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Museum's Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos Available Online

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Museum researchers have identified more than 44,000 camps and ghettos in first comprehensive survey of Nazi detention universe

WASHINGTON, DC - The first two volumes of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s pathbreaking Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945, are now freely accessible in their entirety on the Museum’s website as part of the Museum’s commitment to increasing the visibility, impact, and productivity of the field of Holocaust studies in the United States and abroad.  Printed editions of the Encyclopedia will still be offered through the publisher, Indiana University Press.

“The Museum is committed to deepening our understanding of the Holocaust and disseminating the latest research to as broad an audience as possible.  Holocaust scholars, legal experts, teachers, students, and—most importantly—survivors and their families will now have this indispensable resource and memorial at their fingertips,” says Wendy Lower, Acting Director of the Museum’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. The volumes are available exactly as they appear in book form but—as PDF files—are searchable.

The remaining volumes, of a projected seven, will also be available online after the printed editions appear.  When complete, the project will provide the most comprehensive survey available of all known Nazi sites of incarceration across occupied Europe. Museum researchers have identified more than 44,000 such sites, several times more than anticipated at the project’s outset. The Encyclopedia has greatly expanded knowledge of the size and scope of the Holocaust and has changed our awareness of the camp universe and of Nazi Germany as a whole.  

Volume I covers the early camps that the SA, the SS, and the German police set up in the months after the Nazi seizure of power, as well as the system of concentration camps, sub-camps, and construction brigade bases that existed under the SS Business Administration Main Office. The second volume describes the ghettos in German-occupied Eastern Europe. Together, the two volumes cover more than 2,200 sites, many of which are described nowhere else in English. Volume III, which required research in 13 languages, identifies hundreds of camps and other sites established by Germany’s allies and collaborator states. It will be published in early 2018.

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit