INTRO #1: introduce Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, summarizing the book in a way that lays out the book’s central thesis and key ideas but that gives most attention to his notion of “cultural legacy,” including the idea that such legacies can be positive or negative. You must clearly explain the concept and should probably include a short salient quotation and at least one brief example. INTRO#2: transition to The Complete Maus: A Survivor’s Tale and provide a summary of the text, concluding with a thesis that answers the prompt. Your summary should cover both the basic plot elements of Maus and the key technical elements that any reader would need to understand–e.g., that it is a graphic-style memoir, features animal characters PROMPT: Using Gladwell’s concept of cultural legacy as a starting point, what does Maus suggest are the “legacies” of the Holocaust for the Spiegelman family and even perhaps for the broader Jewish community, or even humankind? Technical elements: Framed, Comic, Past, Present, Future with the son (ART) Narrator in the story line) FEATURES ANIMALS AND WHY, ETC BODY Paragraphs: 1-4 REFER TO CITING MAUS Your body paragraphs, as always, should begin with a topic sentence claim that makes a point related to your thesis and answering the prompt. For this essay, although Gladwell is part of the context, your primary purpose is not to support or dispute his claim about cultural legacies. Your summary and explanation of Gladwell should be restricted to the introductory paragraph only; you do not need to refer to Gladwell in the thesis or body paragraphs. Instead, your body paragraphs should be devoted to detailed analysis of Maus supporting the claim you make about the legacies that stem from the Holocaust. You may want to return to Gladwell and his notion of the cultural legacy in your conclusion, but do not spend time explaining his concepts in the body paragraphs. 4 . Evidence: Unless you get explicit approval from me early in the drafting and have a good reason for doing otherwise, you must use evidence from relevant scenes in both Parts I and II of The Complete Maus. Your argument should show your familiarity with the text as a whole and make connections between similar scenes as warranted. Papers that do not meet this criterion will be penalized.5. Explanation/Analysis: Because of the unique genre of this text, your analysis should include extensive discussion of the visual as well as the verbal components of the text INSERT 2 PHOTOS FROM PART I & PART II: In addition, your essay must include a reproduction of two visual images from Maus. You will need to import an electronic image from the book into the body of your essay, by taking a picture with your smart phone, by scanning, or by finding an image on the Internet. These images should not be decorative but should be used as evidence to support your argument and analyzed within the body of the essay. For more information on how to incorporate images into your essay, see the “Citing Maus” handout and Little Seagull Handbook, W-5c. Note: Papers that do not meet this criterion and that do not follow proper formatting for images will be penalized.6. Because you are required to include visual images from the book, you may need to submit your final essay as a pdf rather than a Word document (since images sometimes do not save properly in Turnitin). Please be prepared to submit a Word version of your final essay if requested.
DISCUSSION # 10: Maus I and II
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Context: Art Spiegelman made several key artistic decisions in writing Maus. The most obvious ones are his decision to make the text a comic-style one combining words and images (Spiegelman is, after all, a professional cartoonist!), and the decision to render the human characters as animals.
Less obvious but also crucial is Spiegelman’s decision to write the narrative as a “frame” tale. That is, the central story—the action involving Vladek and Anja in the 1930s and 40s—is contained within a broader narrative that features Art Spiegelman interviewing his father decades after WWII and the Holocaust. We can say that Spiegelman uses a dual time frame–moving between past and present–so that we see Vladek during the Holocaust period (the 1930s and 40s in Poland and Germany) but also decades later (in the 1960s through the 1980s, in the U.S.). This technique allows us to, as it were, overhear Vladek’s recounting of his Holocaust experience while simultaneously seeing Vladek as an old man and witnessing Vladek and Art’s difficult relationship.
Think about it: Spiegelman could easily have chosen to depict only his parents’ story of the years during WWII, and he could have left himself out of the story altogether. Most Holocaust narratives are of this kind; they focus only on the experiences of the victims during the horrible events of the 1930s and 40s. In Maus, by contrast, the very first scene of the book–the preface, which shows the interaction between the young Artie and Vladek over the broken roller skate (5-6)–makes us focus on Art and Vladek’s relationship, as do the first words of the narrative proper: “I went out to see my Father in Rego Park. I hadn’t seen him in a long time. We weren’t that close” (13). These words provide the outermost frame of the story, which then sets the stage for the conversations between Art and Vladek; Maus jumps between scenes showing Art, Vladek, and other characters (mainly Mala and Francoise) in the US in the 1970s and 80s and the events in Poland in the 1930s and 40s that Vladek narrates. While the text seems simple to read, then, its construction is quite complex.
With the comments above in mind, reply to the questions below with a post (minimum 300 words) in which you think about the effects of seeing Vladek as both a young man during the 30s and 40s AND as an older man in the aftermath of the Holocaust and what this might tell us about the legacy of the Holocaust:
For this post, you must provide evidence from both Part I and Part II. Give detailed answers and provide page numbers. Remember to reply to two classmates’ posts as well, in a minimum of 200 words each.
DISCUSSION #11: Maus I and II
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Context: As we have noted, an important decision that Art Spiegelman made in Maus was to use a dual time frame. Equally important was for Art Spiegelman to include himself (in the guise of Artie) in the narrative. In the first volume, the entire story of Art’s parents’ lives up until their capture is depicted through the mechanism of Artie interviewing Vladek so that we get to see the interactions of father and son. In Volume II, this strategy continues, but we also see some scenes between just Artie and his wife, Francoise.
Prompt: For this discussion, write 300 words or more on the following, and respond to two classmates’ post as usual (in 200 words each):
What are the effects of Spiegelman’s inclusion of Artie in Maus? How does this inclusion contribute to the meaning of the text? In particular, what legacies of the Vladek and Anja’s experiences during the Holocaust do we see in Art and his relationship with his parents?
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Jump to: 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945
January 30, 1933 – Adolf Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany a nation with a Jewish population of 566,000.
February 22, 1933 – 40,000 SA and SS men are sworn in as auxiliary police.
February 27, 1933 – Nazis burn Reichstag building to create crisis atmosphere.
February 28, 1933 – Emergency powers granted to Hitler as a result of the Reichstag fire.
March 22, 1933 – Nazis open Dachau concentration camp near Munich, to be followed by Buchenwald near Weimar in central Germany, Sachsenhausen near Berlin in northern Germany, and Ravensbrück for women.
March 24, 1933 – German Parliament passes Enabling Act giving Hitler dictatorial powers.
See also: The History Place – Rise of Hitler
April 1, 1933 – Nazis stage boycott of Jewish shops and businesses.
April 11, 1933 – Nazis issue a Decree defining a non-Aryan as “anyone descended from non-Aryan, especially Jewish, parents or grandparents. One parent or grandparent classifies the descendant as non-Aryan…especially if one parent or grandparent was of the Jewish faith.”
April 26, 1933 – The Gestapo is born, created by Hermann Göring in the German state of Prussia.
May 10, 1933 – Burning of books in Berlin and throughout Germany.
July 14, 1933 – Nazi Party is declared the only legal party in Germany; Also, Nazis pass Law to strip Jewish immigrants from Poland of their German citizenship.
In July – Nazis pass law allowing for forced sterilization of those found by a Hereditary Health Court to have genetic defects.
In September – Nazis establish Reich Chamber of Culture, then exclude Jews from the Arts.
September 29, 1933 – Nazis prohibit Jews from owning land.
October 4, 1933 – Jews are prohibited from being newspaper editors.
November 24, 1933 – Nazis pass a Law against Habitual and Dangerous Criminals, which allows beggars, the homeless, alcoholics and the unemployed to be sent to concentration camps.
January 24, 1934 – Jews are banned from the German Labor Front.
May 17, 1934 – Jews not allowed national health insurance.
June 30, 1934 – The Night of Long Knives occurs as Hitler, Göring and Himmler conduct a purge of the SA (storm trooper) leadership.
July 20, 1934 – The SS (Schutzstaffel) is made an independent organization from the SA.
July 22, 1934 – Jews are prohibited from getting legal qualifications.
August 2, 1934 – German President von Hindenburg dies. Hitler becomes Führer.
August 19, 1934 – Hitler receives a 90 percent ‘Yes’ vote from German voters approving his new powers.
May 21, 1935 – Nazis ban Jews from serving in the military.
June 26, 1935 – Nazis pass law allowing forced abortions on women to prevent them from passing on hereditary diseases.
August 6, 1935 – Nazis force Jewish performers/artists to join Jewish Cultural Unions.
September 15, 1935 – Nuremberg Race Laws against Jews decreed.
February 10, 1936 – The German Gestapo is placed above the law.
In March – SS Deathshead division is established to guard concentration camps.
March 7, 1936 – Nazis occupy the Rhineland.
June 17, 1936 – Heinrich Himmler is appointed chief of the German Police.
August 1, 1936 – Olympic games begin in Berlin. Hitler and top Nazis seek to gain legitimacy through favorable public opinion from foreign visitors and thus temporarily refrain from actions against Jews.
In August – Nazis set up an Office for Combating Homosexuality and Abortions (by healthy women).
In January – Jews are banned from many professional occupations including teaching Germans, and from being accountants or dentists. They are also denied tax reductions and child allowances.
November 8, 1937 – ‘Eternal Jew’ travelling exhibition opens in Munich.
March 12/13, 1938 – Nazi troops enter Austria, which has a population of 200,000 Jews, mainly living in Vienna. Hitler announces Anschluss (union) with Austria.
In March – After the Anschluss, the SS is placed in charge of Jewish affairs in Austria with Adolf Eichmann establishing an Office for Jewish Emigration in Vienna. Himmler then establishes Mauthausen concentration camp near Linz.
April 22, 1938 – Nazis prohibit Aryan ‘front-ownership’ of Jewish businesses.
April 26, 1938 – Nazis order Jews to register wealth and property.
June 14, 1938 – Nazis order Jewish-owned businesses to register.
In July – At Evian, France, the U.S. convenes a League of Nations conference with delegates from 32 countries to consider helping Jews fleeing Hitler, but results in inaction as no country will accept them.
July 6, 1938 – Nazis prohibited Jews from trading and providing a variety of specified commercial services.
July 23, 1938 – Nazis order Jews over age 15 to apply for identity cards from the police, to be shown on demand to any police officer.
July 25, 1938 – Jewish doctors prohibited by law from practicing medicine.
August 11, 1938 – Nazis destroy the synagogue in Nuremberg.
August 17, 1938 – Nazis require Jewish women to add Sarah and men to add Israel to their names on all legal documents including passports.
September 27, 1938 – Jews are prohibited from all legal practices.
October 5, 1938 – Law requires Jewish passports to be stamped with a large red “J.”
October 15, 1938 – Nazi troops occupy the Sudetenland.
October 28, 1938 – Nazis arrest 17,000 Jews of Polish nationality living in Germany, then expel them back to Poland which refuses them entry, leaving them in ‘No-Man’s Land’ near the Polish border for several months.
November 7, 1938 – Ernst vom Rath, third secretary in the German Embassy in Paris, is shot and mortally wounded by Herschel Grynszpan, the 17-year-old son of one of the deported Polish Jews. Rath dies on November 9, precipitating Kristallnacht.
November 9/10 – Kristallnacht – The Night of Broken Glass.
November 12, 1938 – Nazis fine Jews one billion marks for damages related to Kristallnacht.
November 15, 1938 – Jewish pupils are expelled from all non-Jewish German schools.
December 3, 1938 – Law for compulsory Aryanization of all Jewish businesses.
December 14, 1938 – Hermann Göring takes charge of resolving the “Jewish Question.”
January 24, 1939 – SS leader Reinhard Heydrich is ordered by Göring to speed up the emigration of Jews.
January 30, 1939 – Hitler threatens Jews during Reichstag speech.
February 21, 1939 – Nazis force Jews to hand over all gold and silver items.
March 15/16 – Nazi troops seize Czechoslovakia (Jewish pop. 350,000).
April 19, 1939 – Slovakia passes its own version of the Nuremberg Laws.
April 30, 1939 – Jews lose rights as tenants and are relocated into Jewish houses.
In May – The St. Louis, a ship crowded with 930 Jewish refugees, is turned away by Cuba, the United States and other countries and returns to Europe.
July 4, 1939 – German Jews denied the right to hold government jobs.
July 21, 1939 – Adolf Eichmann is appointed director of the Prague Office of Jewish Emigration.
September 1, 1939 – Nazis invade Poland (Jewish pop. 3.35 million, the largest in Europe). Beginning of SS activity in Poland.
See also: The History Place – World War II in Europe Timeline
September 1, 1939 – Jews in Germany are forbidden to be outdoors after 8 p.m. in winter and 9 p.m. in summer.
September 3, 1939 – Great Britain and France declare war on Germany.
September 4, 1939 – Warsaw is cut off by the German Army.
September 17, 1939 – Soviet troops invade eastern Poland.
September 21, 1939 – Heydrich issues instructions to SS Einsatzgruppen (special action squads) in Poland regarding treatment of Jews, stating they are to be gathered into ghettos near railroads for the future “final goal.” He also orders a census and the establishment of Jewish administrative councils within the ghettos to implement Nazi policies and decrees.
September 23, 1939 – German Jews are forbidden to own wireless (radio) sets.
September 27, 1939 – Warsaw surrenders; Heydrich becomes leader of RSHA.
September 29, 1939 – Nazis and Soviets divide up Poland. Over two million Jews reside in Nazi controlled areas, leaving 1.3 million in the Soviet area.
In September – Quote from Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer, published by Julius Streicher – “The Jewish people ought to be exterminated root and branch. Then the plague of pests would have disappeared in Poland at one stroke.”
In October – Nazis begin euthanasia on sick and disabled in Germany.
October 6, 1939 – Proclamation by Hitler on the isolation of Jews.
October 12, 1939 – Evacuation of Jews from Vienna.
October 12, 1939 – Hans Frank appointed Nazi Gauleiter (governor) of Poland.
October 26, 1939 – Forced labor decree issued for Polish Jews aged 14 to 60.
November 23, 1939 – Yellow stars required to be worn by Polish Jews over age 10.
In December – Adolf Eichmann takes over section IV B4 of the Gestapo dealing solely with Jewish affairs and evacuations.
January 25, 1940 – Nazis choose the town of Oswiecim (Auschwitz) in Poland near Krakow as the site of a new concentration camp.
In January – Quote from Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer, published by Julius Streicher – “The time is near when a machine will go into motion which is going to prepare a grave for the world’s criminal – Judah – from which there will be no resurrection.”
February 12, 1940 – First deportation of German Jews into occupied Poland.
April 9, 1940 – Nazis invade Denmark (Jewish pop. 8,000) and Norway (Jewish pop. 2,000).
April 30, 1940 – The Lodz Ghetto in occupied Poland is sealed off from the outside world with 230,000 Jews locked inside.
May 1, 1940 – Rudolf Höss is chosen to be kommandant of Auschwitz.
May 10, 1940 – Nazis invade France (Jewish pop. 350,000), Belgium (Jewish pop. 65,000), Holland (Jewish pop. 140,000), and Luxembourg (Jewish pop. 3,500).
June 14, 1940 – Paris is occupied by the Nazis.
June 22, 1940 – France signs an armistice with Hitler.
In July – Eichmann’s Madagascar Plan is presented, proposing to deport all European Jews to the island of Madagascar, off the coast of east Africa.
July 17, 1940 – The first anti-Jewish measures are taken in Vichy France.
August 8, 1940 – Romania introduces anti-Jewish measures restricting education and employment, then later begins “Romanianization” of Jewish businesses.
September 27, 1940 – Tripartite (Axis) Pact signed by Germany, Italy and Japan.
October 3, 1940 – Vichy France passes its own version of the Nuremberg Laws.
October 7, 1940 – Nazis invade Romania (Jewish pop. 34,000).
October 22, 1940 – Deportation of 29,000 German Jews from Baden, the Saar, and Alsace-Lorraine into Vichy France.
In November – Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia become Nazi Allies.
In November – The Krakow Ghetto is sealed off containing 70,000 Jews.
November 15, 1940 – The Warsaw Ghetto, containing over 400,000 Jews, is sealed off.
In 1941 – Hans Frank, Gauleiter of Poland, states, “I ask nothing of the Jews except that they should disappear.”
In January – Quote from Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer, published by Julius Streicher – “Now judgment has begun and it will reach its conclusion only when knowledge of the Jews has been erased from the earth.”
In January – A pogrom in Romania results in over 2,000 Jews killed.
February 22, 1941 – 430 Jewish hostages are deported from Amsterdam after a Dutch Nazi is killed by Jews.
In March – Hitler’s Commissar Order authorizes execution of anyone suspected of being a Communist official in territories about to be seized from Soviet Russia.
March 1, 1941 – Himmler makes his first visit to Auschwitz, during which he orders Kommandant Höss to begin massive expansion, including a new compound to be built at nearby Birkenau that can hold 100,000 prisoners.
March 2, 1941 – Nazis occupy Bulgaria (Jewish pop. 50,000).
March 7, 1941 – German Jews ordered into forced labor.
March 26, 1941 – The German Army High Command gives approval to RSHA and Heydrich on the tasks of SS murder squads (Einsatzgruppen) in occupied Poland.
March 29, 1941 – A ‘Commissariat’ for Jewish Affairs is set up in Vichy France.
April 6, 1941 – Nazis invade Yugoslavia (Jewish pop. 75,000) and Greece (Jewish pop. 77,000).
May 14, 1941 – 3,600 Jews arrested in Paris.
May 16, 1941 – French Marshal Petain issues a radio broadcast approving collaboration with Hitler.
June 22, 1941 – Nazis invade Russia (Jewish pop. 3 million).
June 29/30 – Romanian troops conduct a pogrom against Jews in the town of Jassy, killing 10,000.
Summer – Himmler summons Auschwitz Kommandant Höss to Berlin and tells him, “The Führer has ordered the Final Solution of the Jewish question. We, the SS, have to carry out this order…I have therefore chosen Auschwitz for this purpose.”
In July – As the German Army advances, SS Einsatzgruppen follow along and conduct mass murder of Jews in seized lands.
In July – Ghettos established at Kovno, Minsk, Vitebsk and Zhitomer. Also in July, the government of Vichy France seizes Jewish owned property.
July 17, 1941 – Nazi racial ‘philosopher’ Alfred Rosenberg is appointed Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories to administer territories seized from the Soviet Union.
July 21, 1941 – In occupied Poland near Lublin, Majdanek concentration camp becomes operational.
July 25/26 – 3,800 Jews killed during a pogrom by Lithuanians in Kovno.
July 31, 1941 – Göring instructs Heydrich to prepare for Final Solution.
In August – Jews in Romania forced into Transnistria. By December, 70,000 perish.
In August – Ghettos established at Bialystok and Lvov.
August 26, 1941 – The Hungarian Army rounds up 18,000 Jews at Kamenets-Podolsk.
September 3, 1941 – The first test use of Zyklon-B gas at Auschwitz.
September 1, 1941 – German Jews ordered to wear yellow stars.
September 6, 1941 – The Vilna Ghetto is established containing 40,000 Jews.
September 17, 1941 – Beginning of general deportation of German Jews.
September 19, 1941 – Nazis take Kiev.
September 27/28 – 23,000 Jews killed at Kamenets-Podolsk, in the Ukraine.
September 29/30 – SS Einsatzgruppen murder 33,771 Jews at Babi Yar near Kiev.
In October – 35,000 Jews from Odessa shot.
October 2, 1941 – Beginning of the German Army drive on Moscow.
October 23, 1941 – Nazis forbid emigration of Jews from the Reich.
In November – SS Einsatzgruppe B reports a tally of 45,476 Jews killed.
November 24, 1941 – Theresienstadt Ghetto is established near Prague, Czechoslovakia. The Nazis will use it as a model ghetto for propaganda purposes.
November 30, 1941 – Near Riga, a mass shooting of Latvian and German Jews.
December 7, 1941 – Japanese attack United States at Pearl Harbor. The next day the U.S. and Great Britain declare war on Japan.
December 8, 1941 – In occupied Poland, near Lodz, Chelmno extermination camp becomes operational. Jews taken there are placed in mobile gas vans and driven to a burial place while carbon monoxide from the engine exhaust is fed into the sealed rear compartment, killing them. The first gassing victims include 5,000 Gypsies who had been deported from the Reich to Lodz.
December 11, 1941 – Hitler declares war on the United States. President Roosevelt then asks Congress for a declaration of war on Germany saying, “Never before has there been a greater challenge to life, liberty and civilization.” The U.S.A. then enters the war in Europe and will concentrate nearly 90 percent of its military resources to defeat Hitler.
December 12, 1941 – The ship “Struma” leaves Romania for Palestine carrying 769 Jews but is later denied permission by British authorities to allow the passengers to disembark. In February 1942, it sails back into the Black Sea where it is intercepted by a Russian submarine and sunk as an “enemy target.”
December 16, 1941 – During a cabinet meeting, Hans Frank, Gauleiter of Poland, states – “Gentlemen, I must ask you to rid yourselves of all feeling of pity. We must annihilate the Jews wherever we find them and wherever it is possible in order to maintain there the structure of the Reich as a whole…”
In January – Mass killings of Jews using Zyklon-B begin at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Bunker I (the red farmhouse) in Birkenau with the bodies being buried in mass graves in a nearby meadow.
January 20, 1942 – Wannsee Conference to coordinate the “Final Solution.”
January 31, 1942 – SS Einsatzgruppe A reports a tally of 229,052 Jews killed.
In March – In occupied Poland, Belzec extermination camp becomes operational. The camp is fitted with permanent gas chambers using carbon monoxide piped in from engines placed outside the chamber, but will later substitute Zyklon-B.
March 17, 1942 – The deportation of Jews from Lublin to Belzec.
March 24, 1942 – The start of deportation of Slovak Jews to Auschwitz.
March 27, 1942 – The start of deportation of French Jews to Auschwitz.
March 28, 1942 – Fritz Sauckel named Chief of Manpower to expedite recruitment of slave labor.
March 30, 1942 – First trainloads of Jews from Paris arrive at Auschwitz.
In April – First transports of Jews arrive at Majdanek.
April 20, 1942 – German Jews are banned from using public transportation.
In May – In occupied Poland, Sobibor extermination camp becomes operational. The camp is fitted with three gas chambers using carbon monoxide piped in from engines, but will later substitute Zyklon-B.
May 18, 1942 – The New York Times reports on an inside page that Nazis have machine-gunned over 100,000 Jews in the Baltic states, 100,000 in Poland and twice as many in western Russia.
May 27, 1942 – SS leader Heydrich is mortally wounded by Czech Underground agents.
In June – Gas vans used in Riga.
June 1, 1942 – Jews in France, Holland, Belgium, Croatia, Slovakia, Romania ordered to wear yellow stars.
June 4, 1942 – Heydrich dies of his wounds.
June 5, 1942 – SS report 97,000 persons have been “processed” in mobile gas vans.
June 10, 1942 – Nazis liquidate Lidice in retaliation for Heydrich’s death.
June 11, 1942 – Eichmann meets with representatives from France, Belgium and Holland to coordinate deportation plans for Jews.
June 30, 1942 – At Auschwitz, a second gas chamber, Bunker II (the white farmhouse), is made operational at Birkenau due to the number of Jews arriving.
June 30 and July 2 – The New York Times reports via the London Daily Telegraph that over 1,000,000 Jews have already been killed by Nazis.
Summer – Swiss representatives of the World Jewish Congress receive information from a German industrialist regarding the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews. They then pass the information on to London and Washington.
July 2, 1942 – Jews from Berlin sent to Theresienstadt.
July 7, 1942 – Himmler grants permission for sterilization experiments at Auschwitz.
July 14, 1942 – Beginning of deportation of Dutch Jews to Auschwitz.
July 16/17 – 12,887 Jews of Paris are rounded up and sent to Drancy Internment Camp located outside the city. A total of approximately 74,000 Jews, including 11,000 children, will eventually be transported from Drancy to Auschwitz, Majdanek and Sobibor.
July 17/18 – Himmler visits Auschwitz-Birkenau for two days, inspecting all ongoing construction and expansion, then observes the extermination process from start to finish as two trainloads of Jews arrive from Holland. Kommandant Höss is then promoted. Construction includes four large gas chamber/crematories.
July 19, 1942 – Himmler orders Operation Reinhard, mass deportations of Jews in Poland to extermination camps.
July 22, 1942 – Beginning of deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto to the new extermination camp, Treblinka. Also, beginning of the deportation of Belgian Jews to Auschwitz.
July 23, 1942 – Treblinka extermination camp opened in occupied Poland, east of Warsaw. The camp is fitted with two buildings containing 10 gas chambers, each holding 200 persons. Carbon monoxide gas is piped in from engines placed outside the chamber, but Zyklon-B will later be substituted. Bodies are burned in open pits.
In August – The start of deportations of Croatian Jews to Auschwitz.
August 23, 1942 – Beginning of German Army attack on Stalingrad in Russia.
August 26-28 – 7,000 Jews arrested in unoccupied France.
September 9, 1942 – 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 fouling of ground water.
September 18, 1942 – Reduction of food rations for Jews in Germany.
September 26, 1942 – SS begins cashing in possessions and valuables of Jews from Auschwitz and Majdanek. German banknotes are sent to the Reichs Bank. Foreign currency, gold, jewels and other valuables are sent to SS Headquarters of the Economic Administration. Watches, clocks and pens are distributed to troops at the front. Clothing is distributed to German families. By February 1943, over 800 boxcars of confiscated goods will have left Auschwitz.
October 5, 1942 – Himmler orders all Jews in concentration camps in Germany to be sent to Auschwitz and Majdanek.
October 5, 1942 – A German eyewitness observes SS mass murder.
October 14, 1942 – Mass killing of Jews from Mizocz Ghetto in the Ukraine.
October 22, 1942 – SS put down a revolt at Sachsenhausen by a group of Jews about to be sent to Auschwitz.
October 25, 1942 – Deportations of Jews from Norway to Auschwitz begin.
October 28, 1942 – The first transport from Theresienstadt arrives at Auschwitz.
In November – The mass killing of 170,000 Jews in the area of Bialystok.
December 10, 1942 – The first transport of Jews from Germany arrives at Auschwitz.
In December – Exterminations at Belzec cease after an estimated 600,000 Jews have been murdered. The camp is then dismantled, plowed over and planted.
December 17, 1942 – British Foreign Secretary Eden tells the British House of Commons the Nazis are “now carrying into effect Hitler’s oft repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people of Europe.” The U.S. declares those crimes will be avenged.
December 28, 1942 – Sterilization experiments on women at Birkenau begin.
Map of Concentration/Death Camps
In 1943 – The number of Jews killed by SS Einsatzgruppen passes one million. Nazis then use special units of slave laborers to dig up and burn the bodies to remove all traces.
January 18, 1943 – First resistance by Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.
January 29, 1943 – Nazis order all Gypsies arrested and sent to extermination camps.
January 30, 1943 – Ernst Kaltenbrunner succeeds Heydrich as head of RSHA.
In February – The Romanian government proposes to the Allies the transfer of 70,000 Jews to Palestine, but receives no response from Britain or the U.S.
In February – Greek Jews are ordered into ghettos.
February 2, 1943 – Germans surrender to Russian troops at Stalingrad in the first big defeat of Hitler’s armies.
February 27, 1943 – Jews working in Berlin armaments industry are sent to Auschwitz.
In March – The start of deportations of Jews from Greece to Auschwitz, lasting until August, totaling 49,900 persons.
March 1, 1943 – In New York, American Jews hold a mass rally at Madison Square Garden to pressure the U.S. government into helping the Jews of Europe.
March 14, 1943 – The Krakow Ghetto is liquidated.
March 17, 1943 – Bulgaria states opposition to deportation of its Jews.
March 22, 1943 – Newly built gas chamber/crematory IV opens at Auschwitz.
March 31, 1943 – Newly built gas chamber/crematory II opens at Auschwitz.
April 4, 1943 – Newly built gas chamber/crematory V opens at Auschwitz.
April 9, 1943 – Exterminations at Chelmno cease. The camp will be reactivated in the spring of 1944 to liquidate ghettos. In all, Chelmno will total 300,000 deaths.
April 19-30 – The Bermuda Conference occurs as representatives from the United States and Britain discuss the problem of refugees from Nazi-occupied countries, but results in inaction concerning the plight of the Jews.
April 19, 1943 – Waffen-SS attacks Jewish Resistance in Warsaw Ghetto.
In May – SS Dr. Josef Mengele arrives at Auschwitz.
May 13, 1943 – German and Italian troops in North Africa surrender to Allies.
May 19, 1943 – Nazis declare Berlin to be Judenfrei (cleansed of Jews).
June 11, 1943 – Himmler orders liquidation of all Jewish ghettos in occupied Poland.
June 25, 1943 – Newly built gas chamber/crematory III opens at Auschwitz. With its completion, the four new crematories at Auschwitz have a daily capacity of 4,756 bodies.
July 9/10 – Allied troops land in Sicily.
August 2, 1943 – Two hundred Jews escape from Treblinka extermination camp during a revolt. Nazis then hunt them down one by one.
August 16, 1943 – The Bialystok Ghetto is liquidated.
In August – Exterminations cease at Treblinka, after an estimated 870,000 deaths.
In September – The Vilna and Minsk Ghettos are liquidated.
September 11, 1943 – Germans occupy Rome, after occupying northern and central Italy, containing in all about 35,000 Jews.
September 11, 1943 – Beginning of Jewish family transports from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz.
In October – The Danish Underground helps transport 7,220 Danish Jews to safety in Sweden by sea.
October 4 – Himmler talks openly about the Final Solution at Posen.
October 14, 1943 – Massive escape from Sobibor as Jews and Soviet POWs break out, with 300 making it safely into nearby woods. Of those 300, fifty will survive. Exterminations then cease at Sobibor, after over 250,000 deaths. All traces of the death camp are then removed and trees are planted.
October 16, 1943 – Jews in Rome rounded up, with over 1,000 sent to Auschwitz.
In November – The Riga Ghetto is liquidated.
In November – The U.S. Congress holds hearings regarding the U.S. State Department’s inaction regarding European Jews, despite mounting reports of mass extermination.
November 3, 1943 – Nazis carry out Operation Harvest Festival in occupied Poland, killing 42,000 Jews.
November 4, 1943 – Quote from Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer, published by Julius Streicher – “It is actually true that the Jews have, so to speak, disappeared from Europe and that the Jewish ‘Reservoir of the East’ from which the Jewish pestilence has for centuries beset the peoples of Europe has ceased to exist. But the Führer of the German people at the beginning of the war prophesied what has now come to pass.”
November 11, 1943 – Auschwitz Kommandant Höss is promoted to chief inspector of concentration camps. The new kommandant, Liebehenschel, then divides up the vast Auschwitz complex of over 30 sub-camps into three main sections.
December 2, 1943 – The first transport of Jews from Vienna arrives at Auschwitz.
December 16, 1943 – The chief surgeon at Auschwitz reports that 106 castration operations have been performed.
January 3, 1944 – Russian troops reach former Polish border.
January 24, 1944 – In response to political pressure to help Jews under Nazi control, President Roosevelt creates the War Refugee Board.
January 25, 1944 – Diary entry by Hans Frank, Gauleiter of Poland, concerning the fate of 2.5 million Jews originally under his jurisdiction – “At the present time we still have in the General Government perhaps 100,000 Jews.”
In February – Eichmann visits Auschwitz.
March 19, 1944 – Nazis occupy Hungary (Jewish pop. 725,000). Eichmann arrives with Gestapo “Special Section Commandos.”
March 24, 1944 – President Roosevelt issues a statement condemning German and Japanese ongoing “crimes against humanity.”
April 5, 1944 – A Jewish inmate, Siegfried Lederer, escapes from Auschwitz-Birkenau and makes it safely to Czechoslovakia. He then warns the Elders of the Council at Theresienstadt about Auschwitz.
April 6, 1944 – Nazis raid a French home for Jewish children.
April 7, 1944 – Two Jewish inmates escape from Auschwitz-Birkenau and make it safely to Czechoslovakia. One of them, Rudolf Vrba, submits a report to the Papal Nuncio in Slovakia which is forwarded to the Vatican, received there in mid June.
April 14, 1944 – First transports of Jews from Athens to Auschwitz, totaling 5,200 persons.
In May – Himmler’s agents secretly propose to the Western Allies to trade Jews for trucks, other commodities or money.
May 8, 1944 – Rudolf Höss returns to Auschwitz, ordered by Himmler to oversee the extermination of Hungarian Jews.
May 15, 1944 – Beginning of the deportation of Jews from Hungary to Auschwitz.
May 16, 1944 – Jews from Hungary arrive at Auschwitz. Eichmann arrives to personally oversee and speed up the extermination process. By May 24, an estimated 100,000 have been gassed. Between May 16 and May 31, the SS report collecting 88 pounds of gold and white metal from the teeth of those gassed. By the end of June, 381,661 persons – half of the Jews in Hungary – arrive at Auschwitz.
In June – A Red Cross delegation visits Theresienstadt after the Nazis have carefully prepared the camp and the Jewish inmates, resulting in a favorable report.
June 6, 1944 – D-Day: Allied landings in Normandy on the coast of northern France.
June 12, 1944 – Rosenberg orders Hay Action, the kidnapping of 40,000 Polish children aged ten to fourteen for slave labor in the Reich.
Summer – Auschwitz-Birkenau records its highest-ever daily number of persons gassed and burned at just over 9,000. Six huge pits are used to burn bodies, as the number exceeds the capacity of the crematories.
In July – Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg arrives in Budapest, Hungary, and proceeds to save nearly 33,000 Jews by issuing diplomatic papers and establishing ‘safe houses.’
July 24, 1944 – Russian troops liberate the first concentration camp, at Majdanek where over 360,000 had been murdered.
August 4, 1944 – Anne Frank and family are arrested by the Gestapo in Amsterdam, then sent to Auschwitz. Anne and her sister Margot are later sent to Bergen-Belsen where Anne dies of typhus on March 15, 1945.
August 6, 1944 – Lodz, the last Jewish ghetto in Poland, is liquidated with 60,000 Jews sent to Auschwitz.
October 7, 1944 – A revolt by Sonderkommando (Jewish slave laborers) at Auschwitz-Birkenau results in complete destruction of Crematory IV.
October 15, 1944 – Nazis seize control of the Hungarian puppet government, then resume deporting Jews, which had temporarily ceased due to international political pressure to stop Jewish persecutions.
October 17, 1944 – Eichmann arrives in Hungary.
October 28, 1944 – The last transport of Jews to be gassed, 2,000 from Theresienstadt, arrives at Auschwitz.
October 30, 1944 – Last use of the gas chambers at Auschwitz.
November 8, 1944 – Nazis force 25,000 Jews to walk over 100 miles in rain and snow from Budapest to the Austrian border, followed by a second forced march of 50,000 persons, ending at Mauthausen.
November 25, 1944 – Himmler orders destruction of the crematories at Auschwitz.
Late 1944 – Oskar Schindler saves 1200 Jews by moving them from Plaszow labor camp to his hometown of Brunnlitz.
In 1945 – As Allied troops advance, the Nazis conduct death marches of concentration camp inmates away from outlying areas.
January 6, 1945 – Russians liberate Budapest, freeing over 80,000 Jews.
January 14, 1945 – Invasion of eastern Germany by Russian troops.
January 17, 1945 – Liberation of Warsaw by the Russians.
January 18, 1945 – Nazis evacuate 66,000 from Auschwitz.
January 27, 1945 – Russian troops liberate Auschwitz. By this time, an estimated 2,000,000 persons, including 1,500,000 Jews, have been murdered there.
April 4, 1945 – Ohrdruf camp is liberated, later visited by General Eisenhower.
April 10, 1945 – Allies liberate Buchenwald.
April 15, 1945 – Approximately 40,000 prisoners freed at Bergen-Belsen by the British, who report “both inside and outside the huts was a carpet of dead bodies, human excreta, rags and filth.”
April 23, 1945 – Berlin is reached by Russian troops.
April 29, 1945 – U.S. 7th Army liberates Dachau.
April 30, 1945 – Hitler commits suicide in his Berlin bunker.
April 30, 1945 – Americans free 33,000 inmates from concentration camps.
May 2, 1945 – Theresienstadt taken over by the Red Cross.
May 5, 1945 – Mauthausen liberated.
May 7, 1945 – Unconditional German surrender signed by General Alfred Jodl at Reims.
May 9, 1945 – Hermann Göring captured by members of U.S. 7th Army.
May 23, 1945 – SS-Reichsführer Himmler commits suicide while in British custody.
November 20, 1945 – Opening of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal.
March 11, 1946 – Former Auschwitz Kommandant Höss, posing as a farm worker, is arrested by the British. He testifies at Nuremberg, then is later tried in Warsaw, found guilty and hanged at Auschwitz, April 16, 1947, near Crematory I. “History will mark me as the greatest mass murderer of all time,” Höss writes while in prison, along with his memoirs about Auschwitz.
October 16, 1946 – Göring commits suicide two hours before the scheduled execution of the first group of major Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg. During his imprisonment, a (now repentant) Hans Frank states, “A thousand years will pass and the guilt of Germany will not be erased.” Frank and the others are hanged and the bodies are brought to Dachau and burned (the final use of the crematories there) with the ashes then scattered into a river.
December 9, 1946 – 23 former SS doctors and scientists go on trial before a U.S. Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. Sixteen are found guilty, with 7 hanged.
September 15, 1947 – Twenty one former SS-Einsatz leaders go on trial before a U.S. Military Tribunal in Nuremberg. Fourteen are sentenced to death, with only 4 (the group commanders) actually being executed – the other death sentences having been commuted.
May 11, 1960 – Adolf Eichmann is captured in Argentina by the Israeli secret service.
April 11 – August 14 – Eichmann on trial in Jerusalem for crimes against the Jewish people, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Found guilty and hanged at Ramleh on May 31, 1962. A fellow Nazi reported Eichmann once said “he would leap laughing into the grave because the feeling that he had five million people on his conscience would be for him a source of extraordinary satisfaction.”
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See also: The History Place – Genocide in the 20th Century: The Holocaust
See also: The History Place three-part narrative history of Adolf Hitler (62 chapters)
I. The Rise of Hitler – from unknown to dictator of Germany.
II. The Triumph of Hitler – the prewar years of Nazi Germany.
III. The Defeat of Hitler – the quest for a Nazi empire.
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