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Chronology of The Holocaust



Precursors to the Holocaust...


November 1918

The End of World War I

Germany, in defeat, is forced to accept the terms of the Versailles Treaty, which blames the war on the Germans.

The Weimar Republic succeeds the old German monarchy



The growth of the Fascist movement in Germany gives rise to the Nazi Party


November 1923

The Munich Beer Hall Putsch Uprising

Adolf Hitler sentenced to Landsberg Prison for five years, serving less than 18 months. He writes Mein Kampf - My Struggle - while imprisoned, in which his plans for world domination and organized Jewish annihilation are presented.



Staggering inflation in Germany devalues the currency, wiping out the savings of many



The Great Depression

World-wide economic depression leads to vast unemployment in Germany




January 30

President Hindenburg appoints Adolf Hitler as Reich Chancellor (Prime Minister) of the German Republic.


March 23

First concentration camp, Dachau, is established in Germany. Enabling Act passed by the German Reichstag, surrendering its power to Hitler and his cabinet.


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 (cannot practice law.)


April 26

Formation of the Gestapo


May 2

Dissolution of organized trade unions


May 10

Burning of books by Jewish authors and opponents of Nazism



Germany leaves the League of Nations


December 1

Hitler declares legal unity of the German state with the Nazi Party, now the only legal political party.




August 2

Death of Hindenburg. Hitler becomes Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.



Nazi rally at Nuremberg; mass demonstrations




March 16

Conscription begins in Germany



"Juden Verboten" (No Jews Allowed) signs increase in number outside towns, villages, restaurants, and stores.


September 15

Reichstag passes anti-Semitic "Nuremberg Laws", making inferior status for Jews German law.




The Olympic Games are held in Munich. Hitler uses the games as an opportunity to legitimize his regime to the world at large.

October 25

Hitler and Mussolini become allies, forming the Rome-Berlin Axis.

November 25

Germany and Japan sign military pact



July 16

Buchenwald concentration camp opens in Germany



March 13

Annexation of Austria to the Third Reich. Nazis enforce anti-Semitic laws.

July 6

International conference at Evian, France fails to provide refuge for the German Jews.

September 29

Munich Agreement: Britain and France accept German annexation of the Sudetenland, once part of Czechoslovakia.

October 5

Passports of Jews are marked with the letter "J".

November 7

Herschel Grynzspan, whose parents were deported from Germany to Poland, assassinates Ernst von Rath, Third Secretary of the German Embassy in Paris.

November 9

Kristallnacht - (The Night of Broken Glass)

Anti-Semitic riots in Germany and Austria. Synagogues are destroyed, shops are looted, Jews beaten on the streets. More than 20,000 Jews arrested, 191 synagogues destroyed, 7500 shops (and glass windows) burnt and looted.

November 12

26,000 Jews are arrested and sent to concentration camps.

November 15

Jewish children are expelled from public schools.

December 13

The Decree of Aryanization (compulsory expropriation of Jewish-owned industries, businesses, and shops) is enacted.



March 15

Germans occupy Czechoslovakia

May - June

The St. Louis, a ship carrying passengers who were German Jewish refugees, is refused entry into Cuba. The ship is sent back to Europe.

July 26

Adolf Eichmann is placed in charge of Prague branch of the Jewish emigration office

August 23

German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact signed

September 1

German Army invades Poland.

September 3

Britain and France declare war on Germany -

World War II begins

September 17

Soviet invasion and occupation of eastern Poland.

September 21

Establishment of Jewish ghettos in Poland, each governed by a Judenrat (Jewish council) - by orders of Reinhard Heydrich.

October 12

First deportation of Jews from Austria and Moravia to Nazi-occupied Poland.

November 23

Wearing of the Judenstern (yellow six-pointed Star of David) emblem is made compulsory throughout occupied Poland.



April 9

Germans invade Denmark and Norway

April 29

Directive to establish concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland by Heinrich Himmler.

April 30

Nazis seal off ghetto at Lodz, Poland.

May 10

Germans invade Holland, Belgium and France

June 14

728 Polish political prisoners arrive at Auschwitz, the first German concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

June 22

France surrenders to the Germans

August 17

Demonstrations by masses of starving people in Lodz Ghetto.

September 27

Berlin-Rome-Tokyo Axis is established


Majdanek concentration camp established in Poland. It became an annihilation camp in 1942

November 15

Nazis seal off Warsaw Ghetto.



June 22

Germans renege on their Non-Aggression Pact with the Soviets and attack Soviet Union.

July 8

Wearing of the Jewish Star is mandated in the German-occupied Baltic States.

July 31

Heydrich is appointed by Goering to carry out the "Final Solution, the systematic extermination of all Jews in Europe.

September 15

Wearing of the Jewish Star is decreed throughout the Third Reich.

September 23

First usage of poison gas at Auschwitz.

September 29-30

Massacre at Babi Yar, Kiev, USSR - 34,000 Jews killed.

October 10

Theresienstadt Ghetto in Czechoslovakia established.

October 14

Deportation of German Jews begins

October 23

Massacre in Odessa, USSR - 34,000 Jews killed.

November 6

Massacre in Rovno, Poland - 15,000 Jews killed.

December 7

Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

December 8

United States enters the war.

Chelmo extermination camp on the Ner River near Lodz is opened.

Massacre in Riga, Lithuania - 27,000 Jews killed.

December 11

Germany declares war on the United States

December 22

Massacre in Vilna, Poland - 32,000 Jews killed.



January 20

The Wannsee Conference is held - the drafting of the detailed plan to implement the "Final Solution", the annihilation of the 11 million Jews of Europe.

January 21

United resistance organization is established inside Vilna Ghetto. Jewish resistance groups expand in number throughout Eastern Europe.

March 1

Exterminations begin at Sobibor.

March 17

Belzec death camp is opened in Poland.


Jews deported from France

June 1


Treblinka death camp opens.

Wearing of the Jewish Star is mandated in Nazi-occupied France and Holland.

June 10

Liquidation of Lidice, Czechoslovakia in reprisal for murder of Reinhard Heydrich.

July 22

Deportation of 300,000 Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka death camp begins. The Deportations continue until September 6, 1942.

July 28

Jewish resistance organiazation (Z.O.B.) is established inside Warsaw Ghetto.

September 3

Armed resistance in Lahava Ghetto, Bellorussia.

September 23

Armed resistance in Tutzin Ghetto, Ukraine.

December 4

Polish Committee for the Assistance to Jews, code named "ZEGOTA", established in Warsaw.

December 17

Allied nations pledge to punish Germans for their policy of genocide.



January 18

Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto launch uprising against Nazi deportations.

February 2

German Sixth Army surrenders at Stalingrad, marking the turning point of the war against the Germans

February 5

Action in Bialystok Ghetto

April 19 -May 16

Jews inside the Warsaw Ghetto stage a revolt. 23-year old Mordecai Anielewicz leads less than 5000 Jews against Nazi troops. Fighting continues for weeks.

Bermuda Conference April 19-30- called by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and attended by a number of Allied nations to discuss how to rescue victims of Nazis persecution. No country was willing to change their immigration policies and admit more Jews.

May 16

Nazis order liquidation of Warsaw Ghetto.

June 11

Himmler orders liquidation of all Jewish Ghettos in Poland.

June - September

Hundreds of Jewish partisans leave the Vilna Ghetto in Poland and hide in the forest, where they continue their resistance to the Nazis.

August 2

Revolt at the Treblinka death camp.

August 16

Revolt in Bialystok Ghetto, Poland.

September 23

Liquidation of the Vilna Ghetto occurs.

October 1

Expulsion of Danish Jews; Danish underground rescues 7000 - only 475 captured by Nazis.

October 14

Revolt in Sobibor camp, Poland.

October 20

United Nations War Crimes Commission established



March 19

Invasion of Hungary by Germany

May 15 - June 8

476,000 Jews are deported from Hungary to Auschwitz.

June 4

Allies enter Rome.

June 6


Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe begins in Normandy, France.

July 24

Soviet troops liberate Majdanek death camp, Poland.

August 1

Polish Home Army begins uprising against German occupational forces in Warsaw.

August 25

Paris is liberated by Allied forces.

October 2

Nazis raze Warsaw, leaving 200,000 Polish casualties.

November 24

Himmler orders destruction of Auschwitz crematorium as Nazis try to hide evidence of their death camps.




Death March from Auschwitz, Poland

January 17

Soviet troops enter Warsaw, Poland.

January 27

Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz-Birkenau camps

Liberation of Budapest, Hungary

February 4-11

Yalta Conference in the Crimea, USSR.

March 5

American troops reach the Rhine River

April 11

American troops liberate Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.

April 15

British troops liberate Bergen-Belsen camp, Germany.

April 25

American and Soviet troops meet at the Elbe River.

April 29

American troops liberate Dachau camp in Germany.

April 30

Hitler commits suicide

May 8

Germany surrenders unconditionally -

the end of the War in Europe

September 2

Japan surrenders unconditionally -

the end of World War II

November 22

Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal commences to prosecute Nazi attrocities

The Nuremberg Trials concluded on October 1, 1946, with a final judgement in which twelve defendants were sentenced to death, three to life imprisonment, and four to various prison terms; three were acquitted.