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  • Hotel Reichshof flyer

    Artifact

    1939 flyer from the Hotel Reichshof in Hamburg, Germany. The red tag informed Jewish guests of the hotel that they were not permitted in the hotel restaurant, bar, or in the reception rooms. The hotel management required Jewish guests to take their meals in their rooms. Following the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, Jews were systematically excluded from public places in Germany.

    Hotel Reichshof flyer
  • Diploma certifying vocational training issued to a DP

    Photo

    Diploma issued by the International Refugee Organization (IRO) certifying that Naftali Froimowicz was trained as a shoemaker in Turin, Italy on November 14, 1949. Froimowicz lived in several displaced persons (DP) camps in Italy after the war.   

    Diploma certifying vocational training issued to a DP
  • Theresienstadt: "Retirement Settlement" for German and Austrian Jews

    Article

    Before June 1942, Protectorate Jews were the only "residents" of the Theresienstadt camp-ghetto. Beginning with a transport of 50 Berlin Jews arriving on June 2, 1942, the German authorities deported German, Austrian, Danziger, Luxembourger, and Sudeten Jews to Theresienstadt. Deportations  In 1942, 47,478 Jews arrived in Theresienstadt from the Greater German Reich (from Germany, 32,878; Austria, 13,922; Luxembourg, 213; Danzig, 110; and the Sudetenland, 355). In 1943, 5,398 Jews arrived in the…

    Theresienstadt: "Retirement Settlement" for German and Austrian Jews
  • Three-year-old Thomas during a stay at a hotel in Czechoslovakia

    Photo

    Three-year-old Thomas Buergenthal during a stay at a hotel in Czechoslovakia, 1937. With the end of World War II and collapse of the Nazi regime, survivors of the Holocaust faced the daunting task of rebuilding their lives. With little in the way of financial resources and few, if any, surviving family members, most eventually emigrated from Europe to start their lives again. Between 1945 and 1952, more than 80,000 Holocaust survivors immigrated to the United States. Thomas was one of them. 

    Three-year-old Thomas during a stay at a hotel in Czechoslovakia
  • Simone Weil's kindergarten teacher certification

    Document

    Simone Weil earned this diploma, which certified her to teach kindergarten in France, from the School of Social Work in Strasbourg in 1940. Weil assumed a false identity in late 1943 to facilitate her resistance activities as a member of the relief and rescue organization Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (Children's Aid Society; OSE). Among the papers documenting Weil's new identity was a forged version of this diploma bearing the name "Simone Werlin".

    Simone Weil's kindergarten teacher certification
  • Teacher certification forged for Simone Weil

    Document

    Simone Weil used this forged diploma and other false papers to document a new identity assumed in late 1943. As Simone Werlin, she could avoid arrest and change residence to facilitate her rescue of Jewish children as a member of the relief and rescue organization Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (Children's Aid Society; OSE). Weil had earned the diploma, which certified her to teach kindergarten in France, from the School of Social Work in Strasbourg in 1940. The director of the school willingly forged this…

    Teacher certification forged for Simone Weil
  • Vicki Baum

    Article

    Vicki Baum was a bestselling author who embraced the ideals of liberation for women. Her works were burned during the Nazi book burnings of 1933. Learn more.

  • Alida Nathans Wijnberg

    ID Card

    Alida was the oldest of eight children. Her parents, religious Jews, owned a textile business in the small town of Vries. As a teenager, Alida helped her family sell textiles to the local farmers, carrying the goods in a suitcase attached to the handlebars of her bicycle. She married Samuel Wijnberg, and the couple had three sons and a daughter. 1933-39: The Wijnbergs owned and lived in a kosher hotel in the town of Zwolle. It was the only kosher hotel in the region, so many Jewish businessmen and cattle…

    Alida Nathans Wijnberg
  • Reinhard Heydrich: Key Dates

    Article

    Key dates in the life of Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Reich Security Main Office, the SS and police agency most directly concerned with implementing Final Solution.

    Reinhard Heydrich: Key Dates
  • Tricase Displaced Persons Camp

    Article

    After WWII, many Holocaust survivors, unable to return to their homes, lived in displaced persons camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy. Read about Tricase DP camp.

    Tricase Displaced Persons Camp
  • Russian Revolution, 1917

    Article

    The Russian Revolution consisted of two separate revolutions in 1917: the February Revolution and the Bolshevik Revolution. Learn more.

    Tags: Soviet Union
  • Natzweiler-Struthof

    Article

    Establishment of the Camp The Germans established the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp near the town of Natzweiler, about 31 miles southwest of Strasbourg, the capital of the province of Alsace (in eastern France). It was one of the smaller concentration camps built by the Germans. Until construction was completed in May 1941, prisoners slept in the nearby former Hotel Struthof, hence the name Natzweiler-Struthof. The camp held about 1,500 prisoners. Prisoners worked in nearby granite quarries, in…

    Tags: camps
    Natzweiler-Struthof
  • Les Milles Camp

    Article

    Under the Vichy regime, the Les Milles camp held foreign Jews before emigration or, in most cases, deportation to German concentration camps and killing centers.

    Tags: camps
    Les Milles Camp
  • Abraham Wijnberg

    ID Card

    Abraham, or "Braham" as he was nicknamed, was the oldest of four children. When Braham was 14, his Jewish parents moved to the town of Zwolle, where they built a kosher hotel. Braham attended Dutch public schools. Monday through Thursday afternoons he also went to religious school where he learned Hebrew, Jewish history and the Bible. 1933-39: Abraham felt that it was a shame that he had to forfeit a scholarship to college in Groningen, but he had to stay in Zwolle to help his parents with the hotel.…

    Abraham Wijnberg
  • Maurits Wijnberg

    ID Card

    Maurits was one of four children born to religious Jewish parents living in the town of Leek. When he was 12, the Wijnbergs moved to the town of Zwolle, where they ran a kosher hotel. That same year, Maurits became ill with meningitis. After he recovered, he worked hard to compensate for missed school and became an exceptional student. 1933-39: Along with his younger sister, Maurits was active in the local Zionist organization. One of the group's activities was raising money for Palestine [Yishuv]. Every…

    Maurits Wijnberg
  • Theresienstadt: Key Dates

    Article

    Explore key dates in the history of the Theresienstadt camp/ghetto, which served multiple purposes during its existence from 1941-45.

    Theresienstadt: Key Dates
  • Selma Wijnberg

    ID Card

    Selma was the youngest of the Wijnberg's four children, and the only daughter. When she was 7, her family left Groningen to start a business in the town of Zwolle [in the Netherlands]. There her parents ran a small hotel popular with Jewish businessmen traveling in the area. Every Friday there was a cattle market, and many of the cattle dealers came to the Wijnberg's hotel for coffee and business. 1933-39: At home Selma and her family were observant of Jewish tradition because her mother was religious.…

    Selma Wijnberg
  • Thomas Buergenthal

    ID Card

    In 1933, just after Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power, Thomas's Jewish parents moved from Germany to Czechoslovakia. Thomas's father had worked as a banker in Germany, and then bought a small hotel in the Slovakian town of Lubochna. Many of his father's friends in Germany came to Czechoslovakia to escape the Nazi government's unfair policies and stayed at the hotel. 1933-39: Slovak soldiers who had sided with Hitler took over the Buergenthal family's hotel in late 1938. They fled to Zilina, a…

    Thomas Buergenthal
  • Marthijn Wijnberg

    ID Card

    When Marthijn was 10, his religious Jewish family moved from Groningen to the town of Zwolle. There, his parents ran the only kosher hotel in the region. The Wijnbergs had two other sons and a daughter. All of the children attended Dutch public schools, and four afternoons a week they also went to religious school to study Jewish history, Hebrew and the Bible. 1933-39: Marthijn could play almost any instrument, including piano, saxophone and accordion. Sometimes each of his brothers would pick up an…

    Marthijn Wijnberg
  • Liny Pajgin Yollick describes how hiding their Jewish identity saved her family's life in Nice, France

    Oral History

    In May 1940, the Germans occupied the Netherlands. In 1942, it took Liny, her mother, and her sister six months to escape to southern France. They pretended to be Protestant, obtained visas to travel through Spain and Portugal, and were on one of the last trains to cross into Spain after the Germans took over southern France. They boarded a Portuguese ship bound for Dutch Guiana (Suriname). Liny was placed in a refugee camp, and then worked in the Dutch embassy in Washington D.C. She eventually settled in…

    Tags: hiding France
    Liny Pajgin Yollick describes how hiding their Jewish identity saved her family's life in Nice, France
  • Betje Jakobs

    ID Card

    Betje and her sister Saartje were born to Jewish parents in the town of Zwolle in the Netherlands' north central province of Overijssel. Betje was known affectionately as "Bep" to her friends. The Jakobs family owned a successful sporting goods store. 1933-39: As a young girl, Betje enjoyed playing the piano, knitting and tennis. At age 16, while still in secondary school, she began to date Maurits Wijnberg, a boy two years her senior, whose family owned Zwolle's Hotel Wijnberg. 1940-42: The Germans…

    Betje Jakobs
  • Drexel Sprecher describes reconstruction of buildings in Nuremberg

    Oral History

    Drexel Sprecher was educated at the University of Wisconsin, the London School of Economics, and at the Harvard School of Law before receiving a position at the US Government's Labor Board in 1938. He enlisted in the American military after the United States declared war on Germany, and was posted to London. After the war, Sprecher served as a prosecutor of Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials.

    Drexel Sprecher describes reconstruction of buildings in Nuremberg
  • Jasenovac

    Article

    The Jasenovac camp complex consisted of five detention facilities established between August 1941 and February 1942 by the authorities of the so-called Independent State of Croatia. As Germany and its Axis allies invaded and dismembered Yugoslavia in April 1941, the Germans and the Italians endorsed the proclamation of the so-called Independent State of Croatia by the fanatically nationalist, fascist, separatist, and terrorist Ustaša organization on April 10, 1941. After seizing power, the Ustaša…

    Jasenovac
  • DRC Holds First Elections in 40 Years

    Timeline Event

    July 30, 2006. On this date, the Democratic Republic of the Congo held its first multi-party election in over 40 years.

    DRC Holds First Elections in 40 Years
  • Leah Kohl Rapaport

    ID Card

    Leah and her four brothers were raised in a religious Jewish family in the city of Lvov. After obtaining her high school diploma, Leah attended university for one year. In 1931 she married Joseph Rapaport, and the couple settled in Warsaw. 1933-39: The Rapaports lived in the suburbs, and Joseph worked as a banker. Their daughter Zofia was born in May 1933. Each year at the Jewish holiday of Passover, they returned to Lvov to visit Leah's parents. Two days after Joseph was mobilized for military duty in…

    Tags: Lvov hiding
    Leah Kohl Rapaport
  • Gusen

    Article

    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 deeme...

    Gusen
  • Refugee's suitcase

    Artifact

    A suitcase used (ca. 1939) by a Jewish refugee fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe to Japan. The suitcase is covered with labels from various stops along the journey, including one from a hotel in Moscow (top left), one for the NYK Line (top middle), and six from hotels throughout Japan. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]

    Tags: refugees Japan
    Refugee's suitcase
  • Japanese-German phrase book (interior)

    Artifact

    The table of contents from a Japanese-German phrase book purchased by German Jewish refugees shortly after their arrival in Japan. The phrase book offers useful expressions in Japanese relating to travel, hotel stays, eating, and shopping in Japan. Japan, 1940-1941. [From the USHMM special exhibition Flight and Rescue.]

    Japanese-German phrase book (interior)
  • Drancy

    Article

    The Germans established an internment camp at Drancy in August 1941. The following summer, Drancy became the main transit camp for deportations of Jews from France.

    Drancy
  • Beifeld album page about partisans and lodgings

    Artifact

    (top) "Watercolor entitled 'Partisan hotel and public house', Krassnolipia, Ukraine, until July 31, 1942"; (middle) "Drawing entitled 'The interrogation of partisans captured by our unit'"; (bottom) "Watercolor entitled 'My lodgings in Krassnolipia'" [Photograph #58040]

    Beifeld album page about partisans and lodgings
  • Site of meeting between Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler

    Photo

    German citizens stand outside the decorated Hotel Dreesen, where Neville Chamberlain and Hitler held their second meeting on the Sudetenland and German demands for Czech territory.  Nazi flags and the Union Jack fly from the building. Bad Godesberg, Germany, September 22, 1938.

    Site of meeting between Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler
  • Adolf Hitler after being sworn in as chancellor

    Photo

    Germans cheer Adolf Hitler as he leaves the Hotel Kaiserhof just after being sworn in as chancellor. Berlin, Germany, January 30, 1933.

    Adolf Hitler after being sworn in as chancellor
  • German troops invading Norway

    Photo

    German troops walk past a burning hotel during the invasion of Norway. Norway, April-June 1940.

    German troops invading Norway
  • German police parade before Adolf Hitler

    Photo

    Parade of German police before Adolf Hitler in front of Hotel Deutsches Haus, at a Nazi Party Congress rally. Nuremberg, Germany, September 10, 1937.

    German police parade before Adolf Hitler
  • Site of the Evian Conference

    Photo

    The Hotel Royal, site of the Evian Conference on Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. Evian-les-Bains, France, July 1938.

    Site of the Evian Conference
  • Jacob Polak

    ID Card

    Jacob, known as "Jaap," and his three sisters grew up in Amsterdam in a religious, Zionist Jewish family that could trace its roots in the Netherlands back 200 years. Jaap attended a Jewish elementary school until the age of 12, and then enrolled in a commercial high school, where he studied accounting. After graduating, he took a position in the Amsterdam Carlton Hotel. He worked there in 1931 and 1932. 1933-39: Jaap's life had been centered mostly in the Jewish community, so the Carlton Hotel was a new,…

    Jacob Polak
  • Hans Heimann describes internment in Italy

    Oral History

    The Germans annexed Austria in March 1938. In 1939, Hans fled first to Hungary and then to Italy. He and his parents were interned in various towns. Hans's father became ill and died in 1940. In 1943, Hans and his mother were warned of German plans to deport Jews from Italy to Poland. They moved to smaller towns until liberation by the British in August 1943. Hans worked as an interpreter for the Allies until 1945, when he worked for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and helped resettle…

    Tags: Italy
    Hans Heimann describes internment in Italy
  • Varian Fry

    Article

    Varian Fry was an American journalist who helped anti-Nazi refugees escape from France between 1940 and 1941. Learn about his rescue efforts.

    Varian Fry
  • Reich Security Main Office (RSHA)

    Article

    The Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), created by Heinrich Himmler, brutally coordinated and perpetrated many aspects of the Holocaust.

    Reich Security Main Office (RSHA)
  • Adolf Hitler: 1924-1930

    Article

    Under Adolf Hitler, the Nazi regime was responsible for the mass murder of 6 million Jews and millions of other victims. Learn about Hitler in the years 1924-1930.

  • The July 20, 1944, Plot to Assassinate Adolf Hitler

    Article

    The July 20, 1944, plot was a failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Learn more about the July 20 plot, including some of the motivations of the participants.

    The July 20, 1944, Plot to Assassinate Adolf Hitler
  • Agnes Mandl

    ID Card

    When Agnes was a teenager, she attended Budapest's prestigious Baar Madas private school, run by the Hungarian Reformed Church. Although she was the only Jewish student there, Agnes' parents believed that the superior education at the school was important for their daughter. Agnes' father, a textile importer, encouraged his daughter to think for herself. 1933-39: In 1936 Agnes studied educational techniques with Signora Maria Montessori in Italy and earned a diploma so she could teach. Hoping to improve…

    Tags: rescue
    Agnes Mandl
  • Bruna Sevini

    ID Card

    Bruna was the oldest of two children born to Italian-speaking Jewish parents who had settled in the cosmopolitan city of Trieste. Her father, born in Vienna, served in the Austro-Hungarian army during World War I. He became a naturalized Italian during the 1920s after marrying Bruna's mother. Growing up in fascist Italy, Bruna attended public schools in Trieste and felt proud to be an Italian. 1933-39: In September 1938 Bruna was surprised to see anti-Jewish graffiti. Then anti-Jewish race laws were…

    Tags: Italy
    Bruna Sevini
  • Jeno Muhlrad

    ID Card

    Jeno was the youngest of five children born to Jewish parents living in a suburb of Budapest. His father was a wholesale merchant who sold beer to restaurants and stores. After receiving a university diploma, Jeno became a pharmacist. He and his wife, Aranka, and their two children, Eva and Andras, shared a large old house in Ujpest with Jeno's father and other members of the extended family. 1933-39: Jeno's friends and family have helped him raise the large amount of money he needs to lease his own…

    Jeno Muhlrad
  • Evian Conference fails to aid refugees

    Film

    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…

    Evian Conference fails to aid refugees
  • Building in Le Chambon which served as a refugee home for children

    Photo

    Postcard of a pension (a small hotel) in Le Chambon which served as a refugee home for children sheltered from the Nazis. Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France, date uncertain.

    Building in Le Chambon which served as a refugee home for children
  • Nicholas Winton and the Rescue of Children from Czechoslovakia, 1938–1939

    Article

    Nicholas Winton organized a rescue operation that brought hundreds of children, mostly Jewish, from Czechoslovakia to safety in Great Britain before the outbreak of WWII.

    Nicholas Winton and the Rescue of Children from Czechoslovakia, 1938–1939
  • William L. Shirer

    Article

    American journalist, foreign correspondent, author, and pioneer radio broadcaster William L. Shirer was one of the key observers and chroniclers of the Nazi regime.  

  • Irene Hizme describes being a poster child for Rescue Children

    Oral History

    Irene and Rene were born Renate and Rene Guttmann. The family moved to Prague shortly after the twins' birth, where they were living when the Germans occupied Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939. A few months later, uniformed Germans arrested their father. Decades later, Irene and Rene learned that he was killed at the Auschwitz camp in December 1941. Irene, Rene, and their mother were deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto, and later to the Auschwitz camp. At Auschwitz, the twins were separated and subjected…

    Irene Hizme describes being a poster child for Rescue Children
  • Selma (Wijnberg) Engel describes deportation to Sobibor

    Oral History

    Selma was the youngest of four children born to Jewish parents. When she was 7, Selma and her family moved to the town of Zwolle where her parents ran a small hotel. When the Germans invaded the Netherlands in 1940, they confiscated the hotel. The family had to live in a poor Jewish section of the town. Selma went into hiding but was betrayed and then sent to the Westerbork camp. In April 1943 she was deported to Sobibor, where she worked in the clothes sorting area. There, the prisoners tried to pocket…

    Selma (Wijnberg) Engel describes deportation to Sobibor

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