Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Montage of images and link description. America and the Holocaust Imagemap: linked to kids and home
The Film and More
Imagemap(text links below) of menu items
The American Experience
America's reaction to the Holocaust
1941  
June -- New rules in the U.S. cut refugee immigration to about 25% of the relevant quotas.
 
June -- More than 13,000 Jews have died of starvation in the Warsaw ghetto since January.
 
June 22 -- Germany attacks U.S.S.R.
 
July -- New York Yiddish dailies reveal that thousands of Jewish civilians have been massacred by Nazi soldiers in Minsk, Brest-Litovsk, Lvov and other places.
 
July 31 -- Reich Marshal Hermann Göring instructs Reinhardt Heydrich to organize a "complete solution of the Jewish question."
 
October 11 -- "New York Times" story reports on massacres of thousands of Jews in Galicia.
 
September -- First gassing experiments at Auschwitz.
 
November 27 -- Nazis establish Theresiendstadt, "a model ghetto," in Czechoslovakia.
 
December 7 -- The Japanese attack the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor.
 
December 8 -- First gassings at Chelmno death camp.
1942  
January 20 -- Nazis hold the Wannsee Conference, during which they outline a plan to kill eleven million Jews in Europe.
 
March -- Jewish aid organization reports that eyewitness accounts indicate the Nazis have already massacred 240,000 Jews in the Ukraine alone.
 
March -- The Nazis begin the forced evacuation of Slovakia's Jews. They are the first Jews taken to Auschwitz.
 
May 4 -- Gassing of more than one million Jews begins at Auschwitz.
 
May -- The Jewish Labor Bund in Poland compiles summary of verified massacres and transmits it to the Polish government-in-exile in London.
 
June 29 -- At a press conference in London, the World Jewish Congress estimates that the Nazis have already killed over a million Jews.
 
July15 -- Nazis begin deportation of Jews from Amsterdam.
 
July 16 -- Nazis begin deportation of Jews from France.
 
July 21 -- Twenty thousand people gather in New York's Madison Square Garden to protest the Nazi atrocities.
 
July 22 -- Nazis begin deporting Jews from the Warsaw ghetto.
 
August -- News of Nazi plan to annihilate Jews of Europe reaches Gerhart Riegner, the World Jewish Congress representative in Switzerland.
 
August 8 -- Gerhart Riegner informs U.S. consulate in Geneva about a Nazi plan to murder the Jews of Europe.
 
August 11 -- U.S. Legation in Switzerland passes information received from Gerhart Riegner to State Department regarding Nazi plan to kill all European Jews.
 
August 21 -- President Roosevelt warns Axis powers that the perpetrators of war crimes would be tried after their defeat and face "fearful retribution."
 
August 28 -- After receiving details of Gerhart Reigner's report regarding the Nazi plan to annihilate European Jews, a British politician cables the information to American Rabbi Stephen Wise.
 
September -- State Department grants permission for 5,000 Jewish children in France to enter the U.S. The initiative fails because of stalling by the Vichy government.
 
September -- Representative Emanuel Celler introduces bill into the House calling for the opening of U.S. doors to refugees in France who can prove they are facing persecution. The bill dies in committee.
 
September 2 -- Rabbi Stephen Wise contacts State Department about Nazi plan to kill all European Jews. Wise agrees to remain silent until the information is confirmed.
 
November 24 -- State Department confirms report of Nazi plans to slaughter the Jews in Europe. Rabbi Stephen Wise holds press conference.
 
November 24 -- For the first time, reports of Jews being methodically murdered at Auschwitz reach outside world.
 
November -- A Jewish member of the Polish government informs the press that one million Polish Jews have perished since the war began.
 
December 8 -- Jewish leaders meet with President Roosevelt and hand him a 20-page summary of the Holocaust.
 
December17 -- The Allies issue a statement condemning "in the strongest possible terms this bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination."
 
December 19 -- The United Nations Information Office in New York releases a report that authenticates the accounts of the Holocaust.


1933 - 1940 | 1941 - 1942 | 1943 | 1944 - 1945

THE FILM & MORE | SPECIAL FEATURE | TIMELINE | MAPS | PEOPLE & EVENTS | TEACHER'S GUIDE | WEB CREDITS