The German army occupied Krakow, Poland, in September 1939. In March 1941, the Germans ordered the establishment of a ghetto in Krakow. In this footage, Polish Jews are forced to move into the Krakow ghetto. They wear the required armbands, used to distinguish the Jewish population from the rest of the city's residents. By late 1941, there were some 18,000 Jews imprisoned in the Krakow ghetto.
The German army occupied Lodz, Poland, in September 1939. From early February 1940, Jews in Lodz were forced to move to a designated ghetto area, which was sealed on April 30, 1940. This German footage illustrates conditions during winter in the Lodz ghetto. Winter in the ghettos aggravated existing hardships, depleting already sparse supplies of food and fuel.
German troops reached parts of Warsaw on September 8 and 9, 1939. During the German siege of Warsaw, the city sustained heavy damage from air attacks and artillery shelling. Warsaw surrendered on September 28. Here, German troops occupy Warsaw. This footage comes from "Tale of a City," a film made by a Polish underground film unit.
The Nazis sealed the Warsaw ghetto in mid-November 1940. German-induced overcrowding and food shortages led to an extremely high mortality rate in the ghetto. Almost 30 percent of the population of Warsaw was packed into 2.4 percent of the city's area. The Germans set a food ration for Jews at just 181 calories a day. By August 1941, more than 5,000 people a month succumbed to starvation and disease.
After the Germans established the Warsaw ghetto in 1940, the Jewish council in Warsaw became responsible for the full range of city services inside the ghetto area. In this German footage, prisoners from the ghetto's "Jewish prison" run into the courtyard and walk in circles during inspection.
[This video is silent] German forces entered Warsaw in September 1939. The next month, they ordered the establishment of a Jewish council (Judenrat) in the city. They chose Adam Czerniakow, a member of Warsaw's old Jewish Community Council, to lead it. Here, for German newsreels, a German propaganda company stages a meeting between Czerniakow and petitioners from the ghetto. The Germans expected Czerniakow to implement German orders, including demands for forced labor and confiscations of Jewish-owned…
Beginning in 1941, the Germans deported Jews in Germany to the occupied eastern territories. At first, they deported thousands of Jews to ghettos in Poland and the Baltic states. Those deported would share the fate of local Jews. Later, many deportation transports from Germany went directly to the killing centers in occupied Poland. In this footage, a German propaganda unit films recent arrivals from Magdeburg, Germany, in a collection center run by the Jewish council in the Warsaw ghetto. In July 1942,…
Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, beginning World War II. German forces swiftly overran Polish border defenses and approached Warsaw, Poland's capital city. Warsaw suffered heavy air attacks and artillery bombardments during the campaign. The city surrendered on September 28. This footage shows German forces entering Warsaw amidst the destruction caused by their bombardment of the city.
Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. The Blitzkrieg ("lightning war") campaign in Poland was short and decisive. Warsaw, the capital of Poland, surrendered on September 27. In early October, Adolf Hitler visited Warsaw to review his forces. This footage shows victorious German army units parading before Hitler in the streets of the devastated city.
A pogrom took place in Kielce, Poland, in July 1946. Forty-two Jews were massacred and about 50 more were wounded. The event touched off a mass migration of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Poland and other countries of eastern and central Europe. This clip shows Jewish refugees, survivors of the pogrom, waiting to leave Poland and crossing into Czechoslovakia.
After World War II, the Allies repatriated millions of displaced persons (DPs) back to their countries of origin. But hundreds of thousands of people, including more than 250,000 Jewish refugees, could not or would not return. Most Jewish DPs preferred to leave Europe for either Palestine or the United States. The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) housed them in camps in occupied Germany and Austria until they could be resettled. Here, Jewish DPs raise their children in the…
After World War II, the Allies repatriated millions of displaced persons (DPs) to their countries of origin. But hundreds of thousands of people, including more than 250,000 Jewish refugees, could not or would not return. Most Jewish DPs preferred to leave Europe for either Palestine or the United States. The Allies housed them in camps in occupied Germany until they could be resettled. Here, Jewish Zionists protest their continued confinement in Zeilsheim displaced persons camp in Germany. They demand…
At the end of World War II, the Allied powers in Europe repatriated from Germany millions of displaced persons (DPs). The remaining 1.5 to 2 million DPs—both Jews and non-Jews—refused or were unable to return to their prewar homes. Immigration restrictions precluded the large-scale admission of these refugees to other European countries and the United States. They remained in occupied Germany until they could arrange to settle in another country. In this footage, filmed more than four years…
In July 1944, Soviet forces liberated the Majdanek extermination camp. The Polish-Soviet Nazi Crimes Investigation Commission, established to document Nazi atrocities committed during the German occupation of Poland, ordered exhumations at Majdanek as part of its efforts to investigate Nazi mass killings in the camp. The commission later published its findings in Moscow on September 16, 1944, in Polish, Russian, English, and French.
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 about 30,000 starving prisoners in the camp at the time. Here, soldiers of the US Seventh Army document conditions in the camp. They also require German civilians to tour the camp and confront Nazi atrocities.
[This video is silent] There were three large forced-labor camps in Hannover, a large industrial city in northern Germany. All three of the camps were part of the Neuengamme concentration camp system. In early April 1945, American forces entered Hannover and freed the surviving prisoners. The American Signal Corps filmed one of the Hannover camps soon after liberation. American forces fed survivors of the camp and required German civilians to help bury the dead.
This film footage is excerpted from documentary film titled "Mauthausen Concentration Camp," showing footage from both Mauthausen and the nearby Gusen camp. Filmed by US cameramen, the footage opens with a broad view of buildings in the Gusen camp. Excerpts that follow show scenes in the camps, American care of the liberated prisoners, and Austrian civilians loading bodies of victims onto carts for burial.
On the night of November 14-15, 1940, almost 500 German bombers attacked the British industrial city of Coventry in central England. The bombers dropped 150,000 incendiary bombs and more than 500 tons of high explosives. The air raid destroyed much of the city center, including 12 armament factories and the historic Saint Michael's Cathedral. This footage shows scenes from the aftermath of the attack. The bombing of Coventry came to symbolize, to Britain, the ruthlessness of modern air warfare.
While Japanese diplomats in Washington, DC, negotiated with Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Japanese planes bombed the naval base at Pearl Harbor. American outrage at the surprise attack overcame isolationist sentiment and the United States declared war on Japan the following day.
Portion of the speech in which President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked the US Congress to declare war on Japan following the previous day's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
World War II began with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and ended in Allied victory in Europe with the German surrender in May 1945. May 8 was proclaimed VE (Victory in Europe) Day. In this footage, United States president Harry S. Truman proclaims victory in Europe and promises to continue the war in the pacific until the unconditional surrender of Japan.
After the Munich agreement and the Czech surrender of the Sudetenland to Germany, German authorities expelled these Jewish residents of Pohorelice from the Sudetenland to Czechoslovakia. The Czech government, fearing a flood of refugees, refused to admit them. The Jewish refugees were then forced to camp in the no-man's-land between Bruno and Bratislava on the Czech frontier with Germany.
Delegates of 32 countries assembled at the Royal Hotel in Evian, France, from July 6 to 15, 1938, to discuss the problem of Jewish refugees. The refugees were desperate to flee Nazi persecution in Germany, but could not leave without having permission to settle in other countries. The Evian Conference resulted in almost no change in the immigration policies of most of the attending nations. The major powers--the United States, Great Britain, and France--opposed unrestricted immigration, making it clear…
The postwar movement of about 250,000 mainly eastern European Jewish survivors to displaced persons camps and to the West, with the goal of reaching Palestine, was known as the "Brihah" ("flight"). Here, Jewish refugees cross illegally into Italy, probably to charter a ship to sail to Palestine. The British restricted Jewish immigration into Palestine and deported "illegal" immigrants to detention camps in Cyprus.
Hermann Göring was head of the German air force. He was one of 22 major war criminals tried by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. Here, Göring testifies about his order of July 31, 1941, authorizing Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Reich Security Main Office, to plan a so-called "solution to the Jewish question in Europe." The Tribunal found Göring guilty on all counts and sentenced him to death. Göring committed suicide shortly before his execution was to take place.
The Medical Case was one of 12 war crimes trials held before an American tribunal as part of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings. On trial were doctors and nurses who had participated in the killing of physically and mentally impaired Germans and who had performed medical experiments on people imprisoned in concentration camps. Here, concentration camp survivors Maria Kusmierczuk and Jadwiga Dzido, who had been victims of these experiments, show their injuries to the court as evidence.
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—the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings. The ninth trial before the American military tribunal in Nuremberg 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 prosecutor Ben Ferencz outlining the purpose of the trial during…
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—the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings. The ninth trial before the American military tribunal in Nuremberg focused on members of the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units), who had been assigned to kill Jews and other people behind the eastern front. In this footage of the prosecution's opening statement, US prosecutor Ben Ferencz explains…
Vidkun Quisling headed the German-controlled government of Norway from 1942-1945. Because of his actions, his name became synonymous with Nazi collaboration.
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.…
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.
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.
[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.
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…
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…
British troops liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany in April 1945. They filmed statements from members of their own forces. In this British military footage, British army chaplain T.J. Stretch recounts his impressions of the camp.
Japanese pilots used the tactic of Kamikaze (suicidal) dive-bombing attacks on enemy warships in 1944 and 1945. The "USS Nevada," despite an escort and efforts to fight off a Kamikaze attack, sustained such a hit in early 1945 off the coast of Japan. The "USS Ticonderoga," a carrier, also sustained such a hit in early 1945 off Formosa (Taiwan). The impact of Kamikaze attacks decreased during the final months of the war in the Pacific, in part because of an improvement in Allied evasion tactics.
Japanese forces took the Philippine islands between December 1941 and May 1942. After US naval victory in the Battle of Midway (June 1942), Allied forces slowly gained naval and air supremacy in the Pacific war. In October 1944, US forces began the liberation of the Philippines. The campaign on Luzon, largest and most northern of the islands, began in December 1944. This battle footage shows many Japanese soldiers being taken as prisoners of war.
World War II in the Pacific theater ended with the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945. The surrender was signed in Tokyo Bay aboard the American battleship USS "Missouri." Foreign Minister Shigemitsu headed the Japanese delegation. General Douglas MacArthur accepted the surrender on behalf of the Allies. Admiral Nimitz signed for the US and Admiral Fraser for Britain. Representatives of all the Allied nations attended the signing.
The German-Soviet Pact of August 1939 included a nonaggression pact whereby Germany and the Soviet Union promised not to attack one another for 10 years. Germany was thus able to invade Poland on September 1, 1939, without fear of Soviet intervention. In accordance with secret provisions of the pact, Poland was partitioned between Germany and the Soviet Union. Soviet forces occupied eastern Poland. In this footage, German and Soviet forces meet along the Bug River in central Poland. Less than two years…
Massive Allied landings of air- and sea-borne forces on five Normandy beaches (codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword) began on June 6, 1944 (D-Day). The purpose of the invasion was to establish a bridgehead from which Allied forces could break out and liberate France. By the end of the operation's first day, some 150,000 troops were ashore in Normandy. This footage shows Allied forces landing on the Normandy beaches.
Allied air superiority over Germany was a decisive factor in the success of the D-Day (June 6, 1944) landings in France. This footage shows the Allied bombing of suspected German positions during the battle. Allied air attacks both supported Allied ground operations in Normandy and prevented German reinforcements from reaching the area. The Allies would liberate most of France by the end of August 1944.
The German army (Wehrmacht) regarded the war in the east as a crusade against communism and not subject to the "normal rules" of war. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Soviet soldiers followed a "scorched earth" policy to hinder the German advance. In this German newsreel footage, German soldiers approach a burning village, one of many destroyed during the invasion of the Soviet Union.
German forces launched Operation "Barbarossa," the invasion of the Soviet Union, on June 22, 1941. The German army made rapid initial progress in the campaign into Soviet territory. In this German military footage, German soldiers separate women and children from men in a Soviet village.
Soviet troops entered the Auschwitz killing center in January 1945 and liberated thousands of sick and exhausted prisoners. This Soviet military footage was filmed shortly after the camp was liberated. It shows Soviet doctors examining victims of sterilization, poisonous injection, and skin graft experiments.
The Medical Case was one of 12 war crimes trials held before an American tribunal as part of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings. The trial dealt with doctors and nurses who had participated in the killing of physically and mentally impaired Germans and who had performed medical experiments on people imprisoned in concentration camps. Here, chief prosecutor Brigadier General Telford Taylor reads into evidence a July 1942 report detailing Nazi high-altitude experiments and outlines the prosecution's goals…
The Medical Case was one of twelve war crimes trials held before an American tribunal as part of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings. The trial dealt with doctors and nurses who had participated in the killing of physically and mentally impaired Germans and who had performed medical experiments on people imprisoned in concentration camps. Sixteen of the defendants were found guilty. Of the sixteen, seven were sentenced to death for planning and carrying out experiments on human beings against their will.…
The Soviet Union occupied Lvov in September 1939, according to secret provisions of the German-Soviet Pact. Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. After a week of bitter fighting, German forces occupied Lvov. They discovered that the Soviet Secret Police had massacred thousands of prisoners, mostly Ukrainian nationalists, before fleeing from the city. This footage shows the removal of the bodies of some of those massacred. The Germans claimed that the city's Jewish population had supported the…
Julius Streicher, Nazi leader and publisher of the antisemitic newspaper "Der Stuermer" (The Attacker), makes a speech accusing Jews of trying to control the world and living by the exploitation of non-Jews. According to Streicher, the only answer for Germany is to solve the "Jewish question."
In Berlin, Germany, officials from Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan sign the ten-year Tripartite Pact (the Three-Power Agreement), a military alliance. The pact sealed cooperation among the three nations (Axis powers) in waging World War II. This footage comes from "The Nazi Plan," a film produced and used by the United States in the prosecution at the Nuremberg trials.
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