A report on Łódź Ghetto

Resettlement of Jews to the Ghetto area c. undefined March 1940. Old Synagogue in the far background (no longer existing).
German and Jewish police guard at the entrance to the Ghetto
Chaim Rumkowski delivering a speech in the ghetto, 1941–42
Young girl working in the paper factory
Identity card Lodz Ghetto 19-4-1942
Children rounded up for deportation to the Chełmno death camp, September 1942
Jews clean and repair coats salvaged at Chełmno for redistribution among Volksdeutsche in accordance with the top secret August Frank memorandum. The yellow badge was removed.
The Gypsy quarter in the Ghetto after its inhabitants had been transported to the Chełmno extermination camp
Jewish prisoners of the Gestapo KZ Radogoszcz in Łódź, 1940
Photographs such as this served to record the horrors of ghetto life for posterity.
The Polish rescuers and the Jewish survivors plant Trees of Memory during the ceremony at the Park of the Rescued Park Ocalałych w Łodzi inaugurated in Łódź in August 2009.

Nazi ghetto established by the German authorities for Polish Jews and Roma following the Invasion of Poland.

- Łódź Ghetto
Resettlement of Jews to the Ghetto area c. undefined March 1940. Old Synagogue in the far background (no longer existing).

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Chełmno extermination camp

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The first of Nazi Germany's extermination camps and was situated 50 km north of Łódź, near the village of Chełmno nad Nerem.

The first of Nazi Germany's extermination camps and was situated 50 km north of Łódź, near the village of Chełmno nad Nerem.

Gauleiter Arthur Greiser in Poznań (Posen), 1939
A model of Magirus-Deutz gas van used for murder at Chełmno; the exhaust fumes were diverted into the sealed rear compartment where the victims were locked in. This particular van had not been modified yet.
Deportation to Chełmno
Jews were delivered by train to Koło, then to nearby Powiercie, and in overcrowded lorries to the camp. They were forced to abandon their bundles along the way. In this photo, loading of victims sent from the Łódź Ghetto.
Koło railway station
Mass grave at the forest Waldlager of the Chełmno extermination camp
A remnant of the open-air mass cremation structure at the forest camp, with memorial plaque
Michał Podchlebnik before or during World War II
Szymon Srebrnik

The gives the figure of around 200,000, the vast majority of whom were Jews of west-central Poland, along with Romani people from the region, as well as foreign Jews from Hungary, Bohemia and Moravia, Germany, Luxembourg, and Austria transported to Chełmno via the Łódź Ghetto, on top of the Soviet prisoners of war.

From the Auschwitz Album: Hungarian Jews arriving at Auschwitz II in German-occupied Poland, May 1944. Most were "selected" to go to the gas chambers. Camp prisoners are visible in their striped uniforms.

The Holocaust

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The genocide of European Jews during World War II.

The genocide of European Jews during World War II.

From the Auschwitz Album: Hungarian Jews arriving at Auschwitz II in German-occupied Poland, May 1944. Most were "selected" to go to the gas chambers. Camp prisoners are visible in their striped uniforms.
German-occupied Europe, 1942
The 23 defendants during the Doctors' trial, Nuremberg, 9 December 1946 – 20 August 1947
Antisemitic Christian Social Party placard from the 1920 Austrian legislative election: "Vote Social Christian. German Christians Save Austria!"
Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses: SA troopers urge a boycott outside Israel's Department Store, Berlin, 1 April 1933. All signs read: "Germans! Defend yourselves! Don't buy from Jews!"
The poster (c. 1937) reads: "60,000 RM is what this person with hereditary illness costs the community in his lifetime. Fellow citizen, that is your money too. Read Neues Volk, the monthly magazine of the Office of Racial Policy of the Nazi Party."
Czechoslovakian Jews at Croydon airport, England, 31 March 1939, before deportation
March or April 1938: Jews are forced to scrub the pavement in Vienna, Austria.
Potsdamer Straße 26, Berlin, the day after Kristallnacht, November 1938
Jewish women were stripped, beaten and raped in Lwów, occupied eastern Poland (later Lviv, Ukraine), during the Lviv pogroms, July 1941.
Jews arrive with their belongings at the Auschwitz II extermination camp, summer 1944, thinking they were being resettled.
Jewish women wearing yellow badges in occupied Paris, June 1942
Greek Jews from Saloniki are forced to exercise or dance, July 1942.
SS-Gruppenführer Otto Ohlendorf, commander of Einsatzgruppe D, pleads not guilty during the Einsatzgruppen trial, Nuremberg, 15 September 1947. He was executed in 1951.
Ivanhorod Einsatzgruppen photograph: Einsatzgruppe shooting a woman and child, near Ivangorod, Ukraine, 1942
The "stairs of death" at the Weiner Graben quarry, Mauthausen concentration camp, Austria, 1942
Bodies being pulled out of a train carrying Romanian Jews from the Iași pogrom, July 1941
11 December 1941: Adolf Hitler speaking at the Kroll Opera House to Reichstag members about war in the Pacific.
Am Großen Wannsee 56–58, Berlin
Captain Witold Pilecki
Jews from Carpathian Ruthenia on the selection ramp at Auschwitz II, c. May 1944. Women and children are lined up on one side, men on the other, waiting for the SS to determine who was fit for work. About 20 percent at Auschwitz were selected for work and the rest gassed.
A mass grave at Bergen-Belsen after the camp's liberation, April 1945
Heinrich Himmler inspects a POW camp in Russia, c. 1941.
Romani people being deported from Asperg, Germany, 22 May 1940
Defendants in the dock at the Nuremberg trials, 1945–1946
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, 2016
Stolpersteine, Berlin-Mitte, 2011

The Warsaw Ghetto was established in November 1940, and by early 1941 it contained 445,000 people; the second largest, the Łódź Ghetto, held 160,000 as of May 1940.

Łódź

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Third largest city in Poland and a former industrial centre.

Third largest city in Poland and a former industrial centre.

Sigillum oppidi Lodzia - seal dating back to 1577
One of the first city plans, illustrating the housing allotments and new development around Piotrkowska Street, 1823
Izrael Poznański's industrial complex (Manufaktura) pictured in 1895.
The Archcathedral of St. Stanislaus Kostka, completed in 1912, is one of Poland's tallest churches.
Plac Wolności (Liberty Square) with the Tadeusz Kościuszko Monument and Holy Spirit Church in 1930
Łódź Ghetto (Ghetto Litzmannstadt), was the second-largest ghetto in all of German-occupied Europe
Retkinia, one of many post-war utilitarian residential areas on the outskirts of Łódź.
Female employees at a textile factory in Łódź, 1950s
Sculpture of Artur Rubinstein and his childhood home at Piotrkowska Street
Light Move Festival in Łódź
Muzeum Sztuki, ms2 branch, a museum and gallery of modern art
Las Łagiewnicki (Lagiewniki Forest), part of the Łódź Hills Landscape Park
Herbst Palace, designed by Hilary Majewski, an art gallery within a historical mansion, which holds paintings from all over Europe
High-rise buildings in central Łódź
Manufaktura - once a textile factory, now a shopping centre
Major road network in the city
Łódź tram network
Piotrkowska Centrum tram station, also known as "The Unicorn Stable"
Atlas Arena, the main indoor arena of Łódź
Arthur Rubinstein, one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century, was born in Łódź
Daniel Libeskind, notable architect and designer
Andrzej Sapkowski, best known for The Witcher book series
Marcin Gortat, former Polish NBA player
Julian Tuwim, poet, a major figure in Polish children's literature
Jerzy Kosiński, Polish-American writer
Bat-Sheva Dagan, a pioneer in children's Holocaust education

The city's population was persecuted and its large Jewish minority was forced into a walled zone known as the Łódź Ghetto, from where they were sent to German concentration and extermination camps.

Follow-up letter from Reinhard Heydrich to the German diplomat Martin Luther asking for administrative assistance in the implementation of the Final Solution, 26 February 1942

Final Solution

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Nazi plan for the genocide of Jews during World War II.

Nazi plan for the genocide of Jews during World War II.

Follow-up letter from Reinhard Heydrich to the German diplomat Martin Luther asking for administrative assistance in the implementation of the Final Solution, 26 February 1942
Hitler's prophecy speech in the Reichstag, 30 January 1939
The villa at 56–58 Am Großen Wannsee, where the Wannsee Conference was held, is now a memorial and museum.
Himmler note 18 December 1941: als Partisanen auszurotten
Nazi extermination camps marked with black and white skulls. General Government territory: centre, Distrikt Galizien: lower–right. Death camp at Auschwitz: lower–left (in Provinz Oberschlesien), Nazi-Soviet line in red
Berlin, Reichstag session of 11 December 1941: Adolf Hitler declares war on the United States of America

The murders of Jews from the Łódź Ghetto in the Warthegau district began in early December 1941 with the use of gas vans (approved by Heydrich) at the Kulmhof extermination camp.

Brick wall of the Warsaw Ghetto dividing the Iron-Gate Square, with view of bombed out Lubomirski Palace (left) on the "Aryan" side of the city, May 24, 1941.

Warsaw Ghetto

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The largest of the Nazi ghettos during World War II.

The largest of the Nazi ghettos during World War II.

Brick wall of the Warsaw Ghetto dividing the Iron-Gate Square, with view of bombed out Lubomirski Palace (left) on the "Aryan" side of the city, May 24, 1941.
Karmelicka Street 11 from Nowolipia September/October 1939
Aerial photograph of the northern Warsaw Ghetto area after its destruction, probably 1944
Roundup of Jewish men for forced labor by the Order Police battalions, Krakowskie Przedmieście, March 1940
Warsaw Ghetto wall and footbridge over Chłodna Street in 1942
Corner of Żelazna 70 and Chłodna 23 (looking east). This section of Żelazna street connected the "large ghetto" and "small ghetto" areas of German-occupied Warsaw.
Jewish Ghetto Police guarding the gates of the Warsaw Ghetto, June 1942
Jews working in a ghetto factory
The Grossaktion Warschau 1942
Umschlagplatz holding pen for deportations to Treblinka death camp
The Grossaktion Warschau 1942 boarding onto the Holocaust trains
Suppression of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Captured Jews escorted by the Waffen SS, Nowolipie Street, 1943
Warsaw Ghetto area after the war. Gęsia Street, view to the west
Ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto
Umschlagplatz Memorial on Stawki Street
Borders of the ghetto are marked in remembrance of its victims
Yitzhak Zuckerman testifies for the prosecution during the trial of Adolf Eichmann
Ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1945; left, the Krasiński's Garden and Swiętojerska street. The entire city district was leveled by the German forces according to order from Adolf Hitler after the suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943

Although his personality as president of the Warsaw Judenrat may not become as infamous as Chaim Rumkowski, Ältester of the Łódź Ghetto; the SS policies he had followed were systematically anti-Jewish.

Main square of the Radom Ghetto with gate

Nazi ghettos

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Beginning with the invasion of Poland during World War II, the Nazi regime set up ghettos across German-occupied Eastern Europe in order to segregate and confine Jews, and sometimes Romani people, into small sections of towns and cities furthering their exploitation.

Beginning with the invasion of Poland during World War II, the Nazi regime set up ghettos across German-occupied Eastern Europe in order to segregate and confine Jews, and sometimes Romani people, into small sections of towns and cities furthering their exploitation.

Main square of the Radom Ghetto with gate
Main square of the Radom Ghetto with gate
Jews being forced into the new Grodno Ghetto in Bezirk Bialystok, November 1941
Warsaw Ghetto; walling-off Świętokrzyska Street (seen from "Aryan side" of Marszałkowska)
Deportation to a death camp during liquidation of the Biała Podlaska Ghetto conducted by the Reserve Police Battalion 101 in 1942

The first large metropolitan ghetto known as the Łódź Ghetto (Litzmannstadt) followed them in April 1940, and the Warsaw Ghetto in October.

General map of deportation routes and camps

Holocaust trains

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Holocaust trains were railway transports run by the Deutsche Reichsbahn national railway system under the control of Nazi Germany and its allies, for the purpose of forcible deportation of the Jews, as well as other victims of the Holocaust, to the Nazi concentration, forced labour, and extermination camps.

Holocaust trains were railway transports run by the Deutsche Reichsbahn national railway system under the control of Nazi Germany and its allies, for the purpose of forcible deportation of the Jews, as well as other victims of the Holocaust, to the Nazi concentration, forced labour, and extermination camps.

General map of deportation routes and camps
Jews are deported from Würzburg, 25 April 1942. Deportation occurred in public and was witnessed by many Germans.
The "Gate of Death" at Auschwitz-Birkenau was built in 1943.
German-made DRB Class 52 steam locomotive used by the Deutsche Reichsbahn during World War II. Members of this class were used in the Holocaust.
Wagon on Siding - Oswiecim - Poland.
Jews from Carpatho-Ruthenia are "selected" on the Judenrampe, May–June 1944. To be sent to the right meant assignment to slave labour; to the left, the gas chambers.
Interior of a boxcar used to transport Jews and other Holocaust victims, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
Train tickets of Greek Jews deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau for extermination displayed at the Auschwitz museum.
A cattle wagon used for the transport of Belgian Jews to camps in Eastern Europe. The openings were covered in barbed wire. This example is preserved at Fort Breendonk.
Original wagon used for transport of Macedonian Jews at the Holocaust Memorial Center for the Jews of Macedonia
Deportation of Jews from Ioannina in March 1944
Holocaust train from Hungary, exhibition
Jews are transferred to a narrow-gauge railway on the way to Kulmhof extermination camp
Corpses of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto who died inside sealed boxcars before reaching Treblinka extermination camp, August 1942
Pulling dead Jews from the "death train" of Iași pogrom, July 1941.
Entrance to the Gotthard Tunnel
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, view from the south
Memorial to Holocaust trains at the Umschlagplatz of the Warsaw Ghetto

Neither of these two camps had international rail connections; therefore, the trains stopped at the nearby Łódź Ghetto and Minsk Ghetto, respectively.

Detailed map of Buna Werke, Monowitz, and nearby subcamps

Auschwitz concentration camp

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Complex of over 40 concentration and extermination camps operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland (in a portion annexed into Germany in 1939) during World War II and the Holocaust.

Complex of over 40 concentration and extermination camps operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland (in a portion annexed into Germany in 1939) during World War II and the Holocaust.

Detailed map of Buna Werke, Monowitz, and nearby subcamps
Heinrich Himmler (second left) visits the IG Farben plant in Auschwitz III, July 1942.
Auschwitz I, 2009
Auschwitz clothing
Freight car inside Auschwitz II-Birkenau, near the gatehouse, used to transport deportees, 2014
Latrine in the men's quarantine camp, sector BIIa, Auschwitz II, 2003
Block 10, Auschwitz I, where medical experiments were performed on women
Defendants during the Doctors' trial, Nuremberg, 1946–1947
Block 11 and (left) the "death wall", Auschwitz I, 2000
The "death wall" showing the death-camp flag, the blue-and-white stripes with a red triangle signifying the Auschwitz uniform of political prisoners.
Romani children, Mulfingen, Germany, 1943; the children were studied by Eva Justin and later sent to Auschwitz.
A reconstruction of crematorium I, Auschwitz I, 2014
Entrance to crematorium III, Auschwitz II, 2008
One of the Sonderkommando photographs: Women on their way to the gas chamber, Auschwitz II, August 1944
New arrivals, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, May/June 1944
Captain Witold Pilecki
The camp badge for non-Jewish Polish political prisoners
Telegram dated 8 April 1944 from KL Auschwitz reporting the escape of Rudolf Vrba and Alfréd Wetzler
Aerial view of Auschwitz II-Birkenau taken by the RAF on 23 August 1944
Sonderkommando member Zalmen Gradowski, pictured with his wife, Sonia, buried his notebooks near crematorium III. Sonia Gradowski was gassed on 8 December 1942.
Ruins of crematorium IV, Auschwitz II, blown up during the revolt
Gallows in Auschwitz I where Rudolf Höss was executed on 16 April 1947
Camp of Death pamphlet (1942) by Natalia Zarembina<ref>{{harvnb|Fleming|2014|p=194}}; {{harvnb|Zarembina|Harriman|1944}}.</ref>
Halina Krahelska report from Auschwitz Oświęcim, pamiętnik więźnia ("Auschwitz: Diary of a prisoner"), 1942.{{sfn|Krahelska|1985}}

The last mass transports to arrive in Auschwitz were 60,000–70,000 Jews from the Łódź Ghetto, some 2,000 from Theresienstadt, and 8,000 from Slovakia.

Reception of Jews in Poland, by Jan Matejko, 1889

History of the Jews in Poland

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The history of the Jews in Poland dates back at least 1,000 years.

The history of the Jews in Poland dates back at least 1,000 years.

Reception of Jews in Poland, by Jan Matejko, 1889
Early-medieval Polish coins with Hebrew inscriptions
Casimir the Great and the Jews, by Wojciech Gerson, 1874
Casimir IV Jagiellon confirmed and extended Jewish charters in the second half of the 15th century
Sigismund II Augustus followed his father's tolerant policy and also granted autonomy to the Jews.
Number of Jews in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth per voivodeship in 1764
A Polish Jew in an engraving from 1703
Late-Renaissance synagogue, Zamość, Poland, 1610–20
Jacob Frank
Jewish dress in 17th (top) and 18th centuries
Berek Joselewicz (1764–1809)
Jewish merchants in 19th-century Warsaw
Map of Pale of Settlement, showing Jewish population densities
Caricature of Russian Army assailant in 1906 Białystok pogrom
A Bundist demonstration, 1917
Hasidic schoolchildren in Łódź, c. 1910s, during Partitions
Rabbi Baruch Steinberg before Warsaw Great Synagogue (1933), reading roll call of the fallen, organized by Union of Jewish Fighters for Polish Independence
Warsaw Great Synagogue
L. L. Zamenhof, creator of Esperanto
Isaac Bashevis Singer (Polish: Izaak Zynger), achieved international acclaim as a classic Jewish writer and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978
Shimon Peres, born in Poland as Szymon Perski, served as the ninth President of Israel between 2007 and 2014
Student's book (indeks) of Jewish medical student Marek Szapiro at Warsaw University, with rectangular "ghetto benches" ("odd-numbered-benches") stamp
Demonstration of Polish students demanding implementation of "ghetto benches" at Lwów Polytechnic (1937).
Graves of Jewish-Polish soldiers who died in 1939 September Campaign, Powązki Cemetery
Yiddish election notice for Soviet local government to the People's council of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic in Białystok, occupied Poland.
Jewish-Polish soldier's grave, Monte Cassino, Italy
Map of the Holocaust in Poland under German occupation.
Starving Jewish children, Warsaw Ghetto
Jewish Ghettos in German-occupied Poland and Eastern Europe
Walling-off Świętokrzyska Street (seen from Marszałkowska Street on the "Aryan side")
Announcement of death penalty for Jews captured outside the Ghetto and for Poles helping Jews, November 1941
Janusz Korczak's orphanage
Ghetto fighters memorial in Warsaw built in 1948 by sculptor Nathan Rapoport
Deportation to Treblinka at the Umschlagplatz
The cover page of The Stroop Report with International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg markings.
34 Mordechaj Anielewicz Street, Warsaw, Poland
Freed prisoners of Gęsiówka and the Szare Szeregi fighters after the liberation of the camp in August 1944
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 saw the destruction of what remained of the Ghetto
Page from a register of several hundred Jewish survivors who returned to Oświęcim after the war; created by a local Jewish Committee in 1945. Most remained for only a brief period.
Chief Rabbi of Poland – Michael Schudrich
Lesko Synagogue, Poland
Reform Beit Warszawa Synagogue
2005 March of the Living
President of the Republic of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, 26 June 2007
"Shalom in Szeroka Street", the final concert of the 15th Jewish Festival

The Łódź Ghetto was the second largest, holding about 160,000 prisoners.

Nazi Germany

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The German state between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party controlled the country, transforming it into a dictatorship.

The German state between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party controlled the country, transforming it into a dictatorship.

Germany's territorial control at its greatest extent during World War II (late 1942):
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Adolf Hitler became Germany's head of state, with the title of Führer und Reichskanzler, in 1934.
Germany's territorial control at its greatest extent during World War II (late 1942):
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While the traditional German states were not formally abolished (excluding Lübeck in 1937), their constitutional rights and sovereignty were eroded and ultimately ended. Prussia was already under federal administration when Hitler came to power, providing a model for the process.
Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda
A Nazi propaganda poster proclaiming that Danzig is German
German soldiers march near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, 14 June 1940
Death and destruction during the Battle of Stalingrad, October 1942
German refugees in Bedburg, near Kleve, 19 February 1945
Map of the Greater German Reich with administrative divisions set by the Nazi Party, 1944
Public execution of 54 Poles in Rożki, Masovian Voivodeship (near Radom), German-occupied Poland, 1942
Heinrich Himmler, Hitler and Viktor Lutze perform the Nazi salute at the Nuremberg Rally, September 1934
Hitler, Göring, Goebbels and Rudolf Hess during a military parade in 1933
Chart showing the pseudo-scientific racial divisions used in the racial policies of Nazi Germany
A meeting of the four jurists who imposed Nazi ideology on the legal system of Germany (left to right: Roland Freisler, Franz Schlegelberger, Otto Georg Thierack, and Curt Rothenberger)
A column of tanks and other armoured vehicles of the Panzerwaffe near Stalingrad, 1942
IG Farben synthetic oil plant under construction at Buna Werke (1941). This plant was part of the complex at Auschwitz concentration camp.
Autobahn, late 1930s
(from left) Hitler; Robert Ley, head of the German Labour Front; Ferdinand Porsche, armaments manufacturer; and Hermann Göring, head of the Four Year Plan (1942)
Woman with Ostarbeiter badge at the IG Farben plant in Auschwitz
German loot stored at Schlosskirche Ellingen, Bavaria (April 1945)
Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses, April 1933. The posters say "Germans! Defend yourselves! Don't buy from Jews!"
Poster from the Nazi Party's Office of Racial Policy: "60 000 RM is what this person with hereditary illness costs the community in his lifetime. Fellow citizen, that is your money too."
A wagon piled high with corpses outside the crematorium in the Buchenwald concentration camp liberated by the U.S. Army, 1945
Soviet prisoners of war in Mauthausen
The Nazi salute in school (1934): children were indoctrinated at an early age.
Young women of the Bund Deutscher Mädel (League of German Girls) practising gymnastics in 1941
Statues representing the ideal body were erected in the streets of Berlin for the 1936 Summer Olympics.
Prisoner barracks at Dachau Concentration Camp, where the Nazis established a dedicated clergy barracks for clerical opponents of the regime in 1940
General Erich Hoepner at the Volksgerichtshof in 1944
A Nazi book burning on 10 May 1933 in Berlin, as books by Jewish and leftist authors are burned
Plans for Berlin called for the Volkshalle (People's Hall) and a triumphal arch to be built at either end of a wide boulevard.
Leni Riefenstahl (behind cameraman) at the 1936 Summer Olympics
Defendants in the dock at the Nuremberg trials

A further 5,000 Sinti and Austrian Lalleri people were deported to the Łódź Ghetto in late 1941, where half were estimated to have died.