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Forced labor played a crucial role in the wartime German economy. Many forced laborers died as the result of brutal treatment, disease, and starvation.
Learn about the Jewish community of Munkacs, famous for its Hasidic activity as well as its innovations in Zionism and modern Jewish education.
Learn about the sections of the Bergen-Belsen camp complex during WWII and the Holocaust until the camp's liberation by British forces in April 1945.
Nazi propaganda had a key role in the persecution of Jews. Learn more about how Hitler and the Nazi Party used propaganda to facilitate war and genocide.
During the Holocaust, concentration camp prisoners received tattoos only at one location, the...
Explore a timeline of key events during the history of the Treblinka killing center in German-occupied Poland.
Why did the United States go to war? What did Americans know about the “Final Solution”? How did Americans respond to news about the Holocaust? 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.
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.
In October 1940, Nazi authorities established the Warsaw ghetto. Learn more about life in the ghetto, deportations, armed resistance, and liberation.
The Oath of Loyalty for All State Officials was one of a series of key decrees, legislative acts, and case law in the gradual process by which the Nazi leadership moved Germany from a democracy to a dictatorship.
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 Order Police (Ordnungspolizei, Orpo) were Nazi Germany’s uniformed police forces. They became perpetrators of horrific crimes and played a significant role in the Holocaust.
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.
In March 1943, Bulgarian authorities transported the entire Jewish community of Monastir to a transit camp from which they were deported to Treblinka.
Rescue and Resistance Some Jews survived the "Final Solution," the Nazi plan to kill the Jews of Europe, by hiding or escaping from German-controlled Europe. Most non-Jews neither aided nor hindered the "Final Solution." Relatively few people helped Jews escape. Those who did aid Jews were motivated by opposition to Nazi racism, by compassion, or by religious or moral principle. In a few rare instances, entire communities as well as individuals helped save Jews. They did so at tremendous risk. In many…
The Law for the Imposition and Implementation of the Death Penalty was one of a seri...
The Decree against Public Enemies was a key step in the process by which the Nazi leadership moved Germany from a democracy to a dictatorship.
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…
One of the oldest cities in Poland, Kalisz played a pivotal role in Polish Jewish history. Learn about the Jewish Community in Kalisz from the 12th Century to WWI.
Judaism is a monotheistic religion, believing in one god. It is not a racial group. Individual...
"We Will Never Die" was a 1943 musical stage performance that raised awareness among Americans about the murder of European Jews. Learn more.
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.
Learn about some key dates in the life of Adolf Hitler, one of Europe's most ruthless dictators, who led the Nazis from 1921 and Germany from 1933-45.
The SS Quanza was a Portuguese ship chartered by 317 Jewish refugees attempting to escape Nazi-dominated Europe in August 1940. Learn about its journey.
The German Armed Forces High Command, headed by Hitler, directed Germany’s armed forces before and during WWII. It was deeply complicit in the Holocaust and other crimes of the Third Reich.
The Nazi Party was one of a number of right-wing extremist political groups that emerged in Germany following World War I. Learn about the Nazi rise to power.
“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.
The Anschluss, Germany's annexation of Austria in March 1938, was the Nazi German regime’s first act of territorial aggression and expansion. Learn more.
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 Weimar Republic was a liberal democratic republic founded in Germany in the aftermath of WWI. Learn about the era’s political and economic crises and social trends.
Introduction Zimbabwe is a country of approximately 14 million people located in the southern region of Africa. Zimbabwe has experienced multiple episodes of mass atrocities since independence from the United Kingdom in 1980. The government is also responsible for a variety of rights abuses outside of these major episodes of violence, especially against perceived supporters of opposition groups. The two most severe episodes of mass atrocities were the so-called Gukurahundi massacres from 1983 to 1987,…
Capturing the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen was a major milestone for US forces in WWII, allowing the Allies to move troops and tanks across the Rhine river. Learn more.
At the beginning of WWII, people with mental or physical disabilities were targeted for murder in what the Nazis called the T-4, or "euthanasia," program.
Explore a timeline of key events during 1942 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
Learn about the role of the legal profession as the Nazi leadership gradually moved Germany from a democracy to a dictatorship.
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....
The Farhud (pogrom), an outbreak of mob violence against Baghdad Jewry in June 1941, was a turning point in the history of Jews in Iraq. Learn more
The Lebensborn program, created by the SS in late 1935, was intended to promote population growth among those whom Nazi authorities deemed “racially valuable.”
The SS (Schutzstaffel, or Protection Squads) was originally established as Adolf Hitler’s personal bodyguard unit. It would later become both the elite guard of the Nazi Reich and Hitler’s executive force prepared to carry out all security-related duties, without regard for legal restraint.
Adolf Eichmann was a key figure in implementing the “Final Solution,” the Nazi plan to kill Europe's Jews. Learn more through key dates and events.
The term Kielce pogrom refers to a violent massacre of Jews in the southeastern Polish town of Kielce on July 4, 1946. Introduction Pogrom is a Russian word meaning “to wreak havoc, to demolish violently.” Historically, the term refers to violent attacks by local non-Jewish populations on Jews in the Russian Empire. During the Kielce incident, a mob of Polish soldiers, police officers, and civilians murdered at least 42 Jews and injured over 40 in the worst outburst of anti-Jewish violence in…
Berlin was home to Germany’s largest Jewish community. It was also the capital of the Third Reich and the center for the planning of the "Final Solution."
Often referred to as the “eastern front,” the German-Soviet theater of war was the largest and deadliest of World War II. Learn more about the background and key events.
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.
Charged with managing the mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and killing centers, Adolf Eichmann was a key figure in the "Final Solution."
The trauma of WWI would profoundly shape the attitudes and actions of leaders and ordinary people during the Holocaust. Learn more about the aftermath of the conflict.
Oskar Schindler's actions to protect Jews during the Holocaust saved over 1,000 Jews from deportation. Learn more about Schindler's List.
Explore a timeline of key events in the history of the Auschwitz camp complex in German-occupied Poland.
Oradour-sur-Glane was a small farming village of around 350 inhabitants, located near Clermont-Ferrand, some 15 miles west-north-west of Limoges. During World War II, it was located in the German-occupied zone of France. On June 10, 1944, troops of the 2nd Waffen-SS Panzer Division (armored division), Das Reich, massacred 642 people, almost the entire population, and then destroyed the village. After the war, Oradour-sur-Glane rivaled Lidice as an iconic symbol of German crimes against civilians in…
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