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World War II: Holocaust, The Extermination of European Jews

 

The Holocaust was a deliberate and systematic extermination of European Jews during World War II. As the Allied Powers fought Nazi Germany's domination of Europe, Adolf Hitler's henchmen were carrying out a mass annihilation of the Jews in Europe at their numerous concentration camps. The total number of Jews murdered during this genocide has been estimated to be nearly 6 million. Besides European Jews, there were many other groups targeted for destruction. They included the handicapped, mentally ill, Gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals and political dissidents.

Report, "Economic Life in Poland" (report covering period from January 1st to April 30th, 1942) which includes a 13-page description of various concentration camps, July 1942 (35 pages) [Paul Sturman Papers, Box 3, Poland (3); NAID #7330178]

"Investigation Report on the Life in a German Extermination Camp (Kz Natzweiler) and the Atrocities Committed There. 1941-1944" (23 pages; there is no page #22) [C.D. Jackson Papers, Box 2, Atrocities - Paris (1); NAID #12005699]

Report, "Report on Atrocities Committed by the Germans Against the Civilian Population of Belgium, February 1945, by Hq. 21 Army Group" (78 pages) [C.D. Jackson Papers, Box 2, Atrocities - Paris (4); NAID #12005700]

Letter, General Eisenhower to General Marshall concerning his visit to a Germany internment camp near Gotha (Ohrdruf), April 15, 1945 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 80, Marshall George C. (6); NAID #12005711]

Letter, General Patton to General Eisenhower concerning a prisoner/guard who showed them the camp at Ohrdruf and another camp at Weimar, April 15, 1945 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 91, Patton George S. Jr. (1); NAID #12007734]

Report, "Inspection of German concentration camp for political prisoners located at Buckenwald [sic] on the north edge of Weimar - made by Brig. Gen. Eric F. Wood, Lt. Col. Chas. H. Ott, and CWO. S.M. Dye, on the morning of 16th April 1945." [Walter Bedell Smith Collection of WWII Documents, Box 36, Inspection of German Concentration Camp at Buchenwald 4/16/45; NAID #12007803]

Letter, General Eisenhower to General Patton in response, April 18, 1945 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 91, Patton George S. Jr. (1); NAID #12007733]

Cable, General Eisenhower to General Marshall concerning Nazi horrors; requests visit by members of Congress and the media, April 19, 1945 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 134, Cables Off (GCM/DDE 19 Apr - 10 Nov 45 (4); NAID #12007738]

G-2 Report No. 307, "The Hasag Panzerfaust Factory and Concentration Camp," April 28, 1945 [Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force Selected Records, Box 26, SHAEF G-2 Reports; NAID #12007793]

Cable, General Marshall to General Eisenhower authorizing visits of Congress and media, April 19, 1945 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 134, Cables Off (GCM/DDE) 19 Apr - 10 Nov 45 (4); NAID #12007738]

Cable, Winston Churchill to General Eisenhower regarding inspection teams to be sent to Ohrdruf Camp, April 21, 1945 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 22, Churchill Winston (4); NAID #12009063]

Telegram, General Eisenhower to Winston Churchill regarding inspections teams to Ohrdruf Camp, April 23, 1945 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 22, Churchill Winston (4); NAID #12009066]

Adolf Hitler's Private Will, Marriage Certificate and Political Testament, April 1945 (34 pages) [Harry S. Truman Library, HST-WWII: World War II Collection, 1932-1996, Subject Files, Documents Relating to the Last Will of Adolf Hitler (MHDC 350)]

Part II: General Intelligence, "The Discovery of Hitler's Wills," undated (This is a history of how the will, marriage certificate and political testament were found) [Harry S. Truman Library, HST-WWII: World War II Collection, 1932-1996, Subject Files, Documents Relating to the Last Will of Adolf Hitler (MHDC 350)]

Report, "Dachau," prepared by the Office of Strategic Services Section, Seventh Army, undated (71 pages) [World War II Participants and Contemporaries Papers, Hoffman Steve: Dachau and Porter Harold; NAID #12009126]

Letters, Harold Porter (served in World War II with the 116 Evacuation Hospital in Europe and was stationed at Dachau) to his parents detailing grim conditions found by the Allies at Dachau, May 7, 10, 13 and 15, 1945 (WARNING: contains graphic photographs) [World War II Participants and Contemporaries Papers, Porter Harold: Memorabilia; NAID #1055429, 12009096, 12009107 and 12009108]

Letter, Alexander Frieder to General Eisenhower regarding victory in Europe and the decision to allow inspections of the concentration camps, June 1, 1945 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 43, Frieder Alex; NAID #12007718]

Letter, General Eisenhower to Alexander Frieder in response, June 9, 1945 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 43, Frieder Alex; NAID #12007723]

Press Conference, General Eisenhower at the Pentagon, references Nazi camps on page 11, June 18, 1945 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 156, Press Statements and Releases 1944-46; NAID #12007716]

Report, Earl G. Harrison's "Mission to Europe to inquire into the condition and needs of those among the displaced persons in the liberated countries of Western Europe and in the SHAEF area of Germany - with particular reference to the Jewish refugees - who may possibly be stateless or non-repatriable," undated [c. August 1945] [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Box 116, Truman Harry S. (4); NAID #12007695]

Telegram, General Eisenhower to President Truman concerning the Harrison report and Jewish displaced persons, September 14, 1945 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 116, Truman Harry S. (4); NAID #12007685]

Letter, General Eisenhower to President Truman concerning Jewish displaced persons, September 18, 1945 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 116, Truman Harry S. (4); NAID #12007674]

Letter, General Eisenhower to President Truman concerning Jewish victims of Nazi persecution, October 8, 1945 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 116, Truman Harry S. (4); NAID #12007666]

Suggested material for General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower for his speech to the United Jewish Appeal, February 23, 1947 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 194, United Jewish Appeal Feb. 27, 1947; NAID #12007653]

Report, "SHAEF Evaluation and Dissemination Section, G-S (Counter-Intelligence Sub-Division), German Concentration Camps," undated (195 pages) [Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force Selected Records, Box 27, SHAEF - Evaluation and Dissemination Sections (G-2) German Concentration Camps; NAID #12009132]

Letter, Rabbi Philip S. Bernstein to Maxwell Rabb regarding the tenth anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps, February 25, 1955 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Papers as President (WHCF), President's Personal File, Box 921, PPF 53-B-3 Jewish 1955; NAID #12007648]

Memorandum, Maxwell Rabb to Kevin McCann regarding Bernstein letter, February 28, 1955 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Papers as President (WHCF), President's Personal File, Box 921, PPF 53-B-3 Jewish 1955; NAID #12007646]

Night letter, President Eisenhower to Dr. Israel Goldstein, President of the American Jewish Congress concerning the tenth anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps, March 21, 1955 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Papers as President (WHCF), President's Personal File, Box 921, PPF 53-B-3 Jewish 1955; NAID #12007645]

Letter, Dr. Israel Goldstein to President Eisenhower in response, April 29, 1955 [Dwight D. Eisenhower's Papers as President (WHCF), President's Personal File, Box 921, PPF 53-B-3 Jewish 1955; NAID #12007644]

Images in the audiovisual collection (WARNING: contains graphic photographs)

For additional information please see:

Holocaust Subject Guide

Bibliography