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1941 January More than 2000 Jews die of starvation in the Warsaw ghetto.Between January and June 1941, 13,000 Jews will die of starvation in the Warsaw ghetto and another 5,000 in the ghetto at Lodz. (Atlas)
1941 January Industrialist Fritz Thyssen claims that Hitler is the illegitimate grandson of Baron Rothschild of Vienna. Hans-Jurgen Koehler collaborates this story in a top secret OSS report written in 1943. Even though unlikely, possible choices are: Salomon Mayer Rothschild (1774-1885, 62 in 1836) and Amschel Salomon Rothschild (1803-1874, 33 in 1836. Amschel Salomon lived in Frankfurt until 1850) (Langer)
1941 January Himmler meets with twelve high-ranking SS generals at Wewelsburg castle. Himmler claims that the purpose of the coming war with Russia is to reduce the indigenous population by thirty million, presumably to provide living space for German settlers. (Architect)
1941 January Ezra Pound, an admirer of Mussolini, begins recording talks for broadcast over Rome Radio. He makes more than 300 broadcasts for the Fascists.
1941 January Hitler advises Antonescu to "liquidate" the Romanian Legionary Movement and German forces are soon ordered to help crush the Legionaries.
1941 January 1 Another 439 old and sick Jewsfrom the Old Peoples Home in Kalisz, Poland, are gassed wiith exhaust fumes in the nearby woods. (Atlas)
1941 January 6 President Roosevelt calls for the "Four Freedoms" in his State of the Union address to Congress, again referring to America as the "arsenal" of democracy.
1941 January 7 Himmler writes to Seyss-Inquart, inviting him to Wewelsburg castle to discuss "Many important and ultimate matters." (Architect)
1941 January 10 The "Lend-Lease" Bill is introduced to the U.S. Congress, where it encounters considerable opposition. Former ambassador Joseph Kennedy and Charles Lindbergh are vocal opponents.
1941 January 15 Hitler meets with Antonescu at Salzburg and and informs him of his intention to invade Russia with Romanian collaboration. Antonescu tells Hitler that first he must liquidate the Legionary Movement, but neglects to ask for more than just a promise of additional aid, armaments, and war materiels. (Sturdza)
1941 January 19 The British invade Eritrea in East Africa.
1941 January 21 Antonescu stages a coup against his own government. A number of Legionaries are killed, but they continue to hold out in some places.
1941 January 22 The German Charge d'Affaires in Romania Dr. Neubacher, gives Horia Sima a solemn promise from both Hitler and Antonescu of complete impunity for Legionaries, and suggests participation in a new government, if resistance ends before noon on January 23. (Sturdza)
1941 January 22 In Bulgaria, the "Law for the Defense of the Nation" gives Jews one month to leave all public posts, and forces almost all Jewish doctors, dentists and lawyers to give up their practices. A special tax was imposed on all Jewish homes, shops and other property, amounting to 25% of its value. (Atlas)
1941 January 22 Tobruk falls to British forces.
1941 January 23 In Bucharest, Legionary resistance ends before 8AM, and in the provinces, prior to 11AM. Nevertheless, Antonescu's forces stage a massacre of peaceful crowds in Bucharest. At least 360 are killed including many women and children. No Legionaries are killed, they have already peacefully withdrawn on Sima's orders, as agreed. Trials and executions of other Legionaries are commonplace until June. (Sturdza)
1941 January 22-23 Antisemitic violence in Bucharest leaves 120 Jews dead in the streets. Men, women and children are hunted down by armed gangs. Some survivors flee to Palestine (See March 9). (Atlas)
1941 January 27 Joseph C. Grew, American Ambassador to Tokyo, informs the U.S. State Department that "The Peruvian minister has informed a member of my staff that he had heard from many sources, including a Japanese source, that, in the event of trouble breaking out between the United States and Japan, the Japanese intended to make a surprise attack against Pearl Harbor..." (Theobold)
1941 January 30 Hitler, in a speech at the Berlin Sportpalast, reminds his audience of his prophecy concerning the fate of the Jews exactly two years earlier. He added that the coming months and years would show that here too he had seen things correctly... the end of the Jewish role in Europe. (Architect)
1941 February From February to March, 72,000 Jews are expelled from the towns throughout the Warsaw region and herded into the ghetto. Almost 400,000 Jews are now crowded into the Warsaw ghetto under the most appalling conditions. (Atlas)
1941 February Goering orders the expulsion of Jews from the city of Auschwitz to create housing for construction workers for the I.G. Farben factory. (Silence)
1941 February 2 According to Hitler's army adjutant, Gerhard Engel, Hitler tells a small group of intimates that he had been thinking of sending a couple million Jews to Madagascar but the war had prevented this; he was now thinking of something else, which "was not exactly friendlier." (Architect)
1941 February 6 Benghazi falls to British forces.
1941 February 8 Bulgaria joins the Axis Powers.
1941 February 10 Great Britain breaks off diplomatic relations with Romania.
1941 February 12 General Erwin Rommel arrives in Tripoli to take command of the German Afrika Korps.
1941 February 12 General Zhukov is appointed Chief of the Soviet General Staff and Deputy Commissar for Defense.
1941 February 14 The first units of what will be the Afrika Corps land in Tripoli. Field Marshal Kesselring is in Rome as the German representative.
1941 February 15 More than 5,000 Jews are deported from Vienna to forced labor camps on the Bug River and ghettos in eastern Poland. (Atlas)
1941 February 20 British and German patrols make contact for the first time in the desert, near El Agheila.
1941 February 21 Soviet Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov, the former ambassador to the U.S., is dismissed from the Central Committee.
1941 February 22 More than 400 Jews are seized in Amsterdam and deported. Some die in Buchenwald, the rest in the stone quarries of Mauthausen. (Atlas)
1941 February 22 An order is issued stating that any Pole selling food to a Jew outside the Warsaw ghetto will automatically be sentenced to three months hard labor, and the ghetto ration is reduced to three ounces of bread a day. (Atlas)
1941 February 24 The first brief action between the British and Germans takes place near El Agheila.
1941 February 28 Senator Burton Wheeler in a speech in the Senate says Jews are attempting to involve America in the war against Germany.
1941 March Thousands of able-bodied Jews are rounded up in Upper Silesia and sent to work in German mining, metallurgical plants, textile mills, and factories in the region. (Atlas)
1941 March 1 Bulgaria signs the Tripartite Pact. German troops begin crossing Romanian territory to help the Italian army, which is in full route in the Balkans.
1941 March 1 Heinrich Himmler visits Auschwitz for the first time. Accompanied by Gauleiter Fritz Bracht and local senior police chiefs, Himmler orders the expansion on the camp so that it can accomodate 30,000 inmates, instead of the few thousand -- mainly poles -- who are imprisoned there at that time. (Silence)
1941 March 2 German troops enter Bulgaria.
1941 March 2 Himmler visits a resettlement facility for ethnic Germans in Breslau. "Racial experts" categorized the potential settlers as anything from "very valuable" to "reject." Rejects were sent back to their own countries or to concentration camps. (Architect)
1941 March 7 German Jews are forced into compulsory labor.
1941 March 9 A few survivors of the violence in Bucharest reach Palestine aboard the S.S.Darien. (See January 23) (Atlas)
1941 March 11 Prsident Roosevelt signs the U.S. Lend-Lease Bill into law. A time limit is placed on the operation of the act -- until June 1943. A motion originally passed in the House forbidding U.S. warships to give protection to convoys of foreign ships is defeated. Also to be allowed are transfers of ships to other countries solely on Presidential authority without reference to Congress.
1941 March 12 President Roosevelt presents an appropriations bill for Lend-Lease to Congress for $7,000,000,000. It will pass into law on March 27. (WWIIDBD)
1941 March 13 Hitler issues a directive for the invasion of the Soviet Union, which gives administrative control of captured territory to the SS. (WWIIDBD)
1941 March 15 Many historians believe that plans for the systematic murder of the Jews was first decided on, or about, this date -- in preparation for the invasion of Russia. (Bauer)
(Others believe it was a response to the passage of Roosevelt's Lend-Lease Bill and the Nazis perception that this was a violation of America's neutality, inspired by an international Jewish conspiracy.) (See March 26)
1941 March 16 The British invade Abyssinia (Ethiopia).
1941 March 17 A Military putsch takes place in Belgrade.
1941 March 17 Hans Frank meets with Hitler in his private rooms in the Reich Chancellery. Hitler tells him that the Government General will be the first territory to be made free of Jews. (Architect)
1941 March 20 The German deadline for all Jews to be inside the Polish ghettos expires.
1941 March 21 Eichmann, in a meeting at the Propaganda Ministry, refers to Reinhard Heydrich as being in charge of the "final evacuation of the Jews" to the Government General. (Architect)
(Note: There was only one way to have a "final evacuation of the Jews" and simultaneously to make the Government General free of Jews.) (See March 17)
1941 March 22 Marshal Petain signs a new law authorizing the construction of a Trans-Sahara railway. The work is done by all who had been interned: former Spanish Republican soldiers, Poles, Czechs, Greeks and Jews (See May 1941). (Atlas)
1941 March 23 Himmler presents Hitler with a memorandum entitled: "Some thoughts about the treatment of foreign peoples in the eastern territories." Himmler writes: "I hope to see the very concept of Jewry completely obliterated." (Science)
1941 March 24 Rommel launches another offensive in Libya and quickly captures El Agheila.
1941 March 25 Archbishop Groeber, in a pastoral letter abounding in antisemitic statements, blames the Jews for the death of Christ and adds that "the self-imposed curse of the Jews "His blood be upon us and upon our children," has come terribly true up until the present time, until today." (Lewy)
1941 March 25 Yugoslav Prime Minister Dragisha Cvetkovich signs Yugoslavia's agreement to the Tripartite Pact, linking that nation to the Axis. The Yugoslav's agree to permit free passage through their country of German troops heading to Greece. (Duffy)
1941 March 26 A military coup d'etat against the pro-German policies of Prince-Regent Paul takes place in Yugoslavia. General Dusan Simovic becomes prime minister under King Peter II.
1941 March 26 Reinhard Heydrich and Wehrmacht Quartermaster General Eduard Wagner have produced a draft plan outlining a partnership between the Wehrmacht and the SS, setting up the operational procedure for what are called Einsatzgruppen (special task forces). The Einsatzgruppen are to take their orders from the SS, but otherwise, they are subject to military command. The army is to control their movements and furnish them with quarters, rations, gasoline and communications assistance. These small mobile groups are charged with ridding freshly acquired eastern territories of their "undesirable" civilian elements, and will be required to operate virtually on the front lines. (Apparatus)
1941 March 26 A scientific meeting takes place to mark the inauguration of the Institute for the Investigation of the Jewish Question in Frankfurt am Main. Professor Fischer and Professor Günther are guests of honor. Dr. Gross, head of the Race-policy Bureau of the Nazi Party says: "The definitive solution must comprise the removal of the Jews from Europe," and he demands sterilization of quarter-Jews: "The reproduction of the quarter-Jews left behind in European countries must be reduced to a minimum." Professor von Verschuer reports the meeting for his journal, "Der Erbarzt" (The Heredity-Physician). (Science)
1941 March 27 Cvetkovich's government is overthrown by the Yugoslav military. Mussolini's ambitions for Croatia and other Yugoslavian territories and British intrigues in Belgrade lead to a coup by General Dusan Simovic, resulting in the overthrow of the pro-Nazi regime of Prince Paul and the beginning of hostilities with Germany. Prince Paul is replaced by his heir, 17-year-old King Peter. (Sturdza; Duffy)
1941 March 27 Roosevelts $7,000,000,000 appropriations bill for Lend-Lease is approved by Congress.
1941 March 28 The British defeat the Italian fleet off Cape Matapan in the eastern Mediterranean.
1941 March 28 Brack, who has been placed in charge of the "euthanasia" program, writes from the Reich Chancellery to the Reichsfuehrer-SS, Himmler, that the problem of sterilizing large numbers of individuals by mens of X-rays has been solved in principle. (Science)
1941 March 30 Hitler orders his generals to employ what he refers to as "merciless harshness." This speech provides part of the impetus for the Commissar Order -- the execution of alleged Soviet commissars without trial. (Architect)
1941 April British troops are movedinto Iraq to put down a Nazi-inspired coup and secure its valuable oil fields.
1941 April 1 The British withdraw from Mersa Brega, abandoning one of the last defensible positions available.
1941 April 2 Alfred Rosenberg meets with Hitler. Afterwards he writes in his diary: "What I do not write down today, I will nonetheless never forget." (Architect)
1941 April 5 The Cologne Zeitung (newspaper) reports that, "Although the Lodz ghetto was intended as a mere trial, a mere prelude to the solution of the Jewish question, it has turned out to be the best and most perfect temporary solution of the Jewish problem." (Lewy)
1941 April 6 Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece. Hitler had become concerned about British troops and aircraft being moved into the area to aid Greece, and said that he could not allow Yugoslavia and Bulgaria to revert to neutralist positions.
1941 April 11 Subotica and Novi Sad, west of the Banat region in Yugoslavia, are occupied by Hungarian forces. Soon afterward, in Subotica, the Germans execute 250 members of a Jewish youth movement who had carried out the first acts of sabotage against German occupation forces. In Novi Sad, Hungarian troops and local Germans murder 250 Jews and 250 Serbs at random. (Atlas)
1941 April 11 Rommel's siege of Tobruk begins.
1941 April 13 Russia and Japan sign a five-year non-aggression pact.
1941 April 14 The German authorities order that any Jew leaving the Lodz ghetto is to be shot on sight. (Atlas)
1941 April 14 Belgrade is occupied by the Germans. Within a few hours, Jewish shops are looted, and within a few weeks all Jewish communal activity is forbidden. (Atlas)
1941 April 15 By mid-April, Rommel has reconquered all of Libya except Tobruk. His exploits earned him the nickname "the Desert Fox."
1941 April 16 German troops enter Sarajevo and demolish the main Jewish synagogue. A few Jews escape over the mountains into Italian occupied territory, but the majority of Bosnian Jews are soon deported to concentration camps controlled by the Fascist Croatian "Ustachi." Nearly all will die. (Atlas)
1941 April 16 At Suresnes, outside Paris, the first executions of Jews in the resistance takes place. During 1941, a total of 133 Jews are shot for resistance in France, according to Gestapo records. (Atlas)
1941 April 17 Yugoslavia surrenders to the Germans. Croatia soon becomes an independent state, ruled by the pro-Nazi "Ustachi." Persecution of Croatian Jews begins immediately.
1941 April 19 British and Greek troops are outflanked in Greece and retreat towards Athens.
1941 April 23 Adolf Wagner, Gauleiter and Minister of Education and Religious Affairs in Bavaria, issues an order prohibiting the opening of the school day with a prayer and suggests the gradual removal of all crucifixes (See August 28, 1941). (Lewy)
1941 April 27 German forces occupy Athens.
1941 April 29 A violent, Pro-Fascist revolt in Iraq is put down by British troops.
1941 April 30 The new state of Croatia introduces its first racial laws, removing all Jews from public office and ordering all Jews to wear a yellow badge. (Atlas)
1941 May The "Blitz," the German bombing attacks on British cities, comes to an end when most of the Luftwaffe planes are withdrawn to prepare for the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
1941 May In Paris, thousands of foreign-born Jews are seized and interned. At the same time, thousands of Polish and German-born Jews, who had fought against the Germans in the French Foreign Legion during 1940, are deported to the slave labor camps in the Sahara Dessert (see March 22). (Atlas)
1941 May The first Croatian concentration camp is set up at Danica. It is quickly followed by four more camps at Jadovno, Gradiska, Loborgrad, and Dakovo. (Atlas)
1941 May At Pretzsch, in Saxony, special mobile killing squads, the Einsatzgruppen, are set up by the SS. Each of the squads has been assigned a particular area of the Soviet Union. Einsatzgruppe A, commanded by Walter Stahlecker, is to be responsible for the murder of Jews in the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Einsatzgruppe B, under Arthur Nebe, is assigned the area between the Baltic states and the Ukraine. Einsatzgruppe C, commanded by Otto Rasch, is to operate in the Ukraine south of Nebe's group, and Einsatzgruppe D, commanded by Otto Ohlendorf, is assigned the remainder the Ukraine and Crimea. Heydrich told those at Pretzsch that all "Communists, Jews, Gypsies, saboteurs, and agents must basically be regarded as persons who by their very existence, endanger the security of the troops and are thereby to be executed without further ado." (Secrets)
(Note: The SS was convinced that by mass executions on the spot they could "solve" the "Jewish question" in Russia, by murdering all the Jews they could catch. No family was to be spared. No resources were to be wasted by setting up ghettos or deporting Jews to distant camps or murder sites. The killings were to be done in the towns and villages at the moment of military victory.) (Atlas)
1941 May 1 British forces complete the evacuation of Greece.
1941 May 5 Rudolf Hess has a four-hour private talk with Hitler.
1941 May 10 Rudolf Hess, allegedly acting upon his own initiative, flies a Messerschmitt to Scotland in an idealistic attempt to convince the British to make peace with Germany. Hess later claimed that it was the indiscriminate bombing of helpless women and children, both in Germany and in England, that had motivated his flight.
1941 May 11 In the Warsaw ghetto, 2,000 Jews a month are now dying from hunger and disease.Emanuel Ringelblum writes that "Death lies in every street. The children are no longer afraid of death. In one courtyard, the children played a game of tickling the corpse." (Apparatus)
1941 May 11 Hitler learns of Hess' flight to England. The story is soon given out that mystics, astrologers and nature healers had manipulated a disturbed Hess.
1941 May 12 Churchill takes the Duke of Hamilton, who had arrived at his home the previous evening, to 10 Downing Street. That evening the Duke and Ivone Kirkpatrick fly to Scotland, where hey meet with Hess for several hours shortly after midnight. (Missing Years)
1941 May 13 News of Rudolf Hess' flight to England makes front-page headlines in newspapers around the world.
1941 May 14 Martin Bormann is appointed head of the Nazi Party Chancellery in Hess' place. (Goebbels)
1941 May 15 Goebbels issues "an order against occultism, clairvoyancy, etc." in response to Hess' flight to England. "This obscure rubbish will now be eliminated once and for all. The miracle men, Hess' darlings, will now be put under lock and key, " he writes in his diary. (Goebbels)
1941 May 15 Petain announces a policy of total French collaboration with Germany
1941 May 16 Goebbels writes in his diary, "Things are due to roll in the East on May 22, dependent on the weather." (Goebbels)
1941 1941 May 17 Rudolf Hess is imprisoned in the Tower of London.
1941 May 20 Hermann Goering bans emigration of Jews from all German-occupied territories including France and makes one of the first official references to the "Final Solution" (Endlosung).
1941 May 20 The Germans launch an airborne invasion of Crete. Of the first 3,500 German paratroopers dropped on the island, most are killed, but a second wave of 3,000 quickly captures key defenses and overwhelms the remaining British troops.
1941 May 20 Rudolf Hess is transported from the Tower of London to Camp Z (Mytchett Place in Aldershot), which has been specially setup for his arrival with heavy security and bugging devices. (Missing Years)
1941 May 24 The German pocket battleship Bismarck, the pride of Hitler's navy, sinks the British battle cruiser Hood off Greenland.
1941 May 26 Himmler assigns a group of Waffen-SS to what he calls the Kommandostab Reichsführer SS, which in effect becomes his own private army. (Architect)
1941 May 27 Bismarck is intercepted, crippled, and sunk by a British task force while returning to Germany.
1941 May 27 Russia proclaims a state of national emergency. (Freedman)
1941 May 30 Rudolf Hess' British captors assign Estonian-born psychiatrist Dr. Henry Victor Dicks to pose as Hess' physician. Dicks, a Jew who wrote that he despised Hess on sight, reports directly to British intelligence. (Missing Years)
1941 May 31 The surviving British troops on Crete are evacuated.
1941 Edward R. Stettinius Jr. becomes director of priorities of the Office of Production Management. Nine months later Stettinius will be named administrator of the gigantic Lend-Lease Program.
1941 June Petain's Vichy government introduces a series of "Jewish statutes." Leon Berard, Vichy ambassador at the Holy See, reports to Petain that the Vatican does not consider such laws in conflict with Catholic teaching, and merely counseled that no provisions on marriage be added to the statutes. (Poliakov)
1941 June Early in June, Goering sent word to Britain that Hitler planned to invade Russia within weeks. ( Duffy)
1941 June 1 Crete falls to the Germans. Hitler now has a strategic Mediterranean basefor the dispatch of reinforcements and supplies to his desert troops in North Africa, which are poised for an assault against Egypt and the Suez Canal.
1941 June 2 A law is passed authorizing the "administrative internment" of all Jews in France, whether French-born or foreign-born.
1941 June 2 Hitler and Mussolini again meet at theBrenner Pass.
1941 June 3 Statistics from a Gallup Poll show that 83% of the American people are against entering the war.
1941 June 6 Hitler issues the infamous Commissar Decree, ordering the execution of all captured Soviet political commissars.
1941 June 7 Martin Bormann informs the Gauleiters that the influence of the churches will have to be curtailed as much as possible, for National Socialism and Christianity are irreconcilable. (Lewy)
1941 June 8 British and Free French forces enter Vichy-held Syria from Iraq, imposing an armistice that gives Britain control over Syria and Lebanon. (The Vichy Government had been allowing Germans forces to use Syria as a base.)
1941 June 9 At Churchill's suggestion, Lord John Simon meets with Rudolf Hess and pretends to negotiate Hess' peace proposal. In reality, Simon is only pumping Hess for information and has no authority to negotiate. Simon is accompanied by Ivone Kirkpatrick. (Missing Years)
1941 June 11 Hitler issues Directive # 32. It begins with a flat statement: "After destruction of the Soviet Armed Forces, Germany and Italy will be military masters of the European Continent, with the temporary exception of the Iberian Peninsula. No serious threat to Europe by land will then remain." (Architect)
1941 June 11 Antonescu meets with Hitler in Munich and agrees to full ooperation of their two armies against Russia. Hitler's promises of massive armaments to Romania will not materialize until almost the end of the war.
1941 June 12 German Jews are ordered to designate themselves only as without faith (glaubenlos). (Persecution)
1941 June 13 The Soviets, who had taken over Bessarabiain June 1940 and immediately closed all Jewish institutions, arrests many of the region's leading Jewish citizens and exiles them to Siberia, where many die. (Atlas)
1941 June 14 Axis funds in the United States are frozen.
1941 June 17 Heydrich meets with the newly appointed commanders of the Einsatzgruppen and Sonderkommandos in Berlin to give them special oral instructions for their operations during the invasion. (Architect)
1941 June 18 A treaty of German-Turkish Friendship is signed.
1941 June 22 Operation Barbarossa - Germany launches a massive blitzkrieg on Soviet Russia. Germany, Romania and Finland are now at war with the Soviet Union. Behind the lines, SS Einsatzgruppen systematically kill thousands of Jews in every city, town and village of western Russia, mopping-up all civilian resistance with remorseless cruelty.
(Note: Italy and Hungary provide token forces for the invasion of Russia.Later, Danish, Norwegian, Belgian, Dutch, French and Spanish volunteers will join in the fight against Communism. After the war, most would be sentenced to prison or executed by their own countries. The only exception was Spain, where former Nazis were allowed safe haven.)
1941 June 22 U.S. Senator Harry Truman announces that, "If we see that Germany is going to win, we will help Soviet Russia, but if it is the other way around, we will have to help Germany. Let's leave them alone so that they will weaken each other as much as possible." (Marschalko)
(After Roosevelt's death in 1945, many Germans believed the U.S. would soon join them in the fight against Communism)
1941 June 24 German forces occupy Kaunas, Lithuania
1941 June 24 Ambassador Bergen reports to Berlin that the Vatican has welcomed the new turn of events and that a Vatican spokesman shortly after the invasion had told him that the alignment of atheistic Russia on the side of the Western democracies had robbed the latter of all justification to speak of a crusade for Christianity. (Lewy)
1941 June 24-5 The first mass executions by the Germans are carried out in the Lithuanian city of Garsden. (Architect)
1941 June 28 Encouraged by the Germans, Lithuanian police and a group of released convicts beat hundreds of Jews to death with iron bars during a bloodbath in the streets of Kaunas, Lithuania. (Apparatus).
1941 June 29 A report from Einsatzgruppe A states that by this date 2,300 Jews have been "rendered harmless" in Kaunas, Lithuania.
1941 Summer Himmler orders the enlargement of Auschwitz and the additional of a killing center.
1941 July Nazi killing squads arrive in Bessarabia. Romanian troops and militias murder thousands of Jews in the area of their advance. Following the initial killings, internment camps are set up throughout the province. At the camp in Edineti, 70 to 100 people die every day in July and August, mostly of starvation. In all, more than 148,000 Bessarabian Jews perish in the ghettos and camps of Transnistria. (Atlas)
1941 July The German advance in Russia is so rapid that less than 300,000 of Russia's 2.7 million Jews are able to escape to safety beyond the Volga River. (Atlas)
1941 July U.S. troops occupy Iceland to provide protection for American ships sailing to England. Roosevelt says it is to prevent the island's occupation by Germany.
1941 July 1 Goebbels writes in his diary: "Haushofer and his son have been forced out of public life. They are both responsible for peddling mystic rubbish and have the Hess affair (Hess' flight to England) on their consciences. (Goebbels)
1941 July 3 Latvian auxiliary police organized by Einsatzkommandos 1a and 2 plunder Jewish homes, and two other Latvian groups carried out pogroms, killing 400 Jews and destroying synagogues. (Architect)
1941 July 7 Einsatzkommandos begin the systematic slaughter of Lithuanian Jews. One of the tasks of these killing squads was the recruitment of local antisemites, whether Lithuanians, Ukrainians, or Latvians, who could help them to round up, terrorize and destroy each Jewish community, however small. (Atlas)
1941 July 8 Stalin announces a "scorched earth" policy.
1941 July 12 The Soviet-British Mutual Assistance Pact is signed.
1941 July 12 Moscow is bombed for the first time.
1941 July 13 Britain and Russia conclude a mutual aid treaty. Russia prepares to receive Lend-Lease assistance. (Freedman)
1941 July 14 The Suez Canal is bombed by German Ju 88 bombers from Crete. Harbor installations and several ships are damaged.
1941 July 16 In an important meeting, Hitler, Goering Bormann and Rosenberg decide on plans for the exploitation of the conquered areas of Russia. Rosenberg is put in charge of a new ministry with the task of organizing the new territories for Germany's economic benefit and eliminating the Jews and Communists from these areas. (WWIIDBD)
1941 July 16-18 Prince Kenoye reforms his Japanese cabinet, eliminating Matsuoka who has been urging that the neutrality agreement with the Soviets should be abandoned; so that Japan can join with the Germans in the attack on the USSR. Kenoye believes that without Matsuoka and his known liking for Hitler, there is a better chance of reaching an agreement with the U.S. over the pressing lack of oil reserves.
1941 July 17 Alfred Rosenberg is officially appointed Minister of the Occupied Territories.
1941 July 17 At Kishinev in the Ukraine, Einsatzgruppen D begins the first "five-figure" massacre of Jews . More than 12,250 are killed between July 17 and 31. (Atlas)
1941 July 18 The first acknowledged reports concerning the mass killings of Jews in the East begin reaching England.
1941 July 18 A group of 30 White Russians who refused to shovel earth over 45 Jews who had been tied together and thrown into a large pit are executed by the SS. All 75 are left dead in the pit. (Gilbert II)
1941 July 19 The Japanese present an ultimatum to Vichy France demanding bases in southern Indochina.
1941 July 20 Bishop Galen of Munster, known as a courageous critic of the Nazis, expresses his hope for a German victory in Russia. The Nazis use patriotic statements in his pastoral letters to enlist volunteers for SS units recruited in Holland and other occupied countries.
1941 July 21 Majdanek (Maidanek) concentration camp is established.
1941 July 24 Vichy France concedes to Japanese demands for bases in southern Indochina.
1941 July 26 Japanese assets in the U.S. are frozen.
1941 July 28 Hitler remains at Wolf's Lair until March 20, 1943.
1941 July 28 U.S. assets in Japan are frozen.
1941 July 28 Japanese assets in the Dutch East Indies are frozen and oil deals cancelled. Now, almost 75% of Japan's foreign trade is at a virtual standstill and 90% of its oil supply has been cut off.
1941 July 28 The Japanese occupy French bases in Indochina. It is clear that the main use for these bases might be as jumping off places for an invasion of Malaya, the East Indies or even the Philippines.
1941 July 29 Army Bishop Rarkowski issues a pastoral letter to the German armed forces describing Germany as "the saviour and champion of Europe." We know he added, that this war against Russia is waged by us as "a European Crusade," a task similar to that fulfilled in earlier times by the Teutonic knights. (Lewy)
1941 July 29 Japan freezes Dutch assets.
1941 July 29 The Germans execute 122 "Communists and Jews" for resistance in Serbia. (Atlas)
1941 July 30 Harry Hopkinsa arrives in Moscow for meetings with the Communist leadership.
1941 July 30 Hitler orders Bormann to stop all seizures of monasteries or other Church property without first obtaining his personal permission. Bormann passes the order along to the Gauleiters the following day.
1941 July 31 Goering instructs Heydrich "to make all necessary preparation... for bringing about a "complete" solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe." (Hilberg)
(Note: This is Goering's second known reference.)
1941 August The Germans drive the 3,000 Jews of the Banat region in Yugoslavia from their homes and take them to the Tasmajdan camp near Belgrade, where they are shot in the camp itself, and on the banks of the Danube, in daily executions. (Atlas)
1941 August 1 In the five weeks since the German invasion, the number of Jews killed exceeds the total number killed in the previous eight years of Nazi rule.
1941 August 1 Reinhardt Heydrich informs Heinrich Himmler that "It may be safely assumed that in the future there will be no more Jews in the annexed eastern territories." (Apparatus)
1941 August 1 Britain severs relations with Finland, which the Germans are using as a base for their invasion.
1941 August 3 Catholic Bishop Franz vonGalen publicly denounces the Nazi euthanasia program as both "murder under German law and in the eyes of God,"and demands the prosecution for murder of those perpetrating the killings. Galen tells in detail how the innocent sick are being killed while their families are misled by false death notices. Even invalids, cripples and wounded soldiers, he says, could no longer feel safe for their lives. News of Galens words, especially about the killing of wounded soldiers spread like wildfire. Copies of his sermon are distributed in all corners of Germany and among the soldiers at the front. (Lewy)
1941 August 4 Hitler visits the headquarters of von Bock's Army Group Center to assess the situation on the eastern front personally. Against the advice of his generals, Hitler decides to postpone the assault on Moscow and concentrate the German forces for a massive offensive in the Ukraine. Almost daily, von Bock received orders transferring unit after unit south for the drive on Kiev. (Duffy)
1941 August 6 The Japanese present proposals involving concessions in China and Indochina to the U.S., asking in return for an end to the freeze on Japanese assets. These proposals are quickly rejected by Roosevelt, and the Japanese ask for a meeting between the President and Prime Minister Kenoye to settle their differences. (See September 3)
1941 August 8-19 Several hundred Jewish men and women are executed by the Waffen-SS and Ukrainian militia at Byelaya Tserkov (Bialacerkiew) in the Ukraine. The children of those murdered are locked in a building on the edge of the village. (see August 19, 22) (Days)
1941 August 9-12 Roosevelt and Churchill hold a conference on a warship off the coast of Newfoundland. The two leaders agree to present plans for a "new world order" based on an end to tyranny and territorial aggrandizement, the disarmament of aggressors, and the fullest cooperation of all nations for the social and economic welfare of all. The result is the so-called The Atlantic Charter, designed as a counterthrust to a possible new Hitler peace offensive as well as a statement of postwar aims. Although the United States has not yet entered World War II, this statement becomes an unofficial manifesto of American and British aims in war and peace. In conclusion, both agree to send strong warnings to Japan in regard to any possible attacks against British or Dutch possessions in the Far East.
1941 August 14 The Germans occupy Smolensk.
1941 August 14 Britain and America issue the Atlantic Charter, proclaiming the establishment of a "new world order." The following month fifteen anti-Axis governments endorse its provisions. (See September 24, 1941 & January 1, 1942)
1941 August 17 The U.S. presents a formal warning to the Japanese indicating that America will almost certainly enter the war if Japan attacks British or Dutch possessions in the East Indies or Malaya.
1941 August 19 The older Jewish children left in Byelaya Tserkov are loaded into three trucks, taken to the nearby rifle-range, and executed. 90 of the younger children are held back in wretched conditions. (Days)
1941 August 20 In Berlin, Reinhard Heydrich receives a report from Einsatzgruppen RSHA IV-A-1 (Operational Report USSR no. 58) detailing the extermination of 4,500 Jews in Pinsk in retaliation for the death of a local militiaman. (Apparatus)
1941 August 20 The entire Banat region of Yugoslavia is declared Judenrein, "purged of Jews." (Atlas)
1941 August 21 Antonescu promotes himself to Marshal.
1941 August 22 The remaining 90 Jewish children held in the village of Byelaya Tserkov, most of them infants under the age of five, are executed after the action is officially condoned by the Wehrmacht. (Days)
1941 August 22 Major Ivan Kononov, commander of the 436th Regiment, and his entire regiment of Cossacks defects to the Germans after launching a successful counterattack against them. Kononov's was the first of many Cossack units to change sides during the war. By the fall of 1942 more than 200 Cossack battalions and regiments fought alongside the German army. (Huxley-Blythe)
1941 August 23 Hitler orders a halt to Aktion T-4, the euthanasia program, in Germany. More than 70,000 Germans have been gassed since the passage of the Euthanasia Decree of September 1, 1939. Bishop Galen's sermon of August 3 was probably the single most important reason Hitler is forced to abandon the euthanasia program, although it will quietly continue to operate under the code-name: 14f13. Thousands of political prisoners, habitual criminals, Jews and others too sick to work are certified insane and put to death in concentration camps gas chambers. (Lewy)
1941 August 23 Hanns Kerrl complains to the head of the Reich Chancellery that because of the continuing confiscations of Church property, which are taking place without his being consulted or eveninformed beforehand, his continuation as Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs is becoming "increasingly unbearable."
(Note: Bormann, when questioned about the continuing seizures, excuses them by saying they had been decided before Hitler's order of July 30.) (Lewy)
1941 August 24 In a broadcast to the British people, Churchill, referring to the mass murders committed by the Germans, states: "We are in the presence of a crime without a name."
1941 August 25 Both Britain and the USSR invade and occupy Iran. Its ruler, Reza Shah Pahlavi, is pro-German.
1941 August 26 The Soviets bomb Teheran, Iran.
1941 August 27 The Iranian government resigns.
1941 August 27 More than 14,000 Jewish refugees, who had fled to Hungary and Ruthenia in 1938 and 1939 from Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia, before being subsequently deported to Kamenets Podolsk in the Ukraine, are killed by heavily armed SS units with Ukrainian militia support. They are marched into a series of bomb craters and mowed down by machine-gun fire. Many are buried alive.(Atlas)
1941 August 27 Pierre Laval and a prominent pro-German newspaper editor are shot and wounded by a young member of the resistance. The Vichy government begins rounding up its opponents.
1941 August 28 The Bavarian order forbidding prayers in school and the gradual removal of all crucifixes is revoked. A number of public protests and a strong stand by Bishop Faulhaber prompts the revocation. (See April 23, 1941). (Lewy)
1941 August 29 Fighting in Iran comes to an end.
1941 August 29 General Milan Nedic is appointed to lead the puppet Serbian government backed by Germany.
1941 August 31 British and Soviet troops link up at Kazvin, Iran.
1941 September Niederhagen, the concentration camp for Wewelsburg castle, becomes independent.
1941 September Hitler tells Papen that he is upset about the continuing confiscations of Church property, and blames the hotheads of the Party for "this nonsense." (Papen)
1941 September 1 A new decree is issued ordering that all Jews are forbidden to leave their place of domicile without special permission; Jews six years of age or older can now appear in public only when marked with a Jewish star (Star of David). This decree covers so-called Mosaic Jews as well as baptized Jews. Only those who had converted to Christianity prior to September 15, 1935, the date of the Nuremberg laws, and "non-Aryans" married to an "Aryan" partner are exempted.
(Note: The marking of Jews had first been applied to Jews in Poland, but is now extended to the entire Reich.)
1941 September 1 Lord Beaverbrook, a leading Conservative member of Churchill's government, writes to Rudolf Hess requesting a meeting. Beaverbrook on this same day is appointed to head a Cabinet mission to Moscow to discuss aid for the Soviets. (Missing Years)
1941 September 1 Germans troops come within artillery range of Leningrad (St. Petersburg).
1941 September 3 Estonia is conquered by the Germans. Following the occupation of Tallin, the remaining 1,000 Jews are murdered by SS killing squads. (Atlas)
1941 September 3 The U.S. State Department tells the Japanese that the meeting they have requested between Roosevelt and Prince Konoye cannot take place. Supposedly the Americans are concerned that Konoye, Japan's prime minister, might not be able to convince the Japanese military keep to any agreement that might be made.
1941 September 3 600 Soviet prisoners of war and 300 Jews are gassed at Auschwitz in an experiment using Zyklon B (hydrocyanic acid), a commercial pesticide.
1941 September 6 A Japanese Imperial conference decides, in view of declining oil reserves, that war preparations should be completed by mid-October. Konoye is given six weeks to reach a settlement with the United States and is to insist on a set of minimum demands: immediate cessation of economic sanctions, a free hand for Japan in China, and rights for Japan in Indochina.
1941 September 6 Heydrich issues orders for all Jews over the age of six to wear a Star of David identity badge.
1941 September 8 Leningrad (St. Petersburg) is surrounded by a large German force.
1941 September 9 Lord Beaverbrook meets with Rudolf Hess.
1941 September 11 Charles Lindbergh, speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, tells an audience of 7,500 that Jews are seeking to force America into the war and warns them of the consequences.
1941 September 12 General Keital tells his commanders "The struggle against Bolshevism demands ruthless and energetic measures above all against the Jews."
1941 September 12 In the Ukrainian village of Zwiahel (Novograd Volynsky), SS 2nd Lieutenant Max Täubner and members of his work platoon begin conducting a series of unauthorized massacres of Jews. Täubner will later be tried and convicted by the SS and Police Supreme Court on May 24, 1943. (Days)
1941 September 16 Reza Shah Pahlavi, the pro-German ruler of Iran, is forced to abdicate in favor of his son by the British. Shah Pahlavi is sent out of the country.
1941 September 16 U.S. Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes has lunch with Bernard Baruch and asks him why Edward Stettinius, who he says has been a failure at every job he has held so far, has been moved up by the President to the important position of Administrator of the Lend Lease Act. Baruch tells him that he believes it is a ploy to ptotect Harry Hopkins. Baruch says he believes that Hopkins is now, in effect, Assistant President, but that his standing on the (Capitol) Hill is such that he needs someone to front for him. "So Stettinius has been given that title, but he can be depended upon to do whatever Harry (Hopkins) tells him to do. (Ickes)
1941 September 17 Cardinal Bertram instructs the German bishops on methods of handling the "problem" of the "non-Aryan" Catholics. He suggests using St. Paul's admonishment to the Romans and Galatians: "among those believing in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, for all are one in Jesus Christ." (Roman 10:12, Galatians 3:28) (Lewy)
1941 September 19 Heinrich Jöst, a German sergeant, smuggles a camera into the Warsaw ghetto, and against all regulations, photographs the suffering and misery of the Jews trapped inside. (Apparatus)
1941 September 19 Germans forces occupy Kiev in the Ukraine.
1941 September 24 The Soviet Union and fourteen other governments, nine of them governments-in-exile, endorse the Atlantic Charter. (See August 12)
1941 September 24 After a conference with Himmler and Reinhardt Heydrich, Hitler names Heydrich as the new Reich Protector of Bohemia-Moravia. (Architect)
1941 September 25 In Berlin, Reinhard Heydrich receives a report from Einsatzgruppen RSHA IV-A-1 (Operational Report USSR no. 94) stating that 75,000 liquidations have been conducted in Lithuania in response to a rise in Jewish propaganda. (Apparatus)
1941 September 25 Hitler speaks of extending Europe to the Ural Mountains and creating a human barrier against Asia. (Monologue im Fuehrerhauptquartier; Architect)
1941 September 26 The Jews of Swieciany in Lithuania are rounded up, taken to a former army camp in the nearby Polygon woods, and massacred. On the evening before, several hundred young men and women had managed to break through the Lithuanian police cordon and escape eastward to towns not yet reached by the killing squads. (Atlas)
1941 September 27 Himmler comes through with a long-delayed promotion of Heydrich to Obergruppenfuehrer (Lieutenant General) and general of the police. (Architect)
1941 September 28 A curt notice, its text printed in Russian, Ukrainian and German, appears on buildings, tree trunks and fences in Kiev. It orders all Jews to report the following day to the old Jewish cemetery on the outskirts of town, not far from the railway station. The notice suggests that the Jews are going to be resettled. (Apparatus)
1941 September 29 More than 30,000 Jews are machinegunned at Babi Yar, a ravine on the outskirts of Kiev, by an SS killing squad aided by Ukrainian militiamen. (Atlas)
1941 September 30 Himmler sets out on a tour of the conquered areas of southern Russia. He takes with him Dr. Albert Widmann, head of the chemical section of the RSHA Criminal Technical Institue and one of the prime inventors of the new gas truck that recycled its own exhaust. Since it was easier to modify existing trucks in the field to serve as mobile gas chambers than to produce new trucks in Germany and then transport them to the East, Widmann went along as a technical consultant. (Architect)
1941 September 30 Guderian's and Hoth's panzers rejoin Army Group Center, and the advance on Moscow is resumed. The Germans now face a rejuvenated enemy that has profited from the respite Hitler has given them to construct strong defenses and move large numbers of troops to defend the capital. (Duffy)
1941 October The decision is made to build centers for mass murder by gas in the eastern territories. (Bauer)
1941 October Alfred Rosenberg, Reichsführer of the Easter Territories, requests T-4's assistance in liquidating the Jews in the Polish Ghettos.
1941 October 1 All Jewish immigration from Germany is banned.
1941 October 1 In the Archdiocese of Posen in Poland, 74 Catholic priests have been shot or have died in the concentration camps, and 451 are being held in prisons or camps. Of the 441 churches in this diocese only 30 are still open for Poles. (DA Trier; Lewy)
1941 October 1 Another Croat concentration camp is established at Jasenovac. (Atlas)
1941 October 2 While Himmler is in the Ukraine, Heydrich informs Hitler of the scheduled deportations of all German Jews to specific locations in the Ostland. (Architect)
1941 October 2 Himmler arrives in Kiev, which he believes is an ancient German city known as Kiroffo. (Architect)
1941 October 3 Hitler tells the German people that the enemy in the East is broken and will never rise again. (Silence)
1941 October 3 Himmler tours Kiev. It is not known whether Himmler included Babi Yar on his tour. (Architect)
1941 October 10 Thousands of Slovak Jews are sent to labor camps at Sered, Vyhne, and Novaky, while the remaining Jews living in what had once been Czechoslovakia are ordered out of their homes and sent to specially designated ghetto areas in 14 selected towns. (Atlas)
1941 October 10 Reinhard Heydrich, in Prague, tells a conference of his subordinates that Hitler wants all the Jews removed from German space by the end of the year, if possible. All pending questions, he said, had to be resolved, and transportation should not be used as a reason for delay. (Architect)
1941 October 10 Heydrich also includes the Gypsies as being subject to "evacuation" (deportation to death camps) during the Prague conference. (Science)
1941 October 14 Beginning of the general deportation of German Jews to the concentration camps. (Persecution)
1941 October 15 The German authorities in Poland decree that any Jews found outside the ghettos will be executed automatically.
1941 October 15 Mass deportations of German Jews to the east begins. Priests are told that Christian "non-Aryans" will be evacuated only when earlier conflicts with the Gestapo have occurred. For the time being, "non-Aryans" in mixed marriages will not be affected by these measures. (Lewy)
1941 October 16 Edouard Daladier, Paul Reynaud and Leon Blum, all former prime ministers of France, are arrested by order of General Petain to face charges that they were responsible for the French defeat of 1940.
1941 October 16 Odessa is taken by Romanian troops after some of the bloodiest fighting on the Eastern Front.
1941 October 16 The first deportation trains leave Germany for the ghettos in the east. (Atlas)
1941 October 16 Many foreign diplomats, Soviet government officials and their staffs begin leaving Moscow by car and train for Kuibyshev.
1941 October 16-17 Japanese Prime Minister Konoye is replaced by War Minister General Tojo, who takes the offices of Prime Minister, War Minister and Home Affairs Minister. Tojo's cabinet decides to wait only until the end of November for a diplomatic breakthrough with the United States.
1941 October 18 Heydrich and Himmler speak by phone, agreeing not to allow any Jews to leave German territory by going overseas. (Architect)
1941 October 19 Stalin announces that he will remain in Moscow, even though most of the Soviet government has already fled, promising to defend the Russian capital with every possible effort.
1941 October 20 The German commander in Nantes, France, is shot by members of the resistance. Fifty French hostages are shot in reprisal.
1941 October 22 A notice is posted in Kiev informing the citizens that 100 hostages will be shot for every act of sabotage. (See November 2) (Apparatus)
1941 October 23 All Jewish emigration Nazi-occupied territory is officially halted.
1941 October 23 Catholic Provost Bernhard Lichtenberg, who right through the stepped-up antisemitic agitation, continued to say a daily prayer for the Jews, is finally arrested. During questioning by Himmler's henchmen, the Provost asserts that the deportation of the Jews is irreconcilable with Christian moral law, and asks to be allowed to accompany the deportees as their spiritual adviser. He is sentenced to two years imprisonment for abuse of the pulpit (see November 5, 1943) (Lewy)
1941 October 25 Himmler and Heydrich meet with Hitler at his headquarters. In the course of the meeting, Hitler reminds them of his prewar prophecy that, unless war was avoided, the Jews would disappear from Europe. "This criminal race," Hitler tells them, "has the two million dead of the (First) World War on their conscience, and now hundreds of thousands more. Let no one say to me: we cannot send them into the mire. Who concerns themselves about our men? It is good if preceding us is terror that we are exterminating the Jews. The attempt to found a Jewish state will fail." (Monologue im Fuehrerhauptquartier; Architect)
1941 October 25 Despite the overwhelming odds against them, Jews at Tatarsk and Starodub, between Kiev and Moscow, rise up in revolt. German regular army units are brought in to crush their resistance. (Atlas)
1941 October 25 Dr. Wetzel, a "race-expert" in the Ministry of the Occupied Eastern Territories, writes in a draft of a letter to Himmler: "I should like to inform you that Oberdienstleiter Brack of the Führer's Chancellery has said that he is prepared to collaborate in the provision of the necessary accommodation and appliances for gassing people... In the present situation, there are no obiections to doing away with those Jews who are unfit for work with the aid of Brack's resources..." (Science)
1941 October 25 German mass executions of prisoners in France prompt Roosevelt and Churchill to make an unusual joint public condemnation of German atrocities, and within three months, nine European governments-in-exile in London establish the Inter-Allied Conference on the Punishment of War Crimes. (Beast)
1941 October 27 Bishop Berning reports to Cardinal Bertram that the Gestapo has refused their request for permission to allow Jewish Catholics to wear the Star of David while in Church. (Lewy)
1941 October 27 The Bishop of Limberg informs Bishop Wienken, the episcopate's troubleshooter in Berlin, that the transport of Jews from Frankfurt earlier in the month had included Catholic "non-Aryans" to whom no preferred treatment had been granted. Their fate was especially sad, he said, because they were regarded by the other Jews as apostates (turncoats).
1941 October 27 Harold H. Tittmann, assistant to Roosevelt's special emissary to the Vatican, attempts to get the Pope to issue a public protest against the German's mass shooting of hostages. He is told that this could not be done since it would jeopardize the situation of the German Catholics. (U.S.D.P)
1941 October 29 The first of the Soviet reserve divisions from Siberia go into the line west of Moscow.
1941 October 30 The German offensive toward Moscow is halted until winter permanently hardens the ground, restoring mobility to the German tank forces.
1941 October 30 Bishop Wienken informs Bishop Hilfrich of Limburg that negotiations concerning the deportations of Catholic "non-Aryans" have been started at the highest levels. (Lewy)
1941 October-November The extermination camp of Chelmno (Kulmhof) is set up in Wathegau (Poland). (Days)
1941 November Georg Hauserstein, Jr., a long-time ONT member and former head of the presytery at Hertesburg, founds a schismatic order at Petena called the Vitalis New Templars. (Roots)
1941 November Heydrich reports to the Foreign Ministry that a thirty-point program for a so-called neo-pagan "National Reich Church," circulated as a leaflet in Germany and attributed by Allied propaganda to Rosenberg, was actually written in 1937 by an eccentric from Stettin (G). Heydrich attributes its reappearance to Catholic elements out to discredit the regime. (Lewy)
(Note: William Shirer in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, accepted this leaflet as a genuine work by Rosenberg.)
1941 November By this time, more than 15,000 Jews have been deported from throughout Serbia to the concentration camp at Zemun west of Belgrade. (Atlas)
1941 November As an experiment, 1200 prisoners at Buchenwald are taken to the "euthanasia" institute at Bernberg, and gassed. (Atlas)
1941 November 1 Vichy France opens a punishment and isolation camp at Hadjerat-M'Guil in Algeria. It contains 170 prisoners nine of whom are tortured and murdered in conditions of the worst brutality. Two of the murdered were Jews, one of whom had earlier been released from a concentration camp in Germany in 1939 and fled to France. (Atlas)
1941 November 1-15 The Jews of Bukovina, like those of Bessarabia, are uprooted from their homes in more than 100 communities, then marched away and interned. Within a year, more than 120,000 of them had died. (Atlas)
1941 November 2 Major General Friedrich Eberhardt, military commander of Kiev, issues an order declaring that 300 hostages will be shot for the next act of sabotage. By the end of the month, the number has been raised to 400. (Apparatus)
1941 November 15 Himmler and Rosenberg hold a four-hour meeting to discuss Jewish policy and several other areas of their disagreement. (Architect)
1941 November 17 Alfred Rosenberg is appointed to head a new Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories. His jurisdiction includes the Baltic States and White Russia, where his task will be to exploit the area for Germany's economic benefit and rid of them of "undesirable elements" such as Communists and Jews.
1941 November 17 Himmler telephones Heydrich and tells him about the results of his meeting with Rosenberg, the situation in the Government General, and the "elimination of the Jews." (NA; Architect)
1941 November 18 The British offensive in North Africa begins in Libya. It is code-named Operation Crusader.
1941 November 18 Rosenberg tells German journalists at a confidential briefing that the "Final Solution" has begun; a "biological extermination of all Jews in Europe." No Jew could remain on the continent to the Ural Mountains; they would either be forced beyond the Urals or exterminated. The press was not to write about the extermination in detail, but the reporters could use stock phrases such as the "definite solution" or the "total solution of the Jewish question." (NA RG 242, T-77/R 1175/433; Architect)
1941 November 21 Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes personally hand-delivers to President Roosevelt a confidential letter given to him by someone named Bruce Johnston. Johnson takes the position that: "while under the constitution the power to declare war lies with Congress, the power to wage a defensive war is with the Executive. He pointed out that in several declarations of war by the Congress the recitation was "Whereas, a state of war exists," thus proving that wars do not wait to be started until there is an actual declaration. The President remarked that it was good letter and sound but that "it was simply a question of timing.' " (Ickes)
1941 November 21 German forces take Rostov am Don.
1941 November 23 In the Moscow sector, Germans forces continue to advance. Some are within 35 miles of Moscow.
1941 November 24 Theresienstadt, the largest of the new concentration camps in what had been Czechoslovakia, is established. (Atlas)
1941 November 25 The Bishops of Cologne and Paderborn recommend that "non-Aryan" or "half-Aryan" priests and nuns volunteer to accompany the German deportees in order to hold services and provide religious instruction for the children. (Lewy)
1941 November 25 Regulations are issued by the German government concerning confiscation of the property of Jews who are deported. (Eyes)
1941 November 26 U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull formally reiterates the U.S. position, saying that Japan must withdraw from China and Indochina (Vietnam), recognize the regime of Chiang Kai-Shek in China, renounce all territorial expansion, and accept the Open Door policy of equal commercial access to Asia.
(Note: U.S. cryptographers had already broken Japan's major diplomatic code and U.S. authorities knew full well that rejection of Japan's minimum demands would probably lead to war.)
1941 November 26 A powerful Japanese carrier task force leaves the Kuril Islands and makes for Pearl Harbor.
1941 November 27 U.S. military authorities issue a war warning to their overseas commanders.
1941 November 27 Hitler meets in succession with high officials from Spain, Hungary, Italy, Croatia, Bulgaria, Finland and Romania. (Architect)
1941 November 28 Hitler meets with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, telling him that Germany has declared an uncompromising war on the Jews. Britain and Russia were both power bases of Jewry, Hitler said, and he would carry on the fight until the last traces of Jewish hegemony were eliminated. The German army would in the future break through the Caucasus into the Middle East and help to liberate the Arab world. Germany's only other objective in the region would be the annihilation of the Jews. (Fleming; Architect)
1941 November 29 German authorities deport 714 Jews from Nuremberg to labor camps.
1941 November 29 Reinhard Heydrich sends out invitations to the Wansee conference on the Jewish question. It is originally scheduled for December 9, but is postponed due to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. (Architect)
1941 November-December The RSHA puts gassing-vans at the disposal of the Security Police and the SD Einsatzgruppen. (Days)
1941 December SS Major Christian Wirth, former Chief of the Criminal Police in the city of Stuttgart, working on behalf of the gauleiter of Warthegau, who had recently obtained Himmler's permission to kill 100,000 Jews in his jurisdiction, sets up operation in the village of Chelmno (Kulmhof), forty miles northwest of the Lodz ghetto. On the old castle grounds in the village, Wirth installs several vans of the type the Einsatzgruppen had experimented with in Russia. They are rigged to direct carbon-monoxide fumes from the engine's exhaust into a large sealed cabin in the rear. The larger vans accommodate up to 150 people who are gassed on the way to burial grounds. (Apparatus)
(Note: Wirth had conducted the first gassing experiments on the incurably insane in 1939 at the "euthanasia" institution at Brandenburg an der Havel in Prussia.)
1941 December Stalin calls on the Orthodox Patriarch of Russia to bless the Red Army.
1941 December German soldiers returning from the Eastern Front begin telling "horrible stories" about the fate of deported German Jews who had been shot by mobile killing detachments near Riga and at Minsk. (Herman; Lösener; Lewy)
1941 December 1 A Japanese imperial conference puts the Japanese war machine into motion.
December 2 The Japanese task force receives a coded message issuing the order to attack Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
December 5 The Soviets stage a counter-offensive at Moscow.
December 5 Weizsäcker reports to the Foreign Ministry that he has informed Papal Nuncio Orsenigo that the Vatican has so far conducted itself "very cleverly" concerning the "rumors" of mass shootings and deportations of the Jews. The Nuncio "pointed out that he had not really touched this topic and that he had no desire to touch it." (Hilberg; Lewy)
December 5 The first Jews are transported to Chelmno (Kulmhof) extermination camp. (Days)
1941 December 6 General Georgy Zhukov launches a huge Soviet counteroffensive, pushing back the freezing Germans from Moscow. Constant pressure during the winter forces the Germans back to 40 miles from Moscow.
1941 December 7 The Japanese launch a surprise air-attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. More than 350 Japanese bombers, torpedo planes, and fighters strike in two successive waves. Altogether, 18 U.S. ships are sunk or disabled. U.S. naval power in the Pacific is crippled, except for the Americans aircraft carriers which are on missions elsewhere.
(Note: The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps lose 2,117 men, the Army 218, and 68 civilians are killed. More than 1,200 are wounded, and about 200 aircraft are destroyed, most on the ground. The Japanese loseonly 29 planes.)
1941 December 7 Almost simultaneously with the Pearl Harbor attack, Japanese naval and air forces attack Wake Island, Guam, British Malaya, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, Burma, Thailand, and the Philippines.
1941 December 7 Hitler issues the infamous Nacht und Nebel decree.
1941 December 7 Great Britain declares war on Romania.
1941 December 8 President Roosevelt tells a joint session of Congress that December 7th is "a date which will live in infamy." The U.S. Congress votes to declare war on Japan.
1941 December 8 Hitler issues Directive #39. It begins with these words: "The severe weather which has come surprisingly early in the East, and the consequent difficulties in bringing up supplies, compel us to adandon immediately all major offensive operations and go over to the defensive." (Directives)
1941 December 8 SS Major Christian Wirth supervises the murder of 700 Jews in his specially designed gassing vans at Chelmno (Kulmhof) for the first time. The first "death camp" is soon established at Chelmno using these mobile gassing vans. The victims' bodies are dumped into open pits some two miles away in a wooded forest. (total victims: 360,000; survivors: 3) (See Wirth, December 1941)
1941 December 10 The small U.S. garrison on Guam surrenders.
1941 December 10 Himmler orders that commissions, made up of physicians who were formerly concerned with "euthanasia" are to be set up to "comb out" prisoners in concentration camps who are unfit for work, are ill, or are "psychopaths." Tens of thousands of prisoners, picked out in this way by Professor Heyde, Professor Nitsche and other physicians, are killed by gas in the extermination centers at Sonnenstein and Hartheim. (Science)
1941 December 10 The British battleship Prince of Wales and the battlecruiser Repulse are sunk by Japanese planes off the coast of Malaya.
1941 December 11 Germany and Italy declare war on the U.S.
1941 December 11 In a speech to the Reichstag, Hitler attacks Roosevelt as a "warmonger" who is backed by the Jews and millionaires responsible for starting the war. He seizes this opportunity to vent the storehouse of anger that has built up in him over the previous three years against Roosevelt, who had ceaselessly attacked Hitler as a "gangster." (Shirer I; Duffy)
1941 December 11 A small U.S. Marine detachment holds off the first Japanese landing attempt on Wake Island.
1941 December 12 All branches of American banks in France are ordered closed by the Nazis, except Morgan et Cie and Chase of New York.
1941 December 12 Romania's Antonescu, pressured by Germany and Italy, declares war on the U.S.
1941 December 12 Finland refuses to declare war on the U.S.
1941 December 14 Rosenberg raises the Jewish question with Hitler, who tells him that the Jews had brought this war on Germany, and caused the destruction, and that they had only themselves to blame if they had to suffer the consequences. (Architect)
1941 December 16 Hans Frank tells his cabinet in Kracow: "the Jews must be done away with, one way or another... we must annihilate the Jews whereever we find them..."
1941 December 19 Hitler dismisses General Walteer von Brauchitsch and assumes supreme command of the German armed forces.
1941 December 19 General Claire L. Chennault and his "Flying Tigers," a group of "volunteer" pilots, set up headquarters 150 miles from Rangoon, Burma. From December 19, 1941, to July 4, 1942, they destroy 297 Japanese planes and kill 500 of the enemy.
1941 December 22 Roosevelt and Churchill meet in Washington for the Arcadia Conference, the first Anglo-American conference after U.S. entry into the war. It is agreed to give first priority to the European theater of war; to forge a constricting ring around Germany using air attacks and blockade; to stage an eventual invasion of the European continent; and to land their forces in North Africa. The two powers also decide to form a Combined Chiefs of Staff, paving the way for one of the closest military collaborations in history.
1941 December 22 Plans are discussed for the Allied invasion of French North Africa. American planners are opposed to this operation because in their opinion it detracts from the primary objective of establishing a Second Front as soon as possible.
1941 December 22 In the Philippines, the Japanese, controlling both air and sea, begin landing troops in force on Luzon, the main island.
1941 December 23 The Japanese capture Wake Island. The fall of Wake severs the U.S. communications line between Hawaii and the Philippines.
1941 December 25 The Japanese capture the British crown colony of Hong Kong.
1941 December 26 German Jews are no longer allowed to use public telephones. (Persecution)
1941 December 27 Wave after wavesof Japanese aircraft strike Manila. The attacks continue throughout the following day.
1941 December 30 U.S. forces are pulled back from Tarlac to their last prepared line before the Bataan Peninsula.
1941 December President Roosevelt asks the U.S. Senate to authorize sending a U.S. expeditionary corps to Europe.
1941 Winter Dr. Ritter takes part in a conference which considers a plan to drown 30,000 German Gypsies by sending them out into the Mediterranean Sea on ships and then bombing the ships. (Science)
1941 Ho Chi Minh organizes the Viet Minh to combat the Japanese in Indochina (Vietnam).