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auschwitz: inside the nazi state
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Timeline: 1945

Key

Auschwitz Related

1946

January: The first sessions of the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council meet in London.

March 11: British troops arrest Rudolf Höss, who had escaped notice after the war and was now posing as a farm worker. He is tried and convicted at Nuremberg. While in prison awaiting execution, he writes his memoirs.

July 22: Amid ongoing British opposition to Jewish immigration to Palestine, Jewish resistance fighters bomb the British headquarters in Jerusalem.

October 1: The Nuremberg court issues its first verdicts and imposes sentences on defendants. Those condemned to death are executed on October 16.

December 9: A U.S. military tribunal at Nuremburg tries 23 former SS doctors and scientists. Sixteen are convicted, and seven are executed.

Hoss execution

Hoss execution

1947

February 14: After years of tension and violence in Palestine, Britain again suggests a three-way division of Palestine, but both Arabs and Jews reject it. The British then renounce their mandate in Palestine and turn the future of the region over to the United Nations.

April 17: Rudolf Höss is hanged at Auschwitz.

September 15: The U.S. military tribunal tries 21 former SS leaders. Fourteen are sentenced to death, but only four are ultimately executed.

November 29: The United Nations votes to partition Palestine into two states: one Jewish and one Arab. Jerusalem is maintained as a neutral city. Jews and Arabs build up their military capabilities, and there are frequent attacks between the two sides.

1948

May 14: Israel declares its independence and is recognized by the United States and the Soviet Union. The next day, Israel's Arab neighbors, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt, attack the new country and encourage Palestinian Arabs to evacuate their homes in order to facilitate the Arab attack.

1949

July: The Israeli-Arab war ends when the United Nations negotiates armistice agreements between Israel and its neighbors. Israel wins more than half of the Palestinian Arab territory and denies Palestinians the right to return to the homes they vacated during the war. Some 500,000 Palestinian refugees remain in other countries. Many Jews in Arab countries immigrate, voluntarily or forcibly, to Israel. The first Knesset (parliament) elections are held in Israel. The UN admits Israel as a member country.

1951

January-March: Israel asks the occupation powers in Germany to facilitate German restitution of Jewish property in Germany and present an estimate of German reparation obligations to Jews.

September 27: Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, speaking to the West German parliament, formally accepts German responsibility for Nazi war crimes and the obligation to make restitution.

1952

September 10: Adenauer and Israeli foreign minister Moshe Sharett sign a reparations agreement between West Germany and Israel.

1956

October: Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal and denies Israel access to water routes. Israel, France, and Britain attack Egypt, seizing the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula. The UN intervenes, implementing a cease-fire with UN troops supporting it. France, Britain, and Israel withdraw from Egypt, but Israel continues to occupy Gaza for months until it receives security assurances.

1960

May 11: Israeli agents capture Adolf Eichmann in Argentina.

Defendant Adolf Eichmann takes notes during his trial in Jerusalem

Defendant Adolf Eichmann takes notes during his trial in Jerusalem

1961

April-August: Eichmann is tried in Jerusalem for crimes against the Jewish people, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. He is convicted and hanged on May 31, 1962.

1963

December: In Frankfurt, 22 former SS members are tried for war crimes. Of these, 17 are convicted.