1944 Konrad Morgen, a 34-year-old SS magistrate, brings 800 cases of corruption and murder in the concentration camps to trial. 200 will result in sentences and the commandants of camps at Buchenwald and Majdanek, among others, are executed.
1944 Early in 1944, Gregor Schwartz-Bostunitsch and his private library of 40,000 anti-Jewish and conspiracy theory books, the heart of a proposed "institute for conspiracy study" are evacuated from Berlin to Schloss Gneisenau at Erdmannsdorf (Riesengebirge) in Silesia for safekeeping. Later in the year, Bostunitsch is promoted to SS-Standartenfuehrer (colonel) upon the personal recommendation of Heinrich Himmler. (Roots)
1944 January In Switzerland, Han Bernd Gisevius and his Abwehr associate Eduard Waetjen begin supplying Dulles with information about the German resistence's plans for a coup against Hitler. (Silence)
1944 January 3 The Red Army reaches the former Polish border.
1944 January 22 The American VI Corps lands 50,000 troops at Anzio between the German Gustav Line to the south and Rome 33 miles to the north, but fails to break the stalemate. The assault troops consist of U.S. 3rd Infantry Division, U.S. Rangers, paratroops, and a British division.
1944 January 26 Himmler makes an address to more than 260 high-ranking army and navy officers in Posen. Himmler tells them that Hitler, himself, had given him the mission to exterminate the Jews. "I can assure you," Himmler told them, "the Jewish question has been solved. Six million have been killed." According to an eyewitness, all, but five officers, applauded enthusiastically. (Toland )
1944 January 27 The Soviet Army relieves Leningrad after the German siege which has lasted 890 days. Since September 1941 the people of Leningrad had withstood German artillery and air bombardment. More than 200,000 of them had been killed in the siege; half a million more die from cold, starvation, fatigue and exhaustion.
1944 January 29 Cardinal Bertram writes to the Government that he has received reports that the ordinances enacted for the Jews are now to be applied to the Mischlinge (half-Jews and quarter-Jews). These Christians, he writes, have already been declared unworthy of military service, could not attend institutions of higher learning, etc. Now one hears that they are to be conscripted into special formations for labor service. "All these measures," he continues, aim clearly at segregation which in the end threatens extermination." The Mishlinge were German and Christians, he says, and always rejected by the Jews. "The German Catholics indeed numerous Christians in Germany," Bertram warns, "would be deeply hurt if these fellow Christians now would have to meet a fate similar to that of the Jews." (Bundesarchiv, Koblenz; Lewy)
1944 January 31 U.S. amphibious landings begin in the Marshall Islands.
1944 January 31 Dr. Ritter mentions 23,822 "conclusively 'clarified' Gypsy cases"; in a report to the DFG (the German Association for Scientific Research). (Science)
1944 February Hitler abolishes the Abwehr (German army intelligence). Its head, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris was later arrested and executed as a traitor. Some historians believe he was a double, possibly triple agent.
1944 February 1 The Times of Londons discloses that the last will and testament of Austrian-born Sir Henry Strakosch had converted "interest free" loans to Winston Churchill and Lord Simon into gifts. Simon had received 10,000 pounds, and Churchill twice as much. Strakosch was a multimillionaire who made his fortune in gold mining in South Africa. (Missing Years)
1944 February 1 The first of 40,000 Americans land on Kwajaleinl. Within a week the atoll is taken, and more than 8,000 Japanese troops are killed.
1944 February 3 Another trainload of Jews leaves Paris for Auschwitz. It is the 67th such deportation in almost two years. Of 1,214 deported only 26 survive the war. (Atlas)
1944 February 17 An air armada from U.S. carriers attack on the Japanese naval base of Truk in the Caroline Islands. About 250 enemy planes and 200,000 tons of Japanese merchant shipping are destroyed, and Truk itself is rendered useless.
1944 February 29 U.S. forces land on the Admiralty Islands.
1944 March With the rapid advance of Soviet forces westward, the Germans begin a systematic evacuation of all concentration and slave labor camps.
1944 March 2 Generalfeldmarschall und Oberbefehlshaber West Hugo Sperrle issues the famous 'Sperrle orders', which state that, if partisans attack German armed forces, drastic measures can be taken on the spot. (Translation of 'Sperrle Orders.')
1944 March 7 In Warsaw, the historian Emanuel Ringelblum, who had struggled to collect and preserve as much material as possible about the Warsaw ghetto, and who had managed to hide in "Aryan" Warsaw after the revolt, is discovered by the Gestapo, and together with his family, is tortured and killed. (Atlas)
1944 March 8 The Japanese mount an offensive in Burma.
1944 March 9 Professor Hallervorden writes to Professor Nitsche, the organizer of euthanasia at that time: "I have received 697 brains in all, including those which I took out myself in Brandenburg." (Science)
1944 March 11 300 Jewish women and children from Dalmatia, who have been interned at Gospic, are deported to the Croat concentration camp at Jasenovac. None survive. The men have already been deported to the Sajmiste death camp near Belgrade. (Atlas)
1944 March 12 Bishop Frings again emphasizes that it is wrong to kill innocents just because they belong to another race, but once again he fails to mention the word "Jew" or "non-Aryan." (Lewy)
1944 March 15 German authorities in Greece begin a systematic search for 10,000 Jews Greek Jews. 5,000 are soon caught and deported to Auschwitz. (Atlas)
1944 March 16 On the 700th anniversary of the burning of the Cathars at Montsegur, Hitler makes a speech during which he declares that "mankind undergoes a spiritual renewal every 700 years."
1944 March 19-22 Hitler sends German troops into Hungary and forces the establishment of a more compliant government. Suddenly more than 750,000 Jews, who previously had seemed relatively safe from Nazi terror and deportation, come under Nazi domination. (Atlas)
1944 March 20 Professor von Verschuer sends a progress report to the DFG. He writes: "My assistant, Dr. Mengele, has joined this part of the research as a collaborator. He is employed as an SS-Captain and camp doctor in the concentration camp of Auschwitz. With the approval of the Reichsfuehrer-SS (Himmler), anthropological studies have been carried out on the very diverse racial groups in this camp, and blood samples have been sent to my laboratory for processing." (Science)
1944 March 20 The death camp at Majdanek is evacuated. The sick are sent to Auschwitz for immediate gassing. Able-bodied men are sent to Gross Rosen, and women are sent to Ravensbrück and Natzweiler. (Atlas)
1944 March 22 At the Koldyczewo slave labor camp, 10 SS guards are killed, and hundreds of prisoners escape. (Atlas)
1944 March 29 Russian troops enter Romania.
1944 March 30 Hitler dismisses Manstein and Kleist from their commands of Army Groups North and South Ukraine. Model takes over from Manstein and Schoerner replaces Kleist.
1944 March 31 The RAF loses 96 of 795 planes taking part in a raid on Nuremberg. They are said to be the worst losses suffered by the RAF during the entire war.
1944 Spring Himmler orders SS magistarte Konrad Morgen to cease all further investigations into the concentration camps and their personnel, unless specifically ordered to do so by Himmler himself.
1944 April A direct rail spur is built to Birkenau (Auschwitz II). It runs almost to the gates of two of the four gas chambers. (Atlas)
1944 April 4 An American reconnaissance plane flies over Auschwitz, photographing the I.G. Farben synthetic rubber (Buna) plant at Monowitz. Both the plant and the nearby main camp are clearly visible, but the gas chambers at Birkenau are not recognized for what they really are. (Apparatus)
1944 April 15 Tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews are forced to leave their homes, and move into specially designated ghetto areas. (Atlas)
1944 April 15 Giovanni Gentile, the self-proclaimed philosopher of Italian Fascism and the major figure in the rise of Hegelian thought in Italy, dies.
1944 April 15 A group of prisoners, assigned the task of destroying evidence of mass murder at Ponary, try to escape. 25 are killed outright, 15 got away. Five days later, the remaining 40 members of the unit are killed. (Atlas)
1944 April 17 Dr. Max Josef Metzger, a Catholic priest, longtime pacifist, and founder of the Una Sancta movement is executed for having "seditious" contacts with the Bishop of Upsala in Sweden. (Lewy)
1944 May The German army estimates 5.16 million Russian prisoners of war have been captured since 1941. Fewer than 1.8 million are still alive.
1944 May 7 Rudolf Hess voluntarily agrees to be injected with Evipan, a proprietary brand of the so-called "truth drug," Pentothal (sodium Thiopental). Hess convinces the doctors, including Dr. Dicks, that he is suffering from profound amnesia. (Missing Years)
1944 May 12 President Roosevelt writes to King Peter of Yugoslavia politely ordering him to dismiss General Draza Mihailovich, the legendary hero of the Yugoslavian resistance, as Minister of National Defense, and to replace him with Josip Broz (Tito), the Communist leader.
1944 May 15 The deportations of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz begins. By the end of June, a total of 381,000 Jews have been deported to Auschwitz, including more than 289,000 from Ruthenia and northern Transylvania. (Atlas)
1944 May 15 869 Jews are deported from Paris to Proyanovska slave labor camp near Kovno. There, 160 are shot, and the rest are evacuated six weeks later. Only 15 survive the war. (Atlas)
1944 May 18 The Allies overrun Cassino and link up with the Anzio forces a week later. The Fifth Army then advances 75 miles toward Rome.
1944 May 19 Eight civilians are shot at Natzweiler concentration camp in Alsace. Numerous Jewish and non-Jewish women active in the French resistance, and many Russian and Polish prisoners were shot in this camp. (Atlas)
1944 May 21 The Gestapo imprisons all 260 Jews of the city of Canea, Crete, and 5 families from Rethymnon.(Atlas)
1944 June Chelmno (Kulmhof) resumes operations and by August, an additional 7,000 Jewish victims have been killed. (Days)
1944 June Professor H. F. K. Günther declares his readiness to speak on "The encroachment of Jewry on the cultural life of the nation" at an "Anti-Jewish Congress" to convene in Cracow. Alfred Rosenberg is scheduled to speak on "Biological humanism." (This congress never took place due to the war situation.) (Science)
1944 June 3 Another 496 Jews from Holland are transported to Auschwitz.
1944 June 4 The U.S. Fifth Army enters Rome, making it the first European capital to be liberated by the Allies.
1944 June 5 King Victor Emmanuel is forced to relinquish power in Italy to his son, Prince Humbert.
1944 June 5 Churchill, before going to bed on the evening of June 5th tells his wife: "Do you realize that by the time you wake up in the morning twenty thousand men may have been killed?" He was also unhappy about the pre-invasion bombing of France but accepted the arguments of the Americans that it was necessary to limit the losses and perhaps the success of the invasion. (Churchill Center)
1944 June 6 D-DAY - the Allies land at Normandy on the French coast. From the air and from a fleet of about 4,000 ships, the Allies storm ashore in what is called Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious operation in history. More than 11,000 Allied aircraft operate over the invasion area while more than 150,000 troops quickly disembark.
1944 June 6 The imprisoned Jews of Crete, 400 Greek hostages, and 300 Italian prisoners-of-war are put on a ship at Heraklion and sent 120 miles across the Aegean Sea, where the ship is deliberately sunk. All prisoners on board are drowned. Only seven Jews from Crete survive the war, in hiding. (Atlas)
1944 June 6 All 1,800 Jews on the island of Corfu, in the Ionian Sea, are seized by the Gestapo. (Atlas)
1944 June 7 SS-Panzerdivision Das Reich recieves orders to immediately proceed to Normandy.
1944 June 8 Hiram J. Perez de Cruet has his photo taken at Foto Luxardo in Rome.
1944 June 8 SS-Panzerdivision Das Reich harassed from all sides by French partisans, finds numerous roads blocked. The French partisans launch a massive attack on the German garrison of Tulle. SS-Aufklärungsabteilung 2 (Wulf) raced to the besieged German troops.
1944 June 9 German troops recapture Tulle. Waffen-SS soldiers find the bodies of 62 dead German soldiers, 20 others were never accounted for. In view of the 'Sperrle Orders' (see March 2), the SS soldiers hang 99 suspected partisans from lampposts and balconies.
1944 June 10 Churchill, Smuts, Brooke, General Marshall and Admiral King cross the Channel and are met by Montgomery. After a beach welcome they drive through "our limited but fertile domain in Normandy." They lunch on the lawn at Montgomery's headquarters, looking towards the front which was only three miles away.
Note: Churchill inquired about the chances of German armour breaking up their lunch. Montgomery acknowledged that the chateau had indeed taken a pounding the night before. (Churchill Center)
1944 June 10 The Germans kill more than 600 French villagers at Oradour-sur-Glane. Women and children are burned alive in the church, and the men are machine-gunned, as a reprisal against the killing of an SS army commander by a resistance sniper in another village. Seven of the victims are Jews who had been hiding among the villagers. (Atlas)
Note: The Germans later claimed the fire had accidentially spread to the church where ammunition hidden in the roof caused it to burn very rapidly, trapping the women and children inside. Read the pro-German account.
1944 June 10 Professor Eugen Fischer accepts the chairmanship of a workshop at the "Anti-Jewish Congress" to be convened in Cracow: "Dear Reichsminister! That you intend to create a scientific front line for the defense of European culture against the influence of Jewry, and to call together for that purpose scientists from all the nations fighting Jewry, seems to me a very good idea and absolutely necessary, if I may allow myself to express such opinions... I am delighted to accept your invitation to attend this congress..." (See June 1944) (Science)
1944 June 13 Just 7 days after D-Day, Hitler orders the release of the first V-1 rockets, or "buzz bombs," from bases along the French coast in the Pas de Calais sector. These robot bombs reach speeds of 400 mph on a predetermined course aimed a London. RAF pilots quickly learned to shoot them down. (V-1's kill nearly 6,000 Londoners, injuring 40,000, and destroying more than 75,000 homes.)
1944 June 13 Men from the slave labor camps at Auschwitz are transferred to Mauthausen. (Atlas)
1944 June 14 All 1,800 Jews of the island of Corfu are deported for "resettlement" in Poland. (Atlas)
1944 June 15 U.S. forces land on Saipan in the Marianas.
1944 June 17 Hitler flies to France to meet with Rommel and Rundstedt near Margival, 300 miles from the front. Rommel ties to convince Hitler that the war is lost, telling him that the Allies will soon break through in Normandy, and nothing can stop them from advancing into Germany. Hitler tells Rommel, "It is not your privilege to worry about the future of the war!" (Payne; Duffy)
1944 June 19 U.S. forces under Admiral Nimitz defeat a Japanese fleet in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the biggest carrier engagement of the war. U.S. planes destroy more than 350 Japanese aircraft in what came to be known as "the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot."
1944 June 27 American infantry captures Cherbourg, giving the Allies a major port for the flow of men and supplies.
1944 June 29 1,600 of the 1,800 Jews of Corfu are gassed shortly after their arrival at Auschwitz. The rest are forced into slave labor. (Atlas)
1944 June 29 20,000 Jewish women are evacuated from the slave labor camps at Auschwitz to Stutthof. That spring, the Germans had started building 60 new slave labor camps in the area, to replace those already overrun by the Soviets. (Atlas)
1944 June 30 1,153 Jews are deported from Paris to Auschwitz.
1944 Summer Dr. Mengele begins having his Jewish slave-assistant, Dr. Nyiszli, send large quantities of scientific material to Professor von Vershuer at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology in Berlin. This material includes eyes from murdered Gypsies, internal organs from murdered children, the skeletons of two murdered Jews, and sera from twins infected with typhoid by Dr. Mengele. (Science)
1944 July Soviet troops approach Shauliai, Kovno, Vilna and Lublin. Many Jewish partisans are active behind the lines. (Atlas)
1944 July 1-22 The Bretton Woods Conference, officially called the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, meets at Bretton Woods, N.H. It is attended by delegates from 44 states and nations. This conference provides the foundations for the postwar international monetary system and establishes both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
1944 July 2 The SS takes the last 3,000 Jews of Vilna, laborers in a factory, and murders them at Ponary. Thousands are killed in Shauliai and Kovno. Thousands more are evacuated to labor camps near Stutthof and Dachau. (Atlas)
1944 July 4 More than 2,800 Jews from the Papa region of Hungary are deported to Auschwitz. (Atlas)
1944 July 8 The Hungariangovernment orders an immediate halt to the deportation of Hungarian Jews. The Germans give way, and 300,000 Jews, most of them in Budapest awaiting deportation, are saved. 437,000 Hungarian Jews had already been deported. (Atlas)
1944 July 9 Hitler rejects Rommel's urgent request to withdraw his troops in Normandy, in order to regroup.
1944 July 9 Raoul Wallenberg arrives in Budapest. His nominal role is as an attache for the Swedish legation, but he is in Budapest primarily at the instigation of the War Refugee Board, a new U.S. government agency established to help Jewish victims. He quickly begins issuing safe conduct passes. (Apparatus)
1944 July 9 German Army Group North is cut off in the Baltic.
1944 July 9 Hitler returns to the Wolf's Lair from Obersalzberg.
1944 July 11 Colonel Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg brings a bomb to Berchtesgaden, and although he is with Hitler and Goering for more than half an hour, he does not release the bomb because Himmler is not present. (Children)
1944 July 15 Stauffenberg takes a bomb to a meeting in Rastenburg. Himmler and Goering are not present and Hitler leaves before the bomb can be planted. (Children)
1944 July 18 The U.S. First Army fights its way into the village of St.-Lo, France.
1944 July 18 British and Canadian troops cross the Orne River at Caen and drive toward the south.
1944 July 20 Colonel Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg attempts to assassinate Hitler at the Wolf's Lair, his East Prussian headquarters. The bomb explodes only a few feet from Hitler, but only slightly wounds him. This stroke of luck only strengthens Hitler's conviction that fate wants him to continue his struggle to the very end.
1944 July 21 Hundreds of suspected plotters in the assassination attempt, and their families, are arrested throughout Europe. Within two months the Gestapo arrested more than 7,000 suspects, and "people's courts" sentence 4,980 to death. (Children)
1944 July 21 General Franz Halder is arrested by the Gestapo. He will be held in several different concentration camps until released by the Allies in 1945. (Duffy)
1944 July Following the plot against Hitler, Goebbels is named "General Plenipotentiary for the Mobilization of Total War." (Goebbels)
1944 July 22 As Russian troops approach Lublin and the nearby death camp at Majdanek, the Germans march 1,200 Jews westward toward Kielce, where 180 are murdered. The survivors are sent by train to Auschwitz, where 200 more are gassed on arrival. (Atlas)
1944 July 23 Soviet forces enter Majdanek. The SS now begins accelerating evacuations from Auschwitz, yet deportation trains from France and Belgium, as well as Radom, continue to be sent to Auschwitz. (Atlas)
1944 July 23 1,700 Jews from the island of Rhodes and 120 from the island of Kos are sent to Auschwitz and its gas chambers, as more and more "death marches" away from the camp are ordered. (Atlas)
1944 July 25 The U.S. First Army breaks through the German lines between Caen and Saint Lo, and out of the Normandy beachhead.
1944 July 29 The Germans begin a "death march" evacuation of 3,250 slave laborers from Warsaw. (Atlas)
1944 July 31 General Patton's Third Army storms through the gap in the German lines and captures Avranches.
1944 July 31 1,300 Jews are deported from Drancy to Auschwitz. Among them are more than 300 Jewish orphans seized in Paris between July 20 and 24. (Atlas)
1944 August SS officer Adolf Eichmann informs Himmler that six million Jews have already been killed: 4 million in the camps, 2 million in mobile gassing operations.
1944 August 1 In Pisa, Italy, Germans murder Catholic philanthropis Pardo-Roques and six Jews he has been sheltering. (Atlas)
1944 August 1 The Polish uprising in Warsaw, generally known as the Warsaw Uprising, is begun by the underground anti-German resistance movement, as elements of the Soviet army approach the city. The Germans kill tens of thousands of Poles while, the Soviet army remains inactive at the city gates until October 2, when the rebellion collapses.
(The Warsaw Uprising was led by anti-Communist, General Tadeusz Komorowski, and supported by the Polish government-in-exile in London.)
1944 August 3 Of the total of 20,943 Gypsies registered as prisoners in Auschwitz, the last 2,897 are sent to the gas chambers. 3,461 had been transferred to other camps, while all the others died in Auschwitz from starvation, infectious disease, or by gassing. (Science)
1944 August 4 A daring attack by American tank forces cuts off the Germans on the Brittany Peninsula.
1944 August 4 The Germans evacuate 3,000 Jewish slave laborers by train from Warsaw to Dachau. More than 1,000 die during the five-day trip. (Atlas)
1944 August 5-6 Hitler and Ion Antonescu hold their last meeting.
1944 August 6-30 70,000 Jews from Lodz, the last of the "working" ghettos, are sent to Auschwitz. (Atlas)
1944 August 9 The XV Corps, on the left flank of the Third Army, pushes east to capture Le Mans, then north toward Argentan.
1944 August 12 Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., eldest son of former U.S. Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, is killed when his PB4Y1 bomber, the Zootsuit Black, literally a flying bomb, loaded with 21,170 pounds of dynamite, explodes over the English Channel during a secret mission against German V-2 sites.
1944 August 15 The American Seventh Army invades the South of France in "Operation Anvil." American infantry divisions from Italy make the attack aided by American paratroops as well as British and French units. Knifing through weak German defenses, the Seventh Army races up the Rhone Valley toward Germany. German troops in all of western France are now threatened with isolation by the Allied pincer.
1944 August 17 The American XV Corps and the Canadian 1st Army trap the German 7th Army in a pocket between Argentan and Falaise.
1944 August 17 Hitler replaces Field Marshal von Kluge, and Field Marshal Walter Model takes command of the Western Front.
1944 August 18 Field Marshal Kluge commits suicide after writing an apologetic letter to Hitler.
1944 August 19 General Eisenhower changes his mind and decides not to bypass Paris after receiving word of an uprising in the city. He orders in the Second Free French Armored Division, supported by U.S. troops.
1944 August 20 American B-17 bombers make a raid near Auschwitz during the first of four attacks on I.G. Farben's plant at Monowitz, only a few miles east of the gas chambers. (Apparatus)
1944 August 20 A great Russian offensive begins in Moldavia.
1944 August 20 Paris is surrounded by the Allies.
1944 August 21 Allied representatives meet at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington to discuss plans for postwar security. American, British, Soviet, and Chinese representatives lay the basis for future discussions leading to the foundation of the United Nations. Meetings will continue until October. Edward Stettinius, Jr., leads the American delegation.
1944 August 22 The defeat of Falaise-Argentan breaks the back of the Nazi defenses in France. The Allies capture more than 100,000 prisoners.
1944 August 23 Ion Antonescu and his foreign ministers are summoned by King Michael. They are kidnapped in the palace and delivered to a Communist agent named Bodnaras. King Michael makes a radio broadcast announcing that an armistice has been signed with the Russian command and orders the Romanian Army to cease all resistance. No armistice has been signed, and sixteen Romanian divisions are deceived into surrendering. They are quickly transported to prison camps in Russia and Siberia. (Sturdza)
1944 August 24 Horia Sima now in Germany begins the formation of a Romanian National Army composed of all Romanian volunteers then in Germany and those who could escape and join them.
1944 August 25 Paris falls to the Allies. Destruction is minimal, due primarily to the efforts of the German commandant, General Dietrich von Choltitz, who disobeys Hitler's orders to "fight to the last man" and "raze the city."
1944 August 25 The Romanian goverment declares war on Germany.
1944 August 26 The great Rothschild Mansion in Paris is discovered to contain almost all of its original art and furnishings--untouched after five years of occupation as Luftwaffe headquarters in Paris and numerous visits by Hermann Goering. (Cowles)
1944 August 26 During a Slovak revolt, a Jewish battalion, as well as hundreds of individual Jews, take part in the capture of three major towns. (Atlas)
1944 August 28 Hundreds of Jews die when the Germans evacuate slave labor camps in Estonia by sea. (Atlas)
1944 August 29 The Soviets and the Polish Communists jointly announce they have discovered that the Germans have killed 1.5 million people in the concentration camp at Majdanek (Maidanek). This is the first in a series of such announcements.
1944 August 30 A new Romanian regime declares war on Germany.
1944 August 30 General de Gaulle's Provisional Government in Paris.
1944 August 31 Russian troops enter Bucharest and soon occupy all of Romania. Since no armistice has been signed, the Russians behave as if on enemy territory -- raping, plundering, looting and murdering the civilian population.
1944 August 31 Natzweiler concentration camp in Alsace is liberated. At least 25,000 prisoners, Jews and non-Jews had died there of starvation, ill-treatment, murder or execution. (Atlas)
1944 Autumn General Kazimierz Sosnkowski, Supreme Commander of the Polish troops fighting on the Western Front tells his soldiers that "Poland entered the war four years earlier because of the urging of Great Britain." At Churchill's insistence, General Sosnkowski is relieved of his command. (Sturdza)
1944 September The deportation of Jews from Slovakia begins once again (sSee Spring and Summer 1942). (Hilberg)
1944 September 2 Professor C. Schneider writes in a letter about the reverses which his research proiect has suffered: "The people in Eichberg... maintain that they knew nothing of our experiments being continued, even though one of our collaborators had been going there from time to time... so, I have to reckon with the fact that only half the idiots whom we have investigated here will be available to us for a full examination." (Science)
1944 September 3 The British capture Brussels.
1944 September 3-4 Some 3,000 more Jews are deported from Westerbork in Holland on two separate trains. Anne Frank, who has since become world-famous because of her diaries written in Amsterdam during the German occupation, is aboard one of these trains. Her parents had brought her to Holland as a refugee from Germany before the war. She later dies in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. (Atlas)
1944 September 8 Bulgaria accepts an armistice and declares war on Germany.
1944 September 8 The V-2, a far heavier and more deadlier supersonic rocket, is put into action by the Germans. From its bases in the Low Countries, the V-2 with speeds of 5,600 km/h (3,500 mph) buried its 1-ton warhead into the ground before violently exploding. More than 1,000 V-2s will fall on England, and about 500 hit London, causing 10,000 casualties. Many are also directed at Antwerp.
1944 September 11 British troops enter Holland.
1944 September 11 The American Seventh Army joins up with the U.S. Third Army near Dijon.
1944 September The Germans leave Istanbul. Baron Sebottendorff, founder of the Thule Society, who has been working for German Intelligence, is given funds to support himself for a year. (Rittlinger; Roots)
1944 September 13 American B-24s attacking the I.G. Farben plant at Monowitz accidentally drop several bombs inside the main camp at Auschwitz, destroying a barracks, killing 15 SS men and injuring 28. A cluster of bombs is also mistakenly dropped farther west at Birkenau, damaging the railroad but missing the crematoria. (Apparatus)
1944 September 13 An armistice is signed in Moscow between Romania and the Soviets, three weeks after ithad been falsely announced by the King. It is essentially an unconditional capitulation and puts Romania entirely in the hands of the Soviets.
1944 September 15 U.S. troops enter Germany.
1944 September 16 Hitler decides on a counteroffensive in the West. The Eastern Front is far too vast, Hitler says, and the Russians much too superior in number for such an operation to succeed. Chances are much better in the West.
1944 September 17 Operation Market-Garden, an Allied airborne operation to seize river crossings in Holland, begins.
1944 September 19 Finland signs an armistice with the Allies.
1944 September 19 As Soviet forces approach Klooga, in Estonia, the Germans kill almost all of the 3,000 surviving slave laborers, including 1,500 Jews from Vilna, 800 Soviet prisoners-of-war, and 700 Estonian political prisoners. Only 85 inmates survive. (Atlas)
1944 September 20 The U.S. 82nd and 101st divisions of the First Allied Airborne Army cross the Rhine River in the Nijmegen-Arnhem area.
1944 September 25 The U.S. 82nd and 101st divisions are driven back across the Rhine.
1944 September 28-29 4,000 Jews from Theresienstadt are sent to Auschwitz on two separate trains. Almost all are gassed, including all the old people and children. (Atlas)
1944 October Almost 9,000 Jews are sent from Slovakia to Auschwitz during October in reprisal for the Slovak revolt.
1944 October 1-30 More than 18,000 Jews from Theresienstadt are sent to Auschwitz. (Atlas)
1944 October 2 The Warsaw Uprising collapses. Virtually the entire remaining population of Warsaw is deported by the Germans to forced labor or concentration camps and the city is systematically razed. The Soviet army then resumes its offensive,
1944 October 7 A Jewish revolt breaks out at Auschwitz. Recently arrived Jews from Poland, Hungary and Greece, who are being forced to drag bodies from the gas chambers to the crematoria, having secretly obtain explosives from four Jewish girls working in a nearby munitions factory, blow up one of the four crematoria. All are killed, except for one man, who later starves to death at Ebensee. (Atlas)
1944 October 11 The veteran 1st U.S. Infantry Division of the First Army enters the outskirts of Aachen. Hitler's has ordered Aachen's defenders to resist to the last man.
1944 October 14 Field Marshal Rommel is forced to commit suicide.
1944 October 15 As Allied forces approach Strasbourg, Himmler orders the Anatomical Institute to destroy its collection of Jewish skulls and skeletons, but many related documents survive the war. (See June 21, 1943)
1944 October 19 Alfred Naujocks deserts to the Americans and at Nuremberg the following year gives a number of sworn affidavits. In one he gives his account of the "faked incident" at Gleiwitz on the evening of August 31, 1939, which Hitler had used to justify his attack on Poland. (Shirer I) (See November 20, 1945)
1944 October 20 U.S. troops enter Aachen after a savage pounding by American artillery. Little is left standing and the city lies in ruins, but the German defenders continue to fight fiercely, often to the last man.
1944 October 20 The U.S. makes landings on Leyte in the Philippines.
1944 October 21 The U.S. First Army captures Aachen, the first major German city to fall to the Allies. Several more days are required to flush the last, steadfast German defenders out of hiding.
1944 October 23 The Japanese fleet fails to destroy transports landing American soldiers on the island of Leyte during the Battle of Leyte Gulf (to October 26).
1944 October 23 Rosenberg writes to Martin Bormann proposing to draft the entire German clergy for forced labor because of severe manpower shortages. (Lewy)
1944 October 26 Himmler issues orders to destroy the crematoriums at Auschwitz-Birkenau in an attempt to eliminate the evidence of Nazi mass murder.
1944 October 27 Bormann writes to Rosenberg informing him that Hitler has rejected the idea of using clergymen for forced labor. (Lewy)
1944 October Rundstedt, who has been restored as Commander-in-Chief in the West, is given overall responsibility for the planned counteroffensive in the West. The armies involved are the Fifth Panzer Army, commanded by Hasso von Manteuffel, Sixth Panzer Army, under Waffen-SS General Sepp Dietrich, and General Erich Brandenberger's Seventh Army, consisting mostly of SS formations. The attack through the Ardennes is scheduled for November 25th.
1944 October 30 The last transport of Jews from Theresienstadt arrive at Auschwitz; on that day and the next, 1,689 of them are sent to the gas chambers. (Apparatus)
1944 November After protest from his generals, Hitler postpones the Ardennes Counteroffensive from November 25 to December 10.
1944 November President Roosevelt names Edward R. Stettinius Jr. as Secretary of State, replacing Cordell Hull.
1944 November 2 Himmler's order of October 26 arrives at Auschwitz: "I forbid any further annihilation of Jews." Upon his further orders, all but one of the crematoriums are dismantled, the burning pits covered up and planted over with grass, and the gas pipes and other equipment shipped to concentration camps in Germany. The single remaining crematorium is for the disposal of those who die of natural causes and the gassing of about 200 surviving members of the Sonderkommando. The final solution is formally over. Yet tens of thousands of Jews will continue to die of brutality and neglect. (Apparatus)
1944 November 2-8 Tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews are driven out of Budapest by the SS as Soviet forces approach the city. Whipped and shot by the SS, they are forced westward toward Vienna. Some 4,000 are saved by the intervention of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat, but more than 10,000 die during six days of terror. (Atlas)
1944 November 7 General de Gaulle, as leader of the Free French forces, summons the first session of the new French National Assembly.
1944 November 7 President Roosevelt is re-elected for an unprecedented fourth term, with Harry S Truman as Vice President.
1944 November 20 Hitler leaves the Wolf's Lair and travels to his headquarters near Bad Nauheim.
1944 November Hitler's generals again convince him to postpone the Ardennes counteroffensive. This time from December 10 to December 16.
1944 November 24 Himmler issues orders to close the remaining crematorium at Auschwitz, and gives instruction to destroy any remaining evidence. (Apparatus)
1944 November 28 The last gassings take place at Auschwitz. More than 8,000 have been gassed since the first of November. (Atlas)
1944 December More than 3,500 Jews, who had been evacuated from Auschwitz to Lieberose, are again evacuated, and forced to march in snow and ice to Sachsenhausen north of Oranienburg, outside Berlin. Several hundred, too sick to leave the infirmary, are shot and the building set on fire. Each morning, those who are too weak to walk are shot, and by the time the group reaches its destination, only 900 are still alive. (Atlas)
1944 December 10 Horia Sima and seven other Romanian delegates sign a formal constitution in Vienna for a new Romanian National Government-in-exile. Five of the eight are Legionaries.
1944 December 15 U.S. forces land on Mindoro in the Philippines.
1944 December 16 Hitler launches the Ardennes Counteroffensive, now known to Americans as "The Battle of the Bulge."
1944 December 17 By afternoon, one of Gen. Sepp Dietrich's SS Panzer groups, commanded by SS Col. Joachim Peiper, has penetrated almost to Malmedy, Belgium. Peiper later became notorious for allegedly ordering the machine-gunning of a number of captured GIs from the US 7th Armored Division in a field south of Malmedy. At the time of the actual incident at Baugnez crossroads, Peiper, riding with his Panzespitze, was already well on his way to Ligneuville, although it is possible he could have contacted the SS men responsible for the killings by radio. (Ardennes Campaign)
1944 December 20 By this date, SS Col. Peiper has allegedly murdered approximately 350 prisoners of war and at least 100 unarmed Belgian civilians at twelve different locations along his route. See May 14, 1946. (Secrets)
NOTE: Some pro-Germans believe these figures are a fantasy created by Allied propagandists. The alleged civilian slaughtering, they say, stands without proof and the many pictures in books depicting "Belgians murdered by the SS" are nonsense. There was one incident, however, which German soldiers readily admitted: one child was killed when he came running down the street looking at the tanks and was shot by mistake by one of the SS soldiers. (Thomas Vanhassel)
1944 December 24 The German offensive in the Ardennes is brought to a halt at the end of the day.
1944 December 24 Now with the defeat of Nazi Germany almost certain, Pope Pius XII in his Christmas message acknowledges "that a democratic form of government is considered by many today to be a natural postulate of reason itself." (Moody; Lewy)
1944 December 25 SS Col. Peiper pulls out of La Gleize (where he is trapped) in the early hours of Christmas morning. He leaves behind no fewer than 150 US Prisoners, and takes only one US officer with him. These 150 US soldiers were looked after by SS medical personnel who volunteered to stay behind. During the Ardennes campaign, SS-Kampfgruppe Peiper took some 450 US Prisoners and nearly all arrived safely in Germany.
1944 December 25 Leading elements of Manteuffel's army is still four miles short of the Meuse River at Dinant. It is to be the highwater mark of the German advance.
1944 December 25 The Allies begin a strong counteroffensive in the Ardennes. The U.S. 4th Armored Division, part of Patton's Third Army, from around Mortelange is designated to relieve Bastogne.
1944 December 25 Churchill and Anthony Eden arrive in Athens to arrange for the settlement of the Greek Civil War.
1944 December 26 Units of the 4th Armored Division breaks through heavy German forces and continues its rapid push northward toward Bastogne.
1944 December 26 Budapest is almost completely encircled by General Tolbukhin's Third Ukraine Front.
1944 December 27 The British XXX Corps drives the 2nd Panzer Division out of Celles.
1944 December 29 Russian emissaries attempting to negotiate with the German garrison in Budapest are killed after a misunderstanding of some kind takes place.
1944 December 29 In Greece, Prime Minister Papandreou announces he will resign as soon as a new regent is chosen.
1944 December 30 The VIII Corps from Patton's Third Army begins a new attack northward in the direction of Houffalize.
1944 December 31 Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens is sworn in as regent and Papendreou resigns.
1944 December 31 In Poland, the Communist dominated Committee of National Liberation based in Lublin assumes the title of Provisional Government. The government-in-exile in London protests to no avail.
1944 December 31 Hungary declares war on Germany.
1944 December 31 The British XXX Corps captures Rochefort at the western end of the Ardennes salient.
1944 Pierre Laval is arrested by the retreating Germansin France, but will escape to Spain in 1945.
1944 British forces occupy Athens and intervene in the communist inspired civil war.
1944 The word "genocide" is coined by Polish-American scholar Raphael Lemkin.
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