Holocaust chronology

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January 30: President Hindenburg appoints Hitler of the NSDAP (Nazi Party) as Reich Chancellor

(Prime Minister).

March 23: First concentration camp, Dachau, is established.

April 1: Nazis proclaim a general boycott of all Jewish-owned businesses.

April 7: Jews dismissed from civil service and denied admission to the bar..

May 2: Dissolution of free trade unions.

May 10: Burning of books by Jews and opponents of Nazism.

December 1: Hitler declares the legal unity of the German State and the Nazi Party.

August 2: Death of Hindenburg. Hitler becomes Head of State and Commander in Chief of armed forces. Some Jews begin to flee Germany.


Summer Juden Verrboten (No Jews) signs increase in number outside towns, restaurants, and stores. Nazi thugs attack Jews in the streets.

September 15 Reichstag (Parliament) passes anti-Semitic “Nuremberg Laws,” depriving Jews of German citizenship and prohibiting sexual relations between Jews and ethnic Germans.

October 25: Hitler and Mussolini form Rome-Berlin Axis (alliance).

November 25: Germany and Japan sign military pact.

July 16: Buchenwald concentration camp opens.


March 13: Annexation of Austria, with 200,000 Jews, to Germany. Anti-Semitic laws applied.

July 6: International conference at Evian, France, fails to provide refuge for German Jews.

September 29: Munich Agreement: Britain and France accept German annexation of Czech Sudetenland.

October 5: German passports of Jews are marked with the letter “J.”

November 7: Herschel Grynszpan, whose parents were deported from Germany to Poland, assassinates an official of the German embassy in Paris.

November 12: Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), anti-Semitic riots in Germany and Austria, synagogues are destroyed and shops are looted. 100 Jews killed, 30,000 arrested. The Jewish community has to pay a heavy indemnity for the damages.

November 15: Jewish children are expelled from German schools.

December 13: Aryanization Decree leads to compulsory seizure of many Jewish businesses and German

firms have to dismiss Jewish workers.

150,000 of Germany’s 515,000 Jews emigrate by the end of the year, but most countries refuse their admittance.

March 15: Germans annex Bohemia and Moravia in Czechoslovakia. Slovakia created as satellite.

August 23: Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact established.

September 1: Germany invades Poland, starting World War II. Poland has 2,000,000 Jews.

September 3: Britain and France declare war on Germany.

September 17: USSR occupies eastern Poland.

October 12: First deportation of Jews from Austria and Moravia to Poland.

November 23: Wearing of Star of David is made compulsory throughout occupied Poland.


April 30: Ghetto at Lodz, Poland, is sealed off from the rest of the city.

June 22: France surrenders to Germany.

September 27: Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis is established.

November 18: Warsaw Ghetto is sealed off.

June 22: Germany attacks the Soviet Union with its 3,000,000 Jews

July 8: Wearing Jewish Star is decreed in German-occupied Baltic states.

July 31: Reinhard Heydrich is appoint by Goering to carry out “The Final Solution” (extermination of all European Jews).

September 15: Wearing of a Jewish star is decreed throughout the Greater Reich.

September 23: First experiments with gassing are made at Auschwitz camp, Poland.

October 10: Theresienstadt, model Jewish ghetto, is established in Czechoslovakia.

October 14: Deportation of German Jews begins.

October 23: Massacre in Odessa—34,000 killed.

October 28: Massacre in Kiev (Babyi Yar)—33,000 killed.

November 6: Massacre in Rovno—15,000 killed.

December 7: Japan attacks at Pearl Harbor; US declares war December 8.

December 8: Chelmo extermination camp in Poland is opened. Death camps at Belzec, Maidanek, Sobibor, Treblinka, and Auschwitz open over next six months..

Massacre in Riga—27,000 killed.

December 22: Massacre in Vilna—32,000 killed.

Late 1941-early 1942: News of Nazi extermination policy leaks to West.


January 20: Wannsee Conference on Final Solution of the Jewish Question held. Reinhard Heydrick commands extermination policy. Heindrich Himmler retains overall supervision, and Adolf Eichmann handles arrest and transport of Jews to the camps.

January 21: Unified resistance organization is established in Vilna ghetto. Resistance groups expand throughout Eastern Europe.

June 1: Wearing Jewish star is decreed in occupied-France and Holland.

July 22: 300,000 Jews from Warsaw Ghetto are deported to Treblinka.

July 28: Jewish resistance organization is established in Warsaw Ghetto.

October 17: Allied nations pledge to punish Germans for genocide policy.

In all, SS kill approx. 1,400,000 Jews by shooting and hanging by end of 1942.


January 18: Jews in Warsaw Ghetto launch uprising; street fighting lasts four days.

February 2: German 6th Army surrenders at Stalingrad, turning point of the war.

April 19 Revolt of Jews in Warsaw Ghetto begins. Ghetto liquidated May 16.

June-September: Hundreds of Jews flee Vilna Ghetto to forests where they continue resistance.

August 21: Revolt at Treblinka death camp.

August 16: Revolt in Bialystock Ghetto

September 23: Liquidation of the Vilna Ghetto.


May 15-June 8: 460,000 Jews are deported from Hungary to Auschwitz.

June 4: Allies take Rome

June 6: Allied Cross Channel invasion begins; USSR starts summer offensive June 23.

July 24 USSR liberates Maidanek death camp.

November 24: Himmler orders destruction of Auschwitz crematoria to hide evidence of death camps.


January 17: Soviet troops liberate Warsaw.

February 4-11: Yalta Conference takes place.

April 11: American troops liberate Buchenwald

April 15: British troops liberate Bergen-Bersin death camp.

May 7: Germany surrenders unconditionally.

November 22: Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal commences. Concludes October 1, 1946. Twelve defendants sentenced to death, three to life imprisonment, four to various prison terms, and three acquitted.

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