On June 14, 1940, the jews are loaded up onto trains to be sent to their death. The worst camp of them all. The first load of prisoners arrive at Aushwitz.
Germany invades the Soviet Union. Special Nazi killing squads, the Einsatzgruppen, operate behind the German army in Russia, inciting pogroms against the Jews and murdering 'Jews in the service of the party or the state'.
The Ride Back
Five hundred and seventy-five sick and disabled inmates at Auschwitz are selected for gassing. There is nowhere to kill them without disturbance, so they are sent back to Germany to be murdered there.
Himmler visits the headquarters of Einsatzgruppe B in Minsk and discovers that shooting women and children is causing some of his troops psychological damage. He contemplates other methods of killing Jews in the East.
The first gassing experiments take place using Zyklon B, a powerful disinfectant, in order to exterminate supposed Soviet 'commissars' as well as those at the camp who are considered to be unfit for work.
Plans of the new camp extension at Birkenau are altered to exclude basic living space. 10,000 Soviet prisoners of war arrive to build the extension.
The first German Jews are deported to eastern Europe. Belzec, a small experimental gas camp, is used as a place to kill 'unproductive' Jews.
The heads of the Danish churches publish a strong protest against Nazi treatment of Jews. Danish social and economic organisations and King Christian X also object strongly, and universities close for a week in protest.
A train takes 1,684 to freedom, brokered directly between Eichmann and Jewish organisers. The Nazis charge $1,000 per head for the places. The train eventually makes it to Switzerland and freedom.
Himmler signs an agreement not to pass on Hitler's order to destroy all concentration camps and kill all prisoners. In early April, against Hitler's express wishes, he permits the Allies to take Bergen.