From Hitler's rise to power to the end of the Second World War


30 January

Hitler is elected Chancellor (leader of the Government) of Germany.

27 February

The German Parliament building, the Reichstag, is burnt down. Although the communists are blamed, it is believed that the Nazis themselves are responsible.

24 March

The Enabling Act is passed by Parliament, changing the Weimar Constitution and granting Hitler greater power.

1 April

Jewish businesses are boycotted.

7 April

Professional civil service laws are reformed, excluding Jews from working in civil service posts, teaching in schools and universities, and being scientists.

25 AprilA quota is established for the number of 'non-Aryan' students allowed at schools and universities.
10 MayThousands of books by Jewish and other banned authors are burned in a public display of power.
14 July

The Nazi party is declared the only legal party in Germany.

All German citizens that were naturalised after 1918 (the end of WWI) have their citizenship repealed. This affects 100,000 Eastern European Jews.

German citizens with congenital disabilities undergo forced sterilization.

29 SeptemberOnly those able to prove they have no Jewish descendents are able to inherit farms.


31 May'Non-Aryans' become ineligible for military service.
15 September

The Nuremberg Laws are passed, preventing Jews from holding German citizenship, and forbidding marriage and sexual relations between Jews and Aryans.


13 March

The German army marches into Austria. This is known as the Anschluss, and it marks the inclusion of Austria into 'Greater Germany'. German anti-Jewish decrees are applied to Jews in Austria.

23 MarchRecognition of Jewish organisations is revoked.
6-15 July33 governments attend a conference at Evian to discuss the situation of German Jewish refugees. Almost all countries refuse entry to refugees and very few offer any form of help.
25 JulyJewish Doctors' licences are cancelled.
27 JulyJewish Lawyers' licences are cancelled.
1 August

Jewish men are made to take on the middle name 'Israel', and Jewish women 'Sarah'.

5 OctoberPassports of German Jews are marked with a letter signifying that the holder is Jewish.
28 OctoberPolish Jews are expelled from Germany.
9-10 NovemberKristallnacht (the night of broken glass). A night of appalling violence. Nearly 100 Jews are murdered and 20,000 German and Austrian Jews sent to camps. Synagogues are burnt down and Jewish shop windows are broken. The Jews are fined for the damage.
15 NovemberJewish children are excluded from German schools.
2 DecemberThe first of the Kindertransports arrive in Britain.


30 JanuaryHitler delivers a speech at the Reichstag, in which all of European Jewry is threatened with annihilation.
1 SeptemberGermany invades Poland.
3 SeptemberBritain, France, India, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany.
27 SeptemberGermany orders ghettos to be established in Poland, forcing Jews to live in segregated, overcrowded conditions.
OctoberThe Euthanasia Programme begins in Germany. This results in some 90,000 deaths of people with mental and physical disabilities by August 1941.
23 NovemberJews in Poland are forced to wear the Star of David armband or Yellow Stars for identification purposes.
2 DecemberNazis initiate the use of gas vans to eliminate mental patients.


30 April160,000 Jews are forced to live in the Lodz ghetto.
15 November500,000 Jews are forced to live in the Warsaw ghetto.


1 MarchAuschwitz II concentration camp complex is extended upon Himmler's orders. The Auschwitz-Birkenau camp is constructed.
22 June

Germany invades the Soviet Union.

Four Einzatzgruppen killing squads begin the mass slaughter of the Jews.

Approximately 2 million Jews are killed across Eastern Poland, Lithuania, the Baltic States and the Western areas of the Soviet Union.

31 JulyHeydrich receives instructions from Goering based on Hitler's orders for "The Final Solution of the Jewish Question".
1 SeptemberThe Euthanasia Programme is stopped.
8 DecemberJews and Gypsies are killed with gas in mobile vans in Chelmno, the first death camp.


20 JanuaryPlans for the Final Solution are co-ordinated at the Wannsee Conference in Berlin.
16 MarchOperation Reinhart, the liquidation of Polish Jews, begins. First transports are sent to Belzec, Sobibor, Majdanek and Treblinka death camps.
26 MarchThe deportation of Slovakian Jews to Auschwitz begins. This is followed by the first deportations from France on 28 March.
22 JulyThe mass deportation of Warsaw Jews to Treblinka begins.
8 AugustBritish and American governments receive information from World Jewish Congress about the Final Solution.
17 NovemberAllies denounce the murder of European Jews, declaring that those responsible will be brought to account.
17 DecemberThe House of Commons holds a minute's silence for the murdered Jews of Europe.


18 JanuaryJews in Warsaw resist deportation.
14 MarchCracow ghetto is liquidated (pre-war Jewish population 60,000).
1 JuneLvov ghetto is liquidated (pre-war Jewish population 150,000).
28 JuneFour crematoria are constructed at Auschwitz- Birkenau.
16 AugustBialystok ghetto is liquidated (pre-war Jewish population 50,000).
23 DecemberVilna ghetto is liquidated (pre-war Jewish population 80,000).


15 MayThe deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz begins.
6 August70,000 Jews remaining in the Lodz ghetto are deported to Auschwitz.
7 OctoberPrisoners at Auschwitz revolt, blowing up one crematorium.
28 NovemberFinal gassings take place in Auschwitz and gas chambers destroyed on Himmler's orders.


17 JanuaryPrisoners in Auschwitz are sent on 'death marches' towards camps in Germany.
27 JanuaryAuschwitz-Birkenau is liberated by the Soviets.

15 April

Bergen-Belsen concentration camp is liberated by the British army.
30 AprilHitler commits suicide.
8 AprilNazi Germany surrenders. Victory in Europe (VE) Day marks the formal end of the war in Europe.
18 OctoberThe Nuremberg Trials of military and political leaders of Nazi Germany begin.