What are the uninformed or deliberately misinformed youth of America to make of cavalier exploitations of such immense human suffering?
By Sara J. Bloomfield
In recent years, there have been some alarming studies about young Americans’ lack of Holocaust knowledge. Reinforcing those findings, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum recently discovered in an informal survey of 700 secondary school teachers across the United States that 37 percent report their students…
Dazzling art, dubious dealers, and greedy Nazi leaders eager to convey an air of grandeur and power. That’s only part of the story behind one of the greatest thefts in history. The Nazi plot to strip Jews of their art, furnishings, and even objects of little value was a sign of their greater ambition — to destroy a people and erase their history. In this digital program, learn about some of the victims and perpetrators — and a mole who secretly documented the theft and hiding places of priceless art.
Robert Wagemann was just four years old when his mother overheard Nazi doctors discussing plans to kill him because of his shattered hip. German officials falsely claimed that Helene Melanie Lebel died from a mental health episode, but she was actually gassed because of her disability.
During World War II, some medical professionals murdered patients who threatened the Nazis’ ideal of a “pure” German race. Life was cut short for an estimated 250,000 people under this program. In this digital program, learn about the victims — and the perpetrators, who instead of protecting their patients, ended the lives of those with mental and physical disabilities.
A grainy photo captures a cold-blooded murder in action. Men in uniform shoot a woman and two children for the “crime” of being Jewish.
This rare photographic evidence shows how Jewish families were brutally murdered — often with local cooperation — during Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. In this digital program, experts discuss one of the largest of these mass shootings, at the Babi Yar (Babyn Yar) ravine northwest of Kiev, where close to 34,000 Jewish men, women, and children were gunned down in two days. As many as two million Jews were killed with bullets and at associated massacres across former Soviet territory.
Berlin boasted a thriving, largely Jewish-owned fashion district that sought to rival Paris in the 1920s and 1930s — before it was destroyed by the Nazis. Leading Jewish designer and trendsetter Norbert Jutschenka owned a successful business there until the Nazis forced him to sell his company for a fraction of its value.
Judith Leiber, who had to give up studying chemistry because of the outbreak of World War II, reinvented herself after the war in Budapest and then New York. Celebrities and First Ladies have carried her crystal-studded designer handbags. This digital program explored what was lost in the fall of a once-rising fashion capital, and how working in the clothing industry helped some survivors build new lives.
Snowy days, birthdays, and every important milestone. More than 1,000 photos capture the simple pleasures of residents of Eisiskes. They abruptly ended after Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union and soldiers came to their town, in what is now Lithuania. The murder of six million Jews began in places like Eisiskes. Over two days in September 1941, the Germans and their collaborators murdered the Jewish townspeople, at the distance of the barrel of a rifle. In this digital program on World Photography Day, experts discussed some of the personal stories behind these photos, which survive as proof of a once-vibrant Jewish community.
ZAP! POW! BAM! These words jump off the page as Captain America and Superman attack the comic book version of Adolf Hitler, who in reality was anything but an imaginary evil.
Superheroes have always fought dangerous villains. Their battle against Hitler in the 1940s taught children about World War II and the Nazis. But it took years before the Holocaust and Jewish victims were clearly illustrated and identified in popular comics and graphic novels. In this digital program, learn how artists like Joe Kubert and Art Spiegelman led the industry to shed light on one of the darkest chapters in history.
It was a daring and dangerous mission. To try to protect the true identities of Jews and resistance fighters hiding behind false ID cards, members of a Dutch resistance group knew they had to destroy the originals. Dressed as policemen, they entered the Amsterdam Registry and set off explosions that burned 800,000 identity cards.
In this digital program commemorating Pride Month, learn about Frieda Belinfante, one of Europe’s first female conductors and a lesbian, and painter Willem Arondeus, a gay man and a leader of this group of artists turned resisters.
While posted in Berlin, American diplomat Raymond Geist worked within a restrictive immigration system to help save as many victims of Nazi persecution as he could, including Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud.
Another diplomat, Colonel José Arturo Castellanos of El Salvador and his first secretary, Jewish businessman George Mandel-Mantello, defied government instructions by providing citizenship certificates to thousands of European Jews who had no connection to El Salvador — most didn’t even speak Spanish.
In this digital program, Museum historians commemorated World Refugee Day and honored diplomats who dared to take great risks to offer refuge and save lives.
Erich and Fritzi Geiringer were living with their 11-year-old son, Heinz, and 8-year-old daughter, Eva, in Austria in 1938, when Nazi Germany annexed that country. As a Jewish family, they were targets for Nazi persecution. They left for Belgium and later moved to the Netherlands.