CHRONOLOGY OF THE HOLOCAUST
1930-1945


Similar chronologies may be found in Chartock and Spencer, Can It Happen Again: Chronicles of the Holocaust, New York: Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, 1995 and in Milton Meltzer, Never to Forget: The Jews and the Holocaust, New York, HarperCollins, 1976.

1930
September 14 Adolph Hitler's National Socialist Party gains 107 seats in the new German Reichstag. The Nazis are now the second largest political party in Germany.

1932
April 10 In the run-off election of the German presidency, Adolph Hitler loses to President Hindenburg. However, he did get 37% of the vote and terms the results a "victory for National Socialism." July 31 the Nazi Party doubled its seats in the Reichstag over 1930, from 107 to 229.

1933
January 30 Adolph Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany. He is the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party and commander of the SA, the Storm Troopers (founded in 1922). February 27 the Reichstag building is set on fire by secret order of Hitler's Chief of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. A young Dutchman, identified as a Communist, is arrested and charged with setting the fire. February 28 The very next day, Hitler persuades President Hindenburg to sign Article 48, an "emergency" decree authorizing Hitler to suspend all civil rights, arrest (and execute) any suspicious person. A reign of terror ensued in which thousands (communists, socialists, labor union leaders) were arrested and sent to prison. To maximize Nazi influence, the non-Nazi press was outlawed. March 5 Hitler receives the support of the German voters in Reichstag (Germany's Parliament) elections. March 24 Now under Hitler's control, the Reichstag essentially grants Hitler total control by empowering him to make laws for the Reichstag. March 20 The first Nazi concentration camp is opened at an old powder factory near Dachau. The camp is to be used to incarcerate thousands of political opponents of the regime. April 1 Hitler declares a one-day boycott of Jewish businesses. Signs are posted all over Germany saying, "German people, defend yourselves! Do not buy from Jews." April 7 Forced retirement of all non-Aryan civil servants (with the exception of the military). April 21 German law prohibits kosher butchering.

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At this time, there are approximately 500,000 Jews living in the Third Reich. This is less than 1 percent of the total population.
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May 2 The Nazis seized control of the German labor unions, arrested their leaders, confiscated union property and established a Nazi-controlled labor union, The German Labor Front. German workers lost the right to strike. May 10 Under orders from Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda and Popular Enlightenment, Nazi gangs raided the Berlin Library and burned truckloads of Germany's very best literary works. June Hitler secured the cooperation of the Vatican by guaranteeing the liberties of the Catholic Church in Germany. In return, the Vatican promised to stay out of German politics. June 22 The Social Democrat Party is outlawed, making Hitler's Nazi Party the only political party in Germany. July 14 Hitler is empowered to revoke German citizenship for those considered a threat to the government or "undesirable" to the government. August 29 Official confirmation that the Nazis are sending Jews to concentration camps on a variety of charges from "consorting with German girls," to "imitating the Nazi salute." October 14 Hitler withdraws from the League of Nations and the Versailles disarmament pact. At the same time, Hitler announces the dissolution of the Reichstag.

1934
June 30 In a massive "blood purge," known as "the Night of the Long Knives,"Hitler arranged for the Gestapo to murder Ernst Roehm, the leader of Germany's political left and head of the SA. At least 1,000 additional political enemies were included in this purge. July 13 Heinrich Himmler, Chief of the SS, assumes command of all Nazi concentration camps. Himmler and his "black shirts" are now responsible for policing Germany. August 2 President Paul von Hindenburg dies. And with his death the Weimar Republic is officially dead. August 3 Now completely in control of the reigns of power, Hitler declares himself both President and Chancellor of the Third Reich and Commander-in-Chief of the Military. Hitler now had totalitarian dictatorial power.(1)

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