Holocaust Chronology

Holocaust Literature. Editor: John K Roth. Volume 1. Magill’s Choice Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2008. 

1933

January 30: Adolf Hitler is appointed chancellor of Germany by German president Paul von Hindenburg.

February 3: Hitler presents his Lebensraum program, in which he argues that Germany needs more “living room” and should find it in the East.

February 27: The Reichstag (German parliament) building is set on fire.

March 20: The first concentration camp is established at Dachau, near Munich, Germany. The camp opens in June.

March 23: The Enabling Act is adopted, giving Hitler the legislative authority to assume dictatorial powers.

April 1: The Sturm Abteilung (SA), the paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party, begins a boycott of all Jewish businesses, physicians, and attorneys. Jews in Germany are barred from attending universities.

April 7: A law is adopted that prevents Jews from holding civil service jobs, except for veterans who fought on the front lines in World War I. This is the first of about four hundred anti-Semitic laws that will be enacted in Nazi Germany.

April 11: Laws defining “Aryans” and “non-Aryans” are adopted. “Non-Aryans” include anyone descended from non-Aryans, especially from Jewish parents or grandparents.

April 26: The Gestapo, the Nazi secret police organization, is established.

May 10: After Nazis declare that books containing material that is “subversive” to German thought and the German people shall be destroyed, a massive book-burning campaign begins. Many of the books burned are those written by Jews as well as by opponents of the Nazis.

July 14: Opposition political parties are banned, allowing the Nazis to be the only political party in Germany. Laws are adopted whose primary purpose is to revoke naturalization and cancel German citizenship for Jews from Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Croatia, and other eastern territories.

July 20: The Nazi Party and the Vatican sign a concordat.

July 21: In Nuremberg, Germany, the SA arrests hundreds of Jews and parades them through the streets for hours.

September 22: The Reich Chamber of Culture Law is created to controlliterature, the press, radio, theater, music, and art, with these efforts to be directed by the Ministry of Propaganda under Joseph Goebbels.

October 4: The Editor Law is adopted, regulating the role of newspaper and magazine editors and restricting Jews from working as editors.

October 14: Germany quits the League of Nations, releasing the country from the international controls over rearmament that had been accepted by the Weimar Republic.

October 23: Martin Buber and fifty-one other Jewish educators are fired from their university jobs.

October 24: A law against “habitual and dangerous criminals” is adopted to justify the confinement of the homeless, alcoholics, and the unemployed in concentration camps.

December 18: A law is adopted barring Jews from working as journalists and in associated professions.

1934

January 24: Jews are banned from the German Labor Front, the Nazi Party’s organization of trade unions.

January 26: Germany and Poland sign a ten-year nonaggression pact.

May 17: Jews are prohibited from obtaining health insurance.

June 29-30: The Nazis murder Hitler’s rivals in the SA, including SA head Ernst Röhm. This purge is kept secret until July 13, when Hitler publicly announces what he calls “the Night of the Long Knives.”

July 20: The Schutzstaffel (SS), the Nazi Party’s military and security organization, which had been controlled by the police, becomes an independent organization. Heinrich Himmler is appointed chief of the SS.

August 2: President Hindenburg dies, and the positions of chancellor and president are combined, with Hitler assuming both offices. Hitler also becomes commander in chief of the armed forces.

October 1: Hitler defies the Treaty of Versailles by expanding the German army and navy and creating an air force.

October 7: Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany declare their political neutrality and vow to defy Nazi restrictions on the practice of their religion.

1935

March 16: Germany begins military conscription.

April 1: Jehovah’s Witnesses are banned in Germany because members of the group will not declare allegiance to the Third Reich.

May 21: A defense law is adopted that requires Aryan heritage as a prerequisite of German military duty.

June 28: The German criminal code is revised to criminalize all acts of male homosexuality.

September 15: In a special session, the German parliament adopts the Nuremberg Laws, which comprise the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor and the Reich Citizenship Law. The Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor prohibits marriage and sexual relations outside of marriage between Jews and Germans. The Reich Citizenship Law deprives Jews of German citizenship.

November 14: In the first decree issued under the Reich Citizenship Law, Jews are barred from voting and holding public office, and all Jews are fired from their civil service jobs, including World War I frontline veterans. In the first decree issued under the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor, Jews are prohibited from marrying non-Jews, Jews are prohibited from working in all but a few professions, and Jewish children are prohibited from using the same playgrounds and locker rooms as non-Jewish children.

1936

March 7: German troops occupy the Rhineland.

July 12: Construction begins at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, located near Berlin.

August 1: The Olympic Games open in Berlin. During the two weeks of the games, anti-Semitic posters are temporarily taken down and the Nazis downplay their militarism and anti-Semitic agenda.

1937

July 16: The Buchenwald concentration camp opens near Weimar, Germany.

Autumn: The Nazis begin systematically to take over Jewish property. Jews also are forced to sell their businesses, usually at prices far below their value.

1938

March 13: Germany annexes Austria and begins to persecute Austrian Jews.

April 22: Jews are required to declare all property worth more than 5,000 reichsmarks ($1,190).

June 9: The synagogue in Munich, Germany, is destroyed.

June 14: Jews are required to register and identify all of their industrial enterprises. Lists of wealthy Jews are created at treasury offices and police districts.

June 15: About 1,500 Jews who were previously convicted of crimes, including traffic violations, are arrested and scheduled to be sent to concentration camps.

July 21: Jews begin to receive identity cards. All Jews are required to have these cards by November, 1939.

July 28: Medical certification is canceled for all Jewish physicians, effective September 30. After that date, Jewish physicians can work only as nurses for Jewish patients.

August 10: The synagogue in Nuremberg, Germany, is destroyed.

August 17: All Jews are mandated to add either “Israel” or “Sara” to their names, effective November, 1939.

September 12: Jews are prohibited from attending public cultural events.

September 27: The licenses of all Jewish lawyers are canceled, effective November 30.

September 29: The Munich Agreement is adopted, in which Britain and France accept Germany’s plan to annex the Sudetenland, a part of Czechoslovakia.

October 1: German troops enter the Sudetenland.

October 5: A passport decree is issued requiring the confiscation of all passports held by Jews. Passport reissuance is made more complicated, and all passports newly issued to Jews must be stamped “J” to identify the holders as Jews.

October 15: German troops occupy the Sudetenland.

October 28: Between 15,000 and 17,000 Jews of Polish origin are expelled to Zbąszyń on the Polish border.

November 9-10: Kristallnacht, a Nazi-organized pogrom against Jews in Germany, results in the murder of at least 91 Jews, the destruction of 191 synagogues, and the looting of 7,500 shops. More than 26,000 Jewish men are arrested and scheduled to be sent to the Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen concentration camps.

November 12: The Nazis issue decrees mandating Jews to pay for all damages caused during Kristallnacht. German Jews also are required to make “atonement payments” of one billion marks, are eliminated from involvement in the German economy and are prohibited from attending movies, concerts, and other cultural performances.

November 15: Jewish children are expelled from German schools.

November 25: About fifty male concentration camp prisoners are transferred to Ravensbrück, near Berlin. The prisoners will build the Ravensbrück concentration camp, which will be the primary camp for women prisoners in Germany.

1939

January 17: A decree mandates the expiration of permits for Jewish dentists, pharmacists, and veterinarians.

February 21: Jews are required to give up all of their gold and silver.

March 14: Slovakia declares itself an independent state to be protected by Germany.

March 15: Germany occupies Czechoslovakia, creating the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia and introducing the anti-Semitic decrees that are already in force in Germany.

April 18: Anti-Semitic laws are passed in Slovakia.

April 27-28: Germany rescinds its nonaggression pact with Poland and its 1935 Naval Agreement with Britain.

April 30: Laws are adopted that regulate rental agreements with Jews and cancel eviction protection for Jews. Legal preparations are made to move Jewish families into “Jewish houses.”

May 15: The SS transfers almost 900 women prisoners from the Lichtenburg concentration camp to Ravensbrück.

June 29: About 440 Romani (Gypsy) women and their children arrive in Ravensbrück from Austria. By 1945, about 5,000 Romani women will pass through this camp.

July 4: Jews are barred from holding government jobs in Germany.

August 23: Germany and the Soviet Union sign a nonaggression pact.

August 31: The British fleet mobilizes, and civilian evacuation begins in London.

September 1: World War II begins after Germany invades Poland. The Nazis start to conduct numerous pogroms in Poland.

September 3: Britain, France, Australia, and New Zealand declare war on Germany.

September 10: Canada declares war on Germany.

September 17: The Soviet Union invades Poland.

September 21: Reinhard Heydrich, second in command of the SS, orders the creation of Jewish ghettos and Judenräte in occupied Poland. The Judenrate , or Jewish Councils, were charged with maintaining order in the ghettos.

September 23: Radios are confiscated from Jews.

September 27: Warsaw surrenders to Germany.

September 29: The Germans and the Soviets divide Poland. More than 2 million Jews live in the German area, and 1.3 million live in the Soviet-controlled territory.

October: The Nazis begin to implement a program of euthanasia, targeting sick and disabled Germans.

October 6: Poland surrenders to Germany.

October 7: Jews are resettled in the Lublin district of Poland.

October 8: The first Jewish ghetto is established in Piotrków, Poland.

October 12: The first group of Jews from Austria and the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia is deported to Poland.

October 18: Jews in Wloclawek, Poland, are required to display the Star of David on their clothing.

October 26: Jews in German-occupied Poland begin to be used for forced labor.

November 12: Forced deportation begins for Polish Jews from West Prussia, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Łódź.

November 23: Jews throughout German-occupied Poland are required to display the Star of David on their clothing.

1940

January 25: Oświęcim (in German, Auschwitz), Poland, is selected as the location of a new concentration camp.

January 28: Wartime rationing of goods begins in Britain.

February 10-13: Deportation begins for Jews from the Pomerania area of Poland to Lublin, Poland.

April 9: Germany invades Denmark and Norway.

April 20: The high command of the German armed forces issues a secret order that all persons of “mixed blood” and men who are married to Jewish women are to be discharged from the military.

April 30: The first guarded Jewish ghetto is established in Łódź, Poland.

May 1: Norway surrenders to Germany.

May 10: Germany invades the Netherlands, Belgium, and France.

May 15: The Netherlands capitulates to Germany.

May 20: The Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp is established.

May 26: Evacuation of all Allied troops from Dunkirk begins.

May 28: Belgium capitulates to Germany.

June 3: Evacuation of Dunkirk ends.

June 10: German troops defeat Denmark and Norway. Italy declares war on Britain and France.

June 14: The Nazis occupy Paris.

June 18: Hitler presents a plan to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini to transfer Madagascar from France to Germany and resettle all European Jews in the new Mandate of Madagascar.

June 22: The French army surrenders and Marshal Philippe Pétain signs an armistice with Germany.

June 30: All Jews living in Łódź, Poland, are required to live in the ghetto, which is sealed off.

July 10: The Battle of Britain begins.

July 23: The Soviet Union captures Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.

August 8: Romania adopts anti-Semitic laws.

August 17: Hitler declares a blockade of the British Isles.

September 7: Germany begins a military blitz against England.

September 16: The United States adopts a military conscription bill.

October 3: The new Vichy government of France adopts the Statut des Juifs (Anti-Jewish Laws).

October 7: German troops enter Romania.

October 22: Jews are deported from Alsace-Lorraine, Saarland, and Baden to southern France and, in 1942, to Auschwitz. Jewish businesses in the Netherlands are required to be registered.

October 28: Jews in Belgium are required to register their property.

November 15: The Warsaw ghetto is sealed off.

December 29-30: Germany launches a massive air raid on London.

1941

January 22-23: The Nazis begin to massacre Jews in Romania.

February-April: About 72,000 Jews are sent to the Warsaw ghetto.

February 22-23: About 400 Jewish hostages are deported from Amsterdam to the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.

March 1: Construction begins on the Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp.

March 2: German troops occupy Bulgaria.

March 11: U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Lend Lease Act, which allows the United States to send war supplies to Britain, the Soviet Union, and other Allied nations.

April 6: Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece.

April 24: The Lublin ghetto is sealed off.

May 14: About 3,600 Parisian Jews are arrested. Romania adopts laws requiring Jews to perform forced labor.

June: The Vichy government revokes the civil rights of French Jews in North Africa and issues numerous restrictions against them.

June-July: Mass shootings of Jews begins in the Ponary Forest, near Vilna, Lithuania. By 1944, 70,000 to 100,000 people are murdered there.

June-August: Numerous pogroms are conducted in German-occupied areas of the Soviet Union.

June 6: About 300 male prisoners from Dachau arrive at Ravensbrück, where the SS holds them in a separate camp for men. These men are forced to build factories in the area.

June 22: Germany attacks the Soviet Union.

June 27: The Einsatzgruppen (Nazi mobile extermination squads) and local residents murder some 2,000 Jews in Luts’k, Ukraine.

June 28: The Romanian Iron Guard, an anti-Semitic paramilitary group, murders 1,500 Jews in Iasi.

June 30: Germany occupies L’viv, Poland (now in Ukraine), and 4,000 Jews are murdered by July 3.

July: The Majdanek concentration and extermination camp is established in Lublin, Poland.

July 1: The Einsatzgruppen begin operating in Bessarabia, Soviet Union, where 150,000 Jews are shot by August 31.

July 8: Jews in the Baltic countries are required to display the Star of David on their clothing.

July 20: A Jewish ghetto is established in Minsk, Belarus.

July 24: A Jewish ghetto is established in Chişinău, Moldavia (now Moldova), where 10,000 Jews are killed.

August: Jewish ghettos are established in Bialystok and L’viv, Poland.

August 5-8: About 10,000 Jews are killed in Pinsk, Belarus.

August 15: The Jewish ghetto in Kaunas, Lithuania, is sealed off.

August 20: The Nazis begin the siege of Leningrad.

September: Janówska, an extermination camp, opens near L’viv, Poland.

September 1: Police order all Jews in Germany age six and older to display a yellow Star of David on their clothing at all times, effective September 19.

September 3: The experimental gassing of prisoners at Auschwitz with Zyklon B begins.

September 6: A ghetto is established in Vilna, Lithuania, with a population of 40,000 Jews.

September 15: About 150,000 Jews are sent to Trans-Dniestria, Moldavia (now Moldova), where 90,000 die.

September 19: The Zhitomir ghetto in the Ukraine is liquidated , resulting in the murder of 10,000 Jews.

September 28-29: The mass murder of Jews at Babi Yar near Kiev, Ukraine, results in the deaths of 33,751. In 1961, Soviet poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko publishes “Babiy Yar” (“Babii Yar,” 1965) a poem that relates anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union to the atrocities committed there.

October-November: The Einsatzgruppen begin the mass murder of Jews throughout the southern Soviet Union.

October 3: German Jews are required to perform forced labor.

October 4: Thousands of Jews are murdered at Fort IX in Kaunas, Lithuania.

October 8: The Vitsyebsk ghetto in Belarus is liquidated and more than 16,000 Jews are killed.

October 10: A Jewish ghetto is established in Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia.

October 11: A Jewish ghetto is established in Czernowitz, Romania.

October 12-13: About 11,000 Jews are massacred at Dnipropetrovs’k, Ukraine.

October 14: The Nazis order the deportation of all Jews from Germany as defined by the country’s 1933 borders.

October 16: German Jews begin to be deported to the ghettos in Łódź, Poland; Riga, Latvia; and Minsk, Belarus.

October 23: About 34,000 Jews are massacred in Odessa, Ukraine.

October 28: About 34,000 Jews are massacred in Kiev, Ukraine.

November 1: Construction begins on an extermination camp at Belżec, Poland.

November 6: About 15,000 Jews are massacred in Kaunas, Lithuania.

November 24: A “model” concentration camp is created at Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia.

November 26: The Auschwitz II (Auschwitz-Birkenau) concentration-extermination camp is established.

November 30: About 30,000 Jews from Riga, Latvia, are shot in the Rumbuli Forest.

December 1: A unit of the Einsatzgruppen in Lithuania reports that it has murdered 136,441 Jews during 1941.

December 7: The Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor.

December 8: The Chełmno extermination camp opens in Poland, where 360,000 Jews will be murdered by April, 1943.

December 8: The United States and Great Britain declare war on Japan.

December 11: Germany and Italy declare war on the United States.

December 21: More than 40,000 Jews are shot at the Bogdanovka concentration camp in Romania.

December 22: Of the 57,000 Jews who once lived in Vilna, Lithuania, about 33,500 have been murdered.

December 30: About 10,000 Jews are killed in Simferopol’, Ukraine.

1942

January 14: The Nazis start to expel Jews from the Netherlands.

January 15: Prisoners from Łódź, Poland, are sent to the extermination camp at Chełmno.

January 20: Nazi officials hold the Wannsee Conference, where they finalize their plans for the “final solution”—the deportation and extermination of European Jews.

January 26: The first American armed forces arrive in Britain.

January 31: A unit of the Einsatzgruppen reports it has murdered 229,052 Jews in the Baltic states.

End of January: The Nazis begin deporting Jews to the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

February-March: About 14,000 Jews are murdered in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

February 24: More than 30,000 Jews from Łódź, Poland, are sent to the Chełmno extermination camp.

March 1: The first Jews are murdered at the Sobibór extermination camp in Poland, where 250,000 Jews will be killed by October, 1943.

March 6: The Nazis hold their first conference on sterilization, where they define the use of sterilization for persons of “mixed blood.”

Mid-March Germany begins Aktion Reinhard, an operation that aims to murder Jews in the interior of occupied Poland within the time line of the “final solution.”

March 16-17: The Belżec extermination camp begins operations. Some 600,000 Polish Jews from Lublin, the Lublin district, and Galicia will be murdered there.

March 21: The Jews in the ghetto in Lublin, Poland, are resettled, with 26,000 sent to extermination camps at Belżec, Majdanek, and other locations.

March 23-24: The SS transfers 1,000 German Jewish and Romani (Gypsy) women from Ravensbrück to Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, where a women’s camp is created.

March 26: About 60,000 Jews from Slovakia are sent to the extermination camps at Auschwitz and Majdanek.

March 28: The first Jews from Paris are transported to Auschwitz.

April: Jews are prohibited from using public transportation, except for forced laborers who must travel to workplaces more than seven kilometers from their homes.

April 30: A Jewish ghetto is established in Pinsk, Belarus.

Early May: The first mass murders are conducted in the Sobibór extermination camp.

May: 4 Prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau who are considered weak, sick, or “unfit” are the first people to be murdered there.

June 1: Jews in France and Holland begin wearing the Star of David. An extermination camp opens in Treblinka, Poland, where gassing of prisoners begins on July 23; about 700,000 Jews will be murdered there by August, 1943.

June 2: The Nazis begin deporting German Jews to the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

June 12: Anne Frank, a Jewish girl living in the Netherlands, celebrates her thirteenth birthday and receives as a gift a diary, in which she immediately begins to write.

June 22: The first prisoners from the Drancy assembly camp in France arrive at Auschwitz.

June 30: Jewish schools in Germany are closed.

July 1: Jews are massacred in Minsk, Lida, and Slonim, Belarus.

July 2: Jews from Berlin are sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

July 4: The mass gassing of prisoners begins at Auschwitz.

July 6: Anne Frank and her family leave their home and go into hiding in an empty section of a warehouse building in Amsterdam.

July 15: The first Jews from the Netherlands are transported to Auschwitz.

July 22: The Umsiedlung, or mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to Belżec and Treblinka extermination camps, begins. By September 13, about 300,000 Jews will be sent to Treblinka, where 265,000 will be murdered.

July 23: The gassing of prisoners begins at Treblinka.

August-September: Jews are deported from Zagreb, Croatia, to Auschwitz.

August 4: The Nazis begin deporting Belgian Jews to Auschwitz.

August 10-22: About 40,000 Jews from the ghetto in L’viv, Poland, are sent to extermination camps.

August 14: The Nazis arrest 7,000 Jews in unoccupied France.

August 17: The first all-American air attack is launched in Europe.

October 4: The Nazis decree that all Jews who are imprisoned in concentration camps will be sent to Auschwitz.

October 28: The first group of prisoners from the Theresienstadt concentration camp is sent to Auschwitz.

October 29: About 16,000 Jews are executed in Pinsk, Belarus.

November 1: The first group of Jews from Bialystok, Poland, is deported to Auschwitz.

November 25: The deportation of Jews from Norway to Auschwitz begins.

December 10: The first group of German Jews arrives at Auschwitz.

1943

January 18: The Jews in the Warsaw ghetto stage their first act of armed resistance to deportation.

January 29: The Germans order that all Gypsies be arrested and placed in concentration camps.

February 2: The Germans surrender at Stalingrad—the first significant defeat for Hitler’s armed forces.

February 15: About 10,000 Jews are killed in the ghetto in Bialystok, Poland, before the rest are sent to the extermination camp at Treblinka.

February 25: The first group of Jews from Salonika, Greece, is transported to Auschwitz.

February 26: The first group of Gypsies arrives at Auschwitz.

February 27: Jewish armament workers from Berlin are sent to Auschwitz.

March: Dutch Jews are transported to Sobibór, while Jews from Prague, Vienna, Luxembourg, and Macedonia are sent to Treblinka.

March 13: The Jewish ghetto in Kraków, Poland, is liquidated and its residents are deported to the Płaszów concentration camp. Oskar Schindler, a member of the Nazi Party and owner of an enamel factory near Kraków, is moved by these events and is determined to transfer his Jewish employees out of the area so they can avoid a similar fate. He obtains permission from the camp commandant to open a branch of his factory outside the Płaszów camp, and this action saves 900 Jewish workers from being imprisoned at Płaszów.

April 19: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising begins on the eve of Passover. Ghetto residents continue their resistance as German troops surround the area.

April 23: Marek Lichtenbaum, the Judenrat chairman in the Warsaw ghetto, and his deputies are murdered by the Nazis.

May 8: The Nazis liquidate Mila 18, the bunker that serves as headquarters for Jewish resistance fighters in the Warsaw ghett

May 10: Many of the Warsaw ghetto resistance fighters escape through the sewers, arriving in the non-Jewish area of the city.

May 16: German officials proclaim that the Warsaw ghetto is free of Jews and set fire to a Warsaw synagogue.

May 19: The Nazis declare that Berlin is Judenfrei (free of all Jews).

June 11: Himmler orders that all Polish ghettos be liquidated. On June 21, this order is expanded to include ghettos in the Soviet Union.

June 21-27: About 20,000 people are killed during the liquidation of the L’viv ghetto.

July 9-10: The Allies land in Sicily, Italy.

August 2: Prisoners revolt at the Treblinka extermination camp and the Krikov labor camp in Poland.

August 16-23: The Bialystok ghetto is destroyed following a revolt there.

September 3: A group of Belgian Jews is arrested and scheduled to be deported to Auschwitz.

September 11: The Nazis begin to raid Jews in Nice, France.

September 11-14: The Jewish ghettos in Minsk and Lida, Belarus, are liquidated.

September 23: The Vilna ghetto is liquidated.

October 2: The Nazis order the expulsion of Jews from Denmark. However, rescue operations by the Danish underground enable 7,000 Jews to be evacuated to Sweden, and the Nazis capture only 475 Danish Jews.

October 13: Italy declares war on Germany.

October 14: Prisoners in the Sobibór extermination camp stage a revolt.

October 18: The first Jews from Rome are sent to Auschwitz.

October 21: The Minsk ghetto is liquidated.

November 3: The Riga ghetto is liquidated. About 17,000 Jews who remain in the Majdanek extermination camp are killed.

1944

January 22: The Allies land at Anzio, Italy.

February 11: Primo Levi and other Italian Jews interned at a camp near Modena, Italy, are transported to Auschwitz in twelve cramped cattle cars. Levi spends eleven months at Auschwitz before the extermination camp is liberated, and he later writes a memoir of his experiences in the camp.

February 24: The Gestapo raids a house in Haarlem, Netherlands, where Casper ten Boom and his daughters, Corrie and Betsie, have been hiding Jews and members of the Dutch underground. The three are arrested. Corrie and Betsie eventually are taken to Ravensbrück, where Betsie dies. Corrie survives and in 1971 publishes The Hiding Place, a book about her experiences.

March 19: Germany invades Hungary.

April 14: The first Jews from Athens are sent to Auschwitz.

April 16: The Hungarian government orders that all Jews must be registered and confiscates their property.

May 15-July 8: About 438,000 Hungarian Jews are sent to Auschwitz.

June 6: D day, the start of the Allied invasion of Normandy.

July: Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat, arrives in Budapest and starts issuing documents aimed at saving Hungarian Jews.

July 7: The Hungarian government stops the deportation of Jews.

July 8: The ghetto in Kaunas, Lithuania, is liquidated.

July 13: Jewish resistance fighters help liberate Vilna, Lithuania, where only 2,500 of the city’s 57,000 Jews survive.

July 23: Soviet troops liberate the Majdanek death camp. The Red Cross visits Theresienstadt.

Late summer: Oskar Schindler receives permission from the German army and the SS to move his Jewish workers and other endangered Jews from Płaszów to Brünnlitz in the Sudetenland. There, he and more than 1,000 of his employees establish a bogus munitions factory in order to protect the Jewish employees until the end of World War II. Schindler’s efforts to save Jews are later recounted in Thomas Keneally’s novel Schindler’s List (1982).

August 4: Anne Frank and her family are discovered and arrested by the Gestapo in Amsterdam.

August 6: About 27,000 Jews from camps east of the Vistula River are deported to Germany.

August 7: Nazis begin to liquidate the Łódź ghetto, deporting 74,000 Jews to Auschwitz.

August 25: Paris is liberated from the Nazis.

September: All Jews in Dutch camps are transported to Germany. Additional prisoners are deported from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz. The final group of prisoners is transported from France to Auschwitz.

September 4: The Allies liberate Antwerp, Belgium, where fewer than 5,000 Jews survive.

September 11: British troops enter the Netherlands.

September 14: American troops arrive at the German border.

September 23: Jews in the concentration camp in Kluga, Estonia, are murdered.

October 31: About 14,000 Jews from Slovakia are sent to Auschwitz.

November 2: The gassings at Auschwitz are terminated.

November 18: About 38,000 Jews from Budapest are sent to Buchenwald, Ravensbrück, and other camps.

November 26: In an effort to hide evidence of the extermination camps, Himmler orders the destruction of the crematorium at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

December 16-27: The Battle of the Bulge is fought in the Ardennes.

1945

January 16: Soviet troops liberate 800 Jews at Częstochowa and 870 in Łódź.

January 17: Soviet troops liberate Warsaw, where few Jews remain.

January 17: About 80,000 Jews in Budapest are liberated.

January 17: Auschwitz is evacuated and the prisoners begin their “death march.

January 27: Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz.

February 13-14: Dresden, Germany, is destroyed in a firestorm after massive Allied bombing attacks.

April 6-10: About 15,000 Jews are evacuated from Buchenwald.

April 12: American troops liberate Buchenwald.

April 15: British troops liberate the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

April 23-May 4: The Sachsenhausen concentration camp is evacuated. The SS conducts its last massacre of Jews.

April 27: The final prisoners are evacuated from Ravensbrück, where the SS forces about 15,000 prisoners on a death march.

April 29: American troops liberate Dachau.

April 30: Hitler commits suicide.

May 2: Representatives of the International Red Cross take over Theresienstadt.

May 5: The Mathausen concentration camp is liberated.

May 7-9: Germany unconditionally surrenders, ending the war in Europe.

May 8: V-E (Victory in Europe) Day.

May 23: Himmler is captured and commits suicide.

November 20: The Nuremberg war crime trials begin.