• Rise of the Nazi Party (1918-1933). During the fourteen years following the end of World War I, the Nazi party grew from a small political group to the most powerful party in Germany.

  • Nazification (1933-1939). Once Hitler became Chancellor and later Reichsführer, the Nazi party quickly changed Germany's political, social, and economic structure.

  • The Ghettos (1939-1941). Confining Jews to ghettos was another critical step in Hitler's Final Solution.

  • The Camps (1941-1942). The concentration camps were Hitler's final step in the annihilation of the Jews.

  • Resistance (1942-1944). People resisted by any means possible, from stealing a slice of bread to sabotaging Nazi installations.

  • Rescue and Liberation (1944-1945). Some survived through the heroics of neighbors; others were liberated by the Allies.

  • Aftermath (1945-2000). After the war, Nazi perpetrators faced punishment for their war crimes and survivors began rebuilding their lives.


During the 1920s and 1930s Europe saw the outbreak of an aggressive and antisemitic nationalism that made racial and social claims and which saw the Jews as an inferior and dangerous race. It sought to limit Jewish economic activity and distance Jews from public life in their countries. With Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in Germany this racial antisemitism became the official ideology and policy of the German regime. In 1938 an organized campaign took place that included destroying synagogues, mass arrests, destruction and looting of Jewish-owned businesses, and official registration of Jewish property in preparation for eventual confiscation. In addition to Jews, other groups who were deemed enemies of the Reich, such as the Roma and Sinti, homosexuals and the mentally ill, were also persecuted.