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At the Nuremberg trials, Allied prosecutors submitted documentation left by the Nazi state itself. This evidence is a lasting refutation of attempts to deny the Holocaust.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is the most widely distributed antisemitic publication of modern times. Although repeatedly discredited, it continues to circulate.
Prosecutors before the IMT based the case against 22 leading Nazi officials primarily on thousands of documents written by the Germans themselves. Learn more.
During the prewar years, the SS competed with powerful rivals in both the Nazi Party and the state apparatus for authority to direct efforts towards a “solution” of the so-called Jewish question in Germany. The SS established a special department in the SD to “research” the “Jewish question” in 1934. In 1938, SD “experts,” led by SS First Lieutenant Adolf Eichmann, demonstrated imaginative leadership in “Jewish matters” (Judenangelegenheiten) by creating a one-stop station in Vienna…
To implement their policies, the Nazis had help from individuals across Europe, including professionals in many fields. Learn about the role of business elites.
During World War II, the Nazis deported between seven and nine million Europeans, mostly to Germany. Within months of Germany's surrender in May 1945, the Allies repatriated to their home countries more than six million displaced persons (DPs; wartime refugees). Between 1.5 million and two million DPs refused repatriation. Most Jewish survivors, who had survived concentration camps or had been in hiding, were unable or unwilling to return to eastern Europe because of postwar antisemitism and the…
At the Wannsee conference of January 1942, Nazi Party and German government officials gathered to coordinate implementation of the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.”
In January 1944, FDR established the War Refugee Board which was charged with “immediate rescue and relief of the Jews of Europe and other victims of enemy persecution.”
Protestant pastor Martin Niemöller emerged as an opponent of Adolf Hitler and was imprisoned in camps for 7 years. Learn about the complexities surrounding his beliefs.
Learn about photographs contained in Karl Höcker’s album depicting official visits, ceremonies, and the social activities of the Auschwitz camp staff.
Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Learn about the administrative units that Germany established after annexing and occupying parts of prewar Poland.
Today, a body of international criminal law exists to prosecute perpetrators of mass atrocities. Learn about principles and precedents from the Nuremberg Charter and the IMT.
As of mid-2022, there were about 27 million refugees. Learn more about these refugees, the violence they face, and the global impact of the refugee crisis.
The [Oath of Loyalty for All State Officials] was one of a series of key decree...
Iranian diplomat Abdol Hossein Sardari gave critical assistance to Iranian Jews in occupied France (1940-1944) to protect them from Nazi persecution.
The Mauthausen concentration camp was established following the Nazi incorporation of Austria in 1938. Learn about the harsh conditions in the camp.
After the devastation of WWI, the victorious western powers imposed a series of treaties upon the defeated nations. Learn about the treaties and their impact.
On June 22, 1941, German forces invaded the Soviet Union. Three million German soldiers were reinforced by Finnish, Romanian, Hungarian, Italian, Slovak, and Croatian troops. Within weeks, German divisions conquered the Baltic republics of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. In September the Germans laid siege to Sevastopol and Leningrad, and by late October, the cities of Minsk, Smolensk, Kiev, Odessa, and Kharkov had fallen. Millions of Soviet soldiers were encircled, cut off from supplies and…
The Nazis carried out genocide against Europe’s Jews and persecuted and murdered other groups based on racial theories. Learn about the history of these murderous ideas.
Learn about the network of camps that the French collaborationist Vichy authorities established in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and French West Africa.
The Nazi Euthanasia Program, codenamed Aktion "T4," was the systematic murder of institutionalized people with disabilities. Read about Nazi “euthanasia.”
German forces razed the town of Lidice in June 1942 in retaliation for the death of Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich. Learn about the assassination and reprisal.
The Nazis established killing centers in German-occupied Europe during WWII. They built these killing centers for the mass murder of human beings.
The Vichy regime introduced race laws to the North African territories in October of 1940. Learn about the impact of the laws on the region’s Jewish people.
Almost one third of the six million Holocaust victims were murdered in mass shootings.
Antisemitism: hostility toward or hatred of Jews as a religious or ethnic group, often accompanied by social, economic, or political discrimination. Appellplatz: German word for roll call square where prisoners were forced to assemble. Aryan: Term used in Nazi Germany to refer to non-Jewish and non-Roma (Gypsy) Caucasians. Northern Europeans with especially "Nordic" features such as blonde hair and blue eyes were considered by so-called race scientists to be the most superior of Aryans, members of a…
Bumke, Erwin: President of Germany's Supreme Court from 1929 through 1945. Bumke had a reputation as an apolitical lawyer of the old school. Nevertheless, he joined the German National People's Party (DNVP) in 1919 and the Nazi Party in May 1937 and became a compliant servant of the Nazi regime. Concentration camps: Places of incarceration under the administration of the SS, in which people were held without regard to due process and the legal norms of arrest and detention. In addition to concentration…
Learn about the history of Sighet, birthplace of Elie Wiesel. The Jewish population of Sighet was deported to Auschwitz in May 1944. Most of the deportees were gassed on arrival.
Jewish military officer Alfred Dreyfus was wrongfully convicted of treason against France in 1894. The trial and ensuing events are known as the “Dreyfus Affair.” Learn more.
The discovery of the Bergen-Belsen camp and t...
To implement their policies, the Nazis had help from individuals across Europe, including professionals in many fields. Learn about the role of German clergy and church leaders.
January 27, anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, is designated by the United Nations General Assembly as International Holocaust Remembrance Day (IHRD).
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.
Nazi Germany annexed Austria in March 1938. Learn about Austria’s capital, Vienna, which at the time was home to a large and vibrant Jewish community.
In Nazi Germany, a chief role of culture was to disseminate the Nazi worldview. Arts and cultural organizations were to be synchronized with Nazi ideology and policy.
The Justice Case, or Jurists’ Trial, of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings tried members of the German justice administration. Browse excerpts from the verdict.
The German military played a vital role in the consolidation of Nazi power and persecution and mass murder of Jews and other groups. Learn more
Joseph Goebbels, Nazi politician, propagandist, and radical antisemite, was Reich Minister for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment from 1933 until 1945.
Nazi Germany and its allies established over 44,000 concentration camps and incarceration sites during the Holocaust. Read about the Nazi camp system.
Forced labor, often pointless, humiliating, without proper equipment, clothing, nourishment, or rest, was a core feature in the Nazi camp system from its beginnings in 1933.
The Supreme Court Decision on the Nuremberg Race Laws was one of a series of key decrees, legi...
The word antisemitism means prejudice against or hatred of Jews. The Holocaust is history’s most extreme example of antisemitism. Learn more.
The 1944 Warsaw uprising was the single largest military effort undertaken by resistance forces to oppose German occupation during World War II.
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.
The Transcarpathian region of Ukraine is an area known historically as Subcarpathian Rus. Jews first came to Subcarpathian Rus, then covering the four northeastern counties of the Hungarian kingdom, from Poland in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They were fleeing the Chmielnicki massacres. Jewish immigration into Subcarpathian Rus increased after the Partitions of Poland in the late eighteenth century. The Region The conservativism and traditionalism of the Jews of Subcarpathian Rus resulted…
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.
German policies varied from country to country, including direct, brutal occupation and reliance upon collaborating regimes. Italy was a long-time ally of Nazi Germany.
The Armenian genocide refers to the physical annihilation of ethnic Armenian Christian people living in the Ottoman Empire from spring 1915 through autumn 1916. There were approximately 1.5 million Armenians living in the Empire. At least 664,000 and possibly as many as 1.2 million died during the genocide. Armenians call these events Medz Yeghern (the great crime) or Aghet (catastrophe). The Armenian Genocide The origin of the term genocide and its codification in international law have their roots in…
Leading German physicians and administrators were put on trial for their role during the Holocaust. The resulting Nuremberg Code was a landmark document on medical ethics. Learn more
Henry Morgenthau Jr had a key role in creating and operating the War Refugee Board, a government agency tasked with rescuing and providing relief for Jews during the Holocaust.
We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.