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NOVA Online | Holocaust on Trial
Timeline of Nazi Abuses

Auschwitz prisoners liberated Auschwitz prisoners greet Soviet troops during liberation in January, 1945.
1945

January 16
Soviet troops liberate 800 Jews at Czestochowa and 870 in Lodz.

January 17
Soviet troops liberate Warsaw. Liberation of 80,000 Jews in Budapest. Nazis evacuate Auschwitz and "Death March" of prisoners begins.

January 27
Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz.

March 3
American troops reach the Rhine River.

March 19
Hitler orders destruction of all German military, industrial, transportation, and communications facilities to prevent them from falling under enemy control.

April
Allies discover Nazi-stolen art and wealth hidden in salt mines.

April 6-10
Evacuation of 15,000 Jews from Buchenwald.

Buchenwald survivors Three young survivors stand behind a barbed-wire fence at Buchenwald, April 1945.

April 12
American troops liberate Buchenwald. President Roosevelt dies. Truman becomes President.

April 15
British troops liberate concentration camp Bergen-Belsen southeast of Hamburg.

April 20
American troops occupy Nuremberg.

April 23
Soviet troops near Berlin.

April 23-May 4
Evacuation of inmates from concentration camps Sachsenhausen and Ravensbruck. SS guards conduct last massacre of Jews.

April 25
Meeting of American and Soviet troops on the Elbe River in Germany.

April 28
Mussolini captured and hanged by Italian partisans.


Dachau survivors Survivors of Dachau concentration camp, May 1945.
April 29
American troops liberate Dachau.

April 30
Hitler commits suicide.

May 2
Berlin capitulates. Representatives of International Red Cross take over at Theresienstadt.

May 5
Liberation of Mauthausen.

May 7-9
Unconditional surrender of Germany: end of war in Europe.

May 8
V-E (Victory in Europe) Day.

Göring in prisoners dock Hermann Göring was sentenced to death at the International Military Tribunal trial of war criminals at Nuremberg. Just two hours before his scheduled execution on October 15, 1946, however, Göring committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide pill he had managed to smuggle into prison.

May 9
U.S. troops capture Göring.

May 23
Himmler captured and commits suicide.

June 5
Allies divide up Germany and Berlin and take over government.

June 26
United Nations Charter signed in San Francisco.

August 6
Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

August 15
Japan surrenders: end of World War II.

October 24
United Nations officially born.

November 22
Start of Nuremberg Trials. Trials end January 10, 1946, with 12 defendants sentenced to death, three to life imprisonment, four to various prison terms, and three acquitted.

Photos: Courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives.

The Director's Story | Timeline of Nazi Abuses
Results of Death-Camp Experiments: Should They Be Used?
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