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Timeline of the Holocaust

Last updated: 2003-08-07

Jews arrested during Kristallnacht

Jews arrested during Kristallnacht

January 30, 1933 AdoIf Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany. February 28, 1933 German government takes away freedom of speech, assembly, press, and freedom from invasion of privacy (mail, telephone, telegraph) and from house search without warrant. March 4, 1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated President of the United States. March 20, 1933 First concentration camp opens at Dachau, Germany, for political opponents of the regime. April 1, 1933 Nationwide boycott of Jewish-owned businesses in Germany is carried out under Nazi leadership. April 7, 1933 Law excludes "non-Aryans" from government employment; Jewish civil servants, including university professors and schoolteachers, are fired in Germany. May 10, 1933 Books written by Jews, political opponents of Nazis, and many others are burned during huge public rallies across Germany. July 14, 1933 Law passed in Germany permitting the forced sterilization of Gypsies, the mentally and physically disabled, African-Germans, and others considered "inferior" or "unfit." October 1934 First major wave of arrests of homosexuals occurs throughout Germany, continuing into November. April 1935 Jehovah's Witnesses are banned from all civil service jobs and are arrested throughout Germany. September 15, 1935 Citizenship and racial laws are announced at Nazi party rally in Nuremberg. March 7, 1936 Hitler's army invades the Rhineland. July 12, 1936 First German Gypsies are arrested and deported to Dachau concentration camp. August 1-16, 1936 Olympic Games take place in Berlin. Anti-Jewish signs are removed until the Games are over. March 13, 1938 Austria is annexed by Germany. July 6-15, 1938 Representatives from thirty-two countries meet at Evian, France, to discuss refugee policies. Most of the countries refuse to let in more Jewish refugees. November 9-10, 1938 Nazis burn synagogues and loot Jewish homes and businesses in nationwide pogroms called Kristallnacht ("Night of Broken Glass"). Nearly 30,000 German and Austrian Jewish men are deported to concentration camps. Many Jewish women are jailed. November 15, 1938 All Jewish children are expelled from public schools. Segregated Jewish schools are created. December 2-3, 1938 All Gypsies in the Reich are required to register with the police. March 15, 1939 German troops invade Czechoslovakia. June 1939 Cuba and the United States refuse to accept Jewish refugees aboard the ship St. Louis, which is forced to return to Europe. September 1, 1939 Germany invades Poland; World War II begins. October 1939 Hitler extends power of doctors to kill institutionalized mentally and physically disabled persons in the "euthanasia" program. Spring 1940 Germany invades and defeats Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and France. October 1940 Warsaw ghetto is established. March 22, 1941 Gypsy and African-German children are expelled from public schools in the Reich. March 24, 1941 Germany invades North Africa. April 6, 1941 Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece. June 22, 1941 German army invades the Soviet Union. The Einsatzgruppen, mobile killing squads, begin mass murders of Jews, Gypsies, and Communist leaders. September 23, 1941 Soviet prisoners of war and Polish prisoners are killed in Nazi test of gas chambers at Auschwitz in occupied Poland. September 28-29, 1941 Nearly 34,000 Jews are murdered by mobile killing squads at Babi Yar, near Kiev (Ukraine). October-November 1941 First group of German and Austrian Jews are deported to ghettos in eastern Europe. December 7, 1941 Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. December 8, 1941 Gassing operations begin at Chelmno "extermination" camp in occupied Poland. December 11, 1941 Germany declares war on the United States. January 20, 1942 Fifteen Nazi and government leaders meet at Wannsee, a section of Berlin, to discuss the "final solution to the Jewish question." 1942 Nazi "extermination" camps located in occupied Poland at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, and Majdanek-Lublin begin mass murder of Jews in gas chambers. June 1, 1942 Jews in France and the Netherlands are required to wear identifying stars. April 19-May 16, 1943 Jews in the Warsaw ghetto resist with arms the Germans' attempt to deport them to the Nazi extermination camps. August 2, 1943 Inmates revolt at Treblinka. Fall 1943 Danes use boats to smuggle most of the nation's Jews to neutral Sweden. October 14, 1943 Inmates at Sobibor begin armed revolt. January 1944 President Roosevelt sets up the War Refugee Board at the urging of Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr. March 19, 1944 Germany occupies Hungary. May 15-July 9, 1944 Over 430,000 Hungarian Jews are deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where most of them are gassed. June 6, 1944 Allied powers invade western Europe on D-Day. July 20, 1944 German officers fail in an attempt to assassinate Hitler. July 23, 1944 Soviet troops arrive at Majdanek concentration camp. August 2, 1944 Nazis destroy the Gypsy camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau; around 3,000 Gypsies are gassed. October 7, 1944 Prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau revolt and blow up one crematorium. January 17, 1945 Nazis evacuate Auschwitz; prisoners begin "death marches" toward Germany. January 27, 1945 Soviet troops enter Auschwitz. April 1945 U.S. troops liberate survivors at Buchenwald and Dachau concentration camps. April 30, 1945 Hitler commits suicide in his bunker in Berlin. May 5, 1945 U.S. troops liberate Mauthausen concentration camp. May 7, 1945 Germany surrenders, and the war ends in Europe. November 1945-October 1946 War crimes trials held at Nuremberg, Germany May 14, 1948 State of Israel is established. From Tell Them We Remember by Susan Bachrach. Copyright © 1994 by Jeshajahu Weinberg. By permission of Little, Brown and Company. This information is reproduced with permission of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum(c). The above information is available on a read only basis and cannot be reproduced without written permission from USHMM.