Holocaust Timeline

January 30, 1933: President Hindenburg appoints Adolf Hitler Chancellor of Germany 

March 20, 1933: SS opens the Dachau concentration camp outside of Munich 

April 1, 1933: Boycott of Jewish-owned shops and businesses in Germany 

April 7, 1933: Law for the Reestablishment of the Professional Civil Service removes Jewish from government service and Law on the Admission to the Legal Profession forbids the admission of Jews to the bar

May 11, 1933: Nazi book burnings

July 14, 1933: Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases, which called for the sterilization of all persons who suffered from diseases considered hereditary, including mental illness, learning disabilities, physical deformity, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism. With the law’s passage the Third Reich also stepped up its propaganda against the disabled, regularly labeling them “life unworthy of life” or “useless eaters” and highlighting their burden upon society.

August 2, 1934: President von Hindenburg dies

September 15, 1935: Nuremberg Race Laws established, defining a Jew as someone who has three or four Jewish grandparents

March 16, 1935: Germany introduces military conscription 

March 7, 1936: German troops march unopposed into the French-occupied Rhineland

March 11-13, 1938: Germany incorporates Austria in the Anschluss (Union) 

September 29, 1938: Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and France sign the Munich agreement which forces the Czechoslovak Republic to cede the Sudetenland, including key Czechoslovak military defensive positions, to Nazi Germany.

November 9/10, 1938: Kristallnacht 

January 30, 1939: In a speech to the Reichstag, Hitler threatens the extermination of Europe’s Jews in the event of war.

May 13, 1939: The St. Louis sets sail from Hamburg, Germany to Havana, Cuba

August 23, 1939: Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Agreement: Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union sign a nonaggression agreement and a secret codicil dividing Eastern Europe into spheres of influence.

September 1, 1939: Germany invades Poland, starting World War II in Europe 

September 1, 1939: Aktion T4, the extermination of the handicapped begins

September 17, 1939: The Soviet Union occupies Poland from the east 

September 21, 1939: Heydrich orders the deportation of Jews, Poles, and Gypsies from German- occupied Poland.

October 8, 1939: Germans establish a ghetto in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland 

November 23, 1939: Jews who are living in the General Government are required to wear a blue Star of David on a white armband.

January 4, 1940: The first gas chamber is used to killed handicapped patients at Brandenburg.

April 9, 1940: Germany invades Denmark and Norway 

May 10, 1940: Germany attacks Belgium, France, Luxemburg, and the Netherlands 

July 10, 1940: Battle of Britain begins 

August 27, 1940: Himmler orders the creation of a concentration camp at Auschwitz.

October 12, 1940 Warsaw ghetto is established.

April 6, 1941: Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece 

June 17, 1941: Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units) given orders to exterminate Jews during the Soviet invasion.

June 22, 1941: Germany invades the Soviet Union 

July- August 15, 1941: The Germans establish the Kovno Ghetto in Lithuania

July 6, 1941: Einsatzgruppen shoot nearly 3,000 Jews at the Seventh Fort, one of the 19th-century fortifications surrounding Kovno 

August 3, 1941: Cardinal August Count von Galen of Muenster denounces the “euthanasia” killing program in a public sermon 

August 23, 1941: Himmler issues a decree halting all Jewish emigration from greater Germany.

September 28-29, 1941: Einsatzgruppen shoot about 34,000 Jews at Babi Yar, outside Kiev, Ukraine (USSR)

November 7, 1941: Einsatzgruppen round up 13,000 Jews from the Minsk ghetto and kill them in nearby Tuchinki (Tuchinka) 

November 25/29, 1941: Five trainloads of German Jews are massacred after arriving in Kovno, Lithuania.

November 30, 1941: Einsatzgruppen shoot 10,000 Jews from the Riga ghetto in the Rumbula Forest 

December 6, 1941: Soviet winter counteroffensive 

December 7, 1941: Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, and the U.S. declares war the next day 

December 8, 1941: The first killing operations begin at Chelmno in occupied Poland 

December 11, 1941: Nazi Germany declares war on the United States 

January 16, 1942: Germans begin the mass deportation of more than 65,000 Jews and 5,007 Gypsies from Lodz to the Chelmno killing center 

January 20, 1942: Wannsee Conference held near Berlin, Germany for German officials to discuss the Final Solution of the Jewish Question

March 27, 1942: Germans begin the deportation of  64,759 Jews from Drancy, an internment camp outside Paris, to the east (primarily to Auschwitz) 

June 28, 1942: Germany launches a new offensive towards the city of Stalingrad 

July 15, 1942: Germans begin mass deportations of nearly 100,000 Jews from the occupied Netherlands to the east (primarily to Auschwitz) 

July 22, 1942: Germans begin the mass deportation of over 300,000 Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to the Treblinka killing center 

September 12, 1942: Germans complete the mass deportation of about 265,000 Jews from Warsaw to Treblinka 

November 23, 1942: Soviet troops counterattack at Stalingrad, trapping the German Sixth Army in the city 

April 19, 1943: Warsaw ghetto uprising begins 

October 1, 1943: Rescue of Jews in Denmark 

November 6, 1943: Soviet troops liberate Kiev 

March 19, 1944: Germans forces occupy Hungary 

May 15, 1944: Germans begin the mass deportation of about 440,000 Jews from Hungary 

June 6, 1944: D-Day: Allied forces invade Normandy, France 

June 22, 1944: The Soviets launch an offensive in eastern Belorussia (Belarus) 

July 25, 1944: Anglo-American forces break out of Normandy 

August 1, 1944: Polish Home Army uprising begins in Warsaw

August 15, 1944: Allied forces land in southern France 

August 25, 1944: Liberation of Paris 

December 16, 1944: Battle of the Bulge 

January 12, 1945: Soviet winter offensive 

January 18, 1945: Death March of nearly 60,000 prisoners from the Auschwitz camp system in southern Poland 

January 25, 1945: Death March of nearly 50,000 prisoners from the Stutthof camp system in northern Poland 

January 27, 1945: Soviet troops liberate the Auschwitz camp complex 

March 7, 1945: U.S. troops cross the Rhine River at Remagen 

April 16, 1945: The Soviets launch their final offensive, encircling Berlin 

April 29, 1945: American forces liberate the Dachau concentration camp 

April 30, 1945: Adolf Hitler commits suicide 

May 7, 1945: Germany surrenders to the Western Allies 

May 8, 1945: V-E Day (Victory in Europe)

May 9, 1945: Germany surrenders to the Soviets 

Aug. 14, 1945: V-J Day (Victory in Japan)