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Learn about the Gross-Rosen camp, including its establishment, prisoner population, subcamps, forced labor, and liberation.
The Vélodrome d'Hiver (or Vél d'Hiv) roundup was the largest French deportation of Jews during the Holocaust. It took place in Paris on July 16–17, 1942.
In October 1940, Nazi authorities established the Warsaw ghetto. Learn more about life in the ghetto, deportations, armed resistance, and liberation.
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.
Nazi anti-Jewish laws began stripping Jews of rights and property from the start of Hitler’s dictatorship. Learn about antisemitic laws in prewar Germany.
Book burnings and bans were not exclusive to—and did not end with—the Nazi regime. Learn more about the symbolism of book burnings.
The Oranienburg concentration camp was established as one of the first concentration camps in Nazi Germany on March 21, 1933. Learn more
The Nazi regime established the Buchenwald camp in 1937. Learn about the camp’s prisoners, conditions there, forced labor, subcamps, medical experiments, and liberation.
To implement their policies, the Nazis had help from individuals across Europe, including professionals in many fields. Learn about the role of civil servants.
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
Reinhard Heydrich, Reich Security Main Office chief, was one of the main architects of the “Final Solution," the Nazi plan to murder the Jews of Europe.
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 Nuremberg Race Laws were two in a series of key decrees, legislative acts, and case law in...
Efforts to bring the perpetrators of Nazi-era crimes to justice continue into the 21st century. Learn more about postwar trials and their legacies.
Rescue efforts during the Holocaust ranged from the isolated actions of individuals to organized networks both small and large.
Learn about the history of the Bergen-Belsen camp during WWII and the Holocaust until its liberation by British forces in April 1945.
In July 1936, the SS opened the Sachsenhausen concentration camp as the principal concentration camp for the Berlin area.
The concept of Lebensraum, “living space,” was as a critical component in the Nazi worldview that drove both its military conquests and racial policy.
Groups of prisoners known as Sonderkommandos were forced to perform a variety of duties in the Nazi camp system, including in the gas chambers and crematoria.
From July 1941-May 1944, the SS camp at Trawniki had several purposes. It is best known as the training site for auxiliary police guards used in Nazi killing centers. Learn more.
The Lackenbach internment and transit camp for Roma, located in what had been eastern Austria, was a departure point for deportations to Lodz and Auschwitz.
Shortly after taking power in January 1933, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis took control of German newspapers, detailing how the news was to be reported.
Learn about US journalists, including Edward Murrow, William Shirer, and Dorothy Thompson, and their impact during the Nazi rise to power and WWII .
Learn about the Jewish community of Munkacs from the eighteenth century through the aftermath of World War I.
The term genocide refers to violent crimes committed against groups with the intent to destroy the existence of the group. Learn about the origin of the term.
The treaties that followed World War I more than doubled the territory and population of Romania. The 1930 Romanian census recorded 728,115 persons who identified themselves as Jewish, comprising approximately 4 percent of the population. Traditionally, Romania had strong ties to France but tried (under its ruler King Carol II), to remain neutral in the 1930s. With the fall of France in June 1940, Nazi Germany supported the revisionist demands for Romanian territory of the Soviet Union, Hungary, and…
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…
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...
Stephen Wise (1874–1949) was a prominent US Jewish leader in the 1933–1945 period. Born in Budapest in 1874 and the grandson of the Chief Rabbi of Eger, Hungary (a town about sixty miles northeast of Budapest), Stephen Wise immigrated to New York as a child. After his ordination as a Reform rabbi, he led a congregation in Portland, Oregon, where his liberal political convictions inspired him to fight for child labor laws and for the demands of striking workers. A charismatic orator, he became a…
Background Pogroms 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 and in other countries. The first such incident to be labeled a pogrom is believed to be anti-Jewish rioting in Odessa in 1821. As a descriptive term, “pogrom” came into common usage with extensive anti-Jewish riots that swept the southern and western provinces of the Russian Empire in…
Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel served as commander of all German armed forces during World War I...
The Goal of Expanding German Territory One motivation for the German invasion of the Soviet Union was the desire to acquire Lebensraum (living space) for the German people to colonize, at the expense of the Russians, Belorussians, Ukrainians, and Baltic peoples. Hitler and other Nazi leaders thought of this goal in both racial and ideological terms. The conquest of "living space" meant not only German racial domination over the conquered peoples, but a crusade against Judaism and Communism. German…
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.
Explore definitions, connotations, and evolving considerations when using the term bystanders in the range of behaviors and motivations during the Holocaust.
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.
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.
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…
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…
Hitler's political opponents were the first victims of systematic Nazi persecution. They were incarcerated without trial and under conditions of great cruelty.
Jewish groups worldwide helped rescue thousands during the Holocaust. Read more about efforts to save Jews from Nazi persecution and death.
In March 1942, the Hodonin camp was classified as a camp for Roma. It was a transfer station during deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Learn about the camp and its history.
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
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.
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.
As the Nazis conducted the...
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.
Learn about the Holocaust, the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.
Karl Höcker’s album shows SS officers at events ranging from ceremonies to social gatherings, in stark contrast to other photographs from Auschwitz. Learn more.
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.
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