HOLOCAUST TIMELINE

A selection of key dates related to the Holocaust

Weimar Republic

  • 9th November 1918 - Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated. Weimar Republic declared.

  • 28th June 1919 - Treaty of Versailles signed.

  • 29th July 1921 - Adolf Hitler became leader of the NSDP and took the title der Führer

  • 8th November 1923 - Munich (Beer Hall) Putsch – Hitler and the NSDP attempt to overthrow the Bavarian government failed. The leaders were arrested and charged with treason.

  • 26th February 1924 - Hitler’s trial for his part in the Munich Putsch began.  He was sentenced to 5 years in prison but only served 10 months. During his time in prison Hitler wrote Mein Kampf.

  • 4th July 1926 - Hitler Youth, League of German Worker Youth was formed. The party had had a youth section since its beginning, but this new re-organised Hitler Youth was more integrated into the SA.

  • 1929 – 1930 - Great Depression – The world depression saw many Germans face unemployment and poverty. Support for the Nazi party increased dramatically.

  • July 1932 - The Nazi party gained 37.4% of the vote in the Reichstag elections to become the largest party.

 

Beginning of Nazi Rule

  • 30th January 1933 - Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Hindenburg

  • 3rd February 1933 - Hitler defined the Nazi party foreign policy. The prime goal was to secure lebensraum (living space) for the German master race.

  • 27th February 1933 - The Reichstag Fire. A fire which broke out at the Reichstag building was blamed on the Communist Party (KPD). As a result the KPD, which was the second largest party in Germany, was banned.  The banning of the Communist party gave the Nazis a clear majority in government.

  • 5th March 1933 - With the Communist party banned Hitler ordered a new election at which the Nazi party gained 44% of the General election vote.

  • March 22, 1933 - Nazis open Dachau concentration camp near Munich, to be followed by Buchenwald near Weimar in central Germany, Sachsenhausen near Berlin in northern Germany, and Ravensbrück for women. 

  • April 1, 1933 - Nazis stage boycott of Jewish shops and businesses. 

  • 23rd March 1933 - Enabling Act gave Hitler power to make laws without consulting the Reichstag for a period of four years

  • 10th May 1933 - 25,000 ‘un-German’ books burned in an “Action against the Un-German Spirit”. The move was encouraged by Joseph Goebbels, Head of Propaganda.

  • 14th July 1933 - All political parties except the Nazis were banned

  • September 29, 1933 - Nazis prohibit Jews from owning land.

  • October 4, 1933 - Jews are prohibited from being newspaper editors.

  • 30th June 1934 - The Night of the Long Knives – 150 leaders of the Stormtroopers SA were executed. Many members of the SA were committed socialists and demanded that Nazi policy embrace socialist aims. This was not a direction the Nazis wished to follow so the SA were eliminated.

  • 2nd August 1934 - President Hindenburg died. Hitler combined the post of President and Chancellor and called himself Fuhrer.

  • 26th February 1935 - Hitler ordered Hermann Goering to establish the Luftwaffe, German airforce, in defiance of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles

  • 15th September 1935 - Nuremburg Laws defined German citizenship. Relationships between Jews and Aryans were banned.

  • 7th March 1936 - Re-occupation of the Rhineland. In contravention of the terms of the Versailles Treaty, Hitler sent German troops to re-occupy the Rhineland.

  • June 17, 1936 - Heinrich Himmler is appointed chief of the German Police. 

  • 25th October 1936 - Axis alliance concluded between Germany and Italy

  • 25th November 1936 - Anti-Comintern pact concluded between Germany and Japan

  • December 1936 - Law concerning the Hitler Youth made membership of the Hitler Youth compulsory for all boys

  • January 1937 - Jews are banned from many professional occupations including teaching Germans, and from being accountants or dentists. They are also denied tax reductions and child allowances. 

  • November 8, 1937 - 'Eternal Jew' travelling exhibition opens in Munich. 

  • 14th March 1938 - Anschluss with Austria. Hitler made a triumphant entry into Vienna

  • April 26, 1938 - Nazis order Jews to register wealth and property.

  • June 14, 1938 - Nazis order Jewish-owned businesses to register.

  • July 25, 1938 - Jewish doctors prohibited by law from practicing medicine. 

  • 30th September 1938 - Munich Agreement – Allies agreed that Germany could have the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia in return for peace

  • November 1938 - Kristallnacht – Jewish shops and synagogues were destroyed. Following the event the Jewish population was fined for the destruction.

  • November 15, 1938 - Jewish pupils are expelled from all non-Jewish German schools. 

  • January 24, 1939 - SS leader Reinhard Heydrich is ordered by Göring to speed up the emigration of Jews. 

  • 15th March 1939 - Hitler invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia in contravention of the Munich Agreement

  • May 1939 - The St. Louis, a ship crowded with 930 Jewish refugees, is turned away by Cuba, the United States and other countries and returns to Europe. 

  • 23rd August 1939 - Nazi-Soviet Pact – Alliance between Hitler and Stalin which agreed to divide Poland between the two countries.

 

Beginning of World War II

  • 1st September 1939 - Hitler invaded Poland using Blitzkrieg (lightning war) tactics. Although the Poles fought back they were quickly defeated and Poland was occupied.

  • September 21, 1939 - Heydrich issues instructions to SS Einsatzgruppen (special action squads) in Poland regarding treatment of Jews, stating they are to be gathered into ghettos near railroads for the future "final goal." He also orders a census and the establishment of Jewish administrative councils within the ghettos to implement Nazi policies and decrees. 

  • September 29, 1939 - Nazis and Soviets divide up Poland. Over two million Jews reside in Nazi controlled areas, leaving 1.3 million in the Soviet area. 

  • 3rd September 1939 - Britain and France declared war on Germany

  • October 26, 1939 - Forced labor decree issued for Polish Jews aged 14 to 60.

  • November 23, 1939 - Yellow stars required to be worn by Polish Jews over age 10.

  • 9th April 1940 - Denmark and Norway invaded and occupied

  • 10th May 1940 - Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France invaded and occupied

  • November 15, 1940 - The Warsaw Ghetto, containing over 400,000 Jews, is sealed off.

  • March 26, 1941 - The German Army High Command gives approval to RSHA and Heydrich on the tasks of SS murder squads(Einsatzgruppen) in occupied Poland. 

  • 22nd June 1941 - Operation Barbarossa – 3 million German troops invaded Russia

  • July 1941  - Eichmann's Madagascar Plan is presented, proposing to deport all European Jews to the island of Madagascar, off the coast of east Africa. 

  • July 1941 - As the German Army advances, SS Einsatzgruppen follow along and conduct mass murder of Jews in seized lands. 

  • July 31, 1941 - Göring instructs Heydrich to prepare for Final Solution. 

  • September 3, 1941 - The first test use of Zyklon-B gas at Auschwitz. 

  • September 17, 1941 - Beginning of general deportation of German Jews. 

  • September 27/28 - 23,000 Jews killed at Kamenets-Podolsk, in the Ukraine.

  • September 29/30 - SS Einsatzgruppen murder 33,771 Jews at Babi Yar near Kiev.

  • November 30, 1941 - Near Riga, a mass shooting of Latvian and German Jews. 

  • 5th December 1941 - German advance in Russia halted by Russian winter and Russian counterattacks.

  • 11th December 1941 - Hitler declared war on the United States. Following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December the United States had declared war on Japan. Under the terms of the Anti-Comintern Pack Hitler was bound to declare war on the United States

  • 12 December 1941 - Hitler makes decision to annihilate the Jews 

  • January 1942 - Mass killings of Jews using Zyklon-B begin at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Bunker I (the red farmhouse) in Birkenau with the bodies being buried in mass graves in a nearby meadow. 

  • May 18, 1942 - The New York Times reports on an inside page that Nazis have machine-gunned over 100,000 Jews in the Baltic states, 100,000 in Poland and twice as many in western Russia. 

  • June 30 and July 2 - The New York Times reports via the London Daily Telegraph that over 1,000,000 Jews have already been killed by Nazis. 

  • January 18, 1943 - First resistance by Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. 

  • 20th January 1942 - Wannsee Conference approved plans for the ‘Final Solution’.

  • In 1943 - The number of Jews killed by SS Einsatzgruppen passes one million. Nazis then use special units of slave laborers to dig up and burn the bodies to remove all traces. 

  • 2nd February 1943 - German 6th Army defeated at Stalingrad

  • March 1, 1943 - In New York, American Jews hold a mass rally at Madison Square Garden to pressure the U.S. government into helping the Jews of Europe. 

  • 4th March 1943 - First allied bombing raid on German cities

  • April 19, 1943 - Waffen-SS attacks Jewish Resistance in Warsaw Ghetto. 

  • April 19-30 - The Bermuda Conference occurs as representatives from the United States and Britain discuss the problem of refugees from Nazi-occupied countries, but results in inaction concerning the plight of the Jews. 

  • 6th June 1944 - Operation Overlord, D-Day. Allied invasion of Normandy

  • 20th July 1944 - July Bomb Plot failed attempt to assassinate Hitler.

  • October 30, 1944 - Last use of the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

  • November 8, 1944 - Nazis force 25,000 Jews to walk over 100 miles in rain and snow from Budapest to the Austrian border, followed by a second forced march of 50,000 persons, ending at Mauthausen.

  • November 25, 1944 - Himmler orders destruction of the crematories at Auschwitz. 

  • In 1945 - As Allied troops advance, the Nazis conduct death marches of concentration camp inmates away from outlying areas.

  • January 6, 1945 - Russians liberate Budapest, freeing over 80,000 Jews.

  • January 14, 1945 - Invasion of eastern Germany by Russian troops.

  • January 17, 1945 - Liberation of Warsaw by the Russians.

  • January 18, 1945 - Nazis evacuate 66,000 from Auschwitz.

  • January 27, 1945 - Russian troops liberate Auschwitz. By this time, an estimated 2,000,000 persons, including 1,500,000 Jews, have been murdered there.

  • 30th April 1945 - Hitler committed suicide

  • 2nd May 1945 - Germany surrendered ending the war in Europe

  • 20th November 1945 - Nuremburg war crimes trial began

 

Sources: 

Historyonthenet.com

Historyplace.com