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This bespoke Glossary defines and explains many of the specialised terms in the testimonies and the contextual information associated with the events of November 1938.

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abbr. abbreviation, alt. alternative, lit. literal meaning, USHMM US Holocaust Memorial Museum

All non-English glossary terms are in German unless otherwise specified.

homosexual prisoner; paragraph 175 of Germany's criminal code outlawed homosexual behaviour; 175-er prisoners were denoted by a pink triangle on their clothing.

abbr. for 24 auf den nackten Hintern [24 on the naked backside]

(lit. 25 on the backside)

(lit. 25 on the arse); punishment by whipping.

custody pending deportation

(lit. abortion paragraph); although paragraph 218 of the Penal Code for the German Reich 1872 outlawed abortion, during the Nazi period and under the Nuremberg laws the courts acquitted cases of Jewish women having abortions.
Source:Henry P. David, 'Abortion and eugenics in Nazi Germany', Population and Development Review, 14/1, March 1988, pp 81-112

Hebrew: Agudath Israel; Agudas Yisroel; Union of Israel; political movement associated with orthodox, non-Zionist Jewry in Eastern Europe founded in 1912

(lit. operation); Nazi term for a campaign against Jews involving mass arrests, assembly, deportation, and sometimes also dispossession, torture and murder.

abbr. for Auswanderungshilfsaktion Gildemeester; Nazi operation to accelerate the evacuation of Jews from Vienna, run by Frank van Gheel Gildemeester (b 1881) who had previously helped the Nazis in various ways, thus gaining their confidence; the Aktion used 10% of the assets seized from wealthier Jews to finance an emigration fund for impoverished Jews, and it also assisted the wealthier Jews to expedite their own emigration; before its activities were integrated into the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien, Gildemeester helped some 30,000 non-Aryans to emigrate.
Source:Republik Österreich Historikerkommission, Final Report, 2003; Peter Berger, 'The Gildemeester organisation for assistance to emigrants and the expulsion of Jews from Vienna, 1938-1942', in Terry Gourvish, ed., Business and Politics in Europe, 1900–1970: Essays in Honour of Alice Teichova, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp 215-245

(lit. operation Jews); sometimes Sonderaktionsjuden; Jews arrested in the Juni-Aktion and/or the November Pogrom

abbr. for Alexanderplatz

public square in central Berlin; location of the Polizeipräsidium Berlin [Berlin police headquarters]; sometimes abbreviated to Alex

town in Upper Silesia; now Zbąszyńek, Poland

old filthy Jew (antisemitic insult)

Old Reich; designation of the German state prior to the Anschluß [annexation] of Austria in March 1938

alt. for stehen am Tor

local court judge

standing at the wall

The Attack; Berlin Nazi Party newspaper (1927-1945) founded by Joseph Goebbels as a mass circulation paper for communicating propaganda and antisemitism

also written Anschluss (post 1966); Nazi German occupation and annexation of Austria on 12 March 1938, which was widely welcomed and endorsed by the non-Jewish population; there were about 192,000 Jews in Austria at the time, 4% of the total population, the great majority in Vienna, where they comprised 9% of the city's inhabitants.

incident involving an alleged attack on two German journalists from the newspaper Der Angriff who were passengers on the steamer Cordilleras on 26 October 1938, and who took photographs in the Jewish district of Antwerp; for more information, see press reports on the alleged attack.
Source:The Times, London, 27 October 1938, p 1

roll call of prisoners in concentration camps, who had to line up on the [parade ground] and stand to attention, two or more times per day, each Appell could last several hours and was held in all weathers.

parade ground where Appell [roll call] was held

“work sets you free”; This slogan appeared at the entrance of the Auschwitz main camp

work deployment law; under which male German nationals between the ages of 18 and 60 could be ordered to perform certain types of work as required by the authorities; used for transfer to concentration camps for forced labour

abbr. for Deutsche Arbeitsfront (DAF); German Labour Front; it replaced trade unions and obtained their assets after their forced dissolution by the Nazis and was supposed to represent employers and employees alike, with 25 million members

work group for forced labour

work shy; label for a category of concentration camp prisoners, many arrested in the Juni-Aktion called Aktion Arbeitsscheu Reich; designated by a black or brown triangle on the prisoners' uniforms.
Source:Deutsches Historisches Museum

Aryan; Nazi term for non-Jewish, non-Gypsy Caucasians; the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 defined an Aryan as a person with four Aryan grandparents; only Aryans could be Reich citizens; so-called Halb-Arier [half Aryans] had only one Aryan parent; so-called Rein-Arier [pure Aryans] were Aryans who could prove that their ancestors were pure Aryans in the period before 1800.
Source:USHMM; Yad Vashem

Aryan permit

alt. for Arisierung

Aryan certificate

Aryan principle

alt. for Arisierung

Aryanisation; the forced transfer of Jewish-owned businesses to non-Jewish "Arier" [Aryan] German ownership throughout Germany and German-occupied countries; the process included two stages: from 1933 to 1938 the Jews were gradually removed from German economic life, termed "voluntary" exclusion by the Nazis; after 1938 forced confiscation of Jewish businesses and property was legalised; eventually all Jewish money and property was confiscated by the Nazis and used to finance the deportation of the Jews.
Source:Yad Vashem

Aryanisation duty

Aryanisation order

Torah ark


alt. for Arrestlokal

detention centre

alt. for Arier

asocials; label for a category of concentration camp prisoners, many arrested in the Juni-Aktion called Aktion Arbeitsscheu Reich, who were regarded as inferior by the Nazi regime; they included vagrants, beggars, alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, nonconformists, pacifists and Gypsies (Sinti and Roma); designated by a black or brown triangle on the uniform.
Source:Deutsches Historisches Museum; Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

shot whilst escaping; Nazi term for concentration camp prisoners shot dead by the SS guards

alt. for Aufenthaltserlaubnis

residence permit

alt. for Aufenthaltserlaubnis

exclusion order

overseer or supervisor of prisoners

export tax permit

disclosure of information

Germans living abroad

redemption authority; decree controlling the financial arrangements imposed on Jews who wanted to retain precious metal or jewellery items.
Source:The Wiener Library, November Pogrom eyewitness account B.330

exit application

exit permit

exit papers

emigration advice centre

emigration passport

emigration visa

deportation order

alt. for Abschiebungshaft

alt. for Berufsverbrecher

alt. for Hitler-Jugend

barrack elder

tree-hanging punishment, in which the prisoner's hands were chained to a tree behind him and supported his whole weight

alt. for Bürgerbräukeller

Confessing Church; movement within German Protestantism that opposed efforts of the National Socialist government to unify all Protestant churches into a single pro-Nazi Protestant Church.

town in Upper Silesia; now Zbąszyń, Poland.

abbr. BV; career or professional criminal who made crime their business and who lived in part or whole from the gains of their crimes; sentenced at least three times for a minimum of three months; category of concentration camp prisoner, designated by a green triangle on their clothing; officially known in full as Befristete Vorbeugungshaft [limited term preventive custody] or Beschränkte Verhaftung [limited or short term imprisonment].
Source:USHMM; Robert Gellately, Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany, Oxford University Press, 2001, p 296


tax assessment

Hebrew: Beit Hanarim; youth hostel

house of prayer; often interchangeable with "synagogue"; premises of a private person left to a Jewish community in order to perform the community service; only furnished in a makeshift manner for worship; a Jewish school can also be used.
Source:Manfred Jehle ed., Die Juden und die jüdischen Gemeinden Preussens in amtlichen Enquêten des Vormärz Einzelveröffentlichungen der Historischen Kommission zu Berlin, Band 82/1-4, Munich, K.G. Saur Verlag GmbH & Co., 1998

bed making; in the concentration camp, beds had to look spotless every morning. Given the circumstances, this was nearly impossible and was used as a reason for severe punishment


district; term used particularly in Vienna

district police station

bible students or Jehovah's Witnesses; also Ernste Bibelforscher [earnest bible students]; abbr. of Internationale Bibelforscher-Vereinigung (IBV) [International Bible Students Association (IBSA)]; comparatively small Christian denomination; first religious denomination in the Third Reich to be banned; Nazi legal authorities persecuted them as conscientious objectors on the charge of demoralisation of the armed forces; no other religious denomination opposed the coercion of the National Socialists with comparable determination; as prisoners denoted by purple triangle on their clothing.
Source:Detlef Garbe, Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich trans. Dagmar G. Grimm, University of Wisconsin Press, 2008, pp 3, 4

group of barracks in a concentration camp

block elder in a concentration camp; senior prisoner with disciplinary powers, appointed by the SS

alt. for SS-Blockführer

block registrar in a concentration camp

block ban, i.e. not being allowed to go out for a long period

block warden

(lit. blood and honour); motto etched on the blade of Hitler Youth daggers

(lit. blood order); prestigious medal awarded by the Nazis

whipping block

brown sisters; nurses, members of the NSV-Schwesternschaft (Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt) [National Socialist People's Welfare Nurses]

Nazi concentration camp on the Ettersberg, ten kilometres north west of Weimar, Germany, opened in July 1937; most of the early inmates were political prisoners; however, in the aftermath of the November Pogrom in November 1938, German SS and police sent almost 10,000 Jews to Buchenwald; 600 prisoners died there between November 1938 and February 1939.
Source:Jewish Virtual Library

alt. for Hitler-Jugend

Bürgerbräu beer hall in Munich, from where Hitler led a failed attempt to seize power in Munich on 8 November 1923; also called the Beer Hall Putsch and Ereignis am Biertisch [event at the beer table]; subsequently the location of annual Nazi Party commemoration of that event.

Day of Prayer and Repentance; regional Protestant Christian holiday on the Wednesday eleven days before the First Sunday of Advent

alt. for Centralverein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens

weekly newspaper of Centralverein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens from 1922 to 1938.

alt. for Kapo

abbr. CV; Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith; founded in 1893 as a reaction to growing antisemitism, it monitored and documented the prevalence of anti-Jewish actions throughout Germany, as well as the Jewish communities' responses to them.

Hebrew: pioneer; Zionist youth organisation with offices in Europe, providing preparation for settlement in Palestine.

Hebrew: preparations for Jewish burial.

Dutch: committee; refers to several relief organisations active in the Netherlands: Comité voor Bijzondere Joodsche Belangen [Committee for Special Jewish Affairs]; Comité voor Joodse Vluchtelingen [Committee for Jewish Refugees]; Nederlands Kinder Comité [Dutch Children's Committee]

concentration camp near the town of Dachau, 30 kilometres north west of Munich; the first Nazi concentration camp to be opened in Germany, in March 1933, in the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory; its layout and building plans were the model for all other Nazi concentration camps; it was a training centre for SS concentration camp guards, and the camp's organisation and routine became the model for all Nazi concentration camps; about 10,000 Jewish men arrested in the November Pogrom were held at Dachau.
Source:Jewish Virtual Library

The Black Corps; official weekly newspaper and propaganda agency of the SS

Choke, Jewish pigs (antisemitic insult)

alt. for Arbeitsfront

foreign currency clearance

foreign currency official

foreign currency office

filthy swine (antisemitic insult)

concentration camp prisoners' uniforms made from Drillich [cotton drill].

transit camp

travel permit

honourable custody

declaration of wealth issued in lieu of an oath


entry certificate

entry permit

entry permit

entry opportunity

stew Sunday; a day when all citizens eat only simple, cheap foodstuffs

street in Vienna IX., renamed Rossauer Lände in 1919; location of police prison within the Imperial Royal police headquarters, built in 1905 to replace police prisons at the Theobaldkloster and on Sterngasse; despite the street name change it continued to be referred to as Elisabethpromenade or Liesl; the prison contained c. 148 cells for 300 prisoners and had plumbed toilets in every cell.

expropriation procedure

petition for release

release certificate

(lit. event at the beer table)

(lit. earnest bible students), alt. for Jehova's Witnesses

Buchenwald Concentration Camp was situated on the Ettersberg Hill

32 countries were invited by US President FD Roosevelt to attend a conference at the Hotel Royal in Evian, France, on 23 March 1938 to tackle the problem of accommodating refugees from the German Reich; Germany and Portugal were not invited, the USSR and Czechoslovakia did not send representatives, Italy refused the invitation and Hungary, Romania, Poland and South Africa sent observers; all except the Dominican Republic refused to increase their respective immigration quotas.
Source:Mémorial de la Shoah

punitive drill; military-style physical exercises in concentration camps

alt. for Feldherrnhalle, monument to the generals at Odeonsplatz in Munich

non-commissioned officer

(lit. festival hall); large hall used for trade fairs, amongst other things, e.g. in Frankfurt am Main

tax office

flight or escape tax; tax on departure

alt. for Nationalsozialistische Frauenschaft

clearance certificate

foreigners' registration office

aliens' branch of the police

socage; forced labour, slave labour

concentration camp in Hamburg

leader; designation for Adolf Hitler

alt. for SS-Führer

alt. for 25 vorm Arsch

Ministry of Welfare

Nazi party regional leader


alt. for Gestapo

privy councillor

privy councillor

hostage theory; Hitler was convinced of a Jewish world conspiracy and regarded the Jews of Europe as political hostages against the United States; an earlier version referring to WWI foresaw an attack against France as a means of influencing British policy and of compensating for the confiscation of German colonies and shipping by Britain in the event of an Anglo-German war.
Source: Boris Barth, Genozid: Völkermord im 20. Jahrhundert: Geschichte, Theorien, Kontroversen, CH Beck, 2006, p 99; Mark Hewitson, Germany and the Causes of the First World War, 2004, Bloomsbury, p 176

yellow benches; public benches marked with yellow paint; Jews were not allowed to use other benches

alt. for Bezirk

(Jewish) community house

(Jewish) community chairman and/or council member(s)


abbr. for Geheime Staatspolizei [Secret State Police]; formed in 1933 by Hermann Göring

petition; in the November Pogrom context for release from arrest or imprisonment

habitual criminal or repeat offender; in Nazi terms not a professional criminal but regarded as being driven by a similar predisposition; sentenced at least three times for a minimum of three months.
Source:Robert Gellately, Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany, Oxford University Press, 2001, p 296

abbr. for gezeichnet; signed

alt. for Aktion-Gildemeester

Gold Discount Bank, established in 1924, became a subsidiary of the Deutsche Reichsbank [German central bank]; the transfer of Jewish emigrants' assets abroad was made more difficult by the large deduction that had to be paid in foreign currency to the Golddiskontbank, which could amount to 90% of the capital.
Source:Philipp Gassert and Alan E. Steinweis, eds, Coping with the Nazi Past: West German Debates on Nazism and Generational Conflict, 1955-1975, Berghahn, 2006, p 92 n29

Gossudarstvennoye polititcheskoye upravlenie; State Police Directorate; intelligence service and secret police of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic 1922-1923; predecessor organisation of the later Soviet Security Service NKVD

Dutch: Border Control and State Aliens Office

border permit

(lit. border station); border railway station

Green Henry; popular name for a type of low, narrow police vehicle used in Vienna

Hague Committee for Aid for Foreign Children

Haavara [transfer] marks: payments under the Haavara Agreement, negotiated by the Jewish Agency in 1933 with the Haavara Co. in Palestine and the Nazi authorities to allow Jewish emigrants to deposit money with the company; it enabled 50,000 German Jews to emigrate to Palestine and export some of their assets there.
Source:Encyclopedia Judaica

Hebrew: training, preparation; German: Hachschara; agricultural training facilities for young Jews preparing to emigrate to Palestine (1933-39).
Source:Jewish Virtual Library


commercial court lawyer

alt. for Chaluz

Henlein men; members of the Sudetendeutsche Partei (Party of the Sudeten Germans) were called Henleinleute after the founder of the party, Konrad Henlein, a supporter of the National Socialist movement who strongly supported the annexation of the area by Nazi Germany

Jewish emigrants' assistance organisation, with headquarters in Paris and offices all over Europe, Central and South America and South East Asia; HICEM is an acronym of HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), ICA (Jewish Colonisation Association) and Emigdirect, three Jewish migration associations which merged in 1927.
Source:Yad Vashem

Aid Association of German Jews, 1901-1939; provided financial and practical assistance to Jews seeking to emigrate; Palästina-Amt of the Jewish Agency assisted emigrants to Palestine.
Source:Yad Vashem

historic states: Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia

abbr. HJ; Hitler Youth; paramilitary youth organisation of the Nazi Party founded in 1926 for boys, to indoctrinate young people in Nazi ideology; a parallel organisation for girls was set up in 1928, later called Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM); 90% of German youths were members of HJ and BDM by 1939.
Source:Jewish Virtual Library

person guilty of high treason

marching song of the SA and later the official song of the Nazi Party and unofficial national anthem of Germany, with words by Horst Wessel (1907-1930), an SA Storm trooper whose death Goebbels claimed was a Communist plot; also known as Die Fahne hoch [the flag held high] from its first line.
Source:Jewish Virtual Library

illegals; category of prisoners

Ministry of the Interior

so-called protective detention

Jewish policy holders were unable to obtain compensation from insurance companies for destroyed shop window displays, windows and the contents of destroyed synagogues and houses of prayer; the insurance companies had to pay the German Reich, not the policy holders, who were obliged to continue to pay premiums to the insurance companies.
Source:Republik Österreich Historikerkommission, Final Report, 2003

intellectual pig / swine (antisemitic insult)

Israelite; of Israel; Jewish; in the biblical sense a descendant of the Jewish patriarch Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel after an all-night fight at Penuel near the stream of Jabbok (Genesis 32:28); a native or inhabitant of the ancient, biblical Northern Kingdom of Israel.
Source:Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 'Israelite'

Jewish community; used mainly in Austria, also in Germany and Switzerland; the official name for Jewish communities in Austria is Israelitische Kultusgemeinde (IKG); originates in a speech by Emperor Franz Joseph I on 3 April 1849 referring to the "Israelitische Gemeinde von Wien" [Jewish community of Vienna].
Source:Schencker Documents Online; accessed 16 June 2014

Jewish community in Vienna

Jewish Religious Community; established by orthodox Jews in the German speaking lands in the middle of the 19th century who criticised the aims modernisation of Reform Judaism

Jewish Hospital, Hamburg; erected as a hospital for Jewish and non-Jewish patients in the 19th century, the building served as a military hospital in WWI. Under the Nazi regime the hospital was forced into bankruptcy. The building had be handed over to the authorities

home for Jewish girls

Yiddish: anniversary of a death; mainly observed for deceased parents or outstanding individuals

alt. for Jewish Central Information Office

"To Each What is His"; inscription at the main gate of Buchenwald Concentration Camp

alt. for Bibelforscher

Jesuit pig (antisemitic insult)

abbr. JCIO; Jewish Central Information Office; organisation set up to gather intelligence about the Nazi regime and antisemitism and disseminate it internationally; led by Dr Alfred Wiener in Amsterdam (1933-39), following his similar work at Büro Wilhelmstrasse for the Central-Verein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens in Berlin (1929-1933); it had 17 staff , 8,000 books and pamphlets and many thousands of press cuttings by the time it was moved to London in 1939; it is now known as the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide; for biographies see document: "Jewish Central Information Office: people"

building at Dachau concentration camp

Perish, Judah! (antisemitic insult)

Jews not wanted; sign displayed in restaurants, etc.

Jewish disturbance

laws relating to the Jews

Jewish rabble (antisemitic insult)

Jewish whores (antisemitic insult)

servant of the Jews; Gentile person assisting Jews with domestic work etc.; also Jewish lackey, used in antisemitic parlance to label non-Jews servile to the Jews, for example term used to insult people who approached Jewish shops and offices of Jewish lawyers and doctors as well as workshops of Jewish artisans, shoemakers and tailors, despite the boycott of April 1, 1933.
Source:Theodore Herzl, The Jews' State, transl. Henk Overberg, Rowman & Littlefield, 1997, p 225; Thomas Dunlap, ed. and transl., Before the Holocaust: Three German-Jewish Lives, 1870-1939, Xlibris, 2011, p 389

tax of RM 1.2 billion imposed on the Jews in 1938-9 for the cost of the November Pogrom damage

Jewish slobs (antisemitic insult)

also Saujud; Jew pig/swine; a popular image in German religious texts and sculptures since the middle ages, seen in prints and sculptures and carvings on cathedrals, churches and public buildings (e.g. Cologne, Leipzig, Regensburg, Wittenberg); a few examples also in Austria, France, Belgium and Switzerland; it depicts Jews, sometimes rabbis, in obscene activities with a pig, sometimes in consort with the Devil, sometimes copulating with the pig or with pig faces, or eating pig excrement or suckling from the sow; it is often combined with depictions of the blood libel and is based on the Jewish ritual prohibition against eating or touching pigs; the image was revived in the Nazi period, and the word was turned into an insult; see also antisemitic insults.
Source:Zionism & Israel Center

Jewish pig (antisemitic insult)

Jewish assets/property tax; Sühneleistung [punitive tax] introduced by Hermann Göring on registered Jewish assets for "the hostile attitude of the Jews towards the German people" following the assassination of Ernst vom Rath and the November Pogrom; it imposed a Strafmilliarde [punishment billion] compensation payment of one billion RM; all German Jews with property in excess of RM. 5,000 including those living abroad had to pay 25% of their remaining wealth in five instalments up to the end of 1939.

registration of Jews' assets; Jews seeking to emigrate had to submit a statement of their assets, which were then confiscated or heavily taxed

Jewish Review; twice weekly paper published by the Zionistische Vereinigung für Deutschland [Zionist Federation for Germany] between 1896 and 1938

Jewish Women's League; founded in 1904 by Bertha Pappenheim (see Pappenheim, Bertha); closed down in 1938; revived in the 1950s

alt. for Krankenbehandler

Jewish Cultural Federation; supported and promoted segregated Jewish art, music, writing and publishing in Germany for Jewish-only audiences between 1935 and 1941 as prescribed by the Nazi regime; it replaced the Kulturbund Deutscher Juden [Cultural Federation of German Jews] (1933-1935).

(1938-1943); The Jewish News Bulletin; after the November Pogrom the many Jewish newspapers were shut down and the Nazis ordered the creation of this one new Jewish newspaper; it was kept under close watch by the Nazi authorities; it published discussions and news items about the Jewish community that were found "acceptable" by the Nazi authorities; many of the articles and advertisements concerned Jewish emigration from Germany.
Source:Leo Baeck Institute

Jewish social services office; a Jewish emigrant aid society in Prague in 1939.
Source:Jean-Michel Palmier, Weimar in Exile: the Anti-Fascist Emigration in Europe and America, transl. David Fernbach, London, Verso, 2006, p 275

June operation; mass arrests in Germany between 13 and 18 June 1938 of more than 10,000 men categorised by the Nazi regime as so-called Asoziale [asocial] and Arbeitsscheue [work shy], mostly unemployed or with a criminal record; over half were sent to Sachsenhausen; the operation was called Arbeitsscheu Reich; about 20% of the men were Jews.
Source:Deutsches Historisches Museum; Dieter Pohl, 'The Holocaust and the concentration camps', Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany: The New Histories, Jane Caplan and Nikolaus Wachsmann, eds, Routledge, 2009, p 150

state prosecutor

also Capo; concentration camp prisoners given a supervisory role over other prisoners by the SS; carried out the orders of the SS; after the war some Kapos were prosecuted as war criminals Source: Jewish Virtual Library

Karajangasse 14, Vienna XX.; police station in the former Brigittenauer Gymnasium and Volkschule, used to detain Jews arrested in November 1938; it was also used as a Durchgangslager [transit camp] in 1939.
Source:; 'Ein fremdes, fernes, unbekanntes Land', testimony of Ernst Otto Allerhand (born 1923, Vienna), in Erinnerungen: Lebensgeschichten von Opfern des Nationalsozialismus, Vienna, National Fund of the Republic of Austria for the Victims of National Socialism, 2012, p 75

identity card

Kenyongasse 4-8, Vienna VII.; Notgefängnis [temporary prison] in a former convent school; the school was dissolved in 1938 and the building used as a Fachschule [technical college], possibly for teacher training, and for c. 300 refugees from the Sudetenland and 2,062 Jewish prisoners interned there on 12 November 1938; the custody regime was particularly brutal; prisoners were killed and committed suicide there.

identity papers for children

alt. for Nederlands Kinder Comité and Comité

cigarette ends

ceremonial robes

sausage similar to a saveloy

knee-bends or squats; a punishment exercise

seething populace

alt. for Kommerzialrat


abbr. Kom. Rat; commercial councillor; honorific title given to distinguished businessmen in Austria

commercial councillor

duty police inspector

police station

army bread; a coarse rye bread

clothing manufacturing district in Berlin

alt. for Judenkontribution

abbr. KZ; concentration camp; type of prison used to detain and confine large numbers of people without judicial process, usually under harsh conditions, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities, in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities, sometimes to provide forced labour or to await mass execution; the Nazi regime established about 15,000 concentration, labour and death camps between 1933 and 1945 in Germany and elsewhere; men arrested in the November Pogrom were held in three concentration camps: Buchenwald, Dachau and Sachsenhausen.
Source:Oxford English Dictionary; USHMM; Jewish Virtual Library

Jewish doctors licensed by the Nazi authorities to treat Jewish patients

alt. for Revier

alt. for Revier

alt. for Sanitäter

Nazi municipal leader

Nazi municipal authorities


police detective

criminal police; plain-clothes police detectives; in 1936 became part of the Sicherheitspolizei together with the Gestapo.
Source:Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 'Gestapo'

detective superintendant or captain

alt. for Reichskristallnacht; night of broken glass.

Kulturbund Deutscher Juden; Cultural Federation of German Jews (1933-1935); replaced by the Jüdischer Kulturbund in Deutschland [Jewish Cultural Federation in Germany].

alt. for Israelitische Kultusgemeinde

Jewish Association of Cultural Affairs

Jewish community council chairman and/or member(s)

notice to quit

alt. for Synagogendiener

alt. for Konzentrationslager

Jewish Universe; weekly journal published in Paris 1844-?1939

camp elder

camp leader

camp commandant

regional court

state governor

abbr. LVO; regional authority regulation

regional court councillor

landing money; charge paid by relatives of Jewish refugees living outside of Germany, upon the refugee's arrival in the country to which they have emigrated

Succoth booths; Succoth is a holiday to commemorate the temporary houses of the Israelites in the desert. On this occasion, small huts with a roof made of leaves are built in which the family is supposed to live and eat for seven days

usually: military hospital

legation secretary

identity card

Jewish house of study

name of the II. Bezirk [second district] in central Vienna, on the west bank of the River Danube, first granted to the Jews in 1624; by 1923 Jews comprised almost 40% of its inhabitants.

refugees aid committee of the local Zurich community

palm branch

alt. for Landesverwaltungsverordnung

secondary school

Hitler's seizure of full power following his appointment by the President, Paul von Hindenburg, as Reichskanzler [Reich Chancellor] on 30 January 1933


Dutch and Belgian police performing military and civilian duties

My Struggle; autobiographical book by Adolf Hitler, published in 1925, containing his ideas, beliefs and plans for the future of Germany.
Source:Jewish Virtual Library

senior government official

Hebrew: quorum; ten adult Jewish males must be present for public worship

Hebrew: commandment; good deed

also Magen David; Yiddish: Mogein Dovids; (lit. Shield of David); Star of David; two overlaid equilateral triangles form a six-pointed star; historically a common symbol in the Middle East and North Africa, which was never an exclusively Jewish symbol; it was adopted as the emblem of the Zionist movement in 1897 and continued to be controversial for many years afterward; the yellow badge that Jews were forced to wear in Nazi-occupied Europe invested the Star of David with a symbolism indicating martyrdom and heroism; it was used in badges on prisoners' uniforms in Nazi concentration camps.
Source:Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 'Star of David'; Jewish Virtual Library

agreement signed by Hitler, Chamberlain, Mussolini and Daladier on 30 September 1938 in Munich for Czechoslovakia to cede the Sudetenland to Germany in return for Hitler pledging peace; see also Sudetenland

abbr. for Latin: nomen nominandum [name to be confirmed]

Kaufhaus Nathan Israel; Nathan Israel department store; founded in 1813, became one of the largest retail establishments in Europe by 1930.

National Socialist Women's League; founded in October 1931 as an umbrella body for several national and National Socialist women associations; it was declared the only official Nazi Party organisation for women and had a membership of 2.3 million, led by Gertrud Scholtz-Klink; members had to attend at least one evening meeting per month; the focus was the preparation of women for their duties as house keepers and mothers.
Source:Deutsches Historisches Museum

abbr. NSKK; National Socialist Motor Corps; paramilitary organisation within the Nazi Party (1931-1945)

alt. for Nazionalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei

abbr. NSDAP [National Socialist German Workers' Party; Nazi Party]; state party of the German National Socialist dictatorship; founded in 1919 as the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP) [German Workers Party]; Hitler joined the DAP in 1919, became its head of propaganda in 1920 and helped to draw up its antisemitic, anti-Versailles Treaty manifesto; the Party was renamed NSDAP in 1920 and Hitler became its chairman and Führer in 1921.

Dutch Children's Committee

The Dutch National Socialist; official newspaper of the Nationaal-Socialistische Arbeiderspartij [Dutch Nazi party]

town in Upper Silesia; now Zbąszyńek, Poland.

New Free Press; daily newspaper published in Vienna from 1844 until the Anschluß [annexation of Austria] in March 1938

abbr. NZZ; New Zurich Newspaper; internationally well-regarded daily German-language paper published since 1780; daily since 1869; banned in Nazi Germany from 1934

New Vienna Daily Paper; published 1867-1945; from 1938 a vehicle for Nazi propaganda

emergency detention (unit); in Vienna Karajangasse and Kenyongasse were two of the Notarreste; two others were Sofiensäle, on Marxergasse, Vienna III., a concert hall that continued in use after November 1938 as a Sammelstelle [collecting point] for people being deported; at Pramergasse, Vienna IX. the police Reitschule [rider training school] was used to detain Jews.
Source:; Christa Mehany-Mitterrutzner, 'Vor 75 Jahren: Novemberpogrom 1938', Österreich Journal, 125 (12.11.2013), pp. 32, 34

emergency prison

Emergency Association of German Scientists Abroad; self-help organisation founded in 1933 by Philipp Schwartz (who had himself fled to Switzerland) for German scholars abroad, which acted as an intermediary for jobseekers without regard to race or creed.
Source:Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

November operation

November Jews; Jews arrested during the November Pogrom

November Pogrom; also Novemberaktion [November operation], Kristallnacht [Night of Broken Glass]; Reichskristallnacht [Reich Night of Broken Glass]

alt. for Nazionalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei

alt. for Nationalsozialistisches Kraftfahrkorps

the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour were adopted on 15 September 1935, depriving Jews of citizenship and barring them from flying the German flag; Jewish families employing a Christian household servant under the age of 45 could be convicted of racial contamination, as could any couple circumventing the law by marrying abroad; mixed marriages and all sexual relations between Jews and non-Jews, which were said to contaminate the race, were forbidden; related regulations defined a Jew as someone with three or four Jewish grandparents, and removed Jews from all spheres of German political, social, and economic life.
Source:Mémorial de la Shoah; Jewish Virtual Library

senior architect and engineer

alt. for SS-Oberführer

alt. for SS-Obergruppenführer

senior lawyer at the regional high court and court of appeal

Hebrew: Shammash servant; German/Yiddish: senior synagogue attendant

alt. for SS-Oberscharführer

senior assault unit leader; a paramilitary of the Nazi Party rank used by both the SA and the SS

alt. for SS-Obersturmbannführer

option to move from Czechoslovakia to Germany before the end of March 1939; see Article 7 of Munich Agreement, 29 September 1938

now Oranienburg bei Berlin, about 40 kilometres north of Berlin; German concentration camp set up in an abandoned brewery in central Oranienburg during 1933 and closed in 1934; later there was a satellite camp of the main concentration camp at Sachsenhausen at the Heinkel-Werke in Oranienburg from 1943 to 1945 (prisoners had been working there since 1939), also referred to as Oranienburg.

(lit. castle of the [medieval, knightly] order); elite Nazi training establishment for military leaders, open only to the landed nobility

local police inspector

NSDAP local group leader

alt. for SS-Ortsgruppenleiter

local administrator

Eastern Marches; originally eastern territories of the German Empire ceded to Poland in 1919; applied to Austria between 1938 and 1942, after which the designation was forbidden

Austrian, Austrians

packing permit

Palestine office; offices set up in most European capitals and exit ports by the World Zionist Organisation from 1918, later under the aegis of the Jewish Agency, to handle the organisation, regulation, and implementation of Jewish immigration to Palestine.

Palestine Authority

organisation active across Europe training young people for relocation to Palestine

Palästina Treuhandstelle zur Beratung deutscher Juden, abbr. Paltreu, Palestine Trust Company; Jewish trust company in Germany purchasing Jewish goods which were then exchanged with the Haavara, a company founded in Tel Aviv to facilitate the emigration of Jews to Palestine by allowing the transfer of their capital in the form of German export goods

(lit. paper mark); German currency (1914-1923) as coins and banknotes.

abbr. PG; party member

passage; release form

abbr. for Pfennig; penny; 1/100 of the RM

abbr. for Parteigenosse

operation in Poland; in mid-October 1938 a Polish decree was issued cancelling passports of Poles living abroad who did not obtain a special authorisation to re-enter Poland by the end of the month; over 30,000 Jews living in Germany and 20,000 in Austria were born in Poland and this decree seized their Polish nationality and made them stateless on 1 November 1938; the Nazi government in Germany did not wish to absorb this population, and on 27-28 October 1938 the police and the SS arrested and transported about 17,000 to Neu-Bentschen, near the Polish border town of Zbąszyń, 90 kilometres west of Poznan and 110 kilometres east of Frankfurt an der Oder; the Polish border police sent them back; they were stuck in no man's land close to Zbąszyń; a few with relatives in Poland were admitted; in January 1939 following negotiations between Germany and Poland, Jews with family members living in Poland were allowed to join them; the others were allowed to return to Germany in small groups to sell their businesses and emigrate; approximately 16,000 Polish Jews were expelled from Germany in this way.
Source:Mémorial de la Shoah; Bundesarchiv: Memorial Book (with further details at

political prisoner; mainly communists, also social democrats, liberals, conservatives and some former NSDAP; denoted by a red triangle on their clothing, which until 1939 was seen as a badge of honour for enemies of the fascist regime.
Source:Gertrude Schneider, Exile and Destruction: The Fate of Austrian Jews, 1938-1945, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995, p. 19

police detention

police prison; police cells

police captain

Chief of Police

police headquarters

police station

police order

police car/vehicle

Polish pig (insult)

plank bed; sometimes bunk bed

personal operation by the Führer [leader]

authorised signatory, proxy; company secretary

flogging on the whipping block

Latin: fifth; second year of schooling in German grammar school

racial disgrace, defilement; Nazi term for sexual relations between Aryans and non-Aryans, punishable by law; initially it referred to relations between Germans and Jews, later to relations between Germans and all foreigners brought into the Third Reich as slave workers.
Source:Gregory Wegner, Anti-Semitism and Schooling under the Third Reich, Routledge, 2002, p 64

race defilers, Nazi term for a person involved in a relationship between a Jew and a Non-Jew

town hall

secondary school

Referent Regierungsrat; consultant (senior) civil servant

alt. for Regierungsrat

head of government planning department and building control office

building officer employed by the government

senior government official

civil servant

scrubbing or cleaning gang; arrestees or prisoners forced to wash pavements and walls

German central bank 1876-1945

leader of the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold [Reich banner black-red-gold], a political organisation and paramilitary force associated with the German Social Democratic Party

Reich Association of Jewish Front-line Soldiers

Germans of the Reich; Nazi term for ethnic German citizens living in the German state following unification in 1871, as contrasted with Volksdeutsche, ethnic Germans born outside of Germany

alt. for Fluchtsteuer

highest rank within the SS

SS High Command

Reich Criminal Investigation Office; central office of the Kriminalpolizei; a department within the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RHSA) [Reich Security Main Office]

alt. for November Pogrom

abbr. RM; German currency (1924-1948)

Reich Food Corporation; statutory corporation of farmers and other food producers in Nazi Germany; set up in 1933 to control production, distribution and prices of agricultural products.
Source:Deutsches Historisches Museum

Reich postal service

Reich Office for Emigration Affairs

Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutschland [Reich Deputation of Jews in Germany] (1933-35); chairman Leo Baeck, director Otto Hirsch; renamed Reichsverband der Juden in Deutschland [Reich Federation of Jews in Germany] (1935-39) and Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland [Reich Association of Jews in Germany] (1939-43); before the November Pogrom it was a federation of Jewish organisations and regional and local Jewish communities that aimed to provide a unified voice for German Jewry in dealing with the Nazi authorities; it was then taken into the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RHSA) [Reich Security Main Office] and supervised the communication to and implementation by the Jewish community of Nazi laws and regulations.

Reich Army Commission

state counsel for commerce; the Reichswirtschaftsgericht [Imperial Commercial Court] was established in 1915 to deal with disputes related to the expropriation of civilian property to finance the war effort; it became part of the Reichsverwaltungsgericht [Reich Administrative Court] in 1941.

Reich Ministry of Economic Affairs

alt. for Arier

travel permit

re-emigrant; category of prisoner in concentration camp who had returned to Germany after emigrating abroad

sick bay in concentration camp

cavalry captain

alt. for Reichsbund jüdischer Frontsoldaten

alt. for Reichsmark

(lit. rolls); punishment in concentration camp; in Sachsenhausen the prisoner had to roll over and over on the ground down a hill.

raiding party

alt. for Remigrant

Stadtschnellbahn [city rapid railway]; urban transportation network

alt. for Schweizer Israelitischer Gemeindebund

Saxon greeting; to stand face to face to the wall for eight hours with arms crossed at the back of the neck, not permitted to eat or relief oneself

sometimes Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg, i.e. Sachsenhausen bei Oranienburg, later a suburb of Oranienburg; German concentration camp founded in 1936, 40 kilometres north of Berlin near the town of Oranienburg; prisoners were brought to Sachsenhausen via both Oranienburg and Sachsenhausen railway stations; there was a separate concentration camp at Oranienburg; see also Oranienburg

(lit. salt alley); a torture method used in concentration camps, making a person go along a double row of fellow inmates who have to beat him with clubs.
Source:Felix Mitterer, 'Drei Geschichten über Kinder, und wie es weiter ging', ESRA-Lesung, 16.11.04, Context XXI, 3-4/2005, 4: "Danach muss er durch die „Salzgasse" gehen. Dabei stehen links und rechts aufgereiht die anderen Kinder, mit Stöcken in den Händen, und schlagen auf den durchmarschierenden Delinquenten ein." "The name might just be a case of random euphemisms; many Jewish quarters had a Salzgasse, as in the middle ages, trading (salt) was one of the professions that they were allowed, and the roads with Salz in their name in Vienna are close to the Judengasse." Source: The Wiener Library

assembly camp

assembly point

group transport

sand running, punishment

medical orderly

medical orderlies

medical consultant

Jewish pig/swine (antisemitic insult)

pig fellow / chap; bastard (antisemitic insult)

Jewish kosher slaughter

alt. for SS-Scharführer

Shiva; also: Schiwo; from Hebrew: seven; Jewish customary period of seven days' mourning

alt. for Pritsche

Jewish ritual slaughterer

shunt room or processing room

abbr. for Schutzpolizei

Chancellor of Austria from 29 July 1934 to 11 March 1938

so-called protective custody; the arrest without judicial review of real and potential opponents of the Nazi regime; such prisoners were not confined within the normal prison system but in concentration camps under the exclusive authority of the SS.

so-called protective custody order

Jews in so-called protective custody

lit. protection police; abbr. Schupo; uniformed police

alt. for SS

so-called protection force

duty of confidentiality

pig (antisemitic insult)

pig dog, bastard (antisemitic insult)

Jewish pigs (antisemitic insult)

abbr. S.I.G.; Swiss Jewish Community Federation

Thora scrolls

creation of residence

Yiddish: sabbath

abbr. Sipo; security police.

Austrian Security Police; initially formed as a uniformed paramilitary unit of the K.K. Monarchy at the end of the 19th century as a substitute for the military police. After the annexation of Austria in 1938 the unit was incorporated into the German Police

so-called preventive detention

silver cross of the order of merit

alt. for Sicherheitspolizei

special operation Jews; sometimes Aktionsjuden [Jews arrested in the Juni-Aktion and/or the November Pogrom]

special train

alt. for Jüdisches Sozialamt

general strike in Germany in January 1919, in which left wing groups mounted an armed protest against the government led by Friedrich Ebert and were violently suppressed

blocked Marks; the removal of Reichsmarks from Germany was prohibited; the government placed the liquid assets of German Jews who had emigrated in special SperrkontenSperrmarks, of little value outside Germany; the rate of exchange for converting Reichsmarks to Sperrmarks was cut from about 37% in 1935 to about 10% in 1938, by which time the transfer of any funds of Jewish and most foreign emigrants was prohibited.
Source:Brian Amkraut, Between home and Homeland: Youth Aliyah from Nazi Germany, University of Alabama Press, 2006, pp 89, 191 n133; Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 28 September 1936 and 9 June 1938

SS concentration camp block leader

SS leader

SS senior leader, equivalent rank to brigadier general

SS senior group leader; senior SS rank

SS sergeant

SS rank equivalent to a lieutenant colonel in the German army; also used by SA

SS local area leader; local representative of the Gauleiter

alt. for Reichsführer-SS

alt. for Reichsführung-SS

SS company leader; staff sergeant

SS standard leader; SS colonel

SS troop

SS rank equivalent to major in the German army; also used by SA

SS rank equivalent to lieutenant in the German army; also used by SA

SS rank equivalent to captain in the German army; also used by SA

SS combat support troop; auxiliary troops formed in 1934, renamed Waffen-SS [Armed SS] in 1940

public prosecutor's office

abbr. Stapo; state police

(army) medical officer

city hawker's licence


steel helmet; Bund der Frontsoldaten: League of Front Line Soldiers; German paramilitary nationalist organisation (1918-1935)

alt. for SS-Standartenfüher

standart leader; a paramilitary of the Nazi Party rank used by both the SA and the SS

alt. for Staatspolizei

standing roll call

standing to attention by the gate; punishment in Sachsenhausen concentration camp

reporting to inspection patrols in concentration camp

tax confirmation certificate

alt. for Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung

tax administration

punishment duty

alt. for Baumhängen

alt. for Exerzieren

punishment company

alt. for Judenvermögensabgabe

criminal procedure code

room elder in concentration camp

graduate secondary school teacher

The Hour; daily newspaper published in Vienna from 2 February 1923 to the Anschluß [annexation of Austria] in March 1938

alt. for SS-Sturm

alt. for SA

alt. for SS-Sturmbannführer

The Stormer; weekly German tabloid-format newspaper published from 1923 to the end of World War II. It was a significant part of Nazi propaganda and was vehemently antisemitic.

alt. for SS-Sturmführer

alt. for SS-Sturmhauptführer

Germany demanded the return of the Sudetenland, a border area of Czechoslovakia containing a majority ethnic German population; in late Summer 1938 Hitler threatened Europe with war unless the Sudetenland with its German population was ceded to Germany; leaders of Britain, France, Italy and Germany held a conference in Munich on 29-30 September 1938 and signed the Munich Pact allowing Germany to annex the Sudetenland in exchange for Hitler's pledge of peace; nevertheless on 15 March 1939 Nazi Germany invaded and occupied the Czech provinces of Bohemia and Moravia and turned them into a German Protectorate; see also Munich Pact.
Source:Yad Vashem

reparations; an extra tax paid by Jews to the German state after the November Pogrom

synagogue sexton

synagogue administrator

legal adviser

Jewish prayer shawl

Talmud crook (antisemitic insult)

Phylacteries; set of small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah. They are worn by male observant Jews during weekday morning prayers

temple; synagogue of Reform Judaism

Temple Society; community of Reform Judaism

Thora ark; a closet in the synagogue to keep the thora scrolls

Torah scrolls; the most sacred Jewish ritual object; the Five Books of Moses inscribed by hand on the specially prepared skin of a kosher animal; in the Ashkenazi tradition the scribe writes with a quill on parchment; the Sefardi scribe uses a reed to write on parchment or leather.
Source:Jewish Virtual Library

table elder; most senior person at meal table in concentration camp

alt. for stehen am Tor

Death's-Head units of the SS, founded in 1936 to administer the concentration camps, led by Theodor Eicke, first Kommandant of Dachau who directed the design, operation and training for all concentration camps until 1940; Totenkopfverbände troops were trained to be extremely harsh towards prisoners

transit residence

customs officer supervisor

a cinema of the Ufa-Kinos, Germany-wide operated cinemas

turnover tax levied on businesses

(lit. certificate of non-objection); tax clearance certificate; needed by Jews seeking to emigrate

alt. for Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung

Union of Austrian Jews; society presenting Jewish interests

junior officer

junior squad leader; a paramilitary rank of the Nazi Party used by the SS

submission process in connection with the financial arrangements imposed on Jews who wanted to retain precious metal or jewellery items

person with power of disposal

alt. for SS-Verfügungstruppe

retribution measure

arrests operation

alt. for Verhaftungsaktion

traffic trap; " was for some time the practice in this police district that Jewish looking persons, who had allegedly disregarded the traffic regulations when crossing the Kurfürstendamm, were taken to the police station..."
Source:AJR Information, VI/2, February 1951, p 7

alt. for Judenvermögensabgabe

alt. for Judenvermögensanmeldung

wound badge; military decoration initially awarded to German Army soldiers wounded in World War I, reinstituted by Hitler in May 1939 for German volunteers wounded in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), and awarded during World War II; the badge was similar to that of World War I with a swastika added to the steel helmet.
Source:Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage, An Illustrated Dictionary of the Third Reich, McFarland, 2013, p. 193

four-year-plan; economic reforms (1936-1940) to make Germany self-sufficient

deputy mayor

Vice Commandant

Camp Vice Commandant

National Observer; daily newspaper (1923-1945) published by the Nazi Party and owned by Hitler; edited by Alfred Rosenberg, a leading Nazi and antisemite

National comrade; initially a way to address someone from the same country. During National Socialism, the term was exclusively used for those who were members of the German people according to principles of racism and antisemitism

alt. for Volkswut

traitor against the people

people's rage; in the November Pogrom context the term was used sceptically by Jews who regarded that outbreak of violence and persecution against them and their communities as being officially directed and coordinated rather than having arisen spontaneously and locally in the mass population; the term kochende Volksseele [seething populace] is also cited sceptically in some of the testimonies

alt. for Volkswut

foreman in charge of a work group of concentration camp prisoners

prayer leader

preventive custody of those with previous convictions



chairman/chairmen and/or council member(s)

preliminary visa

security company


guard team; see also Mannschaft


Armed SS; see also SS-Verfügungstruppe

The Truth; weekly Austrian Jewish newspaper published in Vienna 1885 until the Anschluß [annexation of Austria] in March 1938; Oskar Hirschfeld (see Glossary) was its last editor

town in Thuringia; Buchenwald concentration camp was 10 kilometres north west of Weimar, Germany

see Jewish Central Information Office

Vienna Day; daily newspaper published in Vienna until the Anschluß [annexation of Austria] in March 1938

abbr. WHW and Winterhilfe; Winter Relief for the German People; Nazi-controlled relief agency for non-Jewish German people in need of material support

squats or Kniebeugen

host people

erudite rabbi who could work miracles

roll call count of prisoners in concentration camps; see also Appell

Journal of the History of the Jews in Germany, published in Berlin from 1887 until it was banned in November 1938.

hundredweight; c. 50 kilograms

destruction operation

alt. for Zerstörungstrupp

destruction squad


alt. for Zerstörungsaktion

Zionist Review; weekly journal of the Zionistischer Landesverband für Deutschösterreich published between 20 May 1938 and 4 November 1938

Zionist Union for Germany; founded in 1894 by Max Bodenheimer; it promoted emigration to Palestine rather than further assimilation in Germany; it was banned after November 1938.
Source:Arbeitskreis e.V.

customs investigation department

customs investigation office

prison normally administered by the regular legal apparatus rather than the SS; some were used as temporary detention centres for people arrested in the November Pogrom; usual Zuchthaus sentences were harsher and much longer than Gefängnis sentences; by June 1935 almost 28,000 (about 25% of all prisoners in Germany) were serving Zuchthaussentences.
Source:Nikolaus Wachsmann: Hitler's Prisons: Legal Terror in Nazi Germany, Yale UP, 2004


alt. for zur roten Fahne

(lit. to the red flags); punishment in Sachsenhausen concentration camp: In Sachsenhausen "Rollen" [rolling] was practised; during their work, prisoners were not allowed to cross a line marked by small flags; prospective victims were made to walk to the top of a hill and were commanded to "lie down and roll"; those made to roll had to brake their bodies before the flag boundary; vigorous individuals succeeded as long as they had not become dizzy; to induce dizziness, the procedure of walking up and rolling down the hill was repeated many times, until the rolling body rolled over the flag boundary; then they were shot.


The Wiener Library

forced labour; the imposition of work duties on prisoners; over 20 million foreign civilian workers, concentration camp prisoners and prisoners of war from all the occupied countries had to perform forced labour in Germany between 1940 and 1945; Germany's agriculture and armaments industries relied on them and most other sectors also used them.
Source:USHMM; Freie Universität Berlin; Stiftung Topographie des Terrors

compulsory first names; from 1 January 1939 Jewish women and men were compelled by Nazi decree to take the additional first name of Sara and Israel respectively.

cotton drill uniform; drill, a strong woven cotton fabric, has long been used for military and other uniforms.


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