Einsatzgruppen
“Taskforces of Deployment Squads”. Special units composed of various SS and police services under supervision of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA). Einsatzgruppen were deployed during the invasion of Poland in 1939 and during operation Barbarossa in 1941. In 1939 these units were ordered to eliminate the Polish intelligentsia. In the Soviet Union they were deployed to execute various political and racial enemies of the Third Reich, like Jews, gypsies and communists. The “Holocaust by bullets” in the Soviet Union was the horrendous first act of the eventual “final solution”.
Eisernes Kreuz
Iron Cross. German military decoration.
El Alamein
City in North Egypt. The Battle of El Alamein took place from October to November 1942 and was a turning point in the war. The German-Italian advance in North Africa was finally halted by the Allies.
Endlösung
Euphemistic term for the final solution the Nazis had in store for the “Jewish problem”. Eventually the Endlösung would get the form of annihilating the entire Jewish people in extermination camps.
Engelandvaarders
People sailing for England. Nickname for Dutch men who tried to get to England by sea after the Germans occupied the Netherlands to continue the battle against the invader. Many died during the voyage which was sometimes undertaken in canoes. Most of the “Engelandvaarders” could report their safe arrival to their loved ones who stayed behind through Radio Oranje by codewords.
Englandspiel
“England game”. The game, ironic as it may sound, of espionage and counter espionage between the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the Nazis. This “game” resulted in the death of approximately 54 allied spies.
Enigma
Cryptographic (de)coding machine used by the Germans during World War 2. The code was broken by the British with help from the Poles. Much German military information was known to the British in advance. This was a huge aid to the war effort.
ETO
European Theater of Operations. The battleground in Europe.

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