Jan 30 - Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany,
a nation with a Jewish population of 566,000. Feb
40,000 SA and SS
men are sworn in as auxiliary police. Feb
27 - The Reichstag burned by Nazis to create crisis atmosphere.
Feb 28 -
Emergency powers granted to Hitler as a result of the Reichstag fire. March 21 - First concentration camp opened at Oranienburg outside
Nazis open Dachau concentration camp near Munich, followed by Buchenwald near
Weimar in central Germany, Sachsenhausen near Berlin in northern Germany, and
Ravensbrück for women. March
23 - Enabling Act passed by German Parliament gives Hitler dictatorial
April 1 - Nazis boycott of Jewish owned shops and businesses.
issue a decree defining a non-Aryan as "anyone descended from non-Aryan, especially
Jewish, parents or grandparents. One parent or grandparent classifies the descendant
as non-Aryan...especially if one parent or grandparent was of the Jewish faith."
- The Gestapo is born,
created by Hermann Göring in the German state of Prussia.
May 10 - Nazis
burn books in Berlin and throughout Germany.
In June - Nazis open Dachau concentration camp.
July 14 - Nazi party declared the only legal party in
Nazis pass Law to strip Jewish immigrants from Poland of their German citizenship. In
Nazis pass law allowing for forced sterilization of those found by a Hereditary
Health Court to have genetic defects. In Sept
- Nazis establish Reich Chamber of Culture, then exclude
Jews from the Arts.
Sept 29 - Nazis prohibit Jews
from owning land.
Oct 4 - Jews are prohibited
from being newspaper editors. Oct
14 - Germany quits League of Nations.
Nov 24 -
Nazis pass a Law against Habitual and Dangerous Criminals, which allows beggars,
the homeless, alcoholics and the unemployed to be sent to concentration camps.
24 - Jews are
banned from the German Labor Front. May
17 - Jews not allowed national health insurance. June
30 - The Night of Long Knives occurs as Hitler, Göring
and Himmler conduct a purge of the SA (storm trooper) leadership. July
20 - The SS (Schutzstaffel) is made an independent
organization from the SA. July
22 - Jews are prohibited from getting legal qualifications. June
30 - The "Night of the Long Knives."
July 25 - Nazis murder Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss.
Aug 2 - German President von Hindenburg dies. Hitler
becomes Führer of Germany.
Aug 19 - Adolf Hitler
receives a 90 percent 'Yes' vote from German voters approving his new powers.
March 16 - Hitler violates Treaty of Versailles by introducing
military conscription. May
21 - Nazis ban
Jews from serving in the military. June
26 - Nazis pass law allowing forced abortions on
women to prevent them from passing on hereditary diseases. Aug
6 - Nazis force Jewish performers/artists to join
Jewish Cultural Unions. Sept
15 - German Jews stripped of rights by Nuremberg Race Laws.
10 - The German Gestapo is placed above the law.
In March -
SS Deathshead division is established to guard concentration camps.
March 7 - German troops occupy the Rhineland.
May 9 - Mussolini's Italian forces take Ethiopia. June
17 - Heinrich Himmler is appointed chief of the
German Police. July
8 - Civil war erupts in Spain. In
Aug - Nazis set up an Office for Combating Homosexuality
and Abortions (by healthy women). Aug 1
- Olympic games begin in Berlin. Hitler and top Nazis seek to gain legitimacy
through favorable public opinion from foreign visitors and thus temporarily
refrain from actions against Jews. Oct
1 - Franco declared head of Spanish State.
Jews are banned from many professional occupations including teaching Germans,
and from being accountants or dentists. They are also denied tax reductions
and child allowances.
June 11 - Soviet leader Stalin begins purge of Red Army generals.
8 - 'Eternal
Jew' travelling exhibition opens in Munich.
March 12/13 - Germany announces 'Anschluss' (union) with Austria.
Nazi troops enter Austria, which has a population of 200,000 Jews, mainly living
After the Anschluss, the SS is placed in charge of Jewish affairs in Austria
with Adolf Eichmann establishing an Office for Jewish Emigration in Vienna.
Himmler then establishes Mauthausen concentration camp near Linz.
April 22 -
Nazis prohibit Aryan 'front-ownership' of Jewish businesses.
April 26 - Nazis order Jews
to register wealth and property.
June 14 - Nazis order Jewish
owned businesses to register.
In July -
At Evian, France, the U.S. convenes a League of Nations conference with delegates
from 32 countries to consider helping Jews fleeing Hitler, but results in inaction
as no country will accept them.
July 6 - Nazis prohibited
Jews from trading and providing a variety of specified commercial services.
July 23 -
Nazis order Jews over age 15 to apply for identity cards from the police, to
be shown on demand to any police officer.
July 25 - Jewish doctors
prohibited by law from practicing medicine. Aug
11 - Nazis destroy the synagogue in Nuremberg.
Aug 12 - German military mobilizes. Aug 17 -
Nazis require Jewish women to add Sarah and men to add Israel to their names
on all legal documents including passports.
Sept 27 - Jews are prohibited
from all legal practices. Sept
30 - British Prime Minister Chamberlain appeases Hitler at Munich. Oct
5 - Law requires Jewish passports to be stamped
with a large red "J." Oct
15 - German troops occupy Sudetenland; Czech government resigns. Oct
28 - Nazis arrest 17,000 Jews of Polish nationality
living in Germany, then expel them back to Poland which refuses them entry,
leaving them in 'no-man's land' near the Polish border for several months.
Nov 7 -
Ernst vom Rath, third secretary in the German Embassy in Paris, is shot and
mortally wounded by Herschel Grynszpan, the 17 year old son of one of the deported
Polish Jews. Rath dies on November 9, precipitating Kristallnacht. Nov
9/10 - Kristallnacht - The Night of Broken Glass. Nov
12 - Nazis fine Jews one billion marks for damages
related to Kristallnacht.
Nov 15 - Jewish pupils are
expelled from all non-Jewish German schools.
Dec 3 - Law for compulsory
Aryanization of all Jewish businesses.
Dec 14 - Hermann Göring takes charge
of resolving the "Jewish Question."
Jan 24 -
SS leader Reinhard Heydrich is ordered by Göring to speed up emigration of Jews.
Jan 30 -
Hitler threatens Jews during Reichstag speech.
Nazis force Jews to hand over all gold and silver items.
- Nazis seize Czechoslovakia (Jewish pop. 350,000).
March 28 - Spanish Civil war ends. April
19 - Slovakia passes its own version of the Nuremberg Laws. April
30 - Jews lose rights as tenants and are relocated into Jewish houses. In
May - The St. Louis, a ship crowded with 930 Jewish refugees, is turned
away by Cuba, the United States and other countries and returns to Europe. May
22 - Nazis sign 'Pact of Steel' with Italy. July
4 - German Jews denied the right to hold government jobs. July
21- Adolf Eichmann is appointed director of the Prague Office of Jewish
23 - Nazis and Soviets sign Pact.
Aug 25 - Britain and Poland sign Mutual Assistance Treaty.
Aug 31 - British fleet mobilizes; Civilian evacuations
begin from London. In
Sept - Quote from Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer, published by Julius Streicher
- "The Jewish people ought to be exterminated root and branch. Then the plague
of pests would have disappeared in Poland at one stroke."
Sept 1 - Nazis invade Poland (Jewish pop. 3.35 million,
the largest in Europe). Beginning of SS activity in Poland. Sept
1 - Jews in Germany are forbidden to be outdoors after 8 p.m. in winter
and 9 p.m. in summer. Sept
3 - England, France, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany.
4 - Warsaw is cut off by the German Army.
British Royal Air Force attacks German Navy.
Sept 5 - United States proclaims neutrality; German troops
cross Vistula river in Poland.
Sept 10 - Canada declares war on Germany; Battle of the
Sept 17 - Soviets troops invade eastern Poland. Sept
21- Heydrich issues instructions to SS Einsatzgruppen (special action
squads) in Poland regarding treatment of Jews, stating they are to be gathered
into ghettos near railroads for the future "final goal." He also orders a census
and the establishment of Jewish administrative councils within the ghettos to
implement Nazi policies and decrees. Sept
23 - German Jews are forbidden to own wireless (radio) sets. Sept
27 - Warsaw surrenders to Nazis; Reinhard Heydrich becomes leader of
new Reich Main Security Office (RSHA).
Sept 29 - Nazis and Soviets divide up Poland. Over two million
Jews reside in Nazi controlled areas, leaving 1.3 million in the Soviet area.
In Oct - Nazis begin euthanasia on sick and disabled in Germany.
6 - Proclamation by Hitler on the isolation of Jews. Oct 12 -
Evacuation of Jews from Vienna. Oct
12 - Hans Frank appointed Nazi Gauleiter (governor) of Poland. Oct
26 - Forced labor decree issued for Polish Jews aged 14 to 60. Nov
23 - Yellow stars required to be worn by Polish Jews over age 10. Nov
8 - Assassination attempt on Hitler fails.
Nov 30 - Soviets invade Finland.
In Dec -
Adolf Eichmann takes over section IV B4 of the Gestapo
dealing solely with Jewish affairs and evacuations.
Dec 14 - Soviet Union expelled from League of Nations.
In Jan - Quote from Nazi
newspaper, Der Stürmer, published by Julius Streicher - "...The time is near
when a machine will go into motion which is going to prepare a grave for the
world's criminal - Judah - from which there will be no resurrection."
Jan 8 - Rationing begins in Britain.
- Nazis choose the town of Oswiecim (Auschwitz) in Poland near Krakow as site
of new concentration camp.
Feb 12 - First
deportation of German Jews into occupied Poland.
March 12 - Finland signs peace treaty with Soviets.
March 16 - Germans bomb Scapa Flow naval base near Scotland.
April 9 - Nazis invade Denmark (Jewish pop. 8,000) and
Norway (Jewish pop. 2,000). April
30 - The Lodz Ghetto in occupied Poland is sealed off from the outside
world with 230,000 Jews locked inside. May
1 - Rudolf Höss is chosen to be kommandant of Auschwitz. May
10 - Nazis invade France (Jewish pop. 350,000), Belgium (Jewish pop.
65,000), Holland (Jewish pop. 140,000), and Luxembourg (Jewish pop. 3,500).
Churchill becomes British Prime Minister.
May 15 - Holland surrenders to Nazis.
May 26 - Evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk begins.
May 28 - Belgium surrenders to Nazis.
June 3 - Germans bomb Paris; Dunkirk evacuation ends.
June 10 - Norway surrenders to Nazis; Italy declares
war on Britain and France. June
14 - The Nazis enter Paris.
June 16 - Marshal Pétain becomes French Prime Minister.
June 18 - Hitler and Mussolini meet in Munich; Soviets
begin occupation of Baltic States.
June 22 - France signs Armistice with the Nazis.
June 23 - Hitler tours Paris.
June 28 - Britain recognizes Gen. Charles de Gaulle as Free French
July - Eichmann's Madagascar Plan presented, proposing to deport all
European Jews to the island of Madagascar, off the coast of east Africa. July
1 - German U-boats attack merchant ships in the Atlantic.
July 5 - French Vichy government breaks off relations
July 10 - Battle of Britain begins. July
17 - The first anti-Jewish measures are taken in Vichy France. July
23 - Soviets take Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Aug
3-19 - Italians occupy British Somaliland in East Africa. Aug
8 - Romania introduces anti-Jewish measures restricting education and
employment, then later begins "Romanianization" of Jewish businesses. Aug
13 - German bombing offensive against airfields and factories in England.
Aug 15 - Air battles and daylight raids over Britain.
Aug 17 - Hitler declares blockade of British Isles.
Aug 23/24 - First German air raids on Central London.
Aug 25/26 - First British air raid on Berlin.
Sept 3 - Hitler plans Operation Sealion, the invasion of Britain.
Sept 7 - German Blitz against England begins.
Sept 13 - Italians invade Egypt.
Sept 15 - Massive German air raids on London, Southampton, Bristol,
Cardiff, Liverpool and Manchester.
Sept 16 - United States military Conscription Bill passed.
Sept 27 - Tripartite (Axis) Pact signed by Germany, Italy
and Japan. Oct
3 - Vichy France passes its own version of the Nuremberg Laws. Oct
7 - Nazis troops invade Romania (Jewish pop. 34,000). Oct
12 - Germans postpone Operation Sealion until Spring 1941. Oct
22 - Deportation of 29,000 German Jews from Baden, the Saar, and Alsace-Lorraine
into Vichy France. Oct 28 - Italy invades Greece. In
Nov - Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia become Nazi Allies. In
Nov - The Krakow Ghetto is sealed off containing 70,000 Jews. Nov
5 - Roosevelt reelected as U.S. president.
Nov 10/11 - Torpedo bomber raid cripples Italian fleet
at Taranto, Italy.
Nov 14/15 - Germans bomb Coventry, England. Nov
15 - The Warsaw Ghetto, containing over 400,000 Jews, is sealed off.
Nov 20 - Hungary joins Axis Powers.
Nov 22 - Greeks defeat Italian 9th Army.
Nov 23 - Romania joins Axis Powers.
Dec 9/10 - British begin Western Desert Offensive in
North Africa against the Italians.
Dec 29/30 - Massive German air raid on London.
Gauleiter of Poland, states, "I ask nothing of the Jews except that they should
Jan - Quote from Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer, published by Julius Streicher
- "Now judgment has begun and it will reach its conclusion only when knowledge
of the Jews has been erased from the earth." In
Jan - A pogrom in Romania results in over 2,000 Jews
22 - Tobruk in North Africa falls to British and Australians.
Feb 11 - British forces advance into Italian Somaliland
in East Africa.
Feb 12 - German General Erwin Rommel arrives in Tripoli,
Feb 14 - First units of German 'Afrika Korps' arrive
in North Africa. Feb
22 - 430 Jewish hostages are deported from Amsterdam after a Dutch Nazi
is killed by Jews. In
March - Hitler's Commissar Order authorizes execution of anyone
suspected of being a Communist official in territories about to be seized from
the Soviets. March
1 - Himmler makes his first visit to Auschwitz, during which he orders
Kommandant Höss to begin massive expansion, including a new compound to be built
at nearby Birkenau that can hold 100,000 prisoners. March
2 - Nazis occupy Bulgaria (Jewish pop. 50,000). March
7 - British forces arrive in Greece. German Jews ordered
into forced labor. March
11 - President Roosevelt signs Lend-Lease Act. March
26 - The German Army High Command gives approval to RSHA and Heydrich
on the tasks of SS murder squads (Einsatzgruppen) in occupied Poland. March
27 - Coup in Yugoslavia overthrows pro-Axis government. March
29 - A 'Commissariat' for Jewish Affairs is set up in Vichy France. April
3 - Pro-Axis regime set up in Iraq. April
6 - Nazis invade Yugoslavia (Jewish pop. 75,000) and Greece (Jewish pop.
14 - Rommel attacks Tobruk.
April 17 - Yugoslavia surrenders to Germany.
April 27 - Greece surrenders to Germany. May
1 - German attack on Tobruk repulsed.
May 10 - Deputy Führer Rudolph Hess flies to Scotland.
May 10/11 - Heavy German bombing of London; British bomb
14 - 3,600 Jews arrested in Paris. May
15 - Operation Brevity the British counter-attack in Egypt. May
16 - French Marshal Petain issues a radio broadcast approving collaboration
with Hitler. May
24 - Sinking of the British ship Hood by the Bismarck.
May 27 - Sinking of the Bismarck by the British Navy.
- Himmler summons Auschwitz Kommandant Höss to Berlin and tells him, "The Führer
has ordered the Final Solution of the Jewish question. We, the SS, have to carry
out this order...I have therefore chosen Auschwitz for this purpose." In
June - Nazi SS Einsatzgruppen begin mass murder.
June 4 - Pro-Allied government installed in Iraq.
June 8 - Allies invade Syria and Lebanon.
June 14 - USA freezes German and Italian assets in America.
22 - Nazis invade the Soviet Union (Jewish pop. 3 million)
as Operation Barbarossa begins.
June 28 - Germans capture Minsk. June
29/30 - Romanian troops conduct a pogrom against Jews in the town of
Jassy, killing 10,000. In
July - As the German Army advances, SS Einsatzgruppen follow along and
conduct mass murder of Jews in seized lands. In
July - Ghettos established at Kovno, Minsk, Vitebsk
and Zhitomer. Also in July, the government of Vichy France seizes Jewish owned
3 - Stalin calls for scorched earth policy.
July 10 - Germans cross the River Dnieper in the Ukraine.
July 12 - Mutual Assistance agreement between British and Soviets.
July 14 - British occupy Syria. July
17 - Nazi racial 'philosopher' Alfred Rosenberg is appointed Reich Minister
for the Eastern Occupied Territories to administer territories seized from the
Soviet Union. July
21 - In occupied Poland near Lublin, Majdanek concentration camp becomes
July 25/26 - 3,800 Jews killed during a pogrom by Lithuanians in Kovno. July 26 - Roosevelt freezes Japanese assets in United States
and suspends relations. July
31 - Göring instructs Heydrich to prepare
for Final Solution. In
Aug - Jews in Romania forced into Transnistria. By
December, 70,000 perish. In
Aug - Ghettos established at Bialystok and Lvov. Aug
1 - United States announces oil embargo against aggressor states.
Aug 12 - Roosevelt and Churchill sign Atlantic Charter.
Aug 20 - Nazi siege of Leningrad begins. Aug
26 - The Hungarian Army rounds up 18,000 Jews at
Kamenets-Podolsk. Sept 1 - Nazis order German Jews to wear yellow stars.
Sept 3 - First experimental use of Zyklon-B gas in gas chambers
at Auschwitz. Sept
6 - The Vilna Ghetto is established containing 40,000 Jews. Sept
17 - Beginning of general deportation of German Jews. Sept
19 - Nazis take Kiev. Sept
27/28 - 23,000 Jews killed at Kamenets-Podolsk, in the Ukraine. Sept
29/30 - SS Einsatzgruppen murder 33,771 Jews at Babi Yar near Kiev. In
Oct - 35,000 Jews from Odessa shot. Oct
2 - Operation Typhoon begins as German Army advances on Moscow.
Oct 16 - Germans take Odessa. Oct
23 - Nazis forbid emigration of Jews from the Reich. Oct
24 - Germans take Kharkov.
Oct 30 - Germans reach Sevastopol. In
Nov - SS Einsatzgruppe B reports a tally of 45,476 Jews killed. Nov
13 - British ship Ark Roy sunk off Gibraltar by U-boat.
Nov 20 - Germans take Rostov. Nov
24 - Theresienstadt Ghetto is established near Prague, Czechoslovakia.
The Nazis will use it as a model ghetto for propaganda purposes. Nov 27 - Soviet troops retake Rostov. Nov
30 - Near Riga, a mass shooting of Latvian and German Jews. Dec
5 - German attack on Moscow abandoned. Dec
7 - Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor; Hitler issues Night and Fog decree. Dec 8 - United States and Britain declare war on Japan.
Dec 8 - In occupied Poland, near Lodz, Chelmno extermination
camp becomes operational. Jews taken there are placed in mobile gas vans and
driven to a burial place while carbon monoxide from the engine exhaust is fed
into the sealed rear compartment, killing them. The first gassing victims include
5,000 Gypsies who had been deported from the Reich to Lodz. Dec
11 - Hitler declares war on United States. Roosevelt then declares war
on Germany saying, "Never before has there been a greater challenge to life,
liberty and civilization." The U.S.A. then enters the war in Europe and will
concentrate nearly 90 percent of its military resources to defeat Hitler. Dec
12 - The ship "Struma" leaves Romania for Palestine carrying 769 Jews
but is later denied permission by British authorities to allow the passengers
to disembark. In Feb. 1942, it sails back into the Black Sea where it is intercepted
by a Soviet submarine and sunk as an "enemy target." Dec
16 - During a cabinet meeting, Hans Frank, Gauleiter of Poland, states
- "Gentlemen, I must ask you to rid yourselves of all feeling of pity. We must
annihilate the Jews wherever we find them and wherever it is possible in order
to maintain there the structure of the Reich as a whole..." Dec
16 - Rommel begins retreat to El Agheila in North Africa.
Dec 19 - Hitler takes complete command of German Army.
Jan - Mass killings of Jews
using Zyklon-B begin at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Bunker I (the red farmhouse) in
Birkenau with the bodies being buried in mass graves in a nearby meadow. Jan 1 - Declaration of the United Nations signed by Allied nations.
Jan 13 - Germans begin U-boat offensive along east coast
of USA. Jan
20 - SS Leader Heydrich holds Wannsee Conference to coordinate the "Final
Solution of the Jewish Question."
Jan 21 - Rommel's counter-offensive from El Agheila begins.
Jan 26 - First American forces arrive in Great Britain.
31 - SS Einsatzgruppe A reports a tally of 229,052 Jews killed. In
March - In occupied Poland, Belzec extermination camp becomes operational.
The camp is fitted with permanent gas chambers using carbon monoxide
piped in from engines placed outside the chamber, but will later substitute
17 - The deportation of Jews from Lublin to Belzec. March
24 - The start of deportation of Slovak Jews to Auschwitz. March
27 - The start of deportation of French Jews to Auschwitz. March
28 - Fritz Sauckel named Chief of Manpower to expedite recruitment of
slave labor. March
30 - First trainloads of Jews from Paris arrive at Auschwitz. In
April - First transports of Jews arrive at Majdanek. In
April - Japanese-Americans in USA sent to relocation
20 - German Jews are banned from using public transportation. April
23 - German air raids begin against cathedral cities in Britain. In
May - In occupied Poland, Sobibor extermination camp becomes operational.
The camp is fitted with three gas chambers using carbon monoxide piped in from
engines, but will later substitute Zyklon-B. May
8 - German summer offensive begins in the Crimea. May
18 - The New York Times reports on an inside page that Nazis have machine-gunned
over 100,000 Jews in the Baltic states, 100,000 in Poland and twice as many
in western Russia. May
26 - Rommel begins offensive against Gazala Line. May
27 - SS leader Heydrich is mortally wounded by Czech Underground agents
in Prague. May
30 - First 1000 bomber British air raid, on Cologne, Germany. In
June - Mass murder of Jews by gassing begins at Auschwitz
extermination camp. In
June - Gas vans used in Riga. June
1 - Jews in France, Holland, Belgium, Croatia, Slovakia, Romania ordered
to wear yellow stars. June
4 - Heydrich dies of his wounds. June
5 - Germans besiege Sevastopol. June 5 - SS
report 97,000 persons have been "processed" in mobile gas vans. June
10 - Nazis liquidate the town of Lidice in reprisal for Heydrich's assassination.
11 - Eichmann meets with representatives from France, Belgium and Holland
to coordinate deportation plans for Jews. June 21 - Rommel captures Tobruk.
June 25 - Eisenhower arrives in London.
June 30 - Rommel reaches El Alamein near Cairo, Egypt.
30 - At Auschwitz, a second gas chamber, Bunker II (the white farmhouse),
is made operational at Birkenau due to the number of Jews arriving. June
30 and July 2 - The New York Times reports via the London Daily Telegraph
that over 1,000,000 Jews have already been killed by Nazis. Summer
- Swiss representatives of the World Jewish Congress receive information from
a German industrialist regarding the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews. They
then pass the information on to London and Washington. July
1-30 - First Battle of El Alamein. July
2 - Jews from Berlin sent to Theresienstadt. July
3 - Germans take Sevastopol.
July 5 - Soviet resistance in the Crimea ends. July
7 - Himmler grants permission for sterilization experiments at Auschwitz. July
9 - Germans begin drive towards Stalingrad in the USSR. July 14 - Beginning
of deportation of Dutch Jews to Auschwitz. July
16/17 - 12,887 Jews of Paris are rounded up and sent to Drancy Internment
Camp located outside the city. A total of approximately 74,000 Jews, including
11,000 children, will eventually be transported from Drancy to Auschwitz, Majdanek
and Sobibor. July
17/18 - Himmler visits Auschwitz-Birkenau for two days, inspecting all
ongoing construction and expansion, then observes the extermination process
from start to finish as two trainloads of Jews arrive from Holland. Kommandant
Höss is then promoted. Construction includes four large gas chamber/crematories. July
19 - Himmler orders Operation Reinhard, mass deportations of Jews in
Poland to extermination camps. July
22 - First deportations from Warsaw Ghetto to the new concentration camp,
Treblinka. Also, beginning of the deportation of Belgian
Jews to Auschwitz. July
23 - Treblinka extermination camp opened in occupied Poland, east of
Warsaw. The camp is fitted with two buildings containing 10 gas chambers, each
holding 200 persons. Carbon monoxide gas is piped in from engines placed outside
the chamber, but Zyklon-B will later be substituted. Bodies are burned in open
Aug - The start of deportations of Croatian Jews to Auschwitz. Aug
7 - British General Bernard Montgomery takes command of Eighth Army in
Aug 12 - Stalin and Churchill meet in Moscow.
Aug 17 - First all-American air attack in Europe.
Aug 23 - Massive German air raid on Stalingrad. Aug 26-28
- 7,000 Jews arrested in unoccupied France. Sept
2 - Rommel driven back by Montgomery in Battle of Alam Halfa. Sept
9 - Open pit burning of bodies begins at Auschwitz in place of burial.
The decision is made to dig up and burn those already buried, 107,000 corpses,
to prevent fouling of ground water. Sept 13 - Battle of Stalingrad begins. Sept
18 - Reduction of food rations for Jews in Germany. Sept
26 - SS begins cashing in possessions and valuables of Jews from Auschwitz
and Majdanek. German banknotes are sent to the Reichs Bank. Foreign currency,
gold, jewels and other valuables are sent to SS Headquarters of the Economic
Administration. Watches, clocks and pens are distributed to troops at the front.
Clothing is distributed to German families. By Feb. 1943, over 800 boxcars of
confiscated goods will have left Auschwitz. Oct
5 - Himmler orders all Jews in concentration camps in Germany to be sent
to Auschwitz and Majdanek. Oct
5 - A German eyewitness observes SS mass murder. Oct
14 - Mass killing of Jews from Mizocz Ghetto in the Ukraine. Oct
18 - Hitler orders execution of all British Commandos taken prisoner.
22 - SS put down a revolt at Sachsenhausen by
a group of Jews about to be sent to Auschwitz. Oct
25 - Deportations of Jews from Norway to Auschwitz begin. Oct
28 - The first transport from Theresienstadt arrives at Auschwitz. In
Nov - The mass killing of 170,000 Jews in the area of Bialystok. Nov
1 - 'Operation Supercharge' Allies break Axis lines at El Alamein.
Nov 8 - Operation Torch begins U.S. invasion of North
Nov 11 - Germans and Italians invade Southern France.
Nov 19 - Soviet counter-offensive at Stalingrad begins.
Dec - Exterminations at Belzec cease after an estimated 600,000 Jews
have been murdered. The camp is then dismantled, plowed over and planted. Dec
2 - Professor Enrico Fermi sets up atomic reactor in Chicago. Dec
10 - The first transport of Jews from Germany
arrives at Auschwitz. Dec 13 - Rommel withdraws from El Agheila.
Dec 16 - Soviets defeat Italian troops on the River Don in the
Dec 17 - British Foreign Secretary Eden tells the British
House of Commons of mass executions of Jews by Nazis; the Nazis are "now carrying
into effect Hitler's oft repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people
of Europe."U.S. declares those crimes will be avenged. Dec 28 -
Sterilization experiments on women at Birkenau begin. Dec
31 - Battle of the Barents Sea between German and British ships.
In 1943 -
The number of Jews killed by SS Einsatzgruppen passes one million. Nazis then
use special units of slave laborers to dig up and burn the bodies to remove
Jan 2/3 - Germans begin withdrawal from Caucasus.
Jan 10 - Soviets begin offensive against Germans in Stalingrad.
18 - First resistance by Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. Jan
23 - Montgomery's Eighth Army takes Tripoli. Jan
24 - At Casablanca conference, Roosevelt and Churchill issue demand for
unconditional German surrender.
Jan 27 - First bombing raid by USA on Germany, at Wilhelmshaven.
29 - Nazis order all Gypsies arrested and sent to extermination camps. Jan
30 - Ernst Kaltenbrunner succeeds Heydrich as head of RSHA. In
Feb - The Romanian government proposes to the Allies the transfer of
70,000 Jews to Palestine, but receives no response from Britain or the U.S. In
Feb - Greek Jews are ordered into ghettos. Feb
2 - Germans surrender at Stalingrad in the first big defeat of Hitler's
armies. Feb 8 - Soviet troops take Kursk.
Feb 14-25 - Battle of Kasserine Pass between U.S. 1st
Armored Division and German Panzers in North Africa.
Feb 16 - Soviets retake Kharkov.
Feb 18 - Nazis arrest 'White Rose' leaders in Munich.
27 - Jews working in Berlin armaments industry are sent to Auschwitz.
March - The start of deportations of Jews from Greece
to Auschwitz, lasting until August, totaling 49,900 persons. March
1 - In New York, American Jews hold a mass rally at Madison Square Garden
to pressure the U.S. government into helping the Jews of Europe March
2 - Germans begin withdrawal from Tunisia, Africa. March
14 - The Krakow Ghetto is liquidated. March
15 - Germans recapture Kharkov. March
16-20 - Battle of Atlantic climaxes with 27 merchant ships sunk by German
17 - Bulgaria states opposition to deportation of its Jews. March
20-28 - Montgomery's Eighth Army breaks through the Mareth Line in Tunisia.
22 - Newly built gas chamber/crematory IV opens at Auschwitz. March
31 - Newly built gas chamber/crematory II opens at Auschwitz. April
4 - Newly built gas chamber/crematory V opens at Auschwitz. April
6/7 - Axis forces in Tunisia begin withdrawal toward Enfidaville as American
and British forces join. April
9 - Exterminations at Chelmno cease. The camp will be
reactivated in the spring of 1944 to liquidate ghettos. In all, Chelmno will
total 300,000 deaths. April 19 - Waffen SS attacks Jewish resistance in Warsaw ghetto.
19-30 - The Bermuda Conference occurs as representatives from the U.S.
and Britain discuss the problem of refugees from Nazi-occupied countries, but
results in inaction concerning the plight of the Jews. In
May - SS Dr. Josef Mengele arrives at Auschwitz. May
7 - Allies take Tunisia. May
13 - German and Italian troops in North Africa surrender to Allies. May
16 - Jewish resistance in Warsaw ghetto ends.
May 16/17 - British air raid on the Ruhr. May
19 - Nazis declare Berlin to be Judenfrei(cleansed of Jews).
May 22 - Dönitz suspends U-boat operations in the North Atlantic.
10 - 'Pointblank' directive to improve Allied bombing strategy issued.
11 - Himmler orders liquidation of all Jewish ghettos in occupied Poland. June
25 - Newly built gas chamber/crematory III opens at Auschwitz. With its
completion, the four new crematories at Auschwitz have a daily capacity of 4,756
5 - Germans begin last offensive against Kursk.
July 9/10 - Allies land in Sicily.
July 19 - Allies bomb Rome.
July 22 - Americans capture Palermo, Sicily.
July 24 - British bombing raid on Hamburg.
July 25/26 - Mussolini arrested and Fascist government falls;
Marshal Pietro Badoglio takes over and negotiates with Allies.
July 27/28 - Allied air raid causes firestorm in Hamburg. In
Aug - Exterminations cease at Treblinka, after an estimated 870,000 deaths. Aug
2 - Two hundred Jews escape from Treblinka extermination camp during
a revolt. Nazis then hunt them down one by one. Aug
12-17 - Germans evacuate Sicily. Aug
16 - The Bialystok Ghetto is liquidated. Aug 17 - U.S. daylight air raids on Regensburg and Schweinfurt
in Germany; Allies reach Messina, Sicily.
Aug 23 - Soviet troops recapture Kkarkov. In
Sept - The Vilna and Minsk Ghettos are liquidated. Sept
8 - Italian surrender announced.
Sept 9 - Allied landings at Salerno and Taranto. Sept
11 - Germans occupy Rome, after occupying northern and central Italy,
containing in all about 35,000 Jews. Sept
11 - Beginning of Jewish family transports from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz. Sept
12 - Germans rescue Mussolini.
Sept 23 - Mussolini reestablishes Fascist government. In
Oct - The Danish Underground helps transport 7,220 Danish Jews to safety
in Sweden by sea. Oct 1 - Allies enter Naples, Italy. Oct
4 - SS
gives speech at Poznan (Posen) and talks openly about the Final Solution.
Oct 13 - Italy declares war on Germany; Second U.S. air raid
on Schweinfurt. Oct
14 - Massive escape from Sobibor as Jews and Soviet POWs break out, with
300 making it safely into nearby woods. Of those 300, fifty will survive. Exterminations
then cease at Sobibor, after over 250,000 deaths. All traces of the death camp
are then removed and trees are planted. Oct
16 - Jews in Rome rounded up, with over 1,000 sent to Auschwitz. In
Nov - The Riga Ghetto is liquidated. In
Nov - The U.S. Congress holds hearings regarding the U.S. State Department's
inaction regarding European Jews, despite mounting reports of mass extermination. Nov
3 - Nazis carry out Operation Harvest Festival in occupied Poland, killing
42,000 Jews. Nov
4 - Quote from Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer, published
by Julius Streicher - "It is actually true that the Jews have, so to speak,
disappeared from Europe and that the Jewish 'Reservoir of the East' from which
the Jewish pestilence has for centuries beset the peoples of Europe has ceased
to exist. But the Führer of the German people at the beginning of the war prophesied
what has now come to pass." Nov
6 - Russians recapture Kiev in the Ukraine. Nov
11 - Auschwitz Kommandant Höss is promoted to chief inspector of concentration
camps. The new kommandant, Liebehenschel, then divides up the vast Auschwitz
complex of over 30 sub-camps into three main sections. Nov
18 - Large British air raid on Berlin.
Nov 28 - Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin meet at Teheran
2 - The first transport of Jews from Vienna arrives at Auschwitz. Dec
16 - The chief surgeon at Auschwitz reports that 106 castration operations
have been performed. Dec
24-26 - Soviet troops launch offensives on Ukrainian front.
- Soviet troops reach former Polish border.
Jan 6 - Soviet
troops advance into Poland.
Jan 17 - First attack toward Cassino, Italy.
Jan 22 - Allies land at Anzio. Jan
24 - In response to political pressure to help Jews under Nazi control,
Roosevelt creates the War Refugee Board.
Jan 25 - Diary entry by Hans Frank, Gauleiter of Poland,
concerning the fate of 2.5 million Jews originally under his jurisdiction -
"At the present time we still have in the General Government perhaps 100,000
27 - Leningrad relieved after 900-day siege. In
Feb - Eichmann visits Auschwitz. Feb
15-18 - Allied planes bomb Monte Cassino destroying landmark monastery.
Feb 16 - Germans counter-attack against Anzio beachhead.
March 4 - Soviet troops begin offensive on Belorussian
front; First major daylight bombing raid on Berlin by Allies.
March 15 - Second Allied attempt to capture Monte Cassino
March 18 - British drop 3000 tons of bombs during air
raid on Hamburg, Germany. March
19 - Nazis occupy Hungary (Jewish pop. 725,000). Eichmann arrives with
Gestapo "Special Section Commandos." March
24 - President Roosevelt issues a statement condemning German and Japanese
ongoing "crimes against humanity." April
5 - A Jewish inmate, Siegfried Lederer, escapes from Auschwitz-Birkenau
and makes it safely to Czechoslovakia. He then warns the Elders of the Council
at Theresienstadt about Auschwitz. April
6 - Nazis raid a French home for Jewish children. April
7 - Two Jewish inmates escape from Auschwitz-Birkenau and make it safely
to Czechoslovakia. One of them, Rudolf Vrba, submits a report to the Papal Nuncio
in Slovakia which is forwarded to the Vatican, received there in mid June. April
8 - Soviet troops begin offensive to liberate Crimea. April
14 - First transports of Jews from Athens to Auschwitz, totaling 5,200
May - Himmler's agents secretly propose to the western Allies to trade
Jews for trucks, other commodities or money. May
8 - Rudolf Höss returns to Auschwitz, ordered by Himmler to oversee the
extermination of Hungarian Jews. May
9 - Soviet troops recapture Sevastopol.
May 11 - Allies attack Gustav Line.
May 12 - Germans surrender in Crimea. May
15 - Beginning of deportation of Jews from Hungary to Auschwitz. May
15 - Germans withdraw to Adolf Hitler Line. May
16 - Jews from Hungary arrive at Auschwitz. Eichmann arrives to personally
oversee and speed up the extermination process. By May 24, an estimated 100,000
have been gassed. Between May 16 and May 31, the SS report collecting 88 pounds
of gold and white metal from the teeth of those gassed. By the end of June,
381,661 persons - half of the Jews in Hungary - arrive at Auschwitz. May
25 - Germans retreat from Anzio. In
June - A Red Cross delegation visits Theresienstadt after the Nazis have
carefully prepared the camp and the Jewish inmates, resulting in a favorable
5 - Allies enter Rome. June
6 - D-Day: Allied landings in Normandy. June
9 - Soviet offensive against Finnish front begins.
June 10 - Nazis liquidate the town of Oradour-sur-Glane
in France. June
12 - Rosenberg orders Hay Action the kidnapping of 40,000 Polish
children aged ten to fourteen for slave labor in the Reich. June 13 - First German V-1 rocket attack on Britain.
June 22 - Operation Bagration the Soviet summer offensive begins.
June 27 - U.S. troops capture Cherbourg. Summer
- Auschwitz-Birkenau records its highest-ever daily number of persons gassed
and burned at just over 9,000. Six huge pits are used to burn bodies, as the
number exceeds the capacity of the crematories. In
July - Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg arrives in Budapest, Hungary,
and proceeds to save nearly 33,000 Jews by issuing diplomatic papers and establishing
'safe houses.' July
3 - 'Battle of the Hedgerows' in Normandy; Soviets capture Minsk.
July 9 - British and Canadian troops capture Caen.
July 18 - U.S. troops reach St. Lô.
July 20 - German assassination attempt on Hitler fails.
24 - Soviet troops liberate first concentration camp at Majdanek where
over 360,000 had been murdered. July
25-30 - Operation Cobra begins in Normandy; U.S. troops break out west
of St. Lô.
July 28 - Soviet troops take Brest-Litovsk. U.S. troops
Aug 1 - Polish Home Army uprising against Nazis in Warsaw
begins; U.S. troops reach Avranches. Aug
4 - Anne Frank and family arrested by Gestapo in Amsterdam, Holland,
then sent to Auschwitz. Anne and her sister Margot are later sent to Bergen-Belsen
where Anne dies of typhus on March 15, 1945. Aug
6 - The last Jewish ghetto in Poland, Lodz, is liquidated with 60,000
Jews sent to Auschwitz. Aug
7 - German counter-attack toward Avranches begins.
Aug 12 - German counter-attack fails.
Aug 15 - The Allied invasion of Southern France, Operation
Aug 19 - Resistance uprising in Paris.
Aug 19/20 - Soviet offensive in Balkans begins with attack
Aug 25 - Liberation of Paris.
Aug 29 - Slovak Uprising begins.
Aug 31 - Soviet troops take Bucharest.
Sept 1-4 - Verdun, Dieppe, Artois, Rouen, Abbeville, Antwerp
and Brussels liberated by Allies.
Sept 4 - Finland and Soviet Union agree to cease-fire.
Sept 13 - U.S. troops reach Siegfried Line.
Sept 26 - Soviet troops occupy Estonia.
Oct 2 - Warsaw Uprising ends as Polish Home Army surrenders
to Germans. Oct
7 - A revolt by Sonderkommando (Jewish slave laborers) at Auschwitz-Birkenau
results in complete destruction of Crematory IV. Oct
10-29 - Soviet troops capture Riga.
Oct 14 - Allies liberate Athens; Rommel commits suicide.
Oct 15 - Nazis
seize control of the Hungarian puppet government, then resume deporting Jews,
which had temporarily ceased due to international political pressure to stop
Jewish persecutions. Oct
17 - Eichmann arrives in Hungary. Oct
21 - Massive German surrender at Aachen. Oct 28 - The
last transport of Jews to be gassed, 2,000 from Theresienstadt, arrives at Auschwitz. Oct
30 - Last use of gas chambers at Auschwitz. Nov
8 - Nazis force 25,000 Jews to walk over 100
miles in rain and snow from Budapest to the Austrian border, followed by a second
forced march of 50,000 persons, ending at Mauthausen. Nov
20 - French troops drive through 'Beffort Gap' to reach Rhine.
Nov 24 - French capture Strasbourg. Nov
25 - Himmler orders the destruction of the crematories at Auschwitz.
1944 - Oskar Schindler saves 1200 Jews by moving them from Plaszow labor
camp to his hometown of Brunnlitz. Dec
4 - Civil War in Greece; Athens placed under martial law.
Dec 16-27 - Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes; At Malmedy,
during the battle, Waffen SS murder 81 U.S. prisoners of war.
Dec 26 - Patton relieves Bastogne.
Dec 27 - Soviet troops besiege Budapest.
1945 - As the Allies advance,
the Nazis conduct death marches of concentration camp inmates away from outlying
Jan 1-17 -
Germans withdraw from the Ardennes.
Jan 6 - Soviets liberate Budapest,
freeing over 80,000 Jews. Jan
14 - Invasion of eastern Germany by Soviet troops. Jan
16 - U.S. 1st and 3rd Armies link up after month long separation during
Battle of the Bulge. Jan
17 - Soviet Troops Liberate Warsaw. Jan
18 - Nazis evacuate 66,000 from Auschwitz.
Jan 26 - Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz.
By this time, an estimated 2,000,000 persons, including 1,500,000 Jews, have
been murdered there. Feb
4-11 - Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin meet at Yalta.
Feb 13/14 - Dresden destroyed by firestorm after Allied
March 6 - Last German offensive of the war to defend
oil fields in Hungary.
March 7 - Allies take Cologne and establish a bridge
across the Rhine at Remagen.
March 30 - Soviet troops capture Danzig.
In April - Allies discover stolen Nazi art and wealth
hidden in salt mines.
April 1 - U.S. troops encircle German troops in Ruhr;
Allied offensive in North Italy. April
4 - Ohrdruf camp is liberated, later visited by General Eisenhower. April
10-12 - Allies liberate Buchenwald and
Belsen concentration camps.
April 12 - President Roosevelt dies. Truman becomes President.
15 - Approximately 40,000 prisoners freed at Bergen-Belsen by the British,
who report "both inside and outside the huts was a carpet of dead bodies, human
excreta, rags and filth." April 16 - Soviet troops begin final attack on Berlin; Americans
April 18 - German forces in Ruhr pocket surrender.
April 21-23 - Soviets troops reach Berlin. April
28 - Mussolini captured and hanged by Italian partisans; Allies take
April 29 - U.S. 7th Army liberates Dachau concentration
April 30 - Soviet troops reach the Reichstag in Berlin;
Adolf Hitler commits suicide
in his Berlin bunker. April
30 - Americans free 33,000 inmates from concentration camps. May
2 - German troops in Italy surrender.
Theresienstadt taken over by the Red Cross. May
5 - Mauthausen liberated. May
Unconditional surrender of all German forces to Allies signed by Gen. Jodl at
8 - VE (Victory in Europe) Day. May 9 - Hermann
Göring captured by members of U.S. 7th Army. May
23 - SS Reichsführer Himmler commits suicide; German High Command and
Provisional Government imprisoned.
June 5 - Allies divide up Germany and Berlin and take over government.
June 26 - United Nations World Charter of Security signed
in San Francisco.
July 1 - U.S., British, and French troops move into Berlin.
July 16 - First atomic bomb test in Mexican desert; Potsdam
July 26 - Atlee succeeds Churchill as British Prime Minister.
Aug 6 - First atomic bomb dropped, on Hiroshima, Japan.
Aug 8 - Soviets declares war on Japan and invade Manchuria.
Aug 9 - Second atomic bomb dropped, on Nagasaki, Japan.
Aug 14 - Japanese agree to unconditional surrender.
Aug 15 - VJ (Victory over Japan) Day.
Sept 2 - Japanese sign surrender agreement on USS Missouri,
Oct 24 - United Nations is officially born.
Nov 20 - Nuremberg war crimes trials begin.
11 - Former Auschwitz Kommandant Höss, posing
as a farm worker, is arrested by the British. He testifies at Nuremberg, then
is later tried in Warsaw, found guilty and hanged at Auschwitz, April 16, 1947,
near Crematory I. "History will mark me as the greatest mass murderer of all
time," Höss writes while in prison, along with his
memoirs about Auschwitz. Oct 16 - Hermann Göring commits suicide two hours before the
scheduled execution of
the first group of major Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg. During his imprisonment,
a (now repentant) Hans Frank states, "A thousand years will pass and the guilt
of Germany will not be erased." Frank and the others are hanged and the bodies
are brought to Dachau and burned (the final use of the crematories there) with
the ashes then scattered into a river. Dec
9 - 23 former SS doctors and scientists go on trial before a U.S. Military
Tribunal at Nuremberg. Sixteen are found guilty, with 7 being hanged.
- Twenty one former SS Einsatz leaders go on trial before a U.S. Military Tribunal
in Nuremberg. Fourteen are sentenced to death, with only 4 (the group commanders)
actually being executed. The other death sentences are commuted.
April 11 - August
14 - Adolf Eichmann is put on trial in Jerusalem for crimes against the
Jewish people, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Found guilty and hanged
at Ramleh on May 31, 1962. A fellow Nazi reported Eichmann once said "he would
leap laughing into the grave because the feeling that he had five million people
on his conscience would be for him a source of extraordinary satisfaction."
- More than fifty years after the end of World War II, a new chapter of Holocaust
history is unfolding. Evidence is emerging of the complicated financial transactions
between the Nazis and the European countries and businesses that profited by
the genocide. Released
on May 7, 1997, a United States study, directed by Commerce Undersecretary Stuart
Eizenstat, describes "one of the greatest thefts by a government in history."
The Eizenstat report on U.S. and
Allied efforts to recover and restore gold and other assets stolen or hidden
by Germany during World War II.
The Eizenstat report shows that
between January 1939, and June 1945, Nazi Germany transferred $400 million (equivalent
to $3.9 billion in today's dollars) worth of looted gold to the Swiss National
Bank, in exchange for foreign currency and materials vital to Germany's war
The Eizenstat report also documents
that gold, jewelry, coins and melted down dental fillings of concentration camp
victims were taken, mixed with plundered bank gold, and resmelted into gold
bars that were traded to other countries.
There are still many unresolved
issues related to the unlawful taking of property, including real estate and
works of art, from the victims of the Holocaust. For example, the city of Paris
possesses a number of apartments seized from deported Jews. The Louvre Museum
owns pieces of art which were confiscated from Jews by the Nazis. Many of these
Jews were sent to the camps and never returned to claim their property.
Belgium and the Netherlands have
recently demanded to know what happened to the gold that was taken from their
treasuries by the invading German army.
A March 1997 lawsuit accused seven
existing insurance companies that conduct business in the United States today
of failing to honor insurance policies bought before the war. These German,
French, Italian, and Austrian companies are charged with acting in bad faith
and enriching themselves at the expense of Holocaust victims.