Here are five articles about the Holocaust from BBC History Extra. More articles can be found at the BBC History Extra website, along with their regular podcast featuring discussions with historians on a range of topics.
Before we go on, just a word about how to support this blog. You can subscribe to receive each new post direct to your inbox simply by entering your address in the box to the right (beneath this article on mobile devices). Also, you can follow @HolocaustReader on twitter. And if you like this article, why not share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Your help reaching new readers would be greatly appreciated!
Erin Blakemore’s investigation of the complicated publication history of Anne Frank’s diary begins with her father’s moving observation that “most parents don’t know, really, their children.” Otto Frank looked over his daughter’s writings after her death and discovered depths he never realised she possessed. In preparing her diary for publication, though, he suppressed some of Anne’s more caustic observations on topics such as her parents’ marriage, and comments about her own changing body.
When the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939, the lives of thousands of Jewish children living in the country were imperiled. Nicholas Winton joined an effort of move hundreds of them to safety in Britain, but as Gavin Mortimer writes, his efforts only became widely known in the 1980s. By then, others key to the operation had died, but by the time of his passing in 2014, at age 106, Winton had been knighted and his humanitarian work widely celebrated.
During the Second World War, millions of people around the world faced extremes that lie beyond our imagination. Laurence Rees has spent years interviewing witnesses and survivors of horrifying wartime experiences and here recalls six who told him about choices they faced during their darkest moments. They include the woman who, as a teenager, was given the chance to save ten people from deportation to a death camp, and the Belgian SS volunteer who remained fanatically committed to Nazism into old age.
Alexandra Richie tells the story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943, the single largest Jewish act of resistance against the Nazis. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were imprisoned in the ghetto, a small part of the the city, and when rumours spread of deportations to the Treblinka death camp, a band of fighters stockpiled weapons and prepared to fight for their survival. The fierce fighting that followed left thousands dead and led to the destruction of the ghetto area by the vengeful German occupiers.
75 years ago, in the shadow of the Nuremberg trials against leading Nazi war criminals, many smaller trials took place across Germany. British legal teams prosecuted guards from the recently liberated Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, but as AT Williams reports, the results disappointed many and further efforts to bring Nazi perpetrators to justice gave way to post-war indifference.