Holocaust Timeline


  • January 30: Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Von Hindenburg.
  • March 22: The first official Nazi concentration camp opens in Dachau, a small village located near Munich (note: some "wild camps" already existed before 1933: Papenburg, Esterwegen, Börgermoor etc...). The first commandant of Dachau is Theodor Eicke.
  • April 1: Boycott of Jewish shops and businesses.
  • April 7: Laws for Reestablishment of the Civil Service barred Jews from holding civil service, university, and state positions.
  • April 26: The Gestapo ("Geheime Stat Polizei" - Secret State Police) is established by Herman Goering, minister of Prussia.
  • May 10: Public burnings of books written by Jews, political dissidents, and others not approved by the state.
  • July 14: Law excluding East European Jewish immigrants of German citizenship.


  • August 2: Hitler proclaims himself Führer und Reichskanzler (Leader and Reich Chancellor). Armed forces must now swear allegiance to him.


  • May 31: Jews barred from serving in the German armed forces
  • September 15: "Nuremberg Laws": first anti-Jewish racial laws enacted; Jews no longer considered German citizens; Jews could not marry Aryans; nor could they fly the German flag.
  • November 15: Germany defines a "Jew": anyone with three Jewish grandparents; someone with two Jewish grandparents who identifies as a Jew.


  • March 3: Jewish doctors barred from practicing medicine in German institutions.
  • March 7: Germans march into the Rhineland, previously demilitarized by the Versailles Treaty.
  • June 17: Reichführer SS Himmler (chief of the SS units) appointed the Chief of German Police.
  • July 12: Sachsenhausen concentration camp opens.
  • October 25: Hitler and Mussolini form Rome-Berlin Axis.


  • July 15: Buchenwald concentration camp opens.


  • March 13: Anschluss (incorporation of Austria): all antisemitic decrees immediately applied in Austria
  • April 26: Mandatory registration of all property held by Jews inside the Reich · May: Flossenburg concentration camp opens.
  • July 6: Evian Conference held in Evian, France on the problem of Jewish refugees.
  • August 1: Adolf Eichmann establishes the Office of Jewish Emigration in Vienna to increase the pace of forced emigration.
  • August 3: Italy enacts sweeping antisemitic laws
  • August 8: Mauthausen concentration camp opens in Austria.
  • September 30: Munich Conference: Great Britain and France agree to German occupation of the Sudetenland, previously western Czechoslovakia.
  • October 5: Following request by Swiss authorities, Germans mark all Jewish passports with a large letter "J" to restrict Jews from immigrating to Switzerland.
  • October 28: 17,000 Polish Jews living in Germany expelled; Poles refused to admit them; 8,000 are stranded in the frontier village of Zbaszyn.
  • November 7: Assassination in Paris of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan.
  • November 9-10: Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass): anti-Jewish pogrom in Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland; 200 synagogues destroyed; 7,500 Jewish shops looted; 30,000 male Jews sent to concentration camps (Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen).
  • November 12: Decree forcing all Jews to transfer retail businesses to Aryan hands.
  • November 15: All Jewish pupils expelled from German schools.
  • December 12: One billion mark fine levied against German Jews for the destruction of property during Kristallnacht.


  • January 30: Hitler in Reichstag speech: if war erupts it will mean the Vernichtung (extermination) of European Jews.
  • March 15: Germans occupy Czechoslovakia.
  • May 18: Ravensbruck concentration camp opens.
  • August 23: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed: non-aggression pact between Soviet Union and Germany.
  • September 1: Beginning of World War II: Germany invades Poland. In the following weeks, 16.336 civilians are murdered by the Nazies in 714 localities. At least 5,000 victims were Jews.
  • September 21: Heydrich issues directives to establish ghettos in German-occupied Poland.
  • October 12: Germany begins deportation of Austrian and Czech Jews to Poland.
  • October 28: First Polish ghetto established in Piotrkow.
  • November 23: Jews in German-occupied Poland forced to wear an arm band or yellow star.


  • April 9: Germans occupy Denmark and southern Norway.
  • May 7: Lodz Ghetto (Litzmannstadt) sealed: 165,000 people in 1.6 square miles.
  • May 10: Germany invades the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France.
  • May 20: Concentration camp established at Auschwitz.
  • June 4: Neuengamme concentration camp opens.
  • June 22: France surrenders.
  • August 8: Battle of Britain begins.
  • September 20: Breendonck concentration camp opens in Belgium.
  • September 27: Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis.
  • November 16: Warsaw Ghetto sealed: ultimately contained 500,000 people.


  • January 21-26: Anti-Jewish riots in Romania, hundreds of Jews butchered.
  • February 1: German authorities begin rounding up Polish Jews for transfer to Warsaw Ghetto. 10,000 Jews died by starvation in the ghetto between January and June 1941.
  • March: Adolf Eichmann appointed head of the department for Jewish affairs of the Reich Security Main Office, Section IV B 4 .
  • April 6: Germany attacks Yugoslavia and Greece; occupation follows.
  • April 21: Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp opens in France.
  • June 22: Germany invades the Soviet Union.
  • July 31: Heydrich appointed by Göring to implement the "Final Solution".
  • July - August: Dozens thousands of Russian and Jews are murdered by the Einzatzgruppen (extermination squads) in the occupied territories. Here are some examples:
    • 5,200 Jews murdered in Byalistok
    • 2,000 Jews murdered in Minsk
    • 5,000 Jews murdered in Vilna
    • 5,000 Jews murdered in Brest-Litovsk
    • 5,000 Jews murdered in Tarnopol
    • 3,500 Jews murdered in Zloczow
    • 11,000 Jews murdered in Pinsk
    • 14,000 Jews murdered in Kamenets Podolsk
    • 12,287 Jews murdered in Kishinev.

Hundreds of other massacres are perpetrated by the Nazies in Russia, i.e. 148,000 Jews are murdered in Bessarabia between July and October 1941.

  • Fall: Belzec extermination camp opens.
  • September 28-29: 34,000 Jews massacred at Babi Yar outside Kiev.
  • October: Establishment of Auschwitz II (Birkenau) for the extermination of Jews; Gypsies, Poles, Russians, and others were also murdered at the camp.
  • December 7: Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.
  • December 8: Chelmno (Kulmhof) extermination camp begins operations: 340,000 Jews, 20,000 Poles and Czechs murdered by April 1943.
  • December 11: United States declares war on Japan and Germany.


  • January 20: Wannsee Conference in Berlin: Heydrich outlines plan to murder Europe's Jews.
  • March 17: Extermination begins in Belzec; by end of 1942 600,000 Jews murdered. · May: Extermination by gas begins in Sobibor killing center; by October 1943, 250,000 Jews murdered.
  • June: Jewish partisan units established in the forests of Byelorussia and the Baltic States.
  • July 22: Germans establish Treblinka concentration camp Summer Deportation of Jews to killing centers from Belgium, Croatia, France, the Netherlands, and Poland; armed resistance by Jews in ghettos of Kletzk, Kremenets, Lachva, Mir, and Tuchin.
  • Winter: Deportation of Jews from Germany, Greece and Norway to killing centers; Jewish partisan movement organized in forests near Lublin.


  • January: German 6th Army surrenders at Stalingrad.
  • March: Liquidation of Krakow ghetto.
  • April: Previously POW camp Bergen-Belsen is under SS control.
  • April 19: Warsaw Ghetto revolt begins as Germans attempt to liquidate 70,000 inhabitants; Jewish underground fights Nazis until early June
  • June: Himmler orders the liquidation of all ghettos in Poland and the Soviet Union · Summer: Armed resistance by Jews in Bedzin, Bialystok, Czestochowa, Lvov, and Tarnow ghettos · Fall: Liquidation of large ghettos in Minsk, Vilna, and Riga
  • October 14: Armed revolt in Sobibor extermination camp
  • October-November: Rescue of the Danish Jewry.


  • March 19: Germany occupies Hungary.
  • May 15: Nazis begin deporting Hungarian Jews; by June 27, 380,000 sent to Auschwitz.
  • June 6: D-Day: Allied invasion at Normandy.
  • Spring/Summer: Red Army repels Nazi forces.
  • July 20: Group of German officers attempt to assassinate Hitler.
  • July 24: Russians liberate Majdanek killing center.
  • October 7: Revolt by inmates at Auschwitz; one crematorium blown up;
  • November: Last Jews deported from Terezin to Auschwitz. · November 8: Beginning of death march of approximately 40,000 Jews from Budapest to Austria.


  • January 17: Evacuation of Auschwitz; beginning of death march
  • January 25: Beginning of death march for inmates of Stutthof
  • April 6-10: Death march of inmates of Buchenwald
  • April 8: Liberation of Buchenwald.
  • April 15: Liberation of Bergen-Belsen.
  • April 22: Liberation of Sachsenhausen.
  • April 23: Liberation of Flossenburg.
  • April 29: Liberation of Dachau.
  • April 30: Hitler commits suicide, liberation of Ravensbruck.
  • May 7: Liberation of Mauthausen.
  • May 8: V-E Day: Germany surrenders; end of Third Reich.
  • August 6: Bombing of Hiroshima.
  • August 9: Bombing of Nagasaki.
  • August 15: V-J Day: Victory over Japan proclaimed.
  • September 2: Japan surrenders; end of World War II


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