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1945 January 1 The Soviet-dominated Lublin Committee declares itself the legitimate government of Poland. It meets with little effective resistance from the local population still suffering severely under the hardships of war.
1945 January 1 Luftwaffe attacks on airfields in Belgium, Holland and France destroy more than 300 Allied aircraft. It is the last major Luftwaffe operation of the war.
1945 January 1 German Army Group G in Alsace begins an offensive in the Sarreguemines area and Eisenhower orders units of the U.S. Seventh Army to retreat.
1945 January 1 Hungarian-Jewish leader, Otto Komoly, is murdered by Hungarian Fascists.
1945 January 2 The U.S. Third Army in the Ardennes takes Bonnerue, Hubertmont and Remagne.
1945 January 2 Hitler turns down requests from Generals Model and Manteuffel to withdraw from west of Houffalize.
1945 January 2 Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, Naval Commander-in-Chief of Allied forces in Europe, is killed in an air accident on his way to meet with General Montgomery.
1945 January 2 In Budapest, the surrounded German garrison goes on the offensive, counterattacking the Soviets.
1945 January 3 Desperate German attacks in the Ardennes fail to cut the Allied corridor to Bastogne.
1945 January 3 German attacks in Alsace continue to force the U.S. Seventh Army to retreat.
1945 January 3 The Dutch and Belgian governments sign a mutual agreement for repatriation of incarcerated civilians.
1945 January 4 Units of Sepp Dietrich's Sixth SS Panzer Army are withdrawn from the Ardennes and transferred to the Eastern Front.
1945 January 4 German attacks in Alsace continue near Bitche.
1945 January 5 Germans units counterattack north of Strasbourg.
1945 January 5 The Soviet Union recognizes the Lublin Committee as the Provisional Government of Poland. The U.S. and Britain continue to publicly recognize the exile government in London.
1945 January 5 Fighting between the British and Greek Communists come to an end in Athens.
1945 January 5 More than 5,000 Jews "protected" by Swedish papers are driven from their so-called "neutal houses" into Budapest's central ghetto
1945 January 5 The last transport of Hungarian Jews is sent to Auschwitz.
1945 January 6 Field Marshal von Runstedt again requests permission to withdraw from the Ardennes. Hitler again refuses.
1945 January 6 Several hundred Jewish women are evacuated by train from the forced labor camp at Sered in Slovakia to Ravensbrück, north of Berlin. (Atlas)
1945 January 6 Rosa Robota, a member of the Jewish underground in Auschwitz, is executed by the Germans for her part in the unsuccessful Sonderkommando revolt in Birkenau.
1945 January 7 Arrow Cross terror squads attack Swedish "protective houses" in Budapest during what is called the Jokai Street massacre.
1945 January 8 Battles continue north and south of Strasbourg and the U.S. Seventh Army remains under strong pressure near Rimling and Gambsheim.
1945 January 9 U.S. forces land on Luzon during Operation Mike 1.
1945 January 10 U.S. First and Third Armies continue to advance in the Ardennes.
1945 January 11 Units of the U.S. Third Army join up with the British XXX Corps near St. Hubert further reducing the German salient in the Ardennes.
1945 January 12 The Soviets begin a major offensive all along the front from the Baltic to the Carpathians. German troops fight fiercely although outnumbered by at least four to five to one.
1945 January 13 German defense lines all along the Polish Front are devastated by the strength of the Soviet advance.
1945 January 14 Soviet forces in Poland cut the rail lines to Krakow.
1945 January 14 A cease-fire is negotiated between British troops and the Communist ELAS in Greece.
1945 January 15 The Red Army invades East Prussia.
1945 January 16 Patton's Third Army joins up with General Courtney Hodges' First U.S. Army and the Ardennes Counteroffensive (the Battle of the Bulge) comes to an end.
1945 January 16 Hitler departs Bad Nauheim for Berlin.
1945 January 16 Shortly after the last slave laborers are evacuated from Czestochowa, Soviet troops enter the city.
1945 January 16 Himmler pardons 2nd Lieutenant Max Täubner for his unauthorized execution of Jews in Russia and grants him fouteen days of leave before returning to the front. (Days)
1945 January 17 A Jewish uprising breaks out at Chelmno (Kulmhof) in Poland. The last 47 Jewish slave laborers, knowing they are about to be shot by the SS, take refuge in a building as Soviet troops draw nearer. The SS sets fire to the building and machine-guns those who attempt to escape the flames. Only one prisoner survives. (Atlas)
1945 January 17 Devastated Warsaw is "liberated" by Soviet forces.
1945 January 17 The SS records a total of more than 30,000 slave laborers still in the Auschwitz region. (Atlas)
1945 January 18 The Great Russian offensive against Berlin begins. In only 18 days, Soviet troops will advance more than 300 miles.
1945 January 18 The Germans issue orders for the immediate evacuation all slave labor camps in Upper Silesia. Hundreds die of exhaustion, freeze to death, or are murdered by their guards along the way. (Atlas)
1945 January 18 The evacuation of Auschwitz begins. (Days)
1945 January 19 Marshal Ivan Konev takes both Tarnow and Krakow. To the south, Zhukov's troops takes Lodz, and the Fourth Ukraine Front takes Nowy Sacz. Wloclawek on the Vistula also falls to the Soviets.
1945 January 20 President Roosevelt is inaugurated for a fourth term. Harry S Truman is sworn is as Vice President.
1945 January 20 The Soviet offensive in East Prussia breaks through and Tilsit is taken. In the West, Patton's Third Army takes Brandenburg.
1945 January 20 4,200 Jews are shot to death at Birkenau. A total of more than 98,000 Jews have been evacuated from Auschwitz. (Atlas)
1945 January 20-27 29,000 Jews, most of them women are evacuated from Stutthof by boat and train to Germany. 26,000 of them perish during the journey. (Atlas)
1945 January 21 The Hungarian Provisional Government concludes an armistice with the USSR, the U.S. and the U.K. Hungary agrees to pay reparations and join the war against Germany.
1945 January 21 Gumbinnen is taken by the Soviets in East Prussia.
1945 January 22 Gneizo is taken by Marshal Zhukov in his drive for Poznan. To the north, Insterburg, Allenstein and Deutsch Eylau are all taken by the Soviets.
1945 January 22 The U.S. First Army attacks along the front between Houffalize and St. Vith. The British Second Army takes St. Joost and other towns near Sittard.
1945 January 23 St. Vith is taken in an attack by armored units of the U.S. XVIII corps. Allied air attacks inflict extremely heavy losses to the Germans falling back over the Our River.
1945 January 24 SS leader Heinrich Himmler who has no operational talent or experience is appointed by Hitler to lead a new Army Group Vistula to oppose the main Soviet thrusts. This is seen as an extreme insult by members of the German General staff.
1945 January 24 The French First Army takes several crossings over the Ill River in Alsace.
1945 January 25 German forces in East Prussia are cut off and begin evacuations by sea using the cruisers Emden and Hipper, as well as a large number passenger ships and almost the entire remaining surface fleet. Many fall victim to RAF dropped mines and submarines of the Soviet Baltic fleet.
1945 January 26 The Soviets under Marshal Rokossovsky reach the Baltic north of Elbing, completely cutting off the remaining Germans in East Prussia.
1945 January 27 Advancing Soviet troops enter Auschwitz-Birkenau. They find the bodies of 468 dead inmates: Jews, Poles and Gypsies. (Atlas)
(Note: Only about 2,800 people remained alive at Auschwitz. Abandoned by the SS, they had been left behind without food, water, or heat. In storehouses that the SS had failed to destroy, the Soviets discovered 836,255 women's coats and dresses, 368,820 men's suits, and seven tons of human hair.) (Apparatus)
1945 January 27 The Lithuanian port of Memel falls to the Soviets.
1945 January 27 Patton's Third Army crosses the Our River and captures Oberhausen.
1945 January 27 Oscar Schlindler, a German Catholic and member of the Nazi Party, who owns a number of factories in the area, saves 85 Jews from a train at Brünnlitz. They had been locked in their cattle-cars for a week, and more than 20 had already died. Schindler releases the Jews and gives them food and shelter at the risk of his own life. He is later made famous in the award-winning film Schindler's List. (Atlas)
1945 January 28 Katowice is taken by Marshal Konev's forces, and in the north the First Belorussian Front enters German Pomerania.
1945 January 29 Bischofsburg falls to the Soviets.
1945 January 30 Churchill and Roosevelt, with their advisors, meet in Malta to prepare for a meeting with Stalin at Yalta.
1945 January 31 Zhukov's forces reach the Oder River less than 50 miles from Berlin.
1945 January 31 The U.S. First Army enters Germany east of St. Vith and the French First Army gains ground in Alsace near Colmar.
1945 January 31 The Czechoslovakian Government in London recognizes the Lublin Government in Poland.
1945 February 1 The U.S. VI Corps of the Seventh Army crosses the Moder River and advances almost to Oberhofen.
1945 February 2 Churchill and Roosevelt depart Malta for Yalta.
1945 February 2 Jesuit priest Alfred Delp, a convert to Catholicism, is hanged and his ashes scattered in the wind. (Lewy)
1945 February 2 Klaus Bonhöffer (Bonhoeffer) older brother of Dietrich Bonhöffer, is sentenced to death by the German People's Court.
1945 February 3 More than 1,000 American bombers level much of Berlin's city center (the Zentrum).
1945 February 4-12 Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill meet at Yalta in the Crimea. U.S. Secretary of State, Edward R. Stettinius Jr. leads the American delegation and is accompanied by Averell Harriman. The Yalta agreement gives the Soviets almost half of prewar Poland and eastern Europe in general is torn asunder. Stalin is also promised Japan's Kuril Islands and control of Manchuria. Harry Hopkins and Alger Hiss, who is later convicted for denying under oath that he was a Soviet agent, are both deeply involved in negotiations with the Communists. Subsequently millions of people are displaced and disappear into Siberian work camps. Roosevelt and Churchill reply to criticism by saying that Russia has been allowed "to use manpower" as a partial payment of war indemnities.
1945 February 12 Professor von Verschuer informs the general administration of the KWG that the contents of the KWI of Anthropology have been sent by truck from Berlin to the West. Before or after this move, all incriminating documents (correspondence with Dr. Mengele, expert reports, memoranda) are destroyed. (Science)
1945 February13-14 Allied bombing raids on Dresden create a fire storm that kills between 35,000 and 135,000 German civilians. Other sources claim casualties as high as 300,000.
1945 February 13 Budapest falls to the Russians.
1945 February 16 One of the last decrees of the National Socialist regime states that: Anti-Jewish material should be destroyed, "so that it is not captured by the enemy." (Persecution)
1945 February 18 More than 500 Jews, hitherto protected because of their marriages to Christians, are seized throughout Germany and deported to Theresienstadt. (Atlas)
1945 February 19 U.S. forces land on Iwo Jima, an island fortress defended by 23,000 picked soldiers. For 74 consecutive days the Allies have bombarded the island before 30,000 U.S. Marines are sent ashore.
1945 February 22 Operation Clarion begins and the Allies attack targets in Germany with up to 9000 aircraft.
1945 February 23 American GIs reach the peak of Iwo Jima's Mount Suribachi after some of the war's bloodiest fighting.
1945 February Corregidor is retaken by U.S. troops.
1945 March Hitler visits the Oder front. One of the last photos of Hitler is taken during this trip.
1945 March 1 Zhukov's forces in Pomerania breakthrough north of Arnswalde and move toward Kolberg.
1945 March 2 Patton's Third Army captures Trier.
1945 March 2 King Michael of Romania is forced by the Soviets to dismiss his government.
1945 March 3 Some 2,000 Jews evacuated from Gross Rosen concentration camp arrive at Ebensee, one of the satellite camps of Mauthausen. 182 die during the disinfection procedure. (Atlas)
1945 March 3 Finland declares war on Germany.
1945 March 3 Manila is secured by the Americans.
1945 March 5 U.S. troops enter Cologne.
1945 March 6 King Michael appoints a new government dominated by the Romanian Communist Party. This is the first indication since Yalta that Stalin will not honor his assurances about doing nothing to hinder the process of democracy in Eastern Europe.
1945 March 6 The first regiment of the new Romanian Nationalist Army takes a position along the Oder River and is inspected by General Platon Chirnoaga, Minister of Defense in the new Romanian government-in-exile.
1945 March 7 U.S. troops cross the Rhine River at Remagen near Cologne. The Ludendorff Bridge is still standing and it is captured before itsGerman defenders can blow it up.
1945 March 8 Hitler's high command issues orders for the execution of soldiers who surrender without being wounded or desert their units. They were to "be shot at once." In one incident four officers are summarily executed for allowing the Americans to capture the Rhine bridge at Remagen before they could blow it up. (Duffy)
1945 March 9 Several days of U.S. firebomb raids on Tokyo begin.
1945 March 19 Hitler issues a decree ordering that Berlin is to be defended "to the last man and the last round of ammunition." Speer later claims that it was he who had prevented Hitler's "scorched earth" policy from being fully implemented.
1945 March 20 Hitler makes his last appearance in public to award combat decorations to a group of children who had shown special bravery under Russian fire.
1945 Mach 22 Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Yemen form the League of Arab States
1945 March 23 British troops cross the Rhine at Wesel.
1945 March 26 The remaining Japanese troops on Iwo Jima stage a final suicide attack. They are wiped out by the 5th Marine Division and the island is finally secured. Japan has lost almost 21,000 soldiers with only 200 taken prisoner.
1945 March 27 Argentina declares war on Germany.
1945 March 27 The last V2 rockets fall on London. (Eyes)
1945 March 29 The Red Army enters Austria.
1945 April 1 The U.S. makes amphibious landings on Okinawa in the Pacific theater's largest amphibious operation.
1945 April 1 The final Allied offensive in Italy begins.
1945 April 2 Hitler prophesies the world's eternal gratefulness for having instigated the stamping out of the Jews. (Days)
1945 April 4 Kassel (G) is taken by troops from Patton's Third Army.
1945 April 4 American troops discover mass graves in Ohrdruf. 4,000 inmates had been murdered in the previous three months, and hundreds were shot on the eve of the American arrival. Some victims were Jews, others Polish and Russian prisoners of war. General Eisenhower, who visited the camp, was so shocked by the sight of the emaciated corpses that he sent photos to Churchill, who arranged for several Members of Parliament to visit the camp. (Atlas)
1945 April 5 Molotov tells the Japanese Ambassador in Moscow that the Soviet Union is denouncing its 1941 non-aggression pact with Japan, making it possible for the Soviets to take part in the war against Japan. They will wait until August 8, two days after the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan, and its surrender seemed imminent. (Freedman)
1945 April 6 The giant battleship Yamamoto leaves the Japanese Inland Sea on a suicide mission to Okinawa.
1945 April 7 U.S. planes intercept and sink the Yamamoto in the Battle of the South China Sea.
1945 April 8 The Jewish inmates at Buchenwald, many of whom had reached the camp from Auschwitz or Stutthof just three months before, are marched out, leaving the non-Jewish prisoners to await the arrival of the Americans. (Atlas)
1945 April 9 Nordhausen and Dora-Mittelbau (Dora-Nordhausen), where thousands of slave laborers have already died in the underground V-2 plants is liberated by the Americans.
1945 April 9 Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, former head of the Abwehr, General Hans Oster, and Pastor Dietrich Bonhöffer (Bonhoeffer) are hanged at Flossenbuerg concentration camp.
1945 April 9 The Germans begin evacuating Mauthausen concentration camp.
1945 April 10 Hiram J. Perez de Cruet departs Europe by troopship for the United States.
1945 April 10 American Jewish organizations are invited to send representatives to the opening of thwe San Francisco Conference.
1945 April 11 American forces liberate the remaining prisoners at Buchenwald concentration camp, freeing more than 21,000 German, Russian, Polish, Czechoslovakian, French, Italian, and Jewish inmates. 56,549 prisoners have died of starvation, disease, or deliberate sadism during its eight years of operation.
1945 April 12 U.S. forces reach the Elbe River only 60 miles from Berlin. Eisenhower informs Stalin that he is leaving the capture of Berlin to the Soviets. Systematic bombing by Soviet artillery and Allied air power soon reduces the German capital to ruins. The Luftwaffe, with its corps of pilots depleted, its airfields destroyed, and its fuel supply nonexistent, is unable to protect the city.
1945 April 12 President Franklin Roosevelt suddenly dies, reportedly of a massive cerebral hemorrage while vacationing at Warm Springs, Georgia. He is succeeded by Harry S Truman.
1945 April 13 Russian troops enter Vienna.
1945 April 14 Franz von Papen is arrested by the Americans.
1945 April 15 Bergen-Belsen concentration camp is liberated by British forces, who discover the unburied corpses of 10,000 inmates. Most have died of starvation. There had been no food or water for more than five days, and evidence of cannibalism is found. Even after the liberation, an average of 500 die each day of typhus and starvation for more than a week.
1945 April 15 As the Allied armies draw together, 17,000 female inmates and 40,000 men are marched westward by the Germans from Ravenbrück and Sachsenhausen. Many hundreds die of exhaustion and hundreds more are shot by the wayside. (Atlas)
1945 April 16 General Zhukov launches his final attack on Berlin.
1945 April 18 German forces in the Ruhr pocket surrender.
1945 April 18 Field Marshal Walther Model commits suicide.
1945 April 19 Himmler plots to establish a new German government and negotiate an "honorable" peace with the Western Allies.
1945 April 20 The first Russian shells fall on Berlin. Adolf Hitler celebrates his 56th birthday. (Eyes)
1945 April 20 The U.S. Seventh Army captures Nuremberg.
1945 April 21 The last Western air raid strikes Berlin.
1945 April 21 Russian troops enter the outskirts of Berlin.
1945 April 21 Hiram J. Perez de Cruet arrives back in the United States with decorations for combat in the Tunisian, Sicilian, Naples-Foggia, and Rome-Arno campaigns.
1945 April 22 Himmler sends a message to Allies through the Red Cross offering a German surrender, but only to the British or Americans.
1945 April 22 Fewer than 1,000 of Bosnia's 14,000 Jews are still alive at the concentration camp of Jasenovac, near Zagreb. 600 prisoners, Jews and non-Jews, rise up in revolt. 520 are killed, and only 80 escape, including 20 Jews. (Atlas)
1945 April 23 SS guards execute Albrecht Haushofer and a group of antifascist prisoners, including Klaus Bonhöffer (Bonhoeffer), brother of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, outside Lehrterstrasse prison in Moabit during the battle for Berlin.
1945 April 23 Goering sends a message to Hitler offering to take over the leadership of Germany. Hitler, in a fury, orders Goering's immediate arrest.
1945 April 24 Goering is offically removed from all his military and Party offices by Hitler. (Duffy)
1945 April 25 U.S. and Russian troops join-up at Torgau on the Elbe River.
1945 April 25 In southern Germany, French troops stumble across evidence of mass murder and recent killings at four villages in the Swabian Alps and along the Danube. Mass graves are found of Jews evacuated from the east. With typical Gestapo thoroughness, thenames, ages and birthplaces of all the victims had been recorded. The villages were Tuttlingen, Schömberg, Schörzlngen, and Spaichlingen. (Atlas)
1945 April 25 Six Jews are shot by the Gestapo at Cuneo in northern Italy. (Atlas)
1945 April 25 Delegates from 50 nations assemble in San Francisco to endorse the United Nations charter.
1945 April 26 Generals Zhukov and Konev surround Berlin.
1945 April 26 American troops reach the concentration camp at Dachau. Among many others the camp still holds 326 German Catholic priests. A still larger number had passed through the camp, had died in it of starvation and disease, or had been murdered. Soon after Pope Pius XII invoked these and many other acts of persecution to show that the Catholic Church in Germany had strongly resisted the Nazi regime. (Lewy)
(Most other sources, such as Martin Gilbert, state that the Americans didn't liberate Dachau until April 29.) (See April 29)
1945 April 26 The Germans evacuate the last survivors from Stutthof by sea to Lübeck. Hundreds die during the voyage. (Atlas)
1945 April 27 During a death march from Rehmsdorf, a satellite camp of Buchenwald, 1,000 prisoners are killed with machinegun fire and grenades at Marienbad station. Another 1,200 are killed as the march continues toward Theresienstadt, where 500 are killed on arrival. (Atlas)
1945 April 27 The Western Allies reject Himmler's peace proposals.
1945 April 28 The International Red Cross arranges with the SS for the transport of 150 Jewish women from Ravensbrück to Sweden. They are the first of 3,500 Jewish and 3,500 non-Jewish women to be transferred to safety in the last ten days of the war. (Atlas)
1945 April 28 Benito Mussolini and his mistress are killed by Italian partisans near Dongo, Italy. Mussolini is later buried at Predappio, his birthplace.
1945 April 28 Otto Hermann Fegelein, the brother-in-law of Eva Braun and also Himmler's liaison officer in the bunker, is arrested in civilian clothes while preparing to leave the country. He is brought back to Hitler's bunker and is saved only by Eva who pleads for mercy because her sister is pregnant.
1945 April 28 At 9 PM, a BBC report, heard in Hitler's bunker, announces that Himmler has just offered to surrender Germany unconditionally to the Allies.. Hitler now believes Fegelein's attempt to escape is part of Himmler's treachery and within an hour Fegelein is tried and sentenced to death. His body has never been found and the circumstances of his death are still uncertain.
1945 April 28 Just before midnight, Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun are married after a brief ceremony that is officiated by a minor official named Wagner. Only eight guests are allowed to attend: Bormann, the Goebbels and his wife, Gerda Christian, Chief Adjutant Bergdorf, General Krebs, Arthur Axmann, head of the Hitler Youth, and Fraulein Manzialy, the cook.
1945 April 29 At 4 AM, Hitler signs his last political will and testament, which had been quickly typed by Traudl Junge, one of his personal secretaries. Goebbels, Bormann, and Generals Burgdorf and Krebs sign as witnesses. (See Last Will and Testament)
1945 April 29 Russian troops drive toward Hitler's bunker in three main attacks.
1945 April 29 At 6 PM, Hitler announces to his staff that he and his wife, Eva, are going to die unless some miracle intervenes. He then passes out vials of cyanamide.
1945 April 29 German forces in Italy sign an unconditional surrender at Caserta.
1945 April 29 Dachau is liberated by the U.S. 45th Infantry Division. Some 20-30 SS men were said to have been captured. Eyewitnesses said 34 of the 200 guards captured were murdered by the Americans after surrendering. The camp inmates are said to have torn apart 15-20 informers and killed all the Capos, who were described for the most part as common German criminals.
1945 April 29 Thousands of photographs are taken at Dachau, and throughout the following week. Hundreds of bodies still lie in the perimeter ditch and are scattered in the spaces between the huts. Some are so horrible that they have never been reproduced. During the last year of the war about 40,000 inmates perished at Dachau, 80 percent were Jews.
(After the war, Dachau serves as a German prisoner-of-war camp, and during a series of war crimes trials, 260 SS functionaries are sentenced to death.) (Atlas)
1945 April 30 By late morning, the Soviets have overrun the Tiergarten in Berlin, and one advance unit is reported on one of the streets next to Hitler's bunker under the Reich Chancellery.
1945 April 30 Soviet forces enter Ravensbrueck concentration camp north of Berlin. In this one camp 92,000 Jews and non-Jews, mostly women and children, have died in just under two years. (Atlas)
1945 April 30 At 3:00 PM, American forces in Nuremberg discover the tunnel and underground bunker where the spear of Longinus (the Holy Lance) has been hidden to prevent its capture by the Allies.
1945 April 30 At 3:30 PM, Adolf Hitler and his new wife, Eva Braun, are believed to have committed suicide in his private quarters under the Chancellery. Their bodies are said to have been taken above ground by Hitler's aides, quickly burned with gasoline, and buried in a shallow grave.
1945 May The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is revived in Georgia.
1945 May 1 Joseph Goebbels and his wife commit suicide in the garden of the Reich Chancellery after poisoning all six of their young children.
1945 May 1 General Krebs meets with Zhukov in an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate surrender terms for Berlin.
1945 May 1 Martin Bormann disappears. Rumors of his survival flourished after the war, and a number of sightings were reported as recently as the mid 1990's.
1945 May 1 The Russian army secures Berlin.
1945 May 1 As American troops approach Mauthausen concentration camp, the last death marches of World War II begin. More than 30,000 have died in the camp during the last four months. (Atlas)
1945 May 1 Russians troops find the bodies of 1,000 volunteers of Himalayan origin in Berlin wearing German uniforms, but without any papers or identifying badges. Their identities have never been determined. (Pauwels)
1945 May 1 Hamburg radio announces the death of Adolf Hitler, and the appointment of Admiral Doenitz as second Fuehrer of the German Reich.
1945 May 2 A mysterious SS convoy leaves the Berghof (Hitler's Eagle's Nest). Later that night, members of this SS detachment bury several crates and metal boxes at the foot of the Schleigeiss glacier. (Spear)
1945 May 2 Berlin falls to the Red Army
1945 May 2 British Second Army takes Lübeck and Wismar on the Baltic Coast. Canadian forces take Oldenburg.
1945 May 3 Soviet forces have reached the Elbe River west of Berlin and make contact with the U.S. First and Ninth Armies.
1945 May 3 The British XII Corps occupies Hamburg.
1945 May 3 Innsbruck, Austria, falls to the U.S. Seventh Army, while other units advance on Salzburg.
1945 May 4 An SS detachment burns Hitler's Berghof.
1945 May 4 General LeClerc's French 2nd Armored Division enters Berchtesgaden and discovers Hermann Goering's private train, loaded with priceless art objects, on a siding at the railway station. (Secrets)
1945 May 5 The Soviets take Swinemuende and Peenemuende on the Baltic coast.
1945 May 5 The American 101st Airborne Division arrives at Berchtesgaden and removes Goering's art treasures valued at $500 million to a Luftwaffe building in nearby Unterstein. (Secrets)
1945 May 5 German Army Group G surrenders to the Americans at Haar in Bavaria.
1945 May 5 Mauthausen, together with satellite camps at Gunskirchen and Ebensee, are the last concentration camps to be liberated by the Allies. (Mauthausen is liberated by elements of thge U.S.11th Aromored Diviion.) The bodies of 10,000 prisoners are found in a huge communal grave. Of the 110,000 survivors, 28,000 of whom are Jews, 3,000 die after liberation. (Atlas)
1945 May 5 The U.S. War Department announces that 400,000 men will remain in Germany as an occupation force.
1945 May 5 Fighting breaks out in Copenhagen and is brought to an end when British forces arrive by air.
1945 May 5 Elsie Mitchell and five children are killed by a bomb dropped from a Japanese balloon near Lakeview, Oregon.
1945 May 6 Admiral Doenitz issues an order forbidding futher resistance by the SS. Doenitz also writes a letter to Himmler officially relieving him of all his offices and titles. He closes by thanking Himmler for his services to the Reich. (Secrets)
1945 May 6 Aircraft from four British carriers attack Japanese bases between Mergui and Victoria Point in Burma.
1945 May 6 British battleships and cruisers shell Port Blair in the Andaman Islands.
1945 May 7 Admiral Friedeburg and General Jodl sign the unconditional German surrender at Gen. Eisenhower's headquarters in Reims. British, French, and Soviet representatives are also present. All operations are to end at 2301 (11:01PM) on May 8th.
1945 May 7 The U-2336 sinks two merchant ships off the Firth of Forth; the last U-boat casualties of the war.
1945 May 8 VE Day - Victory in Europe Day is celebrated by the British and Americans. Truman, Churchill and King George VI each make special announcements.
1945 May 8 German forces in Prague surrender.
1945 May 8 German Army Group Kurland, long cutoff in Latvia, surrenders to Soviet forces.
1945 May 8 Crown Prince Olaf, accompanied by British and Norwegian troops, lands in Norway.
1945 May 9 The German surrender is ratified in Berlin. Keitel, Friedeburg and Stumpf sign for Germany. Spaatz, Tedder, Zhukov and de Lattre sign for the Allies.
1945 May 9 The last German forces in East Prussia and Pomerania capitulate.
1945 May 9 The Soviets celebrate VE-Day.
1945 May 9 Hermann Goering and General Kesselring surrender to elements of the U.S. Seventh Army.
1945 May 9 Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorff (Rudolf Glauer) is said to have committed suicide by drowning himself in the Bosporus. (Herbert Rittlinger in a letter to Ellic Howe dated June 20, 1968)
1945 May 10 Vidkun Quisling and his supporters are arrested by members of the Norwegian resistance.
1945 May 11 Schoerner's Army Group Center is caught in a pocket near Prague and surrenders to the Soviets.
1945 May 12 Several German units in Yugoslavia continue to fight for a few more days, but the war in Europe is over.
1945 May 13 Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel is dismissed as Chief of the armed forces supreme command (OKW) by Hitler.
1945 May 13 Units of the U.S. 40th Division capture Del Monte airfield on Mindanao in the Philippines.
1945 May 15 Heavy fighting continues on Okinawa.
1945 May 16 The last major surface action of the war takes place between the British and Japanese in the Malacca Straits. The Japanese cruiser Haguro is sunk.
1945 May 18 The U.S. 6th Marine Division takes Sugar Loaf Hill on Okinawa after several days of bitter fighting.
1945 May 20 Heinrich Himmler is captured by British soldiers at Berweverde bridge, 25 miles west of Luneberg.
1945 May 22 President Truman reports to Congress that up to March 1945 Britain has received $12,775,000,000 under the Lend-Lease program. The Soviet Union $8,409,000,000. Reverse Lend-Lease, mostly from Britain, amounted to almost $5,000,000,000 during the same period, Truman says.
1945 May 23 Heinrich Himmler commits suicide with a hidden vial of cyanide while still in British custody.
1945 May 23 Colonel-General Alfred Jodl is dismissed as Chief of the armed forces supreme command (OKW) by Hitler.
1945 May 23 Churchill resigns from office to prepare for a new election in Britain and forms a new caretaker government to hold office until the elections in July.
1945 May 26 Himmler is buried in an unmarked grave in a forest near Luneberg. Its exact location is unknown.
1945 May 26 U.S. Army Intelligence officerss interrogate Hitler's sister Paula at Berchtesgaden. (Waite; Berlin Document Center)
1945 May 27 Units of the U.S. I Corps takes Santa Fe on Luzon. Heavy fighting continues on Mindanao.
1945 May 29 Admiral Ozawa replaces Admiral Toyoda as commander of the Japanese Combined Fleet.
1945 May Ezra Pound is arrested for treason and confined at the Detention Training Center near Pisa, Italy. During Summer and Fall, he writes the Pisan Cantos.
1945 Karl Maria Weisthor (Wiligut) is evicted from his SS guest-house on the Worthersee in Austria by British troops and assigned to an Allied refugee camp at St. Johann near Velden. While there, the 78-year-old Weisthor suffers a stroke which results in partial paralysis and loss of speech. Weisthor, a former SS Brigadier, and his SS housekeeper are released by the British and allowed to return to his old family home in Salzburg (Mund; Roots)
1945 June 5 The Allied Control Commission meets for the first time in Berlin and announces it is assuming the government of Germany.
1945 General Patton is appointed military governor of the State of Bavaria. Patton's outspoken opposition to the official policy of denazification forces his superiors to later relieve him of any real responsibility.
1945 June 8 The Japanese cruiser Ashigara is sunk by a British submarine after evacuating 1200 men from Batavia.
1945 June 12 Many of the Japanese troops on Okinawa's Oruku Peninsula commit suicide to escape capture.
1945 June 14 Units of the U.S. XXIV Corps capture Mount Yagu on Okinawa.
1945 June 16 Mount Yuza on Okinawa is taken by U.S. forces.
1945 June 18 General Simon B. Buckner, commander of the U.S. Tenth Army on Okinawa, is killed by Japanese artillery and replaced by General Joseph Stilwell.
1945 June 18 William Joyce, Lord Haw Haw, is tried for treason in London. He will later be convicted and executed for broadcasting Nazi propaganda from Germany.
1945 June 20 Hiram J. Perez de Cruet is discharged from the U.S. army at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
1945 June 21 The last Japanese HQ on Okinawa is taken by U.S. forces and General Ushijima's body is found nearby.
1945 June 22 Fighting on Okinawa comes to an end. Japanese losses are 120,000 military and 42,000 civilian dead. 12,500 Americans die in the fighting.
1945 June 26 The United Nations Conference ends in San Francisco. It is presided over by Alger Hiss, the Acting Secretary General. The Soviet Union is admitted as a partner, with three seats instead of one as is the case with every other member. The UN charter is signed by representatives of 50 countries.
1945 June 29 Invasion plans for Japan are presented to President Truman and approved. The island of Kyushu is to be attacked on November 1 and Honshu near Tokyo on March 1, 1946.
1945 July 5 General MacArthur announces that the Philippines have been completely liberated. Not only has the Japanese army lost more than 400,000 of its best troops in the campaign, but with the fall of the Philippines, Japan's supply lines are cut.
1945 July 5 The British election is held, but the results will not be released until July 26, because of the time required to bring home and count the soldier's votes.
1945 July 5 Both Britain and the U.S. recognize the new Polish government.
1945 July 10 British and American carrier forces attack the Japanese home islands. Tokyo is attacked by more than 1,000 aircraft.
1945 July 11 The first meeting of the Inter-Allied Council is held in Berlin. The Soviets agree to turn over control of the allocated areas of the city to the British and Americans who have made arrangements to give some of their sectors to the French.
1945 July 14 General Eisenhower announces closure of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) and eases restrictions on fraternization between American soldiers and German civilians.
1945 July 14 50,000 tons of Japanese shipping is sunk in the Tsugaru Straits.
1945 July 16 The first experimental atomic bomb is successfully exploded by the U.S. at Alamagardo, New Mexico.
1945 July 17 The Potsdam Conference (to August 2) - Truman, Churchill and Stalin divide Germany into four zones of Allied occupation. Russia is invited to participate in the war against an already defeated Japan, which only two months before had already offered to negotiate for peace through Moscow. Edward R. Stettinius Jr., the U.S. Secretary of State, and Averell Harriman are both active in the negotiations. In addition, Truman, himself, informs Stalin that the U.S. has just tested an atomic bomb.
1945 July 20 10,000 people attend a rally at Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles to protest Gerald L. K. Smith's racist and antisemitic activities in Southern California.
1945 July 26 Allied leaders at Potsdam demand that Japan must immediately surrender, unconditionally, or face what they call: "utter destruction."
1945 July 26 The British electorate ousts Winston Churchill and replaces him with Clement R. Attlee of the Labour Party. Attlee takes over the Potsdam meetings.
1945 July 26 Charles Lindbergh gives an interview in the offices of the publisher of the Chicago Tribune voicing his opposition to establishment of the United Nations (U.N.).
1945 July 28 The United Nations(U.N.) charter is approved by the U.S. Senate.
1945 July 29/30 The cruiser Indianapolis, returning to the U.S. after delivering the Atom bomb to the Marianas air base, is sunk by the Japanese submarine 1.58.
1945 July 30 A meeting of American nationalists and antisemites in Chicago leads to the formation and establishment of American Action, Inc.
1945 July 31 Pierre Laval surrenders to U.S. forces in Austria and is handed over to the French authorities.
1945 August The United States, Britain, Russia, and France charter an Allied War Crimes Commission and setup a court for war criminals at Nuremberg.
1945 August Eduard Schulte, the man said to have first warned the West about the Holocaust, becomes an important official in the new German central government set up by the Allies. He is recommended or the position by Allen Dulles, head of the OSS in Switzerland. (Silence)
1945 August 2 In Berlin, President Harry S Truman, Joseph Stalin, and Prime Minister Clement Attlee of Britain establish a new de facto western frontier for Poland along the Oder and Neisse Rivers.
1945 August 6 The first atom bomb is dropped by the Enola Gay, a B-29, on the Japanese army base at Hiroshima.This single bomb destroys almost three-fifths of the city and kills an estimated 80,000 people.
1945 August 8 President Truman signs the UN Charter, making the U.S. the first nation to ratify its signature.
1945 August 8 The Soviet Union declares war on Japan and begins several attacks on the Japanese in Manchuria.
1945 August 9 The U.S. drops a second and more powerful atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, leaving the city in ruins, and killing an estimated 40,000 people.
1945 August 9 Japanese defense lines in Manchuria are smashed by Soviet forces numbering almost 1.5 million.
1945 August 10 Japanese radio stations announce that a message has been sent accepting the terms of the Potsdam Declaration provided this "does not compromise any demand that prejudices the prerogatives of the Emperor as sovereign ruler."
1945 August 11 The Allies inform Japan that the Imperial authority would be subject to the Supreme Commander of Allied Powers in the occupation force.
1945 August 12 Japanese leaders choose not to accept the Allied demand which amounts to unconditional surrender.
1945 August 13 An air raid on Tokyo destroys scores of Japanese aircraft while still on the ground.
1945 August 14 Kumagaya and several other targets northwest of Tokyo are bombed in the last air raid of the war.
1945 August 14 Emperor Hirohito orders an end to the war and then records a radio message saying that the Japanese people must "Bear the unbearable."
1945 August 14 During the night a group of Japanese officers attack the Imperial Palace in an unsuccessful attempt to steal the Emperor's radio announcement and prevent its broadcast.
1945 August 15 VJ Day (Victory over Japan). Emperor Hirohito announces the surrender of Japan. For the first time in history, the emperor of Japan makes a personal radio broadcast to the people of Japan.
1945 August 15 Pope Pius XII, in a letter to the Bavarian bishops, pays tribute to "those millions of Catholics, men and women of every class" who loyal to their bishops, had fought against the demonic powers that ruled Germany. (Wuestenberg and Zabkar; Lewy)
1945 August 16 The U.S.S.R. and Poland sign a treaty delimiting the Soviet-Polish frontier. Poland is shifted westward. In the east it loses 69,860 square miles; in the west it gains (subject to final peace-conference approval) 38,986 square miles.
1945 August 16 Prince Norukiko Higashi-Kuni forms a new government and Emperor Hirohito orders a cease-fire to all Japanese troops.
1945 August 20 The U.S. War Production Board removes most of its controls on manufacturing activity. The U.S. quickly coverts to a peacetime economy.
1945 August 21 President Truman orders an immediate end to the Lend-Lease Program.
1945 August 22 The Japanese Kwantung Army in Manchuria surrenders to the Soviets.
1945 August 27 The Allied fleets anchor in Tokyo Bay.
1945 August 28 The principal speaker of the evening at a meeting of American Action at the Clark Hotel in Los Angeles tells guests and members that Jews, international bankers and Jewish Communist immigrants from Russia had acquired almost complete control of American business, government and labor.
1945 August 30 Rudolf Hess is one of the first twenty-two German defendants charged as war criminals. (Children)
1945 September 2 Japan formally surrenders aboard the US battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay. (September 1 in the U.S.)
1945 September 12 The Japanese forces in Southeast Asia surrender to Admiral Mountbatten in Singapore.
1945 October General Patton is relieved of his post as the military governor of Bavaria, allegedly, for failing to remove former Nazi officials from the local government.
1945 October 2 Pope Pius XII declares that totalitarianism cannot satisfy "the vital exigencies of any human community" since "it allows the state power to assume an undue extension" and forces "all legitimate manifestations of life -- personal, local and professional -- into a mechanical unity or collectivity under the stamp of nation, race or class." (Lewy)
1945 October 8 Rudolf Hess arrives in Nuremberg.
1945 October 15 Pierre Laval, who had been returned to France and tried for treason in a hostile court, is executed after an abortive suicide attempt.
1945 October 24 The United Nations (U.N.) Charter comes into force with just 29 signatories at this point. The organization's stated purposes are to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war," develop friendly relations among states, cooperate in solving international economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian problems, and promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
1945 October 24 Vidkun Quisling is executed by a firing squad in Norway.
1945 November 20 Nuremberg Trials begin for 22 of the most important accused German war criminals. The defendants include Hess, Goering and Speer.
1945 November 20 Alfred Naujocks, SS secret-service veteran and member of the SD, signs a sworn affidavit stating that Reinhard Heydrich had personally ordered him to fake a Polish attack on the German radio station at Gleiwitz on the German-Polish border on August 31, 1939. Hitler, he said, planned to use this faked attack as his public justification for attacking Poland. (Shirer I)
1945 Winter Ezra Pound is forcibly returned to the U.S. to stand trial for treason. (See May 1943 and February 1946)
1945 December 9 General George S. Patton is injured in a car-truck collision near Mannheim, Germany.
1945 December 21 General Patton dies from his injuries in a hospital at Heidelberg, Germany, and is buried in Luxembourg. His memoirs, "War As I Knew it," is published posthumously in 1947.
1945 December A Republican citizen's committee in Whittier, California, approaches Richard Nixon as a candidate for Congress in the 12th Congressional District. Nixon accepts.
1945 December After a brief stay at his old family home in Salzburg, Karl Maria Weisthor (Wiligut) and his housekeeper, Elsa Baltrush, travel to Arolsen, Germany, home of the Baltrush family. The journey proves too much for the old man and he is hospitalized upon arrival.
1945 The U.S. Treasury Department accuses Allen Dulles of laundering money from the Nazi Bank of Hungary into Switzerland. The Charges are later dropped by the U.S. State Department.