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A Holocaust Chronology


September 14: Adolph Hitler's National Socialist Party gains 107 seats in the new German Reichstag. The Nazis are now the second  largest political party in Germany.


April 10:  In the run-off election of the German presidency, Adolph Hitler loses to President Hindenburg. However, he did get
37% of the vote and terms the results a "victory for National Socialism."

July 31: The Nazi Party doubled its seats in the Reichstag over 1930, from 107 to 229.


January 30: Adolph Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany. He is the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party and commander of the SA, the Storm Troopers (founded in 1922).

February 27: The Reichstag building is set on fire by secret order of Hitler's Chief of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. A young
Dutchman, identified as a Communist, is arrested and charged with setting the fire.

February 28: The very next day, Hitler persuades President Hindenburg to sign Article 48, an "emergency" decree authorizing Hitler to suspend all civil rights, arrest (and execute) any suspicious person. A reign of terror ensued in which thousands (communists, socialists, labor union leaders) were arrested and sent to prison. To maximize Nazi influence, the non-Nazi press was outlawed.

March 5: Hitler receives the support of the German voters in Reichstag (Germany's Parliament) elections.

March 24: Now under Hitler's control, the Reichstag essentially grants Hitler total control by empowering him to make laws for the Reichstag.

March 20:  The first Nazi concentration camp is opened at an old powder factory near Dachau. The camp is to be used to incarcerate thousands of political opponents of the regime.

April 1: Hitler declares a one-day boycott of Jewish businesses. Signs are posted all over Germany saying, "German people,
defend yourselves! Do not buy from Jews."

April 7: Forced retirement of all non-Aryan civil servants (with the exception of the military).

April 21: German law prohibits kosher butchering.

At this time, there are approximately 500,000 Jews living in the Third Reich. This is less than 1 percent of the total population.

May 2:  The Nazis seized control of the German labor unions, arrested their leaders, confiscated union property and
established a Nazi-controlled labor union, The German Labor Front. German workers lost the right to strike.

May 10: Under orders from Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda and Popular Enlightenment, Nazi gangs raided the Berlin Library and burned truckloads of Germany's very best literary works.

June: Hitler secured the cooperation of the Vatican by guaranteeing the liberties of the Catholic Church in Germany. In return, the Vatican promised to stay out of German politics.

June 22:  The Social Democrat Party is outlawed, making Hitler's Nazi Party the only political party in Germany.

July 14: Hitler is empowered to revoke German citizenship for those considered a threat to the government or "undesirable" to
the government.

August 29: Official confirmation that the Nazis are sending Jews to concentration camps on a variety of charges from "consorting with German girls," to "imitating the Nazi salute."

October 14: Hitler withdraws from the League of Nations and the Versailles disarmament pact. At the same time, Hitler announces the dissolution of the Reichstag.


June 30: In a massive "blood purge," known as "the Night of the Long Knives,"Hitler arranged for the Gestapo to murder Ernst Roehm, the leader of Germany's political left and head of the SA. At least 1,000 additional political enemies were included in this purge.

July 13: Heinrich Himmler, Chief of the SS, assumes command of all Nazi concentration camps. Himmler and his "black shirts"
are now responsible for policing Germany.

August 2: President Paul von Hindenburg dies. And with his death the Weimar Republic is officially dead.

August 3: Now completely in control of the reigns of power, Hitler declares himself both President and Chancellor of the Third
Reich and Commander-in-Chief of the Military. Hitler now had totalitarian dictatorial power.


July 30: Nazis intensify repression of Jews. Physical violence against Jewish citizens reaches a new peak in Berlin's fashionable Kurfurstendamm. In Breslau, 24 Jewish males and"Aryan" girls are arrested as "race defilers" and taken to concentration camps.

September 6:  Public sale of Jewish newspapers is banned.

September 10: The seventh National NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers Party) Congress convenes at Nuremburg.

September 15: Nazi Congress adopts the swastika as the Reich's national flag.

September 15: German Congress passes the so-called Nuremburg Laws which redefine German Jews as non-citizens and ban Jews from any political participation. These laws on German "Citizenship, Blood and Honor," prohibit Jews from marrying German citizens, having extramarital relations with German citizens and prohibit any Jew from raising the German flag.

September 21: Under the Nuremberg Laws, Jewish doctors are forced to resign from private hospitals.


March 7: Hitler sends German troops into the Rhineland, in violation of the treaties of Versailles and Locarno.

August 1: The Olympic Games open in Berlin. American Jews and African-Americans participate. Ohio State University
athlete, Jesse Owens, won four gold medals. Hitler made a hasty departure from the stadium to avoid offering congratulations.


July 1: The Rev. Martin Niemoller, outspoken Protestant critic of the Nazi regime, is arrested and jailed.

August 4: An official teacher's manual is issued in Berlin stressing the importance of teaching antisemitism.

August ?: The massive concentration camp is opened at Buchenwald under the command of SS Colonel Karl Koch.

October 20: The British government restricts Jewish immigration to Palestine.

November 16: Jews are prohibited from obtaining passports or traveling abroad except in special cases.


January 1:  Jewish doctors in Germany lose insurance under the Nuremberg Laws.

February 4: Adolph Hitler promotes himself to Supreme Commander of   Germany's Armed Forces and took total control of foreign policy.

March 11-12:  Germany invades Austria. Hitler is now the undisputed ruler of over 70 million people. Austrian political leaders who had opposed Hitler's invasion are now under arrest.

March 14: Hitler rides victorious into Vienna and announces the "Anschluss," or union of Germany and Austria.

July 22: Effective January 1, 1939, all Jews must carry a special identification card.

July 27: All Jewish street names are replaced with German names.

October 5: Jewish passports ration cards are marked with a "J."

October 28: About 15,000 German Jews are "relocated" in Poland.

November 7: In Paris a teenaged Polish Jew, Herschel Grynszpan, assassinated Ernst von Rath, Third Secretary of the German Embassy. He was attempting to avenge the mistreatment of his family in Poland.

November 9: Kristallnacht, the "Night ofBroken Glass." Following the death of Ernst von Rath, and in retribution against
Grynszpan's act, Goebbels instigated acts of violence against Jews throughout Berlin. More than 90 people were killed, store windows were broken and synagogues set fire. A full-fledged pogrom is now in motion.

November 12: Jews are held responsible for the destruction resulting from Kristallnacht and are ordered to pay reparations of one billion Reichsmarks.

November 15: Jews forbidden to attend plays, movies, concerts; Jewish children prohibited from attending German schools.

November 28: Curfews are placed on Jews.

December 8: Jews may no longer attend German universities.


February 22: 22,000 American Nazis hold a rally in New York City's Madison Square Garden, denouncing America's Jews.
Synagogues in the city were defaced with Nazi swastikas.

March 15: Germany conquers Czechoslovakia.

May 3: Hungary adopts anti-Jewish legislation calling for the deportation of 300,000 Jews.

At this time approximately 215,000 Jews still live in Germany.

May 22:  Germany and Italy sight the "Pact of Steel" treaty in which the two countries are bound together economically,
politically and militarily.

June 6: Cuba denies entry to 907 Jewish immigrants from Germany, including over 400 women and children.

September 1: Germany invades Poland. World War II begins. On this day, both Britain and France declare war on Germany.

October 12: Deportation of Austrian Jews to Poland begins

October 30: A British report reveals atrocities against Jews and non-Jews at the Buchenwald concentration camp.

November 23: Reich law requires Jews in Poland to wear the yellow Star of David.


February 12: Germany begins deportation of German Jews to concentration camps.

February 21: Construction begins on concentration camp at Auschwitz in Poland.

May 28: Holland and Belgium fall to the Nazis.

July 16: The Vichy government in France denies citizenship to naturalized Jews.

November 26: German troops begin herding Warsaw's Jewish population into an enclosed ghetto surrounded by an 8-foot high wall.  Germans deny that antisemitism is the motivation for this action.


May 15: France -- the Vichy government sends 5,000 Paris Jews between the ages of 18 and 40 to labor camps.

June 13: Vichy reports the deportation of 12,000 French Jews to concentration camps for interfering with Franco-German

June 30:  Hitler invades Russia

September 6: The German SS announce a policy to take effect on September 19: "Jews who have completed their sixth year are forbidden to show themselves in public without the Jewish star. This consists of a six-pointed star, outlined with black superscription, 'Jew." It must be worn visibly and sewn securely to the left breast of clothing." The same announced policy prohibits Jews from leaving their residential areas without police permission.

October 11: Washington -- It is announced that 2,000 Japanese will be evacuated from the U.S. west coast.

October 14: Massive deportations of German Jews to concentration camps begins.

December 8: Following the "surprise" attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese (December 1), the U.S. declares war on Japan.

Approximately 130,000 Jews now live in Germany.


January 15: Liquidation of the Lodz ghetto. Jews are transported to Chelmo death camp in central Poland.

January 20: The Wannsee Conference is held in Berlin. Under the leadership of Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazis announce what
they call THE FINAL SOLUTION to the "Jewish problem. The final solution is the extermination of all European Jews. Thus begins massive deportations of Jews from all over the Reich to concentration camps in Poland. These deportation were merely the prelude to extermination.

March 3: Under the War Relocation Authority, directed by Dillon S. Meyer, the U.S. "interns" 110,000 Japanese-Americans in "detention centers" for the duration of the war.

March 17: Deportation of Polish Jews to Belsen extermination camp begins.

May 20: American Negroes are allowed into a segregated U.S. army to fight world-wide fascism!

June 1: Treblinka death camp opens northeast of Warsaw.

July 21: Liquidation of ghettoes begins at Nieswiez, in Poland, and soon spreads to other ghettoes.

October 4: All Jews held in German concentration camps are ordered transported to Auschwitz.


March 13:  The Auschwitz death camp is greatly enlarged. It is now called Auschwitz-Birkenau.

April 19: The uprising in the Warsaw ghetto begins. SS troops under the command of General Jurgen Stroop attacked the 60,000 Jews living in the area. Despite valiant resistance, the uprising is crushed and the ghetto liquidated. Most are taken to Maidanek death camp.

April 21: Jews convicted of crimes are transported to extermination camps, principally Auchwitz. It is not difficult for a Jew
to be convicted of a crime. Beginning in the middle of 1941, it is a criminal offense to use public transportation, keep pets, visit a barber shop, possess a typewriter, possess electrical appliances, possess any woolen or fur clothing.

May 16: The Warsaw Uprising ends. General Stroop's own records claim that 56,065 Jews died.

October 14: Over 300 Jewish prisoners escape from Sobibor death camp in eastern Poland. Himmler orders Sobibor closed and completely destroyed. The revolt closed a death camp that had murdered 600,000.

There are now approximately 15,000 Jews living in the Third Reich.


January 29:  The Germans announce a plan to breed an Aryan elite by encouraging unmarried women to bear children of German SS officers.

March 19:  Hungary's Jews are moved to Auschwitz as the Russian army approaches. The Nazis seem obsessed with the idea that no evidence of exterminations be left behind.

July 24: Russian troops liberate the Maidanek camp. On the same day, the Nazis recorded their largest single total of executions--46,000 Jews were gassed and burned in one day at Auschwitz.

August 23: The last gassings at Auschwitz.

August 27: Reporters visit the liberated camp at Maidanek. Officials estimate that 1.6 million people were put to death there.

October 26:  Himmler orders the destruction of Auschwitz. The Nazis attempt to hide evidence of the exterminations.


January 17: Soviet troops liberate Warsaw.

January 27: Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz. 5,000 starving inmates are found still alive.

April 11: U.S. troops liberate Buchenwald.

April 12: Franklin Delano Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorrhage.

April 28: Benito Mussolini is shot by a firing squad in Milan.

April 30: Adolph Hitler commits suicide in Berlin.

May 7: Germany surrenders.

August 15: Japan surrenders. World War II is over.

November 22: The Nuremberg War Crimes Trials begin.

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