A Timeline of the Holocaust (1939-1945)
1933 - 1934 - 1935 - 1936 - 1937 - 1938 - 1939 -
1940 - 1941 - 1942 - 1943 - 1944 - 1945
- January 30: Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Von Hindenburg.
- March 22: The first official Nazi concentration camp opens in Dachau, a small village located near Munich (note: some "wild camps" already existed before 1933: Papenburg, Esterwegen, Börgermoor etc...). The first commandant of Dachau is Theodor Eicke.
- April 1: Boycott of Jewish shops and businesses.
- April 7: Laws for Reestablishment of the Civil Service barred Jews from holding civil service, university, and state positions
- April 26: The Gestapo ("Geheime Stat Polizei" - Secret State Police) is established by Herman Goering, minister of Prussia.
- May 10: Public burnings of books written by Jews, political dissidents, and others not approved by the state.
- July 14: Law excluding East European Jewish immigrants of German citizenship.
- August 2: Hitler proclaims himself Führer und Reichskanzler (Leader and Reich Chancellor). Armed forces must now swear allegiance to him.
- May 31: Jews barred from serving in the German armed forces
- September 15: "Nuremberg Laws": first anti-Jewish racial laws enacted; Jews no longer considered German citizens; Jews could not marry Aryans; nor could they fly the German flag.
- November 15: Germany defines a "Jew": anyone with three Jewish grandparents; someone with two Jewish grandparents who identifies as a Jew.
- March 3: Jewish doctors barred from practicing medicine in German institutions.
- March 7: Germans march into the Rhineland, previously demilitarized by the Versailles Treaty.
- June 17: Reichführer SS Himmler (chief of the SS units) appointed the Chief of German Police.
- July 12: Sachsenhausen concentration camp opens.
- October 25: Hitler and Mussolini form Rome-Berlin Axis.
- July 15: Buchenwald concentration camp opens.
- March 13: Anschluss (incorporation of Austria): all antisemitic decrees immediately applied in Austria
- April 26: Mandatory registration of all property held by Jews inside the Reich
- May: Flossenburg concentration camp opens.
- July 6: Evian Conference held in Evian, France on the problem of Jewish refugees
- August 1: Adolf Eichmann establishes the Office of Jewish Emigration in Vienna to increase the pace of forced emigration.
- August 3: Italy enacts sweeping antisemitic laws
- August 8: Mauthausen concentration camp opens in Austria
- September 30: Munich Conference: Great Britain and France agree to German occupation of the Sudetenland, previously western Czechoslovakia.
- October 5: Following request by Swiss authorities, Germans mark all Jewish passports with a large letter "J" to restrict Jews from immigrating to Switzerland.
- October 28: 17,000 Polish Jews living in Germany expelled; Poles refused to admit them; 8,000 are stranded in the frontier village of Zbaszyn.
- November 7: Assassination in Paris of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan.
- November 9-10: Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass): anti-Jewish pogrom in Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland; 200 synagogues destroyed; 7,500 Jewish shops looted; 30,000 male Jews sent to concentration camps (Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen).
- November 12: Decree forcing all Jews to transfer retail businesses to Aryan hands
- November 15: All Jewish pupils expelled from German schools
- December 12: One billion mark fine levied against German Jews for the destruction of property during Kristallnacht
- January 30: Hitler in Reichstag speech: if war erupts it will mean the Vernichtung (extermination) of European Jews
- March 15: Germans occupy Czechoslovakia.
- May 18: Ravensbruck concentration camp opens.
- August 23: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed: non-aggression pact between Soviet Union and Germany.
- September 1: Beginning of World War II: Germany invades Poland. In the following weeks, 16.336 civilians are murdered by the Nazies in 714 localities. At least 5,000 victims were Jews.
- September 21: Heydrich issues directives to establish ghettos in German-occupied Poland.
- October 12: Germany begins deportation of Austrian and Czech Jews to Poland.
- October 28: First Polish ghetto established in Piotrkow.
- November 23: Jews in German-occupied Poland forced to wear an arm band or yellow star.
- April 9: Germans occupy Denmark and southern Norway.
- May 7: Lodz Ghetto (Litzmannstadt) sealed: 165,000 people in 1.6 square miles.
- May 10: Germany invades the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France.
- May 20: Concentration camp established at Auschwitz.
- June 4: Neuengamme concentration camp opens.
- June 22: France surrenders.
- August 8: Battle of Britain begins.
- September 20: Breendonck concentration camp opens in Belgium.
- September 27: Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis.
- November 16: Warsaw Ghetto sealed: ultimately contained 500,000 people.
- January 20: Wannsee Conference in Berlin: Heydrich outlines plan to murder Europe's Jews.
- March 17: Extermination begins in Belzec; by end of 1942 600,000 Jews murdered.
- May: Extermination by gas begins in Sobibor killing center; by October 1943, 250,000 Jews murdered.
- June: Jewish partisan units established in the forests of Byelorussia and the Baltic States.
- July 22: Germans establish Treblinka concentration camp Summer Deportation of Jews to killing centers from Belgium, Croatia, France, the Netherlands, and Poland; armed resistance by Jews in ghettos of Kletzk, Kremenets, Lachva, Mir, and Tuchin.
- Winter: Deportation of Jews from Germany, Greece and Norway to killing centers; Jewish partisan movement organized in forests near Lublin.
- January: German 6th Army surrenders at Stalingrad
- March: Liquidation of Krakow ghetto
- April: Previously POW camp Bergen-Belsen is under SS control.
- April 19: Warsaw Ghetto revolt begins as Germans attempt to liquidate 70,000 inhabitants; Jewish underground fights Nazis until early June
- June: Himmler orders the liquidation of all ghettos in Poland and the Soviet Union
- Summer: Armed resistance by Jews in Bedzin, Bialystok, Czestochowa, Lvov, and Tarnow ghettos
- Fall: Liquidation of large ghettos in Minsk, Vilna, and Riga
- October 14: Armed revolt in Sobibor extermination camp
- October-November: Rescue of the Danish Jewry
- March 19: Germany occupies Hungary.
- May 15: Nazis begin deporting Hungarian Jews; by June 27, 380,000 sent to Auschwitz.
- June 6: D-Day: Allied invasion at Normandy.
- Spring/Summer: Red Army repels Nazi forces.
- July 20: Group of German officers attempt to assassinate Hitler.
- July 24: Russians liberate Majdanek killing center.
- October 7: Revolt by inmates at Auschwitz; one crematorium blown up;
- November: Last Jews deported from Terezin to Auschwitz.
- November 8: Beginning of death march of approximately 40,000 Jews from Budapest to Austria.
- January 17: Evacuation of Auschwitz; beginning of death march
- January 25: Beginning of death march for inmates of Stutthof
- April 6-10: Death march of inmates of Buchenwald
- April 8: Liberation of Buchenwald.
- April 15: Liberation of Bergen-Belsen.
- April 22: Liberation of Sachsenhausen.
- April 23: Liberation of Flossenburg.
- April 29: Liberation of Dachau.
- April 30: Hitler commits suicide, liberation of Ravensbruck.
- May 7: Liberation of Mauthausen.
- May 8: V-E Day: Germany surrenders; end of Third Reich
- August 6: Bombing of Hiroshima
- August 9: Bombing of Nagasaki
- August 15: V-J Day: Victory over Japan proclaimed
- September 2: Japan surrenders; end of World War II