January 30: Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany, leading a coalition of Nazis and conservatives.

March 22: Dachau concentration camp established.

March 23: Reichstag passes the Enabling Act, giving Hitler dictatorial powers.

April 1: First officially organised boycott of Jewish shops.

April 7: Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service removes Jews and socialists from government employment


September 15: Nuremberg Laws issued: Jews lose the rights of German citizens and are forbidden to marry or have sexual relations with non-Jews.


March 13: Anschluss with Austria. Immediately followed by pogroms.

July 6-13: Évian Conference.

October 5: Passports of German Jews stamped with letter ‘J’.

October 28: Deportation of 15-17,000 Jews with Polish citizenship from Germany.

November 9-10: Kristallnacht pogrom.

November 12: Conference of Nazi leaders organises complete exclusion of Jews from the German economy.


January 30: In a speech to the Reichstag Hitler ‘prophesises’ “the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe” if “the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed once more in plunging the nations into a world war”.

March 15: German occupation of Prague.

August 23: Nazi-Soviet Pact.

September 1: German invasion of Poland begins the Second World War. Immediately followed by mass killings of Polish intellectuals and others.

September 17: Soviet invasion of eastern Poland.

September 21: Heydrich orders creation of Jewish Councils in Poland.

October: Hitler signs decree authorising the T4 programme (murder of German and Austrian adults with disabilities).

October 8: First Nazi ghetto created in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland.

October 12-26: Division of German-occupied areas of Poland: western provinces directly incorporated into the Reich; remainder becomes the General Government.

October 18-27: the Nisko Plan experimental deportations of c.5,000 Jews from the Reich to the east of the General Government; soon abandoned.

October 26: Decree issued requiring Jews in the General Government to undertake forced labour.

November 23: Jews in the General Government forced to wear Star of David armbands.

December: Beginning of mass deportations of Poles and Jews from the Polish territories incorporated into the Reich to the General Government. Continue to March 1941 during which time more than 400,000 deported (c.10% Jews). However, logistical chaos and resistance from the General Government authorities prevent even larger deportations, including plans for deportation of all Jews from the Reich.


February 8: Order for the creation of the Łódź Ghetto (sealed May 1940).

April 9: German invasion of Norway and Denmark.

May 10: German invasion of the Low Countries and France.

June 14: First transport of Polish political prisoners to Auschwitz.

Summer: Madagascar Plan developed and then abandoned.

October 3: Vichy government in France issues Statut des Juifs (anti-Jewish laws).

November 15: Warsaw Ghetto sealed.


February 25: General strike in Amsterdam in protest at persecution of Dutch Jews.

Spring: In advance of the invasion of the USSR, German army and Food Ministry develop the Hunger Plan which envisages the starvation of 20-30 million Soviet citizens in order to feed Germany.

March-April: Ghettos created in many cities in the General Government (e.g. Kraków, Lublin).

April 6: German invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia.

April 16: Fascist Ustaše movement takes power in newly-created Independent State of Croatia. Massacres of Serbs in certain villages begin in late April, escalating into a campaign of mass murder against Serbs, Jews and Roma in summer 1941.

June 2: Second Statut des Juifs in France.

June 22: German invasion of the USSR. Almost immediately followed by murders of Communists and Jewish men by Einsatzgruppen and other German police units. Also pogroms against Jews by local collaborators in some parts of Ukraine and the Baltic States.

August: Einsatzgruppen increasingly begin to murder Jewish women and children, including entire Jewish communities in many places.

August 24: Official end of the T4 programme though murders of the disabled continue by other means.

Autumn: More than 3 million Soviet prisoners of war forced into makeshift camps: 2 million die by February 1942 from disease, starvation, execution and forced marches.

September: Beginning of mass executions of Jewish and Roma men in Serbia by the German army – almost all murdered by the end of the year.

September 1: Decree ordering German Jews to wear the yellow star.

September 3: First gassing experiments in Auschwitz on Soviet prisoners of war.

September 29-30: Babi Yar massacre: 33,771 Jews shot in a ravine on the edge of Kiev.

October: Construction of Birkenau (Auschwitz II) begins.

October 9: Romanian government begins deportations of Jews from Bessarabia (now Moldova) and Bukovina (now in Ukraine) to Transnistria (Romanian-occupied area of Ukraine). Tens of thousands die from starvation, disease and mass executions.

October 15: Deportation of Jews from Germany and Austria to ghettos in the East (e.g. Łódź, Minsk) begins.

October 23-25: Romanian occupation forces murder more than 20,000 Jews in Odessa (Ukraine).

November 1: Construction of Bełżec extermination camp begins.

November 24: First transport of Czech Jews to Terezín (transports from Terezín to the East begin January 9 1942).

December 8: Gassings begin at Chełmno extermination camp.

December 11: Germany declares war on the USA, following Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7).


January 20: Wannsee Conference.

February 15: First gassing of a Jewish transport in Auschwitz (from Beuthen in Silesia).

Early March: Gassings of Serbian Jewish women and children begin at Sajmište camp. Murders continue to mid-May by which time almost all Serbian Jews murdered.

March 17: First transports to Bełżec, marking the start of Aktion Reinhard.

March 25-26: Slovak government begins deportation of Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau and ghettos in the General Government.

March 27: First transport of French Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Early May: First transports to Sobibór.

May 27: Heydrich shot by Czech resistance in Prague (dies June 4).

July 15-16: First transports of Dutch Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

July 17-20: Himmler visits Auschwitz and Lublin (Aktion Reinhard HQ) to order acceleration of the killing process.

July 22: Beginning of ‘Great Aktion’ in the Warsaw Ghetto, marking the start of deportations to Treblinka (more than 700,000 Jews murdered in Treblinka in 5 months).

August 4: First transport of Belgian Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

September 4: Chaim Rumkowski (chair of the Łódź Ghetto Jewish Council) begs parents to “Give me your children” after the Germans demand all children under 10 and adults over 65 for deportation to Chełmno.


January 18: New German Aktion in the Warsaw Ghetto meets with Jewish resistance.

February 2: German surrender at Stalingrad.

February 26: First group of ‘Gypsies’ arrives in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

March: First transports of Jews from Macedonia and Greece to Treblinka and Auschwitz-Birkenau.

April 19-May 16: Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

August 2: Treblinka uprising.

August 16-20: Białystok Ghetto uprising.

September 10: German occupation of Rome, following Mussolini’s fall from power in July 1943.

October 1-2: Rescue of Danish Jews begins.

October 14: Sobibór uprising.

October 18: First transport of Italian Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

November 3-4: Erntefest massacre: 42,000 Jews shot in two days in Majdanek and other camps in the Lublin region.


March 19: German invasion of Hungary, following attempts by the Hungarian leader Horthy to leave the war.

May 15: Systematic deportations of Jews from Hungary to Auschwitz-Birkenau begin: 435,000 Jews deported until Horthy orders a halt on July 7.

June 23: Liquidation of Łódź Ghetto begins (continues to late August).

Autumn: Death marches begin.

October 7: Revolt by Birkenau Sonderkommando.

October 15: Overthrow of Horthy by Germans leads to resumption of deportations in Hungary (from November) and murders of Jews in Budapest by supporters of new Fascist Arrow Cross government.


January 27: Auschwitz-Birkenau liberated by the Red Army.

April 15: Bergen-Belsen liberated by the British.

April 30: Hitler commits suicide.

May 7: Germany surrenders to the Allies.