The Holocaust

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Yiddish Tango During World War II

Yiddish Tango During World War II

As tango gained popularity during the 1930s, Jewish musicians in Eastern Europe began fusing traditional Jewish music with modern tango, giving rise to Yiddish Tango. This music was popular before the war and even in the Jewish ghettos. This tune, “Vu ahin zol ikh geyn” (Where

Holocaust Requiem

Holocaust Requiem

The above video [06:00]  includes the music and narrative from Zlata Razdolina’s Holocaust Requiem– an orchestral adaptation of Itzhak Katzenelson’s well-known poem, “Song of the Murdered Jewish People.” This depiction of Part 10, “Rise Up My People,” portrays the haunting horrors Katzenelson experienced during the

Cultural Entertainment in the Warsaw Ghetto

Cultural Entertainment in the Warsaw Ghetto

Despite the horrendous living conditions in the Warsaw Ghetto, there were professional theaters featuring music and drama performances in both Polish and Yiddish. Some cafes and clubs even offered live performances for the ghetto inhabitants.Though the atmosphere in the ghetto was one of despair, the Jews

The Jewish Partisans’ Song: A Tribute to the Heroic Jews of the Holocaust

The Jewish Partisans’ Song: A Tribute to the Heroic Jews of the Holocaust

The Jewish Partisans’ Song, “Zog Nit Keynmol” (Never Say),  was written in 1943 by Hirsch Glick in the Vilna Ghetto. Inspired by the courageous Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, this song came to symbolize the Jews’ fighting spirit, and the partisans adopted it as

Yiddish Theater in the Vilna Ghetto

Yiddish Theater in the Vilna Ghetto

“Yisrolik,” created by writer Leyb Rozental and composer Misha Veksler, reflects the resilient spirit of the Jews of Vilna. Though most of the Vilna Jews were murdered in the horrific Ponary massacre, the survivors continued to aspire to live a dignified life, as is evident

A Song from Theresienstadt

A Song from Theresienstadt

Gideon Klein, the composer of this choral piece, “Spruch” (Verdict), wrote it while in Theresienstadt, a transit camp for Czech Jews before they were carted off to the extermination camps. Though Klein perished during the Holocaust, his music remains as a testament of his suffering

The Story Behind the Song Ani Ma’amin

The Story Behind the Song Ani Ma’amin

This film [03:52], produced by Chabad of Venice, tells the moving story of cantor Azriel David Fastig’s composition of a new melody for “Ani Ma’amin,” while being transported to Treblinka in a boxcar. Though Fastig perished in Treblinka, his melody for “Ani Ma’amin,” one of the

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Informative Articles & Videos

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The Story of the Bielski Partisan Group

The Story of the Bielski Partisan Group

This brief documentary film [06:45] is published by the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation, an organization committed to educating youth about the Jewish partisans and the essential lessons to be learned from their heroic fight against fascism. The documentary tells the dramatic story of how the

The Jewish Partisans of Eastern Europe: How They Survived in the Forest

The Jewish Partisans of Eastern Europe: How They Survived in the Forest

The Jewish partisans in Eastern Europe faced constant struggle, fighting their enemies while also perpetually seeking food and shelter. In the following four brief documentaries, published by the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation, an organization committed to educating youth about the heroic Jewish partisans who fought against

The Jewish Partisans in the Rudniki Forest

The Jewish Partisans in the Rudniki Forest

This article from Yad Vashem documents the story of “Yechiel’s Struggle Group,”  a team of 70 Jewish partisan fighters from the Vilna Ghetto who came to live in and fight from the Rudniki Forest. This ragtag collection of young Jews sabotaged the electrical and water systems

A Moving Story of a Holocaust Survivor’s Liberation from the Nazis

A Moving Story of a Holocaust Survivor’s Liberation from the Nazis

In this moving interview [02:21], Holocaust survivor Gerda Klein recalls her feelings upon being liberated from the Nazis. After six tortuous years, during which she prayed constantly for freedom, American soldiers liberated her and the other survivors. Gerda relates that one of the soldiers told

Photography as a Form of Resistance Against the Nazis

Photography as a Form of Resistance Against the Nazis

Mendel Grossman, a Jewish photographer employed by the Department of Statistics in the Lodz Ghetto, was hired to photograph the factories in the ghetto and to take identification pictures. However, he risked his life to clandestinely photograph the suffering of Jews, the destruction of Jewish life, and the Nazi

An Introduction to the Jewish Partisans of Eastern Europe

An Introduction to the Jewish Partisans of Eastern Europe

This informative documentary [06:36], published by the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation, briefly tells the story of the Jewish partisans during World War II. The Jewish partisans were comprised of 30,0000 men and women from ten different countries throughout Europe. In Eastern Europe, mostly comprised of

Jewish Life in Liepaja, Latvia Before the Holocaust

Jewish Life in Liepaja, Latvia Before the Holocaust

In this interview [03:31] with Holocaust survivor Frieda Ende of Liepaja, Latvia, Ende provides anecdotes from her life before the Holocaust. She shares her memories of Passover Seders her family hosted, bringing her grandfather dinner at his jewelry store, and shopping at the market with her

Jewish Life Before the Holocaust

Jewish Life Before the Holocaust

This informative documentary [04:37] published by Yad Vashem shows original footage of Jewish life before the Holocaust. It also includes texts from pre-war diary entries, notebooks, and letters of children’s hopes, dreams and musings. The film emphasizes that the victims of the Holocaust were no

The Moving Story of Janusz Korczak and the Dom Sierot Orphanage

The Moving Story of Janusz Korczak and the Dom Sierot Orphanage

This video [04:25], published by Yad Vashem, tells the moving story of Janusz Korczak (1878-1942), a Jewish pediatrician, author, and teacher, who headed the Dom Sierot orphanage for Jewish children in Warsaw. Dedicated to his work, Korczak designed his own unique education system for the

Itzhak Katzenelson: Accomplished Author, Dramatist, and Educator

Itzhak Katzenelson: Accomplished Author, Dramatist, and Educator

Before the German occupation of Poland, Itzhak Katzenelson (1885-1944) contributed greatly to the vibrant Jewish culture in Lodz, Poland, through establishing a Jewish school, a Hebrew theater company, writing poetry, plays, childrens’ books, and Hebrew textbooks. While in the Warsaw Ghetto, Katzenelson continued to write,

Cultural Entertainment in the Warsaw Ghetto

Cultural Entertainment in the Warsaw Ghetto

Despite the horrendous living conditions in the Warsaw Ghetto, there were professional theaters featuring music and drama performances in both Polish and Yiddish. Some cafes and clubs even offered live performances for the ghetto inhabitants.Though the atmosphere in the ghetto was one of despair, the Jews

Testimonies from Survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Testimonies from Survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

This film [08:28], produced by Yad Vashem, includes a compilation of testimonies from survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Most of the fighters in the Uprising were teens and young adults, and they did not expect to survive in their daring battle against the German

Mordechai Anielewicz and The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Mordechai Anielewicz and The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

This documentary [04:45] portrays the events of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, led by the 23-year-old Mordechai Anielewicz. Included in this film is an excerpt from Anielewicz’s last letter to Yitzchak Zuckerman, another leader of the Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB).  Here is an excerpt from Anielewicz’s

The Mailman of the Warsaw Ghetto

The Mailman of the Warsaw Ghetto

This animated video [06:52], produced by Yad Vashem, portrays life in the Warsaw Ghetto from the unique perspective of the Jewish letter carrier, Peretz Opoczynski. Opoczynski contributed to the Oneg Shabbat archive, documenting his experiences as a mailman in the ghetto.This video illustrates an excerpt

The Sonderkommando Revolt in Auschwitz

The Sonderkommando Revolt in Auschwitz

In this interview [03:50], Dario Gabbai recalls his participation in the Sonderkommando revolt in Auschwitz-II Birkenau, on October 7, 1944. The Nazis forced the Jewish Sonderkommandos to undertake the hellish tasks of cleaning out the remains in the gas chambers and crematoria. To read more about the

The Story Behind the Song Ani Ma’amin

The Story Behind the Song Ani Ma’amin

This film [03:52], produced by Chabad of Venice, tells the moving story of cantor Azriel David Fastig’s composition of a new melody for “Ani Ma’amin,” while being transported to Treblinka in a boxcar. Though Fastig perished in Treblinka, his melody for “Ani Ma’amin,” one of the

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German Jewish Life During the Rise of Nazism

German Jewish Life During the Rise of Nazism

 As the Nazis rose to power and began excluding Jews from social and economic organizations, Jews found the need to establish their own. Roman Vishniac, an esteemed Jewish photography, was commissioned to photograph the work of these Jewish organizations. This assemblage of Vishniac’s photography shows Jewish youths

Rare Color Footage of Pre-Holocaust Jewish Life

Rare Color Footage of Pre-Holocaust Jewish Life

This an assemblage of color footage from Jewish life in the shtetl. The Yiddish term “shtetl” refers to the Jewish towns in Eastern Europe before World War II, which generally included at least one synagogue, a mikveh (ritual bathhouse), cemetery, and schools. Published by Yad Vashem,

Roman Vishniak’s Photographs of Jewish Life in Eastern Europe Before the Holocaust

Roman Vishniak’s Photographs of Jewish Life in Eastern Europe Before the Holocaust

These photographs, taken by the renowned Jewish photographer Roman Vishniac (1897-1990) and curated by Maya Benton, reveal glimpses of pre-war Jewish life in Eastern Europe. Vishniac was commissioned by the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) to photograph poor Jewish communities in order to help raise

Children in the Holocaust

Children in the Holocaust

This comprehensive article from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum includes pictures and testimonies from those who survived the Holocaust as children.Tragically, 1.5 million children (1 million of whom were Jewish) were murdered at the hands of the Nazis. Thousands of children did survive however,

Janusz Korczak: Excerpts and Beliefs

Janusz Korczak: Excerpts and Beliefs

This is a collection of quotes from Janusz Korczak’s writings, which illustrate his beliefs about children and their place in the world. Korczak’s unique and pioneering contributions not only helped the orphans he took under his wing, but also have contributed to parents and educators

The Spiritual Heroism of the Jews in the Holocaust

The Spiritual Heroism of the Jews in the Holocaust

Itzhak Katznelson (1886-1944) was an accomplished dramatist, poet, and teacher. While living in the Warsaw Ghetto, he wrote over 40 works, including “The Song of the Radzyn Rebbe,” (1942-1943), which emphasizes the Jews’ spiritual heroism in the face of suffering and death at the hands of the

Janusz Korczak, a Champion of Children’s Rights

Janusz Korczak, a Champion of Children’s Rights

Janusz Korczak dedicated his life to helping children, he directed the Dom Sierot Orphanage, was a pediatrician, teacher, and authored books for and about children. Among his writings are his Rights of the Child, collected by biographer Betty Jean Lifton in her book, “The King

Itzhak Katzenelson’s “Song of the Murdered Jewish People”

Itzhak Katzenelson’s “Song of the Murdered Jewish People”

Itzhak Kazenelson (1886-1944) was a teacher, dramatist, and author of Hebrew and Yiddish Poetry. A pioneering maskil, he opened a secular Jewish school and a Hebrew theater group in Lodz. Katzenelson participated in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, but was ultimately murdered in Auschwitz on May

Henryk Ross: A Jewish Photographer in the Lodz Ghetto

Henryk Ross: A Jewish Photographer in the Lodz Ghetto

This video [04:01] illustrates the pivotal historical role of Henryk Ross, a Jew hired to be the official photographer of the Lodz ghetto. His job was to take identification photos and create propaganda photo essays for the Department of Statistics in Lodz. However, as a

The Auschwitz Album

The Auschwitz Album

The Auschwitz Album is the only existing visual evidence of the complete process of genocide of the Jews at Auschwitz. The photos depict the Jews’ arrival to the death camp, the confiscation of their property, and the preparation for their extermination. Survivor Lily Jacob discovered

A Moving Violin Performance in Auschwitz

A Moving Violin Performance in Auschwitz

This video from Aish recounts the dramatic story of Prisoner Sebrenik’s captivating violin performance in Auschwitz. For some inexplicable reason, this time the Nazi soldiers allowed the Jewish musician to choose which piece to perform. Sebrenik performed with such passion, that both the Nazis and

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