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Hajj Amin al-Husayni claimed to speak for the Arab nation and the Muslim world and sought an alliance with the Axis powers during WWII. Learn more about his actions
On November 9–10, 1938, the Nazi regime coordinated a wave of antisemitic violence. This became known as Kristallnacht or the "Night of Broken Glass." Learn more
Begun as an individual chronicle by Emanuel Ringelblum in October 1939, the Oneg Shabbat underground archive became the secret archive of the Warsaw ghetto.
Explore definitions, connotations, and evolving considerations when using the term bystanders in the range of behaviors and motivations during the Holocaust.
As the Nazis conducted the...
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.
Both inside and outside Germany, the term “Third Reich” was often used to describe the Nazi regime in Germany from January 30, 1933, to May 8, 1945. The Nazi rise to power marked the beginning of the Third Reich. It brought an end to the Weimar Republic, a parliamentary democracy established in defeated Germany after World War I. The last years of the Weimar Republic were plagued by political deadlock, increasing political street violence, and economic depression. These years were also marked by…
Background On September 1, 1939, German forces invaded Poland and defeated the Polish Army within weeks. Most of the westernmost Polish territory was annexed directly to the Reich; the remainder of the areas conceded to Germany by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and Germany became the so-called General Government (Generalgouvernement), administered by the German occupiers. In accordance with the Pact’s secret protocols, the Soviet Union annexed most of eastern Poland after…
Learn about the history of the Bergen-Belsen camp during WWII and the Holocaust until its liberation by British forces in April 1945.
Trials of top surviving German leaders for Nazi Germany’s crimes began in Nuremberg after World War II. Read about the Nuremberg trials.
Explore a timeline of key events during 1939 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
When Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, hundreds of thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish refugees fled the advancing German army. Learn about their experiences.
On December 17, 1944, one day after the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge, a Waffen SS unit captured and murdered 84 US soldiers. This atrocity is known as the “Malmedy Massacre.”
Learn about early concentration camps the Nazi regime established in Germany, and the expansion of the camp system during the Holocaust and World War II.
By September 1939, over half of German Jews had emigrated. WWII would accelerate the persecution, deportation, and later, mass murder, of the remainder of Germany's Jews.
The Nazi regime established the Buchenwald camp in 1937. Learn about the camp’s prisoners, conditions there, forced labor, subcamps, medical experiments, and liberation.
The Ohrdruf camp was a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, and the first Nazi camp liberated by US troops.
At Babyn Yar in late September 1941, SS and German police units and their auxiliaries perpetrated one of the largest massacres of World War II.
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.”
In February/March 1943, non-Jewish Germans protest the incarceration of their Jewish family members at Rosenstrasse 2-4 in Berlin. Learn about the impact of the protest.
Rudolf Kasztner (1906–1957) was born in Cluj (then Kolozsvár) in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was a Hungarian-Jewish journalist and Labor Zionist activist. He would become most well known for his controversial efforts to help Jewish refugees escape from Hungary in 1944. Before the German Occupation of Hungary Kasztner grew up in Transylvania (annexed to Hungary in 1940). He attended law school, but worked as a journalist. He became involved in Zionist politics in Hungary and joined the Labor…
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.
Czechoslovakia was founded in 1918 after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian state at the end of World War I. It included the Czech provinces of Bohemia and Moravia, Slovakia, the province of Subcarpathian Rus (Transcarpathian Ukraine), and portions of Austrian Silesia. Prewar census data divides the prewar population of Czechoslovakia along ethnic (mother tongue) lines at about 50 percent Czech, 22.3 percent German, 16 percent Slovak, 4.78 percent Magyar (Hungarian), 3.79 percent Ukrainian, 1.29…
The Battle of the Bulge was a failed German counter-offensive against the Allied armies. Learn more about the Battle of the Bulge and its impact on WWII.
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.
Germany started World War II in Europe on September 1, 1939, by invading Poland. War would continue until 1945. Learn more about key events in the history of WWII.
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.
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.
The swastika is an ancient symbol that was in use in many different cultures for many years before Adolf Hitler made it the centerpiece of the Nazi flag.
Jews were the primary targets for mass murder by the Nazis and their collaborators. Nazi policies also led to the brutalization and persecution of millions of others.
Jews were the main targets of Nazi genocide. Learn about other individuals from a broad range of backgrounds who were imprisoned in the Nazi camp system.
The search for refuge frames both the years before the Holocaust and its aftermath. Learn about obstacles refugees faced when searching for safe havens.
Learn about the Gross-Rosen camp, including its establishment, prisoner population, subcamps, forced labor, and liberation.
Background The outbreak of war in Poland in September 1939 trapped nearly three and a half million Jews in German- and Soviet-occupied territories. In late 1940 and early 1941, just months before the Germans began to systematically kill Jews in large numbers, one group of about 2,100 Polish Jews found a safe haven. Few of these refugees could have reached safety without the tireless efforts of many individuals. Several Jewish organizations and Jewish communities along the way provided funds and other…
The 42nd Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating the Dachau concentration camp in 1945.
Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel was commander of all German armed forces during World War II. Learn about his military career and postwar trial.
Esterwegen was part of the Nazi regime’s early system of concentration camps, created to hold people arrested as opponents of the new regime.
Learn about the “Tehran Children,” a group of Polish-Jewish refugees. In 1942, they were resettled from the Soviet Union to Palestine via Iran.
Learn about the role of Theresienstadt in the deportation of German and Austrian Jews to killing sites and killing centers in the east.
Hitler's political opponents were the first victims of systematic Nazi persecution. They were incarcerated without trial and under conditions of great cruelty.
Article 48 allowed the German president to declare a state of emergency in times of national danger and effectively to rule as a dictator for short periods. Learn about its far-reaching effects.
Rescue efforts during the Holocaust ranged from the isolated actions of individuals to organized networks both small and large.
Learn more about Bremen-Farge, a subcamp of Neuengamme where the majority of prisoners were used to construct an underground U-boat shipyard for the German navy.
Behind the number of victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution are people whose hopes and dreams were destroyed. Learn about the toll of Nazi policies.
The Chelmno killing center was the first stationary facility where poison gas was used for mass murder of Jews. Killing operations began there in December 1941.
Germans Reject Geneva Convention From the very beginning, German policy on the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war (POWs) was determined by Nazi ideology. German political and military leaders regarded Soviet POWs not only as racially less valuable but as potential enemies, obstacles in the German conquest of "living space." The Nazi regime claimed that it was under no obligation for the humane care of prisoners of war from the Red Army because the Soviet Union had not ratified the 1929 Geneva Convention…
Learn about the history of discrimination against Roma in Europe and how the Nazi regime committed genocide against European Roma during WWII.
Of the millions of children who suffered persecution at the hands of the Nazis and their Axis partners, a small number wrote diaries and journals that have survived.
Before the Nazi rise to power, the countries of Europe had varied and vibrant Jewish communities. By 1945, two out of every three European Jews had been killed.
Learn about the vibrant Jewish community of Kalisz between World War I and World War II.
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