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world war I

  • United States Immigration and Refugee Law, 1921–1980

    Article

     Before World War II and the Holocaust, American law made very little...

  • Benjamin (Beryl) Ferencz describes collecting evidence

    Oral History

    Ben was born in a small village in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania in Romania. When he was an infant, his family moved to the United States. Ben attended Harvard University, where he studied criminal law. Ben graduated from Harvard University Law School in 1943. He joined a US anti-aircraft artillery battalion that was training in preparation for an Allied invasion of western Europe. At the end of World War II in Europe, Ben was transferred to the war crimes investigation branch of the US Army. He…

    Benjamin (Beryl) Ferencz describes collecting evidence
  • Wilek (William) Loew describes Jewish life in prewar Lvov, including restrictions on admission to schools

    Oral History

    Wilek was the son of Jewish parents living in the southeastern Polish town of Lvov. His family owned and operated a winery that had been in family hands since 1870. Wilek's father died of a heart attack in 1929. Wilek entered secondary school in 1939. Soon after he began school, World War II began with the German invasion of Poland. Lvov was in the part of eastern Poland annexed by the Soviet Union. Although the Soviets took over Wilek's home and the family business, Wilek was able to continue his…

    Wilek (William) Loew describes Jewish life in prewar Lvov, including restrictions on admission to schools
  • Assessing Guilt

    Article

    After WWII, prosecutors faced the challenge of assessing the guilt of propagandists whose words, images, and writings had supported Nazi brutality and mass murder.

    Assessing Guilt
  • Part of the Maginot Line

    Photo

    A view of part of the Maginot Line, a French defensive wall built after World War I. It was intended to deter a German invasion. France, ca. June 1940.

    Tags: France
    Part of the Maginot Line
  • View of the Maginot Line

    Photo

    A view of the Maginot Line, a French defensive wall built after World War I. It was intended to deter a German invasion. France, 1940.

    Tags: France
    View of the Maginot Line
  • John Dolibois describes attitude of captured Nazi leaders

    Oral History

    John Dolibois immigrated to the United States in 1931 at the age of 13. After graduating from college, Dolibois joined the 16th Armored Division of the US Army. Due to his German language skills, he became involved in military intelligence. He returned to Europe in this capacity toward the end of World War II. Dolibois interrogated German prisoners of war, including leading Nazis, in preparation for the postwar trials of war criminals. He was later appointed US ambassador to Luxembourg, his birthplace.

    John Dolibois describes attitude of captured Nazi leaders
  • Treblinka

    Article

    Treblinka was one of three killing centers in Operation Reinhard, the SS plan to murder almost two million Jews living in the German-administered territory of occupied Poland.

    Treblinka
  • Susan Bluman describes leaving her family in Warsaw after the outbreak of war

    Oral History

    Susan was 19 years old when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. Her boyfriend, Nathan, was in Lvov when the Soviet Union occupied eastern Poland. Nathan sent a guide to Warsaw to bring Susan to the Soviet zone of occupied Poland. Her parents reluctantly agreed after Susan promised to return to Warsaw within two weeks. Upon her arrival in Lvov, Susan married Nathan. The couple then fled across the Lithuanian border to Vilna, where they stayed for a year. They received a visa for transit through Japan…

    Tags: escape
    Susan Bluman describes leaving her family in Warsaw after the outbreak of war
  • Moishe Menyuk

    ID Card

    Moishe was born to a Jewish family in the village of Komarovo, which until 1918 was part of the Russian Empire. At 18, he was drafted into the Russian army and fought in World War I. He was captured by the Germans, and while a POW, learned German. After the war he returned to Komarovo, which by then was part of Poland. He supported his family by farming and managing an estate for a Pole from Warsaw. 1933-39: The few Jews of Komarovo got along well with the Ukrainians. Moishe even played the fiddle at…

    Tags: Poland ghettos
    Moishe Menyuk
  • Insignia of the 2nd Infantry Division

    Photo

    Insignia of the 2nd Infantry Division. The nickname of the 2nd Infantry Division, "Indianhead," was derived from its World War I insignia. This insignia was developed from an emblem a truck driver in the division had painted on his truck.

    Insignia of the 2nd Infantry Division
  • Insignia of the 4th Infantry Division

    Photo

    Insignia of the 4th Infantry Division. The 4th Infantry Division's nickname, the "Ivy" division, is derived from the divisional insignia developed during World War I: four ivy leaves on a diamond field, symbolizing the roman numeral "IV."

    Insignia of the 4th Infantry Division
  • Insignia of the 26th Infantry Division

    Photo

    Insignia of the 26th Infantry Division. The 26th Infantry Division, the "Yankee" division, was so nicknamed to recognize the six New England states from whose National Guard units the division was raised during World War I.

    Insignia of the 26th Infantry Division
  • Insignia of the 82nd Airborne Division

    Photo

    Insignia of the 82nd Airborne Division. The nickname for the 82nd Airborne Division originated in World War I, signifying the "All American" composition of its members. The troops who formed the division came from diverse areas of the United States.

    Insignia of the 82nd Airborne Division
  • School established by the Joint Distribution Committee

    Photo

    One of the many Jewish schools established by the Joint Distribution Committee in central and eastern Europe for children who had lost their parents during World War I. Rovno, Poland, after 1920.

    School established by the Joint Distribution Committee
  • Chaim Kozienicki

    Article

    Children's diaries bear witness to some of the most heartbreaking experiences of the Holocaust. Learn about the diary and experiences of Chaim Kozienicki.

    Chaim Kozienicki
  • Lutz Haase

    ID Card

    Lutz was one of two children born to religious Jewish parents living in Wrzesnia when it was still part of Germany. After World War I, Wrzesnia became part of Polish territory. Preferring to remain as German citizens, Lutz's family moved to Nuremberg. There, his father opened a kosher butcher shop. In 1926 the Haases relocated to Berlin and reestablished their butcher shop there. 1933-39: Like many of Berlin's Jews, Lutz was assigned by the Gestapo to a work detail in 1937. He laid electrical cable for…

    Lutz Haase
  • Belle Mayer Zeck describes research about IG Farben for the postwar trial

    Oral History

    Belle Mayer trained as a lawyer and worked for the General Counsel of the US Treasury, Foreign Funds Control Bureau. This bureau worked to enforce the Trading With the Enemy Act passed by Congress. In this capacity, Mayer became familiar with the German I. G. Farben chemical company, a large conglomerate that used slave labor during World War II. In 1945, Mayer was sent as a Department of Treasury representative to the postwar London Conference. She was present as representatives from the Allied nations…

    Belle Mayer Zeck describes research about IG Farben for the postwar trial
  • Public Humiliation

    Article

    The Nazis used public humiliation tactics to degrade their victims and to reinforce Nazi racial ideology for German citizens and populations under Nazi occupation.

    Public Humiliation
  • Madeline Deutsch describes adjusting to social and educational life after the war

    Oral History

    Madeline was born into a middle class family in an area of Czechoslovakia that was annexed by Hungary in 1938-1939. Her father worked out of their home and her mother was a homemaker. Madeline attended high school. In April 1944 her family was forced into a Hungarian ghetto. The family lived in the ghetto for two weeks before being transported to Auschwitz. Madeline and her mother were separated from her father and older brother. Neither her father nor brother survived the war. A week after arriving in…

    Madeline Deutsch describes adjusting to social and educational life after the war
  • Concentration Camp System: In Depth

    Article

    The Nazi regime's extensive camp system included concentration camps, forced-labor camps, prisoner-of-war camps, transit camps, and killing centers.

    Concentration Camp System: In Depth
  • Danzig - Photographs

    Media Essay

    Following World War I, the Treaty of Versailles (1918) declared Danzig to be a free city administered by Poland and the League of Nations. Germany resented the loss of this largely German city. After invading Poland in September 1939, Nazi Germany annexed Danzig.

  • Danzig

    Media Essay

    Following World War I, the Treaty of Versailles (1918) declared Danzig to be a free city administered by Poland and the League of Nations. Germany resented the loss of this largely German city. After invading Poland in September 1939, Nazi Germany annexed Danzig.

    Tags: Danzig
    Danzig
  • Insignia of the 1st Infantry Division

    Photo

    Insignia of the 1st Infantry Division. The 1st Infantry Division's nickname, the "Big Red One," originated from the division's insignia, a large red number "1" on a khaki field. This nickname was adopted during World War I, when the 1st was the first American division to arrive in France.

    Insignia of the 1st Infantry Division
  • Insignia of the 86th Infantry Division

    Photo

    Insignia of the 86th Infantry Division. The 86th Infantry Division developed the blackhawk as its insignia during World War I, to honor the Native American warrior of that name who fought the US Army in Illinois and Wisconsin during the early nineteenth century. The nickname "The Blackhawks" or "Blackhawk" division is derived from the insignia.

    Insignia of the 86th Infantry Division

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