Holocaust Time Line

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This Time-Line is Still Under Construction:


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 great.

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.

March 1933: First women’s concentration camp is opened at Gottezell.

1 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 in Berlin are boycotted.

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.

7 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.

15 April 1933: Hitler’s government introduces a ‘Numbers Clause’, which was aimed at restricting the percentage ( about 1 ½ % of the number of Aryans total enrolled) of Jewish students who could attend schools and Universities.

10 May 1933: The Burning of the Books take place all around Germany. Books written by Jews and other so-called undesirables are thrown onto a bonfire.

30 November 1933: Goring establishes autonomy of the Gestapo in Prussia and brings it under his control as Prime Minister of Prussia.

29 September 1933: German Jews are banned from owning land and from participating in all public activities.

5 Dec 1933: A Decree was passed which forced Doctors to inform on their patients who had hereditary diseases or chronic alcoholicism.



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

30 June 1934: Night of the Long Knives. Many SA leaders were killed or arrested on Hitler’s orders.

2 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.

7 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.

Oct 1934: The Gestapo set up a special unit to fight homosexuality at their Berlin HQ.

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.


1 Jan 1935: The administration of Justice is brought together across Germany thus bringing the Ministries under Central control.

20 June 1935: Himmler, after winning Hitler’s approval expands his concentration camp system.

1 April 1935: Jehovah Witnesses are banned in Germany. Jehovah Witnesses refused to give the Hitler salute and refused to be drafted into the armed forces.

18 Oct 1935: Hitler gives Himmler extra police powers. The main target of these powers is the Jewish community.

15 Sept 1935: Laws are passed 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. They were also known as the Nuremberg Laws.

1 November 1945: German Jews have their German citizenship removed.

6 Nov 1935: Himmler informs the Ministry of Justice of a Hitler Order which prevents them giving people held in protective custody access to lawyers.



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.

1 April 1936: All concentration camps and its guards are now funded from the Federal budget.

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.



19 July 1937: Buchenwald concentration camp is established.



13 March 1938: Germany annexes Austria.

April/May 1938: Flossenburg Concentration Camp is set up

25 June 1938: Jewish doctors are forbidden to treat non-Jews.

6-16 July 1938: An international conference at Evian, France, is held to discuss how to deal with the Jewish refugees fleeing Germany.

??? 1938: Himmler establishes the first of many SS-owned companies. The German Earth and Stone Works. He supplies these companies with slave labour from his concentration camps.

August 1938: Adolf Eichmann opens up a Jewish emigration office in Vienna as part of the SD’s policy of removing the Jewish element from Austrian society.

28 October 1938: The Nazi authorities expel Polish-born Jews from Germany.

7 November 1938: Herschel Grynszpan, a young Polish Jew, assonates 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.

9 Nov 1938: Kristallnacht (Crystal Night). Jewish synagogues are burned throughout Germany as well as Jewish businesses. Jews are attacked and beaten up or murdered.



24 January 1939: Hermann Goring instructs Reinhard Heydrich to prepare plans for the removal of all Jews from Germany through forced 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.

15 March 1939: Germany annexes Czechoslovakia, absorbing the provinces of Bohemia and Moravia into Germany.



1 Sept 1939: Germany invades Poland

3 Sept 1939: Britain and France declare war on Germany

8 Sept 1939: The first official news report of an execution is published. The story
tells that Johann Heinen was shot in the concentration camp of Sachenhausen the day before for refusing to work on a construction site. (Johann had been a convicted thief) Soon other stories of executions were printed in the German press.

9 Sept 1939: The Reich Minister of the Interior orders that all prostitutes be registered with the police.

21 September 1939: The Germans herd Poland’s Jews into ghettos

23 September 1939: German Jews forbidden to own radio sets.

27 Sept 1939: Himmler orders the creation of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) under Hydrich’s leadership.

6 October 1939: Hitler proclaims the isolation of the Jews.

12 October 1939: Hans Frank is appointed chief civilian officer for occupied Poland.

October 1939: The National Socialists start a forced "euthanasia" program aimed at removing Germanys mentally and physically handicapped citizens, including very young children.

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.



12 February 1940: First shipments of Germanys Jews are sent to the concentration camps and ghettos in the east.

9 April 1940: Germany invades Denmark and Norway.

1 May 1940: The Lodz ghetto, which contained some 160,000 Jewish inmates, is sealed off.

10 May 1940: Germany invades the Low Countries as a way to penetrate into France.

10 June 1940: Mussolini declares war on France and Britain.

June 1940: Auschwitz Extermination camp is opened.

22 June 1940: France signs a humiliating armistice with Germany.

15 August 1940: Adolf Eichmann ‘s Madagascar Plan (forced Jewish emigration to the island of Madagascar) is presented. Note: this plan was never implemented.

3 Oct 1940: Warsaw Ghetto established

22 October 1940:Jews from Baden, the Saar and Alace-Lorraine are deported.



6 April 1941: Germany invades Yugoslavian and then Greece. Pogroms against the local Jewish population are instigated.

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.

22 June 1941: Germany invades the Soviet Union, which is also known as Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. Like Yugoslavia and Greece, but on a larger scale, more pogroms against the Jews are initiated. Thousands die at the hands of their fellow countrymen.

31 July 1941: Goring instructs Heydrich to preparation a final Solution to the Jewish question.

23 August 1941: Due to public hostility at home, Hitler publicly announces that he has called an end of the "euthanasia" program, but secretly it continues.

3 September 1941: Zyklon-B gas is tested for the first time at Auschwitz death camp on Soviet prisoners of war.

29-30 Sept 1941: 33,000 Jews murdered by the Einsatzgruppen (special mobile formations charged with the liquidation of Germany’s undesirables) at Babi Yar, outside Kiev, Russia.

24 November 1941: Theresienstadt ghetto is established.

7 Dec 1941: Japan attacks Pearl Harbour.

8 December 1941: Thousands of Jews and Gypsies are murdered in mobile gassing vans near Chemno, Poland.

11 Dec 1941: Germany declares war on the United States.



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) Heydrich and other high ranking Ministers of the Third Reich. The notorious Adolf Eichmann was also present at this meeting.

16 March 1942: Operation Reinhard (Aktion Reinhard). This operation was simply the mass murder of Europe’s undesirables. Starting off with Poland’s Jews.
24 March 1942: The first deportations of Slovakian Jews to Auschwitz begin.

29 March 1942: Reinhard Heydrich is severally wounded in an assassination attempt in Czechoslovakia. A week later he dies of his wounds.

9 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.

10 July 1942 - Panicked cables Eichmann asking what is to be done with the 4,000 children held at the Drancy camp. Eichmann replies that as soon as transportation could 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.

22 July 1942: Deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto to Triblinka death camp begins.

1 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.

16 November 1942: German Gypsies are deported to Auschwitz.

17 November 1942: 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: Eichmann’s office informs the commander of the SD in Oslo that all Norwegian Jews are to be deported to Auschwitz.



18 Jan 1943: A revolt begins in the Warsaw Ghetto against the deportations to Triblinka.

23 March 1943: 10 day deportations of Jews from Greece to the death camps begin.

19 April 1943: Jewish resistance inside the Warsaw Ghetto is finally crushed; remainder of Jews are rounded up and sent to Triblinka.

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.

2 Aug 1943: Revolt of the slave labourers in Triblinka begins.

16 August 1943: The ghetto at Bialystok is liquidated.

23 September 1943: The Vilna ghetto is liquidated.

9 Nov 1943: First deportations of Italian Jews to Auschwitz Begins.



9 April 1944: 2 Jews escape from Auschwitz.

15 May 1944: Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz.

6 June 1944: Allied invasion of France begins at the Normandy beaches.

23 July 1944: Soviet troops liberate Majdanek concentration camp in Poland.

1 August 1944: Warsaw uprising begins.

6 August 1944: Jews remaining in Lodz ghetto are deported to Auschwitz.

2-3 Aug 1944: All the Gypsies within Auschwitz are executed.

2 October 1944: Eichmann rejects the Swedish attempt at saving 60 Jewish spouses of mixed marriages.

6-7 Oct 1944: Uprising within one of the crematoria’s within Auschwitz begins, destroying one of the crematoria itself.

Nov 1944: Death marches begin in Eastern Europe.



17 Jan 1945: The final death march from Auschwitz begins. Soviet troops enter Warsaw.

27 Jan 1945: Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz.

11 April 1945: Buchenwald concentration camp is liberated by American troops.

15 April 1945: Bergen- Belsen concentration camp is liberated by British troops.

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.

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.

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.

1 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.

2 May 1945: At 4am, a new German delegation recesses to 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.

7 May 1945: Germanys accepts unconditional surrender.

23 May 1945: Himmler commits suicide under the very noses of his guards.
November 1945- October 1946: 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.


11 April 1961: The trial of Adolf Eichmann begins in Israel.



31 May 1962: Eichmann is hanged.



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.

SS Women who once guarded these victims are now forced to bury them