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auschwitz: inside the nazi state
Learning Resources IntroductionTeaching GuideSurprising BeginningsOrders & InitiativesFactories of DeathCorruptionMurder & Intrigue Liberation & RevengeCommunity Guide Timeline Biographies Glossary Web ResourcesOrganizationsBibliography

Timeline: 1941

Key

Auschwitz Related

April

IG Farben, a large German chemical cartel, finalizes plans to establish a synthetic rubber plant at Auschwitz, investing in the construction of the camp. Prisoners serve as slave labor for the plant.



Einsatzgruppen soldier executing Jewish civilian. Pit is filled with victims.

June

Germany invades the Soviet Union. Mobile killing units (Einsatzgruppen) follow the invaders to kill Jews and Soviet officers. By the fall of 1943, they will have killed 1.5 million Jews. Many Soviet prisoners are sent to Auschwitz.

August

Roosevelt and Churchill sign the Atlantic Charter.

September

The first Auschwitz victims, mostly Russian prisoners of war, are killed using Zyklon B gas.

October

Construction of the second Auschwitz camp, Birkenau, begins. Soviet POWs build the camp.

After Allied bombing of Hamburg, Germany, Jews in the city are deported to the Lódz ghetto.

October-December: In the Siege of Moscow, German forces push to the outskirts of the Soviet capital. The Soviets are able to reinforce troops at the same time that a harsh winter sets in. The Germans are ill prepared for the weather conditions, and their offensive stalls.

December

December - March 1942: Soviet counteroffensive on the Moscow front.

Japan attacks the United States at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The United States joins the war against Japan, Germany, and Italy.

Hitler officially ends the Euthanasia Program after public criticism, but the killing continues secretly. During the public phase, some 70,000 are killed in the Euthanasia Program. Over the course of the war, an estimated 150,000 die from the program.

Scene from Theresienstadt ghetto propaganda film

ghetto

The Theresienstadt ghetto is established in Czechoslovakia as a model Jewish settlement that can be shown off to the international community. Propaganda films show the comfortable conditions of the ghetto to counter stories of the miserable conditions of other ghettos.