Explore Gideon Frieder’s biography and learn about his experiences as a child during the Holocaust in Slovakia.
Nazi Racism For years before Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany, he was obsessed with ideas about race. In his speeches and writings, Hitler spread his beliefs in racial "purity" and in the superiority of the "Germanic race"—what he called an Aryan "master race." He pronounced that his race must remain pure in order to one day take over the world. For Hitler, the ideal "Aryan" was blond, blue-eyed, and tall. When Hitler and the Nazis came to power, these beliefs became the government ideology…
Browse a timeline listing some key events in the evolution of Holocaust denial and the distortion of the facts of the Holocaust.
Franz and his family were Jehovah's Witnesses. Germany annexed Austria in 1938. After World War II began, Franz's father was executed because, as a Witness, he opposed war. In 1940, Franz refused to participate in military training and would not salute the Nazi flag. He was imprisoned, interrogated by the Gestapo (German Secret State Police) in Graz, and sentenced to five years of hard labor in a camp in Germany. Franz was liberated by US forces in 1945.
German SS officer Kurt Gerstein was assigned to the Hygiene Institute of the Waffen SS. He was called upon to assist in the implementation of the "Final Solution." After witnessing atrocities at the Belzec and Treblinka killing centers, he tried to inform foreign diplomats, Vatican officials, and members of the political resistance within Germany about Nazi German atrocities. While in Allied custody after the war, Gerstein wrote a report documenting the atrocities he had witnessed.
The Ohrdruf camp was a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, and the first Nazi camp liberated by US troops.
Combining the SS and the police into one institution was an important step in the Nazi regime’s transformation into a powerful dictatorship. This SS and police system had the ideological radicalism of the SS and the executive authority of the police. During World War II, SS and police leaders were responsible for perpetrating the mass murder of Europe’s Jews.
After WWII, many Holocaust survivors, unable to return to their homes, lived in displaced persons camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy. Read about Cinecittà DP camp.
Young people's diaries capture some of the most heartbreaking experiences of the Holocaust. Learn about the diary and experiences of David Sierakowiak.
During the first three years of World War II, from September 1939 through November 1942, a series of military victories permitted German domination of the European continent. In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Within weeks the Poles surrendered. The Germans annexed the former free city of Danzig and all of western Poland, including the provinces of West Prussia, Poznan, Upper Silesia, and Lodz (renamed Litzmannstadt). Central and southern Poland were organized into the Generalgouvernement…
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