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.
The 1936 Berlin Olympic Games were more than just a worldwide sporting event, they were a show of Nazi propaganda, stirring significant conflict. Despite the exclusionary principles of the 1936 Games, countries around the world still agreed to participate.
The swastika is an ancient symbol that was in use in many different cultures for at least 5,000 years before Adolf Hitler made it the centerpiece of the Nazi flag. Its present-day use by certain extremist groups promotes hate.
The Holocaust occurred in the broader context of World War II. World War II was the largest and most destructive conflict in history. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime envisioned a vast, new empire of "living space" (Lebensraum) for Germans in eastern Europe by the removal of existing populations. The Nazi goal to strengthen the German “master race” resulted in the persecution and murder of Jews and many others.
Key dates in the history of the Theresienstadt "camp-ghetto," which existed for three and a half years, between November 24, 1941, and May 9, 1945. During its existence, Theresienstadt served multiple purposes.
After World War II, international, domestic, and military courts conducted trials of tens of thousands of accused war criminals. Efforts to bring to justice to the perpetrators of Nazi-era crimes continue well into the 21st century. Unfortunately, most perpetrators have never been tried or punished. Nevertheless, the postwar trials did set important legal precedents. Today, international and domestic tribunals seek to uphold the principle that those who commit wartime atrocities should be brought to justice.
Reinhard Heydrich was one of the main architects of the “Final Solution.” He was chief of the Reich Security Main Office, the SS and police agency most directly concerned with implementing the Nazi plan to murder Jews of Europe during World War II.
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