Hitler and the Final Solution

The information and quotations in this timeline is from the book Hitler and the Final Solution, by Gerald Fleming.

Hitler breaks hammer in 1933, from ILN 7/29/44
Jan. 30, 1933 - Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. Hitler's National Socialist Program called for the disenfranchisement of all Jews; the systematic organization of the persecution of Jews; boycott of Jews, expelling them from public life, making them subject to special laws and finally annihilating them. The Nazi Party asserted the following racist beliefs:

March 28, 1933 - Boycott of Jewish businesses began.

September 1935 - Nuremberg Laws mandated the biological separation of Jews from Aryans.

Hitler announces takeover of Austria 1938, from Patch-NA
November 9-10, 1938 - Kristallnacht, the "night of the broken glass," began a new phase of Hitler's anti-Semitic pogrom, with 30,000 Jews rounded up and sent to concentration camps.

January 24, 1939 - Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Security Police, was assigned by Goering, in charge of the Four Year Plan, to bring a favorable solution as present circumstances permit through emigration.

January 30, 1939 - Hitler's speech to the Reichstag threatened "the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe" in case of war.

1940 - Killing by gas on a small scale began during the extermination of people interned in psychiatric institutions (T4 will later be used in mass extermination)

June 1940 - The practice of pilfering gold-filled teeth from the corpses of the Jewish victims began.

August 1, 1941 - Gestapo Chief Heinrich Muller sends the following order to the heads of the four Einsatzgruppen. (Einsatzgruppen are mobile killing machines) The Fuhrer is to be kept informed continually from here about the work of the Einsatzgruppen in the East.

August 1941 - Otto Bradfisch, head of Einsatzkommando 8 operating in the Minsk region, asked Himmler who bears responsibility for the executions. Himmler answers "these orders come from Hitler as the supreme Fuhrer of the German government and the force of the law."

Fall 1941 - Deportations from the Reich start, mostly to Lodz, Kovno, Minsk and Riga. Some of the deportees sent to Riga and Lodz are exterminated on the spot. An overall plan began to take shape for the extermination process that included Jews transported from Germany to the killing sites in conquered Poland and western Russia. The Einsatzgrupppen exterminated nearly one million Jews in the Soviet Union invaded by Hitler.

October 21, 1941 - Hitler was quoted saying in a memorandum signed by Martin Bormann, "When we finally stamp out the plague, we shall have accomplished for mankind a deed whose significance our men out there on the battlefield cannot even imagine yet."

Prisoners in the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, Germany, 12/19/38, from Patch-NA
October 23, 1941 - The emigration of Jews from occupied Europe was forbidden, construction of the Belzec extermination camp and the first killing experiments with Zyklon-B gas had taken place in Auschwitz.

November 10-11, 1941 - Friedrich Jeckeln, SS commander, received precise liquidation instructions in the Prinz Albhrechtstrasse headquarters from the Reichsfuhrer-SS Himmler, who followed Hitler's wish for physical liquidation and liquidation through labor of Jewish deportees.

November 25, 1941 - The first shooting of German Jews in Fort IX in Kovno took place.

November 30, 1941 - In the Rumbuli Forest outside Riga, 14,000 Jewish inhabitants from the city of Riga were massacred by shooting and buried in pits.

Spring 1941 - The order was issued to shoot the Red Army Commissars, when the Einsatzgruppen were instructed to exterminate the Jews in occupied Soviet territory and when a certain final solution of the Jewish issue was mentioned in the Reich Main Security Office's statement forbidding further Jewish emigration from Belgium and France.

July 1941 - The idea of exterminating some of the Lodz ghetto Jews was implemented in order to solve problems of overcrowding.

Summer 1941- Himmler disclosed to Rudolf Hess "that the Fuhrer ordered the Final Solution of the Jewish question and that now whatever Jews we can reach were to be eliminated without the problems of overcrowding."

August 27-28, 1941 - Police leader Friedrich Jeckeln supervised the mass murder of 23,600 Jews in the western Ukraine city of Kamenets-Podolski, and the next month, starting September 29, ordered the massacre of 33,771 Jews from Kiev at the Babi Yar ravine.

Himmler and Heydrich in Berlin, from ILN 6/6/42
January 20, 1942 - At the Wannsee Conference, Heydrich was the speaker at the conference and admitted that he had received the order for the Final Solution from Hitler. Heydrich presided over the conference with the aid of Eichmann's help. The conference was attended by most high-ranking Nazi officials. It marked the official beginning of the genocide that became infamous as the Holocaust. The liquidation of those Jews who were unable to work was mentioned implicitly and later extermination of the remainder was mentioned explicitly. The implementation of liquidation camps began at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka.

March 1, 1942- In Minsk the Russian Jews were told 5,000 were to be resettled; when the Jewish people did not show up at the appointed place, they were rounded up by force and shot.

March 27,1942- Hitler's propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels confided to his diary "Not many of the Jews will be left over. Roughly speaking, one can be sure that 60% of them will be liquidated, while we will be able to put only 40% into labor detachments."

June 9, 1942 - Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in Africa received a message that "Captives should be summarily shot on orders of the nearest German officer, unless they are to be spared temporarily for intelligence purposes."

July 13, 1942- A coded radio signal ordered Reichskommissar Erich Koch, Rovno, Ukraine to liquidate within a specified period of time, all the Jews who were still alive in the region of Rovno; the order was authorized by Hitler's headquarters.

July 17, 1942- Himmler at Auschwitz observed the entire liquidation procedure demonstrated on a newly arrived Jewish convoy; "unfit" Dutch Jews were separated from the "fit" (used for slave labor), taken to a gas chamber, killed, and the corpses removed to the crematoria for burning.

A truck load of bodies of prisoners of the Nazi, in the Buchenwald concentraion camp, from Patch-NA
October 28, 1942- In 7 months following the Wannsee meeting, approximately 40% of the Jewish men and women and children in occupied Poland were gassed with carbon monoxide at Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka and Majdanek.

December 1, 1942 - Report no. 51 sent by Himmler to Hitler reported that the Einsatzgruppen in Soviet territory for the period of September 1- December 1, 1942, executed 363, 211 Jews.

March 23, 1943- Dr. Korherr, Inspector for Statistics, finished the exact statistical report on the current statue of the Final Solution; it noted 1,873,539 Jews had received "special treatment" (Report sent to Himmler then to Hitler).

May 16, 1943- Alfred Franke-Gricksh inspected the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, and wrote a report entitled "Resettlement of the Jews” in which he described the gas chambers and crematoria as an efficient "resettlement action."

June 1943- At the Sobibor liquidation camp from March to June, 34,294 Dutch Jews were liquidated with carbon-monoxide gas.

July 11, 1943 - An order by Hitler prohibited any public discussion of the future total solution of the Jewish question. However, one may discuss the fact that all Jews are being interned and detailed to purposeful compulsory labor forces.

1944 - In at least four different speeches Himmler mentions the Fuhrer order concerning the Final Solution.

Bones of anti-Nazi German women still are in the crematoriums in the German concentration camp at Weimar, Germany, taken by the 3rd U.S. Army, 4/14/45, from Patch-NA
January 26, 1944 - A Himmler speech to several hundred high ranking Wehrmacht officers at the municipal theater in Posen Himmler said, "When the Fuhrer gave me the order to carry out the solution of the Jewish question, I at first hesitated, ...But this was ultimately a matter of a Fuhrer order and therefore I could have no misgivings. In the meantime, the assignment has been carried out, and there is no longer a Jewish question.” Himmler wanted to make it perfectly clear that the order came from the highest authority in Germany.

March 7, 1944 - Arthur Greiser, Nazi governor of the Warthegau region in Poland that included Lodz and Chelmno, proudly reported to Hitler that nearly 153,000 Jews had been murdered in the Warthegau liquidation camp at Chelmno, mainly by means of gassing vans.

April 14,1945- Bergen-Belsen camp was to be evacuated instead of surrendered; the lines of transportation and provision broke down, hundreds of prisoners perished in the march to the next camp.

April 28,1945- Hitler received news that Himmler had negotiated with enemy and indicated that he had helped conduct the Final solution for Hitler.

April 30, 1945- Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin bunker.


  • Holocaust Cybrary includes Hitler biography in the Teacher's Guide
  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum includes the Holocaust Encyclopedia
  • WWII Timeline includes Holocaust and Bombing Auschwitz and Auschwitz by Michelle Frazer; Raoul Wallenberg by Robert Beamer; Concentration Camp Liberation by Kristen Campbell

  • Timeline start | WWII links | Pictures | Maps | Documents | Bibliography | written 5/4/99 by Lisa Casillas and revised 12/11/04