War and Social Upheaval: The Holocaust in Individual Countries


Figure 1.--This haunting image depicts the experenience of a Jewish boy during the Holocaust hiding from the NAZIs. Very young children losing their parents were forced to fend for themselves for years in NAZI-occupied Poland. The painting here is Unsigned but was painted by Eugeniusz Aleksandrowski (19??-1999). He was a Jewish-Polish painter who graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Surviving the Holocaust as a boy, he emigrated to Denmark in 1971. He had a few sporadic exhibitions. However, by his own choice, he remained quite anonumous until his death. Most of his work is dominated by his traumatic experiences during the Holocaust.

The Holocaust varied greatly from country to country. Many countries cooperated with the NAZIs, especially in Western Europe. While the Holocaust was instigated and conducted by the Germans, they found many willing collaborators throughout Europe to assist in their terrible enterprise. One of the most cooperative countries was Vichy France. Only a few countries resisted the German effort, most notably: Albania, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. Albania was especially notable as it was a largely Moslem nation. The Bulgarians were another notable exception. Franco refused to hand over Spanish Jews and allowed Jews fleeing the NAZis to transit through Spain as did Portugal. The Hungarians put up some resisance until occupied by the NAZIs. Local populations also differed. Some were more anti-semetic than the Germans and actively aided the NAZI round-ups and mass killings. People in some other countries actively assisted the Jews, putting their own lives in great danger. There were brave individuals in every occupied country. The Danes managed to sprit most of their Jews away to saftey in Sweden. The Italian people managed to hide most of their Jews fron the NAZIs and Fascists. Many Dutch citizens hid Jews. In most other countries, however, the NAZIs found many enthusiastic, willing collaborators. The actual process in each country varied depending on when the NAZIs took control, the relationship (ally or occupied country), the attitude of the local population, and a variety of other factors.

Individual Countries

We have collected. The German occupied much of Europe from the Volga and Cauvausus west to the Pyraneees. This was the area of occupied Europe in which the Holocaust was conducted. The following information on the Holocaust in the mostly European countries that were occupied by Germany. German occupation or influence through Vichy extended into North Africa and the Middle East where manyv Arabs and Ieanians were sympathetic to the Axis. There were also several countries that were threatened by the Germans, but not actually occcpied.

Countries A-G


Countries H-L


Countries M-Z


Unidentified Countries

We have found several Holocaust images that we can not identify by country. We are hopeing that HBC readers may have some insights to offer. One such image comes from Eastern Europe in June 1942.

Regional Trends

The Holocaust was an essentially European phenonenon a horrible manifestation of the antisemitism that developed in Europe during the medievel era. There had been terrible outbreaks of violence against Jews during the medieval era. Jews were the one non-Christian religion tolerated in Christendom, but for long periods they were banished from much of western Europe. What strikes tne modern reader most about the Holocause besides the industrialezed killing methods was the outbreak of mindless violence in arguably the most cultured, educated country in Europe. Mos t of the killing as sone in Eastern Eurpe, first by NAZI Eisastzgruppen in the Soviet Union and than theNAZI death camps in Poland. While the Holocaust from the beginning was driven by Germany, as it unfolded it exposed the ugly face of anti-Semitism throughout Europe. The German had many enthusiastic allies in their effirts to kill Jews. As a result only in Bulgaria and Denmark were Jews saved in occupued Europe, although the Dutch and Norwgians made nobel efforts. While the Holocaust was a primarily European event, the history of the Holocaust streached out around the world as did World War II. In the Niddle East and North Africa, Arab groups attempted to stage Krsistallnacht events. As in French North Africa Vichy racial laws were enfirced. In North America, the Isolationist Movement in the United States attacked Jews, charging them as attempting to drag America into another war and denying that the NAZIs posed aanger to America and democracy. As a result of the Holocaust the locus of Jewish life shifted from Europe to the United States and tiny Israel. In Latin America their was a refusal to admot Jewish refugees. The tragedy of the Vittel Jews is just one tragic example. In Asia some Jews found refuge in war-raveged China and to an extent protected by the Japanese. In Oceania there was no fegue. Australia with its vast open expanses regused to ccept Jewish refugees.

Children of the Holocaust

This portion of the Wiesenthal site is dedicated to the children of the Holocaust. Each day, we'll revisit a special child's life as a tribute to their unique person. Each of the children featured are accompanied with a biography and photograph. To navigate through the biographies, click on the name next to the picture and it will take you to that child's personal page. To return to this main index page, click on the icon that says, "Meet Other Children of the Holocaust". This site includes children from the many different countries in which the Germans dominated.






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Created: February 7, 2002
Last updated: 6:58 AM 1/23/2017