strengthen the Germanic "Aryan" population. A relentless campaign began to exclude Germany's one-half million Jews from all aspects of German life. For two weeks in August…

    Opening of 1936 Summer Olympic Games
  • Liberation of Auschwitz: Belongings of victims


    Upon arrival in the Auschwitz camp, victims were forced to hand over all their belongings. Inmates' belongings were routinely packed and shipped to Germany for distribution to civilians or use by German industry. The Auschwitz camp was liberated in January 1945. This Soviet military footage shows civilians and Soviet soldiers sifting through possessions of people deported to the Auschwitz killing center.

    Liberation of Auschwitz: Belongings of victims
  • Romani (Gypsy) children used in racial studies


    Eva Justin was an assistant to Dr. Robert Ritter, the Third Reich's "expert" on Roma (Gypsies). She studied these Romani (Gypsy) children as part of her dissertation on the racial characteristics of Roma. The children stayed at St. Josefspflege, a Catholic children's home in Mulfingen, Germany. Justin completed her study shortly after this film was taken. The children were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where most were killed.

    Romani (Gypsy) children used in racial studies
  • Exhumations at Hadamar


    The Hadamar psychiatric hospital was used as a euthanasia killing center from January until August 1941. Nazi doctors gassed about 10,000 German patients there. Although systematic gassings ended in September 1941, the killing of patients continued through the end of the war. In this footage, American soldiers supervise the exhumation of the cemetery at Hadamar and begin the interrogation of Dr. Adolf Wahlmann and Karl Wilig, who participated in the killings.

    Exhumations at Hadamar
  • Aerial view of Dachau concentration camp


    [This video is silent] The Dachau concentration camp, northwest of Munich, Germany, was the first regular concentration camp the Nazis established in 1933. About twelve years later, on April 29, 1945, US armed forces liberated the camp. There were some 30,000 starving prisoners in the camp at the time. This footage shows an aerial view of the camp and the entrance gate to the prisoner compound.  

    Aerial view of Dachau concentration camp
  • US soldiers inspect Hadamar


    In Nazi usage, "euthanasia" referred to the killing of those whom the Nazis deemed "unworthy of life." In 1941 the Hadamar psychiatric clinic served as one of the euthanasia killing centers in Germany. Patients selected by German doctors for euthanasia were transferred to Hadamar or one of the other facilities and were killed in gas chambers. Over 10,000 people were gassed at Hadamar before the Euthanasia Program officially ended in August 1941. Although the program had officially ended, killings continued…

    US soldiers inspect Hadamar
  • Einsatzgruppen trial: Justice Jackson details use of gas vans


    After the trial of major war criminals before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, the United States held a series of other war crimes trials at Nuremberg during the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings.The ninth trial of these proceedings, before an American military tribunal, focused on members of the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units) who had been assigned to kill Jews and other people behind the eastern front. This footage shows US Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, chief prosecutor for…

    Einsatzgruppen trial: Justice Jackson details use of gas vans

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