All themes
The Kindertransport
The first concentration camps
The persecution of the Jews
The persecution of the Roma and Sinti
Black people in Nazi Germany
Persecution of homosexuals
Extermination camps
Printable version

The yellow Star of David bearing the word "Jew" has become a symbol of the persecution of the Jews. Jews in Germany and in the countries occupied by the Nazis had to wear a star with the word "Jew" on their clothes. In this way they could be easily identified, and it was possible to check that they weren’t doing things which had been forbidden to them. The Nazis thought that the Jews were the greatest enemy of the German people, but they also persecuted other groups.

Opponents of the Nazis, such as members of other political parties, critical journalists and trade union members were tortured and killed in police stations and concentration camps. The Nazis thought that "Gypsies," homosexuals, people with disabilities and Black people were inferior, like the Jews, and that they did not belong in Germany. Many of them disappeared into concentration camps, and thousands of people with disabilities were given lethal injections in hospitals.

Millions of Jews killed

The Jews formed the largest group of persecuted people, not only in Germany but also in the occupied territories. In 1941, leading Nazis decided that all 11 million Jews in Germany and the occupied countries in Europe should be killed. They started to build extermination camps. There they could kill Jews, and also Gypsies, quickly. These camps were located in remote places in occupied Poland. The victims were mainly brought there by train. In the camps millions of people were killed as soon as they arrived, or died later from exhaustion or disease.
Anne Frank Guide
This day in history
Today: 18 July 2018
Then: 18 July 1945

Otto Frank hears that Anne and Margot have died in Bergen-Belsen.