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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.
The term Kielce pogrom refers to a violent massacre of Jews in the southeastern Polish town of Kielce on July 4, 1946. Introduction 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. During the Kielce incident, a mob of Polish soldiers, police officers, and civilians murdered at least 42 Jews and injured over 40 in the worst outburst of anti-Jewish violence in…
Neville Chamberlain was prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1937 to 1940. He is best kno...
From 2003 to 2005, an estimated 200,000 civilians died as a result of a campaign of violence in Darfur by the Sudanese government. In 2004, the US Secretary of State called this violence a genocide
An underground courier for the Polish government-in-exile, Jan Karski was one of the first to deliver eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust to Allied leaders.
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 search for refuge frames both the years before the Holocaust and its aftermath. Learn about obstacles refugees faced when searching for safe havens.
Explore a timeline of key events in the history of the Auschwitz camp complex in German-occupied Poland.
The trauma of WWI would profoundly shape the attitudes and actions of leaders and ordinary people during the Holocaust. Learn more about the aftermath of the conflict.
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
Erwin Rommel was commander of the German Afrika Korps in North Africa during WWII. Learn about Rommel's military career, death, and ongoing questions around his commitment to Nazism.
Oskar Schindler's actions to protect Jews during the Holocaust saved over 1,000 Jews from deportation. Learn more about Schindler's List.
Explore a timeline of key events during 1942 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
Learn about Fürstengrube subcamp of Auschwitz, including its establishment, administration, prisoner population, and forced labor and conditions in the camp.
The Farhud (pogrom), an outbreak of mob violence against Baghdad Jewry in June 1941, was a turning point in the history of Jews in Iraq. Learn more
Nazi Germany and its allies invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. They quickly conquered large expanses of Soviet territory. German forces waged a “war of annihilation” against the Soviet Union and its peoples, killing millions of civilians. However, the Soviet armed forces eventually pushed the German military back and finally conquered Berlin in spring 1945. Often referred to as the “eastern front,” the German-Soviet theater of war was the largest and deadliest of World War II.
Josef Stalin was the General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party and the head of the Soviet state. His works were burned in Nazi Germany in 1933. Learn more.
Originally a subcamp of Buchenwald, Dora-Mittelbau became the center of an extensive network of forced-labor camps for the production of V-2 missiles and other weapons.
The Medical Case, or Doctors Trial, was Case #1 of 12 Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings against leading German industrialists, military figures, SS perpetrators, and others.
The Hadamar Trial of October 1945 was the first mass atrocity trial held in the US occupation zone of Germany following World War II.
Encircling the Ruhr region was a key Allied military goal. Learn about the military campaign to capture the industrial center of western Germany in the last months of WWII.
The word antisemitism means prejudice against or hatred of Jews. Sometimes called "the longest hatred," it has persisted in many forms for over 2,000 years. Learn more.
Learn more about Nazi racism and racial antisemitism. These prejudices were at the core of Nazi ideology, policies, and practices. They led to murder on a mass scale.
The Axis powers invaded Yugoslavia on April 6, 1941. Learn about the Axis invasion and partition, collaboration, and the fate of Jewish people living in Yugoslavia.
Oradour-sur-Glane was a small farming village of around 350 inhabitants, located near Clermont-Ferrand, some 15 miles west-north-west of Limoges. During World War II, it was located in the German-occupied zone of France. On June 10, 1944, troops of the 2nd Waffen-SS Panzer Division (armored division), Das Reich, massacred 642 people, almost the entire population, and then destroyed the village. After the war, Oradour-sur-Glane rivaled Lidice as an iconic symbol of German crimes against civilians in…
The Riegner telegram was a...
Establishing Control of the Press When Adolf Hitler took power in 1933, the Nazis controlled less than three percent of Germany’s 4,700 papers. The elimination of the German multi-party political system brought about the demise of hundreds of newspapers produced by outlawed political parties. It also allowed the state to seize the printing plants and equipment of the Communist and Social Democratic Parties, which were often turned over directly to the Nazi Party. In the following months, the Nazis…
US filmmaker and photographer Julien Bryan was one of the few western photographers left in Warsaw upon the German invasion of Poland in September 1939.
Background The German attack on Poland in September 1939 trapped nearly 3.5 million Jews in German- and Soviet-occupied territories. In late 1940 and early 1941, just months before the Germans initiated the mass murder of Jews in the Soviet Union, some 2,100 Polish Jews found temporary safe haven in Lithuania. Few of these refugees could have reached permanent safety without the tireless efforts of many individuals. Several Jewish organizations and Jewish communities along the way provided funds and…
From April to July 1994, extremist leaders of Rwanda’s Hutu majority directed a genocide against the country’s Tutsi minority. Learn more
The D-Day invasion was the largest amphibious attack in history. Read articles and browse photos and videos of Allied forces invading Normandy on June 6, 1944.
The German-Soviet Pact paved the way for the joint invasion and occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in September 1939.
Einsatzgruppen, often called “mobile killing units,” are best known for their role in the murder of Jews in mass shooting operations during the Holocaust.
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 kill Jews on a mass scale, 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 help. But the most…
A Project of the Miles Lerman Center Introduction In many cities immediately before World War II (Kalisz, for instance), Zionist groups occupied at best a secondary status behind other Jewish political organizations with different orientations and aims, such as the socialist Bundist party or the traditionalist Agudath Israel party, which represented Poland’s sizable Orthodox Jewish population. During the war, however, members of Zionist youth movements embraced leadership positions in ghetto resistance…
Key dates in the history of the SS (Schutzstaffel; Protection Squadrons), charged with the leadership of the “Final Solution,” the murder of European Jews.
Mobile Killing Squads After the German army invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, a new stage in the Holocaust began. Under cover of war and confident of victory, the Germans turned from the forced emigration and imprisonment of Jews to mass murder. Special action squads, or Einsatzgruppen, made up of Nazi (SS) units and police, moved with speed on the heels of the advancing German army. Their job was to kill any Jews they could find in the occupied Soviet territory. Some residents of the occupied…
Killing Center Revolts The Warsaw ghetto uprising inspired revolts in other ghettos and in killing centers. Although many resisters knew they were bound to lose against overwhelmingly superior German forces, they chose to die fighting. After the last Jews deported to Treblinka were gassed in May 1943, about 1,000 Jewish prisoners remained in the camp. Aware that they were soon to be killed, the prisoners decided to revolt. On August 2, armed with shovels, picks, and a few weapons stolen from the arms…
By a decree of the Reich Ministry of the Interior in May 1939, the Reich Center for Comba...
The "Nacht und Nebel" decree allowed German authorities to capture without trace ("by night and fog") and try individuals alleged to be "endangering German security."
Decrees that ordered Jews to wear special badges for purposes of identification existed before the Nazi era. Learn about this history.
Eugenics was a scientific movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Supporters of eugenics claimed that it offered biological solutions to social problems.
Explore firsthand testimony about the occupation of Mlynów, the establishment of the ghetto, resistance activities, and the destruction of the ghetto.
Charles Coughlin, Catholic priest and populist leader, promoted antisemitic and pro-fascist views. In the 1930s, he was one of the most influential public figures in the US.
From 1940 to 1944, Le Chambon-sur-Lignon and neighboring villages provided shelter to some 5,000 people, among them Jews fleeing persecution.
The War Refugee Board was a significant US attempt to rescue and relieve Jews and other endangered people under German occupation. Learn about its activities.
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.
The Waffen-SS was the milit...
The Law against the Founding of New Parties proclaimed the Nazi Party as the only political party in Germany, which became a one-party dictatorship led by the Nazis.
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