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annexation austria

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  • Ossi Stojka

    ID Card

    Ossi was the youngest of six children born to Roma ("Gypsies") who traveled in a family wagon. His family was Roman Catholic. Their caravan spent winters in Vienna, Austria's capital, and summers in the Austrian countryside. The Stojkas belonged to a tribe called the Lowara Roma, who made their living as itinerant horse traders. Ossi's ancestors had lived in Austria for more than 200 years. 1933-39: Ossi was 2 years old when Germany annexed Austria in March 1938. The Stojka family wagon was parked for the…

    Ossi Stojka
  • Josef Edelstein

    ID Card

    Josef was one of seven children born to a Jewish family in the Czechoslovakian village of Hvozdnice. After graduating from school, Josef worked as a salesman in Vienna. In 1912 he married Ida Kohn, and the couple had a son before he left to fight for Austria in World War I. After the war, they had a daughter. 1933-39: Because of the economic depression of the 1930s, it was difficult for Josef to make a living in his wholesale shoe business. In 1938 the Germans annexed Austria [the Anschluss], and soon…

    Josef Edelstein
  • German Jews during the Holocaust


    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.

    German Jews during the Holocaust
  • Avraham Tory


    Learn about the Kovno ghetto diary and other documents Avraham Tory saved in a secret archive that documented life in the ghetto.

    Avraham Tory
  • Martha and Waitstill Sharp


    Martha and Waitstill Sharp, American Unitarian aide workers, helped thousands of Jews, intellectuals, and children in Prague, Lisbon, and southern France in 1939–1940.

    Martha and Waitstill Sharp
  • Karl Stojka

    ID Card

    Karl was the fourth of six children born to Roman Catholic parents in the village of Wampersdorf in eastern Austria. The Stojkas belonged to a tribe of Roma ("Gypsies") called the Lowara Roma, who made their living as itinerant horse traders. They lived in a traveling family wagon, and spent winters in Austria's capital of Vienna. Karl's ancestors had lived in Austria for more than 200 years. 1933-39: Karl grew up used to freedom, travel and hard work. In March 1938 his family's wagon was parked for the…

    Karl Stojka
  • Franz Wohlfahrt

    ID Card

    The eldest of six children born to Catholic parents, Franz was raised in a village in the part of Austria known as Carinthia. His father was a farmer and quarryman. Disillusioned with Catholicism, his parents became Jehovah's Witnesses during Franz's childhood and raised their children in their new faith. As a teenager, Franz was interested in painting and skiing. 1933-39: Franz was apprenticed to be a house painter and decorator. After Nazi Germany annexed Austria in 1938, like other Jehovah's…

    Franz Wohlfahrt
  • Adolf Eichmann


    Charged with managing the mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and killing centers, Adolf Eichmann was a key figure in the "Final Solution."

    Adolf Eichmann
  • Ravensbrück


    Learn about conditions and the treatment of prisoners in Ravensbrück, the largest concentration camp for women in the German Reich.

  • Frances Perkins


    Frances Perkins was FDR's secretary of labor. Learn about her role in the rescue of European Jews whose lives were threatened by the Nazi regime.

    Frances Perkins

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