Holocaust Sequence of Events

  • Treaty of Versailles

    Treaty of Versailles
    The treaty provided an official peace between Germany and nearly all the 32 victorious Allied and associated nations, including France, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The treaty provided a reorganization of the boundaries and certain territories of European nations and areas they controlled in Africa, Asia, and Pacific Ocean islands. It also created several new international organizations, including the League of Nations and the Permanent Court of International Justice.
  • Hitler Comes to power in Germany

    Hitler Comes to power in Germany
    Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party, became head of the German government in 1933. He quickly moved to make himself a dictator. Germany's defeat in World War I (1914-1918) and a worldwide depression in the early 1930's had left the country's economy in ruins. Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany's problems, and he made anti-Semitism a government policy.
  • Open First Concentration Camp

    Open First Concentration Camp
    The Nazis established the first permanent camp in Dachau, Germany, near Munich, in March 1933. Nazi camps held socialists, Communists, and other political prisoners; Jews; homosexuals; priests and ministers; and many others.
  • Nuremberg Laws

    Nuremberg Laws
    The Nuremberg laws of 1935 stripped Jews of citizenship. Jews were forbidden to marry non-Jews. The laws set forth definitions of who was a Jew and who was a part-Jew, also known as a Mischling (mixed blood). For example, a person who had at least three Jewish grandparents was classified as a Jew. Someone with one Jewish grandparent might be classified as a Mischling.
  • Olympic Games in Berlin

    Olympic Games in Berlin
    The Berlin games were the first to be preceded by a torch relay of the Olympic flame from Greece, and they were the first games to be shown on television. The 1936 Summer Olympics are remembered for Hitler's failed attempt to use them to prove his theory of racial superiority. The Nazis glorified the Germans and other northern European peoples, while claiming that Jews, blacks, and other groups were inferior. The most successful athlete in the Summer Games was Jesse Owens, an African American.
  • International Conference in Evian, France

    International Conference in Evian, France
    The Évian Conference was convened at the initiative of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in July 1938 to discuss the issue of increasing numbers of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. The fact that the conference did not pass a resolution condemning the German treatment of Jews was widely used in Nazi propaganda. It can be argued that the failure to agree on who should receive Jewish migrants from Germany further emboldened Hitler in his assault on European Jewry.
  • Deportation of Jews

    Deportation of Jews
    Jews were attacked and Jewish property was vandalized, over 7,000 Jewish shops and 1,668 synagogues (almost every synagogue in Germany) were damaged or destroyed. The death toll is assumed to be much higher than the official number of 91 dead. 30,000 were sent to concentration camps, including Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald,and Oranienburg concentration camp, where they were kept for several weeks, and released when they could either prove that they were about to emigrate in the near future
  • Kristallnacht

    Beginning that night and continuing for about 24 hours, Nazis destroyed thousands of Jewish-owned businesses and burned most synagogues in Germany and Austria. They beat Jews in the streets and attacked them in their homes. They killed dozens of Jews. They arrested about 30,000 Jews and sent them to concentration camps (camps for political prisoners). The night became known as Kristallnacht, a German word meaning Crystal Night. In English, it is called the Night of Broken Glass.
  • World War II Begins

    World War II Begins
    Nazi Germany invaded Poland. In June 1940, Fascist Italy joined the war on Germany's side. In June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union, breaking their nonaggression pact of 1939, a treaty in which they promised not to attack each other. It killed more people, destroyed more property, disrupted more lives, and probably had more far-reaching consequences than any other war in history. The war brought about the downfall of Western Europe as the center of world power.
  • German establishment of "euthanasia program"

    German establishment of "euthanasia program"
    Action T4 (German: Aktion T4) was a program, also called Euthanasia Program, in Nazi Germany spanning October 1939 until August 1941, during which physicians killed 70,273 people specified in Hitler's secret memo of September 1, 1939 as suffering patients "judged incurably sick, by critical medical examination", but described in a denunciation of the program by Cardinal Galen as long-term inmates of mental asylums "who may appear incurable".
  • Opening of Auschwitz

    Opening of Auschwitz
    The first camp, Auschwitz I, began in 1940 as a camp for Polish political prisoners. Many of the prisoners died from starvation, disease, or harsh treatment. In March 1942, Auschwitz II, or Birkenau, opened. It was primarily an extermination (mass killing) facility, and eventually had four large gas chambers—rooms where people were killed with poisonous hydrogen cyanide gas. In October 1942, Auschwitz III, or Monowitz, opened primarily as a slave labor camp.
  • Babi Yar

    Babi Yar
    The German army had captured Kiev and posted notices ordering the city's Jews to report for resettlement. The victims, carrying their belongings, marched to Babi Yar ravine, where Nazi killing squads called Einsatzgruppen shot them to death. The area later was a camp for a detachment of the German dictator Adolf Hitler’s elite SS troops under the command of Paul von Radomski. By 1943, when the Germans retreated, the ravine had become a mass grave for more than 100,000 people, most of them Jews.
  • D-Day occurs

    D-Day occurs
    Early on the morning of June 6, about 23,000 American and British troops dropped by parachute and glider into Normandy, while more than 130,000 Allied troops crossed the English Channel. Allied warplanes riddled the invasion area with bombs and gunfire, while warships bombarded the Normandy beaches. About 70,000 German soldiers put up fierce resistance. The Allies met heavy machine gun and rifle fire, artillery fire, land mines, tanks, barbed wire. Allied secured all 5 beaches by end of day
  • Warsaw Ghetto Uprisings

    Warsaw Ghetto Uprisings
    The people of Warsaw rose against the Germans. The Poles seized large parts of the city, but nearby Soviet troops failed to come to their aid, and the Poles soon weakened. Massive German counterattacks finally forced the Poles to surrender on October 3. The Germans evacuated Vistula, then burned and destroyed what remained of Warsaw. About 200,000 Polish residents died in the uprising.
  • Nuremberg Trials

    Nuremberg Trials
    The Nuremberg trials took place from 1945 to 1949. The Nazi leaders were charged with four major types of crimes. Conspiracy to commit crimes against peace included the planning of a war of aggression. Crimes against peace included carrying out such a war. War crimes included the murder of prisoners of war and of civilians, and the destruction of towns and cities. Crimes against humanity included deporting civilians and using them for slave labor as well as persecuting and murdering people.