Many innocent people were victims of the Nazis: Communists, political opponents, homosexuals, the handicapped and Romani and Sinti (Gypsies) were persecuted, imprisoned and killed. Millions of Jews were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators. These individuals did not die because they were soldiers in battle. Nor were they guilty of any crimes. They died for one reason only: they were Jews.
A small number of Europe's Jews were able to escape or to survive. Through their own resilience, their clever resourcefulness, their determined resistance and, in some cases their rescue by others, they were able to create new lives for themselves and to bear witness to their experiences.
In 1946, after the Allied victory, only a small number of survivors were able to gain entry to the United States. Most countries of the world, including the United States, remained closed to Jewish immigration. Thousands of survivors were stranded in Europe, classified as 'stateless', unwanted in their hometowns and unable to go anywhere else.
Beginning in 1950, following the relaxation of the immigration laws, survivors began to arrive in larger numbers. Most Americans were either unable or unwilling to listen to survivors' tales of horror. As a result, many survivors kept silent until the passing years caused them to realize that only their voices could speak for the murdered millions.