The SD (Sicherheitsdienst) was a Nazi Party intelligence service. It was part of the SS (Schutzstaffel, Protection Squadron), an elite Nazi Party paramilitary organization that was under Heinrich Himmler’s control. Over the course of the Nazi era, the SD took on an increasingly prominent role in Nazi anti-Jewish policies. Most infamously, the SD was a key component of the Einsatzgruppen.
The July 20 plot was a failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944. It involved a number of both civilian and military officials. The motivations of the conspirators and their place in the history of the Third Reich remain an area of intense debate.
Jan Karski, an underground courier for the Polish government-in-exile, was one of the first to deliver to the Western Allies testimony and evidence of Nazi atrocities in the Warsaw ghetto and of the deportation of Jews to killing centers.
The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games were more than just a worldwide sporting event, they were a show of Nazi propaganda, stirring significant conflict. Despite the exclusionary principles of the 1936 Games, countries around the world still agreed to participate.
Between 1933 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its allies established more than 44,000 camps and other incarceration sites (including ghettos). The perpetrators used these locations for a range of purposes, including forced labor, detention of people deemed to be “enemies of the state,” and mass murder. Millions of people suffered and died or were killed. Among these sites was the Drancy transit camp in France.
The German-Soviet Pact was signed in August 1939. It paved the way for the joint invasion and occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union that September. The pact was an agreement of convenience between the two bitter ideological enemies. It permitted Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union to carve up spheres of influence in eastern Europe, while pledging not to attack each other for 10 years. Less than two years later, however, Hitler launched an invasion of the Soviet Union.
The Burmese military has targeted the Rohingya people because of their ethnic and religious identity. The military’s actions constitute genocide and crimes against humanity. For many Rohingya victims and survivors, the future remains uncertain, as threats against their community continue.
We Will Never Die, a musical stage performance with a large cast and orchestra, raised awareness among Americans about the murder of European Jews. The pageant, written by Hollywood screenwriter Ben Hecht and sponsored by the Committee for a Jewish Army, was performed in several American cities during the spring and summer of 1943.
The Security Police (Sicherheitspolizei, SiPo) was a new German police organization created by SS leader and Chief of the German Police Heinrich Himmler in 1936. The Security Police united the criminal police (Kripo) and the political police (Gestapo). It was closely aligned with the SD (Sicherheitsdienst), the intelligence agency of the SS. The institution and individuals of the Security Police were major perpetrators of the Holocaust.
The United States remained neutral during the first two years of World War II, from September 1939, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland, to December 1941, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. As the Axis forces expanded their territorial holdings in Europe and Asia, Americans debated whether to aid the Allied powers economically or militarily.
Nazi Germany’s persecution of Europe’s Jews was not a secret in the United States. Though some Americans protested Nazism, the US response during these early years was limited, in large part because Americans were suffering through the Great Depression and did not want to become entangled in an international conflict in the aftermath of World War I.
Between 1938 and 1941, Nazi Germany invaded and occupied much of Europe, bringing millions of Jews under its control. The United States remained neutral during this period. Though many Americans were sympathetic to the plight of Europe’s Jews, the majority did not want to increase immigration, nor see the United States become involved in World War II.
Between August 1946 and May 1948, the British government intercepted more than 50,000 Holocaust survivors seeking to resettle in Palestine. They interned these survivors in detention camps established on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.
Numerous organizations and individuals attempted to bring unaccompanied children, mostly German Jewish children, to the United States between 1933 and 1945. More than one thousand unaccompanied children escaped Nazi persecution by immigrating to the United States as part of these organized efforts. This article provides a summary of this work.
The 1939 Wagner-Rogers Bill is the common name for two identical congressional bills (one in the US House of Representatives and one in the US Senate) that proposed admitting 20,000 German refugee children to the United States outside of immigration quotas. Despite congressional hearings and public debate in the spring of 1939, the bills never came to a vote.
Judaism is a monotheistic religion, believing in one god. It is not a racial group. Individuals may also associate or identify with Judaism primarily through ethnic or cultural characteristics. Jewish communities may differ in belief, practice, politics, geography, language, and autonomy. Learn more about the practices and beliefs of Judaism.
After the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked US forces at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, bringing the United States into World War II, fear of espionage or sabotage by people of Japanese ancestry gripped the country. In the aftermath of the attack, the US government relocated approximately 120,000 people of Japanese descent—mostly American citizens—from their West Coast homes to “relocation centers” in remote areas of the country.
Edward R. Murrow was a pioneer in radio and television journalism in the mid-twentieth century.
As the events of the early 1930s began to unfold, Americans turned to foreign correspondents to keep them informed about threatening conditions across the globe. Historians of journalism describe this period and the 1940s as the “golden age” of American journalism, because of the influence of such figures as Edward R. Murrow, William L. Shirer, and Dorothy Thompson.
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