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world war I

  • William (Bill) Zeck describes acquiring evidence for war crimes trials

    Oral History

    Before joining the US Army, Zeck—a lawyer—worked for the Board of Economic Warfare. In 1946, he was hired to work on preparations for the Nuremberg trials. In his search for documents pertaining to the I. G. Farben company's involvement in the war, Zeck also met attorney Belle Mayer, his future wife. Both Zeck and Mayer were involved in preparing the indictment in the I. G. Farben trial held at Nuremberg.

    William (Bill) Zeck describes acquiring evidence for war crimes trials
  • Entrance to the gas chamber in Auschwitz I

    Photo

    The entrance to the gas chamber in Auschwitz I, where Zyklon B was tested on Soviet prisoners of war. The building in the background is a hospital for SS members. Auschwitz, Poland, date uncertain.

    Entrance to the gas chamber in Auschwitz I
  • Auschwitz: Key Dates

    Article

    Explore a timeline of key events in the history of the Auschwitz camp complex in German-occupied Poland.

    Auschwitz: Key Dates
  • Gertrude Boyarski

    Article

    Read the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation's short biography of Gertrude Boyarski.

    Gertrude Boyarski
  • Treatment of US POWs

    Film

    A former US prisoner of war (POW), United States Navy Lieutenant Jack Taylor, testifies to the treatment he and other American POWs received in the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.

    Treatment of US POWs
  • Auschwitz Camp Complex

    Article

    Auschwitz was the largest camp established by the Germans. It was a complex of camps, including a concentration camp, killing center, and forced-labor camp.

    Auschwitz Camp Complex
  • Third Reich

    Article

    Both inside and outside Germany, the term “Third Reich” was often used to describe the Nazi regime in Germany from January 30, 1933, to May 8, 1945. The Nazi rise to power marked the beginning of the Third Reich. It brought an end to the Weimar Republic, a parliamentary democracy established in defeated Germany after World War I. The last years of the Weimar Republic were plagued by political deadlock, increasing political street violence, and economic depression. These years were also marked by…

    Third Reich
  • Romania

    Article

    The treaties that followed World War I more than doubled the territory and population of Romania. The 1930 Romanian census recorded 728,115 persons who identified themselves as Jewish, comprising approximately 4 percent of the population. Traditionally, Romania had strong ties to France but tried (under its ruler King Carol II), to remain neutral in the 1930s. With the fall of France in June 1940, Nazi Germany supported the revisionist demands for Romanian territory of the Soviet Union, Hungary, and…

    Romania
  • The Nazi Olympics Berlin 1936: African American Voices and "Jim Crow" America

    Article

    African American athletes, facing racism at home, also debated whether to join or boycott the 1936 Olympic games in Germany, then under a racist dictatorship. Learn more.

    The Nazi Olympics Berlin 1936: African American Voices and "Jim Crow" America
  • Jutta Szmirgeld

    Article

    Children's diaries bear witness to some of the most heartbreaking events of the Holocaust. Learn about the diary and experiences of Jutta Szmirgeld.

    Jutta Szmirgeld
  • Auschwitz Through the Lens of the SS: The Album

    Article

    Learn about photographs contained in Karl Höcker’s album depicting official visits, ceremonies, and the social activities of the Auschwitz camp staff.

    Auschwitz Through the Lens of the SS: The Album
  • Resistance in the Smaller Ghettos of Eastern Europe: Glossary

    Article

    General Terms Agudat Israel (In Yiddish, Agudas Yisroel) Political party founded in Kattowitz in Poland in 1912 to represent Orthodox Jews. Although the founding conference of the primary political part of Orthodox Jewry took place in May of 1912, the serious organization of Agudat Israel in Poland began in 1916. It was internal Jewish developments, rather than external factors, which spurred the anti-Zionist Orthodox to organize politically for the first time. Agudat Israel represented Jews who wished…

  • Lodz

    Article

    The city of Łódź (Lodz) is located about 85 miles southwest of Warsaw, Poland. The Jews of Lodz formed the second largest Jewish community in prewar Poland, after Warsaw. German troops occupied Lodz on September 8, 1939. This was one week after Germany invaded Poland on September 1. Lodz was annexed to Germany as part of the Warthegau. The Germans renamed the city Litzmannstadt, after a German World War I general, Karl Litzmann. The Lodz Ghetto In early February 1940, the Germans established a ghetto…

    Lodz
  • Hidden Children: Hardships

    Article

    Parents, children, and rescuers faced daunting challenges once the decision was made for a child to go into hiding during the Holocaust.

    Hidden Children: Hardships
  • Joseph Goebbels

    Article

    Joseph Goebbels, Nazi politician, propagandist, and radical antisemite, was Reich Minister for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment from 1933 until 1945.

    Joseph Goebbels
  • Belle Mayer Zeck describes working conditions and staffing at Nuremberg during the postwar trials

    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 working conditions and staffing at Nuremberg during the postwar trials
  • Wilek (William) Loew describes forced labor in Lvov

    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 forced labor in Lvov
  • Norbert I. Swislocki describes fleeing from Warsaw with his mother

    Oral History

    Norbert was 3 years old when Germany invaded Poland in September 1939. He and his mother were in Warsaw; his father had been drafted into the Polish army and later ended up in Vilna. Norbert and his mother set out to join him and the family was reunited after a few months. After the family had been in Vilna for about a year, Norbert's father was able to obtain visas for Curacao in the Dutch West Indies and visas for transit through Japan. Norbert and his parents left Vilna in January 1941, and arrived in…

    Norbert I. Swislocki describes fleeing from Warsaw with his mother
  • Nazi Party Platform

    Article

    The Nazi Party Platform was a 25-point program for the creation of a Nazi state and society. Hitler presented it at the Hofbräuhaus Beerhall in Munich in February 1920.

    Nazi Party Platform
  • Wilhelm Kusserow

    ID Card

    Born at the beginning of World War I, Wilhelm was patriotically named after Germany's emperor, Wilhelm II. The eldest son, Wilhelm was raised a Lutheran, but after the war his parents became Jehovah's Witnesses and raised their children according to their faith. After 1931, their home in the rustic town of Bad Lippspringe became known as a center of Jehovah's Witness activity. 1933-39: The Kusserows were under close scrutiny by the Nazi police because Witnesses believed that their highest loyalty was to…

    Wilhelm Kusserow
  • Marcu Butnaru

    ID Card

    Marcu was born to Jewish parents in a small, ethnically diverse city in east central Moldavia [in Romania], a region known for its wine. He married at the age of 23, and had a son and a daughter with his wife, Anna. After World War I, Marcu followed in his father's footsteps by going into the wine making business. 1933-39: The price of wine was low due to the worldwide economic depression. Because the quality of Marcu's wine was excellent, however, it still fetched a good price. He spent much of his time…

    Tags: Romania
    Marcu Butnaru
  • Antisemitism

    Article

    Throughout history Jews have faced prejudice and discrimination, known as antisemitism. Learn more about the long history of antisemitism.

    Tags: antisemitism
    Antisemitism
  • William (Bill) Zeck describes the role of the Nuremberg trials in establishing a historical record

    Oral History

    Before joining the US Army, Zeck—a lawyer—worked for the Board of Economic Warfare. In 1946, he was hired to work on preparations for the Nuremberg trials. In his search for documents pertaining to the I. G. Farben company's involvement in the war, Zeck also met attorney Belle Mayer, his future wife. Both Zeck and Mayer were involved in preparing the indictment in the I. G. Farben trial held at Nuremberg.  

    William (Bill) Zeck describes the role of the Nuremberg trials in establishing a historical record
  • Ruth Webber describes the Auschwitz crematoria

    Oral History

    Ruth was four years old when the Germans invaded Poland and occupied Ostrowiec. Her family was forced into a ghetto. Germans took over her father's photography business, although he was allowed to continue working outside the ghetto. Before the ghetto was liquidated, Ruth's parents sent her sister into hiding, and managed to get work at a labor camp outside the ghetto. Ruth also went into hiding, either in nearby woods or within the camp itself. When the camp was liquidated, Ruth's parents were split up.…

    Ruth Webber describes the Auschwitz crematoria
  • Brenda Senders

    Article

    Read the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation's short biography of Brenda Senders.

    Brenda Senders

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