Skip navigation.
the guide to historical resources • Issue 7: The Holocaust •

The Holocaust

Websites

Website guide

The Holocaust is a subject well served by the Internet, with a good number of quality websites dealing with the genocide in Nazi-occupied Europe. Many of the largest Holocaust museums and archives have excellent websites crammed with online exhibitions, digitised primary sources, and thoughtful commentary. One such site is that of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which provides extensive resources on all aspects of the Holocaust.

Many libraries and archives feature digitised primary source collections on their sites, offering access to students and researchers everywhere. One such collection is the British Library's 'Voices of the Holocaust' site, which publishes audio files and transcripts of survivor testimonies. An equally compelling site is Northwestern University's 'The last expression: art and Auschwitz' site, which publishes and explores art made in the concentration camps. The 'Nuremberg Trials project' published by Harvard University offers an enormous online archive of digitised material on the post-war trials held by the Allied powers, prosecuting those responsible for the Final Solution and other Nazi war crimes.

The majority of Holocaust websites tend to focus on the Jewish experience, and it can be harder to find resources dealing with the other groups, including Roma, homosexuals, Poles and Communists, who also faced persecution and genocide at the hands of the Nazi's. 'Holocaust forgotten' is a useful starting point for information about all the non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, while sites such as 'The Nazi persecution of homosexuals' and 'O Porrajmos' provide resources on the experiences of homosexuals and the Roma respectively. 'O Porrajmos' offers a good mix of scholarly articles and selected web links, while 'The Nazi persecution of homosexuals' provides a detailed bibliography for researchers and students. A more hopeful angle on the Holocaust can be found in sites like 'Daring to resist', which looks at those involved in resistance groups and rescue efforts throughout the Second World War. Lastly, the Channel 4 site 'The Holocaust on trial', explores the issue of Holocaust denial, through the 2000 libel trial between 'revisionist' historian David Irving and Deborah Lipstadt.

Website list

General

The website 'Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota' presents information about the centre, established in order to teach, research, and publicise issues connected to genocide. It focuses on the Jewish Holocaust as well as on genocides and related issues pertaining to the following groups: Roma and Sinti; Poles and Slavs; Armenians; Native and Plains Indians; Ukrainians; and Black Slaves in the USA. The site boasts a virtual museum, with excellent links to relevant sites as well as an extensive list of educational resources for teachers and lecturers on subjects such as Raoul Wallenberg (to whom the site is dedicated) and teaching the Armenian genocide. There are also digitized audio on-line testimonies of Holocaust survivors and camp liberators. There is a virtual museum featuring the images of and lectures by many artists. It is a rich and fascinating site, which seeks to contextualise all aspects of genocide. One of the best sections is entitled histories, narratives and documents, and features images of Buchenwald, materials on Bolshevism, and documentation of the Armenian genocide.

(Courtesy of Humbul – Wanda Wyporska)

The website 'A cybrary of the Holocaust' is an excellent collection of art, photos, poems, memories and factual information on the Holocausts of the Second World War. It is easy to navigate and presents a variety of information on varying aspects of the experiences of Jews, Slavs, Roma and others during World War II. There are lesson plans and resources for teachers working at secondary school level, including a teaching guide.

A list of books by survivors is a useful selection of vibrant literature. The website places excerpts on-line. Although the website primarily aims to provide information, it also acts as a support site for survivors and the children of survivors. There are accounts by survivors and witnesses, many of which have not been published elsewhere, and a discussion forum. The site is also enhanced by many images and personal accounts. What makes this site even more valuable is its coverage of non-Jewish experience of the Holocaust. There is also a list of selected links to sites of a similar nature.

(Courtesy of Humbul – Wanda Wyporska)

Professor Ben Austin's website on the Holocaust is published on the Middle Tennessee State University website. Featuring a range of resources relevant to the study of the Holocaust, this site is aimed primarily at university students and their tutors. It is simply laid out, and contains a variety of documents, some primary sources, but mostly short essays on particular subjects. Among the topics addressed are Kristallnacht, euthanasia, the Final Solution, specific groups, such as children, homosexuals and Romany Gypsies, the Nuremberg Trials, and Holocaust deniers. There is also a glossary of terms, a chronology of events, and a selection of web links.

The website for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is an extensive online resource on the history of the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Europe. The museum is the United States' national institution for the documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history. The site is an amazing resource and provides a comprehensive history of the Holocaust. While the emphasis is mainly on the Jewish experience from 1933 to 1945, the persecution and extermination of other groups such as homosexuals, Communists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Slavs, and the handicapped is also included. There is a dedicated education section that caters for teachers, students, families, adults, and undergraduates, and there is also a learning centre. In addition, the site features a well-pitched introduction, personal histories, interactive maps, and online exhibitions. The website also carries information about the museum's research facilities, which include a library, archival collections and the survivors' registry.

The 'Web genocide documentation centre' consists of a collection of electronic texts relating to acts of genocide committed in the twentieth century. Annotated links to content on other websites are also provided. The site has a particular wealth of materials to do with the Jewish Holocaust and the Second World War, along with texts on the Armenian genocide, Cambodia, East Timor, Rwanda and Burundi, Sierra Leone, and the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. Other sections include various conventions and statutes, book reviews, records of war criminals, and so forth. The site has a particular emphasis on providing primary materials. Most of the materials are in English, although a handful of documents are in German.

This is an ambitious site with a good deal of material. A simple search engine is provided to ease navigation. The presentation of the site could, however, be a little tidier.

(Courtesy of Humbul – Humbul staff)

This website is published by an amateur historian, and provides a range of excellent resources on women and the Holocaust. The site aims to investigate the Final Solution and the Nazi's views on gender, and looks at the experience of women as victims of genocide, and also as the perpetrators and collaborators of the Nazi regime. The site provides primary sources like survivor testimonies and poetry, book and film reviews, a bibliography, and web links, as well as a good range of both academic and general articles and essays. These explore subjects like partisans and resistance fighters, forest-dwellers, survivors' stories, and women involved in the Nazi regime.

Jewish experience

The website of the 'The Beth Shalom Holocaust web centre' is a central hub for three main sites: Holocaustcentre.net; holocausthistory.net; and holocaustbookstore.net. It also collaborates with project sites such as the Aegis Genocide Prevention Initiative and Remembering for the Future – academic research. It is supported by the Association of Jewish Refugees and the Pears Family Trust. The Holocaust Centre, Beth Shalom is based in Nottingham and is Britain's first dedicated Holocaust memorial and education centre. It has a permanent exhibition and houses a library and research facilities.

The centre is now open to the public and the site provides details on its location and opening hours. The site runs educational tours, and publishes a journal 'Perspectives' three times a year. The sister site Holocaust History is aimed at school pupils. This site is particularly useful for those teaching or studying the Holocaust or Second World War history.

(Courtesy of Humbul – Wanda Wyporska)

'Daring to resist' is the companion website to a PBS film that traces the lives of three Jewish women who worked in resistance against the Nazi regime in Europe during the Second World War. The site provides resources on the experiences of the three women who survived the Nazi occupation in the Netherlands, Hungary and Poland, and who worked in resistance and partisan groups to save Jews from the ghettos and concentration camps. A biography of each woman is available, along with a video clip of them talking about their lives. There is also an interactive timeline that lists the movements of the women alongside the events taking place in Europe during World War II. Containing further information is the teacher's guide, which provides a range of resources on the programme. It is well structured, including background information about the Nazi persecution of Jewish people and the Holocaust, suggested areas of study and questions, a transcript of the film, a glossary, a bibliography, and a useful list of related websites.

'Last expression: art from Auschwitz' is a project dedicated to exploring the 'roles, functions, meanings and making of art in the Nazi concentration camps of the Second World War, focusing on the notorious site of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Published by the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, the website is a rich resource of images and essays. Of particular interest are the interviews with artists of the concentration camps, such as Yehuda Bacon and Jozef Szajna. Complete with audio and video material, 'Last expression' utilises the full capability of multimedia in order to explore fully the issues surrounding the Holocaust and aesthetic activity. Scholars working in Jewish studies, history or aesthetics are likely to find this site to be of interest.

(Courtesy of Humbul – Stuart Allen)

'Life in shadows' is a moving online exhibition published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, concerned with the experiences of Jewish children who were in hiding during the Nazi occupation of Europe. The exhibition is impressive and very sophisticated, skilfully combining video clips, primary documents, digitised artefacts, and text to teach users about child survivors of the Holocaust. The sections of the exhibition cover the survival chances of children, the choices made by families to separate, the stories of people who were in hiding, and the efforts to reunite families after the Second World War ended.

Non-Jewish groups

The website 'Holocaust history: non-Jewish victims (Holocaust forgotten)' is available in both Polish and English versions. The site aims to disseminate information about the non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, which number over 5 million. The author of the site (Terese Schwartz-Pencak) is widely published on the subject, is the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and has converted to Judaism. The site features extracts from Nuremberg Trial documentation and an excellent page of links to resources on the Holocaust. Individual stories of survivors, along with pictures and images, enhance the site. Those given a voice here, Afro-Europeans, Roma and Sinti, Poles, homosexuals, the disabled, and Jehovah's Witnesses, are among those frequently by-passed by Holocaust histories. The site is of use to those seeking an individual insight into the Holocaust and those who were both victims and heroes.

(Courtesy of Humbul – Wanda Wyporska)

This is one of the online exhibitions on the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and it deals with the Nazi campaign of persecution and violence against German homosexuals. The site is easy to navigate and well presented, and provides a comprehensive overview of the experiences of gay men in Nazi Germany. The chronological chapters take the user through the years of Nazi government and the measures against homosexuals, and the text is interspersed with photographs, artefacts and video clips. In addition to this there are related articles that deal with other areas of the Nazi regime and those it persecuted, links to a bibliography, links to further online resources, and a teacher’s section.

This is a straightforward website published by professional historian Gerard Koskovich. On it is published a detailed bibliography of primary and secondary sources on the persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany, 1933-1945. The bibliography lists books and articles alphabetically, and provides a lively and opinionated review of each source, mentioning how much relevant material there is, and how helpful it is to researchers. There is also a much shorter separate listing of documentary films and unpublished oral histories.

This website is published as part of the 'Patrin web journal', which is dedicated to Romani history and culture. This part of the site, 'O Porrajmos', provides a gateway to a range of resources on the Roma genocide in Nazi Germany. O Porrajmos is the Romani name for the Holocaust, and directly translated means 'the devouring'. On the site is a good selection of scholarly articles on the experience of the Gypsies during World War II, including some by the leading Roma academic Ian Hancock. The site also features a good number of links to other relevant websites. There is a warning at the beginning of the website that some people may find the material distressing.

Oral histories

The 'Fortunoff video archive for Holocaust testimonies' is based in the manuscripts and archives department at Yale University Library. It is a video archive of more than 2,400 interviews with Holocaust survivors, telling of their experiences under Nazi occupation. The site provides a detailed background to the project and the activities of the archive, as well as information about the educational resources and publications available for use by teachers. In addition it is possible to view on the site video excerpts from the archive in Quicktime, or as audio files. These are accompanied by transcripts, and include testimonies from Jewish people, American witnesses, and Gypsy internees. Although it is not possible to view the rest of the archive footage on the site, you can search the catalogue using Orbis, the online catalogue for Yale University Library.

'Holocaust personal histories' is an online exhibition published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Composed entirely of oral history testimonies of people who survived the Holocaust, this is an extremely sobering and moving exhibition. The interviews are divided into twelve separate categories, looking in turn at children, refugees, survival, ghettos, resistance, liberation, deportations, camps, aid and escape, the aftermath, and individuals. The testimonies are mainly those of Jewish people who lived through the Nazi occupation of Europe, and the Final Solution, their programme of genocide. The accounts can either be viewed as text or on video, which requires Real Player to access.

'Voices of the Holocaust' is a virtual exhibition published by the British Library. The exhibition is centred around recordings of Holocaust survivors' memories, made as part of the British Library's Sound Archives Oral History Programme. Designed for use by school-age students, it is a well-conceived project and valuable for students at many different levels of education. The recordings cover the Jewish experience in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945, dealing with deportations, the ghettos, resistance, concentration camps, death marches, and liberation. These are accompanied by background material in the form of maps, transcripts of the audio files, a timeline, and a glossary, and there are student activities and teachers notes too.

Nuremberg

The International Military Tribunal for Germany website provides access to an amazing amount of information and original texts about the Nuremberg Trial of major German war criminals, 1945-1946 (at the end of the Second World War). This resource is part of The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School, (which mounts digital documents relevant to the fields of law, history, economics, politics, diplomacy and government). Value is added throughout by linking to supporting documents expressly referred to in the body of the text.

Each section of The Nuremberg Trials collection provides an insight into one of the most important trials in 20th century history, by displaying information in the following categories: motions, orders, presentation of cases, testimony of witnesses, final report. Also included are supporting documentation and Internet links about 'Nazi conspiracy and aggression' (before and during World War II), and on the Jewish genocide, the Holocaust and the persecution of religious and other minorities.

(Courtesy of Humbul – Alun Edwards)

The 'Nuremberg Trials project' is an endeavour run by Harvard Law School Library to digitise its one million pages of documents relating to the Nuremberg Trials (1945-1949). The trial of military and political leaders of Nazi Germany, after the Second World War, occurred before an International Military Tribunal and several US Nuremberg Military Tribunals. The documents that remain include trial manuscripts; legal briefs; document books; and evidence files. This digital project hopes to create and present images of full-text versions of its Nuremberg documents, along with analytical information about each document and general commentary on the trials themselves. 23,000 pages have currently been made available on the site. The documents are presented comprehensively with a photstat of the original; a German typescript; an English translation; and analysis of the document. The site provides information on the leaders of the Nazi regime including key personnel in: government (the Reich Chancellery and ministries); the SS; the National Socialist German Workers Party; and the Wehrmacht. Details of primary and secondary sources, plus links to other sites, provide further information related to the Nuremberg Trials.

(Courtesy of Humbul – Joanne O’Shea)
Holocaust denial

The 'Holocaust history project' consists of a collection of documents and essays concerning the genocide of the Jews by the German Nazis during the Second World War. The site's authors pay especial attention to refuting the arguments of Holocaust-deniers such as David Irving.

The site contains a number of reproductions of documents contemporaneous with World War II. Most of these are in English translation, and several are also available as digital image captures of the original German documents. Primary documents of particular note include: several volumes of the proceedings of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg; reports on the effects of Prussic Acid; letters between Nazi officials; and a number of documents from the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Aside from these documents, there are a number of good secondary essays posted on the site. These vary in length from around 1,000 to 30,000 words, and are all in scholarly format with footnotes. Some of the essays include images and recordings. Many of the essays are on various aspects of the Auschwitz camp. Other subjects include: David Irving; the 'Einsatzgruppen'; the notorious propaganda film, 'The Eternal Jew'; the decision behind and the timing of 'the final solution'; and the position of the Jews with regards to Stalin and Bolshevik Russia.

This is a fine site that should certainly be visited by anyone studying the Holocaust. The material is interesting and well written, and argues against the Holocaust-deniers with some vigour.

(Courtesy of Humbul – Humbul staff)

This Channel 4 website 'The Holocaust on trial', arising from the David Irving trial, is divided into four main sections. The first section relates directly to the Irving trial outlining some of the issues raised by the trial and providing information on Irving and Deborah Lipstadt. The second part of the website outlines what is meant by Holocaust denial and gives details of some Holocaust deniers. The third section of the site takes the form of a timeline of both the growth of public awareness of the Holocaust and the growth of Holocaust denial during the Second World War to 2000. The fourth section of the site has details of other relevant resources - information on books and links to websites are provided. The 'Holocaust on trial' website has also published an essay by David Cesarani, Professor of Modern Jewish History at Southampton University and Director of the Wiener Library in London, on 'The media: why the media missed the point'.

Identity card of a Jewish woman

The identity card of a Jewish woman. The card is stamped with a 'J' following a 1938 Nazi regulation.

Image copyright the Imperial War Museum.