Oral History Program (OHP)

Glossary of terms relevant to Oral Histories regarding Holocaust and Genocide

Holocaust Glossary

Our Oral History projects have also resulted in glossaries and documentation that the users of certain collections may find helpful.  Our  Holocaust Glossary includes concepts, places, and foreign words and terms used in our Oral Histories.

Liberator's Index


  • Aliyah aleph and aliyah bet: Between 1934 and 1948, the British colonial government in Palestine severely restricted Jewish immigration. Aliyah alef ("Aliyah 'A'") refers to the sanctioned immigration, whereas aliyah bet ("Aliyah 'B'"”), or Ha'apala, was the term for illegal immigration during this period.
  • Alpine Redoubt: This term along with "National Redoubt" refers to the belief by the Allied nations by the closing months of World War II that Germany would make a last stand in the Alpine regions of southern Germany, Austria and northern Italy.  The supposed in the operation would be conducted by specially trained soldiers known as "Werewolf" troops.  The idea of the Alpine Redoubt and Werewolf soldiers proved to be a myth.
  • Battle of Anzio: 37 miles south of Rome, the port city of Anzio was the landing site for Operation Shingle.  US soldiers of the 5th Army came ashore on January 22, 1944.  The Allied forces were able to overcome the Axis' forces and marched northward towards Rome.
  • Battle of Banstein: The Banstein area of the Lorraine region of France was the location of Operation Nordwind, the last major German offensive of World War II.
  • Battle of the Bulge (Ardennes Offensive): The Ardennes Offensive was a plan to break through the Allied front line at its weakest point at the Ardennes Forest in Belgium. Panzer division and Volksstrum units with support from the Luftwaffe were to head to Antwerp, thus cutting off Allied supply units and denying then critical support.  The offensive was an initial success for the Germans dur to the suprise nature of the attack and relative weakness of the Allied defenses.  While the Allies only had a few divisions alo9ng the 50 mile front, the Germans had 14 infantry and five Panzer divisions. The Americans retook the initiative with General Patton's 3rd Army, led by the 4th Armored Division.  The Allied counter offensive began on January 3, 1945 with General Bradley's 12th Army Group, commanded by British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, destroying most of the German armor.  The battle included 600,000 American troops, 80,000 of whom were killed, captured or wounded.
  • Battle of Duch Harbor: The Battle of Dutch Harbor was an aerial and naval assault by the Empire of Japan that occurred between June 3 and June 4, 1942.  A task force of two light aircraft carriers attacked Dutch Harbor Naval Base and Fort Mears, located in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.  The purpose of this offensive was to occupy both installations in order to prevent the Americans from using this territory as a base from which to attack Japan.  This offensive failed, although the Japanese did succeed in occupying the two Aleutian islands of Attu and Kiska.
  • Battle of the Hürtgen Forest: U.S. and German forces fought a series of battles between September 14, 1944 and February 10, 1945 in a heavily forested area just east of the Belgium-Germany border.  This became the longest battle the U.S. Army has ever fought.
  • Battle of Monte Casino: Starting February 15, 1944, the Abbey of Monte Casino was destroyed by Allied aerial bombardment.  The Germans had decided not to occupy the mountaintop fortress because of its historical significance and had notified both the Vatican as well as the Allies of this.  However, there was a belief held the Allied commend that this strategically important location would be used as an observation post as part of the Nazi defensive works, therefore it was the target of aerial bombardment.  After the destruction of the abbey, the rubble left behind provided an idea spot for the German defenders to fight the American-led forces advancing north toward Rome and eventually southern Germany.
  • Bombing of Dresden:The German city of Dresden was firebombed by U.K. and U.S. aircraft in four raids during February 13th to 15th, 1945.  The Allied governments have stated the city was an important industrial center for the German war effort as well a vital transportation hub.  Approximately 25,000 to 35,000 people are believed to have died in the city's bombing.
  • Bürgermeister: Is the town mayor of a German, Dutch, or Belgium town.  In larger cities there may be several Bürgermeisters on a council.
  • Chenogne Massacre: This alleged war crime committed by U.S. soldiers near the French town of Chenogne on January 1,1945.  Dozens of German Waffen-SS soldiers were murdered, supposedly in retaliation for the American servicemen killed by German troops weeks earlier during the Battle of the Bulge.
  • Colmar Pocket: Between January 20th and February 9th, 1945, French and American forces successfully attacked the German Army in and around the city and region of Colmar, Alsace province.  Previous retreats by other German troops had left the defenders at Colmar to occupy a semi-circular imprint,or pocket in the defensive line along the Franco-German frontier.
  • Cigarette Camps: The U.S. Army constructed camps around the French port town of LaHavre after the British had liberated it from the Germans.  These camps served as staging areas for troops on their way to battle field.  They were named after American cigarette brands and companies, as well as American cities.  The largest of these camps were: Camp Lucky Strike, Camp Old Gold, and Camp Twenty Grand.
  • Dachau Trials: These trials were held within the Dachau Concentration Camp for all war criminals caught within the U.S. zone of occupation in Germany and Austria. Defendants were charged with committing war crimes against American citizens and soldiers.
  • DUKW: A type of amphibious truck the U.S. soldiers used. Pronounced "Duck."
  • Falaise Gap: Also know as the Battle of the Falaise Pocket, this in August 1944 engagement between Allied and Axis armies around the French town of Falaise ended with the destruction of most Germany's forces west of the River Seine.  Having neutralized such a large amount of the enemy's army, the Allied armies were able to move towards Paris.
  • Fallschirmjäger: The Fallschirmjäger were German paratroopers who were a part of that country's air force. They were light infantry soldiers who parachuted behind enemy lines in support of other German forces.
  • Fortress Eurpoe: This wsa a Nazi propaganda term referring to the air and land defences put in place to defend the Axis occupied Europe from an Allied invasion from the United Kingdom.  As extensive series of fortifications known as the Atlantic Wall whcih extended from Norway in the north and to France in the south.
  • Gardelegen massacre: On April 13, 1945, hours before the arrival of Allied forces, 1,050 to 1,100 prisoners from the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp and its sub-camps were herded into a grain barn in the eastern German town of Gardelegen whereupon the German SS and Luftwaffe soldiers set the barn ablaze. Those who tried to escape were shot at with machine guns. 1,060 died. The Germans attempted to cover up this massacre by burying the bodies in trenches dug in front of the barn. When the 102nd Infantry Division of the US Ninth Army came to the scene, they ordered the town’s people to construct a cemetery and memorial to honor the victims.
  • Geneva Convention/Accords: These are four treaties and three protocols that deal with the treatment of those taken prisoner during times of was as well as sick or incapacitated soldiers, medical and religious personnel, and civilians. The term Geneva Convention refers to the fourth Geneva accord, which encompassed the previous accords and was passed in 1949. 149 countries have since ratified it.
  • Hedgerows: Hedgerows are a feature of the Normandy countryside of northwestern France dating back to Roman times. They are mounds of dirt toped with vegetation and roads that cut through the length of them. They mark the perimeter of small farms and provided excellent places for the German soldiers who had trained for months in anticipation of the Allied invasion.
  • Jerry: This is perhaps the most popular of several WWII era slang terms meant to refer to Germans.
  • Judenräte (Jewish Councils): These councils were administrative bodies consisting of Jewish leaders made to operate services such as schools, hospitals, and soup kitchens in the Nazi created ghettos of Poland and German occupied lands.  They were also forced to collect fellow Jews for “outside labor”, a euphemism for gathering victims to be sent to concentration camps and death camps.  Those council members who did not comply with these requests or refuses to serve on these Judenräte were usually murdered.
  • Kapo: A prisoner in charge of the barracks.  
  • Landsberg Prison: The Landsberg Prison is located in southern German state of Bavaria.  Adolf Hitler served eight months at that facility in 1924 after a failed attempt of revolution known as the Munich Beer Hall Putsch.  It was at Landsberg Prison that Hitler and his deputy, Rudolf Hess wrote Mein Kampf.
  • Malmédy massacre: On December 17, 1944, the second day of the Battle of the Bulge, the 1st SS Panzerdivision captured about 120 US soldiers.  Of those troops, about 90 were taken prisoner and then killed by the SS soldiers using machine gun fire.  It is unclear if this was a deliberate act or as a result of the American’s attempt to escape.  After the war, SS officer Joachim Peiper and 70 of his men were tried for war crimes. They were found guilty and 43 were sentenced to death while the rest were sent to prison.
  • Maginot Line: The Maginot Line refers to a series of fortifications along the Franco-German border reaching south toward France’s border with Italy. The defensive works consisted of interconnected forts roughly 15 kilometers apart and their purpose was to delay an advancing army long enough for the French Army to mobilize.
  • MS St. Louis: The MS St. Louis, a German ocean liner; in 1939 it sailed from Germany to Cuba with 937 Jewish refugees, who were refused entry to Cuba and then to the United States. The captain, Gustav Schröder, refused to return to Germany until the passengers were given entry to some other country: ultimately, they were dispersed between the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. This is the subject of the 1976 movie Voyage of the Damned, based on the 1974 book of the same title by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts.
  • Operation Margarthe: This was the code name for the German occupation of during the end of the Second World War.  Hungary’s government and its leader, Admiral Miklós Horthy, were allies of Nazi ruled Germany, but the country was considering a separate peace with the Allied nations.  Therefore, on March 19, 1944, German forces invaded it while Admiral Horthy was in Germany of ostensive negations with the Third Reich leader.
  • Operation Jedburgh: This was an operation that began on the night before the Allied invasion of Normandy, France in June of 1944 and lasted through December of that year.  In these exercises, teams of three men consisting of a leader, an executive officer, and a non-commissioned radio operator were parachuted in behind enemy lines to conduct of sabotage and guerilla warfare.  These teams consisted of US, UK, French, Dutch, and Belgium soldiers.
  • Operation Nordwind: German leader Adolf Hitler envisioned Operation Nordwind (north wind) as a battle that would destroy the US 7th Army and the French 1st Army.  The German 1st Army was to retake the Alsatian plain.  This was to lead the way for the Germans to advance on and destroy the US 3rd Army in France.  This battle, the last major German offensive, was a failure, although the Allies suffered heavy losses
  • Panzerdivision: A Panzerdivision is an armored division in the German Army consisting of armor and infantry.   They were a critical component of the German Blitzkrieg (lightning war) of World War II.  Panzerdivisions were a part of the Wehrmacht Heer (defense force army) and the Waffen SS (armed SS).
  • Pillbox: This is a term that refers to bunkers. Pillboxs are concrete gaurd posts with holes through weapons are used. These were installed in fortificaiton in Europe.
  • Pogrom: This is a Russian derived term meaning “devastation” or “riot” and originally referred to a series of anti Jewish attacks around 1905. The term also has been applied to attacks on those of the Jewish faith or people whose ancestors were Jewish by other inhabitants of the German Reich in the time of Hitler’s rule. The most notable of these pogroms was the killing and destruction that occurred during what is known as Kristallnacht.
  • Rear Echelon: This is a part of an army not engaged in combat and is often furthest away from the enemy. A rear echelon may consist of administrators, staff, and officers.
  • Red Ball Express: The term “Red Ball Express” refers to a convoy system in northern France that transported items to the Allied armies necessary to maintain their war effort. This operation lasted from August 25 to November 16, 1944. Up to 12,500 tons of supplies were transported per day at its peak.
  • Siegfried Line: The term Siegfried Line refers to a series of fortifications stretching 391 miles from the northern German city of Kleve, to the Swiss city of Basel in the south. The Germans knew these defense works as the Westwall being that the actual Siegfried Line was constructed during the First World War. The Allies referred to it as such because the West Wall ran close and parallel to the original structures from the Great War.
  • Soldbuch: Pay Books carried by the German soldiers, with name, rank, serial number, etc.
  • Specialists and Technicians:The rank of private/specialists was in use in the US military until January of 1942.  They ranked the same as private first class but received higher pay.  The pay grade for specialists was from grades one through six (ex: S-1, S-2...).  In 1948, this ranking was replaced by that of Technician (ex: T-1, T-2...).

Military Organizations

  • "52-20 Club": Refers to the US servicemen who were paid twenty dollars of unemployment compensation per week for one year after service rendered in World War II. Also part of this bill, the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, veterans were also offered loans for school, vocational training and home purchases.
  • Air Cadets: This term refers to members of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), an organization created on December 1, 1941. The original purpose of CAP was to utilize the USA’s civilian air resources in the war effort. They performed duties such as spotting and sinking German U-boats.
  • Sturmabteilung (SA): The Sturmabteilung were a paramilitary organization that originated in the First World War. These troops were assigned as battalions to fight alongside the regular German Army. Their mission was to act as shock troops that would help to break the stalemate along the Western Front.  They established the first concentration camp and assisted in the anti-Jewish pogrom of Kristallnacht. Their role was replaced by the SS (Schutzstaffel).
  • Tone Heavy Cruisers: The Imperial Japanese Navy produced two Tone class cruisers. These vessels operated as part of aircraft carrier task forces and provided platforms for long-range scouting. These ships were unique for having all main armaments concentrated forward while the aft was reserved for aircraft. The Tone cruisers participated in several battles in the Pacific theater of operations including the Battle of Pearl Harbor, the second Battle of Wake Island, the Battle of Midway, the Battle of Guadalcanal, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
  • Volkssturm: The Volkssturm (Folk Storm) was established by German leader Adolf Hitler during the final months of the Second World War. This was a national militia of conscripted, able-bodied males aged 16-60 who were not already in the military. Individual units were organized by local Nazi party personnel and the units were under the control of the Wehrmacht (Defensive Army) when performing combat duties.
  • WWII US Field Rations: Food rations for the US military during the Second World War consisted of packages of fresh food (“A” rations), unprepared food (“B” rations), canned, pre-cooked or prepared wet rations to be used where mess halls were unavailable (“C” rations), and or a minimal survival ration (“D” ration or “K” ration).
  • Werwolf: Werwolf is the name given to a plan conceived by Heinrich Himmler that would have had commandos operated behind enemy lines during the closing months of the Second World War.  They were to have operated in a similar manner to that of Allied Special Forces.
SS Divisions:
  • Allgemeine: The Allgemeine SS, or General SS, were the organization’s non-combat branch and were considered reservists. They served in entities such as the Nazi party.
  • Waffen: The Waffen SS were frontline troops chosen from existing SS formations to fight in Germany’s land battles. Later, SS leader Heinrich Himmler chose members from non-German foreign nationals in addition to those already chosen for Waffen SS service.
  • Wiking: This term referred to the Auxiliary SS, a branch created in 1945 to oversee the concentration camps. These were the Germans often present when the camps were liberated.

Army Classification:
  • ASTP:The Army Specialized Training Program was established in December of 1942 in an effort to create a large pool of well-trained technicians and specialists for use in the expected invasions of France and Japan. Approximately 200,000 soldiers were sent to 227 collages, thus somewhat alleviating the male student body shortage created by the absence of 14 million being occupied in the war effort. Due to the shortage of personnel later in the war, the program was greatly curtailed.
  • Counter Intelligence Corps [CIC]: This was an agency within the United States Army during the time of the Second World War. Some of the duties provided by the CIC were providing security to military installations, locating enemy agents, counter the work of enemy agents, and to provide training to combat units regarding the seizure of Axis documents
  • Officer Candidate School (OCS): Officer Candidate School is an institution founded in July of 1940 in anticipation of war. OCS was and is a place where enlisted personnel are trained to be junior officers. During the Second World War, General Omar Bradley helped establish a rigorous training regimen for the tens of thousands that graduated from the program.
  • V-5 Program: The Naval Aviation Preparatory Program, known as the V-5 Program, was established in January 1942. It offered college sophomores, juniors, and seniors flight training and the ability to finish school before being called to active duty.
  • WAAC/WAC: Created by an Act of Congress in May of 1942, the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps was an auxiliary unit to the US Army. Members performed supporting tasks that enabled an estimated seven division’s worth of men to fight in battle during the Second World War. Most personnel served in the US though some did work in places including Europe and North Africa.
  • The WAAC was converted to the Women’s Army Corps in July of 1943. With this upgrade, women in this service now received rank and pay equal to their male counterparts and also were subject to the same protection afforded to men in the armed services under the Geneva Conventions. Members of the WAAC and WAC performed a wide array of tasks ranging from clerics, mechanics, cryptographers, and weather forecasting. Over 150,000 women served in the WAAC and WAC during the war.
  • WAVES: The US Congress established the WAVS in August of 1942. The Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service was a division of the US Navy and existed until the end of the Second World War. Members held the same rank as their male counterparts, received the same pay and were subject to the same discipline.


  • Creighton Abrams: Creighton Abrams was in charge of the 37th Tank Battalion of the 4th Armored Division as well as the 3rh Army of the US Army in the Second World War. He was known as an aggressive commander. He and his soldiers played an important role in defeating German forces in both the Battle of Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge. He was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and later, the M1 Abrams was named in his honor.
  • Ernest Hemingway: American writer Ernest Hemmingway was a correspondent for Collier’s Weekly magazine from 1944 to 1945. He was present during the Invasion of Normandy, the Liberation of Paris, the Battle of the Bulge, and the Battle of Hürtgen Forest. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his exploits during the war.
  • Marguerite Higgins: Marguerite Higgins was a war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune during World War Two was posted in London, then Paris, and then Germany in 1945. She witnessed the liberation of the Dachau Concentration Camp, receiving a USA Army campaign ribbon for her assistance in the surrender of SS guards at that camp. Ms. Higgins also covered the Nuremberg war trials immediately following the war.
  • Ilse Koch: Known as the "Beast of Buchenwald" and the "Bitch of Buchenwald", Ilse Koch was the wife of Buchenwald concentration camp commandant Karl Koch, who later went on to command the Majdanek camp. Mrs. Koch began her career as a guard and secretary at the Sachenhausen concentration camp, where she was to meet her future husband. She followed him to Buchenwald camp in 1937. In 1941, she became Oberaufseherin (chief overseer) of that camp, where she became well known for her sadistic treatment of the inmates. In 1943, both she and her husband were arrested by the Germans for embezzlement of SS funds. Mr. Koch was found guilty and killed for his crimes. Ms. Koch was acquitted but later arrested by the Americans in 1945 and judged to be guilty of “aiding, abetting and participating in the murders at Buchenwald.” She was pardoned by the US authorities two years later but rearrested and sentenced to life in prison by the West Germans in 1951. She committed suicide in 1967.
  • Charles “Buck” Lanham: Major General Charles Lanham commanded the US 22nd Infantry Regiment during part of World War Two. He participated in the Invasion of Normandy, the Battle of Hürtgen Forest, and he was the first US officer to break through the German fortifications know as the Siegfried Line earning him the Distinguished Service Cross. It was there that writer Ernest Hemmingway was assigned to cover his regiment for Collier’s Weekly. He wrote that Lanham was, “The finest and bravest and most intelligent military commander I have known.” Hemmingway also based the character of Colonel Cantwell on him in the novel Across the River and Into the Trees.
  • Ernie Pyle: War correspondent Ernie Pyle was a popular, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who marched with American troops in order to cover the Allied war effort in Europe, African, and various Pacific islands. His columns, printed in approximately 300 newspapers, were written from the perspective of an average soldier and were composed in an informal style that conveyed the day to day tribulations of a foot soldier. He was killed by enemy machine gun fire during the invasion of Okinawa, Japan.
  • Felix Sparks: Brigadier General Felix Sparks, of the US Army, led the 3rd Battalion of the 157th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division to the Dachau concentration camp. He and his men liberated the inmates. He wrote an account of his perspective regarding the liberation of Dachau titled, “Dachau and its Liberation”.
  • George Stevens: Film director George Stevens was a movie maker both before and after World War Two. Stevens was known for comedic films before the war. Colonel George Stevens served with the US Army Signal Corps from 1943 until 1946, heading a film unit that covered the invasion of Normandy, the liberation of Paris, as well as the liberation of Dachau concentration camp and Duben labor camp. Stevens had his greatest successes after the war with films such as “A Place in the Sun” (1951), “Shane” (1953), “Giant” (1956), and “The Diary of Anne Frank” (1959).
  • Raoul Wallenberg: Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg organized an operation to bring Hungarian Jews to safety in his home country and in course, saved tens of thousands of lives. In July of 1944, Wallenberg, as First Secretary to the Swedish legation in Budapest, began to issue Schutz-Pass (protective passports) to Jews in Hungary, which identified them as Swedish subjects that were not subject to persucation by the Nazis. This also exempted them from having to wear a Star of David badge, an identifier of the Jewish faith. He is believed to have been killed by the Soviet authorities after they liberated Hungary from the Nazis, believing him to be s spy the Americans. Israel posthumously honored at the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations.
  • Margaret Bourke White: American photographer and war correspondent Margaret White was the first female war correspondent, the first female to be allowed to work in war zones, and was the only foreign photographer in Moscow when German forces initially invaded the Soviet Union. She covered fighting in North Africa, Italy, and Germany. In 1945, she accompanied US General George S. Patton to the Buchenwald concentration soon after its liberation. After the war, she wrote an account her experience at that camp entitled, “Dear Fatherland, Rest Quietly”.
  • Simon Wiesenthal: After serving four and half years in Nazi concentration camps, he dedicated his life in helping to locate fugitive Nazis and gather information about them for governments such those of Israel and the United States. He co-founded the Jewish Historical Documentation Center in Linz, Austria and opened the Jewish Documentation Center in Vienna for the purpose of bringing these Nazis to trial. He is best known for helping to find Adolf Eichmann and Karl Silberbauer, the Gestapo officer responsible for the arrest of Anne Frank.

Weapons and Technology

  • 40 & 8: This a descriptive term referring to French railroad boxcars, 20.5 feet long and 8.5 feet wide, that carried 40 men or 8 horses.
  • 88mm: The 88mm gun was a widely used German anti-tank and aircraft during the Second
  • World War. It was known in German as the Flugabwehr-Kanone (FlaK), literally meaning anti-aircraft gun.
  • Bouncing Betty: The Bouncing Betty is a nickname for the S-mine, a bouncing mine used by the Germans in World War Two. It bounced up to head height and then exploded.
  • Deuce and a half: This is a two and one half ton cargo truck first used by the US military and later utilized by many of the world’s militaries. It is designed to carry 5,000 pounds off road and 10,000 over roads, although they have been known to carry twice as much.
  • DDT: DDT or dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane is an insecticide used widely to control malaria and typhus during World War Two. For example, Allied troops used it to battle disease in liberated Nazi concentration, labor, and death camps at the end of the war.
  • Half Track: A half track is a vehicle with regular wheels in the front and caterpillar tracks in back which provide propulsion. It provides the transport and armor capabilities of a tank and the steering capability of a car. Half tracks were used by both Axis and Allies ground forces during the Second World War.
  • LSD: An acronym meaning Landing Ship, Dock. These vessels were used to carry troops, landing craft, and amphibious vehicles ashore, most notably during the invasion of Normandy. They also served as repair docks for damaged ships.
  • M1: This term most often refers to the M1 carbine, a lightweight semiautomatic sidearm used by the Military during World War Two. It was a standard issue weapon that was relatively light and easy to use for fast moving GIs in Europe and soldiers in the tropical islands in the Pacific front, who praised it for being able to withstand the harsh environment present there.
  • The M1 is also a term that refers to a US produced, gasoline filled grenade that was detonated remotely. It was also the name of a US made rocket launcher as well as a flamethrower.
  • M4 Sherman: The M4 Sherman, better known as the Sherman Tank, was the Tank most widely used by the US Army and Marines during World War II and was also used by other Allied armies. This was a medium size tank that was not as heavily armored as the German counterparts, but provided greater mobility. 50,000 of these tanks were produced during the course of the war, surpassed in numbers only by the Soviet made T-34 tank.
  • Panzerfaust: This was a small anti tank weapon used by the German military during World War Two. It was lightweight, fired from preloaded launch tube, and was able to penetrate any armor in use at that time. This was an early version of the modern day bazooka.
  • P-47 Thunderbolt: The P-47 was a heavy fighter aircraft in use by the US Army Air Corps and other Allied air forces during the Second World War. This single engine plane was effective, but was used more extensively in ground attack. The modern version of the P-47 is the A-10 Thunderbolt II
  • Screaming Mimi: The Germans designed a weapon named the Nebelwerfer during the time of Nazi reign as a delivery system for chemical weapons, although it was used for conventional mortars instead. This weapon made a high decibel, screaming noise and was thus nicknamed the “Screaming Mimi” by Allied soldiers.
  • Tiger Tanks: The Tiger 1 tank was a heavy tank produce by the Germans during the Second World War. This tank was used on all fronts by the German Army. The tiger tank was as at least as fast as its Allied counterparts even though it was very heavy. It was a complicated piece of machinery and prone to break down. Only 1,347 were produced, partly as a result of the intricate nature of this vehicle.
  • V-2 Rocket: The V-2 rocket was a long range missile—the first to reach sub-orbital orbit—created by Germany’s Wernher Von Braun. This weapon fired upon the cities of London, England and Antwerp Belgium; killing over 7,000 civilians and soldiers. This weapon was manufactured by slave laborers at the Dora labor camp in
  • Germany’s Harz Mountains. The location of the factories was in tunnels bored into those mountains in order to avoid Allied bombing.
  • Wehrmacht: The Wehrmacht (Defense Force) was a tern the referred to the German Heer (army), Kriegsmarine (navy), and Luftwaffe (air force) during the time of Nazi rule.
  • Willie Pete: This is a vernacular term for white phosphorus. White phosphorus can be used as an incendiary device or to provide illumination.


  • Hofbräuhaus (Munich): Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München, a famous brewery and the site of many Nazi events. Hitler gave his first big speech there on February 24, 1920.
  • Jourhaus Gate: The gate to the prisoners' camp at Dachau.