The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) is the United States' official memorial to the Holocaust. Adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the USHMM provides for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history. It is dedicated to helping leaders and citizens of the world confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity, and strengthen democracy.
The museum has an operating budget, as of 2015, of $104.6 million. In 2008, the museum had a staff of about 400 employees, 125 contractors, 650 volunteers, 91 Holocaust survivors, and 175,000 members. It had local offices in New York City, Boston, Boca Raton, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Dallas.
Since its dedication on April 22, 1993, the Museum has had nearly 40 million visitors, including more than 10 million school children, 99 heads of state, and more than 3,500 foreign officials from over 211 countries. The Museum's visitors came from all over the world, and less than 10 percent of the Museum's visitors are Jewish. Its website had 25 million visits in 2008 from an average of 100 different countries daily. 35% of these visits were from outside the United States.
The USHMM's collections contain more than 12,750 artifacts, 49 million pages of archival documents, 80,000 historical photographs, 200,000 registered survivors, 1,000 hours of archival footage, 84,000 library items, and 9,000 oral history testimonies. It also has teacher fellows in every state in the United States and almost 400 university fellows from 26 countries since 1994.
Researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have documented 42,500 ghettos and concentration camps erected by the Nazis throughout German-controlled areas of Europe from 1933 to 1945.
|United States Holocaust Memorial Museum|
Location in Washington, D.C.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (the United States)
|Established||April 22, 1993|
|Location||100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, Southwest, Washington, D.C.|
|Visitors||1.6 million (2016)|
|Director||Sara J. Bloomfield|
|Public transit access||Smithsonian|
On November 1, 1978, President Jimmy Carter established the President's Commission on the Holocaust, chaired by Elie Wiesel, a prominent author and Holocaust survivor. Its mandate was to investigate the creation and maintenance of a memorial to victims of the Holocaust and an appropriate annual commemoration to them. The mandate was created in a joint effort by Elie Wiesel and Richard Krieger (the original papers are on display at the Jimmy Carter Museum). On September 27, 1979, the Commission presented its report to the President, recommending the establishment of a national Holocaust memorial museum in Washington, D.C. with three main components: a national museum/memorial, an educational foundation, and a Committee on Conscience.
After a unanimous vote by the United States Congress in 1980 to establish the museum, the federal government made available 1.9 acres (0.77 ha) of land adjacent to the Washington Monument for construction. Under the original Director Richard Krieger, and subsequent Director Jeshajahu Weinberg and Chairman Miles Lerman, nearly $190 million was raised from private sources for building design, artifact acquisition, and exhibition creation. In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan helped lay the cornerstone of the building, designed by the architect James Ingo Freed. Dedication ceremonies on April 22, 1993 included speeches by American President Bill Clinton, Israeli President Chaim Herzog, Chairman Harvey Meyerhoff, and Elie Wiesel. On April 26, 1993, the Museum opened to the general public. Its first visitor was the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.
The museum has been the target of a planned attack and a fatal shooting. In 2002, a federal jury convicted white supremacists Leo Felton and Erica Chase of planning to bomb a series of institutions associated with American black and Jewish communities, including the USHMM. On June 10, 2009, 88-year-old James von Brunn, an anti-Semite, shot Museum Special Police Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns. Special Police Officer Johns and von Brunn were both seriously wounded and transported by ambulance to the George Washington University Hospital. Special Police Officer Johns later died of his injuries; he is permanently honored in an official memorial at the USHMM. Von Brunn, who had a previous criminal record, died during his criminal trial in federal court, in Butner federal prison in North Carolina.
Designed by the architect James Ingo Freed of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, in association with Finegold Alexander + Associates Inc, the USHMM is created to be a "resonator of memory". (Born to a Jewish family in Germany, Freed came to the United States at the age of nine in 1939 with his parents, who fled the Nazi regime.) The outside of the building disappears into the neoclassical, Georgian, and modern architecture of Washington, D.C. Upon entering, each architectural feature becomes a new element of allusion to the Holocaust. In designing the building, Freed researched post-World War II German architecture and visited Holocaust sites throughout Europe. The Museum building and the exhibitions within are intended to evoke deception, fear, and solemnity, in contrast to the comfort and grandiosity usually associated with Washington, D.C. public buildings.
Other partners in the construction of the USHMM included Weiskopf & Pickworth, Cosentini Associates LLP, Jules Fisher, and Paul Marantz, all from New York City. The structural engineering firm that was chosen for this project was Severud Associates. The Museum's Meyerhoff Theatre and Rubenstein Auditorium were constructed by Jules Fisher Associates of New York City. The Permanent Exhibition was designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates.
The USHMM contains two exhibitions that have been open continuously since 1993 and numerous rotating exhibitions that deal with various topics related to the Holocaust and human rights.
The Hall of Remembrance is the USHMM's official memorial to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. Visitors can memorialize the event by lighting candles, visiting an eternal flame, and reflecting in silence in the hexagonal hall.
Using more than 900 artifacts, 70 video monitors, and four theaters showing historic film footage and eyewitness testimonies, the USHMM's Permanent Exhibition is the most visited exhibit at the Museum. Upon entering large industrial elevators on the first floor, visitors are given identification cards, each of which tells the story of a person such as a random victim or survivor of the Holocaust. Upon exiting these elevators on the fourth floor, visitors walk through a chronological history of the Holocaust, starting with the Nazi rise to power led by Adolf Hitler, 1933-1939. Topics dealt with include Aryan ideology, Kristallnacht, Antisemitism, and the American response to Nazi Germany. Visitors continue walking to the third floor, where they learn about ghettos and the Final Solution, by which the Nazis tried to exterminate all the Jews of Europe, and they killed six million of them, many in gas chambers. The Permanent Exhibition ends on the second floor with the liberation of Nazi concentration camps by Allied forces; it includes a continuously looped film of Holocaust survivor testimony. First-time visitors spend an average of two to three hours in this self-guided exhibition. Due to certain images and subject matter, it is recommended for visitors 11 years of age and older.
To enter the Permanent Exhibition between March and August, visitors must acquire free timed passes from the Museum on the day of the visit, or online for a service fee.
Remember the Children: Daniel's Story is an exhibition designed to explain the Holocaust to elementary and middle school children. Opened in 1993, following its original inception at the Children's Museum in Washington, D.C. in 1988, and reviewed by psychiatrists, it tells the story of Daniel, a fictional child based on a collection of true stories about children during the Holocaust. Daniel is named after the son of Isaiah Kuperstein who was the original curator of the exhibit. He worked together with Ann Lewin and Stan Woodward to create the exhibit. Because of its popularity with families, it is still open to the public today.
In October 2009, the USHMM unveiled a memorial plaque in honor of Special Police Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns. In response to the outpouring of grief and support after the shooting on June 10, 2009, it has also established the Stephen Tyrone Johns Summer Youth Leadership Program. Each year, 50 outstanding young people from the Washington, D.C. area will be invited to the USHMM to learn about the Holocaust in honor of Johns' memory.
The Museum's holdings included art, books, pamphlets, advertisements, maps, film and video historical footage, audio and video oral testimonies, music and sound recordings, furnishings, architectural fragments, models, machinery, tools, microfilm and microfiche of government documents and other official records, personal effects, personal papers, photographs, photo albums, and textiles. This information can be accessed through online databases or by visiting the USHMM. Researchers from all over the world come to the USHMM Library and Archives and the Benjamin and Vladka Meed Registry of Holocaust Survivors.
The USHMM operates on a mixed federal and private revenue budget. For the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the museum reported total revenues of $133.4 million; $81.9 million and $51.4 million from private and public sources, respectively. Nearly the entirety of private funds come from donations. Expenses totaled of $104.6 million, with a total of $53.5 million used to pay 421 employees. Net assets tallied $436.1 million as of September 30, 2015, of which $319.1 million is classified as long-term investments, including the museum's endowment.
In 1998, the USHMM established the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies (CAHS). Working with the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, the CAHS supports research projects and publications about the Holocaust (including a partnership with Oxford University Press to publish the scholarly journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies), helps make accessible collections of Holocaust-related archival material, supports fellowship opportunities for pre- and post- doctoral researchers, and hosts seminars, summer research workshops for academics, conferences, lectures, and symposia. The CAHS's Visiting Scholars Program and other events have made the USHMM one of the world's principal venues for Holocaust scholarship.
The Museum contains the offices of the Committee on Conscience (CoC), a joint United States government and privately funded think tank, which by presidential mandate engages in global human rights research. Using the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, approved by the United Nations in 1948 and ratified by the United States in 1988, the CoC has established itself as a leading non-partisan commenter on the Darfur Genocide, as well as the war-torn region of Chechnya in Russia, a zone that the CoC believes could produce genocidal atrocities. The CoC does not have policy-making powers and serves solely as an advisory institution to the American and other governments.
In addition to coordinating the National Civic Commemoration, ceremonies and educational programs during the week of the DRVH were regularly held throughout the country, sponsored by Governors, Mayors, veterans groups, religious groups, and military ships and stations throughout the world.
Each year, the USHMM designated a special theme for DRVH observances, and prepares materials available at no charge to support observances and programs throughout the nation, and in the United States military. Days of Remembrance themes have included:
The USHMM conducted several programs devoted to improving Holocaust education. The Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Conference for Teachers, conducted in Washington, D.C., attracted around 200 middle school and secondary teachers from around the United States each year. The Education Division offered workshops around the United States for teachers to learn about the Holocaust, to participate in the Museum Teacher Fellowship Program (MTFP), and to join a national corps of educators who served as leaders in Holocaust education in their schools, communities, and professional organizations. Some MTFP participants also participated in the Regional Education Corps, an initiative to implement Holocaust education on a national level.
Since 1999, the USHMM also provided public service professionals, including law enforcement officers, military personnel, civil servants, and federal judges with ethics lessons based in Holocaust history. In partnership with the Anti-Defamation League, more than 21,000 law enforcement officers from worldwide and local law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and local police departments have been trained to act in a professional and democratic manner.
The Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945 is a seven-part encyclopedia series that explores the history of the concentration camps and the ghettos in German-occupied Europe during the Nazi era. The series is produced by the USHMM and published by the Indiana University Press. The work on the series began in 2000 by the researchers at the USHMM's Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. Its general editor and project directory is the American historian Geoffrey P. Megargee. As of 2017, two volumes have been issued, with the third being planned for 2018.
Volume I covers the early camps that the SA and SS set up in the first year of the Nazi regime, and the camps later run by the SS Economic Administration Main Office and their numerous sub-camps. The volume contains 1,100 entries written by 150 contributors. The bulk of the volume is dedicated to cataloguing the camps, including locations, duration of operation, purpose, perpetrators and victims. Volume II is dedicated to the ghettos in German-occupied Eastern Europe and was published in 2012.
A large component of the USHMM was directed towards its website and associated accounts. With a majority of interest coming from the virtual world, the USHMM provided a variety of research tools online.
On its website, online exhibitions, the Museum published the Holocaust Encyclopedia—an online, multilingual encyclopedia detailing the events surrounding the Holocaust. It was published in all six of the official languages of the United Nations—Arabic, Mandarin, English, French, Russian, and Spanish; as well as in Greek, Portuguese, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu. It contained thousands of entries and includes copies of the identification card profiles that visitors receive at the Permanent Exhibition.
The USHMM had partnered with Apple Inc. to publish free podcasts on iTunes about the Holocaust, anti-semitism, and genocide prevention. It also had its own channel on YouTube, an official account on Facebook, a Twitter page, and an e-mail newsletter service.
The Genocide Prevention Mapping Initiative was a collaboration between the USHMM and Google Earth. It sought to collect, share, and visually present to the world critical information on emerging crises that may lead to genocide or related crimes against humanity. While this initiative focused on the Darfur Conflict, the Museum wishes to broaden its scope to all human rights violations. The USHMM wanted to build an interactive "global crisis map" to share and understand information quickly, to "see the situation" when dealing with human rights abuses, enabling more effective prevention and response by the world.
Since 1991, the USHMM had created traveling exhibitions to travel all over the United States and the world. These exhibitions have been to over one hundred cities in more than 35 states. It is possible to request and host various subject matters including: "The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936", "Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals", and others depending on what a community desires.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Award was established in 2011 and it "recognizes internationally prominent individuals whose actions have advanced the Museum’s vision of a world where people confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity." It has been renamed the Elie Wiesel Award in honor of its first recipient. Winners include:
In 2018 a survey organized by the Claims Conference, USHMM, and others found that 41% of 1,350 American adults surveyed, and 66% of millennials, did not know what Auschwitz was. 41% of millennians incorrectly claimed that 2 million Jews or less were killed during the Holocaust, while 22% said they had never heard of the Holocaust. Over 95% of all Americans surveyed were unaware that the Holocaust occurred in the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. 45% of adults and 49% of millennials weren't able to name a single Nazi concentration camp or ghetto in German-occupied Europe during the Holocaust.
The museum is overseen by the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, which includes 55 private citizens appointed by the President of the United States, five members of the United States Senate, and five members of the House of Representatives, and three ex-officio members from the Departments of State, the Education, and the Interior.
Since the museum opened, the council has been led by the following officers:
The council has appointed the following as directors of the museum:
Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945 is a seven-part encyclopedia series that explores the history of the concentration camps, ghettos, forced-labor camps, and other sites of detention, persecution, or state-sponsored murder run by Nazi Germany and other Axis powers in Europe and Africa. The series is produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) and published by Indiana University Press. Research began in 2000; the first volume was published in 2009; and the final volume is slated for publication in 2025. Along with entries on individual sites, the encyclopedias also contain scholarly overviews for historical context.
The project attracted media attention when its editors announced in 2013 that the series would cover more than 42,500 sites, eight times more than expected. The first two volumes in the series, covering the Nazi concentration camps and Nazi ghettos, received a positive response from both scholars and survivors. Multiple scholars have described the encyclopedias as the most comprehensive reference on their given subjects.Geoffrey P. Megargee
Geoffrey P. Megargee (born 1959) is an American historian and author who specialises in the World War II military history and the history of the Holocaust. After working for the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century, he joined the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, D.C.
Megargee is the author and editor of several books on the history of Nazi Germany. His work on the German High Command (the OKW) won the 2001 Distinguished Book Award from the Society for Military History. He serves as the project director and editor-in-chief for the Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945 by the USHMM.Holocaust Encyclopedia
The Holocaust Encyclopedia is an online encyclopedia, published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, offering detailed information about The Holocaust and the events surrounding it.
The encyclopedia is organized by the following topics:
The Third Reich
Victims Of The Nazi Era
Rescue And Resistance
After The Holocaust
Additional ResourcesIt includes a number of articles and other resources:
Identity Cards of victims (600)
Historical Film Footage (160)
Oral Histories (550)
Photographs (1300)Holocaust Encyclopedia materials and other resources are available in multiple languages:
Arabic, Greek, Spanish, French, Italian, Korean, Russian, Urdu, Farsi, Bahasa Indonesia, Portuguese, Turkish, Chinese
It includes a Learning Site for Students. Organized by theme, the site uses text, photographs, maps, artifacts, and personal histories to provide an overview of the Holocaust.Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Holocaust and Genocide Studies is an international peer-reviewed academic journal addressing the issue of the Holocaust and other genocides. It has been published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum since 1987 with varying frequency (currently three issues a year). The journal's editor-in-chief is currently Richard Breitman (American University, Washington, D.C.).Holocaust victims
Holocaust victims were people who were targeted by the government of Nazi Germany for various discriminatory practices due to their ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, or sexual orientation. These institutionalized practices came to be called The Holocaust, and they began with legalized social discrimination against specific groups, and involuntary hospitalization, euthanasia, and forced sterilization of those considered physically or mentally unfit for society. These practices escalated during World War II to include non-judicial incarceration, confiscation of property, forced labor, sexual slavery, medical experimentation, and death through overwork, undernourishment, and execution through a variety of methods, with the genocide of different groups as the primary goal.
According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the country's official memorial to the Holocaust, "The Holocaust was the murder of six million Jews and millions of others by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II." The museum puts the total number of murdered during the Holocaust at 17 million: 6 million Jews and 11 million others.Höcker Album
The Höcker Album (or Hoecker Album) is a collection of photographs believed to have been collected by Karl-Friedrich Höcker, an officer for the SS during the Nazi regime in Germany. It contains over one hundred images of the lives and living conditions of the officers and administrators who ran the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp complex. The album is unique, and an indispensable document of the Holocaust; it is now in the archives of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, D.C.Irving Greenberg
Irving (Yitzchak) Greenberg (born 1933), also known as Yitz Greenberg, is an American scholar, author and Modern Orthodox rabbi. He is known as a strong supporter of Israel, and a promoter of greater understanding between Judaism and Christianity.Jürgen Matthäus
Jürgen Matthäus (born 1959) is a German historian and head of the research department of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is an author and editor of multiple works on the history of World War II and the Holocaust. Matthäus was a contributor to Christopher Browning's 2004 work The Origins of the Final Solution.List of Nazi concentration camps
This article presents a partial list of the most prominent Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps set up across Europe before and during the course of World War II and the Holocaust. A more complete list drawn up in 1967 by the West German Ministry of Justice names about 1,200 camps and subcamps in countries occupied by Germany, while the Jewish Virtual Library writes: "It is estimated that the Germans established 15,000 camps in the occupied countries." Some of the data presented in this table originates from the monograph titled The War Against the Jews by Lucy Dawidowicz among similar others.In 1933–1939, before the onset of war, most prisoners consisted of German Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, Roma, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, and persons accused of 'asocial' or socially 'deviant' behavior by the Germans. They were not utilized to sustain the German war effort.
Although the term 'concentration camp' is often used as a general term for all German camps during World War II, there were in fact several types of concentration camps in the German camp system. Holocaust scholars make a clear distinction between death camps and concentration camps which served a number of war related purposes including prison facilities, labor camps, prisoner of war camps, and transit camps among others.Concentration camps served primarily as detention and slave labor exploitation centers. An estimated 15 to 20 million people were imprisoned in 42,500 camps and ghettos, and often pressed into slavery during the subsequent years, according to research by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum conducted more recently. The system of about 20,000 concentration camps in Germany and German-occupied Europe played a pivotal role in economically sustaining the German reign of terror. Most of them were destroyed by the Germans in an attempt to hide the evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity; nevertheless tens of thousands of prisoners sent on death marches were liberated by the Allies afterward.Extermination camps were designed and built exclusively to kill prisoners on a massive scale, often immediately upon arrival. The extermination camps of Operation Reinhard such as Bełżec, Sobibór and Treblinka served as "death factories" in which German SS and police murdered nearly 2,700,000 Jews by asphyxiation with poison gas, shooting, and extreme work under starvation conditions.The concentration camps held large groups of prisoners without trial or judicial process. In modern historiography, the term refers to a place of systemic mistreatment, starvation, forced labour and murder.Martin C. Dean
Martin C. Dean (born 1962) is a research scholar at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). He formerly worked as an historian at the Metropolitan Police War Crimes Unit, Scotland Yard.Miles Lerman
Miles Lerman (1920 – January 22, 2008) was a Polish-born American who helped to plan and create the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and the memorial at the Bełżec extermination camp. Lerman, a Holocaust survivor himself, had fought as a Jewish resistance fighter during World War II in Nazi German occupied Poland.Nazi book burnings
The Nazi book burnings were a campaign conducted by the German Student Union (the "DSt") to ceremonially burn books in Nazi Germany and Austria in the 1930s. The books targeted for burning were those viewed as being subversive or as representing ideologies opposed to Nazism. These included books written by Jewish, pacifist, religious, classical liberal, anarchist, socialist, and communist authors, among others. The first books burned were those of Karl Marx and Karl Kautsky.Nazi ghettos
Beginning with the invasion of Poland during World War II, the regime of Nazi Germany set up ghettos across occupied Europe in order to segregate and confine Jews, and sometimes Romani people, into small sections of towns and cities furthering their exploitation. In German documents, and signage at ghetto entrances, the Nazis usually referred to them as Jüdischer Wohnbezirk or Wohngebiet der Juden, both of which translate as the Jewish Quarter. There were several distinct types including open ghettos, closed ghettos, work, transit, and destruction ghettos, as defined by the Holocaust historians. In a number of cases, they were the place of Jewish underground resistance against the German occupation, known collectively as the ghetto uprisings.One Survivor Remembers
One Survivor Remembers is a 1995 documentary short film by Kary Antholis in which Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein recounts her six-year ordeal as a victim of Nazi cruelty, including the loss of her parents, brother, friends, home, possessions, and community.
A production of HBO and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the film won the 1995 Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject and the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Informational Special. In 2005, the film was offered by the Southern Poverty Law Center as part of a Teaching Tolerance curriculum for high school teachers to teach their students about the realities of the Holocaust.
In 2012, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".Sara J. Bloomfield
Sara J. Bloomfield is the director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. Bloomfield holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Northwestern University and a Master’s degree in Education from John Carroll University.Bloomfield joined the planning staff of the Museum in 1986, and became director in 1999. Bloomfield currently serves on the board of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation and is a former member of the board of the International Council of Museums. Bloomfield has contributed to The Times of Israel blog, HuffPost, and The Independent.Shoah (film)
Shoah is a 1985 French documentary film about the Holocaust, directed by Claude Lanzmann. Over nine hours long and 11 years in the making, the film presents Lanzmann's interviews with survivors, witnesses and perpetrators during visits to German Holocaust sites across Poland, including extermination camps.Released in Paris in April 1985, Shoah won critical acclaim and several prominent awards, including the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Non-Fiction Film and the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary. Simone de Beauvoir hailed it as a "sheer masterpiece", while documentary maker Marcel Ophüls called it "the greatest documentary about contemporary history ever made". The film was not well received in Poland; the Polish government argued that it accused Poland of "complicity in Nazi genocide".Shoah premiered in New York at the Cinema Studio in October 1985 and was broadcast in the United States by PBS over four nights in 1987. In 2000 it was released on VHS and in 2010 on DVD. Lanzmann's 350 hours of raw footage, along with the transcripts, are available on the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.The entire 566-minute film was digitally restored and remastered by The Criterion Collection over 2012–13 in 2k resolution, from the original 16mm negatives. The monaural audio track was remastered without compression. A Blu-ray edition in three disks was then produced from these new masters, including three additional films by Lanzmann.The Holocaust
The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was a genocide during World War II in which Nazi Germany, aided by local collaborators, systematically murdered some six million European Jews—around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe—between 1941 and 1945. Jews were targeted for extermination as part of a larger event during the Holocaust era, in which Germany and its collaborators persecuted and murdered other groups, including Slavs (chiefly ethnic Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, and Soviet citizens), the Roma, the "incurably sick", political and religious dissenters such as communists and Jehovah's Witnesses, and gay men. Taking into account all the victims of Nazi persecution, the death toll rises to over 17 million.Germany implemented the persecution of the Jews in stages. Following Adolf Hitler's appointment as German Chancellor in January 1933, the regime built a network of concentration camps in Germany for political opponents and those deemed "undesirable", starting with Dachau on 22 March 1933. After the passing of the Enabling Act on 24 March, which gave Hitler plenary powers, the government began isolating Jews from civil society, which included a boycott of Jewish businesses in April 1933 and enacting the Nuremberg Laws in September 1935. On 9–10 November 1938, during Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass"), Jewish businesses and other buildings were ransacked, smashed or set on fire throughout Germany and Austria, which Germany had annexed in March that year. After Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, triggering World War II, the regime set up ghettos to segregate Jews. Eventually thousands of camps and other detention sites were established across German-occupied Europe.
The deportation of Jews to the ghettos culminated in the policy of extermination the Nazis called the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question", discussed by senior Nazi officials at the Wannsee Conference in Berlin in January 1942. As German forces captured territories in the East, all anti-Jewish measures were radicalized. Under the coordination of the SS, with directions from the highest leadership of the Nazi Party, killings were committed within Germany itself, throughout occupied Europe, and across all territories controlled by the Axis powers. Paramilitary death squads called Einsatzgruppen, in cooperation with Wehrmacht police battalions and local collaborators, murdered around 1.3 million Jews in mass shootings between 1941 and 1945. By mid-1942, victims were being deported from the ghettos in sealed freight trains to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, they were killed in gas chambers. The killing continued until the end of World War II in Europe in May 1945.Timeline of the Holocaust
A timeline of the Holocaust is detailed in the events listed below. Also referred to as the Shoah (in Hebrew), the Holocaust was a genocide in which some six million European Jews were killed by Nazi Germany and its World War II collaborators. About 1.5 million of the victims were children. Two-thirds of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe were murdered. The following timeline has been compiled from a variety of sources including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting
At about 12:50 p.m. on June 10, 2009, 88-year-old white supremacist James Wenneker von Brunn entered the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. with a rifle and fatally shot Museum Special Police Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns. Other security guards returned fire, wounding von Brunn, who was apprehended.Von Brunn was charged in federal court on June 11, 2009, with first-degree murder and firearms violations. On July 29, 2009, von Brunn was indicted by a federal grand jury on seven counts, including four which made him eligible for the death penalty; the charges included hate crime counts. In September 2009, a judge ordered von Brunn to undergo a competency evaluation to determine whether or not he could stand trial. On January 6, 2010, von Brunn died of natural causes while awaiting trial.Von Brunn was a white supremacist and Holocaust denier. He had previously been convicted of entering a federal building with various weapons in 1981 while trying to place the members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, who he considered to be treasonous, under citizen's arrest.
Landmarks of Washington, D.C.
|Parks and plazas|