Chronology of Jewish Persecution: 1945


January 15

SS camp officials report that there are almost 54,000 prisoners in the Ravensbrück camp, including nearly 8,000 men. Beginning in 1944, forced labor by concentration camp prisoners became increasingly important to Germany's armaments production. Ravensbrück grew into an administrative center for more than 40 subcamps located near armaments factories across east-central Germany. Tens of thousands of prisoners work long hours under intolerable conditions. Many are worked to death.

January 16

Soviet troops liberate 800 Jews at Czestochowa and 870 in Lodz.

January 17

Soviet troops liberate Warsaw, few Jews remain.

January 17

Liberation of 80,000 Jews in Budapest.

January 17

Evacuation of Auschwitz. The “Death March” of prisoners begins.

January 19

Soviets liberate Lodz

January 27

Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz.

February 1

40,000 prisoners marched out of Gross-Rosen.

February 4

Conference in Yalta, Crimea.

U.S. continuously bombs Dresden killing 160,000 German civilians.

Soviet forces reach the Oder river.

February 13-14

RAF and USAF air raids devastate Dresden.

March 3

American troops on the Rhine River.

March 19

Hitler orders the destruction of all German military, industrial, transportation, and communications facilities to prevent them from falling into enemy control.

March 28

Soviet forces reach the Austrian border. Anglo-American forces reach the Elbe river.

April

Allies discover art and wealth stolen by the Nazis hidden in salt mines.

April 8

Canaris, Oster, Dohnanyi and Bonhoeffer are hanged at Flossenberg concentration camp

April 6/10

Evacuation of 15,000 Jews from Buchenwald.

April 12

Buchenwald liberated by American troops. President Roosevelt dies. Truman becomes President.

April 13

Soviet forces enter Vienna.

April 15

Concentration camp Bergen­Belsen liberated by British troops.

April 20

American troops occupy Nuremberg.

April 23

Soviet troops in front of Berlin.

As a result of negotiations between Swedish count Folke Bernadotte and SS chief Heinrich Himmler, the SS turns over 7,000 women prisoners from Ravensbrück concentration camp to the Swedish Red Cross. The Swedish Red Cross takes the prisoners to neutral Sweden for care.

April 23/May 4

Evacuation of inmates from Sachsenhausen (Berlin). Last massacre of Jews by SS guards.

April 24

The SS murders the last of the imprisoned conspirators.

April 25

Meeting of American and Soviet troops on the Elbe River.

April 27

The SS orders the final evacuation of the Ravensbrück concentration camp, forcing about 15,000 prisoners on a death march. The SS kills any prisoner who cannot keep pace.

April 28

Mussolini captured and killed by Italian partisans.

April 29

American troops liberate Dachau.

April 30

Hitler commits suicide.

Soviet forces liberate the Ravensbrück concentration camp. They discover between 2,000 and 3,000 sick and dying prisoners in the camp. Between 1939 and 1945, more than 120,000 prisoners, nearly 100,000 of them women, passed through the Ravensbrück camp system. Ravensbrück camp records indicate that about 90,000 prisoners died in the camp. Thousands more died without being recorded.

May 2

Berlin capitulates. Representatives of International Red Cross take over at Theresienstadt.

May 5

Liberation of Mauthausen.

May 7/9

Unconditional surrender of Germany: End of war in Europe.

May 8

V-E (Victory in Europe) Day.

May 9

Hermann Göring captured by U.S. troops.

May 23

Himmler captured and commits suicide.

June 5

Allies divide up Germany and Berlin and take over government.

June 26

United Nations Charter signed in San Francisco.

July 16

Postdam conference.

Test verson of the atomic bomb is successfully detonated in Los Alamos, New Mexico

August 6, 9:15 a.m.

First atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

August 8

Soviet Union declares war on Japan. Soviet divisions invade Manchuria.

August 9

Second atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

August 15

Japan surrenders: End of World War II.

October 20

Nuremburg trials begin.

October 24

The United Nations is officially born.

December 22

President Truman issues a directive giving preference to Displaced Persons for visas to enter the United States.


 

Sources: Holocaust Memorial Center
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Yad Vashem
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
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