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September 1: Blitzkrieg

Nazi Germany invaded Poland on this date in 1939, triggering World War II and setting in motion the genocide of Europe’s Jews. Close to two thirds of Poland’s 3.5 million Jews would fall into Nazi hands, while a third came under the rule (and relative protection) of the Soviet Red Army, which invaded Poland from […]

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March 12: The Vienna Edict

On this date in 1421, 212 surviving Viennese Jews were burned to death after a year of persecution, forced conversion, expulsion, imprisonment in their synagogue, and mass suicide. Contemporary reports described the Jews as singing songs and dancing before the pyres. Archduke Albrecht V’s Wiener Geserah (Vienna Edict), which prompted these horrors, occurred amid the […]

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February 5: Modern Times

Charlie Chaplin was not Jewish — he was baptized and raised in the Anglican church — but Nazi propaganda in the 1930s said otherwise, identifying him as “Karl Tonstein,” a Jew and a communist. The rumors stuck, especially after Chaplin’s release of The Great Dictator in 1940, and he consistently refused to deny being Jewish, […]

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December 11: Eichmann Trial

On this day in 1961, Adolf Eichmann, the chief administrator of the Holocaust, was found guilty of war crimes by a panel of three judges in Jerusalem. He would be executed the following year, the only person subjected to capital punishment by the legal system in modern Israel. “I will leap into my grave laughing […]

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