A special medical commission visits the Gross-Rosen concentration camp to select human subjects for medical experimentation.
In France, Joseph Darnand establishes the Milice Française (French Militia), a Fascist paramilitary organization.
Declaration of the United Nations signed by Allied nations. The United Nations is formed in Washington, D.C., by 26 signatories who agree to work together to defeat the nations of the Tripartate Pact, and to work for a single, commonly shared resolution to the war.
In the U.S., the Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC) is established to investigate and arrest suspected Nazi war criminals.
The Germans execute 23 Czechoslovakian workers for sabotage.
Molotov hands over information on mass graves.
Throughout the day at the Chelmno death camp, Jewish deportees from nearby villages are systematically gassed in vans; German and Ukrainian workers pull gold teeth and fillings from the corpses' mouths. Germans undertake van gassings of 5000 Gypsies from Lódz, Poland.
The seeds of the postwar Nuremberg Trials are sown when China and nine European nations pass a resolution to try Axis leaders for war crimes “whether they have ordered them, perpetrated them or in any way participated in them.”
The first of 10,000 Jews selected by the Jewish Council of the Lódz Ghetto report for labor.
The governments-in-exile of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Holland, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, and Yugoslavia condemn German atrocities against their citizens without specifically mentioning Jews. The British Foreign Office approves the declaration but doesn't mention Jews.
Concentration and expulsion of Dutch Jewry begins.
The United States blacklists 1800 European companies, making it illegal for any American to continue or begin business transactions with them.
Soviet forces recapture Mozhaisk, the closest that German troops had come to Moscow. With this, the Soviet capital is saved from occupation.
The Wannsee Conference of top Nazi leaders is held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee; attending are Heydrich, Meyer, Leibbrandt, Stuckart, Neumann, Freisler, Bühler, Luther, Klopfer, Kritzinger, Hofmann, Müller, Eichmann, Schöngarth, and Lange. Discussion pertains to the number of European Jews still to be dealt with, the future of slave labor, the separation of Jewish men from Jewish women, mass deportations, and extermination: the “Final Solution.” According to the protocol of the meeting, five million Jews in the USSR are marked for death (including nearly three million in the Ukraine), 700,000 in the Unoccupied Zone of France, 5600 in Denmark, and 200 in Albania. Figures also are given for nations not yet under Nazi control, including England (330,000), Spain (6000), Switzerland (18,000), Sweden (18,000), and Turkey (55,500). The total meeting time is less than 90 minutes.
Jews in the Vilna Ghetto establish the Unified Partisan Organization to resist Nazi terror.
Hungarian Fascists drive 550 Jews and 292 Serbs to the Danube River at Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. They force them onto the ice, shoot the ice to break it up, and then shoot those who do not quickly drown.
Four hundred Jewish intellectuals are arrested and subsequently murdered in Kolomyia, Ukraine.
In a speech to the German public, Hitler commemorates the ninth anniversary of his taking power, declaring that the end result of the war will not be the destruction of the Aryans but will be the complete annihilation of the Jews. The speech is monitored in Washington, D.C., and London.
Report from Einsatzgruppe A pertaining to the liquidation of 229,052 Jews in the Baltic states.
Late January 1942
Start of deportations to Theresienstadt.
Thirty-three Jewish doctors in the Warsaw Ghetto begin a study of the effects of starvation as they themselves slowly starve to death.
Bricks and cut stone made by concentration-camp inmates are diverted from future official monuments and buildings to construct badly needed German arms factories.
At the Minsk Ghetto, Nazis execute Jewish leaders deported from Hamburg, Germany, three months earlier.
The first mass gassings of Jews at the Auschwitz death camp begin.
Jews at the Dvinsk concentration camp are forced to witness the execution of a Jewish woman who exchanged a piece of cloth with a non-Jewish inmate for a box of flour.
The ship SS Struma, flying a neutral Panamanian flag and carrying Jewish refugees fleeing from Romania, is sunk in the Black Sea after Britain pressures Turkey to turn the ship back from Istanbul. More than 700 Jewish passengers attempting to save their lives by reaching Palestine are drowned. Only one passenger survives.
Mass murder of Jews in Charkow (Kharkov), Ukraine (14,000 victims).
This month, nearly 5000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto die of starvation.
In Norway, the Hirdens Bedriftsvern, a collaborationist, anti-Resistance unit, is created to protect Norwegian factories and infrastructure from saboteurs.
A Russian collaborationist group, Russian National People's Army, is established in Smolensk.
A brief article appears in the London press reporting that all Jews in Mariupol, Ukraine, have been killed.
The Nazis begin the construction of a new death camp at Sobibór. By October 1943, 250,000 Jews had been murdered there.
Thousands of Belorussian Jews are transported to Koidanav, Belorussia, where they are murdered.
Children from a Jewish nursery in the Minsk Ghetto are thrown into a sandpit, tossed sweets, and then smothered to death. More than 5000 Jewish adults from Minsk are also killed.
Belgian Jews are drafted for forced labor.
First conference on sterilization: Definitions pertaining to sterilization of persons of mixed blood.
During a meeting at the Head Office for Reich Security, Adolf Eichmann emphasizes the need for strict security during deportation and annihilation of Jews presently living in Germany, Austria, Moravia, and Bohemia.
Germans have already killed 240,000 Jews in Ukraine alone.
At Ilja, Poland, Jews sent to labor on a farm join Soviet partisans in a nearby forest. In reprisal, the Germans shoot old and sick Jews in the streets, then herd more than 900 Jews into a building that is set ablaze. All inside die.
Trumpeting his Wehrmacht, Hitler predicts that the Red Army will be “beaten in every direction in the summer.”
More than 1800 Jews from Pochep, Russia, are executed.
Extermination camp Belzec established. Full-scale extermination begins; deportees are accepted from Poland and from as far away as the western provinces of Germany. By the end of 1942, 600,000 Jews will be murdered there. From March 17 until April 14, nearly 30,000 Jews from the Lublin Ghetto are deported to the Belzec death camp.
Over the next two days, the SS transfers 1,000 women — mainly German Jewish women but also Romani (Gypsy) women — from Ravensbrück to Auschwitz-Birkenau in German-occupied Poland. The SS establishes a women's camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The first deportations of Jews from Western Europe to Belzec begins.
Public notices pertaining to the identification of Jewish homes in Germany.
The first deportations of Jews from France to Auschwitz begin. By the end of 1944, the Germans had deported more than 75,000 Jews from France to camps in the East, above all, to the Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in Occupied Poland, where most of them perished.
Fritz Sauckel is named chief of manpower to expedite recruitment of slave labor.
German troops raid the Minsk Ghetto, searching for and arresting Jewish Resistance leaders.
Late March 1942
Arrival of initial transports of Jews at the concentration and extermination camps Auschwitz (Auschwitz I & Auschwitz II).
German SS and police united deport Jews from Lublin, in the General Government, to Belzec, where they are killed. The Lublin deportations are the first major deportations carried out under Operation Reinhard, the code name for the German plan to kill more than 2 million Jews living in the General Government of Occupied Poland.
Prohibition of the use of public transportation by Jews. Exception only for forced laborers, if their workplace is farther than seven kilometers from their place of residence. Taking a seat in the conveyance is not allowed.
Additional restrictions during the course of World War II: Jews were forbidden to use public telephones and automatic ticket dispensing machines; to congregate in railroad stations or visit restaurants; to enter forests (parks) or step on lawns; to keep dogs, cats, birds, or other pets; to place orders with organized skilled trades; and to obtain newspapers or periodicals. All electrical or optical equipment had to be turned in without compensation, as well as bicycles, typewriters, fur coats, and wool items.
Jews could not obtain any seafood items or ration cards for meat, clothing, milk, or tobacco. They were not allowed any white bread, fruit, canned fruit, candy or sweets, and shaving soap.
Jewish Anti-Facist Committee established in USSR.
More than 4400 Jews die of starvation in the Warsaw Ghetto.
The first transports of Jews arrive at the camp at Majdanek which will begin gassing Jews later in the year.
The London Sunday Times runs but does not highlight a news item about the Nazi executions of 120,000 Romanian Jews.
German headquarters at Arras, France, is attacked by the French Resistance.
In Russia, a collaborationist group, Druzhina (Bodyguard), is established and led by Soviet defector Lieutenant Colonel V. V. Gil.
Early April 1942
Jews are mocked and hanged at Mlawa, Poland.
965 Slovakian Jews are deported to Auschwitz.
The Lutheran Church of Norway issues “Kirken grunn” (“Foundations of the Church”), a letter condemning Nazism and racism and protesting efforts of Vidkun Quisling, Norway’s German puppet, to “nazify” Norway’s churches.
The Nazi government decrees that apartments occupied by Jews in Greater Germany must be identified as such.
In the Warsaw Ghetto, 52 people on a wanted list are dragged from their beds and killed. This will become known as “The Night of Blood.”
At a birthday banquet for Hitler in East Prussia, Hermann Göring announces that he was responsible for the Reichstag fire of February 27, 1933, that set off Nazi reprisals against purported Communist subversion.
Jews throughout Greater Germany are prohibited from taking public transport.
The Reichstag grants Hitler full authority in executive, legislative, and judicial matters.
One thousand Jews are deported from the Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, camp/ghetto to Izbica Lubelska, Poland; one, a woman who escapes after arrival, survives. Other Theresienstadt deportees are sent to their deaths at the Sobibór and Belzec extermination camps.
Nazis execute 60 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. Among the victims are people suspected of being involved with the ghetto’s underground newspaper.
The Jews of Pinsk, Poland, are ordered to establish a ghetto within one day. Twenty thousand Jews will move into it.
Twelve hundred Jews are killed in Diatlovo, Belorussia. The Jews offer armed resistance, but it is futile.
More than 3600 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto die of starvation. Nazis force their way into Jewish apartments in Warsaw, shoot and club the residents, and throw the bodies from windows.
A slave-labor camp opens near Minsk, Belorussia.
Small groups of Jewish youths manage to escape into the woods outside Lida and Stolpce, towns in Belorussia.
After trial gassings in April, an SS special detachment begin gassing operations at the Sobibor killing center. By November 1943, the special detachment had killed approximately 250,000 Jews at Sobibor.
Slovakian Jews and resident Jews at Chelm are deported to the nearby Sobibór death camp and gassed. In addition, more than 36,000 Polish Jews from communities located between the Vistula and Bug rivers are gassed at Sobibór.
In the Eastern Galicia region of Poland, Jews aged 14 to 60 are driven to isolated spots and killed by hand grenades and machine guns after being forced to dig their own graves. Other victims of this Aktion include orphans, residents of old-age homes, and women in the streets.
Inmates at Auschwitz-Birkenau are put to work as slave laborers at the camp itself and at a synthetic-oil and rubber plant at nearby Monowitz.
A Jewish inmate at a labor camp at Schwenningen, Germany, is buried in earth up to his shoulders as punishment for having an attack of diarrhea outside a barracks; after more than ten hours in the ground, the man dies.
In Holland, a collaborationist auxiliary police unit, Vrijwillige Hulp-Politie (Volunteer Auxiliary Police), is established. It is charged with the roundup of Dutch Jews for deportation to the East.
Communist Jews in Paris initiate organized armed resistance to the Nazi occupiers.
The Bund (Jewish Labor Organization of Poland) appeals to the Polish government-in-exile in London to persuade the Allied governments to warn the German government about the consequences of the murder of the Polish Jews. The Bund’s appeal contains detailed information concerning the systematic mass murder of Jews. It reports that 700,000 Polish Jews have already been executed.
2600 Libyan Jews are deported to a forced-labor camp at Giado, Libya, to build roads for the military.
More than 1750 Jews are deported from Tripoli, Libya, to forced-labor sites at the Libyan cities of Benghazi, Homs, and Derna. Hundreds perish from heat and hunger, and others die during Allied bombings after being forbidden to use air-raid shelters.
Early May 1942
Jewish Council members at Bilgoraj, Poland, are executed after refusing to compile a list of candidates for deportation.
About 1000 Jews are murdered at Dvinsk, Latvia. Only about 450 Jews are left in Dvinsk, down from 16,000 from the previous year.
First selection for gassing preformed at Auschiwtz-Birkenau. These were the weak, sick and “unfit” prisoners. They were housed in an isolation ward prior to being killed in the gas chambers. Between May 1940 and January 1945, more than one million people were killed or died at the Auschwitz camp complex. Close to 865,000 were never registered and most likely were selected for gassing immediately upon arrival. Nine out of ten of those who dies at the Auschwitz complex were Jewish.
Jewish teachers and educators in the Warsaw Ghetto create a special day for children, during which they are treated to games, plays, and special rations of sweets.
The Jews of Markuszow, Poland, led by Shlomo Goldwasser, Mordechai Kirshenbaum, and brothers Yaakov and Yerucham Gothelf, escape to nearby forests.
American poet Ezra Pound, who is working for the Fascist Italian government, broadcasts from Italy: “You would do better to inoculate your children with typhus and syphilis” than allow more Jews into the United States. America, Pound continues, is ruled by Jews and their allies, who are “the dirtiest dirt from the bottom of the Jew’s ash can.”
Alter Dworetsky, a member of the Jewish Council at Diatlovo, Belorussia, escapes to a nearby forest, only to be shot to death by Soviet partisans after refusing to hand over his pistol.
American Zionists participating in the Biltmore Conference at New York City’s Biltmore Hotel demand that Jews be given sovereignty over Palestine. The demand is ignored by Britain, which controls Palestine.
Noted Jewish Viennese pianist Leopold Birkenfeld is murdered at the Chelmno death camp.
During a public protest of Nazi antisemitism staged in Berlin by Herbert Baum and his followers, portions of “The Soviet Paradise,” a government-sponsored anti-Bolshevik exhibition, are set afire. Most members of Baum’s group, as well as approximately 500 other Berlin Jews, are arrested.
Great Britain and the Soviet Union sign a mutual assistance treaty.
Belgian Jews are ordered to wear the Yellow Star.
Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubis, British-trained Czech partisans armed with small arms and grenades, mortally wound Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Reich Security Police and SD, in an ambush of his car in Prague.
Vichy France forbids Jews access to all restaurants and cafes, libraries, sports grounds, squares, and other public places.
Three thousand Jews led by Asher Czerkaski resist Germans at Radziwillow, Ukraine; 1500 are killed but the others melt into nearby forests.
In the Warsaw Ghetto, an ill Jewish man is tossed through a window to the ground, where he is shot.
Britain’s first 1000-bomber raid on Germany (the target is Cologne) encourages Jews to hope that the war might soon be over.
The World Jewish Congress, based in New York, announces at a press conference that Eastern Europe is being turned into “a vast slaughterhouse for Jews.”
Auschwitz is ravaged by an epidemic of typhus.
Germans invade Jewish hospitals in Sosnowiec, Poland, murdering newborns and tearing patients from operating tables. Ambulatory patients are sent to Auschwitz and gassed.
A young Sosnowiec Jew named Harry Blumenfrucht endures two weeks of Nazi torture, refusing to name his co-conspirators in a scheme to steal weapons. His suffering ends when he is hanged.
Jews from Dabrowa Tarnowska, Poland, led by Rabbi Isaac and gathered in a Jewish cemetery, defy their Nazi captors when they hold hands, dance, and drink “to life.” The enraged Germans shoot and disembowel the entire group.
Four thousand Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto die of starvation.
At Lutsk, Ukraine, Jewish resistance is led by Joel Szczerbat.
In Norway, Jews are given identity cards stamped with the letter “J.”
In Yugoslavia, a collaborationist paramilitary force, Heimwehr (Home Defense), is established.
Polish Jews are deported from Hrubieszów to the Sobibór death camp. Another 500 will be deported the following week.
Warsaw’s underground newspaper, Liberty Barricade, published by the Polish Socialist Party, reveals Nazi gassing activity at the Chelmno death camp.
Start of deportation of German Jews to Theresienstadt.
The BBC reports that 700,000 Jews have been exterminated. Its information comes from a report smuggled out of Poland by the Jewish Bund in Warsaw.
Viennese Jews are deported to the Minsk Ghetto. One woman, Elsa Speigel, decides to leave her 51/2-month-old son, Jona, behind. The baby will eventually be sent to the the camp/ghetto at Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia, where he will survive the war.
Jews revolt in Breslau, Germany.
In Warsaw, Nazis shoot 110 Jews in a prison on Gesia Street. Ten Jewish policemen are among the victims.
Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Reich Security Police and SD, dies of blood poisoning caused by injuries suffered in the May 27 attack by Czech partisans.
The U.S. declares war on Romania.
Army Group South besieges Sevastopol.
A Jewish woman who has escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto into the city proper is dragged back to the ghetto and shot.
The Jewish Council at Pilica, Poland, warns that every able-bodied Jew must attempt to flee to nearby forests.
At Lidice, Czechoslovakia, Germans begin to murder over 190 men and boys in retaliation for the attack on Reinhard Heydrich. The Germans will murder another 47 men, women, and children at Lezaky, Czechoslovakia.
When a Jewish mother at Pabianice, Poland, fights fiercely for her baby during a deportation, the baby is taken from her and thrown out a window.
German police in Lódz report to their superiors in Poznan that 95 Lódz Jews have been publicly hanged.
One thousand Jews are deported from Prague to the East, where they are murdered.
Ten thousand Jews from the Tarnów Ghetto are murdered at the Belzec extermination camp.
Jewish babies, children, and elderly of Khmel’nik, Ukraine, are shot in a nearby forest.
Anne Frank turns 13 years old.
Three thousand Jews are deported from the Theresienstadt camp/ghetto to their deaths.
British Ambassador to the Vatican Francis d’Arcy Osborne observes about Pope Pius XII that his “moral leadership is not assured by the unapplied recital of the Commandments.”
Two thousand Jews break out of Dzisna, Belorussia.
The American chargé d’affaires in the Vatican, Harold Tittmann, reports to the State Department that Pope Pius XII is adopting “an ostrich-like policy towards atrocities that were obvious to everyone.”
Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubis, British-trained Czech partisans who mortally wounded Reinhard Heydrich on May 27, are discovered with several other partisans inside Prague’s Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church. The church is besieged by German troops and SS. All partisans perish.
Jews revolt at Glebokie, Belorussia; 2500 are murdered in the Borek Forest.
The Third Reich achieves its high point of conquest and territory.
June 20-October 9
Germans wrest Tobruk (Libya) from the British.
First transports from Drancy camp to Auschwitz.
An article in the London Daily Telegraph reports, “More than 700,000 Polish Jews have been slaughtered by the Germans in the greatest massacres in the world’s history.”
The British broadcast information about the plight of Jews in Occupied Poland.
The Germans launch a summer offensive against the Red Army in the Don River basin of the Soviet Union.
Armed Jewish resistance takes place at Slonim, Belorussia. Germans burn Jews to death; nearly 15,000 are killed.
Closing of Jewish schools in Germany.
A second gas chamber begins functioning at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
A headline in the London Daily Telegraph reads: “MORE THAN 1,000,000 JEWS KILLED IN EUROPE.”
The New York Times highlights articles on Christian victims of the Germans rather than on Jewish victims, even though the numbers of Jewish victims are immensely greater.
At Kleck, Belorussia, a few dozen Jews break out and join partisans.
Extermination activities at the Sobibór death camp are temporarily halted for railway construction and enlargement of the camp’s gas chambers.
The Jewish community at Gorodenka, Ukraine, is wiped out.
The U.S. and Britain agree on an Allied invasion of North Africa.
Berlin Jews are sent to Theresienstadt.
The New York Times reports the “slaughter of 700,000 Jews” in German-occupied Poland.
The first issue of Eynikeyt (Unity), a Yiddish-language journal of the Soviet Jewish Antifascist Committee, is published.
Anne Frank and her family go into hiding in Amsterdam.
SS chief Heinrich Himmler chairs a meeting of SS functionaries to discuss sterilization and other gynecological procedures and experiments on Jewish women held at Auschwitz. The procedures will be conducted without the womens knowledge.
Almost 200 women arrive in Ravensbrück from the Czech village of Lidice. The Germans destroyed Lidice, a small village outside Prague, in retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the German governor of Bohemia and Moravia and head of the Security Police. SS forces killed all the men of Lidice and more than 50 women. They deported the remaining 200 women and almost 100 children to camps in Germany. Demolition squads burned and destroyed the village.
Jewish partisan Vitka Kempner and two others leave the Jewish ghetto at Vilna carrying a land mine with which they hope to disable a German military train located five miles southeast.
Jewish partisan Vitka Kempner returns to the Vilna Ghetto, having successfully planted a land mine and blown up the engine and ammunition cars of a German military train.
The Germans require all Jewish men between the ages of 18 and 45 living in Salonika to report to Liberty Square where they are assigned to Organisation Todt labor battalions. 9,000 Jewish men report. About 2,000 are assigned to forced-labor projects for the German army. The remainder are detained until the Jewish communities of Salonika and Athens pay a huge ransom to the German occupation authorities for their release. As part of the payment, the Jewish cemetery in Salonika is transferred to city ownership. The city dismantles it and uses stones from the cemetery in the construction of a university on the site.
Thousands of Dutch Jews are arrested in Amsterdam and deported to Auschwitz, where many are gassed.
First deportation train from the Westerbork transit camp in Holland to Auschwitz. By September 13, 1944, over 100 trains had carried more than 100,000 people to killing centers and concentration camps in the German Reich and the General Government.
Major police raids in Paris.
La Grande Rafle (“The Big Sweep”) commences in Paris, as the German and Austrian Jews living in the city, about 13,000 total, are rounded up.
The Family Hostage Law is announced in Occupied France. Under its provisions, fugitive “terrorists” who do not surrender to German authorities can expect their male relatives to be killed, female relatives sent to work camps, and children sent to special schools for political reeducation.
SS doctor Karl Gebhardt begins sulfanilamide experiments in Ravensbrück on about 80 concentration camp prisoners, mostly Polish women. Gebhardt seeks to determine the effectiveness of sulfanilamide in preventing infections in battlefield wounds for the benefit of the German armed forces. He deliberately inflicts wounds on prisoners and infects them with bacteria. He tests treatments of sulfanilamide and other drugs. Some women die as a result of these experiments; many others are crippled or maimed. Other experiments at Ravensbrück include the testing of various methods of setting and transplanting bones and sterilization experiments on women and children, mostly Roma (Gypsies).
Germans murder 1000 Jews at Kleck, Belorussia; 400 flee into forests. Two from the latter group, Moshe Fish and Leva Gilchik (from nearby Kopyl), will form a partisan group.
Mass protest rally at Madison Square Garden.
German authorities and Ukrainian and Latvian guards in SS uniforms surround the walls of the Warsaw Ghetto. Start of the “resettlement” of the inhabitants of the Warsaw Ghetto to the extermination camps at Belzec and Treblinka. Personnel at the camp railway station are told to expect a “shuttle service” of Jews. Approximately 300,000 Jews were deported from Warsaw to the killing centers. Of that number, about 265,000 were sent to Treblinka where they were murdered.
Gassing operations begin at Treblinka. Between July 1942 and November 1943, SS special detachments at Treblinka murdered an estimated 750,000 Jews and at least 2,000 Gypsies.
July 22-September 12
Martin Luther, undersecretary of state at the German Foreign Ministry, alerts Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop that Italian authorities are resistant to the German plan to deport Jews from Italian-held regions of Croatia.
The German government in the Occupied Eastern Territories warns that any Pole or Ukrainian who attempts to hide or assist a Jew will be “shot dead.”
In the Lódz Ghetto, two male Jews, one just 16 years old, are hanged after escaping a work gang.
About 30,000 Jews are killed in Minsk.
German industrialist Eduard Schulte, whose company has mines near Auschwitz, reveals to a Swiss colleague that Hitler and the German Reich have decided to round up the millions of Jews of Occupied Europe, concentrate them in the East, and murder them using prussic acid starting in the fall of 1942. The information is soon communicated to Swiss World Jewish Congress representative Gerhart Riegner.
Army Group South crosses the Don on a wide front.
Bluma Rozenfeld, 19, leaps to her death from a fifth-floor window in the Lódz Ghetto.
Israel Lichtenstein writes from the Warsaw Ghetto: “At present, together with me, both of us get ready to meet and receive death. I wish my little daughter to be remembered. Margalith, twenty months old today....I don’t lament my own life nor that of my wife. I pity only the so little, nice and talented girl. She deserves to be remembered.”
Late July 1942
Germany decides not to disclose the whereabouts of Dutch deportees, saying only that they had been sent to “an unknown destination...somewhere in the East”--that is, to the Auschwitz extermination camp.
Throughout Europe, more than 400,000 Jews are murdered.
In the Volhynia region of Poland, 87,000 Jews are killed.
A heat wave and caterpillars destroy a cabbage crop cultivated by residents of the Lódz Ghetto.
The Majdanek camp is fitted with gas chambers.
The United States, British, and German governments save two and a half million Greek civilians from starvation. Great Britain and the United States agree to permit food to reach Greece after the Germans assure them that the food will not be confiscated. Great Britain ships 35,000 tons of food per month to Greece and the United States pays for it; the process is monitored by neutral nations and the International Red Cross. The agreement costs the Allies $30 million per year. In contrast, the Allies do not seek to help feed Europe’s Jews.
A Polish partisan named Trzcinski passes a hand grenade into a railcar carrying Jewish deportees to the Treblinka death camp. The grenade will be used later at the camp to wound a group of Ukrainian guards.
Lota Hirszberg, 56, kills herself with sleeping powder in the Lódz Ghetto.
The first portion of Emanuel Ringelblum’s Warsaw diary, hidden in ten tin boxes and milk cans, is secretly buried for safekeeping by a Warsaw schoolteacher named Israel Lichtenstein.
First deportations from Belgium to Auschwitz. The first day’s deportees number 998. The Germans deported more than 25,000 Jews, about half of Belgium’s Jewish population, to the Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center in Occupied Poland, where most of them perished. The deportations continued until the end of July 1944.
SS troops in Radom, Poland, shoot 600 older people and children as well as hundreds of other Jews found in hiding places. Six thousand Jews from the city’s small ghetto and 2000 from the large ghetto are deported to the Treblinka death camp.
The Jewish community at Pilica, Poland, is liquidated.
Three thousand Jews are murdered at Diatlovo, Belorussia. Six hundred escape, more than 100 of whom form a partisan unit led by Hirsch Kaplinski.
U.S. delays information on plan to annihilate Jews to verify sources.
Catholic nun Edith Stein is gassed at Auschwitz.
Armed resistance during the liquidation of the Mir ghetto, western Belorussia. 180 Jews escape to forests outside Mir.
The Jewish Council of Zwierzyniec, Poland, ransoms its community with gold. Only 52 of the town’s poorest Jews are seized for deportation.
The Jewish community at Radun, Belorussia, is liquidated.
Fifteen hundred Jews from Kremenets, Ukraine, are relocated to the Bialokrynitsa camp.
Eight hundred Jews are murdered at Brzozów, Poland.
Six German and Ukrainian policemen are killed by Jews while attempting to enter the Jewish ghetto at Kremenets, Ukraine.
The Yeheskel Atlas Jewish partisan company attacks a German garrison in Derechin, Belorussia. Forty-four German policemen are captured and executed.
Jews resisting deportation from Kremenets, Ukraine, set the ghetto on fire.
In Belgium, 999 Jews, including 172 children, are deported to their deaths in the East.
Switzerland forces Jews (mostly French) already safe in Switzerland back across the border. The Swiss government will turn back 10,000 Jews to their deaths during the remainder of the war on the grounds that only political refugees can be admitted into Switzerland, not “racial refugees.” The Swiss government does, however, welcome the gold that the Germans extract from the mouths and fingers of the dead Jews.
United States State Department officials and the British Foreign Office decide that the Riegner Cable outlining details of the Holocaust be kept secret.
Arrest of 7,000 “stateless” Jews in unoccupied France.
A woman named Rivka Yosselevska is one of just four Jews to survive a bloody burial-pit massacre outside Zagrodski, Poland, near Pinsk.
The Germans open Jawiszowice, a slave-labor camp located near Auschwitz.
One thousand Belgian Jews, including 172 children, are deported to their deaths in the East.
A healthy Jewish teenage boy is removed from a deportation train at the Belzec death camp, stripped naked, hung upside down from gallows for three hours, and then killed as camp guards use sticks to force sand down his throat.
341 French-Jewish children from the ages of two to ten, as well as 323 girls up to the age of 16, are gassed at Auschwitz. Two of the victims are Suzanne Perl, seven, and her sister Micheline, three.
998 Jews, including 287 children, are deported to the East from Belgium.
Nazis murder the children of the Rembertów Ghetto. The town’s adult Jews, more than 1000, are assembled for deportation to the Treblinka death camp. About 300 of the people are ordered eastward along the road to Wesola. Before they walk a mile, the 300 are murdered. The 700 who remain are ordered to march south, and as the group passes the town of Anin, one woman melts into a crowd of non-Jewish Polish onlookers and escapes. Forty-five others are machine-gunned at Anin, ostensibly because they attempted escape. Hours later the marchers reach the ghetto at Falenica, where Jews already have been forcibly assembled; those who are discovered in hiding are shot. Inside the ghetto, two Jews resist, using an axe to kill the first German who steps through the doors of their apartment.
At the Belzec extermination camp, 700 to 800 Jews herded into a gas chamber wait in torment for nearly three hours until a balky diesel engine can be started and the chamber filled with deadly exhaust. SS gas/disinfectant expert but anti-Nazi Kurt Gerstein is on hand to observe.
Seventeen thousand Jews from Lutsk, Ukraine, are taken to Polanka Hill and executed.
The ZOB (Jewish Fighting Organization) attempts to assassinate Joseph Szerynski, commander of the Jewish police in the Warsaw Ghetto. Later in the day, other ZOB members set fire to several Warsaw warehouses.
General Friedrich Paulu’s ill-fated 6th Army approaches Stalingrad.
The Jewish community at Ozorków, Poland, is murdered.
Jews are locked in a church at Lask, Poland, and killed. Among the victims are a mother and her baby, who is born inside the church.
At Zdunska Wola, Poland, 1100 Jews are herded to the local Jewish cemetery, where all but about 100 are shot and beaten to death. Survivors are forced to bury the victims.
At the Treblinka death camp, a deranged, young Jewish woman is discovered hiding a small child beneath the bedsheet she wears. Camp guards shoot and kill both the woman and the child.
After being unloaded at the Treblinka death camp, a Jew named Friedman uses a razor blade to cut the throat of a Ukrainian guard. SS guards retaliate by immediately opening fire on the other newly arrived deportees.
Nearly 1000 Belgian Jews, including 232 children, are deported to the East.
518 Jewish children deported from Paris are gassed at Auschwitz.
Several thousand Jews from Chortkov, Poland, are assembled in the town square and forced to witness the murders of the community’s children.
The Soviet defense of Stalingrad stiffens as the German siege intensifies.
Fourteen thousand Jews are killed at Sarny, Ukraine.
World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Stephen S. Wise receives a cable from Swiss WJC representative Gerhart Riegner regarding the “Final Solution.” Wise elects to suppress the information until it can be verified.
Ten thousand Jews are murdered at Miedzyrzec, Poland.
German authorities order the arrests of Parisian priests who have sheltered Jews.
Members of the Jewish community at Rabka, Poland, are murdered.
French Bishop Pierre-Marie Théas reminds his parishes that all human beings are created by the same God, Christians and Jews alike, and that “all men regardless of race or religion deserve respect from individuals and governments.”
Late Summer 1942
Fourteen thousand Jews are taken to gravel pits at Piatydni, Ukraine, and machine-gunned.
Moshe Skoczylas and Michael Majtek form Jewish partisan units at Dzialoszyce, Poland.
German troops reach the Caucasus and begin exterminations of indigenous Jews.
SS chief Heinrich Himmler suggests that camp inmates be put to work in on-site arms factories. Armaments chief Albert Speer objects, offering a compromise accepted by Hitler: Himmler’s inmates will be made available to Speer for labor in conventional arms factories.
New York Congressman Emanuel Celler, a Jew, submits legislation to allow French Jews about to be deported to their deaths in Eastern Europe to immigrate to the United States. The bill is killed by the House Committee on Immigration.
As Jews are being deported from France to their deaths in the Third Reich, the Vichy Ministry of Information urges the press to remember “the true teaching of Saint Thomas and the Popes...the general and traditional teaching of the Catholic Church about the Jewish problem.”
Early September 1942
An SS guard on a deportation train headed for the Belzec death camp shoots and kills Jadzia Beer, a Polish girl from Jaworów, after her skirt becomes caught in a railcar window and she dangles helplessly from the window.
Security forces raid five hospitals in the Lódz Ghetto, evacuating and slaughtering patients. Babies are thrown out of an upper-story windows, some bayoneted before they hit the ground.
The 10,000 Jews of Dzialoszyce, Poland, are rounded up by Gestapo agents and by Polish and Ukrainian police, then terrorized while standing in the hot sun all day. Two thousand residents are executed in the Dolles Jewish cemetery. The 8000 residents who remain are deported to the Belzec death camp.
In Oslo, Norway, Julius Samuel, the chief rabbi of Norway, refuses to go into hiding or to flee the country. He is arrested and interned in a camp at Berg, south of Oslo.
The Geneva-based World Jewish Congress learns of deportations of French Jews.
Josef Kaplan, a leader of the ZOB (Jewish Fighting Organization), is arrested in Warsaw, joining another leader, Yisrael Zeltzer, in detention. When another ZOB leader, Shmuel Braslav, is stopped in the street by German troops, he is shot dead after trying to pull a knife. Another ZOB leader, Reginka Justman, is shot after being stopped while carrying the ZOB’s arms cache to a new hiding place; the arms are seized.
The Times of London runs articles describing the deportations of French Jews.
Lódz Ghetto’s Jewish Council leader, Chaim Rumkowski, acquiesces to Nazi demands for deportation of the community’s children and adults who are over the age of 65. During the action, Germans fire randomly into crowds, execute individual Jews, and invade Jewish hospitals. They deport approximately 15,000 people.
During a session of Britain’s House of Commons, Prime Minister Winston Churchill remarks angrily about Nazi deportations of French Jews.
Massacre of Jews near Kislowodsk, Caucasus.
The Times of London reports on the Vichy (Occupied France) government’s dismissal of General Robert de Saint-Vincent, military governor of Lyons, for his refusal to initiate mass arrests of Jews in his region of responsibility. The same edition of the Times reports on a German order for the arrest of Catholic priests who shelter Jews in the unoccupied zone of France.
Meir Berliner, an Argentine Jew deported to the Treblinka death camp from Warsaw, stabs an SS officer, Max Bialas, to death with a penknife. In reprisal, Berliner and 150 other Treblinka inmates are executed.
At Stolin, Belorussia, Jewish resistance is led by Moses Glazer and Asher Shapira.
Battle of Stalingrad begins: The German Sixth Army and Fourth Panzer Army reach the suburbs of Stalingrad. They’re primed to meet the Soviets in the Battle of Stalingrad.
More than 4800 Polish Jews are deported from Warsaw to the Treblinka extermination camp. A young Jew named Abraham Jakób Krzepicki escapes from Treblinka and makes his way to Warsaw, where ghetto historian Emanuel Ringelblum sees that Krzepicki’s eyewitness camp testimony is taken down.
The Jewish community at Checiny, Poland, is deported.
Conclusion of “resettlement” of the Lodz ghetto (55,000 victims).
German 6th Army fights its way house to house into Stalingrad.
Food rations are dramatically reduced for Jews throughout Greater Germany.
Reich Minister of Justice Otto Thierack and SS chief Heinrich Himmler agree that Jews and selected other camp inmates will be transferred to SS custody for Vernichtung durch Arbeit (extermination through work); i.e., hard labor until death.
Open-pit burning of bodies begins at Auschwitz in place of burial. The decision is made to dig up and burn those already buried (107,000 corpses) to prevent the fouling of ground water and to hide evidence of atrocities.
The leading French Protestant, Pastor Marc Boegner, publicly protests the Jewish deportations. He personally attempts to convince Vichy France Premier Pierre Laval to end the roundups of Jewish children. After Boegner offers to have the children adopted, Laval tells him that “not one of them must remain in France.”
New construction at the Treblinka death camp greatly increases its gas-chamber capacity.
Workers at the Sobibór extermination camp begin to burn the bodies of the camp’s victims.
British Home Secretary and Minister of Home Security Herbert Morrison opposes any further admission of Jewish immigrants into Britain. He fears this would encourage the French Vichy government to “dump” Jewish children into Britain.
Ukrainian and German police begin firing into the Jewish ghetto at Tuchin, Ukraine. A Jewish revolt is led by Gecel Schwarzman (chairman of the Judenrat), Meir Himmelfarb (Schwarzman’s deputy), and Tuwia Czuwak. Armed Jews return fire and others set the ghetto ablaze. Two thousand of the ghetto’s 3000 residents escape to nearby forests.
German Foreign Office official Martin Luther passes on to subordinates the desire of Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop that deportations of Jews from across Europe be accelerated.
Swiss police decree that race alone does not guarantee refugee status, thus preventing Jews from crossing the Swiss border to safety.
475 French Jews are gassed at Auschwitz. One of the victims is ballet director René Blum, the brother of former French Prime Minister Léon Blum.
Abraham Gamzu, chairman of the Jewish Council at Kaluszyn, Poland, is executed after refusing to deliver Jews for deportation. Six thousand of the town's residents are deported to the Treblinka death camp and later killed.
SS Lieutenant General August Frank advises camp administrators that jewelry and other valuables seized from Jews should be sent to the German Reichsbank, and that razors and other practical items should be cleaned and delivered to front-line troops for sale to them. Proceeds will go to the Reich. Further, confiscated household items are to be distributed to ethnic Germans.
Brussels Jewish leader Edward Rotbel is deported to Auschwitz. Several hundred Dutch Jews are gassed there.
German railway officials meet in Berlin to plan track upgrades and additional trains in order to hasten deportations of Jews. They meet again on September 28.
Search parties of German and Ukrainian police capture 1000 of 2000 Jews who escaped from the Tuchin Ghetto on September 24. Some Jews are taken to Tuchin’s Jewish cemetery and shot, while most are killed where they are found in the forest.
Three hundred cold and hungry women and children, part of the 1000 Jews still at large following a September 24 escape from the ghetto at Tuchin, Ukraine, return to the city under German promises of safe repatriation. All 300 are shot. Of the 700 Tuchin Jews who remain at large, only about 20 will survive the war.
500 of nearly 800 Jews who attempt to escape Serniki, Poland, are killed by the Germans. Of 279 who reach nearby forests, 102 will perish before the end of the war.
Hitler declares publicly that the war will mean the destruction of European Jewry.
Polish Jews trapped in the Warsaw Ghetto construct more than 600 fortified bunkers from September 30, 1942 to January 1943.
Jews are deported to Auschwitz from Holland and Belgium; to the Treblinka death camp from central Poland and the Theresienstadt camp/ghetto; and to the Belzec death camp from the Eastern Galicia region of Poland.
In the Occupied Soviet Union, many Jews are killed in the streets, in forests, and in rock quarries.
At Novogrudok, Belorussia, 50 Jews escape from the Germans and join local resistance led by Tuvia Bielski.
All Jewish property in Norway is confiscated.
Most Jewish escapees from the village of Markuszow, Poland, are destroyed by a German encirclement and subsequent armored and artillery attacks after five months of freedom in area forests.
As 3000 Jews are arrested at Pinczów, Poland, resistance is led by Michael Majtek and Zalman Fajnsztat.
British Vatican Ambassador Francis d’Arcy Osborne writes in his diary that Pope Pius XII only occasionally denounces moral crimes. But such rare and vague declarations “do not have...lasting force and validity.” Osborne points out that the Pope’s “policy of silence in regard to such offences against the conscience of the world must necessarily involve a renunciation of moral leadership.”
At a small labor camp at Budy, Poland, female German non-Jewish prisoners beat, mutilate, and kill dozens of captive Jewish women. When the massacre is over, Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss inspects the scene.
In Luków, Poland, Jewish Council member David Lieberman is told by German authorities that money he has collected to ransom Lublin’s Jews is useless, and deportations will continue, whereupon Lieberman tears the money to pieces and slaps the German official in the face. Ukrainian guards kill Lieberman immediately, and 4000 of the Jews Lieberman had hoped to protect are deported to the Treblinka extermination camp, where they are gassed.
Hundreds of Jews escape the Ukrainian town of Luboml but are quickly hunted down. In all, some 10,000 of the town’s Jews are killed.
The Polish ambassador to the Vatican details to Pope Pius XII (through a report through the secretariat of state) that the Germans have gassed thousands of Jews.
The SS transfers more than 600 Jewish women from Ravensbrück to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The transfer is a response to an order from the Reich Security Main Office requiring the transfer of all Jewish concentration camp prisoners from camps in Germany to Auschwitz.
October 6 & 9
In Brussels, Belgium, five of six leading members of the Belgian Jewish community are released from incarceration following the intervention of Cardinal Joseph-Ernst van Roey and Belgium’s Queen Elizabeth.
25,000 Jews of Brest-Litovsk, Belorussia, are murdered. Jewish resistance, led by Hana Ginsberg, attempts to fight back.
The Ministry of Justice transfers responsibility for Jews and citizens of the eastern countries within Germany to the Gestapo.
Hitler issues Kommandobefehl (“Commando Order”), authorizing immediate execution of captured Allied Special Operations personnel, whether in or out of uniform.
Twelve thousand Jews are murdered at Bar in the Transnistria region of the Ukraine.
Icek and Fraidla Dobrzynska, Jewish parents of two children who had been deported from Poland’s Lódz Ghetto in September 1942, commit suicide.
The Battle of El Alamein begins in Egypt.
Algerian-Jewish resistance leader José Aboulker meets with American General Mark Clark in Morocco. Aboulker is given 800 Sten guns, 800 grenades, 400 handguns, and 50 portable radios.
Germans demand that Oszmiana, Lithuania, give up 400 of its 1000 Jews. The selection of the victims is assigned to the Jewish police in the nearby city of Vilna. Vilna Ghetto leader Jacob Gens decides to hand over Oszmiana’s elderly Jews in order to save the others.
Second conference pertaining to sterilization.
Sixteen thousand Jews are murdered at Pinsk, Poland.
Mieczyslaw Gruber, a Jewish former soldier in the Polish Army, escapes with 17 others from a Nazi POW camp on Lipowa Street in Lublin. The group will later establish a partisan group in the forest northwest of the city.
The SS issues a secret directive that mittens and stockings confiscated from Jewish children at death camps be gathered and sent to SS families.
Jewish Warsaw Ghetto leaders ask Jan Karski, a Polish Catholic working for the underground, to tell the Polish and Allied governments: “We are helpless in the face of the German criminals....The Germans are not trying to enslave us as they have other people; we are being systematically murdered....Our entire people will be destroyed....”
Mass execution of Jews in Pinsk, Belorussia (16,000 victims).
Written comments by Winston Churchill excoriating Germany for the systematic extermination of European Jews are read at a London protest meeting chaired by the archbishop of Canterbury.
Late October 1942
The Jewish Sonderkommando at Auschwitz-Birkenau nears completion of its task of exhuming and burning Jewish corpses buried at the camp.
The Jewish community in Vienna is officially dissolved.
Klaus Barbie arrives in Lyons, France, to head a special commando in Section IV of the local Gestapo office. His instructions are to actively fight Jews, Communists, Freemasons, and members of the French Resistance.
First deportation from Bialystok district to Auschwitz.
In the Lithuanian town of Marcinkance, 370 Jews who refuse to board trains for deportation bolt for the ghetto boundaries. In the melée that follows, 360 Jews and many guards are killed. Between deaths and successful escapes, not one Jew is left to board the trains.
In Zolochev, Ukraine, the chairman of the Jewish Council is murdered by Germans after refusing to sign a paper saying that the liquidation of the ghetto was necessitated by the spread of a typhus epidemic. 2500 Zolochev Jews, including poet S. J. Imber, are deported to Belzec.
More than 100,000 Jews remaining in the towns and villages in the Bialystok region of Poland are arrested and deported to holding camps at Zambrów, Volkovysk, Kelbasin, and Bogusze before being sent to the Auschwitz and Treblinka death camps.
Six thousand Jews are deported from Siemiatycze, Poland. Resistance is led by Herschl Shabbes.
Wolfram Sievers, head of Germany’s Ancestral Heritage Society, requests skeletons of 150 Jews. SS chief Heinrich Himmler okays a plan to establish a collection of Jewish skeletons and skulls at the Strasbourg Anatomical Institute in France, near the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp.
“Europa” rescue plan.
Jewish men from Stopnica, Poland, are sent to a slave-labor camp at Skarzysko-Kamienna, while 400 old people and children are shot in the town cemetery. Three thousand others are put on a forced march; many are shot along the way, and survivors are sent to Treblinka.
Peasants in Siedliszcze, Poland, gather scythes in anticipation of the day's roundup of Jews, for which they’ll be paid for each Jew caught.
Six hundred Jews from Borislav, Poland, are deported naked to prevent resistance.
745 Jews, including 35 residents of the Rothschild Old Age Home, are deported from Paris to Auschwitz. After arrival, Jews awaiting entry into the gas chamber spy a truck loaded with corpses but continue on to their deaths.
One thousand Jews in Drancy, France, spend the night on a railroad siding crammed into boxcars. After the train departs for Auschwitz, two Jews squeeze to safety after bars in a small window are loosened.
U.K. and U.S. invade North Africa: Allied Operation Torch landings take place on the Algerian coast and incidentally ensure the safety of 117,000 Algerian Jews. Algerian-Jewish resistance, armed by the United States, helps prevent a Vichy French response to the Allied landings.
In Tripoli, Libya, German occupiers press 2600 Jews into forced labor to build military roads.
British victories in Egypt.
Six thousand Polish Jews who have been hiding in forests since the spring of 1942 surrender after the Germans promise safe passage to a new Jewish ghetto.
German and Italian troops occupy Vichy, France.
Norwegian Protestant bishops in Oslo publicly protest deportations of Norwegian Jews. They state in a letter to Norwegian Prime Minister Vidkun Quisling: “God does not differentiate between people.”
The Soviet-based Jewish Antifascist Committee releases a report, “The Liquidation of the Jews in Warsaw.”
In an action led by Mayer List, two Jewish women partisans in Paris place two time bombs at a Nazi barracks window, which will kill several soldiers.
German troops occupy Tunisia.
Soviet counterattack near Stalingrad. Red Army winter offensive opens with a massive attack against embattled and exhausted 6th Army.
Germans in Debica, Poland, announce that as of December 1, any Pole who assists Jews “will be punished by death.”
Red Army closes the ring around the 6th army in Stalingrad.
Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, a founder and president of the World Jewish Congress, announces at a press conference that the United States State Department has confirmed that Europe’s Jews are being slaughtered by the Nazis. Wise estimates that the Germans have already murdered two million Jews, which is an understatement.
Jews in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland, who are lured from hiding places by Nazi promises of no retribution, are taken to a synagogue, locked inside, and subjected to random gunfire by Ukrainians.
More than 110,000 Poles are expelled from their homes in the fertile Zamosc province so that the area can be resettled by ethnic Germans, SS troops, and Ukrainians. More than 300 villages are affected. Thousands of Polish children are deported from the area to Belzec and other death camps. Continues until August 1943.
November-early December 1942
Members of the ZOB in Kraków, Poland, disrupt rail lines and assassinate a German soldier, a German policeman, a German flier, two Gestapo agents, and a senior German clerk in the local Nazi administration.
Members of the Siemiatycze Group of Jewish resisters kill a Polish peasant and his entire family as retribution for the peasant’s capture and betrayal to the Nazis of three Jews.
Ghetto resistance is organized at Czestochowa and Kielce, Poland.
At Brody, Ukraine, Jewish resistance is led by Solomon Halberszstadt, Jakub Linder, and Samuel Weiler.
Concurrent Jewish resistance at Chortkov, Ukraine, is led by Heniek Nusbaum, Mundek Nusbaum, Reuven Rosenberg, and Meir Wasserman.
Jewish Resistance leader Dr. Yeheskel Atlas, a young Polish physician, is mortally wounded by Nazi troops in a battle at Wielka Wola, Poland.
A Sonderkommando plan to escape from Auschwitz is discovered, and the inmates are gassed.
Partisan leader Hirsch Kaplinski, survivor of an August 1942 massacre of Jews at Diatlovo, Belorussia, is killed in combat during a German attack on the Lipiczany Forest.
Jews in 30 countries hold a day of prayer and fasting for European Jews.
Salomon Malkes, an official of the Lódz Ghetto, commits suicide after becoming despondent over the deportation of his mother.
Zofia Kossak-Szczucka and Wanda Filipowicz establish Zegota, a secret name of the Rada Pomocy Zydom (Council for Aid to the Jews), a non-Jewish group based in Warsaw. Zegota is run jointly by Jews and non-Jews.
Three hundred citizens of Slonim, Belorussia, are killed. Another 500 escape to join local partisan groups.
SS men lock 23 Christian Poles in a barn at Stary Ciepielow, Poland, and burn them alive on suspicion of aiding fugitive Jews.
German troops enter the Polish village of Bialka and murder 96 villagers suspected of shielding Jews fleeing the anti-Jewish Aktion in the nearby Parczew Forest.
United States State Department official G. Robert Borden Reams, an “expert” on the Jews in the Division of European Affairs, advises that the United States government remain silent concerning details of the Holocaust.
German troops in Tunis, Tunisia, seize 128 Jews and march them to a labor camp. One young Jew who drops from exhaustion is shot and killed.
Christian Century, an American Protestant journal, attacks Rabbi Stephen Wise, claiming he has lied about the Holocaust in his recent press conference. Christian Century further argues that even if what Wise has to say is true, to make the facts of the Holocaust public serves no purpose.
The Polish ambassador to Britain informs Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden that the Polish government-in-exile can confirm that the German authorities are systematically exterminating the entire Jewish population of Poland and the rest of Europe.
Jewish inmates of a labor camp at Lutsk, Ukraine, are informed by a Christian woman that the camp is about to be liquidiated. The Jews quickly plan a revolt.
Jewish prisoners at a labor camp in Lutsk, Ukraine, armed with knives, bricks, iron bars, acid, and several revolvers and sawed-off shotguns, revolt against Germans and Ukrainians. The uprising is crushed.
A Jewish ghetto is established in Kharkov, Ukraine.
Allies solemnly condemn the extermination of the Jews and promise to punish the perpetrators. Pressure from members of Parliament, from Jewish groups in England, from the Anglican Church, from the British press, and from the Polish government-in-exile persuades the Allied governments to publish their first official recognition of atrocities in Poland. The Allied nations--Great Britain, United States, Soviet Union, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway, Poland, Yugoslavia, and the French National Committee--officially condemn the Nazis’ “bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination.” They vow to punish those responsible. Several U.S. State Department officials try to block this declaration. All previous and following declarations neglect to mention Jews.
Accepting the United States government position that the Jews being massacred by the Germans can be helped only by a total and unconditional Allied victory over Germany, the American press continues to treat the Holocaust as just another war story, and is unwilling to discuss the systematic annihilation of the Jews. Given the Allied governments’ knowledge of the Holocaust at this time, waiting until the Allied Armed Forces have achieved a total victory over the Germans indicates that the Allied governments have accepted the probablility that the majority of European Jews will be killed before the Germans can be stopped.
Jewish inmates at the labor camp at Kruszyna, Poland, near Radom, attack guards with knives and fists. Six prisoners are killed and four escape.
When Jewish forced laborers at Kruszyna, Poland, refuse to board trucks, more than 100 of them are shot.
British Ambassador to the Vatican Francis d’Arcy Osborne asserts that Pope Pius XII “does not see that his silence is highly damning to the Holy See.”
After three weeks trapped in a synagogue by hostile Ukrainian troops, 42 Jewish men are marched to the Rakow Forest and ordered to dig ditches. They resist and are then shot. A few manage to escape. Later in the day, 560 more Jews are led from the synagogue to the forest and murdered.
Nazi troops gathered at Cyganeria, a coffee house in Kraków, Poland, are attacked by Jewish partisans. Several SS officers as well as two partisans, including partisan leader Aharon Liebeskind, are murdered during the attack.
Jewish Fighting Organization attacks Germans in Kraków.
Germans mount a second hunt in Poland’s Parczew Forest for fugitive Jews.
French Admiral Francois Jean Darlan, a Vichy government political power and collaborator, is shot and fatally wounded by 20-year-old French royalist Fernand Bonnier de la Chapelle.
Four prisoners who escape from the Sobibór extermination camp are shot dead after they are betrayed by local villagers.
Twenty-year-old French royalist Fernand Bonnier de la Chapelle is executed by Vichy firing squad two days after fatally wounding Vichy Admiral Francois Jean Darlan.
Two Jews are shot for mutiny at the Stalowa Wola, Poland, slave-labor camp.
Pope Pius XII tells an American representative that he regards the atrocity stories about Jews as exaggerations “for the purposes of propaganda.”
By this date, the German Reich has deported more than two million Jews to death camps. Hundreds of thousands more Jews have been murdered by Einsatzgruppen and police battalions.
Nineteen members of a Belorussian partisan group led by Tuvia Bielski are ambushed and killed by German soldiers
1942: Other important events
A gas chamber (probably never used) and a crematorium are installed at the Dachau concentration camp.
Delegates from the United States, Great Britain, and Occupied European nation’ governments-in-exile attend the St. James Palace Conference in London to discuss Nazi war crimes and possible Allied responses. Jews are not discussed as a unique category of victims.
The Germans elevate collaborator Pierre Laval to premier of Vichy France.
Hajj Amin al-Husseini, grand mufti of Jerusalem, flees to Germany following an unsuccessful attempt by Arab nationalists to undermine British control of Palestine, and to create a Muslim legion to fight alongside German troops.
The American Council for Judaism, an anti-Zionist organization, is co-founded in New York by New York Times publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger.
German Protestant theologian Karl Friedrich Stellbrink is arrested after disseminating letters of anti-Nazi Bishop Clemens August Graf von Galen.
The Antifascist Bloc, an amalgamation of Jewish Communists and Zionist Socialists, begins publication of Der Ruf (The Call), an underground, anti-Nazi newspaper.
At the Theresienstadt camp/ghetto, a half-Jewish Czech youth named Petr Ginz conceives Vedem (In the Lead), a secret camp “magazine” of poetry, humor, gardening tips, and the grim truth about camp operations.
German Catholic priest Max Josef Metzger writes a plea for a new German government. The letter will be intercepted by the Gestapo, precipitating his arrest.