Time Line of Events
It is difficult for historians to know exactly where and when the 'holocaust' actually began. Did it begin when Hitler became Chancellor in 1933? Or was it with he authorised the T4 Euthanasia Pogramme? Was it when armed hostilities began? Or was it when important German state departments colluded together after the Wannsee Conference? The timeline below does not attempt to answer that question, but it gives the chronological events that led up to the mass murder of millions of men, women and children, whether they be Jew or not. Over 10 million perished, a figure that should never be forgotten.
The timeline below also focuses on that killing frenzy that we now call the 'holocaust', but it also has other key dates, so as the reader may see how the European conflict evolved. It must also be noted that the Nazis, along with some of their allies committed numerous atrocities, the timeline below highlights some of those atrocities. Not all atrocities are recorded within this timeline as these crimes were too numerous for this page to record, but hopefully, those ones mentioned, will give the reader a good overall view to the extent and barbarity of those atrocities committed. Not all atrocities were committed out of a deep hatred towards the Jews or others, some participants simply joined in out of greed and opportunism, for there was rich pickings from the dead and dispossessed.
20 April 1889: Adolf Hitler is born to Klara (nee Pölzl) and Alois Hitler (Alois had changed his surname from Schicklgruber to Hitler in 1876) in the Braunau am Inn, Austria.
07 October 1900: Heinrich Himmler is born.
11 October 1916: In Germany, Adolf Wild von Hohenborn (1860-1925), the country's war minister ordered that a census be made of how many German Jews are serving as soldiers at the front. The Hohenborn tried to claim that the census was aimed to laying to rest, once and for all, the myth that German Jews were shirking their duties to the Fatherland, however, a counterclaim had been made that the census was actually an attempt by anti-Jewish elements within the country to sit-up anti-Jewish sentiments within Germany and to confirm that Jews were not patriots. The census was never published, however it did showed that German Jews were just as patriotic as their non-Jewish neighbours.
09 November 1918: The German Reich (also known as the Weimar Republic) is proclaimed
17 December 1918: Heinrich Himmler is discharged from the army.
January 1919: The Political Workers Circle (led by Karl Harrier, a journalist) and the Committee of Independent Workmen (set up by Anton Drexler, a locksmith by trade) merged to form the German Workers' Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) in Munich
21 February 1919: Kurt Eisner, leader of the German Independent and Social Democratic Party and Prime Minister if Bavaria us assassinated.
07 April 1919: The Hoffman government in Munich flees as the political left declare a Soviet Style government.
28 June 1919: The Treaty of Versailles is signed. Provisions within the Treaty forced Germany to accept responsibility for the war (War Guilt) and it forced her to hand over her colonies. Alsace-Lorraine and Silesia was also seized. The Rhineland became a demilitarised zone and the Saar region was to be administered by France under the authority of the League of Nations. It greatly shrank the German armed forces and forced her [Germany] to pay huge amounts of reparations to the victorious allies. For most Germans, this was nothing but a humiliating peace treaty and one that was greatly unjust, and would be used by far right movements within Germany to stoke-up anger and hatred's. The Treaty of Versailles became a national shame for all Germans.
25 February 1920: The German Workers' Party published its 25 Point Party Programme. Point 4 read: 'None but members of the nation, may be citizens of the state. None but those of German blood, whatever their creed, may be members of the nation. No Jew therefore, may be a member of the nation. AI'llnother point in the programme stipulated that all Jews who migrated to Germany before 1914 should be expelled from the country.
12 August 1920: Hitler rages against the Jews and promises all who were present, that one day, the Jews will be denied any power within Germany. The Jews would become a frequent target within Hitler's speeches.
03 August 1921: The Sturmabteillung (the SA or Brownshirts) are formed in Munich to protect party meetings and to disrupt opposition meetings.
?? 1922: Hitler is imprisoned for four weeks for 'disturbing the peace.'
24 June 1922: The German Foreign Minister who signed the hated Treaty of Rapallo, Walter Rathenau is assassinated by right wing activists. The treaty had surrendered territorial claims after Germany's defeat after the Great War.
?? November 1922: Rudolf Höss joins the NSDAP (party number 3240).
11 January 1923: Because of Germany's inability to pay war reparations, France and Belgium militarily occupy the coal rich area of the Ruhr. The German government called for passive resistance against French and Belgium occupation. To pay striking workers, the German government simply prints more money, however, this led to runaway inflation, causing financial ruin for many, and this led to an increase of hostility towards the new Republic, and this new anger and resentment allowed the far right and anti-Judeo groups to become part of mainstream politics. The Jews were now being accused of losing Germany the war.
28 January 1923: The NSDAP hold their first national rally.
28 June 1923: Rudolf Höss is arrested for the murder of schoolteacher Walther Kadow, a fellow Freikorps member.
29 October 1923: Dr Erich Zeigner, Prime Minister and Minister of Justice is deprived of all his offices after trying to establish a Communist government within Saxony by Reich President Friedrich Ebert.
09 November 1923:. The Nazis attempt to seize power in Munich (Munich Putsch). Hitler and others are taken into custody and accused of high treason.
10 March 1924: Rudolf Höss is sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for his role in the murder of murder of Walther Kadow, a fellow Freikorps member who had been accused of betraying Albert Schlageter, a fellow Freikorps member to the French in 1923.
29 March 1924: Dr Erich Zeigner, former Prime Minister and Justice Minister of Justice of Saxony is sentenced to three years imprisonment for corruption.
01 April 1924: Hitler is sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for his part in the failed putsch in Munich in November 1923. Whilst in custody, Hitler began his autobiography (Mein Kampf).
20 December 1924: Hitler is released from Landsberg prison on parole after serving about than 9 months of his 5 year prison sentence, he then set out to rebuild his party.
12 March 1925: Hitler appoints Heinrich Himmler as Gauleiter of Lower Bavaria.
18 July 1925: Hitler's autobiography 'Mein Kampf' (first Volume) is published.
25 August 1925: France and Belgium pull their troops out of the Rhur.
04 July 1926: The Hitler Youth is formed.
10 December 1926: The second volume of Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' is published.
20 May 1928: Reichstag elections. The NSDAP won 810,127 votes nationally securing just 12 seats (2.63 %), down 2 seats. The Social Democrats were the largest party securing 9,152,979 votes (29.76 %) and thus taking 153 seats, up 22 seats. The German National People's Party came second with 4,381,563 votes (14.25%) taking 73 seats, down 30. The Centre party won 12.07 % of the vote winning 61 seats (3,712,152), down 8 seats. The Communist Part of Germany increased their vote share to 3,264,793 (10.62 %) taking 54 seats, up 9 seats. (Note: this is not a complete list).
14 July 1928: The Reichstag passed an Amnesty Act for those imprisoned for political acts and Rudolf Höss was released as part of this amnesty.
11 February 1928: Benito Mussolini and Cardinal Gaspar (the Vatican's Secretary of State) sign a treaty within the Lateran Palace. This Treaty will allow the Vatican State to come into existence.
15 February 1929: In Germany, some 3.2 million are thought to be jobless.
11 April 1929: Germany turns down Leon Trotsky's request for political asylum.
01 May 1929: In Berlin, some 8 people die in the May Day marches as the Communists clash with the police.
03 May 1929: The authorities in Berlin declare the city in a state of siege as more people die in riots.
07 June 1929: The Vatican City is 'officially' declared a state after Benito Mussolini and Cardinal Gaspari signed the Lateran Treaty back in February.
28 July 1929: In Geneva, Switzerland, some 48 countries sign a Convention for the Treatment of Prisoners of War.
29 October 1929: In New York the Wall Street Crash (Black Friday) begins, causing a worldwide 10 year Great Depression. In response the financial crisis, countries began imposing higher tariffs on all incoming goods and at the same restrictted certain goods from entering the country. America called in its internal loans, causing panic, especially within Germany who seemed to be hit the worst, causing its economy to collapse as banks stopped lending and businesses went bust or had to lay off numerous staff, and as a result, unemployment went through the roof, food prices rocketed and hunger and depression became the order of the day. As a result of such suffering, extreme right-wing political movements like the NSDAP profited greatly in terms of support.
01 January 1930: In Berlin, eight Jews are murdered by members of the Sturmabteillung (SA).
26 May 1930: In Paris, The International Olympic Committee recommends Berlin to be the next host of the 1836 games.
15 September 1930: Adolf Hitler is refused a seat within the German Reichstag on the grounds that he is an Austrian citizen.
25 September 1930: Hitler, in a speech promises to tear up the Versailles Treaty and bring back military conscription if he ever wins power.
06 October 1930: The German Chancellor Heinrich Brüning meets with Adolf Hitler.
14 October 1930: Reichstag elections. The NSDAP go from 12 seats to 107 thus making them the second largest party in the parliament.
29 May 1931: Joseph Mengele joins the Friekorps.
13 March 1932: German Presidential elections: Paul von Hindenburg won 49.6 percent of the votes (over 18 million votes), whereas Hitler gains 30 percent (over 11 million votes). But because there was no candidate with an absolute majority, a runoff was called, which took place on 10 April 1932.
10 April 1932: German Presidential elections (runoff). Hindenburg wins the majority vote securing 49.6 percent (over 19 million votes), with Hitler gaining 36.8 percent of the vote (over 13 million votes). With this result, Hindenburg begins another term as Reich President.
31 July 1932: Reichstag elections. The NSDAP goes from 107 seats to 230 making Hitler's party the largest party within the Reichstag. Hermann Goering, as an elected member of the parliament was elected as Reichstag President.
30 May 1932: Chancellor Heinrich Brüning resigns after failing to gain a workable majority within the Reichstag and also for failing to keep the support of President von Hindenburg. Franz von Papen became Germany's next Chancellor.
31 August 1932: Egged on by von Papen and others, President von Hindenburg meets with Adolf Hitler in private and offers him a position within the cabinet as a junior member. Hitler was aiming for the Chancellor's job, which Hindenburg flatly rejected.
06 November 1932: Germany again goes back to the polling stations to elect members for the Reichstag. The NSDAP see a sharp decline in support as they go from 230 seats to 196. This decline created more instability within Germany, where the members of the top echelons of society feared a Red revolution, and as such, pressure was put onto Hindenburg to bring the Nazis into government, by making Hitler Vice-chancellor within a coalition government. Politicians like von Papen believed that they could tame (control) Hitler, and when he was no longer useful, dispense with his services, but again, Hitler refused.
03 December 1932: The German Chancellor Franz von Papen resigns from office and General Kurt von Schleicher becomes Germany's new Chancellor. Schleicher had been secretly undermining von Papen's Chancellorship in an attempt that he could take over. Schleicher had tried to bring Hitler into his cabinet but when Hitler refused, he opened up talks with Gregor Strasser offering him the role as Vice-Chancellor. Once Hitler discovered that Schleicher had initiated talks with Strasser, he flew into a fit of rage, accusing him of treachery and ordered Strasser to reject the offer. Schleicher had hoped that Syrasser's appointment would seriously weaken the NSDAP
08 December 1932: Gregor Strasser resigned from all party held offices
04 January 1933: Adolf Hitler and Franz von Papen meet to discuss ways of removing Chancellor Schleicher from office.
16 January 1933: Hitler publicly attacks Gregory Strasser for having been in communication with Chancellor Schleicher in relation to the offer of becoming Vice-Chancellor.
28 January 1933: Chancellor von Schleicher informs his cabinet that he intends to ask President von Hindenburg to allow him to dissolve parliament and allow him to rule by decree. Hindenburg refuses Schleicher's request. As a result of Hindenburg's refusal, Schleicher resigns as German Chancellor.
30 January 1933: Adolf Hitler is appointed Reich's Chancellor of Germany. As part of the agreement made with President von Hindenburg, Hitler would lead a coalition cabinet and as such would only have two NSDAP members within the cabinet with him and that fresh elections be held. Hermann Göring became a minister without a portfolio but at the same time, made interior minister of Prussia, whilst Wilhelm Frick was given the office of the Reich Minister of the Interior. The conservative Franz von Papen became Germany's vice Chancellor. There were many leading politicians and non-politicians alike, inside and outside Germany, who believed that Hitler would now be kept in check by his own cabinet, which was predominantly made up of non-NSDAP members, and this would eventually lead to his own downfall, and that of his party, as they believed that he would fail to create employment opportunities that the people were screaming out for and the ability to feed their children. Some even saw him as von Papen's puppet. Even some Jewish owned newspapers and journals in Germany believed that Hitler had now been shackled. However, there was a small group of voices that now saw a new war on the horizon. Those new election would be held on 5th March.
22 February 1933: Some 50,000 SA and SS men are sworn in as police auxiliaries by Herman Goering in Prussia, claiming that they were needed to keep order on the streets during the election, even though it was those SA men who were causing most of the disorder.
27 February 1933: The Reichstag is targeted by an arsonist. An ex-Communist by the name of Marinus van der Lynne was blamed for the fire, but many believed that the Nazis were behind it. Goering claimed that the fire proves that tge Communists were plotting to overthrow the legitimate government and install a Soviet government in its place. With this as the pretext, the German police and their new auxiliaries began to round up members of the KPD (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands: The Communist Party of Germany) and other known Communists.
28 February 1933: President von Hindenburg gives Hitler emergency powers which suspends civil rights and allows the State to apprehend and detain anyone deemed a a threat, whether that threat was real or imaginary and be placed within 'Protective Custody'. To hold such large numbers of prisoners, the Sturmabteillung (SA) sets up temporary holding centres by seizing unused factories and disused military barracks. Germany was now establishing it's own prototype-concentraion camps which will be controlled and management by the SA. At first the target for persecution were political opponents, but it didn't take the SA long to to also target local Jews, and many Jews were rounded up and shipped off to the Nazis improvised concentration camps.
05 March 1933: The last multi-party elections take place in Germany. Despite all the intimidations and threats towards opponents of the Nazis, the NSDAP, won 288 seats (43.9 percent of the vote), but still failed to win overall control of the Reichstag and had to rely on the Deutschnationale Volkspartei, (German People's Party, DNVP) to gain a working majority in the parliament. The DNVP was an Alliance group comprising the 'German National People's Party' with 'Der Stahlhelm' and the 'Agricultural League', who together secured 52 seats. The Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschland (The Social Democratic Party of Germany or the SPD) secured the second largest number of seats winning 120 (18.2 percent of the vote) with the Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands (The Communist Party of Germany KPD) becoming the third largest party within the Reichstag, securing 81 seats (12.3 percent of the vote). Due the Reichstag fire, future parliamentary session would be carried out within the Krill Opera House, just opposite the Reichstag building. But these sessions would be be rare.
07 March 1933: Brown shirted SA men torch a synagogue in central Königsberg. Over the next few days, Jews and their property were attacked throughout Germany. Calls to boycott German goods abroad were being pushed as retaliation for what was happening to Jews in Germany.
09 March 1933: Heinrich Himmler is made police president of Munich.
13 March 1933: Joseph Goebbels is made Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. In this role he exploited his powers to the utmost to promote racial hatreds.
17 March 1933: Formation of the Liebstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler by Josef (Sepp) Dietrich as a personal body guard unit for the Fuhrer. This body of men was soon expanded under Himmler and it also became known as the Black Order.
21 March 1933: Himmler, now the Police President of Munich announces the opening of the first concentration camp in Germany. Dachau would be used to hold political prisoners. Communists are forbidden to take their seats in the new Reichstag. Special courts are established to try political enemies. At this stage of Hitler’s hold on power, political adversaries were more of a threat to his regime than Jews or gays so the need to remove them from society was greatest.
22 March March 1933: Dachau concentration camp is opened with SS-Standartenführer Hilmar Wäckerle becoming it's first Commandant.
24 March 1933: Enabling Act (Law to Remove the Distress of People and State) is adopted. This Act provided Hitler with a constitutional foundation for his dictatorship. It by defacto, allowed the government to enact laws without the need to have them passed within the Reichstag first, or seek permission from Hindenburg as President. To was the beginning of the end of the Weimar Republic.
26 March 1933: Hermann Goering invited leading Geman Jewish leaders to see him, and then demanded that they use their influences abroad to stop all the calls for a boycott on German goods.
27 March 1933: Thousands of America Jews descend on Madison Square Gardens after a rally was called to protest against the government sanctioned pogroms against the Jews in Germany. Other rallies as round the US also took place in protest. Boycotts of German goods were also being called for, however, many Jews in Germany worried that they would be blamed for any boycott and therefore plead with their American counterparts not to organise a boycott. Similar calls for a boycott occurred within the Britain. These calls of boycotts convinced the Nazis that the Jews were indeed a worldwide power.
March 1933: First women’s concentration camp is opened at Gottezell.
01 April 1933: Himmler is appointed 'Political Police Commander' for the whole of Bavaria and is giving full responsibility for the country’s concentration camps. Jewish shops and businesses in Germany are boycotted for one day. On this day anti-Jewish slogans were painted onto shop windows and SA stood guards outside discouraging Germans from going in. Jews were assaulted and ridiculed as the day progressed, and others, hide out of sight until the day was over.
April 1933: Himmler appoints Theodor Eicke as Inspector of Concentration Camps. Eicke developed a code of conduct for the guards and established a detailed set of rules as to how to govern life and death within the camps. The Death Head Brigades are now a recognised reality.
04 April 1933: President von Hindenburg writes a letter to his Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, expressing deep concern that German war veterans are being removed from their posts simply because they are Jews and asked Hitler to find a way to allow them to remain in those posts. If, he argued, they were willing suffer for Germany, then German owes them a debt of gratitude. Reluctantly, Hitler promises to look into it.
07 April 1933: ‘Law for the Restoration of a Professional Civil Service’ enforced which made it possible to expel Jews and other undesirables from the civil service, which included, judges, policemen, university professors and school teachers. Jews working for the arts and press, and even free professionals could now also be dismissed, and quotas on Jewish schoolchildren attending German schools was put in place. The only Jews who had the chance to stay within their fields of work, were those who had served in the German army during the last war, or those who had lost close family members in the war. Jews were also being expelled from local and national sports associations and other leisure groups. The Law also forbade Jews from entering the legal profession, but those Jews already practicing were left untouched.
20 April 1933: In an attempt to prepare the way for the future rulers of the National Socialist regime, Dr Bernhard Rust, Reich Minister for Science, Education and Culture sets up residential schools for children who show promise of being good potential leaders.
22 April 1933: Jewish doctors and dentists were banned from working within the state sponsored sector.
25 April 1933: The 'Law against Overcrowding in Schools and Universities', puts limits (a numbers clause) on the number of Jewish students being allowed to attend public schools. Their numbers were not to exceed 1.5 percent of the number of total Aryans enrolled within each school or university.
27 April 1933: The Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo, or secret state police) is established in Prussia by Hermann Goering.
01 May 1933: The Nazis granted the trade unions what they had been pushing for for a while, by declaring the May Day holiday.
02 May 1933: The Nazis have the leading trade unionists arrested.
10 May 1933: The 'Burning of the Books' take throughout Germany. Books written by Jews and other so-called undesirables are thrown onto a bonfire by Nazi students and members of the Hitler Jugund (Hitler Youth). In New York, an estimated 100,000 people marched against the Nazis continued persecution against the Jews. Marches were also held in other other US cities.
21 June 1933: The Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschland (The Social Democratic Party of Germany: SDP) is proscribed. Other parties either merge with the NSDAP or voluntarily dissolve.
26 June 1933: SS-Gruppenführer Theodor Eicke takes over as Commandant at Dachau Concentration Camp and is ordered by Himmler to establish a disciplinary code for guards and for prisoners.
27 June 1933: In London 50,000 Jews rally in Hyde Park against Nazi persuctions.
05 July 1933: Hitler announces an end to the national revolution.
07 July 1933: The deputy Führer, Rudolf Hess, in an attempt to protect the German economy, and to check uncontrolled SA behaviour, prohibits attacks on Jewish owned department stores.
14 July 1933: The NSDAP is declared to be the only legal party in Germany. A new law was completed which was aimed at stripping away German citizenship from all Jews to had entered the country after November 1918, however, Hitler decided that this law should only focus on those Jews who came from the East (Ostjuden).
August 1933: Walter Schultze, a Bavarian health minister, argued that some of the country's mentally ill patients be ejected from the German community, and be forced to do slave labour tasks within the concentration camps.
30 November 1933: Goring establishes autonomy of the Gestapo in Prussia and brings it under his control as Prime Minister of Prussia.
20 September 1933: Rudolf Höss joins the ranks of the SS as a Anwärter (Cadet).
22 September 1933: Reich Chamber of Culture is established under the direction of Joseph Goebbels and all cultural organisations were expected to join it. Through this organisation, new laws were requested which would allow (Dr) Goebbels the authority to expel Jews from all cultural organisations such as radio, theatres and the German film industry.
29 September 1933: German Jews are banned from owning land and from participating in all public activities.
24 November1933: The 'Law Against Dangerous Habitual Criminals' is adopted in Germany, If an offender has two previous convictions against their name, the court will be expected to order an indefinite period of custody, usually within a concentration camp. It was believed that criminal behaviour was inherent in the genes and that they would continue to commit crimes. The law also opened the door for the castration if sex offenders.
05 December 1933: A Decree was passed which forced Doctors to inform on their patients who had hereditary diseases or chronic alcoholicism.
03 January 1934: Joseph Mengele quits the Friekorps and joins the Sturmabteillung (SA).
01 April 1934: Rudolf Höss becomes an SS-Mann (private).
20 April 1934: Heinrich Himmler is given overall command of the Prussian Gestapo. Rudolf Höss is given a quick promotion to the the rank of SS-Sturmmann (Lance Corporal).
24 April 1934: A new Peoples Court is established in Berlin to try cases regarded as treasonable offences. Which also included criticising the NAZI Party or any of its leadership.
14 June 1934: A court in Nuremberg sentences a German woman to four months imprisonment for having intimate relations with a Jewish man.
30 June 1934: Night of the Long Knives. Many SA leaders were killed or arrested on Hitler’s orders, including Ernst Roehm, leader of the SA. Gregor Strasser is also liquidated as part of the purge.
20 July 1934: For their loyalty to Hitler during the Night of the Long Knives, the SS under Himmler cease to be subordinate to the SA and are made an independent unit within their own right.
25 July 1934: Engelbert Dollfuss, the Austrian Chancellor is assassinated. He is replaced with Kurt von Schuschnigg.
02 August 1934: President Von Hindenburg dies and Hitler declares himself the Reich’s Fuehrer. All members of the armed services as well as police services had to swear an oath of loyalty to the new leader of Germany.
07 Aug 1934: Hitler releases some prisoners from the concentration camps in a selective amnesty.
10 Aug 1934: Hitler grants a selective amnesty. Many people are released from protective custody and some of the concentration camps are closed down.
October 1934: Joseph Mengele quits the Sturmabteillung (SA) claiming health problems.
Oct 1934: The Gestapo set up a special unit to fight homosexuality at their Berlin HQ.
01 December 1934: Rudolf Höss is posted to Dachau concentration camp with the rank of SS-Unterscharführer (Corporal).
20 Dec 1934: A new law is passed within Germany, which makes it an offence to criticise the NAZI Party as well as the State. Himmler is made head of the Prussian Gestapo. Soon he would unite all the Gestapo states under one yolk.
01 Jan 1935: The administration of Justice is brought together across Germany thus bringing the Ministries under Central control.
13 January 1935: The Saar votes overwhelmingly to return to the Reich, with a stunning 90.7 percent of the vote (477,089 votes) in favour compared to just 8.8 percent who opted for the status que (46,613 votes) and with well under 1 percent who wanted unification with France (2,124 votes)
26 February 1935: The Arbeitsbuch (Work Book or Employment Record Book) is introduced throughout Germany. This book was used as a personal employment record for all workers. Without it an individual could not get access to paid work.
01 March 1935: The Saar is reintegrated back into the German Reich.
11 March 1935: The existence of the Luftwaffe is made public.
16 March 1935: Hitler openly rejects the Versailles Treaty by announcing that Germany is to rearm and that military conscription is to be reintroduced.
01 April 1935: Jehovah Witnesses are banned in Germany. Jehovah Witnesses refused to swear the oath of allegiance to the state, they also refused to give the nazi salute and they also refused to be drafted into the armed forces. Whilst still working in Dachau, Rudolf Höss is promoted to SS-Scharführer (Sergeant).
31 May 1935: Jews are forbidden to serve in the German armed forces.
18 June 1935: Britain signs a Naval Agreement with Nazi Germany which will allow the expansion of the German Navy.
20 June 1935: Heinrich Himmler expands Germany's concentration camp system.
28 June 1935: The Nazis introduce Paragraphs 175 and 175a which allows the state to prosecute men engaged in homosexual activity.
01 July 1935: Rudolf Höss is promoted to SS-Oberscharführer (Company Sergeant Major) within Dachau.
25 August 1935: Pastor Martin Niemöller, tells his parishioners that the history of Judaism is "dark and sinister" and that all Jews are "under a curse" because they had killed Jesus crucified.
15 Sept 1935: New anti-Jewish laws (Nuremberg Laws) enforced within Germany, which prevents Jews from having sexual relations with Germans or people with similar blood. These new laws also removed Jewish legal equality and prohibiting "mixed" marriages.
03 October 1935: Italy invades Ethiopia (Abyssinia)
10 October 1935: The league of Nations impose sanctions on Italy for their invasion of Ethiopia (Abyssinia).
14 October 1935: The Reich Minister of the Interior, Wilhelm Frick, indicates that more restrictions would be imposed on Jews concerning their role within Germany's trade industry.
18 October 1935: Hitler gives Heinrich Himmler extra police powers. The main target of these powers is the Jewish communities.
20 October 1935: Hans Serelman, a Jewish doctor is imprisoned in a concentration camp for donating blood earmarked for a non-Jew, in an effort to save their life.
01 November 1935: German Jews have their German citizenship removed.
06 November 1935: Himmler informs the Ministry of Justice of a Hitler order which prevents them giving people who are held in 'protective custody' access to lawyers.
14 November 1935: German Jews are denied voting rights, and are no longer allowed to hold public office. And official definitions of who can be declared a Jew is set up. 'Full-Jews' are those who's have two Jewish parents, as well as having Jewish grandparents, and that they are active members of the Jewish community. 'Half-Jews' are to be labelled 'Mischlinge' i.e., they have one parent who is fully Jewish and the other a Christian.
15 November 1935: Churches throughout Germany allow the Nazis to comb through their records which allows them to identify those who are Christian and those who are Jews.
31 December 1935: The remaining Jewish civil servants are dismissed from their government posts throughout Germany.
04 February 1936: Wilhelm Gustloff (1895 –1936), a German citizen employed by the Swiss government as a meteorologist, and a Nazi Party member who built up a Swiss branch of the NSDAP for Germans living in Switzerland is assassinated by David Frankfurter, a Jewish medical student from Croatia. Frankfurter was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment but was released in 1945.
06-16 February 1936: The Winter Olympics are held in the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, Germany. Norway led the table winning a total of 15 medals (7 gold) with Germany winning 6 medals (3 gold).
10 Feb 1936: A Law in Prussia virtually meant that the Gestapo were no longer answerable to the courts and in the event of wrongful arrest, no-one could sue for damages. The Gestapo are now seen as above the law.
01 March 1936: Rudolf Höss is promoted again, this time to Hauptscharführer (Battalion Sergeant Major) whilst serving at Dachau.
07 March 1936: Hitler orders the Wermacht to reoccupy the demilitarised Rhineland. Under the Versailles treaty, Germany had been prohibited to have any military formations anywhere within the Rhineland area. Britain and France took no action against this breach of the treaty.
01 April 1936: All concentration camps and its guards are now funded from the Federal budget.
09 May 1936: Italy officially annexes Abyssinia.
17 June 1936: Himmler is made Chief of the German Police, and therefore became head of the newly nationalised Gestapo, Kripo and regular uniformed police.
01-16 August 1936: The Summer Olympics are held in Berlin. Hitler wanted to use these Olympics to prove the supremacy of the Aryan race, however the black American athletic, Jesse Owens dented this message by winning four gold medals (in the sprint and long jump event's), making him the most successful athlete of the Berlin Olympics. Germany won 89 medals, security 33 gold, placing then top of the table, with the USA coming in second with a total of 56 medals, of which 24 were gold. Hitler also wanted to show the world a friendly face and ordered a temporary halt to pogroms against the Jews and that all anti-Jewish sentiments on public display be removed from sight, so as not to alarm foreign guests.
13 September 1936: Heinrich Himmler establisheg an SS society known simply as the Lebensborn (The Fountain of Life) as a way to encourage SS members to have more children. During the war, children were removed from non-German families within the occupied areas that looked Aryan, and placed with SS couples to be raised as German. Rudolf Höss is promoted to the rank of SS-Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant) whilst still serving at Dachau concentration camp and was placed in charge of the administration of stores and prisoner property.
18 October 1936: Hitler issues a decree which puts Hermann Goering in charge of Germany's Four Year Plan. This plan was to see Germany's economy and it's military ready for war within four years. It also acknowledged that Germany's economy was not self-sufficient and to maintain Germany economically, Lebensraum (living space) was required, and to achieve this aim, Germany would be required to invade it's eastern neighbours, thereby securing that space and those countries resources.
10 November 1936: In Sachsenhausen concentration camp, an SS guard had snatched the cap off the head of one of the prisoners (Gustav Lampe, a Communist prisoner who had been a Reichstag member) and threw it over a sentry's fence and then ordered to retrieve it, when he did, he was shot dead for attempting to escape.
15 November 1936: Joseph Goebbels writes in his diary that the showdown with Bolshevism is near and that Hitler had win over Germany's military leaders.
25 November 1936: Germany and Japan sign the Anti-Comintern pact.
01 December 1936: Membership of the Hitler Youth becomes compulsory for all children from the ages of 10 years and upwards.
28 May 1937: Neville Chamberlain becomes the British prime minister.
04 June 1937: An American Jew, Helmut Hirsch, is executed by guillotine in Germany after being found with a revolver and a suitcase of bombs which he planned to use to assassinate the 'baiter of Jews' Julius Streicher. William Dodd, the US Ambassador tried to have his sentence commuted to imprisonment.
19 July 1937: Buchenwald concentration camp is established.
01 August 1937: Buchenwald concentration camp is opened in Germany.
07 September 1937: Germany imposes a 25 percent tax on Jewish assets held within the country.
08 November 1937: 'The Eternal Jew' exhibition is opened in Nuremberg which is aimed at convincing Germans that the Jews are co-conspirators with Bolshevism.
26 November 1937: Hjalmar Schacht resigns as Hitler's Reich Minister for economics as Hermann Goering began to gain the upper hand in controlling the German economy through the Four Year Plan, however he remained in Hitler's cabinet as a Minister without a Portfolio.
29 November 1939: Walther Darré, Reich Minister for Agriculture declares that liberalism and democracy and Jewish inventions and that all democratically elected governments were essentially Jewish.
30 November 1939: Joseph Goebbels writes in his diary that the Jews must get out of Germany and Europe as a whole. He states that Hitler is firmly behind this view.
05 February 1938: Hitler's cabinet meets for the last time for at this stage, Hitler didn't need the cabinet to help him rule, he simply ruled off the cuff.
12 February 1938: In Austria, the Nazis there had already began to agitate again in favour of a union with Germany, with this as a pretext, Hitler summons the Austrian prime minister, Kurt Schuschnigg to Berchtesgaden where Hitler began to impose heavy demands of the Austrian prime minister. Schuschnigg was told by Hitler to lift the ban that was on the Austrian NSDAP and appoint Arthur Seyss-Inquart, the party's leader, as Minister if Interior and prepare the way for Austria to be governed by Germany. Once Schuschnigg returned home he decided to hold a referendum on whether the people supported Hitler's wish for Anschluss or to keep Austria independent as a well the circumvent Hitler's wishes.
09 March 1938: The Austrian prime minister announces that Austria would go to the polls in a plebiscite asking whether or not the people supported Anschluss or independence. On hearing this, Hitler flew into a rage and ordered his generals to prepare for war against Austria and at the same time threatened Schuschnigg with invasion if he did not reverse his policy of a referendum and step down as prime minister.
11 March 1938: The Austrian Nazis take to the streets and force the country's prime minister to resign. Arthur Seyss-Inquart takes over the government and calls on Germany's assistance to help stabilise the country by inviting in the German army. With the Nazis in power in Austria, the country's Jews automatically witness pogroms springing up over the country. Austrian Jews would be forced to physically scrub the streets clean and watch as the rampaging Nazis stole their vehicles alongside their other worldly possessions and vandalised their properties. Jewish businesses became an easy target for the mobs. While all this was going on, the police stood by and just watched whilst the populace looked on with indifference or glee.
13 March 1938: Germany annexes Austria.
10 April 1938: A referendum is held in Austria to confirm Austrian support for the Anschluss. Turnout was high (99 percent) with 4,453,912 voting in favour whilst only 11,929 voting 'No' (under half a percent).
April/May 1938: Flossenburg concentration camp is set up.
20 May 1938:. After his success taking over Austria, Hitler turned his attention to Czechoslovakia where he demanded autonomy for the Sudeten Germans, however, when the Czech government refused, Hitler ordered his military high command to prepare plans for the invasion of Czechoslovakia.
06 June 1938: Sigmund Freud, the renowned Austrian psychiatrist, along with his family, reaches Britain as a refugees after fleeing Nazi persuction.
09 June 1938: The synagogue in Munich is torched by local Nazis and some 2,000 Jews throughout the Reich are arrested.
25 June 1938: Jewish doctors are forbidden to treat non-Jews.
06 July 1938: Laws are enacted to make it easier to a divorce within the Reich. The purpose of these laws was to enable the non-Jew within the marriage to be able to leave their Jewish partner much more quickly and easily.
06 - 16 July 1938: An international conference at Evian, France, is held to discuss how to deal with the Jewish refugees fleeing Germany.
01 August 1938: Rudolf Höss is transferred to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp as an adjutant..
17 August 1938: Jews throughout the Reich are ordered to adopt the names Israel (for men) and Sarah (for women), and this is to be completed by New Year's day, 1939.
20 August 1938: Adolf Eichmann opens up a Jewish Emigration office in Vienna, Austria, as part of the SD’s policy of removing the Jewish element from Austrian society by means of emigration.
10 August 1938: Local Nazis in Nuremberg set fire to a local synagogue.
September 1938: In Munich, Britain and France agreed to hand over the Sudetenland over to Germany (Munich Agreement) in an effort to de-escalate tensions between Germany and Czechoslovakia. Mussolini acted as a broker between the parties concerned, except of course Czechoslovakia itself, which had no input in the talks.
05 October 1938: German Jews are ordered to hand in their current passports as Wilhelm Frick, Germany's Reich Minister of the Interior nullifies them, and orders the Jews to attain new ones, which will have "J" (Jude) stamped onto them.
28 October 1938: The Nazi authorities begin to expel some 17,000 Polish-born Jews from Germany. The Polish state had anticipated this and had already stripped these Jews of their Polish citizenship, thus making them stateless, however, this did not stop the Gestapo from forcing them over the border and into Poland itself.
07 November 1938: Herschel Grynszpan, a young Polish Jew, assassinates Ernst Vom Rath, a German diplomat serving in Paris. Herschel was born in Hannover in 1921, the son of Polish-Russian parents who had fled Hitler’s tyranny. He had made plans to go to Palestine but ended up in France. Germany reaps its vengeance on her Jewish population a couple of days later in what is now known as Kristallnacht.
09 Nov 1938: Kristallnacht (Crystal Night). Jewish synagogues are burned throughout Germany as well as Jewish businesses. Jews are attacked and beaten up or murdered.
12 November 1938: Hermann Goering holds a meeting with leading members of Hitler's regime, including Goebbels, Heydrich, Daluege and Funk, to discuss the mismanagement of the recent pogrom against the Jews (Crystal Night) within the newly built Air Ministry building in Berlin. Goering was angry at the way the pogrom had hurt Germany economically and to discuss ways to ensure that the Jews did not benefit from their insurance policies in relation to the damage done to their stores and homes. It was also decided that the Jewish population would be forced to pay reparations for the damage caused by the mob, this would be seen as some kind of 'atonement tax' which was set at one billion marks. At this meeting, Heydrich suggested that Jews should have their driving licenses be confiscated along with any vehicles that they may own, and they should be only be allowed to be treated by Jewish doctors as well as other prohibitions. From here on in, Goering was now the man who set the tone when it came to the Jewish question, with Heydrich taking instructions from Goering. Soon, Jews would be completely removed from the economic life within the Reich, and be prohibited from attending entertainment venues, Jewish newspapers would also be closed down except one, which the German authorities would use to inform the Jewish population of new restrictions and to encourage emigration, and the remaining Jewish students either within schools or universities would be expelled. Heydrich also called for the Jews to be forced to wear a mark to identify them as Jews, however, this Idea temporarily fell by the wayside.
15 November 1938: All Jewish schoolchildren are banned from attending German schools.
16 November 1938: After protesting against Nazi violence against the Jews which took place on 9th Nov (Kristallnacht), Pastor von Jan was assaulted by a Nazi mob and then imprisoned for his dissent.
21 November 1938: In response to the pogrom of 9 November (Crystal Night), Lionel Du Rothschild and Chaim Weizmann, with the support of some prominent local British Jews meet with the British Prime Minister in an attempt to allow unaccompanied Jewish child refugees into the UK from Germany and Austria.
01 December 1938: The first trainload of Jewish child refugees leaves Berlin for the UK. The is the beginning of what will become known as the Kindertransport. Many of these children would never see their parents alive again.
03 December 1938: A government decree is issued which allows for all Jewish businesses to Aryanised. Thousands of Jewish businesses would be sold for next to nothing over the next few years. Jewish capital, held in special Nazi authorized accounts had restrictions placed on them so that the account holders found it difficult to access their own money.
14 December 1938:. The UK government agree to allow some 10,000 Jewish children fleeing persecution in Germany enter Britain so long as refugee organisations provided guarantees that they would provide for them.
24 January 1939: The Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration (Reichszentrale für Jüdische Auswanderung) is set up in Berlin for the sole purpose of encouraging and facilitating Jewish Emigration.
30 January 1939: Hitler makes it clear in a speech in the Reichstag that he will blame the Jews if Europe is plunged into another European war and he goes on to warn them that he will go out of his way to annihilate them once and for all.
21 February 1939: The German authorities issue a decree ordering the Jewish population to sell their Jewellery and other precious metals to the state for next to nothing. The only pieces of Jewelry exempt were wedding rings.
14 March 1939: After the Nazis government encouraged the Slovaks to declare independence from what was left of Czechoslovakia, the Slovaks declare their independence and then turned to Germany for assistance in maintaining their independence. Hitler summons the Czech President, Emil Hácha to Berlin where Hitler, alongside Goering bullied and threatened him until he accepted the German army being send into his country to help restore order.
15 March 1939: Hitler summons the Czech President, Emil Hácha to Berlin where Hitler, alongside Goering bullied and threatened him until he accepted the German army being send into his country to help restore order.
16 March 1939: After the German forces occuppies Prague, Hitler, Alos in Prague, declares that Bohemia and Moravia a Protectorate of Germany and appoints Konstantin von Neurath as Reich Protector. Emil Hácha remains in office as Hitler's puppet, but without any real authority. Britain and France finally realise now that Hitler cannot be trusted to keep to international treaties and agreements and finally acknowledge that force will have to be used to stop his expansionist policies. But for Czechoslovakia, they do nothing else but make verbal complaints. From now on, Czech Jews were now targeted for persecution, as well as the Jews of Slovakia, in newly created independent state, which aligned itself closely with Nazi Germany.
25 March 1939: All male seventeen year olds in Germany are obliged to to enroll within the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth).
31 March 1939: Britain and France guarantee Poland's independence, especially form an aggressive Germany.
07 April 1939: Italy invades Albania.
20 April 1939: Hitler appoints Leonardo Conti as Reich Health Leader.
26 April 1939: Britain introduces conscription.
28 April 1939: As tensions between Germany and the West become we even more strained over questions concerning Germany's demands over Danzig and the Polish Corridor, Hitler informs the Reichstag that he is ending the Anglo-German Naval Agreement and at the same time, renounces his non-aggression pact Germany had made with Poland.
30 April 1939: The German authorities revoke tenancy rights for Jews. Jewish homeowners could also be forced to rent part of their homes to other Jews.
22 May 1939: Germany and Italy sign the Pact of Steel.
28 June 1939: Hitler rips up his Naval Treaty he signed with Britain.
04 July 1939: German Jews banned from holding government posts.
21 July 1939: Adolf Eichmann is sent to Prague as director for Jewish emigration.
08 August 1939: Hitler watches a film titled 'Unworthy Life'. Which had been commissioned by the Reich Health Leader, Leonardo Conti, which gave an overview of how the disabled lived. The film's purpose was help pave the way for the country's euthanasia programme. Martin Bormann requested that the film be made available in all German cinemas but Karl Brant opposed this position, arguing that the public may become alarmed. Hitler decided not to have it freely distributed.
18 August 1939: The Reich Committee, which had been set up to prepare the way for the country's secret euthanasia programme by Karl Brandt and Phillip Bouhler, introduces a compulsory registration register for all handicapped newborns.
22 August 1939: At Berchtesgaden, Hitler meets with the top echelons of the German military machine to discuss the on-coming military action against Poland. At this meeting, he tells his audience that they must brace themselves to be remorseless against the foe, to be harsh and relentless. For Hitler, this was to be a war of annihilation.
24 August 1939: Nazi Germany and the USSR sign a non-aggression pact. As part of the pact, there was a secret agreement included which allowed the the two countries to partition a defeated Poland. Stalin also agreed to hand over German Communists who had fled Nazi Germany to the East. It also safeguarded Germany's imports of raw materials and foodstuffs coming from the East. The primary purpose of the Pact was to neutralise the Soviet Union when Germany invaded Poland to to keep his rear safe when he attacked the Western Allies. The world was stunned when it heard that Nazi Germany and Soviet Unions had signed a pact, considering Hitler's attitude towards
31 August 1939: After recieving special orders from Reinhardt Heydrich and Heinrich Müller, Sturmbannführer (Major) Alfred Naujocks leads a small unit of SS (Schutzstaffel) men on an armed assault on the small German radio station at Gleiwitz within Upper Silesia, dressed as Polish soldiers. A German-Polish customs post and a forestry lodge are also attacked by other SS men also disguised as Polish soldiers. The Germans left behind dead concentration camp inmates in an attempt to prove Polish involvement. The purpose of these attacks was to give justification for Germany's attack on Poland.
THE WAR YEARS: 1939-1945
01 September 1939: Germany invades Poland. Jews in Germany are given a curfew.
02 September 1939: The Stutthof concentration camp, some 20 mike's east of Danzig, becomes operational.
03 September 1939: Britain and France declare war on Germany. The SS Athenia is torpedoed.
04 September 1939: The Germans murder 180 Jews in the Polish city of Czestochowa.
06 September 1939: South Africa declares war on Germany.
08 September 1939: The first official news report of an execution is published. The story tells that, a Johann Heinen, was shot in the concentration camp of Sachenhausen the day before for refusing to work on a construction site. (Johann was a convicted thief). Soon other stories of executions were printed in the German press. The Germans force 200 Jews from the Polish city of Bedzin into a local synagogue and after locking them in, they set fire to the building.
09 September 1939: The German army enter Łódź, in central Poland. The Reich Minister of the Interior orders that all prostitutes be registered with the police.
13 September 1939: At Mielec in Poland, the Nazis seize 35 Jews and burn them alive in a nearby slaughter house.
14 September 1939: The Germans seize 43 leading Polish Jews in the city of Przemysl and are taken to a labour camp where they are set upon and given a severe beaten prior to being shot.
17 September 1939: Soviet troops invade Poland from the east as part of their secret agreement that had been made with Nazi Germany.
21 September 1939: In Berlin, Reinhardt Heydrich chairs a meeting with other leading SS personnel who are already employed in the round up of Jews in Poland. Heydrich informs those present that the Jews of Poland will be herded into ghettos that are close to railway junctions. The Germans also setup 'Jewish Council of Elders' (Jüdischer Ältestenrat or Ältestenrat der Juden), also known as the Judenrat, throughout occupied Poland for the purposes of assisting the German authorities in controlling the Jewish population. Each council was run by a Chairman who was supported by at least 23 council members. The council initially was used to carry out a census of local Jews, and to carry out all German directives as well as maintain the community through housing, policing, employment, and the feeding of the population, as well as initiating and maintaining other amenities, especially after they (the Jews) were put into sealed ghettos.
23 September 1939: German Jews forbidden to own radios.
27 September 1939: The Reichssicherheitshauptamt (The Reich Main Security Office) also known as the RSHA is set up to harmonize the activities of the SD (Sicherheitsdienst: Security Service), the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei: Secret State Police) and the other various Police units, and Heinrich Himmler appoints Reinhardt Heydrich to head the department. Warsaw finally surrenders to the Germans.
28 September 1939: The German Foreign Minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop signs a second German-Soviet treaty with Stalin's Foreign Minister, Vyachesslav M. Molotov in Moscow. This treaty amended the first treaty's agreed German-Soviet partition of Poland lines which had been signed in August. Also agreed was the resettlement of ethnic Germans from all areas under Soviet adminstration to the Reich, and that Stalin can usurp land within the Baltic region. Heinrich Himmler and his SS would be given the responsibility of vetting and rehousing all ethnic Germans from the East.
06 October 1939: Hitler proclaims the isolation of the Jews. The last pocket of Polish resistance ends. Gestapo leader, Heinrich Müller instructs Adolf Eichmann to begin preparing for the removal of between 70,000 to 80,000 Jews from the newly annexed area of Silesia and the Protectorate (NISKO plan to settle Jews in the Lublin area if Poland). Eichmann would only manage to remove just under 5,000 Jews after having transport issues.
07 October 1939: Heinrich Himmler is made Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Nationhood.
08 October 1939: The Nazis start to establish a Jewish ghetto at Piotrków Tryunalski in Poland and was completed by the end of the month. This was the first ghetto to be established. All ghettos would witness depravity, disease and illness, corruption, starvation and death on huge scales as Jews struggled to exist within these prisons, and no matter the death toll or disease, the Germans kept the pressure on these communities. Crime within the ghettos was also a problem as the young were left to fend for themselves and where the blackmarket flourished for those who could afford to pay extortionate prices. To curb this, the Judenrat would establish the Ordnungsdienst (Order Service, or simply a uniformed ghetto police). This Jewish police force would be, at times, just as bad as their German masters, abuse of office was rampant in all ghettos.
09 October 1939: In Germany, orders for 'Operation Gelb' (Yellow) is issued, which was the codename used for an offensive in the West.
12 October 1939: Hans Frank is appointed chief civilian officer for occupied Poland. Jews from Vienna are expelled.
14 October 1939: The Royal Navy ship, the Royal Oak is torpedoed by a German U-boat.
16 October 1939: The German authorities within the city of Łódź appoint Chaim Rumkowski as the Chairman of the Judenrat (Jewish Council) and instructs him to pitch his own council members. However, the vast majority of those picked by Rumkowski, were murdered within weeks by the Nazis, so new members had been chosen. Rumkowski, did everything he could to please his Nazi masters and abused his new found powers, especially when the ghetto was established and he soon became despised by many of the ghettos Jews.
17 October 1939: Hitler makes it clear that the Polish intelligentsia are to disappear so that they cannot form any organised resistance, and that the remainder of the Polish population would be used as a source of cheap labour for Germany's interests.
October 1939: The T4 Programme begins (forced euthanasia) which is aimed at the removal of Germany's mentally and physically handicapped citizens, including very young children.
04 November 1939: In Warsaw, the city's Jewish leaders are summoned by the SS and informed that they are the rest of the city's Jews who be put. In protest, Adam Czerniakóv and other Jewish leaders appeal to the city's military commander, General Karl von Neumann-Neurode. The attempt to ghettosize Warsaw's Jews failed in this attempt.
08 November 1939: Johann Georg Elser tries and fails in an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler at the Bürgerbräukeller in Munich. Elser had hidden a bomb within a pillar close to the lectrum where Hitler planned to make his speech at part at the party commemoration of the failed 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. Hitler had the commemoration brought forward by half an hour and cut his speech by one hour because he wanted to return to Berlin and focus his attention on the war against the West. The bomb exploded some thirteen minutes after Hitler had left the hall which killed eight and injured dozens of others.
11 November 1939: Arthur Karl Greiser, the Gauleiter and Reichsstatthalter for Wartheland, annexed from Poland after the Polish defeat, issues a decree ordering the Jews of Wartheland to display the yellow Star of David on their clothing so that they can be easily identified.
23 November 1939: Hans Frank, the General Governor of Poland ordered that all Jews, over the age of ten, should wear a white armband with the Star of David on it. Any Jew caught without it would sever grave penalties.
12 December 1939: The Nazis set up Labour camps throughout occupied Poland. Jewish males between 14 and 60 are assigned to be used as forced labour.
13 December 1939: The Royal Navy battle the German pocket-battleship the Graf Spee at the River Plate.
17 December 1939: The German pocket-battleship, the Graf Spee scuttles herself just off Montevideo.
20 December 1939: The Ramonsko ghetto is set up in central Poland and all local Jews where ordered to move into it.
06 February 1940: In Poland, Generaloberst, Johannes Blaskowitz, writing in a memorandum, protests about the harsh treatment meted out against the local population by the German occupation forces.
08 February 1940: The German authorities within the city of Łódź issues a decree ordering that the city's Jewish population move into a specified area of the city (the ghetto). Chaim Rumkowski, already Chairman of the Judenrat, begins his new assignment as leader of the ghetto population.
12 February 1940: First shipments of Germany's Jews are sent to the concentration camps and ghettos in the east.
12 March 1940: The Finnish-Soviet officially war ends.
22 March 1940: Hans Frank, complains to Berlin that the General Government (un-annexed areas of Poland) was being used as a dustbin for Jews.
23 March 1940: Hermann Goering, in support of Hans Frank, orders Heinrich Himmler to halt further transports of Jews to the General Government. However, this suspension doesn't last long.
27 March 1940: Two notorious German bank robbers, Erich and Franz Sass, who had both received lengthy prison sentences by a German court after being extradited back to Germany from Denmark in 1938 were taken to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp by order of Heinrich Himmler and executed.
09 April 1940: Germany invades Denmark and Norway.
14 April 1940: A British expeditionary force lands in Norway.
30 April 1940: The Łódź ghetto is sealed from the rest of the city. After Warsaw, Łódź would become the second largest ghetto established by the Nazis.
29 April 1940: Haupsturmführer (captain) Rudolf Hoess, along with five other SS officers arrived just outside a Polish town called Oświęcim (Auschwitz) for the sole purpose of constructing a concentration camp there.
30 April.1940: Some 30 non-Jewish German prisoners(criminals) are sent from the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen to Auschwitz. Their primary role will be to act as Kapos and barrack room leaders (overseers). The camp would be built by some 300 local Jewish prisoners within the next few days.
Łódź ghetto is established in the city of Łódź, Poland.
01 May 1940: The Łódź ghetto, which by now contained some 160,000 Jewish inmates, is sealed off from the rest of the city.
06 May 1940: Reserve Police Battalion 101, part of the Order Police (Ordnungspolizei). Is sent from Hamburg to the Warthegau (an area of Poland annexed by Germany). It's role was to police the civilian populations which had fallen under German control and to assist in the expulsion of Poles from certain locales as well as to help in the liquidation of ghettos. It was heavily involved in mass murder, especially against the Jewish populations.
May 1940. Rudolf Hoess is sent to Poland to establish a concentration camp at Auschwitz and to become it's first Commandant.
10 May 1940: Operation Case Yellow (the main German assault against the West) begins by invading Belgium and Holland as a ruse to pull the French and British into the Low countries and then attacking through the Ardennes forest to outflank the Allies. Winston Churchill becomes the United Kingdom's new Prime Minister after Neville Chamberlain is forced to stand down.
15 May 1940: the Dutch army surrenders to Hitler's forces.
25 May 1940: Heinrich Himmler sent Hitler a memorandum titled: 'Some Thoughts on the Treatment of the Alien Population in the East, in which he discusses at length a possible plan to relocate all European Jews to Africa or some other captured colony, this way he argued, would see a Jew-free Europe, and suggestions on the Germanization of the annexed Poland. Poles are to be treated as as a source of cheap labour for their German masters, and be expelled to the rump of what was left of Poland, known as the General Government, governed by Hans Frank, and any child deemed from German stock, should be raised as Germans within German families.
26 May 1940: Operation Dynamo begins (the evacuation of the BEF and its allies from the beaches at Dunkirk).
28 May 1940: The Belgian army surrenders to superior German forces.
29 May 1940: Arthur Seyss-Inquart is made Reich Commissioner of the Netherlands.
02 June 1940: The British Expeditionary Force evacuate from Norway.
04 June 1940: The last of the allied troops are evacuated from Dunkirk.
10 June 1940: Mussolini declares war on France and Britain. Winston Churchill takes over the British premiership with the resignation of Neville Chamberlain.
11 June 1940: South Africa declares war on Italy.
June 1940: Auschwitz concentration camp (Auschwitz 1) is opened in Poland.
14 June 1940: German troops roll into Paris, which had been declared an open city.'
21 June 1940: Italy launches a military attack on France.
22 June 1940: France signs a humiliating armistice with Germany at Compiègne.
24 June 1940: France signs an armistice with Italy.
22 July 1940: The Vichy government in France remove naturalization rights from all who have been naturalized since 1927. Over the next few weeks, Vichy would revoke laws that that gave rights to Jews, including Jews from Algeria, and it would formulate decrees which began to classify who is a Jew, and restrict their activities.
28 June 1940: General De Gaulle is recognised as the leader of the Free French. The Soviet Union occupies Bessarabia and northern Bukovina.
30 June 1940: The Wehrmacht occupies the Channel Islands.
08 July 1940: Hans Frank, learns from Hitler that their is a plan being set up to forcibly settle Europe's Jews on the Island of Madagascar, which will be under the control of the SS. The news of the Madagascar plan put a temporary stop to the building of ghettos.
10 July 1940: The Luftwaffe begin the Battle of Britain. What is left of the French National Assembly, and now under the the watchful eyes of the Nazi occupation forces, revoke the Constitution of the Third Republic which hands dictatorial powers to Marshall Pētain as well as Pierre Laval, his deputy. They would run their collaborative government from Vichy, within the unoccupied zone of France.
14 July 1940: the Baltic States are absorbed into Stalin's Soviet Union.
04 August 1940: British Somaliland is invaded by Italian forces.
10 August 1940: The Romanian government passes a set of racial laws which are targeted against the Jews. Their citizenship rights are curtailed and they are removed from state employment and forced to do unpaid labour as well as forced to pay a special tax.
15 August 1940: Adolf Eichmann‘s Madagascar Plan (forced Jewish emigration to the island of Madagascar) is presented. Because of Britain's refusal to surrender, this plan was never implemented. The Italians open up the Campagna concentration camp in Italy.
27 August 1940: The Vichy government in France overturns a piece of pre-war legislation which made it a crime to incite race hate.
05 September 1940: The occupying German authorities in Luxembourg impose Nuremberg-style laws onto the country.
06 September 1940: King Carol if Romania abdicates.
07 September 1940: The Germans begin carpet bombing of British cities, thus beginning the period known as the 'Blitz'.
12 September 1940: Mussolini's forces launch an invasion of Egypt from Libya.
17 September 1940: Due the failure of the Luftwaffe securing dominance over British skies, Hitler postpones Operation Sealion (the invasion of Britain). The failure to knock out Britain, prevented the Nazis' plans to deport Europe's Jews to the island of Madagascar as the British navy continued to dominate the seas. The Nazis would now have to search for an alternative solution to the Jewish question.
21 September 1940: Italy and Germany sign the Tripartite Pact.
24 September 1940: The anti-Jewish file 'Jew Suss' is shown within German cinemas.
02 October 1940: Ludwig Fischer, German district governor instructs the Jews of Warsaw that they have until the end of the month to move themselves and their families into the newly established ghetto within the city. The Germans would extend the deadline by two weeks, and Adam Czerniakóv was instructed to establish a Jewish Police for the ghetto as well as act as the Judenrat's first chairman of the ghetto.
03 October 1940: The Vichy government in France pass laws racial laws.
04 October 1940: The Vichy government in France issues a decree ordering the arrest and detainment of all foreign Jews.
08 October 1940: Germany invaded Romania.
16 October 1940: The Nazis in Poland announce the establishment of the Warsaw ghetto.
22 October 1940: Jews from Baden, the Saar and Alace-Lorraine are deported concentration camps in the East.
28 October 1940: Mussolini's Italy invades Greece. The occupying Germans forces in Belgium, impose racial laws onto the country. In occupied Belgium, the German authorities issues a decree ordering all Jews to register, Jews were also subjected to other discriminatory legislation.
15 November 1940: The Warsaw ghetto is sealed off from the rest of the city. Like all ghettos, the Jews required special permits before they could leave or re-enter the ghetto.
28 October 1940: Italy invades Greece from Albania.
20 November 1940: Hungary Joins the Tripartite Pact.
21 November 1940: The exiled Belgian government in Britain declares war on Italy.
23 November 1940: Slovakia joins the Tripartite Pact.
28 November 1940: The anti-Jewish film 'Der Ewige Jude' (The Eternal Jew) is shown in German cinemas.
02 December 1940: Pope Pius XII, protests the murder of Germany's mentally and physically handicapped patients within the euthanasia programme.
09 December 1940: The Italians are routed by the British at Sidi Barrani.
18 December 1940: Hitler issues his Directive 21 (Operation Barbarossa) laying out his plans to crush the Soviet Union.
06 January 1941: The German authorities in the Netherlands order the registration of all Jews.
21 January 1941: For three days within Romania, the Iron Guard attack Jews in the street whilst destroying hundreds of Jewish own shops and some 25 synagogues.
22 January 1941: The Allies capture Tobruk in North Africa. The Germans deport some 400 Jews from occupied Amsterdam.
12 February 1941: Erwin Rommel arrives in Tripoli to direct the war against the Allies in North Africa.
01 March 1941: Bulgaria joins the Tripartite pact with Germany.
02 March 1941: The German army march into Bulgaria.
07 March 1941: Jews are used for forced labour inside Germany.
24 March 1941: Rommel's Africa Korps capture El Agheila.
25 March 1941: The Pro-Hitler government in Yugoslavia joins the Tripartite Pact. Many Yugoslavs would have preferred that their country align itself with Greece and Great Britain, whilst others (the Communists) wanted closer ties with Stalin's Soviet Union.
27 March 1941: The pro-German government in Yugoslavia is toppled and the conspirators proclaim the end of the regency and declare that King Peter has come of age.
06 April 1941: Germany invades Yugoslavian and then Greece. Pogroms against the local Jewish populations are instigated.
11 April 1941: Rommel's Africa Korps lay siege to Tobruk.
13 April 1941: The German army enters Belgrade
16 April 1941: The Germans take control of Sarajevo and along with their Muslim supporters, demolishes the city's main synagogue.
23 April 1941: The BEF (British Expeditionary Force) in Greece begins to withdraw to the island of Crete because of German pressure.
27 April 1941: The Wehrmacht occupies Athens.
11 May 1941: Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess heads out on a secret mission to the UK. His plane crashes in Scotland where he is captured. On hearing about Hess's mission, Hitler flies into a rage and distances himself from his deputy claiming that he had no knowledge of Hess's plans.
13 May 1941: The Decree on the Exercise of Military Jurisdiction signed by Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW), the high command of Germany's Armed Forces, gave powers to individual officers by removing any requirement to hold court martials when dealing with suspected or actual saboteurs or any other suspect believed to be involved in any type of resistance against the German occupation forces on Soviet territory. This gave German officers the power to execute suspects on the spot. Also available to these officers, was the right to carry out collective measures (mass executions) against the population suspected of being involved in aiding and abetting any resistance fighters.
14 May 1941: In Paris the Germans seize some 3,600 Jews. After Rudolf Hess's flight to Scotland, Martin Bormann is named his successor.
16 May 1941: The Vichy government under Marshal Pētain informs the French via a radio broadcast, that his administration will collaborate with Nazi Germany.
18 May 1941: The Gestapo is given the powers to hold suspects in the so-called educative work camps. These work camps were created by Decree in August 1940.
20 May 1941: The central office in Berlin dealing with Jewish immigration and under the authority of Hermann Goering forbids the immigration of Jews from all occupied lands. The term 'final solution' is found within the communique, and this may be in relation to the future plan to exterminate Europe's Jewish population. The Germans launch an airborne invasion of Crete.
23 May 1941: Economic and Political Guidelines are issued to the German army in relation to their future military actions within the Soviet Union.
27 May 1941: In the North Atlantic, the Royal Navy sink the German battleship Bismarck.
01 June 1941: Crete falls to the Germans.
02 June 1941: Hitler meets Benito Mussolini at the Brenner Pass.
06 June 1941: 'Guidelines for the Treatment of Political Commissars' (Commissar Order) is issued which instructs that all political Commissars who fall into German hands are to be separated from other Prisoners of War and executed on the spot.
07 June 1941: Heinrich Himmler visits the Łódź ghetto.
12 June 1941: Marshal Ion Antonescu, the Romanian dictator meets with Adolf Hitler and discuss the on-coming assault against the Soviet Union, which Romania will be involved with, as well as Romania's war against its own Jewish population.
14 June 1941: The order 'Hay Action' (Heu Aktion) is issued by Alfred Rosenberg, the Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories. The Hay Action called for some 50,000 foreign youths, aged between 10 and 14 years old to be seized and taken to Germany and used as slave labourers.
22 June 1941: Hitler takes on the biggest gamble of his life by launching a surprise attack on the Soviet Union, 'Operation Barbarossa'. Herbert Backe, the German State Secretary for Food and Agriculture and head of if Hermann Goering's Food Division in the Four Year Plan had already warned that Germany could not sustain the Wehrmacht with food stuffs for any length of time during Barbarossa and adviced that the army take what they need from the land that they occupy. He estimated that tens of millions of Soviet citizens would have to be left to starve to death. The German Generals had no objections to such a policy.
Under the jurisdiction Himmler, Einsatzgruppes move into the areas behind the German Wehrmacht, with the sole purpose of liquidating intellectuals, political Commissars and Jews. Like Yugoslavia and Greece, but on a larger scale, local pogroms against the Jews are initiated. Thousands of Jews die at the hands of German collaborators within each of the countries or areas [Soviets] that the Germany secured control over.
23 June 1941: Adolf Hitler arrives at his new eastern headquarters known as the Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair) which was located within a wood some 5 miles of the Prussian town of Rastenburrg.
25 June 1941: In Lithuania, Einsatzkommandos from Einsatzgruppen 'A' reach Kanus. It wouldn't take long before the pro-Natitionalists, especially the Lithuanian Activist Front began to butcher their Jewish neighbours on the streets, whilst the Germans stood by and watched.
26 June 1941: Hundreds of Jews living in and around Kovno, Lithuania are dragged from their homes and taken to one of the old forts (The Ninth Fort) which had originally been built to defend the city and murdered by members of the local pro-Nazi-militia.
28 June 1941: In Kovno, mobs of Lithuanians, including police officers comb the city for Jews whom they beat to death with iron bars. In Belarus, Minsk falls to the Germans. A pogrom against the Jews within the Romanian province of Moldavia is initiated, others would soon follow. The Romanians raped, plundered and killed as the pogroms continued.
29 June - 06 July 1941: Romanian soldiers and some police officers murder over 13,000 Jews in the Romanian city Jassy.
29 June 1941: Suspected of having a nervous breakdown, Stalin retreats to his dacha.
30 June 1941: The Germans enter Lvov within the Ukraine and before the day was over, Ukrainian nationalists, encouraged by the Germans search the city for Jews to slaughter. After a bomb attack against the Germans in Amsterdam, Holland, the Germans, in retaliation, seize 300 Jewish men and send them to Mauthausen concentration camp. In Lithuania, the Germans capture Vilnius, the country's capital.
02 July 1941: The Germans enter the village of Lubieszów in the Ukraine and by the end of the month, a small cavalry unit had managed to slaughter the village's Jewish inhabitants.
03 July 1941: Stalin calls for active opposition to the German invaders behind their front lines. Soviet soldiers who became stragglers, caught behind German lines would become the main core of this partisan activity.
06 July 1941: In Poland, in and and around the eastern town of Radzilow, Poles attacked local Jews with axes and knives, culminating in the deaths of up to 1000 men, women and children.
07 July 1941: SS-Obersturmführer (first lieutenant) Joachim Hamann, commander of Einsatzkommando 3 begins a systematic search for Jews in Lithuania to kill.
08 July 1941: The Einsatzkommandos in Lithuania massacre some 5,000 Vilna Jews. But those men, women and children who hadn't managed to flee, where soon rounded up and shot. The Soviet destroyer, the Karl Marx is destroyed by a German air attack.
09 July 1941: An Einsatzkommando reaches the Ukrainian city of Zhitomir only to find that most of the city's Jews had managed to escape thanks to strong Soviet resistance, but still manage to slaughter thousands of men, women and children.
10 July 1941: In Lithuania, the Jews from Kanaus begin to move into the city's ghetto. They have until the 15 August 1941 to have the process completed.
17 July 1941: Alfred Rosenberg is appointed as Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories.
21 July 1941: The death camp of Majdanek is established in Poland.
25 July 1941: Heinrich Himmler, establishes an auxiliary force known as the 'Schutzmannschaften' within the Baltic regions under German control to assist in carrying out security measures and to assist the Einsatzgruppen in their murderous task of murdering those deemed as national threats, which included the Jewish populations.
25-28 July 1941: In Lwów, local Ukrainians stage another pogrom against the city's Jewish population.
26 July 1941: The German's reach Smolensk.
31 July 1941: Hermann Goring instructs Reinhardt Heydrich to prepare the necessary steps for the implementation of the final Solution of the Jewish question.
05 August 1941: Romanian and German forces lay siege to the Ukrainian city of Odessa.
14-15 August 1941: At Rokiškis, Lithuania, Jewish men are escort to a nearby village by an Einsatzgruppe where mass graves had been prepared for them and murdered.
15 August 1941: Heinrich Himmler, during a visit to one of his special detachments (Einsatzgruppen) in the field near Minsk, witnesses a mass execution of Jews. He also observed as patients were gassed within a nearby hospital at Nowinki.
18 August 1941: The German Propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels meets with his officials where it's agreed that Germany's Jews should be forced to wear some identification mark so as to mark them out as Jews. He also raises the issue with Hitler straight after his meeting.
23 August 1941: Due to public hostility at home, Hitler publicly announces that he has called a stop to the "euthanasia" programme, but secretly it continues.
25 August 1941: Jewish women and children, and the elderly of Rokiškis in Lithuania are murdered by the same Einsatzgruppe who had just recently murdered their menfolk.
27-28 August 1941: Police Battalion 320, alongside Einsatzkommandos from Friedrich Jeckeln's Einsatzgruppen and members from the Ukrainian auxiliaries massacre over 26,000 Jews (including Hungarian Jews who had been deported from Hungary) from city of Kamianets-Podilskyi within the Ukraine.
28 August 1941: At Kedainiai, in Lithuania, Einsatzkommandos forced some 2,000 Jews into a ditched in preparation for killing them, a Jewish butcher grabbed a hold of one the killers and dragged him into the ditch where he dug his teeth into the man's neck causing the man's death. All the Jews, including the butcher were all gunned down.
September 1941: The Nazi's T4 Euthanasia Pogramme is temporarily suspended.
01 September 1941: Reinhardt Heydrich ordered that all Jews aged six and over wear the Star of David with the word 'Jew' printed on it within the Reich and all annexed areas.
09 September 1941: In the Slovak Republic, Jews are forced to wear the Star of David.
17 September 1941: The deportation to the east begins for Germany's Jewish population. In Kovno, Lithuania, the Nazis round up thousands of Jews, mostly women and children, and hold them prisoner within a local synagogue. From there they are taken to a nearby sports field where mass graves are awaiting them. All are murdered.
19 September 1941: The German's seize Kiev in the Ukraine.
23 September 1941: Zyklon-B gas is tested for the first time at Auschwitz-Birkenau (Auschwitz II) on Soviet prisoners of war.
27 September 1941: Hitler orders Konstantin von Neurath, Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia to go on indefinite sick leave and appoints Reinhardt Heydrich as acting Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. Hitler had been unhappy at the way Neurath governed the Protectorate and wanted a man who was willing to use whatever means at his disposal to maintain German authority and discipline the Czechs.
29 - 30 September 1941: Between the 27-28th September, the Nazi authorities within the Ukrainian city of Kiev had displayed edicts around the town and within local newspapers instructing that the city's Jews assemble at a given point for 'resettlement'. Some 30,000 men women and children where taken to a ravine (Babi Yar) just outside the city where they were systematically gunned down by Sonderkommando 4a which was under the command of Paul Blobel and Otto Rasch who commanded Einsatzgruppen C.
02 October 1941: The German 'Army Group Centre' launch Operation Typhoon, the assault on Moscow.
16 October 1941: Romanian and German forces capture the Ukrainian city of Odessa after a 74 day siege. The Soviet secret state police (the NKVD) murder some 200 prisoners held within detention centres in Moscow so that they wouldn't fall into German hands if Moscow was overrun.
20 October 1941: A state of emergency is declared within Moscow and Stalin informs the capital's citizens that he plans to remain in the city.
21 October 1941: Around 1500 Jews are massacred in the white Russian town of Koidanov by Einsatzkommando's. (This was the massacre which Mark Kurzem (The Mascot) managed to survive. See Einsatzgruppen page for further information)
22 - 23 October 1941: An explosion destroys the former NKVD building in Odessa, killing dozens of Romanian officers who had been using the building as their headquarters. The building had been booby-trapped by the retreating Soviets but the blame of sabotage was firmly laid at the feet of the Jewish population and Communists. In retaliation, an Einsatzgruppe arrived in the city the next day and murdered up to 10,000 hostages, which were predominantly made up of Jews.
23 October 1941: In Germany, the policy of allowing Jews to immigrate is suspended indefinitely.
25 October 1941: A member of Alfred Rosenberg's ministry, Erhard Wetzel, requests that members of the T4 Euthanasia Pogramme be transferred to the East to use their expertise in the gassing of Jews and other undesirables. It is here that gas vans are used to kill those deemed unworthy of life.
28 October 1941: The 11th Lithuanian Police Battalion arrived in Slutsk in order to liquidate the Jewish population, however, the district commissioner Heinrich Carl pleads with the police commander to allow him some time to sort out those essential Jewish workers from those who are not, at the beginning it looked like Carl had got his way but the police commander had a sudden change of heart and had the Jews massacred.
29 October 1941: Some 9,000 Lithuanian Jewish men, women and children are taken from the Kaunas ghetto to the Ninth Fort and murdered.
07 November 1941: Up to 17,000 Jews from the Ukrainian ghetto in Minsk are taken to the Tuchinka ravine where they are murdered by the Nazis.
18 November 1941: The Allies in North Africa begin their counteroffensive against Rommel's Africa Korps.
24 November 1941: Theresienstadt ghetto is established.
25 November 1941: At the Ninth Fort near Kanaus in Lithuania and under the jurisdiction of Karl Jäger, head of Einsatzkommando 3, (a unit of Einsatzgruppe A), had nearly 3,000 Jewish men, women and children were murdered. These Jews were part of a trainload of Jews deported from the Reich and were the first group of Reich Jews to be massacred by members of Himmler's Einsatzgruppen. (See 29 November).
29 November 1941: Karl Jäger, head of Einsatzkommando 3, has 2,000 Reich Jews shot within the Ninth Fort just outside Kanaus in Lithuania. This was the second batch of German Jews massacred at the front within the space of a few day (see 25 November). After Himmler learnt of the killings, he put a temporary halt to the mass killing of German Jews as it was well known that veterans of the German army who had served the Fatherland during the Great War had also been gunned down. It turned out thse Reich Jews were originally meant to be put into existing ghettos and therefore not suffer death at the hands of Himmler's killing squads. As to date, no-one knows exactly who made the decision to have these Jews killed. Reinhardt Heydrich invites some high ranking civil servants to a secret meeting on the 9th December to discuss a final solution to the Jewish problem. However, due to the attack on Pearl Harbour on the 7th December, Heydrich reschedules the meeting to the 20 th January 1942 at Wansee, just outside Berlin.
04 December 1941: Operation Typhoon (the Germans drive towards Moscow) comes to a halt as freezing weather sets in.
06 December 1941: Using fresh divisions transferred from Siberia and under the command of Marshal Georgi Zhukov, the Soviets launch a counter attack against Army Group Centre, halting their assault on Moscow.
07 December 1941: Japan attacks Pearl Harbour.
08 December 1941: The Chelmo extermination camp becomes operational as thousands of Jews and Gypsies are murdered in mobile gassing vans there.
10 December 1941: The German siege of Tobruk is lifted by the Allies.
11 December 1941: Germany and Italy declare war on the United States.
13 December 1941: Hungary alongside Bulgaria declare war on the United States.
14 December 1941: Heinrich Himmler meets with Victor Brack, a key member of Dr Karl Brandt's T4 Euthanasia Pogramme,to discuss the use of using poisonous gas to kill those groups of people selected for death, such as the Jews.
19 December 1941: Hitler appoints himself as commander of the Wehrmacht after sacking General Walther von Brauchitsch.
09 January 1942: In Theresienstadt, nine men are hanged accused of trying to smuggle letters out of the ghetto.
13 January 1942: Allied governments, including those in exile, sign the 'St James's Declaration' stating that members of the Axis forces guilty of committing war crimes will, after the war, be brought before a military tribunal to face judgement.
16-29 January 1942: in Łódź, Chaim Rumkowski and his Judenrat [ghetto Council] along with the Jewish ghetto police assist the Nazis in rounding up some 10,000 Jews earmarked for deportation to the death camp at Chelmno. Most of those picked by Rumkowski and his friends on the council were opponents or were simply just deemed as criminals, many were picked because they were weak or poor others because they were labelled 'workshy'. No friends or sponsors of Rumkowski were selected.
20 Jan 1942: A secret meeting is held at Grossen-Wannsee in Berlin where the decision to adopt Endlosung (the Final Solution) The meeting was chaired by Himmler’s number two, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer (general) Reinhardt Heydrich, and other high ranking Ministers of the Third Reich. The notorious Adolf Eichmann was also present at this meeting.
21-22 January 1942: At Novi Sad (Ujvidék), Serbia, Hungarian troops murdered some 700 Jews.
30 January 1942: Phillip Bouhler and Joseph Goebbels discussed the making of an educational film to promote and justify a state sponsored euthanasia programme which could be shown to the general population.
08 February 1942: FritzTodt, the Reich Minister for Armaments and War Production dies as the plane he is traveling in crashes near Hitler's headquarters at Rastenburg, East Prussia.
09 February 1942: Hitler makes Albert Speer Minister of Armaments and War Production.
16 March 1942: Operation Reinhard (Aktion Reinhard) begins. This operation was simply the mass murder of Europe’s undesirables. Starting off with Poland’s Jews.
17 March 1942: Belzec extermination camp becomes operational.
21 March 1942: Hitler appoints Ernst Friedrich Christoph Fritz Sauckel as General Plenipotentiary for Labour Deployment (Generalbevollmächtigter für den Arbeitseinsatz). He would use his new powers to conscript foreign workers as virtual slave labour in German factories at home and within the occupied territories.
24 March 1942: The first deportations of Slovakian Jews to Auschwitz begins.
26 March 1942: The Slovakian Jews who have been deported from Slovakia a few day prior arrive within Auschwitz-Birkenau.
29 March 1942: Reinhard Heydrich is severally wounded in an assassination attempt in Czechoslovakia. In France, the first trainload of Jews from Paris to Auschwitz begins.
10 April 1942: In an agreement with the Slovakian Prime Minister Vojtech Tuka, Heydrich agrees to take all of Slovakia's unwanted Jews with the provisio that the Slovakian government pay the Reich 500 Reichsmarks per Jew so as to cover costs of their removal.
20 April 1942: In Germany, Jews are forbidden to use public transport.
02 May 1942: Jews in the Netherlands are forced to wear the Star of David.
21 May 1942: The Jewish underground movement within the Warsaw Ghetto manage to get a letter to London claiming that the Germans were systematically murdering the Jewish population and that the Germans were using gas vans to help liquidate many Jews.
30 May 1942: The Italians open the Mamula concentration camp within Montenegro.
01 June 1942: In France and the Netherlands, the wearing of the Star of David becomes compulsory for the Jews. The Italians open the Monigo concentration camp in Italy.
02 June 1942: The BBC's European station broadcasts reports of the mass murder of Europe's Jews at the hands of the Nazis.
04 June 1942: Reinhardt Heydrich succumbs to his wounds and dies.
07 June 1942: German authorities in occupied France order all Jews over the age of six to wear the Star of David with the word 'Juif ' (Jew) on it.
09 June 1942: The mobile gassing vans are used in the Latvian capital, Riga, to liquidate the city’s Jews.
10 June 1942: In revenge for the assassination of Heydrich, the Czech village of Lidice is razed to the ground with all of its men executed and the women and children sent to concentration camps. Some of the children, whom the Nazis deemed could be Germanised were sent to live with German families within the Reich. All livestock, including family pets were destroyed.
11 June 1942: Michael Kitzelmann, a serving German officer who had been serving on the Eastern Front is executed by firing squad for making anti-Nazi comments in which he said,"If these criminals should win, I would have no wish to live any longer."
23 June 1942: At Auschwitz, the first batch of prisoners are systematically killed in the camp's gas chambers.
25 June 1942: The British daily newspaper the Daily Telegraph reported that, according to its sources, hundreds of thousands of Polish Jews had been murdered in such places as Chelmno.
26 June 1942: In the Ukraine, a German death squad shoots some 8,000 Jews from the Lwów Ghetto within the interior of the Janowska concentration camp, situated just on the outskirts of the city.
28 June 1942: In Croatia, the Italians open up the Molat concentration camp.
01 July 1942: In Holland, the German security police take control of the Dutch-run Westerbork concentration camp which had been set-up to hold German born Jews who was fled Germany to Holland prior to the war. The camp would now be used simply as a transit camp where Jews would be held for a short period before being shipped off to the east.
10 July 1942: In a cable to Adolf Eichmann, he was asked what is to be done with the 4,000 children held at the Drancy concentration campcamp. He replies by stating that as soon as transportation can be dispatched to the east, "transports of children would be able to roll." A later cable from Eichmann's office determined the children would be transported to Auschwitz.
14 July 1942: Jews from the occupied Low Countries (Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg) are deported to the death camps in the east.
15 July 1942: First transports of French Jews leave France for the east.
21 July 1942: After a string of rumours about an appending 'action', Adam Czerniaków, chairman of the Warsaw Ghetto's Judenrat (Jewish Council) is held along with his wife by the Germans. He is later released.
23 July 1942: Treblinka opens up its doors and begins to systematically murder the Jews deported from the Warsaw ghetto.
23 July 1942: Adam Czerniaków, Chairman of the Jewish council within the Warsaw ghetto commits suicide rather than continue to assist the Germans in the deportations of the Ghetto's Jewish population. Mark Lichtenbaum replaces him as chairman and begins assisting SS-Sturmbannführer (Major) Hermann Höfle, who had set up his headquarters inside the ghetto on Leszno Street, in clearing the ghetto of Jews. Over the next few weeks many of the Jewish Order police, which helped the Germans to round up their co-religionists became regarded as beasts as they beat and stole from their fellow captives.
01 August 1942: Adolf Eichmann instructs the SD in Brussels that all stateless Jews from Belgium are to be deported. The final destination of these Jews is Auschwitz.
05 August 1942: Dr Korczak, leads 200 children from the orphanage within the Warsaw ghetto to the Umschlagplatz (collection point) to await deportation and death.
20 August 1942: Hitler appoints Dr Karl Brandt as General Commissioner of the Führer for Health and Sanitation. Jozef Szerynski, Commander of the Jewish ghetto police (Order Service) is shot and wounded by a member of the Jewish resistance organisation ZOB (Zydowska Organizacja Bejowa) for collaborating with the Germans.
23 August 1942: German 6th Army begins its assault on Stalingrad.
26 - 28 August 1942: In Vichy France, some 7,000 Jews are seized and handed over to the Germans for deportation to the east.
26 August 1942: in Bulgaria, Jews are ordered to wear the Star of David.
18 September 1942: In Germany, food rations for the Jewish population is greatly reduced.
22 September 1942: The entire 6th Army, some 200,000 men underthe command of General von Paulus are completely encircled by Soviet troops at Stalingrad.
24 September 1942: As part of the ongoing actions within France to deport non-French Jews, the French police round up some 1,594 Romanian Jews.
07 October 1942: The United Kingdom government alongside the United States government announce that a United Nations War Crimes Commission is to be set up with the sole purpose of collecting evidence of war crimes and to ensure that all accused of such activities would one day be to justice.
18 October 1942: Hitler issues his 'Commando Order' which stipulated that all British commandos or parachutists apprehended by the Wehrmacht were to be immediately handed over to the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) for liquidation.
27 October 1942: The roundup of all adult male Jews in Norway begins.
29 October 1942: In Pinsk, some 16,000 Jews are murdered by the Nazis.
05 November 1942: The German Afrika Korps suffers a massive defeat at the Battle of El Alamein as Erwin Rommel orders his Axis forces to begin retreating. In France and in collaboration with the Germans, the French police seize some 1,060 Greek Jews for deportation east.
08 November 1942: The Allied forces in North Africa invade Morocco and Algeria which was still under the control of France.
11 November 1942: In response to the Allies moving into French Morocco and Algeria the Germans occupy Vichy France.
16 November 1942: German Gypsies are deported to Auschwitz.
17 November 1942: Adolf Eichmann sends a letter to the Foreign Ministry requesting that Bulgaria be approached so that deportation of Bulgarian Jewry can begin, "as part of the process of the general solution of the European Jewish problem."
25 November 1942: Adolf Eichmann’s office informs the commander of the SD in Oslo that all Norwegian Jews are to be deported to Auschwitz.
26 November 1942: In Norway, the Germans alongside their Norwegian collaborators begin the deportations of the country's Jewish population. Some 532 men, women and children are shipped off to Auschwitz onboard the cargo ship SS Donau with a further 26 from Oslo onboard the passenger ship the MS Monte Rosa.
31 December 1942: The 'Bakar' concentration camp in Yugoslavia is opened.
02 January 1943: Friedrich von Bodelschwingh, from the Bethel psychiatric hospital contacts Dr Karl Brandt after hearing rumours that all patients, within all Reich institutions will have to be registered and those lists be sent to Brandt's office. Bodelschwingh, wanted clarification and if they were planning to restart the euthanasia programme. Bodelschwingh warned Brandt that local people and families would find out and adviced him against such a policy.
14-24 January 1943: Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt and General Charles de Gaulle representing the Free French, attend a conference at Casablanca, Free French Morocco, to discuss the next phase of the war. Due to the ongoing battle at Stalingrad, Joseph Stalin decided not to attend. It was at this conference that the leaders agreed that there would be no separate peace treaties signed with Nazi Germany, and that all were all unanimous in calling for the unconditional surrender of Germany.
18-22 January 1943: A revolt begins in the Warsaw Ghetto against the deportations to Triblinka. With assistance from the Jewish Order Police, a raid is initiated within the ghetto which was designed to seize Jews without valid work papers. Thinking this was something bigger, a handful of members from the Jewish resistance movement (ZOB) opened fire on the Germans and their Jewish auxiliaries with whatever weapons they managed to lay their hands on. Most of the resistance fighters where gunned down but not before a dozen Germans had been killed, During and after this revolt, Jews began to prepare hidden bunkers in preparation for another revolt, and members of ZOB began secure more guns and grenades from fellow Polish resistance fighters. In Munich, brother and sister, Hans and Sophie Scholl, members of the White Rose group are arrested by the Gestapo for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets within a local university.
25 January 1943: Heinrich Himmler instructs the head of the SS Finance and Administration Head Office, Oswald Pohl, to begin experiments on inmates from within the concentration camp system, especially individuals from captured POWs who belonged to Mongol tribes. He wanted to see if dehydrated meats would have a positive or negative effect on those eating it, as it was believed that Genghis khan had used such methods to preserve food.
26 January 1943: Dr Karl Brandt speaks with SS-Oberstgruppenführer (colonel general) Karl Wolff requesting experiments be done using live human subjects from within the concentration camp system in an effort to assertain the possibility of doing extensive nutrition studies.
30 January 1943: Ernst Kaltenbrunner becomes the chief of the SD, the Security Police as well as the Reichssicherheitshauptamp (RSHA, Reich Central Security Office).
02 February 1943: The German 6th Army at Stalingrad is defeated by the Soviets.
22 February 1943: In Munich, students Hans and Sophie Scholl along with Christoph Probst, another member of the White Rose group are sentenced to death by the notorious Nazi judge, Roland Freisler. They are taken straight to the local prison and that afternoon, all three are guillotined. Himmler, not wanting to turn them into martyrs tried to get a stay of execution, but too late to save them. German security forces alongside their French counterparts launched 'Operation Tiger'. The operation's aim was halt resistance activities within the port of Marseilles. Thousands of Jews were rounded up as resistance activists as a result of the operation, and at least half of those netted were sent to the death camps in the east.
25 February 1943: The final deportation of Norway's Jews takes place as some 158 people board the ship MS Gutenland for Auschwitz.
27 February 1943: In Berlin Jews who had been working within the German armaments factories are put onto trains and sent to Auschwitz.
13 March 1943: The first new crematorium in Auschwitz is put into use.
20 March 1943: Obersrgruppenführer Karl Wolff finally responds to Dr Karl Brandt's letter dated 26 January and explains to him that they already understand nutritional requirements for the combat soldier, which they had gleaned from active field studies, and that no new information could be gained by using concentration camp inmates, also, concentration camp life would not be able to replicate the true conditions of field life. With this, Wolff rejected Brant's proposal. However, the SS did in fact carry out various nutritional experiments on prisoners within various camps, but it seems that they didn't like the thought of Brandt meddling in their affairs and therefore sent him packing.
23 March 1943: 10 day deportations of Jews from Greece to the death camps begin.
05 April 1943: The German pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer is arrested by the Nazis for anti-Nazi activities.
19 April 1943: Jewish resistance inside the Warsaw Ghetto is finally crushed; remainder of Jews are rounded up and sent to Triblinka. The ghetto is destroyed by German troops.
May 1943: Doctor Joseph Mengele, now a Haupsturmführer (captain) is transferred Auschwitz as a chief medical officer.
13 May 1943: The final elements of the German Afrika Korps surrenders to the Allies in North Africa.
19 May 1943: Berlin is declared 'free of Jews'.
June 1943: Himmler orders that corpses buried in mass graves be dug up and cremated. This is the start of Himmler’s attempt to obliterate evidence of mass murder.
09 June 1943: The entire Jewish population on the Greek island of Corfu are held at the Old Fort within Corfu city prior to being shipped to mainland Greece, from there to Auschwitz.
19 June 1943: Himmler's proposal to liquidate the entire Jewish populations under the German sphere of influence and that not already being held within SS-controlled concentration camps is given the green light from Hitler.
09 July 1943: The Allied forces launch 'Operation Husky', the invasion of in Sicily.
13 July 1943: Professor Kurt Huber, a supporter of the White Rose student resistance group is beheaded for treason.
25 July 1943:. Mussolini is forced to resign from office, and taken into custody. The RAF launch 791 aircraft against Hamburg.
02 August 1943: Revolt of the slave labourers in Triblinka begins, with some 140 managing to flee to the nearby woods. However, fewer than 50 would avoid beIng captured in the subsequent manhunts.
10 August 1943: Hitler, in an attempt to keep domestic dissent of the regime at bay, appoints Heinrich Himmler as minister for the interior.
13 August 1943: In Munich, Alexander Schmorell Willi Graf and Professor Kurt Huber are executed for their role within the anti-Nazi White Rose group.
16 August 1943: The ghetto at Bialystok is liquidated.
17 August 1943: At a meeting in Berlin, attended by psychiatrists who had been actively involved in the T4 programme, were informed that the euthanasia pogramme was authorised to begin killing again.
18-19 August 1943: Some 8,000 Jews who had been deported from Bialystok are murdered within the gas chambers of Treblinka, afterwards, the camp is closed down.
20 August 1943: The ghetto of Glebokie (near Vilna, Belarus) is liquidated with its remaining inhabitants sent to the death camp is Majdanek.
21 August 1943: Eleven Jewish children and teenagers, from the ages of 7 to 15 years old, are transferred from Auschwitz to Sachsenhausen concentration camp to be used used as fodder for Dr Arnold Dohmen's experiments. Dohmen' told these children what he was planningto do with them, and promised them that their health is not at risk and that he wanted to test out a new vaccine that could fight against hepatitis (epatitis epidemica). These children would be deliberately infected with the disease and then given the vaccine to see if it works. The experiments would began sometime in October, but for unknown reasons, the experiments stopped suddenly. However, during a bombing raid by the Allies, the Robert-Koch Institute was heavily damaged and most of Dohmen's research work was lost. It is believed that Dohmen's conscience was playing on his mind and that could explain why he stopped the experiments on the children, who were still kept at Sachsenhausen. However, these experiments would be resumed in September 1944 when pressure to continue the research was put onto Dohmen.
25 August 1943: Wilhelm Frick, Reich Minister of the Interior is removed from his post and Heinrich Himmler is made his replacement. Konstantin von Neurath steps down as Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia after a long spell away.
03 September 1943: The Allies land on mainland Italy. Secret negotiations had been taken place between the General Pietro Badoglio, who was made Italian Premier after the arrest of Mussolini, and the Allies to end the war between Italy and the Allies.
05 September 1943: Hitler awards Dr Karl Brandt, extra powers which places him as the most powerful man within the German medical and health services within the Reich. His rival, Dr Leonardo Conti effectively becomes his subordinate with little influence over how the German health system is to be managed.
08 September 1943: The Bolzano concentration camp in Italy is opened.
09 September 1943: 'Operation Avalanche' the Allied landings near the port of Salerno is launched.
10 September 1943: The Germans seize control of Rome.
11 September 1943: The first Jewish families currently being held at the Theresientant concentration camp are sent to Auschwitz for liquidation.
13 September 1943: Benito Mussolini is rescued by Otto Skorzeny and his elite troops.
15 September 1943: The Kovno (Kaunus) ghetto is converted into a concentration camp.
22 September 1943: Generalkommissar for Weißruthenien (area included Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the western region of Byelorussia) Wilhelm Kube is assassinated by Soviet partisans after they had planted a bomb within his bedroom.
23 September 1943: The Vilna ghetto is liquidated.
01 October 1943: The Allies enter the Italian city of Naples. The German security police in Denmark begin an 'Aktion' to round up the country's Jews. However, the planned assault on the Jewish communities was leaked to a sympathetic Danish official by a sympathetic German diplomat who in turn leaked it to the Jewish leadership, and with Sweden promising an open-door policy, most of the country's Jews managed to pay mariners to take them by boat to sanctuary in Sweden. Thousands were saved whilst only five hundred and eighty Jews had fell into German hands. Denmark became the only country within Europe, where the Germans had influence, to actively refuse to persecute the country's Jews and then went on to help them survive.
04 October 1943: Heinrich Himmler gives a major speech to high ranking SS personnel and other leading Nazis in the German occupied town of Posen, Poland. In his speech he stated: "Today I am going to refer quite frankly to a very brave chapter. We can mention it now among ourselves quite openly and yet we shall never talk about it in public. I'm referring to the evacuation of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish people. Most of you will know what it is like to see one hundred corpses lying side by side or five hundred or, one thousand of them. To have coped with this and - except for cases of human weakness - to have remained decent, that has made us tough. This is an unwritten - never to be written - and yet glorious page in our history."
13 October 1943: Italy declares war on its former ally 'Germany'.
16 October 1943: German security police seize over a 1,000 Jews in Rome. Soon after this raid, the Germans carried out further raids against Italy's Jewish populations throughout the areas under their control. Throughout these raids on Italian soil, Pope Pius XII remained silent.
18 October 1943: Jews from Rome are deported by train to Auschwitz.
21 October 1943: The Germans liquidate the ghetto in Minsk.
30 October 1943: The Declaration of Moscow is signed between President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. The document took note of the atrocities committed by Hitler's forces, and that they would not go unpunished. Those guilty of such crimes would be sent back to the country from which the atrocities took place to stand trial. Others would face a joint Allied tribunal. There would be a further three Moscow declarations issued later.
03–04 November 1943: The SS launch 'Operation Harvest Festival' where some 43,000 Jewish slave labourers held within concentration camps are liquidated.
06 November 1943: The Soviets retake Kiev from the Germans.
November 1943: Rudolf Hoess, the Commandant of Auschwitz is promoted to head the Economics and Administrative Main Office in Berlin.
09 Nov 1943: First deportations of Italian Jews to Auschwitz Begins.
19 November 1943: Polish medical student Jerzy Tabeau along with fellow Pole, Roman Cieliczko escape from Auschwitz.
19- 25 November 1943: At Buchenwald concentration camp, five prisoners were deliberately burnt with phosphorus which had been removed from British bombs. The purpose was to test a new ointment which had been made strictly for phosphorus burn victims. The prisoners subjected to such brutal experiments suffered huge amounts of pain, and all would be dead by the end of the experiments.
27 November 1943: The Sonderkommando (Jewish forced labour) in one of the crematoriums within Auschwitz-Birkenau revolt and the crematorium is destroyed in the process.
03 January 1944: The Soviets reach Poland.
19 January 1944: German siege of Leningrad is broken.
22 January 1944: In Italy, to bypass the German defensive line, the Allies land at Anzio.
03 February 1944: Roland Freisler, known as the hanging Judge is killed in Berlin whilst presiding over a trial during an air raid by American bombers.
20 March 1944: German troops cross into Hungary so as to keep the Hungarians part of the Axis forces.
07 April 1944: Two Slovakian inmates, Walter Rosenberg (known as Rudolf Vrba) and Alfred Wetzler begin their planned escape from Auschwitz by hiding in a pre-dugout hollow within a woodpile within the perimeter of the camp known as 'Mexico' which was itself outside the camp's main perimeter fences. To prevent the guard dogs being able to sniff them out, a mixture of paraffin and tobacco were smeared over the wood pile. They would remain there for a couple of days before trying to make it to safety as they knew a tight cordon would be put into place for at least three days in an effort to catch them.
09 April 1944: Two Jews escape from Auschwitz.
14 April 1944: The Nazis send the first transport of Athens Jews to be liquidated at Auschwitz.
April 1944 Dr Karl Brandt is promoted to the rank of Gruppenführer and General Lieutenant within the Waffen-SS.
22 April 1944: The Soviets invade Romania.
24 April 1944: Walter Rosenberg and Alfred Wetzler, the two escapees from Auschwitz meet up with a Slovakian resistance group after they cross into Slovakia, and then met fellow Jews who listened intently to what they had to say and then they were asked to write down their testimonies separately concerning what they had witnessed at Auschwitz as well as what they knew. What they wrote became known as the 'Vrba-Wetzler Report' which took up some thirty-two pages. They also handed over Zyklon-B labels to show which gas was being used to murder the people.
02 May 1944: Erich Knauf, a former publicist and journalist and an outspoken critic of the Nazis is executed after calling Joseph Goebbels a little rat, and for claiming that Himmler only kept his job because of the amount of people he is murdered daily, he even stated that if Germany won the war, it would be the greatest misfortune.
15 May 1944: Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz.
27 May 1944: The Polish Jew Czesław Mordowicz and Arnošt Rosin escape from Auschwitz. Their written record of what was happening within Birkenau became part of what was dubbed 'The Auschwitch Protocols'.
04 June 1944: The Germans evacuate their troops from Rome and the city is taken over by US troops.
06 June 1944: Allied landings on the Normandy beaches begins.
09 June 1944: Heinrich Himmler tells Dr Brandt that he had received a letter from Gauleiter Koch requesting his assistance in euthanizing a four year old child by the name of Rüdiger Poeck, who was suffering from incurable meningitis. (It is not known if Poeck was admitted into one the clinics to be euthanized)
10 June 1944: Elements of the Das Reich Panzer Division (Der Führer Regiment of the 2nd Waffen-SS Panzer Division) murder 642 men, women and children from the French town of Oradour-sur-Glane and then went on to completely destroy the town itself. Those not killed were sent to concentration camps. The reason for the atrocity is still unclear.
10-12 July 1944: The SS liquidate the Jewish family camp (BIIb) within Birkenau by sending some 7,000 men, women and children to the gas chambers within crematorium 5.
12 June 1944: The Germans launch their first V-1 rockets against the UK.
23 June 1944: Three members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visit the ghetto at Theresienstadt. What they saw was a healthy and vibrant community of Jews living within the walls, boys playing football, shops full of food and wares, a bandstand and old people enjoying the rays from the Sun, however it was all a whitewash designed to placate the ICRC. The members of the ICRC made no attempt to ask any member of the Jewish Council, such as Paul Eppstein where the previous inhabitants where, or what they knew about the violent deportations. In the report produced by the ICRC later expressed no concerns and the deportations and killings started up again.
03 July 1944: The Soviet army retake Minsk from the Germans.
04 - 06 July 1944: In Germany, the Gestapo arrest former members of the Social Democratic Party and known Communists.
11 July 1944: Soviet armies enter the Baltic countries of Latvia and Lithuania as they continue to push the Germans back.
20 July 1944: Major plot to assassinate Hitler fails at his headquarters at Rastenburg. Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg had placed a bomb within the briefing room where Hitler was discussing the war with his Generals. Hitler suffered minor injuries, but was well enough to meet Benito Mussolini later that same day. As a result of the attempted assassination, Hitler's paladins acted swiftly. Stauffenberg along with other leading members of the plot were summarily executed and others connected to the conspiracy were arrested alongside their families. Many of them would pay with their lives in a brutal fashion.
23 July 1944: Soviet troops liberate Majdanek death camp in Poland.
24 July 1944: The Ear, nose and throat specialist, Erwin Giesing, the doctor who had been called in to help treat Hitler after the failed assassination attempt, picked up two tables from Hitler's breakfast table. Those tablets were allegedly being prescribed by Dr Morell to the führer for some time now. Later, these tablets were soon analysed and it was discovered that they contained traces of strychnine and belladonna. As it turned out, Hitler had been consuming about eight tablets per day. Once Dr Brant found out, he took the information straight to Hitler himself, accusing Dr Morell of poisoning him. They requested that Hitler supply them with blood some urine so as to confirm their accusation, but Dr Morrel managed to prevent Hitler's blood and urine from being examined.
01 August 1944: The Polish underground rise up against their German occupiers in Warsaw. Stalin refuses to aid them in their fight against the Germans, on account that they support the Polish government in exile in London, and because of the lack of support from the Red Army, the Germans quash the uprising and then begin to systematically destroy the city in retaliation. Stalin, it seems, has other plans for Poland. The Red Army liberates Kovno. Anne Frank unknowingly makes her last entry in her diary.
02 August 1944: The Nazis close-down the gypsy family camp (BIIe) within Birkenau by sending 2,897 of them to the gas chambers.
02 - 03 Aug 1944: The Nazis close-down the gypsy family camp (BIIe) within Birkenau by sending 2,897 of them to the gas chambers at Crematoria 5. The rest, 1,408 are transferred to Buchenwald.
04 August 1944: In Amsterdam, Anne Frank along with her father Otto, mother Edith, her sister Margot, the van Pels (Hermann, Auguste and their son Peter) and Fritz Pfeffer are discovered in their hiding place (the Secret Annex - an empty storage room at the back her father's office at 263 Prinsengracht) and arrested.
06 August 1944: Jews remaining in the Lodz ghetto are finally deported to Auschwitz.
15 August 1944: The Allies land troops in Southern France.
18 August 1944: The Dutch resistance fighter Henri Scharrer, codenamed 'Sandberg' is arrested by the Gestapo whilst travelling on the train from Haarlem to the Hague.
20 August 1944: American bombers attack Auschwitz-Monowitz (Auschwitz III).
23 August 1944: The Fascist government in Romania is brought down and replaced by the 'National Democratic Bloc', which quickly disassociates itself with Nazi Germany and it makes contact with the Soviet Union to bring it's participation in the war on Hitler's side to an end.
25 August 1944: General Dr Gaulle officially liberates Paris. Dr Karl Brandt is appointed as Reich Commissioner
26 August 1944: The anti-Nazi German diplomat Otto Karl Kiep, who had been accused of treason by attending the Solf Kreis (Solf Circle) meetings is executed in Plötzensee Prison in Berlin.
28 August 1944: The last Jewish transport arrives in Auschwitz from the Lodz ghetto - On board was Mordecai Chaim Rumkowski, the corrupt Chairman of the ghetto along with his family - they all went straight to the gas chambers with all the other Jews selected for death.
Sept 1944: (see 21 August 1943) Dr Arnold Dohmen restarts his experiments on the 11 children at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The children were isolated from other prisoners. They were injected with hepatitis and carefully monitored. He also chose two of the children and performed liver punctures to see if they had been infected by hepatitis.
03 September 1944: The Allies liberate Brussels.
04 September 1944: Finland negotiates an armistice with the Soviet Union.
08 September 1944: Germany launches their first V-2 rockets against the UK. Elizabeth von Thadden, anti-Nazi and a member of the resistance group known as the Solf Kreis (Solf Circle) is executed for treason.
09 September 1944: Bulgaria negotiates an armistice with the Allies. Finland signed an armistice with the Soviet Union.
12 September 1944:. First allied troops penetrate German territory for the first time in the West.
13 September, 1944 : Auschwitz-Monowitz (Auschwitz III) is bombed by the American air force.
17 September 1944: Operation Market Garden begins with Allied airborne landings at Arnhem with the aim of seizing key bridges across the river Meuse, Rhine and Waal. The operation is a massive failure.
19 September 1944: Hans-Adolf Prützmann is appointed made Generalinspekteur für Spezialabwehr (General Inspector of Special Defense) by Heinrich Himmler. In this role he would be involved in the setting up and training of resistance fighters known as 'Werewolfs' which would be used against enemy troops on German soil.
27 September 1944: Hitler, suffering from fatigue and suffering from a jaundice infection, is forced to recuperate by taking some bed rest.
02 October 1944: The Warsaw Uprising finally comes to an end after 63 days of fighting. The Germans begin to raise Warsaw to the ground. Adolf Eichmann rejects the Swedish attempt at saving 60 Jewish spouses of mixed marriages.
03 October 1944: Dr Brandt accuses Dr Morell of poisoning the führer. Dr Morell complains about Brandt to Hitler.
08 October 1944: Adolf Hitler informs Dr Morell that Dr Brant has been permanently dismissed from his side and instructed to concentrate on his job as Reich Commissioner.
06 - 07 Oct 1944: The Jewish prisoners of the Sonderkommando working at the Crematoria IV, Auschwitz revolt after they believed that they were about to 'selected' for liquidation. They managed to destroy the crematoria and a couple of barrack rooms. Other prisoners within Crematoria II seized a hold of a Kapo (fellow prisoner who acted as a supervisor for the SS) and threw him alive into one of the furnaces. The SS soon quell the uprising but not before at least 200 prisoners managed to escape. The prisoners were all eventually caught and killed.
14 October 1944: To protect his family, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel commits suicide after being linked to the July Plot to assassinate Hitler. Rommel had refused to take part in the plot itself, but this fact did not save him.
15 October 1944: The Hungarian fascist group, the 'Arrow Cross' seizes power after Horthy had broadcasted a message that he was taking his country out of the alliance with Germany.
20 October 1944: The Soviets capture Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
20 November 1944: With the steady advance of the Red Army towards the Prussian soil, Hitler leaves the Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair) for the last time.
26 November 1944: Heinrich Himmler, in an effort to destroy the evidence of mass murder, orders the destruction of the crematoria at Auschwitz.
28 October 1944: The last train full of Jews leaves the Theresienstadt ghetto for Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Nov 1944: Death marches begin in Eastern Europe as the SS force thousands of starved and disease-ridden concentration camp inmates westward, in an attempt to prevent them falling into Soviet hands.
16 December 1944: In a desparate attempt to regain the initiative, Hitler launches this last gambit, the Ardennes Offensive, known as The Battle of the Bulge.
17 December 1944: Eighty-six US prisoners of war are murdered at Baugnez, near Malmédy in Belgium, by members of SS-Standartenführer Joachim Pieper's battle group (Kampfgruppe) during Hitler's Ardennes offensive.
18 December 1944: The US launch another bombing raid against Auschwitz-Monowitz (Auschwitz III).
26 December 1944: The Red Army begin to lay siege to Hungarian capital of Budapest. The Americans bomb Auschwitz-Monowitz (Auschwitz III) for the last time.
31 December 1944: Hungary declares war on Germany.
January 1945: Joseph Mengele leaves Auschwitz to avoid the advancing Soviet army.
14 January 1945: Soviet armies invade East Prussia.
18 January 1945: The Nazis begin a forced march of prisoners from Auschwitz to Germany. Soviet troops enter Warsaw. Soviet troops free some 80,000 Jews who had been held in Budapest.
20 January 1945: The Hungarian government signs an armistice with the Soviet Union.
23 January 1945: Erwin Planck, anti-Nazi and member of the resistance against the Hitler regime is executed at Plötzensee Prison for treason.
25 January 1945: The Germans at the Stutthof concentration camp begin to evacuate the prisoners, via a forced march towards the Reich in a effort to flee from the advancing Soviet army, however, some 5,000 prisoners from the camp's sub-camps are taken to the Baltic coast where they are murdered.
27 January 1945: Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz.
13 February 1945: The Hungarians and their German allies within the besieged city of Budapest surrender. Some 38,000 civilians lay dead as a result of the siege.
03 March 1945: Finland declares war on Germany.
07 March 1945: American troops cross the Rhine using the bridge at Remagen. Eva Braun arrives in Berlin to spend her remaining days with Hitler.
12 March 1945: With the war unwinnable, the SS-Reichsführer signs an agreement (Himmler-Kersten Agreement) behind Hitler's back with his personal physical therapist Dr. Felix Kerstin within the Hohenlychen sanatorium in Lychen (Flößerstadt), town in the Uckermark district, in Brandenburg, Germany, where Himmler agrees to stop the Jews, and a promise to treat them like all other prisoners. He also agreed to surrender all the concentration camps intact. The Swedish Red Cross would also be allowed to send individual Jewish prisoners food parcels.
23 March 1945: British and American troops in Operation Plunder cross the Rhine river at Rees and Wesel and head for the Ruhr.
24 March 1945: The US-appointed Lord Mayor of Aachen is assassinated by members of the German resistance group known as the 'Werewolves.'
29 March 1945: Hitler appoints Lt-General Hans Krebs as head of the General Staff after dismissing Heinz Guderian from the role.
30 March 1945: The Commander of the Allied 3rd Armoured Division, General Maurice Rose is assassinated by Werewolf resistance members in Paderborn, Germany.
09 April 1945: Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin, a vocal opponent of Hitler and the Nazis and who had allowed his country estate home to be used for resistance meetings is beheaded at Plötzensee Prison.
10 April 1945: Buchenwald concentration camp is liberated by American troops.
11 April 1945: The US Army reach Magdeburg.
12 April 1945: President Roosevelt dies and the Vice President, Harry S. Truman assumes the Presidency.
13 April 1945: The Soviets occupy Vienna.
15 April 1945: Bergen- Belsen concentration camp is liberated by British troops. General Wenck, using the the remnants of his Twelfth Army launch an unsuccessful counter-attack against the US 83rd Infantry Division near Zerbst. Hitler rages against his personal doctor Karl Brandt after hearing that he was planning to move himself and his family to Thüringa which was about to fall to American forces, he suspects Brandt if defeatism and orders Martin Bormann to investigate the matter.
16 April 1945: The Soviets begin their final push to Berlin. Dr Karl Brandt is arrested and driven to a flat in Beelitz belonging to SS-Gruppenführer Heinrich Müller, head of the Gestapo. He was being accused of defeatism and by deliberately moving his family closer to the advancing Americans so that they would fall into their hands, and thus find safety. Karl Brandt is found guilty of defeatism after a tribunal chaired by Axmann was convened to investigate his plans to move himself and his family towards the advancing Americans, however, the sentence was never carried out.
17 April 1945: A court martial is convened against Dr Karl Brant within Joseph Goebbels apartment in Hermann-Göring-Srasser and which would be led by Goebbels himself. Hitler had personally accused Brandt of treachery and thus sealed the decision of the court martial. Goebbels and the rest of the court sanctioned that Brandt to put to death.
18 April 1945: Dr Karl Brandt is transferred to the Gestapo prison in Potsdam. Brandt was informed that he would be shot some time in the morning, however the execution doesn't take place as it postponed so that the court concerned can take a statement from another witness, Paul Rostock, who was an associate of Brandt's. As the Soviets moved closer to Berlin, Himmler had transferred to northern Germany. Later, Brandt's friend, Albert Speer contacts the officers who were holding Brandt, claiming to be speaking on behalf of Heinrich Himmler and instructing them that under no circumstances should Brandt be executed. Believing Speer, the Gestapo took Brandt with them further north to avoid falling into Soviet hand.
20 April 1945: Dr Karl Brandt's office of the General Commissioner of the Führer for Health and Sanitation is dissolved.
21 April 1945: Field Marshal Model commits suicide after his army group surrenders to the Allies.
23 April 1945: Hermann Goring sends Hitler a message asking the Fuehrer to allow him to take over the reigns of government seeing that he (Hitler) was trapped in Berlin by the Russians. Hitler reacts by ordering Goring’s arrest for treason. Himmler meets secretly with the Swedish Red Cross. Himmler, claiming for himself, the powers of the Fuehrer, proposed to contact the Western Allies with the offer of a ceasefire. Thus allowing the fight to continue on the Eastern Front. The Allies reject the offer.
24 April 1945: The Red Army completes its encirclement of Berlin. Obersrgruppenführer Dr Ernst-Robert Grawitz, commits suicide in Berlin after his request to leave Berlin was turned down.
25 April 1945: The Western Allies turn down a request for a surrender of all German troops fighting in the West, with the aim to continue to fight against the Soviet Union by Heinrich Himmler. American and Soviet troops meet for the first time at Torgau, on the Elbe. The broadcasting station in Berlin finally goes off air.
26 April 1945: In Berlin telephone lines to the outside world are cut.
27 April 1945: Heinrich Himmler's laison officer at Führer headquarters Hermann Fegelein leaves Hitler's bunker in Berlin without permission.
28 April 1945: Dachau concentration camp near Munich is liberated by American troops. Hitler learns of Himmler’s secret negotiations with the Western Allies and flies into a rage. He orders Himmler’s arrest. Mussolini and his mistress, Claretta Petacci,are brutally beaten and executed and their bodies hung upside down in the Piazza Loreto in Milan. Hermann Fegelein, Himmler's laison officer at the Führer headquarters is arrested and sentenced to death by a court martial for attempting to flee Berlin, he is taken taken into a nearby street and shot.
29 April 1945: Hitler Marries Eva Braun. After the wedding he summons his secretary and begins dictating his last will and testament. In it he strips Goring and Himmler of all offices and titles. Admiral Donitz is named President of the Reich and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Goebells is given the Post of Chancellor and Martin Borman that of Party Minister.
30 April 1945: Hitler and his newlywed commit suicide after having a light meal of spaghetti in a light sauce. The bodies are taken to the gardens above and cremated.
01 May 1945: Goebells tries to broker a ceasefire with the Russians and after he refuses their proposals he orders that his children be poisoned and then he and his wife commit suicide. His body is taken out of the shelter were it is set on fire. The Russian would later remove the charred remains of Goebells for identification. In Germany, Field Marshal von Runstedt is captured by the Allies.
02 May 1945: At 4am, a new German delegation reaches the Russian side and begs the Russian commander, Zhukov for an end to hostilities. Hans Fritzsche, now Director of the Propaganda Ministry, informs Zhukov that Dr Goebells is no longer among the living. At approximately the guns fall silent at 1500hrs. The new Reich government under Karl Doenitz tries to keep the government going post-Hitler at Flensburg-Mürwick, Schleswig-Holstein. The Red Cross take over the concentration camp at Theresientant.
An SS officer is sent to Rendsburg by the new German government under Karl Dönitz, where Karl Brandt was being held, and ordered his release. Brandt travel to Flensburg, where the new government was located.
The German armed forces within Italy and Austria lay down their arms and surrender to the Western Allies.
04 May 1945: German forces within Northern Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark surrender to the Western Allies. American forces liberate Mauthausen concentration camp.
05 May 1945: The German armed forces within Norway surrenders to the Allies.
07 May 1945: Germany's unconditional surrender is signed at Reims by Gen. Alfred Jodl.
08 May 1945: Victory in Europe (VE) day. The war in Europe is officially over.
09 May 1945: In a separate meeting, Field Marshal Keitel and the Soviet Marshal Georgi K. Zhukov sign Germany's unconditional surrender in Berlin. Higher SS and Police Leader for the Rhenish Palatinate and Hesse-Nassau, Jürgen Stroop gives himself up to the Americans .
11/12 May 1945: Higher SS and Police leader Hans-Adolf Prützmann is captured by British troops alongside other officers at Hohenlied near Eckernforde. He would later die in custody.
19 May 1945: The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill finally orders the arrest of Admiral Karl Dönitz's government in Flensburg.
23 May 1945: The entire Dönitz government, including Dr Karl Brandt is arrested by the Allies, thus signalling an end to the Third Reich. Himmler commits suicide under the very noses of his British guards. Dr Karl Brandt, Leonardo Conti and Albert Speer are also arrested.
June 1945: US intelligence officers discover a hoard of papers belonging to Heinrich Himmler hidden alongside stolen art treasures and rare books within a salt mine in Hallain, near Salzburg. Some of these documents were used against leading Nazis at Nuremberg, especially Dr Karl Brandt.
15 June 1945: Hitler's Foreign Minister, von Ribbentrop is captured by British troops.
15 August 1945: In France, Field Marshal Petain, leader of the Vichy government and Nazi collaborator is found guilty of high treason and is sentenced to death, however, General De Gaulle reprieves Petain on the account of his age.
20 August 1945: In Oslo, Norway, the Nazi collaborator Vidkur Quisling goes on trial accused of high treason .
06 October 1945: Dr Leonardo Conti, Hitler's Reich Health Leader and active member of the T4 Euthanasia Pogramme commits suicide awaiting trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
19 October 1945: In France, Joseph Darnand, the pro-Nazi leader and collaborator of the French militia is executed for high treason.
15 October 1945: Pierre Laval, the French Nazi collaborator and members of the Vichy government is executed for high treason.
24 October 1945: In Norway, pro-Nazi collaborator, Vidkun Quisling is executed for treason.
01 November 1945: The British Intelligence officer Hugh Trevor-Roper submits his report on the last days of Hitler. It concluded that Hitler, alongside his new bride, Eva Braun committed suicide within the bunker under the Reich's Chancellery.
20 November 1945- October 1946: The Nuremberg Trials begin. Twenty-two high-ranking officials from the Third Reich stand trial as war criminals. Hermann Goreing is just one of these top officials to face the court.
13 December 1945: Irma Ida IIse Grese, female guard at Ravensbrück Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen Belsen is hanged in Hemelin prison within Lower Saxony, Germany for her crimes committed as a guard. Also executed that day for her crimes committed at Ravensbrück, Auschwitz and Belsen was Oberaufseherin (Chief Senior Overseer) Elisabeth Volkenrath (née Mühlau) who had been known as the 'Witch of Auschwitz.
11 March 1946: Rudolf Hoess, ex-commandant of Auschwitz is arrested by the British.
20 June 1946: In Poznan, Poland Arthur Greiser, Hitler's plenipotentiary for the Polish Warthegaue, is executed for crimes against the Polish people.
04 July 1946: In Kielce, Poland, some 42 Jews are murdered in a pogrom. This was a wake-up call for those Jews considering remaining in post-war Poland and it started Jewish exodus.
16 October 1946: Ernst Kaltenbrunner, is hanged after being found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials. Fritz Saukel Germany's plenipotentiary for labour (1942-1945) is hanged after being found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Julius Streicher, founder and editor of this anti-Jewish paper 'Der Stürmer' is hanged after being found guilty of crimes against humanity. Alfred Jodl, Fritz Sauckel and Hans Frank are also executed for war Crimes.
09 December 1946: United States of America v. Karl Brandt, et al (The Doctors Trial) begins within the Palace of Justice, Nuremberg begins.
20 August 1947: United States of America v. Karl Brandt at el (the Doctors Trial) ends.
07 April 1947: Rudolf Hoess, waa hanged at Auschwitz, for crimes committed during his time as the Commandant at Auschwitz.
14 May 1948: The British mandate over Palestine ends at midnight and with that, the 'Jewish People's Council' approved the declaration which established the State of Israel as an independent country.
02 June 1948: Dr Karl Brandt, the first condemned prisoner in the Doctors Trial is taken to the gallows, wearing a red prison shirt (all war criminals condemned to death in Landsberg prison wore them prior to execution) and at 10.10 a.m is executed. Then followed Joachim Mrugowsky who was Chief of Hygiene Institute of the Waffen-SS, who had carried out experiments on concentration camp inmates at Sachsenhausen. SS-Gruppenführer Karl Franz Gerhard, Himmler's personal physician and head of the German Red Cross is hanged. Closely followed by Standartenführer (colonel) Wolfram Sievers; Oberführer (senior colonel) Viktor Brack; Haupsturmführer Waldemar Given; and finally, Himmler's personal adjutant Rudolf Brandt is hanged.
01 June 1960: Paula Hitler (Hitler's sister, but had lived under the name 'Wolf' even when Hitler was Chancellor) dies In Bavaria.
11 April 1961: The trial of Adolf Eichmann begins in Israel.
11 December 1961: Adolf Eichmann is found guilty of crimes against the Jewish people as well as crimes against humanity.
31 May 1962: Adolf Eichmann is hanged in Israel and his ashes dumped within the Mediterranean sea.
20 December 1963: Frankfurt Trials begin. (Also known as the Auschwitz Trials) These trials were held at Frankfurt am Main, West Germany. The role of the court was to try chief SS officers who served at the extermination camp of Auschwitz.
30 September 1966: Baldur von Schirach, is released from Spandau prison in Berlin after serving a sentence for crimes against humanity at Nuremberg.
22 December 1970: Franz Stangl, ex-commandant of Sobibor and Treblinka, and a member of the T4 Euthanasia Pogramme is sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Düsseldorf, West Germany.
28 June 1971: Franz Stangl dies of a heart attack whilst in prison in West Germany.
09 August 1973: Dr Ernst Wentzler, one of the three men who decided the fate of Nazi Germany's handicapped children during the T4 Euthanasia Pogramme dies.
30 April 1981: Professor Werner Catel, one of the three men who decided the fate of Nazi Germany's handicapped children during the T4 Euthanasia Pogramme dies.
04 February 1983: The psychiatrist Hans Heinze, one of the three men who decided the fate of Nazi Germany's handicapped children dies.
June 1985: In Embu, Brazil, the authorities exhume the corpse of Peter Gerhard after evidence had pointed to the fact that Gerhard was actually Joseph Mengele, aka the Angel of Death of Auschwitz. Gerhard had drowned, due to a heart attack at a beach at Bertioga, Brazil few years earlier. Later the skeletal remains were positively identified as Joseph Mengele.
04 July 1998: Kurt Hubert Franz, ex-commandant of Treblinka dies in Germany.
06 July 2000: The Polish pianist, Władysław Szpilman dies. Szpilman, a Jew who survived the horrors of the Warsaw Ghetto, and after escaping from the ghetto he was hidden by friends and later avoided narrowly being killed during the Warsaw Uprising, and finally, with the help of a German officer, Captain Wilm Hosenfeld (who was himself later captured by the advancing Soviets and died in captivity in 1952) he managed to hide out until the Red Army and their Polish contingent liberated Warsaw. In 1952, Szpilman finally discovered the name of the officer who helped hide him and gave him food, but tried in vain to save Hosenfeld in return. In January 2003, the film about Szpilman [The Pianist] was released in the UK, highlighting his struggles during the Holocaust, with Adrien Brody playing Szpilman and Thomas Kretschmann played Hosenfeld.
01 November 2005: the General Assembly of the United Nations officially adopts the 27th January as International Holocaust Memorial Day.
15 July 2015: An ex-SS guard, Oskar Groening, aka the Bookkeeper of Auschwitz is convicted in a German court of being an accessory to the murder of some 300,000 people within the compounds of Auschwitz. He was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment. Groening was only 17 years old when he arrived in Auschwitz and given the role as a clerk, counting the money stolen from the victims. When holocaust deniers began to speak out, Groening spoke out against them by confirming that Auschwitz and other camps like it where in fact factories of death, designed like a human abattoir, a place to slaughter defenceless human beings, regardless of age or sex.