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The American Experience
America's reaction to the Holocaust
1944 January 13 -- Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr. receives "Report to the Secretary on the Acquiescence of This Government in the Murder of the Jews."
January 16 -- Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr. proposes to FDR that a rescue commission be established.
January 22 -- President Roosevelt establishes the War Refugee Board.
March 24 -- President Roosevelt issues a war-crimes statement.
March -- War Refugee Board helps organize the evacuation of 1200 Jewish refugees from Rumania aboard three tiny Bulgarian vessels.
March -- War Refugee Board convinces Rumania to move 48,000 Jews from Transnistria, out of the path of retreating German troops.
April -- The Nazis begin concentrating Jews into central locations in Hungary.
April -- Gallup poll shows 70% of Americans approve setting up emergency refugees camps in the U. S.
April -- Two escapees from Auschwitz provide Jewish underground in Slovakia with full description of the death camp.
May -- The War Refugee Board opens its first refugee camp at Fedala in North Africa.
May 15 -- Nazis begin deporting Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz. Four trains leave per day, each carrying 3,000 Jews.
June 1 -- President Roosevelt agrees to allow 1,000 refugees in Italy to come to a camp in the U.S.
June 6 -- The Allies land at Normandy in the D-Day invasion of France.
June 25 -- Pope Pius XII makes a plea to the Hungarian head of state Miklós Horthy to save Hungarian Jews.
June -- Appeals from the Jewish underground in Slovakia to bomb the deportation routes to Auschwitz reach Switzerland.
June -- War Department turn downs appeals to bomb rail links between Hungary and Auschwitz.
July -- War Refugee Board secures Rumanian commitment to accept Jews fleeing the Nazis in Hungary.
July 31 -- The American Jewish Conference sponsors a rally in Madison Square Park to draw attention to the plight of Hungary's Jews.
August -- In large part because of the efforts of the War Refugee Board official in Turkey, Ira Hirschmann, Bulgaria abolishes its anti-Jewish laws.
August -- Nine hundred eighty-two refugees, most of them Jewish, arrive at Fort Ontario in upstate New York.
August 14 -- War Department writes that bombing Auschwitz would divert air power from "decisive operations elsewhere."
August 20 -- One hundred twenty-seven Flying Fortresses drop high-explosives on the factory areas of Auschwitz, less than five miles east of the gas chambers.
September 13 -- U.S. heavy bombers rain destruction on factory areas of Auschwitz, but not on crematoria just a few miles away.
October 7 -- In a suicidal uprising, Jewish inmates in Auschwitz manage to destroy one and damage another of the crematorium buildings.
November 2 -- SS Chief Heinrich Himmler orders a halt to the gassing of Jews, followed by destruction of gas chambers and crematoria.
December 16 -- The Germans begin the Battle of the Bulge as a way of striking back at U.S. troops.
January -- Death marches into the interior of Germany begin, taking 250,000 Jewish lives.
January 27 -- Soviet forces capture Auschwitz.
February 1 -- State Department announces that perpetrators of all crimes against Jews and other minorities will be published.
February 13 -- Soviet forces capture Budapest saving the lives of 120,000 Jews.
April 30 -- U.S. troops occupy Munich. Hitler commits suicide.
May 7 -- Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allies.
July 1 -- The U.S. visa system reverts to pre-war procedures, ending Washington's complex security-screening machinery.
November 20 -- Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal commences.

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