Victory in Europe: End of WWII - TERROR ACROSS EUROPE

TERROR ACROSS EUROPE (Illustration) Awesome Radio - Narrated Stories Biographies Disasters Famous Historical Events Social Studies World History World War II American Presidents

After Hitler took over Austria, in 1938, Nazi policies against Jews made their way to Vienna. This image depicts Jews, on their hands and knees. cleaning streets in Vienna while Austrian Nazis and local residents watch. The event took place sometime between March and April of 1938. The public-domain image is online via the U.S. National Archives and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.


Five years after Hitler took power, the German leader gave a speech to the Reichstag. He announced the “peaceful” acquisition (“Anschluss”) of Austria, his homeland,* during March of 1938. The party faithful gave him a standing ovation, and Austria - annexed and renamed “Ostmark” - became a Third-Reich province.

Soon thereafter, the Nazis also “acquired” a German-speaking part of Czechoslovakia, known as the Sudetenland. Tears and grimaces - from women and men - were typical reactions there.

During the Night of Broken Glass - known as Kristallnacht in German - Jewish synagogues were destroyed on November 9-10 (1938), including this one in Berlin. For millions of people, much more heartache would soon follow. Franklin Roosevelt would later say:

I myself could scarcely believe that such things could occur in a twentieth century civilization.  (FDR, Press Conference, November 15, 1938.)

When Germany took over Poland, in 1939, a world war erupted. Hitler’s conquests continued, further carving up European territories. A Frenchman, dismayed when German soldiers marched into Paris on the 14th of June, 1940, wept as France fell.

As Nazi tyranny worsened on the continent - which its leaders called “The New Europe” - propaganda posters kept coming:

  • 1942 - The bottom-line, in English, says:  "The New Europe cannot be defeated."

By late April of 1945, however, Hitler’s battles were finished, his will was gone and his goal was to die by his own hand.

What had changed?  The terror of war had moved to Dresden (where massive Allied bombing "smashed the city to atoms") and to Berlin, where the Nazi leader was living in a bunker. Victory would not be his - "at any price" - as Soviet forces moved into the city.


*These photographs, many never previously published, were taken by Hugo Jaeger, one of Hitler's personal photographers.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Nov 01, 2007

Updated Last Revision: May 20, 2019

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"TERROR ACROSS EUROPE" AwesomeStories.com. Nov 01, 2007. Feb 26, 2020.
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