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The Holocaust

By bcsprad
  • November 11, 1918

    November 11, 1918
    World War I ends with the defeat of Germany and her allies.
  • Sturmabteilung SA

    Sturmabteilung SA
    The SA was an instrument of terror and enforcement in the early days of the Nazi Party. Membership in the SA was often drawn from notorious and otherwise criminal elements in German society. Its purpose was to challenge any who opposed the Nazi movement, and was a key force used against German Jews. Led by Ernst Rohm at its heigth of power, it was virtually rendered powerless by the Night of the Long Knives in 1934.
  • 1921

    Adolf Hitler became the leader of the Nationalsozialistische Deutche Arbiterpartier (NSDAP) or National Socialist German Workers Party, better known as the Nazi Party.
  • Beer Hall Putsch

    Beer Hall Putsch
    Hitler led a failed attempt to take over the Munich government. He spent 5 months in prison as a result.
  • Mein Kampf

    Mein Kampf
    Hitler published his political testament and plans to reshape Europe. Few outside Germany paid it any heed.
  • Heinrich Himmler appointed leader of the SS

    Heinrich Himmler appointed leader of the SS
    The SS, formed in 1925, eventually superseded the SA. Under the leadership of Himmler, it became an organization of great power in the Third Reich. The SS encompassed the Gestapo, the SD or security division, and even special elite units of the military.
  • Great Depression

    Great Depression
    The Great Depression began in the United States, and within a year strikes Germany causing an economic collapse.
  • Nazis began to take power.

    Nazis began to take power.
    National Socialist Party became the second largest political party in Germany.
  • Nazi Party becomes the largest party in Germany

    Nazi Party becomes the largest party in Germany
    National Socialist become the largest political party in Germany, but sill have failed to acheive a majority of the vote.
  • Nazis lose?

    Nazis lose?
    In a stunning reversal of fortune the Nazis lost the 1932 election, causeing many in the party to believe the end was near.
  • Hitler appointed chancellor of Germany

    Hitler appointed chancellor of Germany
    Bowing to pressure following a failed attempt at a coalition government, President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler as chancellor of Germany.
  • Reichstag Fire

    Reichstag Fire
    A fire set by a Dutch communist was exploited by Hitler to suspend basic civil liberties.
  • Enabling Act passed

    Enabling Act passed
    The Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, which virtually made Hitler a legal dictator of Germany. It empowered him to have the authority to pass legislation without consent of any parlimentary body.
  • Gestapo formed

    Gestapo formed
    The Gestapo was the secret police of Nazi Germany. It was authorized to operate above regular German law. Suspects were often arrested and held without trial and often simply disappeared while in the custody of the Gestapo.
  • Night of the Long Knives

    Night of the Long Knives
    Hitler ordered a purge of the SA in favor of the SS. This act won him the support of the German army.
  • Hindenburg dies

    Hindenburg dies
    Hitler wasted little time in combining the office of presdient and chancellor.
  • Nuremburg Laws

    Nuremburg Laws
    First introduced in 1935, these laws defined Jews as anyone with 3 or 4 Jewish grandparents. These laws stripped Jews and other non-Aryan people of their citizenship and made them subjects of the Reich. It further prevented the marriage of Germans and Jews.
  • Kristallnacht November 9-10

    Kristallnacht November 9-10
    Mass destruction of Jewish synagoges, shops, and dwellings carried out by the SA and German civilians. About 92 people were killed and thousands were sent to concentration camps.
  • World War II began

    World War II began
    Germany invaded Poland to begin the Second World War. Special SS units began killing Jewish population centers in Poland. Later efforts were made to collect the Jewish population in ghettos in Poland. Many Jews were subject to forced labor and harsh treatment at the hands of the SS.
  • Operation Barbarossa

    Operation Barbarossa
    A new chapter in the Holocaust began when Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Einsatzgruppen followed behind the German army and began to exterminate any Jews found in occupied areas. In Lithuania alone, 80% of the 220,000 Jews were systematically murdered by the beginning of 1942.
  • Wansee Conference

    Wansee Conference
    Began by Reinhard Heydrich, it was decided that a "final solution to the Jewish question" Here the policy of mass extermination and death by forced labor was put officially in place.
  • Death Camps Open

    Death Camps Open
    Gas chambers at Auschwitz II Birkenau in occupied Poland became operational. The camp was originally opened in 1940, but its functions were greatly expanded as an extermination and forced labor camp. Six other camps were opened as extermination centers in 1942 at Belzec, Chelmo, Jasenovac,Majdanek, Maly Trostinets, Sobibor, and Treblinka.
  • Operation Reinhard

    Operation Reinhard
    Belzec extermination camp opened under the orders of Operation Reinhard. This operation from 1942-1943 is estimated to have accounted for 2.2 million Jews being gassed at extermination camps in eastern Europe. This process involved a selection process soon after arrival by train at a camp. Victims were stipped of their property and clothing and told they were going to be deloused. Instead Zyklon B gas was pumped into the chambers. The bodies were checked for valuables and then usually cremated.
  • Battle of Stalingrad ends

    Battle of Stalingrad ends
    German defeat at Stalingrad on the Volga River began a long series of reversals for the German army. With the US entry into the war the tide began to turn and the Germans were forced on the defensive.
  • Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

    Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
    Occupant of the Warsaw Ghetto resisted German efforts to eliminate and deport the population to death camps. The Germans crushed resistance on May 16, 1943. A second uprising began on August 1, 1944, but was also unsuccessful.
  • Hungary occupied

    Hungary occupied
    With the ghettos largely emptied, the mass scale of the killings reached its peak. At Auschwitz about 8000 people a day were gassed. By the time the 800000 Hungarian Jews faced deportation much of the Final Solution had run its course. With in months the Nazis would begin the process of abandoning the death camps.
  • Beginning of the End D-Day

    Beginning of the End D-Day
    Allied forces began the conquest of Fortress Europe on June 6, 1944 with the landings at Normandy, France. Soviet forces in the East likewise began a summer offensive that smashed German forces holding the Eastern Front.
  • Assassination attempt

    Assassination attempt
    In East Prussia, a bomb failed to kill Adolf Hitler at the Wolf's Lair. About 5000 people were killed in the resulting Nazi persecutions of suspected bomb plotters.
  • Majdanek liberated

    Majdanek liberated
    Majdanek became the first major camp liberated by the Soviet armies. Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor were never liberated, but were destroyed by the Nazis themselves.
  • Last Victims

    Last Victims
    The final killings at Auschwitz took place with the execution of 13 women. In January 1945 the camp was abandoned.
  • Auschwitz liberated

    Auschwitz liberated
    The camp was mostly abandoned by the time the Soviets reached it. Prisoners suffered great cruelty as they were forced marched to new camps in the heart of Germany.
  • Liberation 1945

    Liberation 1945
    Buchenwald was liberated by the US army. In the coming weeks more camps were discovered as Allied and Soviet armies pushed deeper into the Third Reich.
  • Hitler Committed Suicide

    Hitler Committed Suicide
    With Soviet troops only blocks away, Hitler committed suicide in his underground bunker in Berlin. The Third Reich would not long survive him.
  • VE Day

    VE Day
    The Third Reich was defeated. Himmler committed suicide shortly after his capture. Joseph Geobbles committed suicide shortly after Hitler in Berlin. Herman Goering was the only member of Hitler's inner circle to stand trial for the crimes of the Nazi Party. He committed suicide shortly before his scheduled execution for crimes against humanity in 1946.
  • Nuremburg Trials

    Nuremburg Trials
    A series of trials to try 23 of the most prominent Nazis after World War II.