Survivors Of The Holocaust.

Holocaust timeline is 1933 to 1945

Execution of Polish POW's

Execution of Polish POW's near Ciepielow in September 1939. Here some of the 300 Polish prisoners-of-war who were executed by firing squad are visible. In the background is a Wehrmacht soldier who participated in the killing.

holocaust history

Between September 1, 1939, when Nazi troops invaded Poland, and Germany's surrender on May 8, 1945, Hitler waged two wars. One was against Allied forces on three continents.


The other was against the Jews--the Holocaust--which in actuality had been underway since the enactment of the 1935 Nuremberg Race Laws, if not earlier.


The sobering fact about this latter conflict is how close the Führer came to total victory. The estimated 5 to 6 million Jews who perished at Nazi hands comprised two-thirds of all European Jewry, and in countries like Poland, which before the Second World War still included parts of the Ukraine and Belarus, the Jewish death toll surpassed 90 percent.

The 20th century has been the age of mass murder: the Armenian genocide, Stalin's "terror famine" against the peasantry, the Cambodian killing fields, and, more recently, the slaughter in Bosnia and Rwanda. So, the Jewish tragedy is hardly unique. But Hitler's genocidal campaign is singular for its technological thoroughness. Under the Nazis every living Jew old and young, male and female was slated for destruction. Three quarters of Hitler's victims died within an eleven-month period alone (March 1942-February 1943).

ID Number

During the Holocaust, concentration camp prisoners received tattoos only at one location, the Auschwitz concentration camp complex, which consisted of Auschwitz I (Main Camp), Auschwitz II (Auschwitz-Birkenau), and Auschwitz III (Monowitz and the subcamps). Incoming prisoners were assigned a camp serial number which was sewn to their prison uniforms. Only those prisoners selected for work were issued serial numbers; those prisoners sent directly to the gas chambers were not registered and received no tattoos.
Twin Holocaust survivors describe arriving at Auschwitz