From 1941-1945, the Nazi party in German were intent upon the total destruction of the Jews in Europe. Initially, this began with denying rights and civil liberties to the Jewish population in German and forcibly moving them to ghettos. The Nazi party also began to circulate propaganda across Germany in order to demonise the Jews. Jews were largely killed through disease and starvation in the ghettos and shootings carried out by Nazi official.

In 1941, the Nazi regime began to industrialise these killing and began the process of deporting Jews and other so-called ‘asocial’ elements of German society, such as political opponents, gypsies, homosexuals and vagrants, to death camps across Europe.

By 1945 six million Jews had been killed in what is now referred to as the ‘Holocaust’.

On 27th January of each year we commemorate the Holocaust, and remember the lives of millions of men, women and children who were murdered across Europe during the Second World War by the Nazi regime.  We commemorate this day as it marks the anniversary of the liberation of the largest and most notorious Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau. This year we commemorate the day on its 70th anniversary and the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust is focusing on the theme of ‘keeping the memory alive’. The theme of keeping the memory alive is important and necessary in order to honour and respect those who have died.

The persecution of the Jews was not an isolated incident, it was evident at the beginning of the 1930s, particularly after the Nazi rise to power in 1933, that the Jewish population were treated unfairly by the Nazi regime. However the extent of this was not revealed until the end of the Second World War in 1945, and the Allied liberation of Europe.

Within our collection, we have various objects relating to the Holocaust, and this week’s blog is focused on a handbook that was given to Jews seeking refuge in Britain between 1933 and 1939.

In the handbook, which was created by the German Jewish Aid Committee and the Jewish Board of Deputies, the refugees were advised on what actions they should take upon entering Britain, they were told that they should be loyal to Britain as it has shown tolerance and sympathy to the Jewish community and they were also given a list which instructed them on what they should and should not do.

Bradford was a city where many of these Jewish refugees came to, more information on this can be found in our galleries, in the ‘Bradford Room’.