During the 1930s, dramatic changes were taking place in the world. Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazi Party, had risen to power in Germany. Germany allied itself with Japan and Italy to form the Axis Powers . Together they launched their plan to expand by taking over other nations.
By 1939, Hitler controlled the Rhineland (a large German territory that had been neutral), Austria, and Czechoslovakia. He had finally drawn France and Great Britain into war against him. These nations, known as the Allied Powers, realized that Hitler must be stopped. Not only was he seeking to take over all of Europe, he was also committing atrocious acts, including genocide. Genocide is the mass killing of a group of people based on race, politics, or culture. In Hitler's case, his focus was on killing Jews. He either executed Jews outright or sent them to labor camps, where they would later die from the severe conditions at the camps or be murdered in large groups.