Germany started World War II in Europe on September 1, 1939, by invading Poland. War would continue until 1945. Learn more about WWII and genocide in Europe.
Learn about conditions and the treatment of prisoners in Ravensbrück, the largest concentration camp for women in the German Reich.
After WWII and the fall of the Nazi regime, Holocaust survivors faced the daunting task of rebuilding their lives. Listen to six survivors tell their stories.
Klaus Barbie, chief of the Gestapo in Lyon, France, was nicknamed the "Butcher of Lyon" for his brutal actions towards Jews and members of the French Resistance.
The Nazis used public humiliation tactics to degrade their victims and to reinforce Nazi racial ideology for German citizens and populations under Nazi occupation.
"We Will Never Die" was a 1943 musical stage performance that raised awareness among Americans about the murder of European Jews. Learn more.
After rising to power, the Nazis eliminated freedom of the press in Germany. Learn more about how they established control over the press and manipulated it.
After 1940, Polish refugees were pressured to leave Lithuania. Learn more about the diplomats that assisted them and their journey to Japan.
Key dates in the history of the SS (Schutzstaffel; Protection Squadrons), charged with the leadership of the “Final Solution,” the murder of European Jews.
Nicholas Winton organized a rescue operation that brought hundreds of children, mostly Jewish, from Czechoslovakia to safety in Great Britain before the outbreak of WWII.
Learn about the Kovno ghetto diary and other documents Avraham Tory saved in a secret archive that documented life in the ghetto.
As Allied forces approached Nazi camps in the last months of WWII, the SS organized brutal “death marches” (forced evacuations) of concentration camp inmates.
Adolf Hitler was determined to overturn the military and territorial provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. Learn more about Nazi German territorial aggression before WWII.
In July 1938, 32 nations met in Evian, France, to discuss immigration policies for Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. Learn how these discussions impacted Jewish lives.
Young people's diaries capture some of the most heartbreaking experiences of the Holocaust. Learn about the diary and experiences of David Sierakowiak.
During World War II, members of Jewish youth movements in Poland embraced leadership roles in ghetto resistance and partisan fighting organizations. Learn more.
Learn more about Polish Jewish refugees that relocated to Lithuania between 1939-1940.
Learn more about Nazi mobile killing squads (Einsatzgruppen) killing activities in the Soviet Union during World War II.
Under the most adverse conditions, prisoners initiated revolts in killing centers. Learn more about prisoner uprisings in Treblinka, Sobibor, and Auschwitz.
President Barack Obama visited Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany on June 5, 2009. In a speech at the site, he repudiated Holocaust denial. Browse transcript.
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.
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.
From 1940 to 1944, Le Chambon-sur-Lignon and neighboring villages provided shelter to some 5,000 people, among them Jews fleeing persecution.
The Riegner telegram detailed the Nazi plan to systematically murder European Jews. It was sent to the British and American governments in August 1942.
Under Adolf Hitler's leadership, the Nazi regime was responsible for the mass murder of 6 million Jews and millions of other victims. Learn about Hitler in the years 1930-1933.
Read about the Nazi persecution of Black people, as well as Black people's experiences in Germany before the Nazi rise to power.
The Röhm Purge (the “Night of the Long Knives") was the murder of the leadership of the SA (Storm Troopers), the Nazi paramilitary formation led by Ernst Röhm. Learn more.
Crossing the Rhine River allowed US and British troops to advance into the interior of Germany, helping to bring about the defeat of the Third Reich in WWII
Allowing arrests without a warrant or judicial review was a key step in the process by which the Nazi regime moved Germany from a democracy to a dictatorship
Learn about the subcamps of the SS-established Herzogenbusch concentration camp in the Netherlands, including Amersfoort, Arnheim, Eindhoven, and others.
Nazi ideology aimed to promote the myth of an ideal national community and label those who were to be excluded from it as enemies. Propaganda was essential in promoting such myths.
The 45th Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating the Dachau concentration camp in 1945.
Adolf Hitler repeated the pre-existing claim that Jews used Freemasonry to achieve their political ends. Learn more about the history of Freemasonry.
Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party adapted, manipulated, and radicalized the unfounded belief in the existence of an "Aryan race." Learn about the term Aryan.
Nazi leaders sought to control all spheres of German society, including art. They labeled art that did not meet the regime's criteria "degenerate." Learn more.
Explore firsthand testimony about the occupation of Mlynów, the establishment of the ghetto, resistance activities, and the destruction of the ghetto.
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.
Karl Höcker’s album shows him in close contact to the main perpetrators at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Learn about his 1963 trial and the significance of his album.
German General Erich Ludendorff was a key proponent of the fictitious “Stab-in-the-Back” myth which blamed Jews and others for Germany’s defeat in WWI.
In 1940, the Nazis established Lublin (Majdanek) concentration camp in Lublin, Poland. Learn more about camp administration.
Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg led an extensive rescue effort during the Nazi era. His work with the War Refugee Board saved thousands of Hungarian Jews.
World War II provided both pretext and cover to new programs for killing “undesirables” regarded as burdens on national resources. Using arguments advanced by some physicians and jurists in the 1920s, the Nazis justified murder in the name of euthanasia—“mercy death”—and enlisted hundreds of asylum directors, pediatricians, psychiatrists, family doctors, and nurses. Many of those who had earlier rejected euthanasia as a eugenics measure came to support murder “for the good of the…
Recommended resources, topics, context, rationale, and critical thinking questions if you have limited time to teach about the Holocaust.
Learn more about Holocaust deniers, public misinformation, and antisemitism.
Learn about Fürstengrube subcamp of Auschwitz, including its establishment, administration, prisoner population, and forced labor and conditions in the camp.
Explore a timeline of key events during 1944 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
Despite terrible living conditions and the constant threat of deportation, there was a highly developed cultural life in the Theresienstadt camp-ghetto. Learn more.
The Nazis used poisonous gas to murder millions of people in gas vans or stationary gas chambers. The vast majority of those killed by gassing were Jews.
To implement their policies, the Nazis had help from individuals across Europe, including professionals in many fields. Learn about the role of the military.
To implement their policies, the Nazis had help from individuals across Europe, including professionals in many fields. Learn about the role of doctors and nurses.
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