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After WWII, many Holocaust survivors, unable to return to their homes, lived in displaced persons camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy. Read about Bergen-Belsen DP camp.
Kindertransport refers to a series of rescue efforts between 1938 and 1940 that brought thousands of refugee children to Great Britain from Nazi Germany.
German Domination Until the winter of 1942-1943, the German army was victorious in an almost unbroken chain of battlefield successes. Europe lay under German domination. After a successful German advance in summer 1942, the battle for the city of Stalingrad in late 1942 proved a turning point. Soviet forces halted the German advance at Stalingrad on the Volga River and in the Caucasus. After this defeat, German troops were forced on the defensive, beginning the long retreat westward that was to end…
Learn about Amsterdam during World War II and the Holocaust, including deportations of Jews to concentration camps and killing centers.
The 8th Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating the Wöbbelin subcamp of Neuengamme in 1945.
“Ritchie Boys” is a term used for American soldiers who trained at Camp Ritchie during World War II. Several thousand were Jewish refugees from Europe. Learn more.
Learn about the diverse Jewish population of North Africa on the eve of World War II.
Learn about the network of camps that the French collaborationist Vichy authorities established in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and French West Africa.
Nazi Germany and its allies invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. They quickly conquered large expanses of Soviet territory. German forces waged a “war of annihilation” against the Soviet Union and its peoples, killing millions of civilians. However, the Soviet armed forces eventually pushed the German military back and finally conquered Berlin in spring 1945. Often referred to as the “eastern front,” the German-Soviet theater of war was the largest and deadliest of World War II.
From 1940 to 1944, Le Chambon-sur-Lignon and neighboring villages provided shelter to some 5,000 people, among them Jews fleeing persecution.
World War II in Europe During World War II, Germany overran much of Europe using a new tactic called the "Blitzkrieg" (lightning war). Blitzkrieg involved the massing of planes, tanks, and artillery. These forces would break through enemy defenses along a narrow front. Air power prevented the enemy from closing the breach. German forces encircled opposing troops, forcing them to surrender. Using the Blitzkrieg tactic, Germany defeated Poland (attacked in September 1939), Denmark (April 1940), Norway…
The Nazi regime carried out a campaign against male homosexuality and persecuted gay men between 1933 and 1945.
After WWII and the fall of the Nazi regime, Holocaust survivors faced the daunting task of rebuilding their lives. Listen to Thomas Buergenthal's story.
How did Christians and their churches in Germany respond to the Nazi regime and its laws, particularly to the persecution of the Jews? Learn more.
In 1933-1934, SS chief Heinrich Himmler secured SS control over a centralized concentration camp system. Throughout Germany, various civilian authorities and police agencies had established concentration camps during 1933 to incarcerate political enemies of the Nazi government. Impressed with the Dachau concentration camp established by the SS in March 1933, Hitler authorized Himmler to centralize these camps under SS leadership. Himmler established (in the SS Main Office) an SS Inspectorate of…
Even at the height of its power and influence in 1942–1944, the SS was not all-powerful inside Nazi Germany. In the occupied territories, the SS encroached upon the jurisdiction of the civilian authorities and even the Wehrmacht. However, as the invading Allied armies and Allied bombings from the air brought the war home to Germany in 1943–1944, the SS was challenged by two powerful rivals. The Nazi Party apparatus under the Chief of the Party Chancellery, Martin Bormann, was one of those rivals.…
Leni Riefenstahl was a German dancer, actress, and film director best known for her imposing propaganda films in support of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party.
The “Tehran Children” is the name used to refer to a group of Polish Jewish children, mainly orphans, who escaped the Nazi German occupation of Poland. This group of children found temporary refuge in orphanages and shelters in the Soviet Union, a...
In July 1936, the SS opened the Sachsenhausen concentration camp as the principal concentration camp for the Berlin area.
The Danish resistance movement, assisted by many ordinary citizens, coordinated the flight of some 7,200 Jews to safety in nearby neutral Sweden. Learn more about rescue in Denmark.
The Columbia-Haus camp was one of the early camps established by the Nazi regime. It held primarily political detainees. Learn more about the history of the camp.
Budy was one of more than 40 subcamps that the SS administered as part of the Auschwitz camp complex. Learn more.
Former Mufti of Jerusalem Hajj Amin al-Husayni was an exiled political leader who sought an alliance with the Axis Powers. Learn about his wartime propaganda efforts.
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.
The Westerbork transit camp, located in the German-occupied Netherlands, served as a temporary collection point for Jews in the Netherlands before deportation.
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