The Museum of Family History

"Survival is a privilege which entails obligations. I am forever asking myself what I can do for those who have not survived. The answer I have found for myself (and which need not necessarily be the answer for every survivor) is: I want to be their mouthpiece, I want to keep their memory alive, to make sure the dead live on in that memory."

-Simon Wiesenthal, "Justice, Not Vengeance" (1989)

Most of the victims of the Holocaust (Shoah in Hebrew) were European Jews. In all, approximately six million Jews perished, mostly at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators during the second World War. The Nazis strove to persecute Jews and commit genocide, all as part of Adolf Hitler's "Final Solution of the Jewish Question."

Many Jews during this time were forced into ghettos or sent directly to internment (concentration) camps. Conditions in the ghettos were generally poor. There was great overcrowding; many starved and died of disease. Gradually, many of the ghettos would be emptied as those who were forced to live there were eventually deported to the concentration camps.

In this section of the Museum of Family History, an attempt is being made to present the story of this horrible period in Jewish history in both an historical and personal way. At the same time as this dark period is discussed in historical terms, a necessary number of "first-hand accounts" are included in order to provide context. These stories are told by those who lived through these arduous times. They tell of their personal experiences and observations with such emotion that they add a much more impactful to what otherwise might be a simple telling of historical events.





From Kishinev to Kristallnacht
Anti-Semitism in Pre-War Europe




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