When Adolf Hitler came to power in January 1933, Germany was potentially one of the strongest powers in Europe. Hitler was determined to overturn the remaining military and territorial provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, which had followed World War I. He aimed to include German-speaking people in the Reich as a preliminary step toward the restoration of German power and the creation of a German empire in Europe. Large numbers of German-speaking people lived in Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland.…
After WWII and the fall of the Nazi regime, Holocaust survivors faced the daunting task of rebuilding their lives. Listen to Thomas Buergenthal's story.
The 42nd Infantry Division participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating the Dachau concentration camp in 1945.
Under Adolf Hitler, the Nazi regime would be responsible for the murder of 6 million Jews and millions of other victims. Learn about Hitler's early years.
After WWII and the fall of the Nazi regime, Holocaust survivors faced the daunting task of rebuilding their lives. Listen to Regina Gelb's story.
Nazi policy did a great deal to facilitate denial of the Holocaust even as the killing operation unfolded across German-occupied Europe during World War II. The Holocaust was a state secret in Nazi Germany. The Germans wrote down as little as possible. Most of the killing orders were verbal, particularly at the highest levels. Hitler's order to kill Jews was issued only on a need-to-know basis. The Nazi leaders generally avoided detailed planning of killing operations, preferring to proceed in a…
The German military participated in many aspects of the Holocaust: supporting Hitler, using fo...
German naval officer Martin Niemöller (top, foreground) commands a U-Boat during World War I. Flensburg, Germany , ca. 1914–17.
Stretcher bearers carry a wounded soldier during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. France, September 1916. IWM (Q 1332)
The Armenian genocide is sometimes called the first genocide of the twentieth century.
The 101st Airborne participated in major WWII campaigns and is recognized for liberating the Kaufering subcamp of Dachau in 1945.
Allied delegates in the Hall of Mirrors at the palace of Versailles witness the German delegation's acceptance of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty formally ended World War I. Versailles, France, June 28, 1919.
Background Estonia is the northernmost and smallest of the Baltic states. Between the end of World War I and 1940, Estonia was an independent republic. In 1939, the Jewish population of Estonia numbered about 4,500, a tiny percentage of the country's population. Almost half the Estonian Jews lived in Tallinn, the capital city. The rest lived in other towns, such as Tartu, Valga, Parnu, Narva, Viljandi, Rakvere, Voru, and Nomme. Soviet Occupation, 1940 The Soviet Union occupied Estonia in June 1940 and…
Theories of eugenics shaped many persecutory policies in Nazi Germany. Learn about the radicalization and deadly consequences of these theories and policies
Louis Fischer was an American political historian. In May 1933, his work was burned in Nazi Germany for its sympathy toward Communism. Learn more.
Erwin Rommel was a German army officer who rose to the rank of Field Marshal. He was renowned...
The Nazis frequently used propaganda to disguise their political aims and deceive the German and international public. Learn more.
Germany started World War II in Europe on September 1, 1939, by invading Poland. War would continue until 1945. Learn more about WWII and genocide in Europe.
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…
Ben Ferencz investigated and prosecuted Nazi crimes and has devoted his life to creating an international system of justice. Learn about his activities and impact.
SS Chief Heinrich Himmler was chief architect of the "Final Solution." Learn more about Himmler, one of the most powerful men after Hitler in Nazi Germany.
After WWII and the fall of the Nazi regime, Holocaust survivors faced the daunting task of rebuilding their lives. Listen to Blanka Rothschild's story.
The outbreak of WWII in September 1939 significantly impacted refugees attempti...
The Sephardic Jewish community of Monastir was historically the largest Jewish community in Macedonia. Learn about the community before and during WWII and the Holocaust.
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