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Granted Iraq independence.


Jewish population reached 175,000.

1930 March 31, SHAW COMMISSION (Eretz Israel)

Issued its report. Although it laid the blame for the riots on the Arabs it called for a more restricted policy with regard to Jewish immigration and land purchase.


Was opened. Founded by Rabbi Meir Shapiro, the school had 120 rooms on six floors with lecture halls and a 40,000 book library. Shapiro fought against the idea that talmudic students had to live in poverty and study under difficult conditions. Each perspective student had to know 200 pages of Talmud by heart. The building and library were taken over by the Nazis and is today a nursing school.

1930 August 22, HOPE-SIMPSON REPORT (Eretz Israel)

Sir John Hope-Simpson, sent by the British, looked into Arab economic complaints and decided that Palestine had no industrial prospects. He recommended the cessation of all Jewish immigration and a settlement freeze. His report was the basis for the infamous Passfield White Paper.

1930 October 20, LORD PASSFIELD (Eretz Israel)

Issued his "White Paper" banning further land acquisition by Jews and slowing Jewish immigration. Weizmann, who had always toed a pro-British line, resigned in protest.

1931 - 1934 ENGLEBERT DOLFUSS (Austria)

An anti-communist who served as chancellor. He soon convinced the president to appoint him dictator (1933). Although he persecuted the Nazis, he considered all Jews communists and treated them as such.

1931 - 1939 FIFTH ALIYAH (Eretz Israel)

One hundred thousand Jews came to Eretz Israel, most of them from Germany.

1931 - 1936 GENERAL GYULA VON GOMBOS (Hungary)

Former head of the "White Terror" riots, he became prime minister and fostered anti-Semitism. He once headed the Party of Racial Defense dedicated to anti-Semitism.

1931 BETAR (Latvia)

Established a Navy School in Riga.

1931 HABIMAH THEATER (Russia/USSR-Eretz Israel)

Moved to Eretz Israel where Habimah eventually became the National Theater. The theater played an important role in the developing of Hebrew as a National language.


Decided that the Western Wall area was part of the Temple Mount and belonged to the Moslem Wakf. Therefore Jews would henceforth not be permitted to blow the Shofar as part of prayers services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.


An estimated 3,114,000 Jews lived in Poland, comprising 9.8% of the total populace.

1931 June 29, THESSALONIKI

A nationalist mob of two thousand greeks attacked the Jewish "Campbell" settlement in the city. The synagogue and school as well as 54 houses were destroyed with no interference by the police. Eventually three people were arrested but acquitted, since it was deemed that they did it for patriotic motives.

1931 October, GERALD WINROD (Kansas, USA)

A Protestant preacher, spurred by his belief in Jewish Bolshevism, wrote The Hidden Hand, a book about the "Protocols". He followed it with a slew of pamphlets and books as well as a magazine called The Defender, all anti-Semitic. He was dubbed "The American Streicher" by the German press.

1932 MOSCOW (Russia)

An exclusively anti-Jewish section was opened in the Central anti-Religious Museum, showing the "stupidities of Judaism".


Was elected New York's first Jewish governor. From that time on, Jews formed a pact with the Democratic Party.

1932 - 1990 MEIR KAHANE (USA- Israel)

Rabbi, lawyer author, and politician. He founded the Jewish Defense League, the Jewish Identity Center, and the organization Shuva. Kahane also established the Kach party in Israel which was banned as "racist" after winning a seat in 1984. His publications include; Never Again, Time to Go Home, The Story of the Jewish Defense League and Why Be Jewish? He was assassinated by El Sayyid Nosair, who was acquitted , but later indicted in the bombing of the World trade center. Kahane is considered the first American to be killed by Al Qaeda.

1932 March 28, FIRST MACCABIAH GAMES (Eretz Israel)

Were held in Tel Aviv. Participants arrived from 21 countries.

1932 June 9, HYDROELECTRIC POWER STATION (Naharayim, Eretz Israel)

Built by Pinhas Rutenberg, founder of the Palestine Electric Company. Located near where the Yarmuk and Jordan rivers meet, it regulated the flow from the Sea of Galilee through a dam and a power station. It was destroyed by the Jordanians in 1948.

1932 September, GERMANY

Chancellor von Papen, frightened by communist inroads into Germany, persuaded President von Hindenburg to offer Hitler the chancellorship, hoping to keep Hitler as a puppet.

1933 - 1939 BRITAIN

Admitted 75,000 Jews.

1933 - 1939 GERMANY

More than 1400 anti-Jewish laws were passed.


Members of anti-Semitic political organizations (Endeks and Naras) attacked Jews in the streets.


Eleven of the thirty-eight Germans to win the Nobel Prize and three of the six Austrians were Jewish.


Was appointed chairman of the Agricultural Administration Committee by Roosevelt. He later served as Secretary of the Treasury.

1933 January 1, HINDENBURG RESIGNED (Germany)

Hitler was appointed chancellor of the Reich on Jan 30th.

1933 January 30, YOUTH ALIYAH (Berlin, Germany)

The previous year Recha Freier, a rabbi's wife decided it would be a good idea to send young people from Germany to kibbutzim. She founded the Juedische Jugendhilfe (Jewish Youth Help) organization to help facilitate the work. That same year it became a department of the World Zionist Organization under Henrietta Szold, whose name is linked to the saving of over 15,000 young people from Germany and Nazi occupied countries.

1933 March, BRESLAU (Germany)

Jewish lawyers and judges were attacked by the Nazis. This was the first official violence against Jews.

1933 March 5, HITLER (Germany)

Needing support for his minority government, he called for elections. He terrorized all the opposition, including the communists whom he accused of setting a "mysterious" fire in the Reichstag. After the election, Hitler asked his new majority government to grant him dictatorial powers, which they did.


Reported after a full investigation and also based on the 1878 commission, that none of the Arabs who were currently living in Beisian (Beit Shan) had been there before 1870.

1933 March 10, DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP (Germany)

Was established. It was the first of the SS run imprisonment camps. A month earlier Germany passed a law which would allow people to be imprisoned for an unlimited period of time if they were deemed hostile to the regime. Soon after other camps were set up to hold such prisoners. Often factories were set up near the camps and paid for the "use" of laborers. Although not a "death or extermination camp" per se, Dachau and other camps like it practiced daily murder, starvation, and sadistic medical experiments on their inmates. Forty thousand Jews probably died in Dachau. Other camps included Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, Ravensbrueck (for women). Several of the camps had crematoria to get rid of the large number of corpses. According to an agreement with Himmler, the Gestapo were the ones to make the arrests while the SS ran the camps. Only in 1941 were the special death camps or extermination camps created.


Popular novelist who gained fame for his portrayal of Jewish life in America. His satirical Portnoy's Complaint became a best seller in 1969. Among his other books are My Life As a Man, Our Gang, The Counterlife, and many others.

1933 March 20, VILNA (Lithuania)

At the initiative of the Jews of Vilna, an anti-Nazi boycott began. It eventually spread all over Poland and to many countries in Europe. Yet within 6 months Poland itself signed a non-aggression treaty with Hitler which called for the cessation of all boycott activities.


Against the Nazi regime brought out over 50,000 people.

1933 April 1, GERMANY

Embarked on an anti-Jewish boycott.


The Civil Service Law prohibited Jews from holding public service jobs. These included the civil service, army, labor service, commerce, teachers and lawyers.


An American diplomat, met with Hitler, who told him “I will do the thing the rest of the world would like to do. It doesn’t know how to get rid of the Jews. I will show them." On May 1, he met with Roosevelt and warned him about Hitler’s intentions regarding the Jews, also describing a visit he had made to Dachau. FDR facing domestic issues and not wanting any problems with foreign policy made no comment. It is believed that his observations cost him the position of becoming the next ambassador to Germany. He would later become the first United States ambassador to Israel.rnrn

1933 April 11, NICHTARIER ("non-Aryan") (Germany)

Became a legal classification, known as the Arierparagraph (Aryan Clause). According to this, anyone who had a Jewish grandparent was considered Jewish even if the person had converted. This made it "legal" to discharge Jews from their position in the universities, hospitals, and legal professions. In some countries under later NAZI occupation (Italy, Bulgaria, etc.) this definition was modified so that it didn't include the children of converts or converts who were married to local Christians.

1933 April 11, ARMIN T WEGNER ( Germany- Italy)

A notable German writer, wrote a letter " For Germany" to Hitler, protesting the persecution of the Jews, and warned of the consequences. He concluded with, " …to preserve the honor of the German people". Wegner ( 1886- 1978) had served as a nurse in WWI, and was instrumental in bringing the Armenian Genocide to public attention. He was interred in a number of concentration camps, but managed to flee to Italy. Today his letter is known as " The Warning". Wegner was awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1967.


Special envoys from the Pope met with Hitler, who proposed that he was "doing Christianity a great service" with his policy regarding the Jews. The Vatican representatives described the meeting as "cordial and to the point."

1933 April 26, THE GESTAPO (Geheime Staatspolizei) (Germany)

Secret State Police was established. After a short time Hermann Goering was appointed as commander and changed its character to one of a political police force. Within a year Goering agreed to transfer the Gestapo to Heinrich Himmler where it came under the jurisdiction of the SS. The Gestapo was in charge of investigating, along with the S.D. all enemies of the Reich of which the Jews figured prominently. In addition the Gestapo eventually played a major role in planning and the carrying out of the "Final Solution". Although the S.S. for the most part ran the concentration camps, the Gestapo was responsible for rounding up the Jews as well as overseeing the Einsatzgruppen or Special duty groups. In 1936, Reinhard Heydrich became head of the Gestapo and Heinrich Müller, its chief of operations. Müller took over after Heydrich's assassination in 1942. He disappeared near the end of the war and was never caught.

1933 May 10, GERMANY

All "un-German" books were ordered to be burned in public. Over 20,000 mostly Jewish books were burned.

1933 May 16, OTTO KRAYER

A German pharmacologist, refused to accept the position as department head at the medical academy in Dusseldorf ,after its Jewish head was dismissed. He wrote, " I feel the exclusion of Jewish scientists to be an injustice." Krayer (1899-1982), soon left Germany and became a professor at Harvard.


Was presented to the League of nations by Emil Margolis and the Comité des Délégations Juives (Committee of Jewish Delegations) on behalf of Frans Bernheim who was dismissed from his job in Upper Silesia because of his religion. This was a violation of the German -Polish convention May 15, 1922, which guaranteed that all minorities in Upper Silesia would have their civil and political rights. The League agreed and the Nuremberg laws were therefore not activated there until German-Polish agreement on Upper Silesia expired on June 15 1937.

1933 May 17, NORWAY

Vidkun Quisling established the Norwegian Fascist Party. About 1,800 Jews lived in Norway.

1933 June 6, MAYOR LA GUARDIA (New York City)

At a public conference organized by former American ambassador to Germany James Gerard, La Guardia called Hitler a "perverted manic", and warned, "Part of his program is the complete annihilation of the Jews in Germany." Gordon Hull the secretary of state apologized to the German government.

1933 June 22, HAYIM ARLOSOROFF (Eretz Israel)

A Zionist leader within the Zionist labor party, he was murdered on a beach outside Tel Aviv. The Labor leaders tried to pin the blame on Abba Ahimeir of the Revisionist Party and specifically on Abraham Stavsky and Zvi Rosenblatt. At the trial they were all acquitted but the government refused to reveal the details of what really happened. Ironically, Stavsky was killed aboard the Altalena, an Irgun ship fired upon by the Haganah while trying to bring arms into the country during the Arab-Israel cease-fire of June 1948.

1933 July 13, GERMANY

Nazism was declared the sole German party.


Issued a concordat known as the Hitler Concordat. It was described by Hitler as "unrestricted acceptance of National Socialism by the Vatican". Cardinal Pacelli later became Pope Pius XII.

1933 July 25, JACOB ROSENHEIM (Germany)

President of Agudat Israel in Germany pleaded with Lord Melchett of Britain and British Chief Rabbi Hertz not to boycott German goods, calling it "a near crime against humanity". Agudat Israel was afraid that such actions would become provocations and goad Hitler to pursue a harsher policy against the Jews.


Was passed, providing the Nazis with a "legal" tool to revoke the naturalization of Eastern European Jews living in the Reich.

1933 August 25, TRANSFER (Haavara) AGREEMENT

Negotiated between the German Zionist Federation, the Jewish Agency and the German Finance Ministry. The agreement encouraged the emigration of German Jews. Although forced to leave their assets in Germany, they received partial payment through the Jewish agency which in turn imported and sold German goods for the same amount of capital although it was forced to accept a far lower rate of exchange. Levi Eshkol (later prime minister) was sent to Berlin to run the company. The agreement was strongly criticized by Jabotinsky and those Jews trying to organize a boycott of German goods. In all, $40,419,000 was transferred to Germany by 1939, while almost 60,000 German Jews were able to leave to Eretz Israel.


Preached a series of four sermons against Nazi denial of the old testament as the basis for Christianity, and against Alfred Rosenberg's the theories of racial antisemitism. Many believed that his writings and sermons were in defense of the Jews. Yet, when praised by the World Jewish Congress, his secretary protested writing, “In his sermons given last year during Advent, the Cardinal defended the ancient biblical writings of Israel but did not pronounce on the Jewish question of today ".


Two thousand Jews were expelled from towns and cities and forced to live in the wilderness.

1934 - 1945 UNITED STATES

Only agreed to accept around 1000 refugee children. Britain, Belgium, Sweden, France, and Holland all took in more.

1934 - 2016 LEONARD COHEN ( Canada)

Poet, song writer Born into an orthodox family, he maintained contact with his community throughout his life. Cohen published poetry collections and novels including Beautiful Losers, Let Us Compare Mythologies, The Spice-Box of Earth, and Flowers for Hitler, but is remembered for his music recording of fourteen albums. His most well known songs include, Suzanne , So long Marrianne , Dance Me to the End of Love, Tower of song, and of course Hallelujah. He was buried in a simple Jewish ceremony in Montreal.

1934 January 9, MAX NAUMANN ( Germany)

In a speech referring to his own people, the leader of the League of National German Jews Verband national deutscher Juden stated," No one has anything against the good ones …". Naumann and his group supported the eradication of Jewish ethnicity, was anti-Zionist and called for the expulsion of Eastern European Jewry from Germany. In November 18, 1935 his group was declared illegal, and he was arrested by the Gestapo. Naumann died of cancer in May 1939.


Was signed. Poland promised not to engage in anti-Nazi propaganda and all criticism of Germany was suppressed. Poland signed a similar pact with Russia in July 1932.


Organized by the American Jewish Congress, was held in Madison Square Garden before a crowd of 20,000 people. It was also attended by Rabbi Stephan Wise, former governor Al Smith and mayor LaGuardia, among other notables. Gordon Hull expressed his regret and assured the Germans that it did not represent the policy of the U.S. government. Hull had done his best to legally stop the "trial" but had not been successful.rn


Was passed. It became the basis for the deportation of Eastern European Jews.

1934 May 1, DER STÜRMER (Germany)

The Nazi periodical, run by Julius Streicher, reminded people that Jews were accused of ritual murder of Christian children during the Middle ages.


A congressman from Pennsylvania who attacked the Jews in Congress. This was the first act of political anti-Semitism in the United States.

1934 May 7, BIROBIJAN (USSR)

The district of Birobijan (Birobidzhan) in south eastern Siberia was established as a Jewish Autonomous Region which was to cover an area of 14,000 square miles (36,000-square-kilometers). Its official language would be Yiddish. Within two years the government had a change of heart and its Jewish socialist leaders were liquidated. Partly due to its primitiveness and remoteness, it never reached a population of more than 18,000, less than a quarter of the total population of the region.

1934 May 17, MADISION SQUARE GARDEN (New York City, USA)

Thousands attended a pro-Nazi rally sponsored by the German-American Bund and its leader Fritz Kuhn. The Bund, active from 1934-1941, claimed to be "100% American." Their proclaimed goal was to be for the "constitution, flag and a white gentile ruled, truly free America."

1934 June 30, NIGHT OF THE LONG KNIVES (Germany)

Hitler ordered the execution of some of the SA (Sturmabteilung or "Stormtroopers") leaders whose absolute loyalty he questioned, including Ernst Roehm. Until that night the SS (Schutzstaffelor "defense echelon") under Himmler was subordinate to the SA. After that night the SS became independent and was put in charge of the concentration camps.

1934 July 2, THRACE POGROMS (European part of Turkey)

Which had begun a few weeks earlier with a boycott of Jewish owned businesses, soon included actual attacks on Jewish property. They occurred after the passing of the Turkish Resettlement Law (which proposed forceful assimilation of non-Turkish minorities), and a recent visit by the inspector general of Thrace, Ibrahim Tali Ongoren. He was quoted as stating publicly “The Jew of Thrace is so morally corrupt and devoid of character … worships gold, and knows no love of the homeland.” Approximately 10,000 Jews fled to Istanbul and other areas, before calm was re-established. No reparations or efforts to restore stolen property were made.

1934 July 4, THEODOR EICKE (Germany)

The first commandant of Dachau was appointed the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps. Himmler bestowed this reward to express his thanks to Eicke for personally murdering SA chief of staff Ernst Roehm during the Night of the Long Knives. His Death's Head Units (Totenkopfverbande), a special unit from the SS, became the guards for the camps. Eicke held the position until the war when he moved to the field. He was killed in Russia.

1934 July 25, AUSTRIA

Nazis attempted to overthrow the Austrian government. Chancellor Dollfus was assassinated, but the putsch failed and Kurt von Schuschnigg was appointed chancellor. He in turn tried his best to curtail Nazi influence in Austria.

1934 August, VON HINDENBERG (Germany)

Died, leaving Hitler as Germany's sole leader.

1934 August 12, HAURAN, SYRIA

Twefik be el Hauani the local governor, estimated that due to the long drought, between 25,30,000- Syrians including entire villages, immigrated mostly to the western Galilee and Central region. The British officially only recorded 1784 as entering. Almost none were expelled for illegal immigration. According to the British, the estimated number of illegal immigrants to Madatory Palestine in 1934, both Arab and non-Arab, at 3,000.

1934 August 25, "ILLEGAL" IMMIGRATION - HA'APALAH (ALIYAH BET) (1934-1948)

The arrival of the Vellos (chartered by the HeHalutz movement) and its 350 refugees signaled the beginning of organized efforts to save European Jewry. Although illegal immigration had been taking place since 1920, only now were major efforts begun. The Revisionist Zionist movement and Betar succeeded in the next two years to send out several ships, which saved thousands of lives. By 1938 illegal immigration had become an official part of the Zionist effort. An estimated 50,000 people managed to arrive illegally between 1920 and 1937. The Jewish Agency at the time was working with the British and hoped that the Peel Report (November 1936) would be favorable to the establishment of a state and as such was against "illegal immigration".


Leader of the Silver Legion, the most prominent of the Ku Klux Klan movements, issued his "New Emancipation Proclamation", promising to impose racial quotas "on the political and economical structure".


Called on Congress for the boycott of the 1936 Olympics in Germany. Two weeks later, Avery Brundage, President of the American Olympic Committee, announced that the United States would participate in the games.

1934 September 13, POLAND

Just eight months after Poland signed a non-aggression pact with Germany, it revoked the minority treaty - the first international effort to establish and enforce minority rights - that was signed in Paris in 1919 on the same day as the Versailles treaty.

1934 October, BERNE TRIAL (Switzerland)

Was held after a demonstration in June of the National Front (a Swiss anti-Semitic organization) during which copies of the "Protocols" were distributed. The Jewish community brought a suit against the leaders for publishing and distributing indecent writings. Though later a court of appeals repealed the sentences, the trial succeeded in proving the "Protocols" a forgery.


In an interview with London journalists, Dr. Joseph Goebbels asserted that the goal of Nazism was that "Jewry must perish".


Baseball player - Koufax was the youngest player ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He won three Cy Young Awards and pitched four no-hitters. Like Hank Greenberg, Koufax was proud of his Jewish heritage and refused to play on Yom Kippur.


All but one member of the HeHalutz Central Committee were arrested.

1935 January 11, HAKIBBUTZ HADATI (Eretz Israel)

The religious kibbutz movement was founded. This kibbutz movement was affiliated with the HaPoel HaMizrachi movement and the religious Zionist Labor Organization. Its idea was to combine religious life and labor in communal agricultural settlements, the first being Tirat Tzvi.


Cancelled the "Treaty of Commerce and Friendship " between the city of New York and Germany. This was in retaliation for discrimination of American Jews in Germany.

1935 September 5, FIRST ANTI-JEWISH DECREES (Italy)

Were enacted. All Jewish teachers were dismissed, and all Jewish children were barred from studying in public schools.


Was founded in Vienna by Ze'ev Jabotinsky. For many years there was tension between the World Zionist Organization and the Revisionist Party. Some of it was the result of tactical differences, including the expansion of the Jewish Agency to include non-Zionists. In addition, there was still strong resentment and political tensions in the aftermath of the Arlosoroff murder, which had initially been blamed on the Revisionists. The actual break came with a resolution to prohibit any independent political activity of Zionist organizations. Eleven years later they rejoined the World Zionist Organizaton.

1935 September 15, NUREMBERG LAWS (Germany)

"The law for the protection of German Blood and Honor" was instituted. As part of these laws, it became a capital offense to marry or have intimate relations with a Jew. The law was more specific than the 1933 laws regarding mixed or Mischlinge Jews, which defined as a Jew as anyone with one Jewish grandparent. The racial law was based on that Nazi belief that the basic freedoms of individuals were superseded by "racial or national characteristics" which were supposed to make some people inferior to others. As part of the "Reich Law", Jews were no longer citizens (with rights) but rather subjects of the Reich. These were among the 2,000 laws enacted against Jews which included the revoking of German citizenship, the prohibition against serving in the public sector, owning or editing newspapers, or immigrating to Germany.

1935 October 1, - 1936 March 31, JEWISH IMMIGRATION VISAS

Four thousand, three hundred and fifty (4,350) visas were granted by the British. From these 1000 were deducted as haven be given in advance, 250 were for non-Jews, 1,200 deducted to cover "illegal" immigrants. In addition, 1,900 for dependents of legally employed residents, totaling 4,350.


Introduced the ghetto bench, special seats for Jewish students. This soon spread to many other universities in Poland.


Edward Smigly-Rydz (Pilsudski's immediate successor) ordered Jews to be segregated in university classrooms. He was part of what was known as the anti-Semitic "colonels" clique." (see 1937)


Mapai (Labor Zion) emerged as the major political party.

1936 GREGORY ZINOVIEV (1883-1936) (Russia)

A Russian communist leader who was accused in a show trial of plotting to overthrow Stain. Along with many other leaders he was executed. Zinoviev was one of Lenin's closest associates, co-authoring Lenin's Against the Tide. Though a member of the Party's central government, he was opposed to a one party rule which brought him into conflict with other leaders. After Lenin's death he formed the triumvirate together with Stalin and Kamenev which forced Trotsky into exile. Zinoviev was Jewish and born by the name of Hersh Zvi Radomyslski.


A. C. Cuza, Octavian Goga, and Corneliu Codreanu (head of the Facist Iron Guard), joined in an anti-Semitic demonstration with 280,000 people and the blessings of the Romanian Orthodox Church and the Patriarch Miron Cristea.

1936 - 1938 WILLIAM PELLEY (USA)

American Fascist and leader of the Silver Legion, mailed three and a half tons of anti-Semitic literature within these 2 years. Even after Pearl Harbor he continued to attack Roosevelt, and accused the American government of lying to the people. He was eventually charged and tried for sedition and jailed until 1950.

1936 February 4, DAVID FRANKFURTER

A Jewish Yugoslav medical student, he killed the Swiss Nazi, Gauleiter Wilhelm Gustoff. Though the German government demanded the death penalty, he was sentenced to eighteen years instead. Some historians believe that his action served as a model for Herschel Grynszpan, whose assassination of ambassador Ernst vom Rath was used by the Nazi party as an excuse for an all-out attack on Jewish property and synagogues (Kristallnacht).

1936 February 14, THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS

Appointed Sir Neil Malcolm to succeed James McDonald as High Commissioner for Refugees. Sir Neil announced that the High Commissioner for Refugees "has nothing to do with the domestic policy of Germany... we deal with persons when they become refugees and not before".

1936 February 29, CARDINAL AUGUST HLOND (Poland)

Newly appointed Primate of Poland. He declared in a pastoral letter that since Jews are usurers, slave traders and frauds, Poles should boycott their businesses.

1936 March 18, MASS PROTESTS (Poland)

By Jews and Polish workers against anti-Semitic violence. Despite the tens of thousands who joined, the effect was insignificant.

1936 April 21, BEGINNING OF THE 36-39 RIOTS (ME'ORAOT) (Eretz Israel)

Arab headquarters called for a general strike and a rebellion against the Mandate in an effort to prevent Jewish immigration. Initially 80 Jews were murdered and 308 wounded. By the fall of '39, over a hundred Jews had been killed in Arab attacks. The official Zionist policy at the time was havlagah (self-restraint).

1936 April 25, ARAB HIGHER COMMITTEE (Eretz Israel)

Was established under the guidance of the Jerusalem Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini. Husseini was already notorious for his pivotal role in encouraging the anti-Jewish riots of 1920 and 1929. Despite this, the British had tried to placate him and had appointed him the Mufti of Jerusalem (1921). In 1937 he was finally dismissed by the British, and the Arab Higher Committee was outlawed. Supported by the Axis powers, the Arab Higher Committee encouraged "Nationalistic" raids on Jewish settlements. The leader of these raids was Fawzi Kaukji, a former Iraqi officer who was responsible for the murder of King Abdullah of Jordan (1951).

1936 June 4, LEON BLUM (1872-1950) (France)

Became the first Jew to be elected premier of France. Blum, a socialist, instituted the 40 hour work week and many important social reforms. His government, lasting only one year, fell over lack of parliamentary support for his financial program.


Endorsed an "economic war" against the Jews

1936 July 30, SPAIN

General Franco declared his Fascist government and the Spanish Civil War broke out. Out of the 35,000 volunteers of the International Brigades, approximately 7000 were Jewish. During the Second World War Spain officially remained neutral, yet Franco sent troops to fight against the Russians, and Spain later served as a refuge for fleeing Nazis.


Was convened in Geneva with 280 delegates from 32 countries. The World Jewish Congress' goal was to "assure the survival, and to foster the unity of the Jewish people". It was founded by Stephen Wise and Nahum Goldmann. Although they organized a boycott of German goods, they felt that a more direct approach would prompt the Nazis "to even harsher policies".


Sir Oswald Mosley and 3000 of his black shirt followers attempted to demonstrate in the East End of London, home to tens of thousands of Jews. The " battle" mostly led by the communist party, was one of the few times where the left succeeded in stopping the fascists. Mosley did not try again to enter the East End.

1936 October 25, BERLIN-ROME AXIS

Was formed between Hitler and Benito Mussolini. This treaty helped pave the way for the beginning of World War II.

1936 November 11, PEEL COMMISSION

A royal commission of inquiry, headed by Lord Robert Peel, arrived in Jerusalem on Armistice Day to investigate Arab riots. Though Peel judged Arab claims to be baseless, he encouraged partition into three separate Arab and Jewish states and an International zone. This, he claimed, would silence Arab objections to a Jewish state.

1936 December 5, IRGUN ZVAI LEUMI (Etzel)(Eretz –Israel)

Signed an agreement with Vladimir Jabotinsky. The Irgun, which was known at that time as Haganah Bet, was under the command of Abraham Tehomi who had split with the Haganah five years earlier. The agreement was that Tehomi would be the commander under Jabotinsky's political guidance. Tehomi rejoined the Haganah a year later and took 30% of his forces with him. The Irgun believed that armed force was a prerequisite for the creation of a Jewish state, that Arabs who attacked Jews should expect retaliation and that no one had a right to prevent Jews from immigrating. The relationship between the Irgun and the Haganah was usually stormy, though they did have periods of cooperation.

1936 December 10, TOWER AND STOCKADE SETTLEMENTS (Homa U'Migdal (Eretz Israel)

The first of the Tower and Stockade Settlements, Tel Amel, (modern day Kibbutz Nir David) was erected. These settlements were a Jewish response to the Arab attacks from 1936 to 1939. Built of prefabricated wood, on remote parcels of land purchased by the Jewish National Fund, they were set up overnight with the help of hundreds of volunteers. Eventually 118 of this type of settlement were erected throughout the Galilee, Beit Shean Valley and the Jordan Valley.

1936 December 23, HAIFA

Of the 750 Arab employees at the ports, only 50 were native Arabs the remainder included 200 Egyptians and 500 Hauranis from Syria.

1936 December 26, ARTURO TOSCANINI (Tel Aviv, Eretz Israel)

Conducted the first concert of the Palestine Orchestra, which later became known as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

1936 December 27, SYRIA

Ratified the Franco-Syrian treaty. After many riots, France granted Syria and Lebanon independence.In actuality both countries only became independent after WWII.


Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform) reaffirmed the basic reform philosophies, but was less anti-traditional and anti-nationalistic regarding Israel.


Founded and headed the Rassemblement anti-Juif de France. His program included promoting the "Protocols" and his own magazine, La France Enchaines, as well as calling for the expulsion or extermination of the Jews. During the war he became Commissioner General for Jewish affairs and helped deport nine thousand foreign Jews to German camps.


King Carol II, though previously a supporter of the National Peasants Party (led by Julius Maniu) which fought against anti-Semitism, appointed Octavian Goga to form a government. Goga was a former leader in the fascist Iron Guard. His government lasted only seven weeks.

1937 January, MARIUS MOUTET (France)

The Colonial Minister, brought up the possibility of resettling French Jews in the many different colonial holdings, including the island of Madagascar (see 1887).

1937 February 7, BOLESLAW PIASECKI (Poland)

Head of the Oboz Narodowo-Radykalny National Radical Camp – ONR) a facist Polish party which supported 'Catholic totalitarianism', called for the expulsion of all Jews from Poland

1937 February 21, OZON (Poland)

The anti-Semitic Camp of National Unity (Oboz Zjednoczenia Narodowego)) was created by Colonel Adam Koc, and Minister of Defense Smigly-Rydz. Trying to stave of pressure from the extreme right they adopted 13 points (called the 13 theses) similar to the Nuremberg laws, depriving Jews of civil rights and advocating their expulsion from all of Poland. They organized boycotts and although officially condemning anti- Jewish violence, they turned a blind eye to it, under the guise of national defense.

1937 March 14, POPE PIUS XI

Criticized the Nazis for interfering with Catholic education in the Third Reich. Although he denounced Nazi racism and totalitarianism, he also mentioned that the Jews were guilty of deicide. This was one of the few times the Vatican came out publicly against the Nazi regime. The next pope, Pius XII, did even less.

1937 April 13, AF AL PI (In Spite Of) OPERATIONS (Eretz Israel)

Moshe Galili, a member of Betar who was studying in Italy, succeeded in landing a small boat of German immigrants in Eretz Israel. He continued to work in "illegal immigration" until June 1938, bringing in over 550 people, most of whom were young.


Left to Madagascar to investigate the possibility of sending Polish and/ or French immigrant Jews to the Island for resettlement. The commission, under Mieczyslaw B. Lepecki, the director of the special office of the prime minister, was supported by the foreign minister Josef Beck. Its report stated that it was probably not a feasible solution, for the number they had in mind.

1937 June, BRAZIL

The ministry of Foreign Affairs distributed a secret memo urging all Brazilian consuls not to grant visas to Jews. In spite of this, between the years 1933 and 1945 almost 100,000 Jews made their way to Latin America.

1937 June 11, GENERAL YONA YAKIR ( Russia)

Along with eight other high ranking officials and officers (five of them Jewish) were killed by Stalin. Yakir, holder of two Orders of the Red Banner and one of the founders of the Red Army, had just been appointed commander of the Leningrad military region less then three weeks earlier. This marked the beginning of the Great Purge in which 30,000 officers and political commissars were murdered, an act that would almost cost Stalin WWII. It is estimated that at least 1,500 of them were Jewish.

1937 July, - August, ERETZ ISRAEL

Arab riots convinced the British to send another commission, this time headed by Sir John Woodhead, who declared partition unworkable.


Was published. The Peel Commission concluded that "unlike the Jewish, the rise (in the Arab population), has been due in only a slight degree to immigration." The report totally and willingly ignored the documentation of tens of thousands of illegal Arab immigrants.Yhe commission recommended the partition of Mandatory Palestine into two states. The Zionist Congress (see August 3), while rejecting the actual borders, agreed to consider the proposal. The Arabs rejected it out of hand.

1937 July 19, - 1945 April 11, BUCHENWALD (Germany)

Concentration camp. In all, almost 240,000 people were interned in Buchenwald. Over 56,500 of them died from disease, starvation or were murdered. During the last few days of Buchenwald, an underground succeeded in taking over the camp, preventing the German's mass evacuation plans.

1937 July 21, WILLIAM ORMSBY-GORE ( Britain)

The colonial secretary, told the House of Commons " It was never in the mind of anyone on the staff , that Palestine west of the Jordan was in the area within which the British Government then undertook to further the cause of Arab independence". Ormsby-Gore ( 1885-1964) was a senior British politician and representative to the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations.

1937 August 3 - 16, 20th ZIONIST CONGRESS

Under Weizmann and Ben Gurion, the Zionist Congress decided to accept the partition plan in light of the Peel Report. Berl Katznelson, Menachem Ussishkin from Mapai (Labor) as well as the Revisionists and the Orthodox fiercely argued against it.

1937 October, FERENC SZALASI (Hungary)

"Prophet of Hungarian National Socialism" merged similar parties into the anti-Semitic Arrow Cross Party. It was originally formed in 1933 by Zoltan Mesko after the swastika was declared an illegal emblem.

1937 October 2, ADOLF EICHMANN

Arrived in the Middle East. At first, he tried to enter mandatory Palestine, but when that met with difficulties, he traveled to Egypt where he met with the Mufti. At the meeting, it was agreed that the German government was to provide substantial financial help in return for "services".

1937 October 20, POLAND

In response to discrimination policies, Jews, assorted liberals and students went on strike. Within a few weeks the government succeeded in putting down the strike and enforcing its decrees.

1937 December 15, SEGREGATION ( Poland)

Fifteen Roman Catholic bishops called for the legal segregation of Jewish children in Polish schools.


An expert on soil conservation, arrived in the Middle East to examine the causes of Desert encroaching. He concluded that Eretz Israel could absorb four million Jewish refugees if it used modern methods for conservation and recommended the establishment of a Jordan Valley Authority. His report was instrumental in the Truman's administration decision to include the Negev region within the boundaries of Israel. In 1954, Lowdermilk established a school of agricultural engineering at the Haifa Technion, where he served as a visiting professor of soil conservation until 1957.

1938 January 12, POSEIDON (Eretz Israel)

An illegal ship charted by HeHalutz arrived in Eretz Israel signaling a renewed attempt to bring in refugees. Later that year the Haganah officially joined the effort, establishing the Mosad le-Aliyah Bet ("Organization for 'Illegal' Immigration") which was run by Shaul Avigur (Meirov).

1938 January 21, ROMANIA

Jewish citizenship was revoked. Miron Cristea - patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church and successor to Goga - declared: "The Jews are sucking the marrow from the bones of the nation."


Dr. Kurt von Schuschnigg announced a plebiscite on the question of Austrian independence. His policy was to try and keep Austria semi-independent and to limit the more overt anti-Semitic activities. Hitler furiously demanded his resignation, which, under threat of an armed invasion, arrived two days later. His resignation opened the way to the Anschluss (annexation) of Austria by Germany on March 12.

1938 March 13, HITLER ENTERED AUSTRIA (the Anschluss)

To the greetings of the Church and Cardinal Innitzer. All Catholic Churches flew the Nazi flag and rang bells in honor of Hitler's troops. Dr. Arthur Seys-Inquert, who later achieved infamy as a mass murderer of Jews, was appointed chancellor. Austria was annexed to Germany and with it the Austrian Jews.

1938 March 25, POLAND

After several attempts, the Seym (parliament) outlawed ritual slaughter of meat. The bill was never enforced since the Seym dissolved in September during the Czech crisis.

1938 April 26, NEW RESTRICTIONS (Germany)

A law was passed that all Jewish assets with a value of over five thousand reichsmark ($2,000) per person had to be declared. This eventually led to the seizure of all Jewish property.

1938 May 22, FIFTY CHILDREN ( Vienna)

Left Austria after receiving visa permits for the United States. This was conceived of and orchestrated by Gilbert and Eleanor Krauss, wealthy and well connected Philadelphian Jews who traveled to Austria and Germany in order to facilitate their escape. This was the largest private initiative to help Jewish children receive sanctuary in the USA.

1938 May 27, POPE PIUS XII

In one of his rare public references to Jews, described them at an international conference in Bucharest, as a people " whose lips curse him and whose hearts reject him". During the war and in the aftermath he never mentioned the word Jew.

1938 June 1, MASS ARRESTS (Germany)

Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Gestapo, also known as the Secret Police, ordered the arrest of thousands of German Jews. Most were sent to Buchenwald which soon had to be enlarged. Others were sent to Dachau and Sachsenhausen. In Dachau the prisoners were told to make lots of yellow stars in preparation for a new influx of prisoners.

1938 June 29, SHLOMO BEN YOSEF (Shalom Tabachnik) (Eretz Israel)

Was hung for alleged terrorist activities. Ben Yosef a member of Betar, along with Abraham Shein, and Sholom Djuravinand attacked an Arab bus in retaliation for the murder of 6 Jews. Although no one was killed in the attack, he was tried, convicted and despite world wide protests, hung by the British. His last words were reportedly "Restraint (Havlaga) is fatal".

1938 July 5, EVIAN CONFERENCE (France)

Was called by President Roosevelt, eleven days after Hitler annexed Austria, to discuss what to do about the Jewish refugees trying to escape Nazi Germany (It took three months to arrange). Delegates of thirty-two nations attended and decided they could do very little. The Dominican Republic and Costa Rica were the only countries willing to take in Jews fleeing Europe - and then only for payment of huge amounts of money.


Was extended to "Persons … endanger the existence of …State" As such, anyone falling into the above category could be incarcerated without legal redress - particularly communists and Jews.


A Roman Catholic priest in Detroit, Coughlin began his weekly anti-Semitic broadcasts over national radio. He also formed the American Christian Front in New York City which carried out anti-Semitic street meetings and boycotted Jewish businesses.

1938 July 27, GERMANY

All Jewish street names were switched with German ones.

1938 July 30, HENRY FORD

Accepted the Third Reich's medal of the Grand Cross of the German Eagle.


Eichmann (1906-1962) was so successful in forcing Jews to emigrate and confiscating their property that the Center later served as a model in Prague and in Berlin. Eichmann had joined the SS in 1933 and served in Dachau. His promotions were partly due to friendship with Ernest Kaltenbrunner who later commanded the Reich Security Head Office (R.S.H.A.) and partly due to his total association with Nazi ideals. Eichmann was compulsive about details and in preparation even learned some Yiddish and Hebrew. He eventually came to head Gestapo's Section IVB4. Eichmann's fanaticism in carrying out the "Final Solution" even came at the expense of the German war efforts. Eichmann was captured by Israeli agents in Argentina in May 1960 and put on trial in Jerusalem. A year later he was hung, his body cremated and his ashes strewn into the sea.

1938 August 7, (10 Av ) VLADIMIR JABOTINSKY (Warsaw)

In an address on this day of mourning, (the 9th was on Shabbat) for the destruction of the temples, he said "…catastrophe is coming closer. My hair has turned white and I have aged in these years because my heart is bleeding, for you, dear brothers and sisters, do not see the volcano which will soon begin to spurt out the fire of destruction."

1938 August 8, MAUTHAUSEN (Austria)

Was established. It was the first Austrian concentration camp and one of the most notorious of all the camps. Run by the SS, it was originally for Austrian anti-Nazis taken under the "protective custody law" of 1936, but it soon contained Spanish Republicans, "enemies of the state" and Jews. Situated near a quarry, its victims were forced to carry heavy loads up over 150 steps. Most of the prisoners (Jews and non-Jews) were classified as "return not desired." A gas chamber was later installed and satellite camps were opened. Franz Ziereis served as its commandant from the beginning until he was captured and shot in May 1945. 122,767 out of an estimated 335,000 prisoners were murdered.

1938 August 13, L'Osservatore Romano

The Vatican's semiofficial newspaper, reported on the churches “protective” measures for Jews. “But if Christians were forbidden to force Jews to embrace the Catholic religion, to disturb their synagogues, their Sabbath and their festivals, the Jews, on the other hand, were forbidden to hold public office, civil or military; and this prohibition extended even to the children of converted Jews. The precautionary decrees concerned the professions, education, and business positions”.

1938 August 17, LAW REGARDING CHANGE OF NAMES (Germany)

Jewish men were required to add the name "Israel" and Jewish women, the name "Sarah" to all legal documents.

1938 August 18, - December, SWITZERLAND

Closed its borders to Jewish refugees who could not produce valid entry visas. Despite this, Paul Gruninger, the local police chief of St. Gallen (near Austria) permitted 3,600 Jews to enter Switzerland. In December 1938, he was suspended and charges were later brought against him. Found guilty of insubordination, he was sentenced a stiff fine and lost his position and pension. In 1971, he received recognition from Yad Vashem as one of the "Righteous Among the Nations".

1938 September 28, JOSEF LIPSKI ( Germany)

The Polish ambassador to Germany, met with Hitler who discussed the idea of helping Poland forcibly repatriate Jews to overseas colonial reservations under German administration. Lipski was enthusiastic about his idea, and reported as much to Josef Beck the Foreign minister.

1938 September 30, MUNICH AGREEMENT

Hitler convinced Chamberlain and Daladier, heads of the governments of England and France, that he wanted to protect German rights in Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland by annexing it, and that he had no further demands or plans for expansion. Chamberlain gave in, claiming that by doing so he had achieved "peace in our time". Within 2 days German troops began to occupy the Sudetenland.

1938 October, GERMANY

Forcibly deported 17,000 Jews to Poland. Poland refused them entry, forcing them to remain in No Man's Land. Germany continued to expel small groups, often using force to prevent them from reentering Germany after they were turned away at the Polish border by the Polish police.

1938 October 24, MALCOLM MACDONALD (Britain)

In a cabinet meeting pressured the British government to abandon the thought of partition fearing that "We should forfeit the friendship of the Arab world." This had a direct influence on the final recommendations of the Woodhead commission.

1938 November 7, HERSCHEL GRYNSZPAN (Paris, France)

AA seventeen year old German refugee, assassinated Ernst vom Rath, the third secretary to the German embassy. Grynszpan's parents were among the Polish-Jewish refugees forcefully deported to the frontier a month earlier. Many hundreds died along the way. He was held without trial for 20 months until the German conquest of France. Eventually he fell into the hands of the Gestapo and was never heard from again The Nazi's used his action as the excuse for the onset of Kristallnach.

1938 November 9, KRISTALLNACHT (Germany)

Goebbels called vom Rath's murder "a Jewish conspiracy" and a nation-wide pogrom was organized by the German government. Fifty thousand Jews were arrested and taken to concentration camps, five hundred synagogues were destroyed and the Jewish community of Germany was forced to pay one billion reichmarks ($400,000,000) for the damage.

1938 November 17, ANTI JEWISH LEGISLATION (Italy)

The Supreme Council of the Fascist Party passed extensive anti- Jewish legislation known as the "November Laws". Jewish property was confiscated and banning Jews from all positions in the civil service. All Jews who became citizens after January 1, 1919 were deprived of their citizenship and were commanded to leave Italy no later then March 1939. In addition all Jewish officers were removed from the army including General Pugliese who was head of Naval construction. One officer, Colonel Segre committed suicide in front of his men.

1938 November 17, ITALY

The Supreme Council of the Fascist Party passed extensive anti-Jewish legislation. In addition, all Jewish officers were removed from the army including General Pugliese who was head of Naval construction. One officer, Colonel Segre, committed suicide in front of his men.


Sent a telegram to Samuel Hoare, the British Home Secretary, and to the Archbishop of Canterbury, pleading that they intervene in saving sixty rabbis who had been designated as stateless by Austria and were stranded on the Slovakian border. The Archbishop of Canterbury recommended action, but this was rejected by the Foreign Office, as the subject was not included in the Munich agreements. Sent a telegram to Samuel Hoare, the British Home Secretary, and to the Archbishop of Canterbury, pleading that they intervene in saving sixty rabbis who had been designated as stateless by Austria and were stranded on the Slovakian border. The Archbishop of Canterbury recommended action, but this was rejected by the Foreign Office, as the subject was not included in the Munich agreements.

1938 November 28, APPEARANCE DECREE (Germany)

Jews were banned from certain districts and the hours of any public appearance were restricted.

1938 December, RUSSIA

By this time Yiddish was spoken by less than one quarter of the Russian Jews.

1938 December 2, Kindertransport (England)

The first children's transport arrived in Harwich, Great Britain bringing about 200 children from a Jewish orphanage in Berlin. After a strong appeal by the British Jewish Refugee Committee, the British government had decided to allow in unaccompanied refugee children. Almost 10,000 Jewish children succeeded in getting to Britain. The last train arrived two days before the war started. A similar appeal to allow Jewish children into Eretz Israel was rejected.

1938 December 8, GEORGES BONNET (France)

The French foreign minister, met with Von Ribbentrop to complain about the Jewish refugees flooding into France. Ribbentrop replied; " The difficulty of the Jewish problem lay in the fact that no country wished to receive them".


A train with 600 children left from Vienna to England. It was arranged by Geertruida Wijsmuller who representing the Refugees Children's Movement. She traveled to Vienna to meet and convinced Eichmann to allow them to leave. He agreed on the condition that they leave within 5 days. She succeeded. Along with others including Nicholas Winton, and Recha Freier, they succeeded in rescuing around 10,000 children. Most of them were sent to England.


And HICEM, the European affiliate of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, rescued approximately 30,000 European Jews. Despite this, or maybe because of this, the U.S. Office of censorship, in a memo dated March 1942, stated that they should be viewed with suspicion since they could be used by the Nazi's to bring in spies.

1939 January 1, GERMANY

As part of what was known as the compulsory aryanization process, all Jewish retail businesses were eliminated. All Jewish owned stocks were forbidden to be traded on the free market but had to be sold to a German competitor or association. This edict was signed just a month earlier by the Economic and Justice ministries. In addition, Jews were also forbidden to drive automobiles and their licenses had to be turned in.


Was nominated by Roosevelt to the Supreme Court. Though a liberal once on the court, he took a more conservative view. Frankfurter served until 1962 when he suffered a stroke.

1939 January 5, KARAITES (Germany)

Were declared not Jewish by the Reich’s Department for Genealogical Research. Although it is estimated that some12,000 Karaites were saved bu this ruling, many more were murdered by Nazi Einsatzgruppe including at Baby Yar ( see September 29 1941).

1939 January 30, HITLER (Germany)

Announced to the Reichstag "If international Jewry...should involve the European people in a new war...the result will (be) the destruction of the Jewish race in Europe."


Provoked by the events of Kristallnacht, the bill was proposed by New York Democratic Senator Robert F. Wagner, a German American, and Massachusetts Democratic Representative Edith Nourse Rogers. Its goal was to enable 20,000 German Jewish refugee children to enter the United States over a two-year period. The bill was toppled by the negative attitude of President Roosevelt, coupled with the anti- Semitism of members of Congress (especially Senator Robert Reynolds of North Carolina).


Argentinean passenger ships arrive in Buenos Aires , one with 66 and one with 27 Jews among its passengers. All but two were returned to Europe, even though they had visas. During 1939 more than 200 Jews who had sought refuge in Argentina were denied entry.


A long time semi-supporter of the German government, became Pope Pius XII. In October 1941 Harold Tittman, a U.S. delegate to the Vatican, asked the pope to condemn the atrocities against Jews; Pius replied that the Vatican wished to remain "neutral." In September 1942 the Popes Secretary of State,Luigi Maglione in a reply to a query stated "that the rumors about genocide could not be verified" that same year he commented that that the Vatican was "unable to denounce publicly particular atrocities". This policy of refusal to publicly condemn Nazi atrocities continued throughout the war. Albeit, after the war Pius called for forgiveness for all, including war criminals.

1939 March 14, NICHOLAS WINTON (Wertheim) (England)

Arranged for a transport of Jewish children to leave for London the day before the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. Winton a London stockbroker founded an organization to help Jewish children flee to England before the holocaust. He helped save at least 669 children. He petitioned President Roosevelt but was never answered. His last group of 250 were supposed to leave Prague on September 1. Only two survived the war.

1939 March 14, SLOVAKIA

Declared its independence from Czecho-slovakia. Josef Tiso a catholic priest, had become its Prime Minister ,with the Hlinka pro German ( Slovak Peoples Party), which was the only legal party. Tiso soon switched, becoming President,with Voytech Tuka, taking over for him as Prime Minster. Anti-Jewish legislation was enacted over the following months, although it was based on religious rather than racial lines.

1939 March 15, GERMANY

Violated the Munich Agreement and marched into Prague.


Speaking in the name of the Synod of Catholic bishops, defended anti-Jewish legislation as an act of "self defense".


All Catholic churches in Greater Germany hoisted the swastika in celebration.

1939 April 28, MAXIM LITVINOV (Russia)

The Russian foreign minister was dismissed. Litvinov had been a supporter of the League of Nations, He was a vocal opponent of Germany and, of course, a Jew. His dismissal paved the way for the pact between Germany and Russia and the invasion of Poland.

1939 May 4, HUNGARY

Enacted anti-Semitic legislation abolishing all civil rights for Jews. Jews were also barred from buying land , from all positions in culture or education, and a quota was issued regarding working in commerce and banking.

1939 May 5, HUNGARY

Two-thirds of Hungary's Jews who became citizens after 1914 were denaturalized. The bill was first presented by ex-Prime Minister Bella Imredy. Jews had to leave all government related positions before the end of the year.

1939 May 14, GERMAN LINER ST. LOUIS (Germany-Cuba-USA)

Set sail from Hamburg with 930 Jewish refugees with American quota permits and special permission to stay temporarily in Cuba. Cuban President Frederico Bru declared all but 30 of the permits worthless due to new regulations. Despite exhaustive efforts by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the depositing of half a million dollars in a Havana account, President Bru refused to budge. The U.S. also refused to take in any refugees and sent Coast Guard boats to prevent passengers from jumping overboard. After all efforts failed, The St. Louis was forced to return to Europe. The German Press gloated: "We say we don't want Jews while the democracies claim they are willing to receive them." A Gallup poll reported that 83 percent of Americans opposed the admission of a larger number of Jewish refugees.

1939 May 15, RAVENSBRUCK (Germany)

A women's concentration camp was opened near Mecklenburg. The camp originally took in political prisoners and Gypsies and eventually resistance fighters and Jews. Many of the prisoners were used for "medical" experiments. The camp was active until April 1944 when the Red Cross negotiated the release of the survivors. Of the 132,000 women who were sent to Ravensbruck 92,000 died.

1939 May 17, WHITE PAPER (England)

Pressured by Arab Nationalists and landowners and concerned with preserving the British Empire, England decided to favor the Arabs. They issued a declaration limiting Jewish immigration to fifteen thousand per year for the next five years, thus ensuring a permanent Jewish minority. This sealed off the final escape route for European Jewry, resulting in illegal immigration and terrorist action against the British. The document was also known as the MacDonald White Paper, named for the Colonial Secretary. There were 6 white papers regarding the British Mandate issued between 1922 and 1939. Each of these policy position papers took its name from the person responsible for its issue.


The status of the Jews was classified by Konstantin von Neurath, the Reich Protector, in agreement with German legislation. This was always the first step with any German takeover. After Jews were "appropriately" defined it was only a small step to confiscation of property and deportation. Out of the 90,000 Jews in the protectorate only 10,000 would survive.


Was set up under Hitler’s orders by Hans Heinrich Lammers(1879-1962) and Phillip Bouhler(1899 – 1945). It was named for the address of Dr. Bouhler’s office in the Reich Chancellery, at 4 Tiergartenstrasse. He was assisted by Hitler’s personal physician Dr. Karl Brandt(1904 – 1948), and Dr. Victor Brack(1904-1948) who became Bouhler’s deputy. Although the Nazis had begun Euthanasia programs among the general German population earlier, the scope of T4 extended its practice of killing the “racially valueless’ to include the incurably sick and insane. Although officially the program ran between September 1939 to August 1941 in reality it continued until the end of the war. It is estimated that between 93,500 and 200,000 people were exterminated. Experiments were made with various gases and delivery installations (gas chambers). It was Bouhler's idea to disguise the gas chambers as showers as not to cause panic. The expertise gained , much of the personnel and equipment were later transferred to other camps for the "Final Solution".


Was opened by Adolph Eichmann. As in other offices of this kind, Jews were forced to register for emigration,and had to turn over their property as part of a "Jewish emigration tax." For the next 15 months until emigration was banned 26,629 Jews succeeded in fleeing.


Joachim Von Ribbentrop, the German Foreign minister and Vyacheslav Molotov, Stalin's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, signed a non aggression agreement for the division of Eastern Europe. Poland was to be divided. Lithuania was to be under German Rule while Estonia Latvia and Finland were be under Russian rule. This paved the way for Hitler’s invasion.


Beginning of World War II. Out of the 3,351,000 Jews in Poland, 2,042,000 came under Nazi rule while 1,309,000 came under Soviet rule. Within two days the British and French declared war on Germany. During the war a million and a half Jews fought on the side of allied forces: 555,000 for the USA; 500,000 for the Soviet Union; 116,000 for Great Britain (26,000 from Palestine and 90,000 from the British Commonwealth); and another 243,000 for other European nations.

1939 September 3, CARDINAL THEODORE INNITZER (Rome, Italy)

Suggested to Pius XII that all religious pupils be greeted with "Heil Hitler, praised be Jesus Christ."

1939 September 6, HAGANAH (Eretz Israel)

Set up its first central command. Its first head was Yaakov Dori (Dostrovsky).

1939 September 8, GERMAN TROOPS OCCUPIED LODZ (Poland)

With over 230,000 Jews living there. By the time the Russians arrived on January 19, 1945 they found less then 10,000 Jews left.

1939 September 9, BEDZIN (Poland)

In a special operation, the Einsatzkommandos (The Nazi Special action groups which served as Mobile Killing Units) began to burn down synagogues. In Bedzin, the synagogue was set on fire and fire fighters were not allowed to put it out. The fire extended to the Jewish area and the Jews were not allowed out of their houses. Hundreds burned to death.

1939 September 12, ERETZ- ISRAEL

Within two weeks of the outbreak of the war 135,000 people offered to volunteer for the British army. The British were reluctant, fearing that their training would eventually be used against them.

1939 September 17, RUSSIA

Invaded Poland. Within ten days the Polish army surrendered. Tens of thousands of Jews fled from teh German zone to the Soviet zone.

1939 September 21, REINHARD HEYDRICH (Germany)

Invited 15 people (including Eichmann) to a conference to determine policy regarding the Jews and the Einsatzgruppen (special action groups). Their resolution (although it didn't go into details) made use of the words "First steps in the Final Solution". Heydrich ordered the segregation of all Jews into ghettos and the formation of local Jewish councils (Judenrats). The Judenrat was in Heydrich's words" made fully responsible for the exact and punctual implementation of all instructions released or yet to be released." These councils or Judenrats were designed to force the Jews to be part of the system of their own destruction by letting them think that they could save some Jews by agreeing to forget about some of the rest. Some people considered the Judenrat as collaborators and others viewed them as continuing pre-war communal work. There were 128 Judenrats in Nazi occupied Poland (or what was known as the General Government). Some heads of the Judenrats cooperated with the Nazis hoping to save the remainder. Others (about 40 of them) preferred to commit suicide rather than turn over Jews for deportation.

1939 September 23, GERMANY

Jews were forbidden to own radios.

1939 September 27 - 28, POLAND SURRENDERED

Warsaw fell. Poland's capital, home to 350,000 Jews, surrendered to German troops after a three-week siege. Out of over 90,000 Polish Jewish soldiers, 32,216 were killed and another 61,000 captured, most of them dying in captivity. The first stage of surrender was the forcing of all Jews into large cities and the establishing of local Jewish councils. The second stage was ghettoization (May 1940) - total separation from other populations, and the final stage (December 1941) was annihilation. At the outbreak of the war there were 3.3 million Jews in Poland. Less than 300,000 would survive.


Russia absorbed the Baltic States. Over the next 6 months, these would include Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and parts of Bessarabia, Galicia, Belarus, and Bukovina. This added 2,170,000 Jews to Russia's population of 3 million Jews. Russia would give some of the Baltic States only a vague semblance of independence which created resentment and prepared the way for their eventual welcoming of the Germans in June 1941. Around 1 million Jews were later killed in those areas, many of them by local special police who were active participants in their murder.

1939 September 28, IBM "International Business Machines" (USA)

Thomas J. Watson, president of IBM, agreed to transfer high-tech alphabetical sorting machines from Austria to Germany. These will be used to separate Jews from Poles in Nazi occupied territories.

1939 October, DR. EMMANUEL RINGELBLUM (1900-1944) (Warsaw, Poland)

Chief historian of the Warsaw Ghetto, laid the foundations of the clandestine operation code-named Oneg Shabbat (Hebrew for "Sabbath Delight") - the Jewish underground archives in the Warsaw Ghetto. Several dozen writers, teachers, rabbis, and historians took part in an effort to document ghetto life that was led by Ringelbaum. The archives became one of the key resources for information on Polish Jewry under Nazi occupation and were kept up on the Aryan side even after the ghetto's destruction in April 1943. His family's hiding place was discovered by the Gestapo and they were killed on March 7, 1944.


Hitler divided Poland into various districts (gauen). He incorporated into Germany two districts: Danzig (Gdansk) and what became known as the Wartheland which included the provinces that had been lost in the First World War plus the Lodz district. All Jews were ordered to leave the Wartheland except for those in the Lodz ghetto where Reich Jews would also be interned. Before the war, Lodz had 233,000 Jews - one-third of the population. The district had 390,000 Jews. The ghetto was totally liquidated by the end of August 1944.


Located near Lodz, became the first ghetto established by the Nazis in Poland. It was set up upon the order of Reinhard Heydrich, only 38 days after the invasion. The area which used to house 6000 people now held 28,000 Jews. By 1944 only 1,000 Jews remained. As the Soviet front drew near in December 1944, those who had survived were set to Buchenwald and Ravensbruck.

1939 October 10, POLAND

The General Government was set up in Nazi occupied Poland. There were four districts: Warsaw, Lublin, Radom, and Cracow. Eventually Galicia was added as well, with a total Jewish population of over 2 million. Hans Frank (1900-1946), a veteran Nazi politician and lawyer, was appointed governor general. Frank initiated and instituted the anti-Jewish decrees in occupied Poland and was responsible for encouraging the mass murder of Polish Jewry. He was later convicted and executed at the Nuremberg trials.


First deportation of Jews to Poland.

1939 October 27, POLAND

Forced labor was instituted by Hans Frank for all Jews between the ages of 14 through 60.


Was formed by Agudat HaRabbanim, with Rabbi Eliezer Silver as president. They raised more than $5 million, and succeeded in sending 2,000 emergency visas (over 500 were sent to Shanghai.) They used an exemption from the U.S. immigration quotas which allowed entry to ministers or religious students. Although many of their constituents were already helped by the JDC, they claimed that since the rabbis and students constituted the spiritual elite of the Jewish people, they deserved priority.


Major Henry Iwanski, a Polish officer, met with Lieut. David Appelbaum, Henryk Lifszyc, Kalman Mendelson and Yehuda Bialoskara, all former Jewish officers of the defeated Polish army and members of the Betar-affiliated Brit Hachayal. They decided to create an underground organization which was first called Swit. It soon developed into the ZZW (Zydowski Zwiazek Wojskowy) led by Appelbaum to fight the Germans and received their first weapons. The ZZW was mostly comprised of Zionist revisionists and Betarim - followers of Ze'ev Jabotinsky. The ZZW played a vital role in the Warsaw ghetto uprising as well as in the forests as partisans.

1939 November 11, CIRCULAR 14

Was issued by the Portuguese government, mainly due to economic considerations. In essence it ordered its consulate's not to grant transit visas to; "Stateless, Russian Citizens, Holders of a Nansen passport ( refugee travel documents) , or Jews", without prior explicit permission from Foreign Ministry head office in Lisbon. Other neutral governments passed similar regulations.

1939 November 11, POPE PIUS XII

Sent Hitler a congratulatory letter expressing his “deep satisfaction", after he survived an assassination attempt in Munich by a communist sympathizer.

1939 November 13, - 1941 July 30, GENERAL KAZIMIERZ SOSNKOWSKI (Poland)

Headed the émigré Polish government. Sosnkowski was a notorious anti-Semite who imprisoned 10,000 Jewish soldiers during the Russian-Polish war.

1939 November 28, FIRST GHETTO (Poland)

Was set up under the General Government in Piotrkow Trybunalski, about 16 miles (26 km) south of Lodz.

1939 December 11, BRITAIN CALLED FOR VOLUNTEERS (Eretz Israel)

To join the British army. Most of the Jews boycotted the call since the British refused to allow Jews to serve in combat units.

1939 December 21, DEPARTMENT IV OF THE RSHA (Germany)

Was established by Reinhard Heydrich as the center for handling the evacuation of Jews from the Eastern territories. Himmler and Heydrich named Adolf Eichmann to head this department.

1939 December 30, THE URANUS

Three river boats with 1,210 Jewish refugees aboard from Vienna and Prague, were stopped on the Danube near Iron Gates gorge and the town of Kladovo on the Romanian-Yugoslavian border. The British government had protested to the Yugoslavian government at the intention of the refugees to get to Eretz-Israel. Two hundred children received travel permits, the rest were turned back.

1939 December 31, ERETZ ISRAEL

During the year 1939, 34 immigrant boats tried to break through the British blockade. Seventeen new settlements were founded and more than 100 Jews were killed by Arab terror.

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