22nd March 1933
The Nazis set up their first concentration camp in Dachau, near Munich. Over ten camps, including Flossenbürg, Mittelbau-Dora and Bergen-Belsen, will have been established by the end of World War II.
1st September 1939
Nazi Germany invades Poland.
17th September 1939
The Soviet Union attacks Poland. As a result, Poland‘s territory is divided between two invading powers: Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
The Nazis begin to set up their first provisional concentration camps and POW camps for Polish soldiers. The first designated concentration camp is established at the end of the year.
27th April 1940
SS Commander-in-Chief Heinrich Himmler issues an order to set up a concentration camp in today‘s Oświęcim (Auschwitz).
14th June 1940
The first transport of political prisoners arrives in Auschwitz: 727 Polish citizens, a small proportion of whom are of Jewish origin. The day goes down in history as the beginning of Auschwitz.
The Nazis set up KL Gross-Rosen in Silesia. Ca. 40 thousand people will have died in the camp by 14th February 1945, when the camp is finally liberated.
Night of 21st September 1940
Cavalry Captain Witold Pilecki arrives in Auschwitz after he gets arrested by the Germans in Warsaw. He creates a resistance network in the camp.
14th August 1941
The death of Father Maksymilian Kolbe. Father Kolbe chose to death in order to save his fellow inmate.
3rd September 1941
The first mass gassing using Zyklon B in Auschwitz. Ca. 600 Soviet POWs and 250 Polish citizens die on that day.
German authorities establish the first gas chamber in Auschwitz.
The Nazis set up KL Lublin, which goes by the name of Majdanek. Ca. 80 thousand people will have died in the camp by 22nd July 1944, when the camp is finally liberated.
11th November 1941
The first execution at the Death Wall in Auschwitz. 151 prisoners are executed by a German firing squad.
8th December 1941
The Nazis set up the Kulmhof extermination camp in Chełmno on the Ner. Ca. 200 thousand people will have died in the camp by 1945, when the camp is finally closed.
Beginning of 1942
The beginning of the mass extermination of the Jews in gas chambers in Auschwitz.
7th January 1942
Sonderlager Stutthof, a concentration camp administered by the German Security Police in today‘s Sztutowo near Gdańsk, is converted into KL Stutthof. Ca. 63 thousand people will have died in the camp by 9th May 1945.
1st March 1942
The launch of Auschwitz-Birkenau (or Auschwitz II), set up in the village of Brzezinka.
An extermination camp in Bełżec is set up/ Ca. 450 thousand people will have died in the camp by December 1942, when the camp is demolished.
The Nazis set up the Treblinka II extermination camp. Ca. 800 thousand people will have died in the camp by the autumn of 1943, when the camp is demolished.
An extermination camp in Sobibów is launched. Ca. 180 thousand people will have died in the camp by October 1943, when the camp is demolished.
30th October 1942
A satellite camp Buna is created to serve the IG Farbenindustrie factory; the camp is later converted into Auschwitz III‑Monowitz.
End of 1942
The Nazis begin pseudo-medical experiments. Male and females prisoners are selected for sterilisation.
Night of 26th April 1943
Cavalry Captain Witold Pilecki flees Auschwitz. He writes a number of witness accounts of the German atrocities.
22th March – 25th June 1943
The camp authorities launch four crematoria with adjacent gas chambers in Auschwitz II-Birkenau.
15th August 1943
A concentration camp is set up in Warsaw. Ca. 20 thousand people will have died in the camp.
11th January 1944
A concentration camp is set up in Kraków (known as KL Płaszów). Ca. 8 thousand people will have died in the camp by 15th January 1945, when the camp is demolished.
16th May 1944
A siding in the Auschwitz camp is launched to provide direct access for the trains to the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The deportation of ca. 438 thousand Hungarian Jews begins. Ca. 330 thousand will have lost their lives immediately after their arrival in Auschwitz.
27th January 1945
Auschwitz liberation. Ca. 1.1 million died in the camp.