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  • Martin Niemöller

    Media Essay

    Martin Niemöller was a prominent Protestant pastor in Germany who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler. His postwar words, “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out…” continue to be used in popular culture and public...

  • 1936 Olympics: Torch Relay

    Media Essay

    The 1936 Olympics in Berlin were the first to employ the torch relay, an Olympic ritual. The Nazi regime used the Olympics to present the false image of a peaceful Germany.

    1936 Olympics: Torch Relay
  • Chelmno

    Media Essay

    The Chelmo killing center in German-occupied Poland was the first stationary facility where poison gas was used for the mass murder of Jews. The SS and police began killing operations at Chelmno on December 8, 1941. At least 172,000 people were kill...

    Chelmno
  • Sobibor Uprising

    Media Essay

    Under the most adverse conditions, Jewish prisoners initiated resistance and uprisings in some Nazi camps. On October 14, 1943, prisoners in the Sobibor killing center killed 11 members of the camp's SS staff,...

    Sobibor Uprising
  • The Armenian Genocide

    Media Essay

    The Armenian genocide refers to the physical annihilation of ethnic Armenian Christian people...

  • Auschwitz: Oral History Excerpts

    Media Essay

    The largest of its kind, the Auschwitz camp complex was essential to implementing the Nazi plan for the “Final Solution.” Learn about survivors’ experiences there in the following oral histories.

  • Deportation from Sighet

    Media Essay

    In May 1944, the entire Jewish population of Sighet was deported to Auschwitz. Most individuals were gassed upon arrival.

  • Film Presented as Evidence: "Nazi Concentration Camps"

    Media Essay

    Browse a compilation of clips from film presented as evidence during the Nuremberg trial. 

  • Film Presented as Evidence: "The Nazi Plan"

    Media Essay

    Browse a compilation of clips from film presented as evidence during the Nuremberg trial. 

  • Jewish Youth Movements in Wartime Poland

    Media Essay

    During World War II, members of Zionist youth movements embraced leadership positions in ghett...

    Jewish Youth Movements in Wartime Poland
  • Euthanasia Program

    Media Essay

    The "euthanasia" program targeted, for systematic killing, patients with mental and physical disabilities living in institutional settings in Germany and German-annexed territories. Historians estimate that the program claimed the lives of 250,000 men, women, and children.

  • Haviva Reik

    Media Essay

    Haviva Reik was one of 32 Jewish parachutists from Palestine who volunteered to join the British army and infiltrate German-occupied Europe. Reik was sent to Slovakia on a mission to aid Jews during the Slovak nationa...

    Haviva Reik
  • Janowska

    Media Essay

    Janowska was a forced labor camp for Jews in German-occupied Poland. It also served as a transit camp during the mass deportations of Polish Jews to the killing centers in 1942.

  • Wöbbelin

    Media Essay

    Wöbbelin was a subcamp of the Neuengamme concentration camp. When US troops entered Wöbbelin on May 8, 1945, they encountered the horrific conditions that prisoners had faced.

  • Reichstag Fire

    Media Essay

    On February 27, 1933, the German parliament (Reichstag) building burned down due to arson. The...

    Reichstag Fire
  • Our Springtime

    Song

    Mordecai Gebirtig, Yiddish folk poet and songwriter, was born in 1877 in Krakow, Poland. Gebirtig was confined in the Krakow ghetto in March 1942. He wrote "Our Springtime" in April 1942. The lyrics describe the bleakness and despair of ghetto life.

  • Tolling Bells

    Song

    Yiddish folk poet and songwriter Mordecai Gebirtig was born in Krakow, Poland, in 1877. In 1940, he was forced to flee from German-occupied Krakow to nearby Lagiewniki. There, in October 1941, he wrote "Tolling Bells"—in which he envisions the end of persecution and occupation.

  • Allied Military Advances in the West

    Series

    Browse articles about some of the Allied military campaigns in western Europe during World War II, including D-Day and the Rhine crossings.

    Allied Military Advances in the West
  • Killing Centers

    Series

    To carry out the "Final Solution," the Nazis established killing centers in German-annexed and occupied Poland. Learn more about these killing centers, also referred to as extermination camps or death camps.

  • Women during the Holocaust: Individual Stories

    Series

    Explore some oral history testimony excerpts describing the experiences of women during the Holocaust.

  • Women's Artifacts

    Series

    Examine artifacts such as clothing and letters and explore the experiences of women during the Holocaust.

  • Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings

    Series

    The Subsequent Nuremberg Trials were proceedings against leading German industrialists, military figures, SS perpetrators, and others. American military tribunals in Nuremberg, Germany, presided over the 12 trials, held between December 1946 and Apri...

  • Displaced Persons Act

    Timeline Event

    June 25, 1948. On this date, the US Congress passed the Displaced Persons Act. This allowed approximately 400,000 displaced persons to immigrate to the US.

    Displaced Persons Act
  • Honoring Oskar Schindler

    Photo

    Oskar Schindler plants a tree on the Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem. The Righteous Among the Nations are non-Jewish invididuals who have been honored by Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial, for risking their lives to aid Jews during the Holocaust.

    Honoring Oskar Schindler
  • In Their Own Words: Holocaust Survivor Testimonies

    Series

    Listen to excerpts from oral testimonies to learn from survivors themselves about their individuals experiences, actions, and choices.

  • David Stoliar describes engine troubles experienced by the Struma upon leaving Constanta, Romania

    Oral History

    In 1936, David moved to Bucharest to live with his father. As Romania came under German influence, Romanian authorities introduced increasingly harsh measures against Jews. Antisemitic agitation increased and Jews came under attack in the streets of Bucharest and in other public places. David's father decided David should leave the country and arranged passage for him to Palestine. In December 1941, David left Romania from Constanta, a port city on the Black Sea, on the Struma, an old cattle boat. The…

    David Stoliar describes engine troubles experienced by the Struma upon leaving Constanta, Romania
  • Eva Brigitte Marum

    ID Card

    Eva Brigitte was the youngest of three children born to German-Jewish parents in the capital of Baden, a state along the Rhine River in southwestern Germany. Known as Brigitte by her friends and classmates, and as "Brix" by her family, she grew up in a secular household and attended public schools. Her father was a local Social Democratic party leader. 1933-39: In 1933 the Nazis came to the Marum's house and arrested Eva's father because he was an active anti-Nazi. Two months later she suddenly saw him…

    Tags: France Sobibor
    Eva Brigitte Marum
  • Renate Guttmann

    ID Card

    Renate, her twin brother, Rene, and their German-Jewish parents lived in Prague. Shortly before the twins were born, Renate's parents had fled Dresden, Germany, to escape the Nazi government's policies against Jews. Before leaving Germany to live in Czechoslovakia, Renate's father, Herbert, worked in the import-export business. Her mother, Ita, was an accountant. 1933-39: Renate's family lived in a six-story apartment building along the #22 trolley line in Prague. A long, steep flight of stairs led up to…

    Renate Guttmann
  • Jan-Peter Pfeffer

    ID Card

    Jan-Peter's father, Heinz, was a German-Jewish refugee who married Henriette De Leeuw, a Dutch-Jewish woman. Frightened by the Nazi dictatorship and the murder of Heinz's uncle in a concentration camp, they immigrated to the Netherlands when Henriette was nine months pregnant. They settled in Amsterdam. 1933-39: Jan-Peter was born soon after his parents arrived in the Netherlands. He was 18 months old when Tommy, his baby brother, was born. In 1939 the parents and brother of Jan-Peter's father joined them…

    Jan-Peter Pfeffer
  • Rene Guttmann

    ID Card

    Rene, his twin sister, Renate, and their German-Jewish parents lived in Prague. Shortly before the twins were born, Rene's parents had fled Dresden, Germany, to escape the Nazi government's policies against Jews. Before leaving Germany to live in Czechoslovakia, Rene's father, Herbert, had worked in the import-export business. His mother, Ita, was an accountant. 1933-39: Rene's family lived in a six-story apartment building along the #22 trolley line in Prague. A long, steep flight of stairs led up to…

    Rene Guttmann
  • Daniel Schwarzwald

    ID Card

    Daniel, usually known as Danek, was one of three children born to Raphael and Amalia Schwarzwald, a Jewish couple living in a village near Lvov. When he was a young boy, his family moved to Lvov, where he went on to attend secondary school and a business college. Daniel opened a lumber export business. He traveled extensively and could speak Polish, German, Russian, Yiddish and English. 1933-39: Business prospered and in 1935 Daniel married Laura Litwak and settled in an apartment in a Christian section…

    Tags: Lvov
    Daniel Schwarzwald
  • Chaia Gurvitz

    ID Card

    From a Jewish family, Chaia lived outside Kovno, a city with a large Jewish population that was renowned for its Hebrew school system. Chaia ran a grocery store with her husband, a retired shoemaker, and their daughter Yenta. 1933-39:  Chaia is expecting her daughter Feiga, Feiga's husband, Josef, and her grandson, Abraham, for dinner. Feiga works so hard all week in her beauty shop, Chaia is glad she can help out by preparing the big Sunday meal. She has baked a special cake for Abe. Chaia hopes the…

    Tags: Kovno ghettos
    Chaia Gurvitz
  • Johanna (Hanne) Hirsch

    ID Card

    Hanne was born to a Jewish family in the German city of Karlsruhe. Her father, Max, was a photographer. When he died in 1925, Hanne's mother, Ella, continued to maintain his studio. In 1930 Hanne began public school. 1933-39: In April 1933 Hanne's family's studio, like the other Jewish businesses in Karlsruhe, was plastered with signs during the anti-Jewish boycott: "Don't buy from Jews." At school, a classmate made Hanne so furious with her taunts that she ripped her sweater. After the November 1938…

    Johanna (Hanne) Hirsch
  • Arthur Menke

    ID Card

    Arthur was born to a Jewish family in Germany's largest port city, Hamburg. His father owned a small factory that manufactured rubber stamps. In the early 1930s, Hamburg was home to the fourth largest Jewish community in Germany, which had numerous social and cultural institutions. 1933-39: By 1935 conditions for Hamburg's Jews were bad. Arthur's family was moved to another part of town and in 1938, the Nazis seized his father's business. On national holidays many German citizens unfurled red, white and…

    Tags: Minsk ghettos
    Arthur Menke
  • Rachel Saleschutz

    ID Card

    Rachel was the eighth child born to Hasidic Jewish parents living in Kolbuszowa. She spoke English, Hebrew and German in addition to Polish and Yiddish. At school, Rachel's beautiful singing voice earned her leading roles in plays even though Jewish children were rarely given parts. Rachel and her brother Naftali were active in a Zionist scout organization called Ha-No'ar ha-Zioni. 1933-39: In 1933 Rachel started writing weekly postcards to her brother in Palestine. When the cards arrived, immigrants from…

    Tags: Poland Belzec
    Rachel Saleschutz
  • Isadore Frenkiel

    ID Card

    Isadore and his wife, Sossia, had seven sons. The Frenkiels, a religious Jewish family, lived in a one-room apartment in a town near Warsaw called Gabin. Like most Jewish families in Gabin, they lived in the town's center, near the synagogue. Isadore was a self-employed cap maker, selling his caps at the town's weekly market. He also fashioned caps for the police and military. 1933-39: Isadore felt the pinch of the Depression, but although business was poor, he was able to provide for his family. Shortly…

    Tags: Poland Chelmno
    Isadore Frenkiel
  • 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
  • Klara Gottfried Reif

    ID Card

    Klara Gottfried Reif's parents, Herschel and Ethel Gottfried, owned a flour mill and a general store in a small Polish town. Klara could speak five languages. As a young woman, she took an interest in fashion, and enjoyed travelling. On a trip to Vienna, she met Dr. Gerson Reif, a young dentist. After marrying in 1925, the couple settled in Vienna and the first of their two children was born in 1927. 1933-39: After the Germans annexed Austria in 1938, they effectively prevented Jewish dentists from…

    Klara Gottfried Reif
  • Leo Hanin

    ID Card

    Leo's Jewish family lived in Vilna, which in 1913 was part of the Russian Empire. In 1916, fearing revolution, his family left for Harbin in northern China, a city with a well-organized Jewish community. There Leo joined a Zionist group and studied Jewish history, and for two years attended a Jewish primary school and learned Hebrew. He then studied at a Russian secondary school in Harbin. 1933-39: When Japan occupied Manchuria in 1931 and conditions in Harbin deteriorated, Leo's parents sent him to…

    Tags: Vilna Japan
    Leo Hanin
  • Heinrich Baehr

    ID Card

    A Jewish merchant, Heinrich ran a dry goods business with his wife, Yennj, in Ruchheim, a small town in the Rhine River valley. Their son, Kurt, had immigrated to America after World War I. Their daughter, Ida, had helped them in the business until she married. The Baehrs' store took up the first floor of their comfortable two-story brick house. In the summer, they enjoyed their garden in the back. 1933-39: The Nazis have come to power, and many Jews have decided to leave Germany. Heinrich and Yennj's…

    Heinrich Baehr
  • Ida Baehr Lang

    ID Card

    Ida was born to Jewish parents who owned a dry goods store in a small town in the Rhine River valley. As a teenager, Ida loved to bicycle with her cousin, Luise, in the scenic valley. After graduating from school, Ida helped her parents run the store. When she was in her early twenties, she married Fritz Lang, who owned a dry goods store in nearby Lambsheim, where they lived. 1933-39: Ida and Fritz have hired a housekeeper to help take care of their new baby girl, Freya, while Ida works in the store. More…

    Tags: Gurs Auschwitz
    Ida Baehr Lang
  • Berthold Mewes

    ID Card

    Berthold was an only child. He was raised in Paderborn, a town in a largely Catholic region of western Germany. Paderborn was near Bad Lippspringe, where there was a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation engaged in missionary work. Beginning in 1933, the Nazis moved to outlaw Jehovah's Witness activities. 1933-39: When Berthold was 4, his parents became Jehovah's Witnesses and he began to attend secret Bible meetings with them. Berthold began public school in 1936. His mother was arrested in 1939 and sent to…

    Berthold Mewes
  • Helene Gotthold

    ID Card

    Helene lived in Herne and Bochum in western Germany, where she was married to a coal miner who was unemployed between 1927 and 1938. Following their disillusionment with the Lutheran Church during World War I, Helene, who was a nurse, and her husband became Jehovah's Witnesses in 1926. Together, they raised their two children according to the teachings of the Scripture. 1933-39: Under the Nazis, Jehovah's Witnesses were persecuted for their missionary work and because they believed their sole allegiance…

    Helene Gotthold
  • Wolfgang Munzer

    ID Card

    An only child, Wolfgang was born in Berlin to Jewish parents. His father was the foreign representative for a sewing notions company. The family lived in a comfortable apartment in the southwestern district of the city. Wolfgang attended secondary school there and hoped to become an electrical engineer. 1933-39: When the Nazis came to power, Wolfgang's father fled Germany because he was a socialist and was afraid he'd be arrested. Wolfgang's mother was very ill, so his grandmother took care of him until…

    Wolfgang Munzer
  • Michel Margosis

    ID Card

    Michel's parents were Russian-born Jews. His father had been a police official in Russia who had been deported to Siberia for being an outspoken Zionist. After escaping, he and his wife had made their way to Belgium, and two of their four children, including Michel, were born in Brussels. 1933-39: In Brussels Michel's father owned and edited two newspapers, one French and one Yiddish. As a kid, Michel enjoyed reading comics like "Yordi," who in the United States is known as Superman. A day after his…

    Michel Margosis
  • Golda (Olga) Bancic

    ID Card

    Olga was born to a large Jewish family living in the Bessarabia province when it was still part of the Russian Empire. In 1918 the province was annexed by Romania. When Olga was 12 years old, she was arrested for the first time for having participated in a strike at the mattress factory where she worked. Despite her youth, she was put in prison and beaten. 1933-39: Olga was an active and vocal member of the local workers' organization. She had been arrested and imprisoned so often that she simply…

    Tags: Romania France
    Golda (Olga) Bancic
  • Edith Fuhrmann Brandmann

    ID Card

    Edith's village of Kriesciatik was located on the border between Romania and Poland. Her Jewish parents owned a large ranch where they raised cattle and grew sugar beets. They also owned a grocery store. Edith had a brother, Jacob, and a sister, Martha. At home the family spoke Yiddish and German, and Edith learned Romanian after she began school. 1933-39: Edith's village was by a river, and she spent summer days by the water with her friends, swimming and playing. Her mother would pack her bread and…

    Edith Fuhrmann Brandmann
  • Hanandel Drobiarz

    ID Card

    Hanandel was raised with his three brothers and sisters in the town of Kozlow, where his family sold grain and livestock. The family was religious, and they observed the Sabbath and all Jewish holidays and dietary laws. When Hanandel was 5, he began studying Hebrew, the Bible, prayers, and Jewish history. 1933-39: At age 14 Hanandel was apprenticed to his uncle in Sosnowiec as a tinsmith. He worked for his uncle during the day and attended trade school at night. When he graduated from trade school he…

    Hanandel Drobiarz
  • Lonia Goldman Fishman

    ID Card

    Lonia had three sisters and one brother. Her parents owned a cotton factory in the town of Wegrow. The Goldmans were a religious family, strictly observing the Sabbath, the Jewish holidays and the dietary laws. 1933-39: After studying all day at public school, Lonia attended a religious school for girls called Beis Yakov where she studied Hebrew, the Bible and Jewish history. Later, when she was in high school, a private tutor came to the house to teach her Hebrew. Lonia's favorite hobby was knitting.…

    Tags: Poland hiding
    Lonia Goldman Fishman
  • Henryk Lubelski

    ID Card

    Henryk was raised in a religious Jewish family. His father was a cantor, and his parents placed an emphasis on education. In 1916 the Lubelskis moved to Rawicz, a town in German-occupied Poland. Henryk was first in his class in secondary school, where he also excelled in wrestling and soccer. After graduating, Henryk became an apprentice in a business. 1933-39: In 1935 Henryk's father secured a good position in the city of Katowice. There, Henryk worked in the sausage business. Since Katowice was close to…

    Henryk Lubelski

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