A timeline of events from 1933 to 2016
January 30, 1933
Adolf Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg.
February 27, 1933
The German Parliament (Reichstag) building is burned down under mysterious circumstances. The Nazi party declares it to be an act of terrorism.
February 28, 1933
Citing the Reichstag fire, the German government takes away freedom of speech, assembly, press, and freedom from invasion of privacy (mail, telephone, telegraph) and from house search without warrant.
March 4, 1933
Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated President of the United States.
March 22, 1933
The first concentration camp for political opponents of the regime is established at Dachau, Germany.
March 23, 1933
The German Parliament passes the “Enabling Act,” which empowers Hitler to establish a dictatorship in Germany.
April 1, 1933
A nationwide boycott of Jewish-owned businesses in Germany is carried out under Nazi leadership.
April 7, 1933
The “Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service” is passed which excludes “non-Aryans” from government employment. Jewish civil servants, including university professors and schoolteachers, are fired in Germany. Similar laws in the following weeks affect Jewish lawyers, judges, and doctors.
May 10, 1933
Books written by Jews, political opponents of Nazis, and many others are burned during huge public rallies across Germany.
July 14, 1933
The “Law on the Revocation of Naturalization” is passed, which deprives Jews, as well as Gypsies, of German citizenship. The “Law to Prevent Offspring with Hereditary Defects,” is also passed permitting the forced sterilization of Gypsies, the mentally and physically disabled, African-Germans, and others considered “inferior” or “unfit.”
July 20, 1933
The Vatican signs a concordat (treaty) with Germany. Pope Pius XI considers the treaty as protecting the rights of Catholics in Germany, however, it only serves to legitimize the Reich and to disable Catholic opposition to the regime.
July 31, 1933
Approximately 30,000 people are now interned in German concentration camps.
Heinrich Himmler is appointed overseer of all police units in the Reich, except Prussia.
June 30-July 1, 1934
In what came to be called the “Night of the Long Knives,” members of the Nazi party and police murdered members of the Nazi leadership, army, and others on Hitler’s orders.
August 2, 1934
German President Hindenburg dies. Hitler becomes Führer in addition to his position as chancellor. Members of the armed forces must take a personal oath of allegiance to Hitler.
The first major wave of arrests of homosexuals occurs throughout Germany, continuing into November.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are banned from all civil service jobs and are arrested throughout Germany.
September 15, 1935
Citizenship and racial laws are announced at a Nazi party rally in Nuremberg. These laws, called the “Nuremberg Laws,” make Jews subjects, not citizens. They prohibit sexual relations and intermarriage between Jews and “persons of German or related blood.” Who is a Jew is officially defined in the following months, including the category of Mischlinge, who are persons of mixed Jewish-“Aryan” parentage and Jews who are married to “Aryans.”
March 7, 1936
Hitler’s army invades the Rhineland (an industrial region then part of France), which Germany had lost as part of the Versailles Treaty at the end of World War I.
March 29, 1936
The elite SS is renamed the SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-Death’s Head Units). They provide guards for concentration camps.
June 26, 1936
Reinhard Heydrich is appointed by Heinrich Himmler to head the SD (Security Service branch of the SS).
July 12, 1936
Prisoners and civilian workers begin construction of the concentration camp Sachsenhausen at Oranienberg near Berlin. By September, German authorities had imprisoned about 1,000 people in the camp.
August 1-16, 1936
The Olympic Games take place in Berlin. Anti-Jewish signs are removed until the Games are over.
March 13, 1938
Austria is annexed by Germany in what was called the Anschluss. Austrian Jews are immediately subject to all anti-semitic laws in effect in Germany.
April 26, 1938
The German government demands that all Jews register their property with the authorities. This is the first step in expropriation of Jewish property, or ‘Aryanization.’
July 6-15, 1938
Representatives from thirty-two countries meet at Evian, France, to discuss refugee policies. Most of the countries refuse to let in more Jewish refugees.
July 23, 1938
Jews in Germany are ordered to apply for identity cards to be shown to the police on demand.
August 13, 1938
The German authorities require that every Jewish man in the Reich who has a first name forbidden to Jews on the ground that it was not immediately recognizable as Jewish had to add “Israel” to his middle name. Women were obliged to add the name “Sara” to their names.
September 30, 1938
Britain, France, Italy, and Germany sign the Munich pact, forcing Czechoslovakia to cede its border areas to the German Reich.
October 1-10, 1938
German troops occupy the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia under the stipulations of the Munich Pact.
October 5, 1938
At the request of Switzerland, the passports of all Jews are marked with a large ‘J’ for ease of identification.
November 9-10, 1938
The Nazis burn synagogues and loot Jewish homes and businesses in a nationwide pogrom called Kristallnacht (“Night of Broken Glass”). Nearly 30,000 German and Austrian Jewish men are deported to concentration camps and at least 91 Jews are murdered. On November 12, 1938 the German Jews are fined one billion mark to pay for the damages incurred on Kristallnacht, thereby forcing them to pay for the repair of their own properties.
November 15, 1938
All Jewish children are expelled from public schools. Segregated Jewish schools are created.
December 3, 1938
The German government decrees that all Jewish industries, shops, and businesses that have not already been ‘aryanized’ be forcibly ‘aryanized.’
March 15, 1939
German troops invade and occupy the rest of Czechoslovakia.
May 17, 1939
The British issue a White Paper that limits Jewish immigration to Palestine to 75,000 over five years.
Cuba and the United States refuse to accept Jewish refugees aboard the ship S.S. St. Louis, which is forced to return to Europe.
August 23, 1939
The Soviet and German governments sign the secret Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact in which they agree that if (or more like, when) Germany invades Poland, Russia will not come to Poland’s aid. In return, Russia will be given the eastern half of Poland and the Baltic States of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia.
September 1, 1939
Germany invades Poland and World War II begins.
September 3, 1939
Britain and France fulfilled their promise to protect Poland’s border and declare war on Germany.
Hitler authorized the beginning of the “euthanasia” program (also known as the ‘T-4’ program after its address at number 4 Tiergartenstrasse). German doctors were authorized to kill institutionalized mentally and physically disabled persons by lethal injection or in gas chambers. (These experienced personnel were later transferred to the death camps to continue their operations in another setting).
Hans Frank, the governor-general of occupied Poland, sets up the first “self-governing” Jewish councils (Judenrate) in Jewish ghettos. The council leaders must obey the demands of the Nazis.
November 23, 1939
All Jews in German-occupied Poland are required to wear white badges with a blue Star of David on them on a prominent part of their outer clothing.
Germany invades and defeats Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and France.
April 30, 1940
German authorities order the first major Jewish ghetto in Lodz (Poland), which had been established in February, 1940, to be sealed off. Eventually, at least 160,000 people were confined in the ghetto and could not leave without German authorization.
May 20, 1940
SS authorities establish the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. It is not yet a death camp.
September 23, 1940
Heinrich Himmler authorizes a special SS Reichsbank account to hold gold (including gold extracted from human teeth), silver, jewelry, and foreign currency stolen from interned Jews. The account is held by the fictitious “Max Heiliger.”
The Warsaw ghetto is established. On November 15, 1940 it is sealed off. It was the largest ghetto in both area and population, with more than 350,000 Jews at its peak occupancy. This number represented about 30 percent of the city’s population which was sealed into an area about 2.4 percent of the city’s total area. Jews are limited to 183 calories per day. Between January and August, 1941 about 13,000 Jews die of hunger in the ghetto. In one month alone, March of 1942, almost 5,000 died of starvation.
March 3, 1941
A ghetto is established in Krakow, Poland, rapidly followed by others across Poland including among many others, Kielce, Lublin, Radom, Czestochowa, and Bailystok and in the Baltic states including Kovno (Lithuania), and Minsk (Belorussia), Riga (Latvia) and Kishinev (Ukraine), among others.
March 22, 1941
Gypsy and African-German children are expelled from public schools in the Reich.
March 24, 1941
Germany invades North Africa.
April 6, 1941
Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece.
June 22, 1941
The German army invades the Soviet Union. The Einsatzgruppen, mobile killing squads, follow the Wehrmacht (regular army) into Russia, and begin mass murders of Jews, Gypsies and Communist leaders. By spring of 1943, the Einsatzgruppen had murdered more than a million Jews and tens of thousands of others. Some 70,000 to 80,000 Jews fled eastward to evade the first wave of German invaders.
July 31, 1941
SS-Gruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Security Police and the SD (Security Service), to take measures for the implementation of the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question.” The “Final Solution” was a euphemism for the mass murder of the Jewish population of Europe.
August 20-21, 1941
About 4,300 French Jews are interned in Drancy, a transit camp in France. These are the first of 70,000 French Jews who will be deported to Auschwitz from France.
September 2, 1941
All German Jews over the age of six are required to wear a yellow Star of David on their outer clothing in public at all times.
September 3, 1941
Nine hundred Soviet prisoners of war and Polish prisoners are killed in a test of Zyklon B at Auschwitz.
September 6, 1941
German authorities establish two ghettos in Vilnius (Vilna) in German-occupied Lithuania. German and Lithuanian units kill thousands of Jews in the nearby Ponary woods. From October to December 33,500 Jews are murdered.
September 28-29, 1941
Nearly 34,000 Jews are murdered by mobile killing squads at Babi Yar, a ravine on the outskirts of Kiev (Ukraine). In the following months, thousands of others are murdered in the same place.
The first group of German and Austrian Jews are deported to ghettos in Lodz, Riga, and Minsk.
October 15, 1941
German authorities in Poland decree that any Jew found outside a designated ghetto will be shot. Further, any non-Jewish Pole who aids a Jew will be executed.
November 24, 1941
German authorities established the Theresienstadt ghetto near Prague, in the German-controlled Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (ex-Czechoslovakia). Tens of thousands of Jews were deported to Theresienstadt, from which they were then deported to Auschwitz and other killing centers in regular selections. Theresienstadt also served an important propaganda purpose for the Germans: they called it a “retirement” ghetto where elderly and privileged Jews could “retire in safety.” In June 1944 the Red Cross visited the ghetto, which was spruced up and social and cultural events were staged for the visiting dignitaries. Once the visit was over, the deportations were resumed. Tens of thousands of people died in Theresienstadt of disease and starvation.
Auschwitz I (originally established as a labor camp) is expanded and a second camp is added at Birkenau. Birkenau is to be a killing center.
December 7, 1941
Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and the United States declares war on Japan.
December 8, 1941
Gassing operations with gas vans begin at the Chelmno extermination camp in occupied Poland. The murders continued until March 1943 and many of its victims are inhabitants of the Lodz ghetto. In 1943 the camp was dismantled because most of its Polish victims were dead. Renewed deportations began in June 1944 for the remnants of the Lodz ghetto. Beginning in 1944, Jewish prisoners were forced to exhume and burn the corpses from the mass graves to obliterate the evidence of mass murder. The camp was officially abandoned on January 17, 1945. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum estimates that 320,000 persons were murdered in Chelmno.
December 11, 1941
Germany and Italy declare war on the United States.
December 31, 1941
Abba Kovner, the founder of the United Partisans Organization in Vilnius, Lithuania, calls for armed Jewish resistance to the Nazis, proclaiming, “We must not go like sheep to the slaughter!”
January 20, 1942
Fifteen Nazi government leaders meet at Wannsee a section of Berlin, to discuss and coordinate the “final solution of the Jewish question.” Adolf Eichmann dutifully takes notes at this meeting which are still extant. While the “Final Solution” was to encompass all European Jews including those in Great Britain and Ireland, as well as those in Greece, at this meeting the participants “were only concerned with the issue of ‘mixed marriages’ and ‘half-Jews.'” The total meeting time is 90 minutes.
Mass gassings began at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Gassing operations continued until November 1944. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, approximately 1.1 million people were murdered in Auschwitz. Of these approximately 865,000 were selected for death upon arrival. The others were admitted to the camp, where many died of hunger, disease, and overwork.
March 1, 1942
Construction of a new death camp at Sobibor is begun.
March 17, 1942
At Belzec, the SS begin murdering Jews using carbon monoxide in gas chambers. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, between March 17 and December 1942, approximately 600,000 Jews and some Gypsies are murdered at Belzec.
Gassings begin at Sobibor. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, approximately 250,000 Jews were murdered at Sobibor.
Also, the Bund (Jewish Labor Organization of Poland) informs the Polish government-in-exile in London that Polish Jews are being systematically murdered. Its report contains detailed information and reports that 700,000 have already died.
May 31, 1942
German authorities open the IG-Farben labor camp at Monowitz (Auschwitz III), which is located close to Auschwitz I.
June 1, 1942
Jews in France and the Netherlands are required to wear identifying stars.
June 4, 1942
Reinhard Heydrich is assassinated by Czech partisans. In return, on June 9, the Germans retaliate by murdering over 190 men and boys in the village of Lidice in Czechoslovakia and another 47 men, women and children at Lezaky, Czeckoslovaki.
July 15, 1942
German authorities begin the deportation of Dutch Jews from the Westerbork transit camp in the Netherlands to Auschwitz. By September 13, 1944, over 100 trains had carried more than 100,000 Dutch Jews to killing centers.
July 22, 1942
Between July 22 and September 12, German SS and police authorities, assisted by auxiliaries, deport 300,000 Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to killing centers. Of that number, 265,000 Warsaw Jews were sent to Treblinka. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, between July 1942 and November 1943, approximately 750,000 Jews and some Gypsies were murdered at Treblinka.
Also, Adam Czerniakow, chairman of the Warsaw ghetto’s Judenrat, commits suicide rather than acquiesce to German demands to prepare 6,000 Jews for deportation each day.
Switzerland forces Jews (mostly French) already safe in Switzerland back over the border. Over the course of the war they will turn back over 10,000 Jews on the grounds that only political refugees may be admitted, not “racial refugees.”
August 28, 1942
Gerhart Riegner, the representative of the World Jewish Congress in Switzerland, cables a member of Parliament in Great Britain and Rabbi Stephen Wise in the United States that he has received reliable information that the Germans have begun a systematic program of extermination of Jews by gassing and that the remaining Jews in Europe are in peril.
September 4-12, 1942
Chaim Rumkowski, the head of the Lodz ghetto’s Judenrat, acquiesces to German demands that he surrender the community’s aged (over 65) and children. Approximately 150,000 are deported and murdered in Treblinka. In this way, he hopes that he can save the lives of those who can work.
October 3, 1942
The Polish ambassador to the Vatican details to Pope Pius XII that the Germans have gassed thousands of Jews.
November 24, 1942
Rabbi Stephen Wise, founder and president of the World Jewish Congress, announces at a press conference that the United States’ State Department has confirmed the systematic murder of Jews in Europe. He estimates that the Germans have already murdered over 2,000,000 Jews.
February 16, 1943
Initially a prisoner of war camp, Majdanek, situated by the city of Lublin in occupied Poland, was official relabeled by SS authorities as a concentration camp. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, between October 1942 and July 1943 at least 360,000 persons were murdered by gas and other methods.
March 15, 1943
German SS, police, and military units began the deportation of Jews from Salonika, Greece to Auschwitz. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, between march 20 and August 18, more than 50,000 Greek Jews were murdered in the gas chambers at Auschwitz.
April 19-May 16, 1943
Jews in the Warsaw ghetto resist with arms the Germans’ attempt to liquidate the ghetto by deporting the remaining ghetto inhabitants to Nazi extermination camps. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was conducted by about 1,500 men and women loosely commanded by Mordecai Anielewicz. On April 19, the Germans entered the ghetto with the intent to liquidate the last 70,000 Jews in three days. They were met by organized resistance and over the next few days were repeatedly forced to retreat. The Germans suffered 16 dead and 90 wounded. On April 23, SS-Brigadeführer Jurgen Stroop ordered that the ghetto buildings be set on fire and systematically destroyed the ghetto foot by foot. On May 8, Anielewicz was killed and the resistance collapsed. Stroop triumphantly reported: “The Jewish quarter of Warsaw no longer exists.”
June 21, 1943
Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS, orders the liquidation of all ghettos in the Baltic States and Byelorussia and the deportation of all Jews in them to concentration camps.
July 28, 1943
Jan Karski, a Polish resistance fighter, arrives in Washington to advise American leaders of what he had seen in the Warsaw Ghetto and Belzec death camp. His interview with President Franklin Roosevelt indicates that the President already knows much about the Holocaust. Roosevelt assures Karski that everything possible is being done to help the Jews.
August 2, 1943
Jewish inmates revolt at Treblinka. More than 300 prisoners escape, although most are subsequently caught and killed. The SS special detachment orders surviving prisoners to remove all remaining traces of the camp’s existence. Treblinka was dismantled in November 1943, and the remaining prisoners were shot.
August 16, 1943
German troops enter the Jewish ghetto of Bialystok, Poland to liquidate the remaining 30,000 Jews. They are met by resistance by hundreds of resistance fighters who battle back with small arms, axes, and bayonets until they are annihilated. The Bialystok ghetto inhabitants are transported to death camps and murdered.
The Danes use boats to smuggle most of the nation’s Jews to neutral Sweden.
October 14, 1943
Jewish inmates at Sobibor begin an armed revolt. More than 100 were recaptured and killed. After the revolt, the SS closed and dismantled the killing center.
October 16, 1943
The Jews of Rome, Italy are rounded up and deported to Auschwitz where most are murdered. The Vatican said nothing about this deportation despite the fact that it happened literally under their noses.
November 3-4, 1943
‘Operation Harvest Festival’ begins at Majdanek, Trawniki and Poniatowa. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum at least 42,000 Jews were murdered by shooting in two days. Those who resist are burned alive in a barrack.
Heinrich Himmler orders that Belzec be razed as Sobibor and Treblinka had been already. The land is plowed under and the buildings are destroyed. The area is then settled by Ukrainians.
The Nazi Propaganda Ministry releases a film, The Führer Gives the Jews a Town, a look at the alleged good life enjoyed by Jews in Theresienstadt.
President Roosevelt sets up the War Refugee Board (WRB) at the urging of Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr. In the remaining months of the war, the WRB rescues many thousands of Jews from certain death.
March 19, 1944
Germany occupies Hungary.
April 10, 1944
Two Slovakian Jews, Alfred Wetzler and Rudolf Vrba, escape from Auschwitz. The pair later provides the Allies with the first eyewitness accounts of the “Final Solution.”
May 15-July 9, 1944
Over 430,000 Hungarians Jews are deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where most of them are gassed.
June 6, 1944
Allied powers invade western Europe on D-Day.
July 9, 1944
Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg arrives in Budapest. Wallenberg will save tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews before he disappears during the Soviet offensive on the city.
July 20, 1944
German officers fail in an attempt to assassinate Hitler.
July 22, 1944
SS authorities evacuate most of the remaining prisoners from Majdanek and drive them westward ahead of the advancing Soviet army.
July 23, 1944
Soviet troops liberate Majdanek concentration camp. However, the Germans failed to destroy the camp and it was the first evidence of mass murder documented in the West.
August 2, 1944
The Nazis destroy the Gypsy camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau; around 3,000 Gypsies are gassed.
August 20, 1944
The United States Army Air Force bombs Auschwitz III (an oil and rubber plant) three miles from Auschwitz I and five miles from Birkenau. In the following days, oil refineries within 40 miles of Auschwitz are repeatedly bombed as well. Pleas for a bombing raid by the Allies in order to destroy the gas chambers and crematoria during the height of the murder of hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews fall on deaf ears.
August 7-30, 1944
SS and police officials liquidate the Lodz ghetto and deport the last 60,000 Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau just ahead of the advancing Soviet army.
September 3-5, 1944
Anne Frank is among the 1,019 Jews deported to Auschwitz on the last transport from the Westerbork transport camp in Holland.
October 7, 1944
At Auschwitz-Birkenau, members of the Sonderkommando (Jewish special detachment deployed to remove corpses from the gas chambers and burn them) at Auschwitz-Birkenau revolt and blew up Crematorium IV, during which they kill several SS guards. About 250 participants die in the battle and 200 more are shot after the revolt is put down.
October 30, 1944
The last transport of Jews from Theresienstadt arrives at Auschwitz.
Anne Frank is transferred from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen where she dies a few weeks before the camp is liberated on April 15, 1945.
November 25, 1944
The SS began to demolish the gas chambers and crematoria at Auschwitz-Birkenau to destroy the evidence of mass murder from the Soviet army, which is rapidly advancing across southern Poland.
January 17, 1945
The Germans evacuate Auschwitz-Birkenau in anticipation of its liberation by the Soviet army; prisoners begin “death marches” toward Germany.
January 27, 1945
Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz-Birkenau, where they find about 7,000 prisoners left behind, although many did not ultimately survive.
April 11, 1945
United States troops liberate Buchenwald concentration camp. They find 20,000 prisoners still alive, although many did not ultimately survive.
April 29, 1945
United States troops liberate Dachau. They find 32,000 prisoners still alive, although many did not ultimately survive.
April 30, 1945
Hitler commits suicide in his bunker in Berlin. Joseph Goebbels, the Propaganda Minister, and his wife, Magda, commit suicide in the bunker, after fatally poisoning their six children.
May 2, 1945
German units in Berlin surrender to the Soviet army.
May 5, 1945
United States troops liberate 17,000 prisoners at the Mauthausen concentration camp.
May 7, 1945
Germany surrenders unconditionally, and the war ends in Europe.
May 23, 1945
Heinrich Himmler is arrested by the British. During an interrogation he surprises his captors by committing suicide with a cyanide capsule hidden in his mouth.
August 6, 1945
The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. On August 9, an atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.
September 2, 1945
Japan surrenders, and World War II officially ends.
November 1945-October 1946
War crimes trials are held at Nuremberg, Germany. The International Military Tribunal (IMT) made up of United States, British, French and soviet judges, began a trial of 21 major Nazi leaders at Nuremberg, Germany.
October 16, 1946
The IMT passes judgment on the defendants. Eighteen were convicted, and three were acquitted. Twelve were sentenced to death and ten were hung immediately. Hermann Göring escapes the hangman by committing suicide in his cell. Martin Bormann was sentenced to death in absentia.
October 25, 1946
Twenty-three former Nazi doctors are tried at Nuremberg on charges of conducting unethical experiments on camp inmates. On August 27, 1947, twenty-three physicians are found guilty. Seven are sentenced to death, nine are sentenced to prison and seven are acquitted.
March 29, 1947
Former Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss is sentenced to death following his trial at Warsaw, Poland. On April 16 he is hanged at Auschwitz.
May 8, 1947-July 30, 1948
Twenty-four members of I. G. Farben’s board of directors are tried at Nuremberg. Thirteen are sentenced to prison; ten are acquitted and one is not tried due to poor health.
July 1, 1947-March 10, 1948
The trial of 14 former SS leaders takes place in Nuremberg. Thirteen are sentenced to prison; one is acquitted.
July 3, 1947-April 10, 1948
Twenty-four senior SS and SD officers are tried at Nuremberg. Fourteen are sentenced to death.
August 16, 1947-July 31, 1948
The Krupp Trial of 12 senior executives takes place. Eleven are sentenced to prison, one is acquitted.
November 4, 1947-April 13, 1949
Twenty-one senior Nazi diplomats and government officials are tried at Nuremberg. Nineteen are sentenced to prison, two are acquitted.
Forty former members of the Auschwitz administration are tried at Krakow, Poland. Twenty-three are sentenced to death, 16 to imprisonment.
May 14, 1948
The State of Israel is established.
September 8, 1951
Jürgen Stroop, former SS-Gruppenführer in charge of the 1943 liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto, is hanged at Warsaw after being convicted of war crimes.
April 11-August 14, 1961
In Israel, the trial of Adolf Eichmann takes place. He is found guilty and executed on May 31, 1962.
December 20, 1963-August 20, 1965
The trial of 21 leading SS officers who worked at Auschwitz is held at Frankfurt am Main, West Germany. Verdicts range from acquittal to life.
December 22, 1970
Franz Stangl, commandant of Sobibor and Treblinka death camps, is sentenced to life in prison. He later dies in prison of a heart attack.
April 11, 1987
Primo Levi, an Italian-Jewish partisan who wrote numerous books about his camp experiences, takes his own life.
The International Red Cross makes a formal apology for its passivity during the Holocaust, calling it a “moral failure.”
Bayer, a subsidiary of I.G. Farben, apologizes for the pain, suffering, and exploitation the company perpetrated.
Swiss bankers and the World Jewish Congress establish an investigative panel to look into the probably Swiss misappropriation of Jewish funds during and after World War II. A report by London’s Jewish Chronicle claims that $4 billion ($65 billion in 1996 dollars) was looted by the Nazis. On June 19, 1998, a $600 million settlement offer was made to Holocaust victims. The final sum agreed upon is $1.25 billion.
Volkswagen AG is embarrassed by a 1055-page history commissioned by the company. It reveals the details of their use of Russian POWs and Jewish slave labor during the war. On July 7, 1998 Volkswagen establishes a fund to compensate workers who were forced into slave labor.
February 20, 1997
The Polish Parliament votes to return Jewish communal property nationalized at the end of World War II. This includes about 2,000 synagogues and schools and 1,000 cemeteries.
An archeological survey of the Belzec death camp in Poland is conducted to locate the mass graves so that the new memorial can be erected without interfering with them. Professor Andrzej Kola locates at least 33 mass graves and issues as report on his findings entitled Belzec: The Nazi Camp for Jews in the Light of Archeological Sources.
Jan Karski, a Polish World War II resistance movement fighter and later professor at Georgetown University, dies at age 86. Karski was instrumental in bringing the news of the mass murder of the Jews by the Nazis to the West.
The new memorial and museum at Belzec death camp is dedicated. The Belzec memorial is constructed so the visitor appears to descend down a “tube” to the central moment. The walls of the tube contained the names of the towns in Poland from which Jews were deported and murdered in Belzec.
Yad Vashem launches an international project to recover the names and reconstruct the life stories of individual victims of the Holocaust. It is a work in progress and is available online for submission of information on Holocaust victims and research. Nearly 3,000,000 Jews have been identified as of 2016.
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is dedicated near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany. Designed by Peter Isenman it is composed of 2,711 concrete pillars, or stele, of varying heights which creates a grid-like structure. Visitors can enter the structure from all four sides. There is also an information center on the site.
Rudolf Vrba, who escaped Auschwitz in 1944, together with Alfred Wetzler, dies at age 82. Vrba and Wetzler wrote a report on what was happening to the Jews in Auschwitz-Birkenau which made its way to the West prompting a discussion about bombing Auschwitz.
Raul Hilberg, a distinguished political scientist and historian of the Holocaust, dies at age 81.
A Holocaust museum opens in Skopje, Greece dedicated to the Jews of Macedonia, who were nearly wiped out in the Holocaust. It is part of the Holocaust Memorial Centre, which also contains a research center and art gallery.
The Museum of the History of the Polish Jews open in Warsaw, Poland. It is constructed on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto and does not focus exclusively on the Holocaust but rather on the millennium of Jewish history in Poland.
Ongoing archeological excavations at the Sobibor death camp in Poland which began in 2007 lead to what the archeologists believe may be the site of the gas chambers in the camp.
The first ever archeological investigation begins in Treblinka. It is conducted by Caroline Sturdy Colls, who had done preliminary survey since 2007 using non-invasive archaeological methods. Colls located what she believed were several mass graves in the camp using aerial laser technology. The largest of the mass graves was 63 feet by 58 feet on the surface. Colls is currently excavating the sites of the three mass graves and what she believes may have been the gas chamber.
Elie Wiesel, a survivor of Auschwitz and other camps, and author, professor, political activist dies at age 87.