A volleyball team in Szczuczyn, Poland. In the interwar years, it was not uncommon for Jewish children to participate in school or community recreational activities with non-Jewish children. Despite the lurking danger of antisemitism, Jews often had close relationships with Christians, which led many to believe that Jewish integration was possible and might even be welcomed.
In 1971 British journalist Gitta Sereny interviewed former SS officer Franz Stangl — the commandant of the death camp Sobibor and later Treblinka. The responses to the questions Sereny posed are excerpted in this audio reading. Stangl was arrested in Brazil in 1967, tried and found guilty in West Germany in 1970. His sentence was life imprisonment and he died of heart failure six months into his term in the Düsseldorf prison.
A group of Jewish children, prewar, Lublin, Poland. Between the two world wars, Jews constituted Poland’s second-largest minority group. While many Polish Jews still lived a traditional life in rural towns, many moved to cities, where many quickly acculturated to modern life.
A Jewish family walking down a street in Kalisz, Poland on May 16, 1935. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as more and more countries lifted age-old restrictions on Jews, many modern Jewish families lived urban lifestyles that were in stark contrast to life in a shtetl.