Efforts to bring the perpetrators of Nazi-era crimes to justice continue into the 21st century. Learn more about postwar trials and their legacies.
The Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), created by Heinrich Himmler, brutally coordinated and perpetrated many aspects of the Holocaust.
Today, a body of international criminal law exists to prosecute perpetrators of mass atrocities. Learn about principles and precedents from the Nuremberg Charter and the IMT.
The International Military Tribunal (IMT) opened in Nuremberg within months of Germany’s surrender. Learn about the judges, defendants, charges, and legacies.
The Nazi Kripo, or Criminal Police, was the detective force of Nazi Germany. During the Nazi regime and WWII, it became a key enforcer of policies based in Nazi ideology.
Belzec was the first of three killing centers in Operation Reinhard, the SS plan to murder almost two million Jews living in the German-administered territory of occupied Poland.
During World War II, SS and police leaders played a key role in the mass murder of Europe’s Jews. Learn how Himmler combined the SS and police to create a radical weapon for the Nazi regime.
The Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls were developed as Nazi Party youth groups to indoctrinate children and youth in Nazi ideology and policy.
Prosecutors before the IMT based the case against 22 leading Nazi officials primarily on thousands of documents written by the Germans themselves. Learn more.
Explore key events in the history of the Belzec killing center in the Nazi camp system. It was constructed for the sole purpose of murdering Jews.
Explore a timeline of key events in the history of the Sobibor killing center in the General Government, the German-administered territory of occupied Poland.
On November 9–10, 1938, the Nazi regime coordinated a wave of antisemitic violence in Nazi Germany. This became known as Kristallnacht or the "Night of Broken Glass."
Nazi efforts to control forms of communication through censorship and propaganda included control of publications, art, theater, music, movies, and radio.
To carry out the mass murder of Europe's Jews, the Nazis established killing centers that used assembly-line methods of murder. Sobibor was among these facilities.
The Ohrdruf camp was a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, and the first Nazi camp liberated by US troops.
The Harrison Report criticized conditions in the DP camps, called for changes in the treatment of Jewish DPs, and recommended allowing them to emigrate to the US and Palestine.
Treblinka was one of three killing centers in Operation Reinhard, the SS plan to murder almost two million Jews living in the German-administered territory of occupied Poland.
Nazi Germany established the killing centers of Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka as part of “Operation Reinhard,” the plan to murder all Jews in the General Government.
The Gestapo was Nazi Germany’s infamous political police force. It enforced Nazism’s radical impulses and perpetrated crimes against targeted groups. Learn more
Jewish people have lived in Germany since the Middle Ages. Learn more about Jewish life, identity, and culture in Germany before the Nazis came to power.
The Weimar Republic existed in Germany from 1918-1933. Learn more about German police during that time.
The "Jewish boycott" ("Judenboykott") of April 1, 1933, was the first coordinated action undertaken by the Nazi regime against Germany’s Jews. Learn more.
The first conviction for the crime of genocide came after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, when Jean-Paul Akayesu was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity.
From April to July 1994, extremist leaders of Rwanda’s Hutu majority directed a genocide against the country’s Tutsi minority. Learn more
Key dates in the use of the term genocide as part of the political, legal, and ethical vocabulary of responding to widespread threats of violence against groups.
The Nazi regime established the Buchenwald camp in 1937. Learn about the camp’s prisoners, conditions there, forced labor, subcamps, medical experiments, and liberation.
Elie Wiesel was a human rights activist, author, and teacher who reflected on his experience during the Holocaust in more than 40 books. Learn more.
Adolf Eichmann, a pivotal figure in the implementation of the “Final Solution,” was put on trial in Jerusalem, Israel, in 1961. Learn about the trial and its legacies.
The Westerbork transit camp, located in the German-occupied Netherlands, served as a temporary collection point for Jews in the Netherlands before deportation.
Esterwegen was part of the Nazi regime’s early system of concentration camps, created to hold people arrested as opponents of the new regime.
SS officer Kurt Gerstein was horrified by what he witnessed at the Belzec killing center. Learn about how he recorded what he witnessed and about his postwar fate.
The Warsaw ghetto uprising was the largest, symbolically most important Jewish uprising, and first urban uprising in German-occupied Europe.
Is the “Final Solution” the same as the Holocaust? Did the Nazis always plan to murder the Jews? Learn the answer to these and other questions about the Nazi “Final Solution.”
The Mauthausen concentration camp was established following the Nazi incorporation of Austria in 1938. Learn about the harsh conditions in the camp.
In the spring of 1939, Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus rescued 50 Jewish children from Vienna, Austria, by bringing them to the United States. Learn about their mission.
The Nazi regime carried out a campaign against male homosexuality and persecuted gay men between 1933 and 1945.
Beginning in 1933, the Nazis persecuted Roma (often pejoratively called “Gypsies”) based on underlying prejudices and racism. Learn how this harassment escalated to genocide.
The D-Day invasion was the largest amphibious attack in history. Read articles and browse photos and videos of Allied forces invading Normandy on June 6, 1944.
German forces razed the town of Lidice in June 1942 in retaliation for the death of Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich. Learn about the assassination and reprisal.
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.
The Röhm Purge (the “Night of the Long Knives") was the murder of the leadership of the SA (Storm Troopers), the Nazi paramilitary formation led by Ernst Röhm. Learn more.
Explore Frank Liebermann’s biography and learn about his experiences of antisemitism in his home town in Germany before World War II.
David Bayer lived in Kozienice, Poland. Explore his biography and learn about his experiences during World War II and the Holocaust.
Explore Jacob Wiener’s biography and learn about his experiences during Kristallnacht in Würzburg, Germany.
Explore Estelle Laughlin’s biography and learn about her experiences during the Warsaw ghetto uprising.
Explore Erika Eckstut's biography and learn about the difficulties and dangers she faced in the Czernowitz ghetto.
Explore Gideon Frieder’s biography and learn about his experiences as a child during the Holocaust in Slovakia.
Explore Manya Friedmann’s biography and listen to her describe her experiences following the liberation of Auschwitz.
The Nazi regime’s Nuremberg Race Laws of September 1935 made Jews legally different from their non-Jewish neighbors. The laws were the foundation for future antisemitic measures .
The Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service, SD) was a Nazi intelligence agency. Ideologically radical and part of the SS, it was a key perpetrator of the Holocaust.
We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.