You searched for: world war I

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Charlene Schiff describes escaping from the Horochow ghetto

    Oral History

    Both of Charlene's parents were local Jewish community leaders, and the family was active in community life. Charlene's father was a professor of philosophy at the State University of Lvov. World War II began with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. Charlene's town was in the part of eastern Poland occupied by the Soviet Union under the German-Soviet Pact of August 1939. Under the Soviet occupation, the family remained in its home and Charlene's father continued to teach. The Germans…

    Tags: ghettos escape
    Charlene Schiff describes escaping from the Horochow ghetto
  • Vienna

    Article

    Nazi Germany annexed Austria in March 1938. Learn about Austria’s capital, Vienna, which at the time was home to a large and vibrant Jewish community.

    Vienna
  • Brenda Senders

    Article

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

    Brenda Senders
  • William (Bill) Zeck describes translation and witnesses during 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 translation and witnesses during war crimes trials
  • Aron (Dereczynski) Derman describes escape from a train during deportation from Grodno in 1943

    Oral History

    Aron was born to a middle-class Jewish family in Slonim, a part of Poland between the two world wars. His parents owned a clothing store. After studying in a technical school, Aron worked as a motion-picture projectionist in a small town near Slonim. The Soviet army took over Slonim in September 1939. War broke out between Germany and the Soviet Union in June 1941. Aron returned to Slonim. The Germans soon occupied Slonim, and later forced the Jews into a ghetto. Aron was forced to work in an armaments…

    Tags: deportations
    Aron (Dereczynski) Derman describes escape from a train during deportation from Grodno in 1943
  • Testimony on the Escape from the Mir Ghetto by Eliezer Breslin

    Article

    A Project of the Miles Lerman Center Summary extract from the testimony of Eliezer Breslin given to detectives from New Scotland Yard in Israel on May 22, 1995, during the investigation into Semion Serafinowicz, the former chief of the Belorussian police in Mir. The first ghetto was established three weeks after the German invasion and consisted only of a few streets, Zavalne Street and Visoka Street. It was not exactly a ghetto; it wasn't enclosed by a barbed wire fence. In this area the houses were…

  • 1944: Key Dates

    Article

    Explore a timeline of key events during 1944 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.

    Tags: key dates
    1944: Key Dates
  • Mir

    Article

    As the Nazis conducted the...

    Mir
  • Joe and Rose Holm

    Article

    Read the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation's short biography of Joe and Rose Holm.

    Joe and Rose Holm
  • George Salton describes his physical condition upon liberation

    Oral History

    George was liberated by the American forces in May 1945. He had spent three years during the war in ten different concentration camps. In 1945 he was in the Woebbelin camp in Germany. After liberation, he spent over two years in various displaced persons camps. George immigrated to the United States in October 1947.

    Tags: liberation
    George Salton describes his physical condition upon liberation
  • Sobibor

    Article

    To carry out the mass murder of Europe's Jews, the Nazis established killing centers that used assembly-line methods of murder. Sobibor was among these facilities.

    Sobibor
  • Allied prisoner of war describes work details

    Film

    Most Allied prisoners of war (POWs) were treated well compared to inmates of concentration camps. But, as former Dutch POW Captain Boullard explains here at Dachau concentration camp, some were subject to severe beatings and forced to work in harsh labor assignments.

    Allied prisoner of war describes work details
  • Germany rejects disarmament and international cooperation

    Film

    Adolf Hitler's foreign policy aimed at establishing a European empire for Germany through war. This policy required the rapid expansion of Germany's military capabilities. The Geneva Disarmament Conference, beginning in 1932, sought to avoid another European war by negotiating a reduction in armaments. Hitler repudiated this effort by withdrawing Germany from the conference in October 1933. At the same time, he rejected collective security in international affairs by withdrawing from the League of Nations.…

    Tags: Germany
    Germany rejects disarmament and international cooperation
  • Les Milles Camp

    Article

    Under the Vichy regime, the Les Milles camp held foreign Jews before emigration or, in most cases, deportation to German concentration camps and killing centers.

    Tags: camps
    Les Milles Camp
  • Incitement to Genocide in International Law

    Article

    In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the world was faced with a challenge—how to seek justice for an almost unimaginable scale of criminal behavior, including the annihilation of European Jewry. Even as a vocabulary emerged to describe the atrocities that would come to be known as the Holocaust, legal experts sought to establish a new body of law to address the unprecedented crimes perpetrated by the Axis powers. A series of war crimes trials convened by the Allied powers and European governments…

    Incitement to Genocide in International Law
  • 1942: Key Dates

    Article

    Explore a timeline of key events during 1942 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.

    Tags: key dates
    1942: Key Dates
  • Charlene Schiff describes children smuggling food into the Horochow ghetto

    Oral History

    Both of Charlene's parents were local Jewish community leaders, and the family was active in community life. Charlene's father was a professor of philosophy at the State University of Lvov. World War II began with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. Charlene's town was in the part of eastern Poland occupied by the Soviet Union under the German-Soviet Pact of August 1939. Under the Soviet occupation, the family remained in its home and Charlene's father continued to teach. The Germans…

    Tags: ghettos
    Charlene Schiff describes children smuggling food into the Horochow ghetto
  • Introduction to the Holocaust

    Article

    Learn about the Holocaust, the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.

    Introduction to the Holocaust
  • "The Nazi Plan": Annihilation of Jews

    Film

    The film "The Nazi Plan" was shown as evidence at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg on December 11, 1945. It was compiled for the trial by Budd Schulberg and other US military personnel, under the supervision of Navy Commander James Donovan. The compilers used only German source material, including official newsreels. This footage titled "Hitler Predicts Annihilation of the Jewish Race in Europe if War Occurs" shows Hitler delivering a speech to the German parliament on January 30, 1939.

    "The Nazi Plan": Annihilation of Jews
  • German presence in Copenhagen, Denmark

    Film

    Denmark signed a nonaggression pact with Germany in 1939, hoping to maintain neutrality as it had in World War I. Germany, however, broke the agreement on April 9, 1940, when it occupied Denmark. King Christian X remained on the throne, and the Danish police and government reluctantly accepted the German occupation. This footage shows the German presence in the occupied Danish capital, Copenhagen. In 1943, as German policies towards Denmark toughened, the Danes would form one of the most active and…

    German presence in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Insignia of the 84th Infantry Division

    Photo

    Insignia of the 84th Infantry Division. The 84th Infantry Division derives its nickname, "Railsplitter" division, from the divisional insignia, an ax splitting a rail. This design was created during World War I, when the division was known as the "Lincoln" division to represent the states that supplied soldiers for the division: Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. All figured prominently in the life of President Abraham Lincoln, of log-splitting legend.

    Insignia of the 84th Infantry Division
  • Wilek (William) Loew describes political prison in Budapest after the Germans arrested him as a Polish spy

    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 political prison in Budapest after the Germans arrested him as a Polish spy
  • Sophie Turner-Zaretsky describes how her teddy bear came into her possession

    Oral History

    Sophie was born Selma Schwarzwald to parents Daniel and Laura in the industrial city of Lvov, two years before Germany invaded Poland. Daniel was a successful businessman who exported timber and Laura had studied economics. The Germans occupied Lvov in 1941. After her father's disappearance on her fifth birthday in 1941, Sophie and her mother procured false names and papers and moved to a small town called Busko-Zdroj. They became practicing Catholics to hide their identities. Sophie gradually forgot that…

    Sophie Turner-Zaretsky describes how her teddy bear came into her possession
  • Auschwitz

    Article

    The Auschwitz camp system, located in German-occupied Poland, was a complex of 3 camps, including a killing center. Learn about the history of Auschwitz.

    Auschwitz
  • Nazi Hunting: Simon Wiesenthal

    Article

    “When history looks back I want people to know the Nazis weren't able to kill millions of people and get away with it.”—Simon Wiesenthal Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor, dedicated his life to raising public awareness of the need to hunt and prosecute Nazis who have evaded justice. After liberation, Wiesenthal worked for the War Crimes Section of the United States Army, and in 1947 he opened the Jewish Historical Documentation Center in Austria. For decades, Wiesenthal pressured Western…

  • Anti-Jewish Legislation in Prewar Germany

    Article

    Nazi anti-Jewish laws began stripping Jews of rights and property from the start of Hitler’s dictatorship. Learn about antisemitic laws in prewar Germany.

    Anti-Jewish Legislation in Prewar Germany

Thank you for supporting our work

We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.