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Timeline of Nazi Abuses
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The Nazi reign of terror lasted from 1933 to 1945, a time when mounting affronts to Europe's Jews, Gypsies, and others gave way to the most unspeakable atrocities. Using well-documented facts and contemporary photographs, this timeline chronicles that tragic period in world history. Click on any year below to get a detailed history. Caution: Many photographs in this feature are disturbing and may not be suitable for all ages.
1933 | 1934 | 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944 | 1945
President Paul von Hindenburg appoints Adolf Hitler Reichs Chancellor (Prime Minister).
Published since 1923 by Julius Streicher in Nuremberg as a local organ of the Nazi party, the weekly publication Der Stürmer, devoted primarily to anti-Semitic propaganda and promoting hatred against the Jews, becomes one of the official organs of the party in power. The motto of the paper is "The Jews are our misfortune."
Nazis burn Reichstag (Parliament) building to create crisis atmosphere. President Hindenburg grants Hitler emergency powers that limit civil rights.
During the last free election in pre-war Germany, the Nazi party wins nearly 44 percent of the popular vote, more than twice as many votes as the next closest political party, the Social Democrats, with 18 percent. In a coalition with another right-wing party, Hitler takes full control of Germany.
Members of the SA (Sturmabteilung, or "Stormtroops," originally established in 1921 by Hitler to defend Nazi meetings) and Stahlhelm (nationalist ex-servicemen's organization) instigate rioting against German Jews.
First concentration camp, Dachau, established north of Munich.
German government passes the Enabling Act, granting Hitler dictatorial powers.
SA instigates boycott of all Jewish shops in Germany. Action also directed against Jewish physicians and lawyers. Jewish students forbidden to attend schools and universities.
Law for "the re-creation of civil-service professionalism" passed. Removal of many Jewish civil-service employees, including teachers and judges. Exception made for front-line veterans of World War I.
Decree issued defining a non-Aryan as "anyone descended from non-Aryan, especially Jewish, parents or grandparents. One parent or grandparent classifies the descendant as non-Aryan ... especially if one parent or grandparent was of the Jewish faith."
Formation of the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei, or "Secret State Police"), transforming Prussian political police into an organ of the Nazi state.
Books written by Jews and opponents of Nazism burned.
Nazi party declared only party in Germany. Also, law pertaining to the revocation of naturalization and cancellation of German citizenship passed. Primarily aimed at Jews naturalized since 1918 from the formerly Eastern German territories.
Nazis establish Reich Chamber of Culture and exclude Jews from participating in the arts.
Editor Law passed: Jews prohibited from serving as newspaper editors.
Germany quits League of Nations.
Nazis pass a law against "Habitual and Dangerous Criminals" that justifies placing the homeless, beggars, unemployed, and alcoholics in concentration camps.
Jews banned from the German Labor Front, a labor organization affiliated with the Nazi Party.
Jews no longer entitled to health insurance.
The "Night of the Long Knives" occurs as Hitler, Hermann Göring, and Heinrich Himmler conduct a purge of the SA leadership, murdering about 700 people, including opposition figures still in Germany.
President Hindenburg dies. Offices of President and Chancellor combined. Hitler becomes sole leader (Führer) and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
Defense Law passed: "Aryan heritage" becomes a prerequisite for military duty. During the summer, "Jews Not Wanted" posters start to appear on restaurants, shops, and on village entrance signs.
National Day of the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers Party). Parliament passes, during a special session, the anti-Semitic "Nuremberg Laws," the "National Citizens Law," and the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor." These laws are the basis for the exclusion of Jews from all public business life and for the reclassification of the political rights of Jewish citizens.
First decree pertaining to the "National Citizens Law" issued: Jews denied voting rights and forbidden to hold public office. Discharge of all Jewish civil-service employees, including World War I front-line veterans. Definition of "Jew" written. First decree pertaining to the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor" issued: Prohibition against the marriage of Jews to non-Jews. Sexual relations between Jews and Aryans becomes a crime. Work possibilities for Jews narrowed to just a few professions. Jewish children prohibited from using the same playgrounds and locker rooms as other children.
The Gestapo placed above the law.
The SS (Shutzstaffeln, or "Protection Squad," originally set up in 1925 to provide personal protection to Nazi leadership) creates the Deaths Head division to guard concentration camps.
German troops occupy the Rhineland in western Germany.
Himmler appointed chief of German Police, with Reinhard Heydrich as his second in command.
Opening of the Olympic Games in Berlin. Anti-Semitic posters temporarily removed.
SS Obergruppenführer (Lt. General) Reinhard Heydrich issues secret order pertaining to protective custody for Race Violators following the conclusion of the normal legal process.
Buchenwald concentration camp opens in central Germany.
Systematic takeover of Jewish property begins.
Munich exhibition of "The Wandering Jew" depicting the Jew as financial exploiter.
"Annexation" (Anschluss) of Austria and start of persecution of Austrian Jews.
Law pertaining to the legal rights of Jewish cultural (ethnic) organizations passed. Jewish communities are no longer legal entities enjoying civil rights; instead, they can only be legally created associations.
Decree issued against the "camouflage of Jewish industrial enterprises." Decree announced requiring the declaration of all Jewish property greater than 5,000 Reichsmarks (approx. $1,190).
Destruction of the Munich Synagogue.
Decree issued requiring the registration and identification of Jewish industrial enterprises. Creation of lists of wealthy Jews at treasury offices and police districts.
"Asocial-Action": Arrest of all "previously convicted" Jews, including those prosecuted for traffic violations, and commitment to concentration camps (approx. 1,500 persons).
International conference held in Evian, France, and attended by delegates from 32 countries, including the United States, Great Britain, and France, to discuss the problem of Jewish refugees from Germany. Results in no effective help for Jewish refugees.
Introduction of identity cards for Jews, to become effective January 1, 1939.
Decree announced for the cancellation of the medical certification of all Jewish physicians, effective September 30. Thereafter, Jewish physicians only allowed to function as nurses for Jewish patients.
Destruction of the synagogue in Nuremberg, south-central Germany.
Decree issued to carry out the law pertaining to the change of first and last names. Effective January 1, 1939, all Jews must add to their name either "Israel" or "Sara."
Jews forbidden to attend public cultural events.
Decree issued for the cancellation of licenses to practice for all Jewish lawyers, effective November 30. Thereafter, Jewish lawyers can only practice in special instances as "Jewish Consultants for Jews."
Munich Agreement: Britain and France accept German annexation of Sudetenland, a part of Czechoslovakia.
Passport decree issued, resulting in the confiscation of passports held by Jews. Procedure for reissuance of passports made more complicated. Newly issued passports stamped "J," designating Jewish ownership.
German troops occupy the Sudetenland.
Expulsion from Germany of 15,000 to 17,000 Jews of Polish origin to Zbaszyn on Polish border.
Hershel Grynszpan, whose parents suffered in the aforementioned expulsion, assassinates German consular aide Ernst Vom Rath in Paris.
Kristallnacht ("Night of Broken Glass"): Government-organized pogrom against Jews in Germany. Destruction of synagogues, businesses, and homes. More than 26,000 Jewish men arrested and committed to Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen concentration camps. At least 91 Jews killed, 191 synagogues destroyed, and 7,500 shops looted.
Decrees issued for the "atonement payments" by German Jews in the amount of one billion marks; the elimination of German Jews from involvement in the economy; and the reconstruction of the facades of all Jewish shops. Jews have to pay for all damage caused during Kristallnacht. Jews prohibited from attending movies, concerts, and other cultural performances.
Jewish children expelled from German schools.
Police decree pertaining to the appearance of Jews in public issued: Restrictions in the freedom of movement and travel, etc.
Confiscation of Jews' drivers licenses. Creation of a "Ban Against Jews" in Berlin. Decree announced pertaining to the forced disposal (Aryanization) of Jewish industrial enterprises and businesses.
Göring takes charge of resolving the "Jewish question."
Decree issued pertaining to the expiration of permits for Jewish dentists, veterinarians, and pharmacists.
Establishment of a National Central Office for Jewish emigration, with central offices in Vienna and Prague. These offices lie under the SS's Intelligence Service, the Sicherheitsdienst, or SD, headed by Reinhard Heydrich. Göring orders SS leader Heydrich to speed up emigration of Jews.
Hitler predicts in the parliament the "extermination of the Jewish race in Europe" in the event of war.
Nazis require Jews to relinquish all their gold and silver.
Occupation of Czechoslovakia, "Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia" created. Introduction of the anti-Semitic decrees that are already in force in Germany.
Anti-Jewish laws passed in Slovakia. Cancellation of eviction protection.
Law pertaining to rent agreements with Jews: Legal preparations for the combining of Jewish families into "Jewish Houses." Cancellation of eviction protection.
In Hamburg, 1,000 Jewish refugees board the SS St. Louis, a German ocean liner, for trip to Cuba, where they hope to find temporary refuge. Cuba and Miami turn them away.
Ravensbruck concentration camp for women established north of Berlin.
Nazis sign "Pact of Steel" with Italy.
SS St. Louis returns to Europe, where the passengers disembark.
Adolf Eichmann (deputy to Heydrich) placed in charge of the Prague branch of the emigration office. He becomes head of Section IVB4 of the S.D. under Reinhard Heydrich. Section IVB4 known first as the Jewish Bureau (later the Eichmann Bureau).
Germany attacks Poland. World War II begins. Numerous pogroms in Poland. Curfews for Jews in Germany (9 p.m. in the summer, 8 p.m. in the winter).
Britain and France declare war on Germany.
In occupied Poland, Heydrich authorizes the mobilization of Einsatzgruppen (killing squads), which see action beginning in the spring of 1941 after the invasion of Russia. Heydrich also authorizes the establishment of ghettos, each under a Judenrat (Jewish Council).
Confiscation of radios from Jews.
Establishment of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (National Central Security Department), which coordinates all political and criminal police in Germany under Heydrich. Warsaw surrenders.
Germans and Soviets divide Poland. More than two million Jews live in the German area and 1.3 million in the Soviet-controlled territory.
Nazis begin euthanasia, including murder by starvation, lethal injection, and carbon-monoxide poisoning, on sick and disabled in Germany.
First ghetto (unguarded and unfenced) established in Piotrkow, Poland.
First deportations from Austria and the "Protectorates" to Poland. Establishment of the Generalgouvernement (Government General) in the German-occupied territories of Poland.
Introduction of wearing of the Star of David in Wloclawek, Poland.
Forced labor for Jews in the Generalgouvernement.
Hans Frank appointed Governor of the Generalgouvernement (headquartered in Krakow). Assassination attempt on Hitler fails.
Introduction of the wearing of the Star of David in the entire Generalgouvernement (occupied Poland).
Frank issues directive to establish Judenrats in Generalgouvernement.
The Polish town of Oswiecim (Auschwitz) chosen as the site of a new Nazi concentration camp.
First deportations from Pomerania (Stettin, Stralsund, Schneidemuehl) to Lublin, Poland.
Germany invades Denmark and Norway.
High Command of the Armed Forces issues secret order: Discharge persons of mixed blood and husbands of Jewish women.
First guarded ghetto established in Lodz, Poland.
Rudolf Höss chosen as kommandant of Auschwitz.
Germany invades Holland, Belgium, and France.
The Nazis occupy Paris.
French army surrenders. Marshall Philippe Petain signs an armistice with Germany.
Eichmann presents his Madagascar Plan, proposing to deport all European Jews to the island of Madagascar off Africa.
Anti-Jewish laws passed in Romania.
Vichy government in France passes anti-Jewish laws (Statut des Juifs) that go beyond German legislation at that time.
German troops enter Romania.
Nazis issue order for the establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto.
"Aktion Burckel": Deportation of Jews from Alsace-Lorraine, Saarland, and Baden to southern France, then, in 1942, to Auschwitz.
Nazis seal off the Warsaw Ghetto.
Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia join the Axis powers.
First massacre of Jews in Romania.
Deportation of 72,000 Jews into the Warsaw Ghetto.
Deportation of 400 Jewish hostages from Amsterdam to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.
German troops occupy Bulgaria.
Induction of German Jews into forced labor.
Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece.
Arrest of 3,600 Parisian Jews. Romania passes law condemning adult Jews to forced labor.
French Marshall Petain approves collaboration with Hitler in radio broadcast.
Vichy government revokes civil rights of French Jews in North Africa and decrees many restrictions against them. Nazi SS Einsatzgruppen begin mass murder.
Germany attacks the Soviet Union.
Mass shootings of Jews begin in Ponary Forest, the killing grounds near Vilna, Poland. By 1944, 70,000 to 100,000 perish there.
Numerous pogroms occur in occupied Russian territories.
Anti-racist riots in Lvov, Poland in which Ukrainian nationalists take part.
Introduction of the wearing of the Star of David in Baltic countries.
Alfred Rosenberg appointed Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories to administer territories seized from the Soviet Union.
Göring assigns Heydrich the task for "a complete solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe." Beginning of the "Final Solution."
Ghettos established in Bialystok and Lvov, Poland.
Janówska labor and extermination camp opens near Lvov in Ukraine.
Police order pertaining to the introduction of the Star of David in Germany, effective September 19 for all Jews age six and older.
First gassing tests in Auschwitz using Zyklon-B, a poisonous gas.
Vilna Ghetto created with population of 40,000 Jews.
German troops capture Kiev, Ukraine.
Heydrich declared "Protector of Bohemia and Moravia."
Mass murder of Jews at Babi Yar near Kiev (34,000 victims).
Forced labor for the Jews in the Reich.
Ghetto in Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, established.
Massacre of Jews at Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine (11,000 victims).
Orders issued for deportation of German Jews from Germany as defined by its 1933 borders.
Deportation of the Jews from the Reich begins.
Massacre of Jews in Odessa (34,000 victims). Prohibition against the emigration of Jews.
Einsatzgruppen mass killings of Jews all over southern Russia.
Massacre of Jews in Kiev (34,000 victims).
Massacre of Jews in Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania (15,000 victims).
Declaration made pertaining to the collection of Jewish assets through deportations.
Massacre of Jews in Riga, Latvia; victims include the first transport of Jews from Germany (27,000 victims).
Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. Hitler issues "Night and Fog" decree, policy under which underground agents and other opponents are made to vanish into the "night and fog."
The United States and Britain declare war on Japan. Chelmno extermination camp opens near Lodz, Poland. By April 1943, 360,000 Jews will have been murdered at Chelmno.
Germany declares war on the United States, which, in turn, declares war on Germany.
Massacre of Jews in Simferopol in the Crimea (10,000 victims).
Allied nations sign declaration of the United Nations.
"Resettlements" from Lodz to the extermination camp Chelmno begin.
Wannsee Conference held to solidify plans for the deportation and extermination of European Jewry (Final Solution). Heydrich convened the meeting to transfer mass murders to the fixed death camps, with Eichmann in charge of transportation.
Einsatzgruppe A reports the liquidation of 229,052 Jews in the Baltic states. [Liquidation in this instance means to kill, while liquidation of ghettos usually refers to outright killing and/or deportation to death camps.]
Deportation of Jews to Theresienstadt begins.
Mass murder of Jews in Charkow (Kharkov), Ukraine (14,000 victims).
Extermination of Jews begins at Sobibor, an extermination camp in Poland. By October 1943, 250,000 Jews will have been murdered there.
First conference on sterilization held: Definitions pertaining to sterilization of persons of mixed blood laid down.
Extermination camp Belzec established in Poland to murder Jews from Lublin, the Lublin district, and Galicia. By liberation (two survivors), 600,000 Jews had been murdered there.
Start of "Aktion Reinhard," code name for the operation that had as its objective the physical destruction of Jews in the interior of occupied Poland.
"Resettlement" of the ghetto in Lublin: 26,000 persons sent to extermination camps Belzec and Majdanek and other camps.
Public notices pertaining to the identification of Jewish homes in Germany. Deportation of 60,000 Slovakian Jews, some to Auschwitz, others to the extermination camp Majdanek, near Lublin, Poland.
Starting end of March
Arrival of initial transports of Jews at the concentration and extermination camps at Auschwitz (Auschwitz I & Auschwitz II).
Jews prohibited from using public transportation. Exception only for forced laborers, if their workplace lies farther than seven kilometers from their place of residence, though taking a seat in the conveyance not allowed.
Czech commandos mortally wound SS leader Heydrich.
Introduction of the Star of David in France and Holland. Treblinka extermination camp opened about 40 miles northeast of Warsaw.
Deportation of German Jews to Theresienstadt begins.
Heydrich dies of his wounds.
Germans liquidate Lidice, Czechoslovakia, in retaliation for Heydrich's death.
Jewish schools in Germany closed.
Massacres of Jews in Minsk, Lida, and Slonim, all in Belorussia.
Berlin Jews are sent to Theresienstadt.
Start of mass gassings at Auschwitz.
Himmler grants permission for sterilization experiments at Auschwitz.
First deportation from Holland to Auschwitz.
Himmler orders Operation Reinhard, the mass deportation of Jews in Poland to extermination camps.
"Resettlement" of the inhabitants of the Warsaw Ghetto to the extermination camps at Belzec and Treblinka begins. By September 13, Nazis will have deported 300,000 Jews to Treblinka. Armed resistance during liquidation of Nieswiez ghetto, western Belorussia.
Mass exterminations by gassing started at Treblinka. By August 1943, Nazis will have murdered 700,000 Jews there.
First deportations from Belgium to Auschwitz.
Armed resistance during the liquidation of the Mir ghetto, western Belorussia.
"Resettlement" of the Lemberg (Lvov) ghetto in Ukraine. Forty thousand Jews deported to extermination camps.
Arrest of 7,000 "stateless" Jews in unoccupied France.
Deportations from Zagreb, Croatia, to Auschwitz. Gassings near Minsk of Jews deported from Theresienstadt.
Armed resistance during liquidation of Lahava ghetto, western Belorussia.
Massacre of Jews near Kislowodsk, Caucasus.
Conclusion of "resettlement" of the Lodz ghetto (55,000 victims).
Armed resistance during the liquidation of the Tutzin ghetto, western Ukraine.
Hitler publicly repeats his forecast of the destruction of Jewry.
Nazis order German concentration camps to be made "free of Jews": all Jewish inmates deported to Auschwitz.
The German Ministry of Justice transfers responsibility for Jews and citizens of German-occupied eastern countries to the Gestapo.
Nazis suppress revolt by Jews at Sachsenhausen assigned for deportation to Auschwitz.
Second conference pertaining to sterilization held.
Mass execution of Jews in Pinsk, Belorussia (16,000 victims).
First deportation of Jews from Norway to Auschwitz.
First transport of Jews from Germany arrives at Auschwitz.
Allies solemnly condemn the extermination of Jews and promise to punish the perpetrators.
First armed resistance against deportation in Warsaw Ghetto.
Transports from the ghetto in Theresienstadt to Auschwitz.
Germans order all Gypsies arrested and sent to concentration camps.
Ernst Kaltenbrunner becomes head of RuSHA (Race and Settlement Office).
German Sixth Army surrenders at Stalingrad—an event that marks the turning point in the war.
First "resettlements" in Bialystok Ghetto in Poland, with 1,000 Jews killed on the spot and 10,000 deported to Treblinka.
Nazis arrest "White Rose" resistance leaders in Munich.
Deportation of Jewish armament workers from Berlin to Auschwitz.
Transports from Holland to Sobibor and from Prague, Vienna, Luxembourg, and Macedonia to Treblinka.
American Jews hold a mass rally at Madison Square Garden in New York to pressure the United States to aid European Jewry.
Disbandment of the ghetto in Krakow.
Deportations from Salonika and Thrace in Greece.
The first new crematorium in Auschwitz-Birkenau begins operation.
Bermuda Conference. Fruitless discussions by U.S. and British delegates on deliverance of Nazi victims.
Revolt and destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto.
Himmler orders the liquidation of all Polish ghettos. Expanded to Soviet Union by the edict of June 21.
Liquidation of the ghetto in Lemberg (Lvov) (20,000 persons).
Revolt and destruction of the ghetto in Czestochowa, Poland.
Thirteenth order of the Reich's Civil Laws: Jews within Germany placed under police justice.
Mussolini arrested and Fascist government in Italy falls. Marshal Pietro Badoglio takes over and negotiates with Allies.
Revolts in Treblinka death camp and Krikov labor camp in the Lublin district.
Revolt and destruction of the ghetto in Bialystok.
Start of German raids against Jews in Nice, France.
Liquidation of ghettos in Minsk and Lida.
Transports of families from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz.
Liquidation of the Vilna Ghetto.
Soviet troops recapture Smolensk, Russia. Liquidation of all ghettos in Belorussia.
Germans order expulsion of Danish Jews. Due to rescue operations by the Danish underground, some 7,000 Jews evacuated to Sweden. Germans capture only 475.
Italy declares war on Germany. Due to Allied headquarters' premature announcement of Italian move by Allied headquarters, Italian Jews are trapped before they can be evacuated to North Africa.
Revolt in Sobibor.
First transport of Jews from Rome to Auschwitz.
U.N. War Crimes Commission established.
Liquidation of the Riga Ghetto. Nazis murder remaining Jews in Majdanek (17,000 victims).
Soviet troops recapture Kiev.
Conference in Teheran; Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin meet.
First trial of German war criminals in Charkow (Kharkov), Ukraine.
Roosevelt creates the War Refugee Board, transferring control from Cordell Hull and Breckenridge Long of the State Department to Henry Morgenthau of the Treasury Department.
Germany invades Hungary.
Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler escape from Auschwitz and carry detailed information about the death camp to outside world.
First transport of Jews from Athens to Auschwitz.
May 15 to July 8
Deportation of 438,000 Jews from Hungary to Auschwitz.
Red Cross delegation visits Theresienstadt.
Allies enter Rome.
D-Day, start of the Allied invasion in Normandy.
Rosenberg orders the kidnapping of 40,000 Polish children ages 10-14 for slave labor in the Reich.
Start of the Soviet offensive.
Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg arrives in Budapest, Hungary and begins to issue diplomatic papers to save Hungarian Jews.
Soviet troops liberate concentration camp Majdanek. German assassination attempt on Hitler fails.
Ghetto in Kovno, Lithuania, evacuated.
Gestapo arrests Anne Frank's family in Amsterdam.
Deportation to Germany of 27,000 Jews from camps east of the Vistula River in Poland.
Holding camp Drancy (near Paris) liberated. Romania capitulates.
Lodz Ghetto evacuated.
British troops arrive in Holland.
Soviet troops reach the Slovakian border.
Transport of all Jews in Dutch camps to Germany. New deportations from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz. Last transport from France to Auschwitz.
American troops reach the German border.
Massacre of Jews in the concentration camp in Kluga, Estonia. Resumption of deportations from Slovakia.
Escape attempts in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Germany installs new puppet Hungarian government, which resumes deportation of Jews.
Hitler orders the establishment of the Volkssturms (mobilization of all men from 16 to 60).
Allied armies liberate Paris.
Survivors of concentration camp Plaszow (Krakow) transported to Auschwitz.
Approximately 14,000 Jews transported from Slovakia to Auschwitz.
Trial of the leaders of the extermination camp Majdanek held in Lublin.
Gassings in Auschwitz terminated.
Soviet troops near Budapest.
Eichmann deports 38,000 Jews from Budapest to the concentration camps at Buchenwald and Ravensbruck and other camps.
Himmler orders destruction of the crematorium at Auschwitz-Birkenau, as Nazis try to hide evidence of the death camps.
Members of Waffen SS (an arm of the SS) murder 81 U.S. POWs at Malmedy.
Soviet troops liberate 800 Jews at Czestochowa and 870 in Lodz.
Soviet troops liberate Warsaw. Liberation of 80,000 Jews in Budapest. Nazis evacuate Auschwitz and "Death March" of prisoners begins.
Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz.
American troops reach the Rhine River.
Hitler orders destruction of all German military, industrial, transportation, and communications facilities to prevent them from falling under enemy control.
Allies discover Nazi-stolen art and wealth hidden in salt mines.
Evacuation of 15,000 Jews from Buchenwald.
American troops liberate Buchenwald. President Roosevelt dies. Truman becomes President.
British troops liberate concentration camp Bergen-Belsen southeast of Hamburg.
American troops occupy Nuremberg.
Soviet troops near Berlin.
April 23-May 4
Evacuation of inmates from concentration camps Sachsenhausen and Ravensbruck. SS guards conduct last massacre of Jews.
Meeting of American and Soviet troops on the Elbe River in Germany.
Mussolini captured and hanged by Italian partisans.
American troops liberate Dachau.
Hitler commits suicide.
Berlin capitulates. Representatives of International Red Cross take over at Theresienstadt.
Liberation of Mauthausen.
Unconditional surrender of Germany: end of war in Europe.
V-E (Victory in Europe) Day.
U.S. troops capture Göring.
Himmler captured and commits suicide.
Allies divide up Germany and Berlin and take over government.
United Nations Charter signed in San Francisco.
Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Japan surrenders: end of World War II.
United Nations officially born.
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.
Adapted with permission from the Web site of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (www.us-israel.org). Thanks to Dr. Paul Bookbinder of Harvard University for reviewing this timeline. All images in this feature are courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives.
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