A list of events that have taken place between 1939-1945
Created by FrankLopez on Feb 7, 2011
Last updated: 02/10/11 at 02:02 PM
The first atomic bomb ever used against a civilian population was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945. The city was chosen because it was a major port and a manufacturing center for aircraft and synthetic fuel. The detonation killed 78,150 people and wounded 64,000. The downtown area was totally destroyed; tens of thousands were left homeless. On August 9, 1945, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing 40,000 and wounding 25,000. One week later, on August 14, 1945, Japan surrendered. The Americans justified their action by arguing that, by abbreviating the war through the use of nuclear weapons, they saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of American and British soldiers, not to mention Japanese.
The battle for Berlin was raging, but Hitler, hiding in the Reich chancellery, was still safe from the Soviet forces. On April 29, he married his lover, Eva Braun, and wrote his personal and political will. He named Martin Bormann as his deputy, and banished Goering and Himmler from the Party for their disloyalty to him in his final hours. He appointed Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz as president of the Reich and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He delivered his last tirade against "international Jewry." At 3:30 in the afternoon, about 15 minutes after Eva Braun took a cyanide capsule, Hitler, dressed in a new Nazi uniform, committed suicide by firing one shot into his mouth. Bormann´s assistants gathered up the two bodies, doused them in gasoline, and set them afire. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and his wife also took their own lives after killing their six children. The free world knew no end of delight over Hitler´s demise. In Germany, his suicide was not revealed to the public; instead, Germans were told that the Fuehrer "fell in battle against Bolshevism." With his death, a week before Germany´s unconditional surrender, the "thousand-year Reich" came to its end.
Allied forces began to close in on Mussolini´s stronghold. Mussolini and his family first turned in the direction of Milan, where unsuccessful surrender negotiations were taking place. At the last moment, he contacted his wife by telephone and bid her farewell. He gathered some money and a few secret documents, and, together with his mistress, Clara Petacci, headed for the Swiss border. Italian partisans captured Benito Mussolini, the Italian Duce, as he attempted to slip out of Italy. Although he was disguised in a German pith helmet and uniform, he and his mistress were identified in the village of Dongo, next to Lake Como. The execution was carried out quickly. Mussolini was pressed to a wall as the commander of the partisans, Colonel Valerio, read out the death sentence. The act was consummated with a machine gun. The next day, the dictator´s corpse was hanged by its legs and presented for dispin the Piazza Loreto in Milan.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States, died on April 12. Aged, exhausted, and ill, Roosevelt was resting at Warm Springs, Georgia, when he suddenly complained of a terrible headache. Two hours later, he was pronounced dead of a stroke. Churchill responded to the news by bemoaning "a loss of the British nation and of the cause of freedom in every land." In Moscow, the streets filled with sobbing men and women. Goebbels, in contrast, called Hitler in delight: "Mein Fuehrer, I congratulate you! Roosevelt is dead! It is written in the stars that the second half of April will be a turning point for us." Roosevelt was succeeded by Vice President Harry S Truman.
British and American air raids virtually obliterated the city of Dresden. Estimates of the toll of civilian casualties ranged in the vicinity of 100,000. The author Kurt Vonnegut, a prisoner of war in Dresden, described the bombardment in his book Slaughterhouse Five. Remarking on the offensive, Winston Churchill commented, "The destruction of Dresden remains a query against the conduct of Allied bombing."
In the middle of January 1945, the Soviet Army began an offensive in the direction of Cracow and Auschwitz. As the Nazis retreated hastily, they sent 58,000 prisoners, mostly Jews, out of the camp on "death marches" in the direction of concentration and labor camps in Germany. Most of the marchers were murdered en route; others were put to death before they left the camp. In the frantic retreat that had been forced on them, the Germans were unable to drive out the last of the prisoners and have them join the death marches. Nor did they have time to empty the warehouses of the victims´ looted belongings. When the Soviets entered Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, they found the storage facilities brimming with 7.7 tons of human hair, packed and ready for shipment, and many other items.
At 5:00 a.m., German forces launched a massive and intricately coordinated offensive against the Allied forces positioned on the German border. The offensive, spearheaded by the German panzer formations under General Gerd von Rundstedt, was carried out along a 40-mile front in the Ardennes Forest in Luxembourg and Belgium, as German paratroopers landed behind the American forces´ lines and cut communication and supply lines. The unprepared American forces were taken by surprise, and many units were trapped. Some 14,000 soldeirs were taken captive. The purpose of the offensive was to breach the American front and allow the Germans to advance to Antwerp. The intention was to capture several Allied armies and destroy them, thus forcing the Allies to start peace negotiations. In this way, Germany would be able to concentrate on its war against the Soviet Union without having to continue to fight on two fronts. The Americans retreated under German pressure, but still held firm in Bastogne, the strategic location of which prevented the Germans from continuing their attack efficiently. Wehrmacht forces surrounded Bastogne, and on 22 December, the Wehrmacht gave the commander of the 101st Airborne Division of the American Army, Anthony McAuliffe, a summary ultimatum: Surrender with honor or witness the destruction of his formation. McAuliffe delivered the famous one-word reply: "Nuts!" The American counter-offensive began on 24 December. The German supply lines were delayed, and the weather improved, allowing the Allied airforces to gain the upper hand. The Germans began to retreat. The stranglehold on Bastogne was lifted two days later. In this, the last "Blitzkrieg", approximately 100,000 German soldiers lost their lives, and another 100,000 fell prisoner to the Allies. The Wehrmacht invested its best reserves in this battle, and never recovered from the defeat. Henceforth, it ceased to constitute a substantial threat to the Allies on the Western front.
The Red Army renewed its attack on Romania on 20 August, occupying Iasi on 23 August. In an anti-fascist rebellion, King Michael arrested Marshal Ion Antonescu, overthrew his regime and formed a new government under the leadership of General Sanatescu. By the end of August, the Soviets had decimated a large percentage of the German troops in Romania, and occupied main cities including Bucharest, and King Michael had declared war on Germany. With the surrender of Romania to the Soviet Union, Germany lost most of its oil supply, and all the Romanian produce.
The Allies´ landing in France and the Soviets´ rapid progress on the eastern front prompted a group of Germans to conspire against Hitler. Aware that he was leading Germany to utter destruction, they believed that if they continued to stay their hand, the Allies would no longer agree to negotiate with a new German administration. The anti-Hitler conspirators were not well organized, but they managed to recruit Lt.-Col. Count Klaus von Stauffenberg, a courageous soldier who had lost an eye, a hand, and two fingers in war for his homeland. Stauffenberg plotted a coup and undertook to eliminate Hitler personally. When he was invited to a meeting with Hitler at an eastern Prussian outpost, he brought a suitcase containing a time bomb. His intention was to place the suitcase in the bunker where meetings with Hitler were usually held, and then to leave. The meeting was relocated to a retreat house made of wood, but Stauffenberg continued to seek an opportunity to implement his plan. He placed the suitcase under the conference-hall table, a short distance from Hitler´s legs, and left the room. At 12:37, a loud explosion was heard. Four people were killed and 20 wounded. The reason for the small number of casualties was that somebody moved the briefcase. Hitler was not seriously injured. Several conspirators, including Stauffenberg, were caught and shot at once; the others were given an opportunity to commit suicide and spare their families. Field Marshal Rommel, wrongly suspected of direct involvement in the conspiracy, was among the suicides; the Germans´ official communique reported his death as the result of a traffic accident. In the aftermath, 15,000 people were arrested and 5,000 executed. Several of the most famous conspirators were subjected to abuse and then strangled in an espeslow and brutal manner. By order of Hitler, their executions were filmed and shown to selected audiences as a warning.
About a week before the Germans occupied Hungary, the Palestinian Jewish parachutist Hannah Szenes was dropped into Yugoslavia. She spent three months with Tito´s partisans, but resolved to reach Hungary with their assistance. She crossed the Hungarian border in early June 1944 and was immediately captured with a radio transmitter in her possession. She was taken to prison in Szombathely, where, despite severe torture and threats against her mother´s life, she did not reveal the code of her transmitter. In November 1944, after being incarcerated for five months, she was executed by gunfire at the age of 23. _________________________________ Szenes was a poet and playwright, writing both in Hungarian and Hebrew. The following are four of her better known poems or songs. The best known of these is Halikha LeKesariya ("A Walk to Caesarea"), commonly known as Eli, Eli ("My God, My God"). Many singers have sung it, including Regina Spektor and Sophie Milman. It was used to close some versions of the film Schindler's List: _______________________________________ My God, My God, I pray that these things never end, The sand and the sea, The rustle of the waters, Lightning of the Heavens, The prayer of Man. אלי, אלי, שלא יגמר לעולם החול והים רישרוש של המים ברק השמים תפילת האדם The voice called, and I went. I went, because the voice called. _______________________________________ The following lines are the last song she wrote after she was parachuted into a partisan camp in Yugoslavia: _______________________________________ ,אַשְׁרֵי הַגַּפְרוּר שֶׁנִּשְׂרַף וְהִצִּית לֶהָבוֹת .אַשְׁרֵי הַלְּהָבָה שֶׁבָּעֲרָה בְּסִתְרֵי לְבָבוֹת ...אַשְׁרֵי הַלְבָבוֹת שֶׁיָדְעוּ לַחְדוֹל בְּכָבוֹד .אַשְׁרֵי הַגַּפְרוּר שֶׁנִּשְׂרַף וְהִצִּית לֶהָבוֹת Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame. Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart. Blessed is the heart with strength to stop its beating for honor's sake. Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame. _______________________________________ The following lines were found in Hanna's death cell after her execution: _______________________________________ One - two - three... eight feet long Two strides across, the rest is dark... Life is a fleeting question mark One - two - three... maybe another week. Or the next month may still find me here, But death, I feel is very near. I could have been 23 next July I gambled on what mattered most, the dice were cast. I lost.
The great Allied invasion of Hitler´s fortress Europe, the largest amphibious operation in military history, began under General Dwight David Eisenhower at 6:00 a.m. as forces began to land along the coast of northern France, between Cherbourg and Le Havre. Within 24 hours, more than 4,000 ships discharged 176,000 soldiers on the shore. They were defended by 9,500 aircraft and 600 warships. American forces captured Utah Beach as British forces overcame most of the German resistance and advanced toward Caen. Serious resistance occurred only at Omaha Beach, where it took the forces until sundown to establish a toehold. Despite immense losses and difficulties in advancing, it was clear that the invasion had succeeded. Within 10 days, Field Marshal Rommel and General von Rundstedt knew there was no further point in attempting to hold the lines, and urged Hitler to authorize a retreat.
After Hungarian Regent Admiral Miklos Horthy refused to sign a German document in which he ostensibly sought immediate German intervention, Hitler ordered his forces to occupy the country. On March 19, German paratroopers seized the Hungarian airports as other units crossed the border and occupied the countryside. Germany completed its occupation of Hungary on March 20.
On November 1, 1943, "The Moscow Declaration", composed by Churchill, was accepted by Roosevelt and Stalin. This document pledged that those who were responsible for German atrocities should be returned to the countries where their crimes were committed and therefore be judged on the spot by the people whom they had outraged. The three powers pledged to do their utmost to see that justice would be done. On November 28, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin held their first joint conference in Teheran. The leaders agreed on the following: that Germany would be defeated before Japan; that the Western Allies´ invasion of the French coast, Operation Overlord, would be given the highest priority and would be carried out in June 1944; and that as Overlord was underway, the Red Army would launch an offensive on the eastern front. Stalin repeated his commitment to join the war against Japan after Germany surrendered. The Teheran Conference was considered especially successful. The Allied leaders regarded the strategic coordination they had achieved, in contrast to the disarray among the Axis powers, as one of the keys to the success of their policy.
On the eve of World War II, Dnepropetrovsk had a Jewish population of 80,000 out of a total population of 500,662. As the German armies approached on August 5, 1941, the evacuation of the city was begun and some 60,000 Jews left. The Germans took the city on August 25. In the first few days of the occupation, the Ukrainian population was extremely hostile to the Jews, plundering their property and denouncing many of them to the Germans. The 20,000 Jews of the city were ordered to wear the Jewish Badge (a blue Star of David on a white background), and to elect a committee that was referred to as the "community leadership." Its first chairman was a lawyer named Gorenberg. House managers were ordered to provide the command headquarters in the city with a list of their Jewish tenants, and the military administration made preparations to establish a ghetto for Dnepropetrovsk´s Jews. On October 8, 1941, the military governor imposed a collective fine of 30 million rubles on the city´s Jews. On October 13, even before the fine was collected, Einsatzkommando 6 (of Einsatzgruppe C) began rounding up the Jews and confining them to a large department store in the city; from there, the Jews were taken in groups to a nearby ravine to be murdered. A total of 15,000 Jews were killed in this operation, which was followed at a later stage by the killing of the remaining 5,000 Jews. When Dnepropetrovsk was liberated by the Red Army on October 25, 1943, only 15 Jews were left alive in the city.
As the Red Army approached, the Germans decided to attempt to efface their genocidal actions. A special unit, Sonderkommando 1005, was established for this purpose. On August 18, the members of this unit began to exhume and cremate the corpses at Babi Yar. For this purpose, the Germans brought in 327 prisoners, including 100 Jews. They were housed in a bunker dug into the side of the ravine; it had an iron latticework gate that was locked at night and was guarded by a sentry armed with a machine gun. The prisoners were bound in metal chains at night and were treated brutally; those who slackened were shot at once. A bulldozer exposed the mass graves, and the prisoners dragged the bodies to a cremation pyre composed of wooden logs, doused in gasoline, on a base of railroad ties. The bones that could not be incinerated were crushed, for which purpose the Nazis brought in tombstones from a Jewish cemetery nearby. The ashes were sifted to retrieve any gold or silver they might have contained. As they completed their work on September 29, the prisoners discovered that they were about to be put to death. In a hasty consultation, some of them decided to attempt to escape that night. After midnight, 25 prisoners broke out, 15 escaped, and the remainder were shot immediately or murdered the next day. After the Nazis´ covering-up action, almost no trace remained of the site where, according to research of a Soviet commission, it is estimated that 100,000 people had been murdered.
In late May 1942, Samuel Zygelbojm, a Bund leader and one of two Jewish representatives to the Polish government-in-exile in London, obtained a thorough report about the murder being perpetrated against Polish Jewry (the Bund Report). He spared no effort in disseminating such reports and in prompting the Allies to take action in the matter, foremost with respect to rescue. Reports on the murder of European Jewry continued to flow in, and as they accumulated, his attempts to make the Allies respond became more and more frequent and desperate. He was gripped with helplessness. Zygelbojm´s last letters, to the Polish Bund´s office in the United States and to his brother in Australia, speak with despair of the futility of his rescue efforts; he states in them that he "belongs to those who are over there." On May 12, 1943, when word came of the liquidation of the last Jews of Warsaw-among them his wife, Manya, and his 16-year-old son, Tuvia-Zygelbojm put an end to his life. In farewell letters addressed to the president of the Polish Republic, Wladyslaw Raczkiewicz, and to the Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile, Wladyslaw Sikorski, Zygelbojm wrote: Responsibility for the murder of the entire Jewish population of Poland lies primarily with the murderers themselves, but indirectly humanity as a whole is responsible, all the Allied nations and their governments who to date have done nothing to stop the crime from going on.... The Polish government did much to rouse world opinion, but it was not convincing enough.... I cannot keep quiet, I cannot live, while the remnants of the Jewish people in Poland, who sent me here, are being destroyed. My comrades in the Warsaw Ghetto have died a hero´s death in the final battle, with a weapon in their hands. I did not have the honor to fall like them. But I belong to them and to their grave-their mass grave. May my death be a resounding cry of protest, against the indifference withwhich the world looks at the destruction of the Jewish world, looks on and does nothing to stop it. I know that a human life is of little value nowadays, but since I did not succeed in accomplishing anything while I was alive, I hope that my death will shock those who have been indifferent, shock them into action in this very moment, which may be the last moment for the remnants of Polish Jewry.
The final liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto began on the Eve of Passover, April 19, 1943. The deportation did not come as a surprise. The Germans had amassed a military force to carry it out, but did not expect to engage in a confrontation that included street battles. Armed German forces ringed the ghetto at 3:00 a.m. The unit that entered the ghetto encountered armed resistance and retreated. The main ghetto, with its population of 30,000 Jews, was deserted. The Jews could not be rounded up for the transport; the railroad cars at the deportation point remained empty. After Germans and rebels fought in the streets for three days, the Germans began to torch the ghetto, street by street, building by building. The entire ghetto became a sizzling, smoke-swathed conflagration. Most of the Jews who emerged from their hideouts, including entire families, were murdered by the Germans on the spot. The ghetto Jews gradually lost the strength to resist. On April 23, Mordecai Anielewicz the ZOB commander wrote the following to Yitzhak Zuckerman, a member of the ZOB command who was stationed on the "Aryan" side: "I cannot describe the conditions in which the Jews are living. Only a special few will hold out; all the others will perish sooner or later. Their fate is sealed. None of the bunkers where our comrades are hiding has enough air to light a candle at night.... Be well, my dear, perhaps we shall yet meet. The dream of my life has risen to become fact. Self - defense in the ghetto will have been a reality. I have been a witness to the magnificent, heroic fighting of Jewish men of battle". The rebels pursued their cause, even though they knew from the outset that they could not win. Even before the war ended, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising became a symbol of Jewish resistance.
The contest for Stalingrad was over. The airlift that Hitler had ordered to assist his besieged forces failed. Some 147,200 German soldiers were killed in the futile effort to occupy the city. Another 91,000 surrendered, including 24 generals. Berlin acknowledged its defeat in this battle and announced that "the victims of this army, a corps [in pursuit of] of a historic European goal, were not in vain." Germany proclaimed three days of national mourning; Soviet forces advanced on all fronts.
Allied forces landed on the coast of Morocco. Their main targets were Casablanca, Algiers, and Oran. Strategically, the Allies´ intention was to cleanse the western coast of Africa of German forces and create a basis for a future offensive in southern Europe. Algiers fell that evening, but the Vichy French put up stiff resistance in Oran. One of the forces meant to land in Casablanca lost 242 ships, 64 percent of its fleet, but established a beachhead anyway. It was obvious to everyone that the Allies´ North African toehold would hasten the liberation of France.
Adam Czerniakow refused to be the Germans´ lackey in the deportation of the Warsaw Ghetto Jews. At 4:00 p.m. on July 23, he poisoned himself to death. According to one account, a note was found on his desk, addressed to his wife, stating, "They are demanding that I kill the children of my people with my own hands. There is nothing for me to do but die." Czerniakow´s death stands as the protest of a Jewish leader and Judenrat chairman who refused to cross the line between conducting ghetto activities and handing over Jews.
In May 1942, a Bund underground activist in Warsaw, Leon Feiner, sent a preliminary report to London containing information on the murder of Jews in various parts of Poland. The report traced the path of the murder actions: town after town, district after district, month by month. It described the extermination center at Chelmno, including the gas vans, and estimated the number of Jews whom the Germans had murdered in Poland by May at 700,000 (the figure was much higher). Feiner stated that, in the absence of substantive actions to halt the murders, no Jews would survive in Europe by the end of the war. The report also urged the Allies to adopt a policy of retaliation against German citizens residing in Allied countries. Feiner´s report was forwarded to the media and to the political echelon, including the Polish government-in-exile in London, and became the decisive factor in the eruption of reports on the mass murder and their assimilation in public opinion. On June 2, the BBC broadcast the main contents of the report, including the estimate of the 700,000 murdered Jews. However, it did not stress the conclusion of the report: that the program to murder all the Jews was already being carried out. A week later, the Polish government-in-exile presented the findings of the report to the Allied governments in an official missive. On June 25, Samuel Zygelbojm, one of two Jewish representatives in the Polish government, released the entire document to the press. The Allied governments did not respond to these efforts, but newspapers began to carry the information with greater frequency. The Boston Globe and The New York Times presented prominent reports, including the assessment that the Jewish population was being systematically annihilated. Shortly after this, two authoritative voices in Britain reinforced the Bund´s announcement. At a press conference, the Minister of Information, Brendan Bracken, stated that 700,000 people, all of them Jewish, had been murdered in Poland. He also proclaimed that, once the war ended, the "United Nations" would ensure the rapid and severe punishment of the persons responsible for the grievous war crimes that had been perpetrated in Poland against Jews and Poles alike. He fiercely criticized those who regarded the murder reports as propagandistic hyperbole. The truth is solid, he said vehemently, and the murder will eventually come to light.
In March 1942, Bertrand Jacobson (for two years the JDC´s main agent in its relief efforts in Eastern Europe) held a press conference that provided information for newspapers around the world. Jacobson estimated that the Nazis had already murdered 240,000 Jews in the Ukraine alone and asserted that the killings in Eastern Europe were continuing in full fury. One of the most horrifying disclosures made in the United States to that point was an account by a Hungarian soldier who had observed a large mass grave near Kiev. Seven thousand Jews, some dead but others wounded and alive, had been thrown into the shallow grave and covered with a thin layer of soil. The spectacle of this field, "heaving like a living sea," was etched into the soldier´s memory. Although we know today that these figures underestimated the extent of the Nazis´ genocide among the Jews through March 1942, the press coverage had the important effect of revealing the reports on the murders to the free world.
In December 1941, 769 Jews boarded the old cattle boat Struma in the port of Constanta, Romania; their destination was Eretz Israel. The boat reached the port of Constantinople, where it remained at anchor for over two months with its passengers confined on board, as they did not have entry permits for Eretz Israel. The many pleas from various quarters to the British to permit the entry of the Jews on the basis of the existing modest legal immigration quota were to no avail. The Turkish authorities, for their part, were adamant in refusing permission to transfer the would-be immigrants to a transit camp on land until the resumption of their voyage could be arranged, even though the camp was maintained by Jewish organizations at their own expense. On February 24, 1942, the Turkish police towed the boat into the open sea, although it had no water, food, or fuel on board. Within a few hours it was sunk, struck by a torpedo apparently fired in error from a Soviet submarine. Only a single passenger was saved.
On January 6, 1942, Soviet Foreign Minister Viacheslav Molotov sent a message to all countries with which the USSR had diplomatic relations, with information on mass graves that the Soviet army had discovered after liberating a series of towns and localities on the Moscow front in the winter offensive. The letters, entitled "Concerning the Nazis´ terrible crimes against civilians, prisoners of war, and others," quoted witnesses who had come from the occupied territories and described the murder of 52,000 people in Kiev and additional thousands in Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Mariopol, Kamenets-Podolsk, and other locations. The letters supported fragmentary reports that were gradually reaching the Western countries and corroborated accounts of the genocide raging through Europe.
The United States declared war on Japan the day after the Japanese attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941). In response, Italy and Germany, Japan's allies, declared war on the United States, making the U.S. a full partner in the war against Germany. However, back in March of that year, in the context of the war in the Atlantic, American naval vessels had begun patrolling maritime routes in the western Atlantic in order to relieve the pressure on the British navy. In September 1941, a German submarine attacked the American destroyer Greer; and in October, a German submarine sank the American vessel Reuben James. President Roosevelt ordered his fleet to carry out a reprisal attack, thus bringing the U.S. into the campaign at that early stage, albeit indirectly. The official and full participation of the U.S. in the war against Germany and its allies would become one of the main factors in Germany's defeat. The other two Axis countries, Bulgaria and Hungary, added their names to the declaration of war on December 13.
Gas chambers at Auschwitz in Poland are used for first time, using Zyklon B, which was basically Hydrogen Cyanide.
In occupied Poland near Lublin, Majdanek concentration camp becomes operational.
3,600 Jews arrested in Paris.
The German Army High Command gives approval to RSHA and Heydrich on the tasks of SS murder squads (Einsatzgruppen) in occupied Poland.
German Jews ordered into forced labour.
The Warsaw Ghetto, containing over 400,000 Jews, is sealed off.
Deportation of 29,000 German Jews from Baden, the Saar, and Alsace-Lorraine into Vichy France.
The Germans open Auschwitz concentration camp, officially to provide 100,000 labour force for I.G Farben factory.
Rudolf Höss is chosen to be kommandant of Auschwitz.
Himmler signs the order that initiates construction of Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
Nazis choose the town of Oswiecim (Auschwitz) in Poland near Krakow as site of new concentration camp.
Yellow stars required to be worn by Polish Jews over age 10.
Forced labor decree issued for Polish Jews aged 14 to 60.
Evacuation of Jews from Vienna.
Reinhard Heydrich becomes the leader of new Reich Main Security Office (RSHA).
At Bedzin, 200 Jews are burned alive in a synagogue by the Germans who charge Poles with the crime, and then execute 30 of them in a public square.
The Germans start construction of Stutthof concentration camp in which 65,000 Polish Christians will ultimately perish.