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Explore a timeline of key events during 1945 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, the Holocaust, and liberation and the aftermath of the Holocaust.
A Black Sea port in the southwestern Ukraine, Odessa had a population of nearly 600,000 in 1939. Roughly 180,000 were Jews, about 30 percent of the total. Romanian Occupation On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany and its Axis allies, including Romania, invaded the Soviet Union. In August 1941, Romanian troops set siege to Odessa. The city surrendered on October 16, 1941. At least half of the city's Jewish population had fled Odessa before Axis troops surrounded the city. Between 80,000 and 90,000 Jews remained…
Explore a timeline of key events during 1942 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
Containers of Zyklon B poison gas pellets found at the Majdanek camp after liberation. Poland, after July 22, 1944.
A group of 1,500 Armenian children at a refugee camp of the Near East Relief organization in Alexandroupolis. Greece, 1921–22.
The defendants listen as the prosecution begins introducing documents at the International Military Tribunal trial of war criminals at Nuremberg. November 22, 1945.
Charred remains of corpses near crematoria in the Majdanek camp, after liberation. Poland, after July 22, 1944.
View of watchtower and fence at the Majdanek camp, after liberation. Poland, after July 22, 1944.
After the occupation of Odessa, Ukrainian Jews wait to register. Odessa, Soviet Union, October 22, 1941.
War Refugee Board During World War II, it became increasingly clear to American citizens that Nazi Germany and the other Axis powers were murdering European Jews. In January 1944, Treasury Department staff, led by Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., persuaded President Franklin D. Roosevelt to establish the War Refugee Board. Roosevelt tasked this organization, nominally headed by the Secretaries of State, War, and Treasury, with carrying out an official American policy of rescue and relief.…
Resistance inside Germany Despite the high risk of being caught by police with the help of their many informers, some individuals and groups attempted to resist Nazism even in Germany. Socialists, Communists, trade unionists, and others clandestinely wrote, printed, and distributed anti-Nazi literature. Many of these rebels were arrested and imprisoned in concentration camps. There were many plots to assassinate Hitler during the war. After the important Soviet victory at Stalingrad in early 1943, when…
Photograph taken during the wedding of Ibby Neuman and Max Mandel at the Bad Reichenhall displaced persons' camp. Germany, February 22, 1948.
Jan Karski and General Colin Powell meet during the opening ceremonies of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Washington, DC, April 22, 1993.
GIs keep low inside a landing craft during an assault across the Rhine at Oberwesel, Germany. March 22, 1945. US Army Signal Corps photograph.
Christoph Probst, a member of the White Rose student opposition group. Probst, arrested and condemned to death by the People's Court, was executed on February 22, 1943.
Aerial view of the Nuremberg Palace of Justice, where the International Military Tribunal tried 22 leading German officials for war crimes. Nuremberg, Germany, November 1945.
A column of refugees in the Soviet Union, following the German invasion of Soviet territory on June 22, 1941. Soviet Union, between 1941 and 1944.
Soviet refugees sit around a fire in a makeshift camp, following the German invasion of Soviet territory on June 22, 1941. Soviet Union, between 1941 and 1944.
German Jews trying to emigrate to Palestine form long lines in front of the Palestine and Orient Travel Agency. Berlin, Germany, January 22, 1939.
German police round up Jews in the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam, blockaded following anti-Nazi violence. Amsterdam, the Netherlands, February 22, 1941.
HIAS immigration certificate issued to Manius Notowicz in Munich, Germany. The document states that Notowicz will travel on the Marine Flasher on February 22, 1947, to New York City.
Learn about the role of Theresienstadt in the deportation of German and Austrian Jews to killing sites and killing centers in the east.
Jewish women and children are transported by horse-drawn wagon during a deportation action in the Siedlce ghetto. During the liquidation of the ghetto on August 22-24, 1942, 10,000 Jews were deported to the Treblinka killing center.
During the Battle of the Bulge, US troops move up to the front in open trucks in subzero weather to stop the German advance. December 22, 1944. US Army Signal Corps photograph taken by J Malan Heslop.
An American GI using his steel helmet to draw water from a stream during the Battle of the Bulge. December 22, 1944. US Army Signal Corps photograph taken by J Malan Heslop.
President Bill Clinton (center), Elie Wiesel (right), and Harvey Meyerhoff (left) light the eternal flame outside on the Eisenhower Plaza during the dedication ceremony of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. April 22, 1993.
Germans guard prisoners in the Rovno camp for Soviet prisoners of war. Rovno, Poland, after June 22, 1941. Second only to the Jews, Soviet prisoners of war were the largest group of victims of Nazi racial policy.
Amalie Petranka (later Salsitz) at 22 years of age. She gave this photo to Norman Salsitz shortly after they met. Photograph taken in Stanislawow, Poland, on October 10, 1939.
Friedrich Hoffman, holding a stack of death records, testifies about the murder of 324 Catholic priests who were exposed to malaria during Nazi medical experiments at the Dachau concentration camp. Dachau, Germany, November 22, 1945.
Wladislava Karolewska, a victim of medical experiments at the Ravensbrück camp, was one of four Polish women who appeared as prosecution witnesses at the Doctors Trial. Nuremberg, Germany, December 22, 1946.
View of the furnaces remaining in the Majdanek camp by the time of liberation. The Germans had attempted to destroy the building as Soviet forces advanced in 1944. Majdanek, Poland, after July 22, 1944.
A British policeman (left) organizes the arrest of passengers from the Aliyah Bet ("illegal" immigration) ship Parita after they disembarked near Tel Aviv. Palestine, August 22, 1939.
A large crowd fills Eisenhower Plaza during the dedication ceremony of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Flags of the liberating divisions form the backdrop to the opening ceremony. Washington, DC, April 22, 1993.
SS Police State An important tool of Nazi terror was the Protective Squad (Schutzstaffel), or SS, which began as a special guard for Adolf Hitler and other party leaders. The black-shirted SS members formed a smaller, elite group whose members also served as auxiliary policemen and, later, as concentration camp guards. Eventually overshadowing the Storm Troopers (SA) in importance, the SS became, after 1934, the private army of the Nazi Party. SS chief Heinrich Himmler also turned the regular (nonparty)…
Ghettos in Poland Millions of Jews lived in eastern Europe. After Germany invaded Poland in 1939, more than two million Polish Jews came under German control. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, several million more Jews came under Nazi rule. The Germans aimed to control this sizable Jewish population by forcing Jews to reside in marked-off sections of towns and cities the Nazis called "ghettos" or "Jewish residential quarters." Altogether, the Germans created at least 1,000 ghettos in…
Deportations In the months following the Wannsee Conference, the Nazi regime continued to carry out their plans for the "Final Solution." Jews were "deported"—transported by trains or trucks to six camps, all located in occupied Poland: Chelmno, Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Majdanek-Lublin. The Nazis called these six camps "extermination camps." Most of the deportees were immediately murdered in large groups by poisonous gas. The Germans continued to murder Jews in mass shootings…
June 18-22, 1944. On this date, Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler's firsthand account of Auschwitz went public worldwide.
December 22, 1945. On this date, Harry S. Truman issued a directive giving US immigration preference to displaced persons.
Learn more about the end of Nazi tyranny in Europe and the liberation of camps and other sites of Nazi crimes. This article includes dates of liberation of some of the camps.
German forces launched Operation "Barbarossa," the invasion of the Soviet Union, on June 22, 1941. The German army made rapid initial progress in the campaign into Soviet territory. In this German military footage, German soldiers separate women and children from men in a Soviet village.
German citizens stand outside the decorated Hotel Dreesen, where Neville Chamberlain and Hitler held their second meeting on the Sudetenland and German demands for Czech territory. Nazi flags and the Union Jack fly from the building. Bad Godesberg, Germany, September 22, 1938.
Polish-Jewish refugees seeking to leave Europe arrive in Lisbon. Following the German invasion of France, Jewish and non-Jewish refugee assistance organizations relocated their headquarters to Lisbon, the only neutral European port from which refugees could depart to North and South America. Lisbon, Portugal, June 21-22, 1940.
SS female auxiliaries show with mock sadness that they have finished eating their blueberries, July 22, 1944. From the Hoecker Album of 116 photographs taken during the last six months of Auschwitz, between June 1944 and January 1945.
A poster in Hebrew soliciting contributions from members of the Yishuv (the Jewish community of Palestine) for army recruitment and for efforts to rescue European Jewry. The Hebrew text reads "Give a hand in rescue, the Fund for Recruitment and Rescue." Palestine, July 22, 1943.
American Zionist leader Rabbi Stephen S. Wise (right) with Bernard Deutsch, president of the American Jewish Congress, before making a protest to President Franklin D. Roosevelt against religious persecution in Germany. New York, United States, March 22, 1933.
Rufus Jones (seated) and Clarence Pickett were chairman and executive secretary of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), respectively. They are pictured here at a Quaker meeting in Philadelphia. The AFSC assisted Jewish and Christian European refugees. Philadelphia, United States, January 22, 1943.
French leader Charles de Gaulle in London after France signed an armistice with Germany on June 22, 1940. De Gaulle refused to accept the armistice and led the Free France resistance movement. London, Great Britain, June 25, 1940.
Explore a timeline of key events during 1943 in the history of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the Holocaust.
World War II was the largest and most destructive conflict in history. Learn about key WWII dates in this timeline of events, including when WW2 started and ended.
On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The surprise attack marked a turning point in the history of World War II and the Holocaust.
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