Timeline of Rescue in the Holocaust - Part 3

1914-1939          1940-1941          1942-1943          1944-Present

1942
A major conference planning the murder of millions of Jews is held on January 20, 1942, in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee.  Heads of major German departments gather to plan the largest organized murder in history.
 
2.7 million Jews will be murdered this year.  The Aktion Reinhardt death camps are established in Poland.  They are Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka.  These camps are established with the specific purpose of murdering Jews.  They are named after SS security chief Reinhardt Heydrich, who was assassinated earlier in Czechoslovakia.  1.7 million Jews are killed in these camps from March 1942 through November 1943.  Most of the Jews killed are from the area of the General Government of Poland.
 
Numerous reports reach the Allies regarding the murder of millions of Jews in Eastern Europe.
 
The Jewish Combat Organization is established in Warsaw, Poland.
 
Necdet Kent, Consul for Turkey in Marseilles, France, issues numerous Turkish certificates of citizenship to Jewish refugees, preventing them from being deported to Nazi death camps.  On one occasion, Kent boards a deportation train with Jews loaded on a cattle car.  He successfully intervenes to have them released to his custody. 
 
Cardinal Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, Papal Nuncio to Greece and Turkey, participates in the aid and rescue of thousands of Jews in Eastern Europe.  He reports to the Vatican on the murder of the Jews of Eastern Europe.  He works with other Nuncios, including Monsignor Angelo Rotta in Hungary.  He also works with US Ambassador in Turkey Laurence A. Steinhardt and Raymond Courvoiser, International Red Cross Director in Turkey.  Among the Jews saved by Roncalli are Slovakian Jews caught in Hungary and Slovakia, Jews trapped in Transnistra, a Romanian-administered territory, and Jews in Budapest.  He distributes, by diplomatic pouch to Vatican representatives, various Vatican documents that place Jews under the protection of the Holy See.  He also works with the Agency for Palestine (Yishuv) and distributes immigration certificates.  Roncalli eventually participates in helping an estimated 24,000 Jews.
 
Diplomatic rescuers who worked in Slovakia intervened with Vatican and Slovakian officials to try to save Jews.  Among these diplomats were Monsignor Giuseppe Burzio, Vatican Nuncio in Bratislava; Max Grässli, Consul General for Switzerland in Bratislava; and Georges Dunand, International Red Cross.
 
Diplomats who reported on Nazi atrocities and helped Jews in Bucharest, Romania (Transnistria), were:  Hamdullah Suphi Tanriöver, Turkish Ambassador; José Rojas y Moreno Conde de Casa, Spanish Minister; Monsignor Andrea Cassulo, Vatican Nuncio; René de Weck, Swiss Consul General; Karl “Charles” Kolb, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); Franklin Mott Gunther, U.S. Minister; Edouard Chapuisat, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); Vladimir de Steiger, Delegate to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); José Carlos Ponti, Secretary of the Argentine Legation; and Selbarty Istinyell, Turkish Chargé d’Affaires.
 
Dutch bishops and clergymen protest first deportation of Jews from Holland.
 
Swiss Consul General Ernst Prodolliet procures and distributes life-saving passports to Dutch Jews in Amsterdam.
 
Belgian police intentionally lose or destroy files on Jews.  Belgian officials in the Ministry of Justice save Jews by intervening with the Nazi occupying government.  Belgian Jews are given false documents and are successfully hidden in Belgian homes and institutions.  Belgian clergy actively protest deportations and participate in rescuing Jews, particularly children.  Abbé Joseph André and Father Edouard Froidure rescue hundreds of Belgian children with the help of Belgian citizens, businessmen and public officials.  Cardinal van Roey, the Primate of Belgium, denounces pogroms against Jews.  The Dowager Queen Elizabeth pleads with Nazi occupying forces to save Jews.
 
Johannes Bogaard, a farmer in the Dutch village of Nieuw Vennup, near Amsterdam, begins rescue operation ot save Dutch Jews by hiding them in the countryside.  More than 300 Jews are eventually saved by him during the Nazi occupation.
 
January 1942
Eight European governments in exile meet in London and refuse to condemn the Nazi murder of Jews in Europe.  The Allies refuse to acknowledge that Jews were being targeted for murder as Jews and not just as Europeans.
 
US Ambassador Laurence A. Steinhardt is transferred from Moscow to Ankara, Turkey.  From this posting, Ambassador Steinhardt becomes extremely active in helping Jews and other refugees escape from Eastern Europe.  Turkey becomes a natural area of refuge and an escape route for Jews from Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.
 
Comité des Assistance aux Réfugiés (CAR) helps 13,000 Jews in France.
 
January 1, 1942
The United Nations is founded in Washington, DC.  26 nations sign an agreement to defeat Hitler and his allies.
 
The Counter-Intelligence Corps is established to investigate and apprehend Nazi war criminals.  Many Holocaust survivors will volunteer for this organization after liberation.
 
January 2, 1942
Consul Lutz assigned to Chief of the Department of Foreign Interests of the Swiss Legation in Budapest.
 
January 10, 1942
Japanese army invades and occupies East Indies.
 
January 12, 1942
Nine European nations and China sign a resolution to hold Nazi war criminals responsible for war crimes, “whether they have ordered them, perpetuated them or in any way participated in them.”
 
January 13, 1942
The governments in exile of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Holland, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland and Yugoslavia condemn the murder of their citizens by the Germans.  Jews are not specifically mentioned.
 
January 14, 1942
Concentration of Dutch Jews in Amsterdam begins.
 
January 16, 1942
Deportation of Jews from Lodz ghetto to the Chelmno death camp.
 
January 17, 1942
Law forbids Belgian Jews from leaving the country.
 
January 20, 1942
Wannsee Conference in Berlin: Heydrich outlines plan to murder Europe’s Jews.
 
January 21, 1942
Jews in Vilna organize major partisan resistance group called The United Partisan Organization.
 
January 27, 1942
President Roosevelt, in a private conversation with Leo Crowley, Wartime Alien Property Custodian, states: “Leo, you know this is a Protestant country, and the Catholics and the Jews are here on sufferance.  It is up to both of you [Crowley and Henry Morgenthau, a Jew and Secretary of the Treasury] to go along with anything that I want at this time.”
 
Paul Komor is arrested by Japanese secret police in Shanghai; imprisoned on suspicion of being a spy; Komor is later released and prevented from working with the IC for the duration of the war.
 
February 1942
In France, Germans order Jews and others to report for the Obligatory Labor Service (STO; Service du Travail Obligatoire), which will deport workers to Germany by mid-February.
 
February 1, 1942
SS creates Economic Administrative Main Office.  It is headed by Oswald Pohl.  It manages slave labor operations in the concentration camps.
 
February 8, 1942
First deportation of Jews from Salonika, Greece, to Auschwitz.
 
February 15, 1942
First transport of Jews murdered at Auschwitz using prussic acid (Zyklon B) poison gas.
 
British army surrenders to Japan in Singapore.
 
February 24, 1942
The ship SS Struma is sunk off the coast of Turkey.  The ship is carrying 700 Jewish refugees attempting to reach Palestine.  All drown except one.
 
March 1942
Vatican Nuncio in Slovakia, Giuseppe Burzio, informs Cardinal Maglione that 80,000 Jews will be deported from Slovakia to certain death.  In May 1942, the Jews are in fact deported.
 
Jewish community leaders in Slovakia, including Gisi Fleischmann and Rabbi Dov Weissmandel, form the rescue group called the Working Group (Prácovna Skupina).  Its purpose is to save Jews from deportation by bribing Adolph Eichmann and SS representative in Slovakia Dieter Wisliceny with funds provided by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee offices in Geneva.  The Working Group appeals to members of the Slovak government and leaders of the Catholic clergy.
 
Consul Lutz issues more than 10,000 “Palestine certificates,” and invents a document called the Schutzbrief (protective letter) to protect Jewish refugees.  Lutz helps organize transports to Palestine.  By the end of the war, Lutz has helped more than 62,000 Jews.
 
The French Jewish Scouts (Eclaireus Israelites de France; EIF) creates The Sixth (Sixième) to develop a rescue network for Jewish children in France.
 
US government orders the forced removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast and interns them in ten camps in the country’s interior.  Canada and Peru follow the US policy and intern their Japanese populations.
 
March 1, 1942
Construction of the Sobibor death camp in Poland begins.  It begins its murderous activities in May 1942.
 
March 3, 1942
Belgian Jews are to do forced labor.
 
March 5, 1942
The British War Cabinet reaffirms its previous decision to refuse Jewish immigration to Palestine.
 
March 6, 1942
In Switzerland, JDC head Saly Mayer is authorized by headquarters to provide “relief to needy Jews who cannot be helped by American organizations.”
 
March 9, 1942
Monsignor Burzio in Slovakia cables Vatican Secretary of State Maglione regarding the deportation of Slovakian Jews.  Burzio protests the deportations to Prime Minister Tuka.  Tuka tells Burzio that he sees nothing inhumane or harsh about the deportations.
 
March 10, 1942
Catholic Archbishop Fellipo Bernardini, the Vatican nuncio in Switzerland, appeals to leaders in Slovakia to cancel deportations.
 
March 12-April 20, 1942
30,000 Jews are deported to and murdered in the Belzec death camp.
 
March 13, 1942
Vatican Nuncio in Budapest, Monsignor Angelo Rotta, forwards an appeal from the World Jewish Congress requesting Pope Pius XII to persuade Slovakian leader Tiso, a Catholic and a former priest, to cancel the deportation of Slovak Jews.  A subsequent note of protest to the Slovak government from the Vatican Secretary of State is ignored.
 
March 19, 1942
Archbishop Bernardini sends a report to the Vatican on the condition of Jews in Central and Eastern Europe.  He reports information received from Gerhardt Riegner of the World Jewish Congress.  Bernardini asks for Papal intervention on behalf of Jews.
 
March 25, 1942
British envoy to the Holy See, Francis de Arcy Osborne, requests that the Vatican intervene on behalf of Jews being deported in Slovakia.
 
March 26 - June 1942
57,000 Slovakian Jews are deported.
 
March 27, 1942
Introduction of the yellow star in Belgium leads to widespread protest by the Belgian people to this order.  Many Belgians wore a similar badge in solidarity with their Jewish countrymen.
 
First deportation of Jews from France to Auschwitz.  1,112 Jews are sent; only 19 survive the war.  Vichy says nothing about this deportation.
 
March 31, 1942
Monsignor Burzio sends the Vatican a report on the deportation of Jews in Slovakia.  The Slovakian government claims that there was no pressure from Germany to deport its Jews.
 
April 1942
The City Council of Helsinki, Finland, refuses to introduce anti-Jewish legislation by pro-Nazis.  The Finnish parliament also refuses to enact anti-Jewish measures.  Popular protests against anti-Jewish legislation are held throughout Finland, led by the Social Democratic Party.
 
Admiral François Darlan, Deputy Head of Vichy, and his staff resign from the Vichy government.
 
April-September 1942
Switzerland admits 2,380 Jewish refugees.
 
April 9, 1942
US Armed Forces surrender to the Japanese Army in Bataan, Philippine Islands.
 
April 26, 1942
In France, Pierre Laval is returned to his post in the cabinet.  Laval becomes head of the Departments of the Interior, Information and Foreign Affairs.  He becomes virtual head of state.
 
April 29, 1942
Jews in the Netherlands are forced to wear yellow Jewish star.
 
May 1942
Belgians protest the enforcement of the Jewish star.  There is widespread protest by the Belgian population.  Many Belgians wear Jewish stars in solidarity.  A mayor’s conference in Brussels protests the order.
 
May 2, 1942
German anti-Jewish measures are enforced in Yugoslavia and Greece.
 
May 7, 1942
Reinhardt Heydrich arrives in Paris to speed up and oversee lagging deportation efforts in France.
 
Battle of the Coral Sea. Victory of the US Navy over Japanese.
 
May 10-11, 1942
The Biltmore Resolution is adopted by the Conference of American Zionists.  It advocates a policy to establish a state to be the Jewish homeland in Palestine.
 
May 26, 1942
The Soviet Union and Great Britain sign a mutual assistance treaty.
 
May 27, 1942
Reinhardt Heydrich is mortally wounded by Czech partisans near Prague.  He dies on June 3.
 
Forcing the Jews to wear yellow stars leads to protests in Belgium.  The Greater Brussels City Council will not distribute the star.
 
May 28-June 8, 1942
6,000 Jews from Krakow are deported and murdered in Belzec.
 
May 30-31, 1942
A “thousand bomber” air raid by the British air force is launched against Cologne, Germany.
 
June 1942
In Marseilles, the Emergency Rescue Committee is forced to close by the French police for subversive activities in helping refugees.  The ERC continues to operate secretly.  The Villa Air-Bel estate outside Paris becomes a haven for the Alsatian refugees.
 
Jules Jefroykin is made JDC representative in Marseilles, France.
 
Monsignor Burzio attempts to persuade Prime Minister Tuka of Slovakia to investigate the fate of deported Jews.
 
In Belgium, the local Jewish council leader at Charleroi presents a false list to the Nazis, enabling Jews to escape deportation.
 
June 3, 1942
U.S. declares war on Romania.
 
June 3-6, 1942
The Battle of Midway, between US and Japanese naval forces.  The US sinks three Japanese aircraft carries, resulting in the turning of the tide in the war of the Pacific in favor of the Allies.
 
June 7, 1942
All Jews in France are ordered to wear the Jewish star.  Many Jews decide not to wear the star.  French population resists identifying Jews with the stars, and the French people are outspoken in their protests.
 
June 10, 1942
The Czechoslovakian villiage of Lidice is destroyed, and all of its inhabitants murdered, by the Gestapo in reprisal for the killing of SS General Reinhardt Heydrich.
 
June 11, 1942
Himmler orders increased deportations to Auschwitz from southeastern Europe.  He includes 100,000 Jews to be deported from both zones in France.  The French are asked to revoke the citizenship of the deportees and even pay for the cost of their deportation, which is set at 700 DM per Jew. 
 
June 20-October 9, 1942
13,776 Jews from Vienna are deported to Theresienstadt.
 
June 21, 1942
German victory over the British army at Tobruk.
 
June 22, 1942
Eichmann orders ten thousand Belgian Jews to be deported from Belgium to the death camps.
 
June 25, 1942
Roosevelt and Churchill meet in Washington, DC.
 
June 26, 1942
Deportations from the Netherlands to Auschwitz begin.
 
June 27, 1942
Vichy is asked to round up 50,000 Jews from the southern zone for deportation.
 
Pierre Laval agrees to cooperate with the deportation of stateless (i.e., German, Austrian and Czech) Jews.  He later claims to have done this to save French Jews from deportation.  Later, he states “I did all I could, considering the fact that my first duty was to my fellow countrymen of Jewish extraction whose interests I could not sacrifice.”
 
In Bordeaux, the SS sends a train to deport the Jews there.  In a lightening raid, the SS could find only 150 stateless Jews.  Eichmann is furious and cancels the train transport.  Eichmann says, “This never happened before.”
 
Summer 1942
Himmler asks Finnish government to hand over its Jews for deportation.  His request is denied by Finnish Prime Minister Johann Wilhelm Rangell.  Rangell tells Himmler, “Wir haben keine Judenfrage” [We have no Jewish Question].  The Jews of Finland are not deported, and survive the war.
 
When Nazi deportations begin in Belgium, there are widespread rescue efforts on behalf of Jews in Belgium.  As many as 80,000 Jews go into hiding to avoid forced labor. More than 25,000 Jews remain in hiding in Belgium.  Many of them are helped to escape to Switzerland.
 
Franz Neumann, a Jewish convert to Christianity, helped save most of the Jews of Arad, Hungary, from deportation by lodging a protest and paying bribes to local officials.
 
July 1942
The United States and Great Britain agree to plan an invasion of North Africa.
 
Deportation of Jews to the killing centers of Sobibor, Treblinka, and Belzec, from Belgium, Croatia, France, the Netherlands, and Poland.
 
The World Jewish Congress publishes a report about the Nazi mass murder in Eastern Europe.  According to this report, gathered from reliable sources, the Congress estimates that more than a million Jews have been murdered.
 
In Lyon, France, General Robert de Saint-Vincent refuses to use his military troops in the roundup and deportation of Jews.  He is immediately relieved of his command.  Other French officials refuse to participate in the deportations.
 
In Belgium, the Comité de Defense des Juifs (Jewish Defense Committee; CDJ) is organized.  With ties to the Belgian resistance, it finds hiding places for Jewish children.
 
In Belgium, the Oeuvre Nationale de l’Enfantes (National Children’s Committee), led by Yvonne Nevejean, hides 4,000 children.
 
In Brussels, the AJB card index file is intentionally burned by the Jewish underground CDJ.
 
Students in Holland place 1,000 children in hiding.  By the end of the war, 4,500 Jewish children are hidden.
 
Joop Westerwell forms the Westerwell Group and works with Jewish Zionist pioneer organizations and successfully rescues Jews from Holland, taking them to France and then to Spain.
 
July 1, 1942
The Polish government in exile issues a report to the Allied nations detailing the murder of 700,000 Jews since the German invasion and occupation in September 1939.  This report reveals the use of mobile gas vans at Chelmno.  Ninety Jews are murdered at a time in each of these vans by carbon monoxide.  More than a thousand people are murdered a day.
 
July 4, 1942
Deportation of Jews from Belgium to Auschwitz begins.  25,000 Jews go into hiding with non-Jewish Belgian families.
 
Vichy agrees to deport foreign Jews in both zones.  The Germans call this deportation operation “Vent Printanier” [spring wind]. 
 
Jews from the Netherlands and other foreign Jews residing in Holland are helped to escape to France and Switzerland.  Father André of Namur in Bastogne, Bishop Lewis Joseph Kerkhofs of Liege, and the Bishop of Mechelen, help hide numerous Jews.  Belgian Red Cross also helps hide Jews.  Catholic Cardinal Von Roey helps Jews who are arrested.
 
July 15, 1942
First deportation from the Westerbork transit camp in Holland to Auschwitz.  The AJB in Belgium is ordered to organize a labor draft for Jews.
 
July 16-17, 1942
12,887 Jews are arrested and sent to the Drancy deportation camp near Paris.  From there, these Jews are deported and murdered in Auschwitz.
 
July 19, 1942
Himmler orders the Jews in the General Government of Poland to be killed by the end of the year.
 
July 20, 1942
French Ministry of the Interior suspends issuing exit visas for foreign Jews except for those from the Benelux countries.
 
Jewish uprising in Nesvizh.
 
July 22, 1942
Construction begins on the Treblinka death camp near Warsaw.  It begins its murderous operation in August 1942.  More than 870,000 Jews are murdered there.  Most are from the Warsaw ghetto.
 
July 22-September 12, 1942
265,000 Jews from Warsaw are murdered in Treblinka.
 
July 28, 1942
The Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB) is created in the Warsaw ghetto.
 
July 30, 1942
Heinrich Himmler travels to Finland to encourage Finnish leaders to participate in the deportation and murder of Jews.  There are 2,000 Jews living in Finland.  Himmler talks with Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rolf Witting.  Witting firmly refuses to cooperate with Germany in the handing over of Jews.  The Finnish cabinet decides unanimously to protect its Jews.  Not one Jew is surrendered.  Witting says, “Finland is a decent nation.  We would rather perish together with the Jews…We will not surrender the Jews.”  On February 3, 1943, the Finnish government withdraws from the war.  Due to war reversals, too few German soldiers are stationed in Finland to enforce a deportation.  As a result, Finnish Jews and other Jewish refugees survive the war.
 
Eduard Schulte, an important Germany industry leader, reports on the planned murder of Jews in Europe.
 
August 1942
25,000 Jews in France are deported to Auschwitz.  Most of them are murdered upon arrival.
 
Gabriel Zivian, a Jewish refugee who escapes, gives an eyewitness account of the massacre of Jews in Riga, Latvia.
 
The Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers) are able to get a few hundred Jewish children out of southern France to Spain, Portugal and Switzerland.
 
Father Pierre Chaillet and his group, the Amitié Chrétienne [Christian Friendship], hide Jewish children in a number of religious institutions.  The Christian Friendship organization also rescues Jewish children from deportations.  Among those who take part in the rescue are Madeleine Barot and Abbe Glasberg.  Father Chaillet is placed under house arrest for three months, and he refuses to give up the address where Jewish children are being hidden.  Archbishop Gerlier also refuses to give the addresses of the children’s shelters to the regional police in Lyons.
 
Germans demand that Laval enforce sanctions against clergy and church groups who aid Jews.
 
General de St. Vincent, the military governor of Lyons, refuses to assist in the deportation of Jews and uncovering hidden Jewish children, and is dismissed from his position.
 
24 French prefects in the southern zone stated that public opinion was overwhelmingly shocked by the deportation of Jews there.
 
H. Pinkney Tuck, the US Chargé d’Affaires in Vichy France, discusses with Laval the deportation of Jews.  In a letter to the US Secretary of State, he writes, “It is evident from Laval’s attitude that he had never interest nor sympathy in the fate of the Jews who he callously remarked were already too numerous in France.”
 
The United States and Great Britain send aid to millions of starving Greeks by shipping food to the beleaguered country.  Great Britain ships 35,000 tons of food per month, with the United States paying for it.
 
The Papal Nuncio in Bucharest, Romania, Archbishop Andrea Cassulo, along with Swiss diplomat René de Weck, protests the Romanian government’s announcement that they would deport Jews.
 
Rabbi Alexander Safran, Chief Rabbi of Romania, and Wilhelm Filderman, leader of Romanian Jewry, persuade the Archbishop of Transylvania, Nicolae Balan, to intervene with Romanian leader Ion Antonescu against the upcoming deportation of Jews.
 
George Mandel-Mantello, an honorary diplomat representing El Salvador, publishes and publicizes a report of two escapees from Auschwitz death camp.  It is published in more than 400 newspapers worldwide.  Mantello is arrested by Swiss authorities for violating Swiss neutrality laws.
 
August 1, 1942
Gerhardt Riegner, representative of the World Jewish Congress stationed in Geneva, Switzerland, learns from a top German industrialist, Eduard Schulte, that Nazi Germany is planning to murder Jews using poisonous prussic acid gas (Zyklon B).
 
Queen Mother Elizabeth of Belgium promises to intervene with senior German general to postpone deportation of Jews.  She meets with the Jewish delegation.  Her husband, King Leopold, strongly protests Nazi actions against Jews.
 
August 3, 1942
The Nimes Committee in southern France and the Quakers, led by Lindsey Nobel, meet with Pierre Laval to plead humanity and to protect Jews.  Laval turns them away.
 
August 4, 1942
Tracy Strong, of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in France, meets with Marshal Pétain and informs him of the adverse publicity regarding the deportation of Jews and how it affects American public opinion.
 
August 5, 1942
In France, order for all foreign Jews to be sent to the occupied zone.  All legal exit visas are now cancelled.  As a result, only 600 Jews emigrate legally in the last half of 1942.
 
August 6, 1942
The Quakers in France meet with US Chargé d’Affaires in Vichy H. Pinkney Tuck and inform him about their meeting with Pierre Laval.  They indicate that Laval stated that “these foreign Jews had always been a problem in France and that the French government was glad that a change in German attitude towards them gave France an opportunity to get rid of them.”
 
August 8, 1942
Gerhardt Riegner cables Rabbi Stephen S. Wise in New York and Sydney Silverman in London regarding Nazi implementation of a plan to murder European Jewry.  Riegner hopes that this report will initiate a worldwide mass rescue effort to save Jews.  Most of Europe’s Jews are still alive.  The US State Department delays delivery of the cable to Wise. 
 
This information is sent to the State Department by US diplomat Howard Elting, Jr., who is stationed at the US Embassy in Bern, Switzerland.
 
August 9, 1942
Mir ghetto uprising in Poland.
 
August 10-23, 1942
50,000 Jews from Lvov are murdered in Belzec.
 
August 13, 1942
Swiss Alien Police Commissioner Rothmund instructs border police to admit political refugees only.  Ironically, he states, “Refugees for racial reasons only, for instance Jews, do not count as political refugees.”
 
August 13-14, 1942
Foreign Jews residing in Antwerp, Belgium, are arrested and sent to the Malines deportation center.
 
August 13-20, 1942
Large part of the Croatian Jewish community is deported and murdered in Auschwitz.
 
August 20, 1942
Swedish Consul General in Stettin, Poland, forwards report on the murder of Jews in Poland.
 
August 20-24, 1942
18,000 Jews in Kielce, Poland, are deported to Treblinka.
 
August 21, 1942
Goran von Otter, a Swedish consular official in Berlin, receives a secret report from German SS officer Kurt Gerstein, who has personally witnessed a gassing of Jews in a Polish killing center.  Gerstein is a member of a Protestant resistance group.
 
August 26, 1942
Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr., the US Ambassador to several European governments in exile, forwards a report written by Ernest Frischer, a member of the Czechoslovakian State Council, to the US State Department.  It outlines the murder of Jews in central Europe.  Frischer’s report stresses that the Jews are being singled out for total destruction by the Nazis.
 
George Garel, a French Jew, establishes a rescue network throughout France.
 
August 27 and 31, 1942
US Consul Paul Chapin Squire, stationed at the embassy in Bern, Switzerland, forwards a report to the US State Department by Dr. Donald A. Lowrie representing the YMCA in Geneva.  Lowrie describes the deportation of Jews from southern France.  He concludes that the deportation would eventually lead to their murder.
 
September 1942
In France, 27,000 Jews in 13 separate deportations are sent to Auschwitz from both French zones.  These deportations are accomplished with the cooperation of French authorities and police.  Pierre Laval expresses reservations about cooperating in future deportations of French Jews by the Germans.
 
Germany’s allies in France, including Hungary, Romania, and Italy, refuse to cooperate with deportations.
 
3,800 Jewish refugees enter Switzerland.
 
Swiss newspapers censor stories about the murder of Jews in Europe.  They call these “foreign rumor propaganda of the worst type.”
 
60 clergymen, briefed by Pastor Marc Boegner, create a secret rescue network known as the “Refuge Cévenol.”  This network throughout the southern zone is established by Amitié Chrétienne [Christian Friendship].  Refugees are hidden in convents and churches.  Escape routes are established from Toulouse to Spain and from Lyons, Grenoble and Valence to Switzerland.  Clergy in Haute-Savoie become guides.  The nuns of Notre-Dame-de-Sion in Lyons provide forged documents.  Protestant hostels in Lyons are used as refuges.
 
Monsignor Rémond, Bishop of Nice, forbids the checking of baptismal certificates by anti-Jewish police.  On September 30, a report states, “it is of public notoriety that he [the bishop] sets himself up as champion in defence of the Jews.” 
 
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film corporation donates one million dollars toward rescue of Jews in southern France.
 
Italian consul general in Nice Alberto Calisse refuses to cooperate with German officials in interning Italian stateless Jews.  He asks the Italian foreign ministry for permission to protect Italian Jews.  This prompts the Italian foreign ministry to issue a decision paper that will in fact protect Italian Jews throughout France.  Calisse informs Italian police official Ribiere that Italians have authority over Jews in the Italian zone.  Calisse is not required to enforce the regulation of having “Jew” stamped in the identity cards and ration books of Jews in the Italian zone.
 
Summer 1942-September 1943 - Italian Diplomatic Rescue in Croatia and Yugoslavia
With German cooperation, the anti-Semitic Ustasha party in Croatia destroys entire villages and murders thousands of Jews and Serbs.  Italian soldiers and diplomats refuse to look the other way.  Without instructions, they rescue thousands of Jews by allowing them into the Italian protected zones.  Word spreads in Croatia and thousands of other Jews and Serbs flee from German to Italian zones.  Germans vigorously protest these rescue activities.  Eventually, these complaints go all the way to fascist leader Mussolini.
 
Convinced by his diplomatic corps, Mussolini resists Hitler’s order to deport Jews to concentration camps.  He continues to let Jewish relief groups operate throughout Italy.
 
Three thousand Jews under the protection of the Italian occupation forces in Yugoslavia are transferred to the Island of Arbe, off the coast of Yugoslavia, where most survive the war.  All told, nearly 80% of the Yugoslavian Jews who fled to the Italian-occupied zone were saved.
 
The following Italian diplomats were involved in the rescue of Jews in Croatia: Vittorio Castellani, Liaison Officer, Foreign Ministry; Ambassador Roberto Ducci, Head of the Croatian Department of the Italian Foreign Ministry; and Gastone Guidotti, Secretary at the Italian Legation in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
 
Gisi Fleischmann, a Jewish community leader in Slovakia, organizes a major rescue of Jewish children from Poland into Slovakia and later from Slovakia into Hungary.
 
Summer 1942
Franz Neumann, a Jewish convert to Christianity, is responsible for saving the Jews of Arad, Hungary, by paying bribes to local Nazi and Hungarian officials.
 
September 2, 1942
The Lachva ghetto uprising in Poland.  6,000 Jews escape but are later caught and murdered.
 
September 4, 1942
Macedonian Jews are forced to wear the yellow star.
 
September 6, 1942
French Archbishop Gerlier issues a public protest about the deportations.
 
September 8, 1942
Prime Minister Winston Churchill, during a meeting of the British House of Commons, reports on the Nazi deportation of French Jews.
 
September 11, 1942
US Chargé d’Affaires in Vichy France Pinkney Tuck obtains 1,000 blank US entry visas for Jewish children trapped in southern France.  He eventually gets permission from US Secretary of State Cordell Hull to obtain a total of 5,000 visas to the US.  Pierre Laval, reacting to German pressure, rescinds the offer to release the Jewish children.  The rescue efforts fail.
 
September 22, 1942
Pastor Marc Boegner protests Jewish deportations from France.  He personally tries to intervene with Vichy leader Pierre Laval.  Laval refuses.
 
September 26, 1942
Myron Taylor, the US representative to the Holy See, writes to Cardinal Maglione asking him to reply to Taylor’s earlier communications regarding reports of the murder of Jews.  In Taylor’s note, he reports stories of the deportation of Jews from Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Lithuania and Slovakia.
 
Leland Harrison, the US Minister to Switzerland stationed in Bern, informs the US State Department about the deportation of Polish Jews.  He states that between 5,000 and 10,000 Jews in Warsaw are being collected in “lots” and shipped east, “their whereabouts and fate unknown.”
 
Swiss immigration regulation states the principle that Jews should be allowed refuge in Switzerland.  It ironically concludes that this does not include the sick, pregnant women, people over 65, close relatives of refugees already in Switzerland, refugees under 16, and parents of these children.  It further states that French Jews should be refused immigration because the are not in danger.
 
September 27, 1942
Tymczasowy Komitet Pomocy Zydom [Provisional Committee for Aid to Jews] is founded in Poland by Zofia Kossak-Szczucka.  It is made up of Catholic activists and has 180 members.  On December 4, the organization becomes known as Zegota.  It is one of the few organizations where Jews and Christians serve together.  Until the liberation of Poland, it successfully hides, feeds and provides forged documents to thousands of Jews.
 
September 28, 1942
Gerhardt Riegner gives US Consul Paul Squire in Geneva two sets of documents outlining the murder of Jews in Eastern Europe.  The first was prepared by an anti-Nazi officer in the German high command.  The second is an eyewitness account, by a Jew in Warsaw, of the deportation of the Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto.  The report states that Jews are being murdered.  These reports are forwarded to US Secretary of State Cordell Hull.
 
As a result of these reports, US Undersecretary of State Sumner Wells asks Minister Leland Harrison, in Bern, to submit additional reports verifying the reports of the extermination of Jews.
 
September 30, 1942
In a speech at the Sports Palace in Berlin, Hitler acknowledges plans to murder Jews.  Hitler says, “if Jewry should plot another world war in order to exterminate the Aryan peoples of Europe, it should not be the Aryan peoples which would be exterminated, but Jewry…”
 
September 1942
Several Vatican diplomats request that Pope Pius XII end his public silence on Nazi atrocities against Jews.  The Pope declines to take direct action to help Jews who are being murdered.  He states: “The Holy See has done, is doing, and will do all in its power to help.”
 
There are 25,000 Jews in hiding in Holland.  Dutch make every effort to save them.
 
The Jewish Council in Ternapol refuses to turn over fellow Jews for deportation.
 
October 1942
The Working Group, in Slovakia, establishes three camps that serve as safe havens for 40,000 Jews.  They are Novaky, Sered and Vyhme.  The Working Group begins helping Jews escape to Hungary.
 
Attempts by the Germans to round up and deport 1,500 Jews living in Norway raise an outcry among the Norwegian public and clergy.  The Norwegian Lutheran Church continues to protest actions against Jews.
 
1,904 Jewish refugees are allowed to enter Switzerland.
 
Norwegian rescuers smuggle approximately 930 Jews across the border into neutral Sweden to keep them from being deported.
 
October 9, 1942
Cardinal Joseph Ernst van Roey and Belgium’s Queen Elizabeth intercede on behalf of Belgian Jewish community leaders for their release from jail.  Five of six are freed.
 
The Italian racial laws are put into force in Libya.
 
October 22, 1942
Gerhardt Riegner submits a summary report to US Minister in Bern, Leland Harrison, regarding the Nazi murder of Jews.  It states, “four million Jews are on the verge of complete annihilation by a deliberate policy consisting of starvation, the ghetto system, slave labor, deportation under inhuman conditions and organized mass murder by shooting, poisoning and other methods.  This policy of total destruction has been repeatedly proclaimed by Hitler and is now being carried out.”  Riegner pleads for urgent rescue efforts to save Jews in Hungary, France, Romania, Italy and Bulgaria.  On October 24, Harrison submits these reports to the US State Department.  Harrison continues to investigate information and passes it along to the State Department.  Harrison is in sympathy with Riegner and the plight of Jews in Europe.
 
Paul Squire continues to collect material regarding the murder of Jews in Europe.  He receives reliable information from eyewitness sources, including Red Cross officials.
 
October 29, 1942
Winston Churchill, in a protest meeting in London led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, criticizes Nazis for the murder of European Jews.
 
November 1942
US breaks off diplomatic relations with Vichy France.
 
US Secretary of State Sumner Wells meets with Dr. Stephen Wise regarding the reports from the Swiss embassy in Bern.  He confirms the accuracy of the reports and tells Dr. Wise, “I regret to tell you that these [reports] confirm and justify your deepest fears.”
 
Swedish government provides refuge for Jews who escape across the Norwegian-Swedish border.  Swedish diplomats in Oslo try to protect Jews with any Swedish connections.
 
President Roosevelt announces that the US will propose the establishment of a war crimes commission to collect information on the acts of war criminals and to establish criteria for punishment of the perpetrators after the war.  The US Ambassador to Britain, John G. Winant, is asked to prepare information regarding the proposed war crimes commission.  He collects additional reports and information about Nazi war crimes.  Winant receives more than 200 appeals demanding support for the creation of this commission and in support of actions on behalf of Jews.  The US State Department delays issuing its recommendations.
 
The Jewish community in British controlled Palestine, called the Yishuv, receives information about the murder of Jews in Europe.
 
In the first week of November 1942, more than 170,000 Jews are murdered in Belzec, Treblinka and the Auschwitz death camps.
 
The Allied armies turn the tide of the war in North Africa at the battle of El Alamein in Egypt.  German General Rommel’s army retreats.
 
November 4, 1942
German General Rommel’s Italian and German forces retreat in North Africa.
 
November 8, 1942
The Allied armies land in Algeria and Morocco, in North Africa.  The invasion is called Operation Torch.  The landing guarantees the safety of 117,000 Algerian Jews.
 
November 9, 1942
The German and Italian armies occupy Tunisia in reaction to the Allied invasion of North Africa.  Italian occupying officials will protect Jews in Tunisia.
 
The First Secretary of the American Embassy in Madrid intervenes with the Spanish government to prevent deportation of Jewish refugees.  As a result, Spain no longer deports refugees.
 
November 11, 1942
After the Allied landings in North Africa, Germans and Italians occupy southern France.  This occupation extends to the Mediterranean coast.  The operation is called “Attila.”  There is no French resistance to this occupation.  France is now a fully occupied country.  Vichy maintains a limited sovereignty.  The SS and Gestapo now have complete authority over Jewish issues in the south, except in the Italian zone of occupation.
 
During the Nazi occupation of the south, 22,000 refugees are able to flee successfully to Spain.  By the end of the year, more than 30,000 refugees have crossed the border. 
 
Norwegian Protestant clergymen publicly protest the deportation of Norwegian Jews.
 
November 18, 1942-January 12, 1943
15,000 Jews are killed in the Lvov ghetto.
 
November 19, 1942
Soviet army launches major counteroffensive against German General von Paulus’ army, west of Stalingrad.  This will result in his being encircled and cut off.
 
November 27, 1942
French naval officers sink their own ships at Toulon to prevent them from falling into the hands of the German navy.  The Allies occupy all of French overseas possessions.  The Jews in French North Africa are protected from deportation.
 
December 1942
The Vatican rejects attempts by the Allies to sign a solemn resolution condemning Nazi war atrocities.
 
8,467 Jewish refugees are admitted to Switzerland.
 
December 4, 1942
In Poland, Provisional Committee for Aid to Jews (Tymczasowy Komitet Pomocy Zydom) is renamed Zegota.  Together with Jewish resistance fighters and partisans, they rescue thousands of Jews.
 
Zegota, the Polish Council for Aid to Jews, begins actions to rescue thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland.  Zegota is administered by Polish Catholics and Jews together.  Catholic churches and monasteries in Poland hide Jewish children.  Polish Boy Scout units (Grey Ranks) cooperate with the Jewish rescue organization Ha Shomer ha-Tsa’in.  The number of Aryan gentiles who help Jews in Nazi occupied Poland is eventually estimated to be between 160,000 and 360,000, or between 1-2.5% of the total population.  At least 872 Poles are executed for helping Jews.
 
December 7, 1942
The London Times observes, “The question now arises whether the Allied governments, even now, can do anything to prevent Hitler’s threat of extermination from being literally carried out.”  The German government gives occupied countries deadlines for the expulsion of their Jews.  The Times further reports, “The dates are freely given on the Axis wireless or in reports from Berlin… In all parts of Europe, the Germans are calling meetings, or issuing orders, about what they call ‘the final solution of the Jewish problem.’”  German newspapers state that since September 1942, 185,000 Jews have been deported from Romania to Transnitria.  They reprot that all the Jews of Croatia and Slovakia have been moved to Eastern Poland.
 
December 8, 1942
Stephen Wise and a Jewish delegation meet with President Roosevelt in the White House.  They give the President a document entitled Blueprint for Extermination.  It is a detailed analysis of the murder of millions of Jews.  The President expresses profound shock.
 
December 9, 1942
Vichy government dismisses the military governor of Lyons, General Robert de Saint-Vincent for refusing to arrest Jews.
 
December 10, 1942
The Polish government in London issues a report called The Mass Extermination of Jews in German-Occupied Poland.  This report is widely publicized.
 
Poland asks for the Allies to retaliate for the atrocities committed by the Nazis.
 
December 12-23, 1942
German General von Paulus’ army remains trapped by Soviet army near Stalingrad after German General Manstein fails to break through.  The German air force cannot supply von Paulus’ army.
 
December 13, 1942
Propaganda Minister in Nazi Germany, Josef Goebbels, enters in his diary, “The question of Jewish persecution in Europe is being given top news priority by the English and the Americans…At bottom, however, I believe both the English and the Americans are happy that we are exterminating the Jewish riff raff.”  He also complains about Italy’s halfhearted persecution of its Jews.
 
December 17, 1942
The United States, Great Britain, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia, and the French government in exile make a joint declaration of condemnation against the murder of European Jews.  They declare their intention to prosecute Nazi war criminals after the war.  This declaration makes headlines around the world.  Thousands of letters are sent to the US State Department and the British Foreign Ministry at Whitehall regarding this declaration.  Swiss officials continue to state that reports of atrocities are unverified Allied propaganda.  These reports are, in fact, verified by the liberal press in Switzerland.
 
December 18, 1942
Francis d’Arcy Osborne, the British Ambassador to the Holy See, states that Pope Pius XII “does not see that his silence is highly damning to the Holy See.”
 
Winter 1942
Deportation of Jews from Germany, Greece and Norway to killing centers; Jewish partisan movement organized in forests near Lublin.
 
3,500 Jews are interned at the Miranda Camp in Spain.  They are cared for by the Jewish Joint and the Spanish Red Cross.  In January, Spanish authorities begin to release people from this camp.
 
November 1942-September 1943 - France
Beginning in November of 1942, the Italian Army and Foreign Ministry officials occupy and administer eight French departments east of the Rhône River, in southern France.  A French government remains in place, but the Italians control the area.  In these zones, French Jews and other refugees are protected until the Italians surrender and leave southern France in September 1943.
 
Italian forces and diplomats refuse to enforce anti-Semitic measures in their zones.  They refuse to allow any forced labor camps in their occupation zones.  Further, the Italian occupying Army prevents any arrests or deportations of Jews in their area.  By 1943, more than 50,000 Jews flee to the Italian zone.  Twenty to thirty thousand of these are non-French Jews.  Many gravitate to the area around Nice.
 
For nearly 10 months, Italian diplomats and the occupying military forces thwart the Nazis' "final solution" in southern France.
 
The following Italian diplomats are active in rescue of Jews in southern France: Gino Buti; Alberto Calisse, Consul in Nice; Guido Lospinoso, Foreign Ministry Official and 'Inspector General of Racial Policy,' Nice; Vittoriano Manfredi, Consul in Grenoble; Gustavo Orlandini, Italian Consul in Paris; and Vittorio Zoppi.
 
1943
Hundreds of thousands of Jews are murdered in the gas chambers of Treblinka, near Warsaw.  250,000 Jews are murdered in Sobibor’s gas chambers.  On November 3, 1943, 42,000 Jews are rounded up and shot in the Lublin district of Poland.  The code name for this operation is Erntefest, which means harvest festival.  In 1943, it is estimated that 500,000 Jews are murdered in Nazi-occupied Europe.
 
There are Jewish armed revolts in the Treblinka and Sobibor death camps.
 
The Working Group in Slovakia, along with Jewish rescue organizations, smuggles between 6,000 and 8,000 Slovak Jews into Hungary.  This rescue operation is known as the Tiyyul.
 
Pope Pius XII states that the Vatican and Holy See can only help peoples through “our prayers.”
 
Mexico, Brazil and several other Latin American countries declare war against Germany, Italy and Japan. 
 
The Joint Relief Commission of the International Red Cross is allowed to operate in the occupied zone of France.  They supply food, medicine and other supplies to Jews and others in the internment camps.  In addition, the Commission tries to help Jews by redefining their legal status by having them declared prisoners of war and entitled to protections under the Geneva Convention.  The Red Cross is able to improve some of the conditions in the camps.
 
The French Red Cross provides relief to Jewish prisoners at the internment camps at Hôtel Terminus des Ports, Bombard, and Les Milles.
 
The Red Cross and Quaker missions continue to collect information on internees and conditions in the camps.  They report these conditions to the Allies.
 
Mexican Consul General Gilberto Bosques, Mexican Ambassador Luis I. Rodriguez, and the entire Mexican legation are arrested by German and French officials.  The Brazilian Ambassador and the Brazilian legation are also arrested.  The diplomats and their families are interned in the German city of Bad Godesberg for a year.  This action is in violation of international conventions.
 
Ira Hirschmann becomes involved with one of the most active rescue organizations, the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe.
 
Gerhart Feine, the German Consul General in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, rescues several Jewish families.  He issues false German papers to help them escape deportation.
 
Julio Palencia, Spanish Minister Plenipotentiary in Bulgaria, steps up his actions to protect Jews from deportation.  He actively protests Nazi persecution of Jews.  Palencia contributes to the saving of the lives of more than 600 Bulgarian Jews.  For his actions, he is declared persona non grata and forced to return to Madrid.  Upon his return, he is reprimanded for his actions in Bulgaria.
 
Archbishop Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, who later became Pope John XXIII, intercedes on behalf of Bulgarian Jews with King Boris of Bulgaria. 
 
Carvalho da Silva, Vice Consul for Portugal in Paris, France, personally intervenes on behalf of 40 Portuguese Jews who are at the deportation center of Drancy, France.  He convinces the Gestapo to free them and personally accompanies the group through a border crossing of France into Spain.  He rescues a second group of about 100 Jews, and accompanies them across the border as well.
 
Protestant churches in Switzerland pressure the Swiss government to alleviate the restriction on Jewish refugees entering Switzerland.  More than 16,379 refugees are allowed to enter the country.  The churches provide material aid to Jewish refugees.
 
The Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople writes a letter to all of the bishops under his authority asking them to help Jews.  He states that concealing Jews is a sacred duty.
 
The Bishop of Wurttemberg, Theophil Wurm, protests the deportation and murder of Jews in Germany.
 
The World Council of Churches, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, becomes the center for rescue and relief efforts on behalf of Jews.  Further, it disseminates information about the Holocaust throughout the world.
 
January 1943
A group of German generals near Stalingrad, Russia, plans to overthrow Hitler.  The plot is never implemented.
 
61,000 Jews are murdered at Auschwitz, Treblinka and Belzec.
 
The US State Department thwarts attempts to save Jewish children in Europe.
 
When the German army occupies Marseilles, they arrest and intern members of the Quaker, Unitarian and Mennonite committees in Baden Baden, Germany.  All legal and semi-legal rescue groups in Marseilles are shut down.
 
The Joint Rescue Committee of the Jewish Agency is set up to rescue Jews in Europe.
 
The Relief and Rescue Committee of Budapest (Va’ada) begins functioning in Budapest as part of the Jewish Agency.
 
January 1, 1943
Jews in Holland can no longer have private bank accounts.
 
January 3, 1943
Wladislaw Racziewicz, President of the Polish government in exile, asks the Pope to denounce Nazi atrocities against Poles and Jews.
 
January 13, 1943
1,500 Jews are deported from Radom, Poland, to Treblinka.
 
January 14-24, 1943
Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt confer in Casablanca, Morocco, to discuss the future of the Allied war effort against Germany.
 
January 17, 1943
Catholic bishop Konrad Graf von Preysing threatens to resign unless the collaboration of German bishops with Nazi policy ceases.  He sends communication to Pope Pius XII.
 
January 18, 1943
The German Luftwaffe begins new attacks on London. 
 
January 18-22, 1943
Second phase of the deportation of the Jews of Warsaw begins. 
 
First Warsaw Ghetto Uprising begins.
 
January 21, 1943
Gerhardt Riegner provides additional information about the murder of Jews to Minister Harrison at the US Embassy in Bern, Switzerland.  He reports that 6,000 Jews are being killed every day in Poland.  He further reports on the 130,000 Romanian Jews who had been forcibly deported to Transnistria in 1941.  Sixty thousand Jews had already been murdered, and the rest were being starved.
 
January 22, 1943
Jewish revolt at the Treblinka death camp is started by a transport of Jews from Grodno, Poland.
 
January 22-27, 1943
Ten thousand French police and several thousand German soldiers are sent to move the 22,000 residents of the old port of Marseilles and destroy it.  In the process, 2,000 Jews are arrested.
 
January 23, 1943
British Army liberates Tripoli, Libya.
 
January 26, 1943
Members of the Swedish parliament propose legislation to curb anti-Semitism.
 
January 27, 1943
Members of both houses of the British parliament, in special committees, urge government to help persecuted Jews in Nazi-occupied areas.
 
Leland Harrison, US Ambassador to Switzerland, submits a report on the murder of Jews in Europe.
 
David J. Blickenstaff, a Quaker representative, and his Spanish wife Janine begin supervising relief activities on behalf of Jewish refugees in Spain.  Relief expenses are paid by the JDC.  On April 10, 1943, Spain officially recognizes Blickenstaff.  The JDC and the Quakers work in Spain.
 
February 1943
The UGIF refuses to hand over to the Nazis lists of foreign Jews residing in France.
 
1,230 Jewish children, many of whom are orphans, and 369 adults arrive in Palestine via Iran.  This is known as the Teheran Children’s Transport.
 
Swedish consul in Oslo, Norway, Claes Adolf Hjalmar Westring, issues visas for 50 Norwegian Jews to emigrate to Sweden.
 
February 2, 1943
The German Sixth Army surrenders to the Soviet Army at Stalingrad, Russia.  This event is considered the major turning point in World War II.  Total German casualties in the Sixth Army are 160,000 dead and 107,000 captured.
 
February 4, 1943
Field Marshall Montgomery’s British forces are victorious over Rommel’s Africa Corps at El Alemein.
 
Archbishop of Canterbury, in England, condemns murder of Jews in Europe.
 
February 5, 1943
Mussolini takes over the post of Italian Foreign Minister.
 
February 5-15, 1943
10,000 Bialystock Jews are deported to Treblinka.  Some resist deportations.
 
February 8, 1943
The Soviet Army retakes the city of Kursk.
 
February 10, 1943
US Ambassador to Switzerland Leland Harrison is sent a message from the US State Department not to communicate with private citizens regarding reports of atrocities against Jews.  This is sent despite the US and British pledges to help Jews and punish war criminals.
 
February 12, 1943
The New York Times reports, “The Romanian government has communicated to United Nations officials that it is prepared to cooperate in the transferring of 70,000 Romanian Jews from Transnistria to any refuge selected by the Allies, according to neutral sources.  This proposal, which was made in specific terms, suggests the refugees would be moved in Romanian ships which would be permitted to display the insignia of the Vatican to ensure safe passage.”  The Allies fail to respond to this offer.
 
February 16, 1943
The French Vichy government publishes a law promising to supply French labor to Germany.  This unpopular law marks the beginning of major resistance to Vichy authorities.
 
February 18, 1943
There are an estimated 140,000 Jews in the south of France, not including the Italian zone.  French police are ordered to round up French and foreign Jews and send them to the Gurs concentration camp, and then to Drancy.  The Germans have limited success in this action due to increasing French resistance.
 
February 22, 1943
Bulgaria and Germany sign an agreement to deport Bulgarian Jews to Poland.  Bulgarian officials agree to deliver 50,000 Jews to the Germans.  This is the only time that a formal contract for the murder of Jews is written.  The contract is signed by Bulgarian Prime Minister Aleksander Belev and Theodore Danneker, Eichmann’s SS representative in Bulgaria.  The agreement states, “As a first step, 20,000 Jews will be deported to German territories to the East.”  On March 2, the Bulgarian government will approve the agreement.
 
Dr. Harald Feller is posted as Second Secretary to the Swiss embassy in Budapest.
 
In Lyons, France, occupying Italian soldiers order local French chief of police to rescind German deportation order.
 
February 24, 1943
Salonika ghetto is established.
 
The Spanish ambassador in Berlin suggests that Spanish Jewish passport holders would be allowed Spanish transit visas for immigration to the United States or Portugal.
 
February 25, 1943
The US and Britain begin day and night bombing raids of Germany.
 
February 26, 1943
H. Shoemaker, the former US Ambassador to Bulgaria, makes a broadcast appeal to the Bulgarian people to resist the impending deportation of Jews. 
 
February 27, 1943
Christian wives of Jews who have been arrested begin protest at the Berlin Gestapo headquarters on Rosenstrasse.  By March, the protest gains the attention of Goebbels and Hitler.  The husbands are soon released.
 
March 1943
German foreign ministry and SS authorities are increasingly dissatisfied with French and Italian cooperation in the deportations.
 
Italian police in the cities of Valence, Chambery and Anecy prevent French prefects from arresting Jews in their zones.
 
In Grenoble, Italian soldiers protect Jewish internees about to be deported.  They are released from custody.
 
The Hebrew Immigration Aid Society releases a report that shows that only 228,964 visas, fewer than half of the 460,000 visas available, were issued by the US State Department.
 
Romanian dictator Ion Antonescu visits Hitler and is pressured to agree to the resettlement of Romanian Jews to the East.  He rejects Hitler’s demand to deport the remaining 70,000 Jews.
 
The US State Department blocks the rescue of 70,000 Jews from France and Romania by refusing to transfer money to support a plan worked out by the World Jewish Congress.  Funds are blocked in Swiss bank accounts until the end of the war.  Agents of the Treasury Department discover this intentional delaying of the transfer of money.  They determine that this is being done by Breckinridge Long and other officials at the State Department.  A report on these activities is eventually submitted to Henry Morgenthau, Secretary of the Treasury.  Morgenthau submits this report to President Roosevelt, which eventually leads to the creation of the War Refugee Board.
 
The Rescue Committee of the Jewish Agency in Turkey (Va’ad ha-Hatsala be-Kushta), acting on behalf of the Jewish Rescue Committee, is established in Istanbul, Turkey.  Headed by Chaim Barlas, it helps thousands of Jews escape from the Balkans to Palestine.
 
Eleanor Rathbone, a non-Jewish Member of the British Parliament, founds the National Committee for Rescue from Nazi Terror.  The group denounces the British government’s lack of support for refugees.  She urges public demonstrations against the British refugee policy.
 
March 1, 1943
A massive rally in support of the rescue of Jews is held in Madison Square Garden.  The rally is sponsored by the Church Peace Union, the AFofL/CIO, and many other groups.  37,000 people attend the rally.
 
Papal Nuncio Andrea Cassulo requests permission to visit the concentration and transit camps in Romania and Transnistria.  After visiting the camps, he receives promise to improve conditions in the camps; however, little is accomplished.
 
March 2, 1943
Italian General Avarna de Gualtieri delivers a note to the French secretary of state, Admiral Charles Platon, stating that “henceforth, not only non-French Jews were under Italian protection but French Jews as well. No Jew in the Italian zone could be coerced or arrested by anyone except Italian authorities, except for violations of the common law.”
 
March 4, 1943
Bulgarian government evicts 11,000 Jews from the Bulgarian occupied territories of Thrace, Macedonia and eastern Serbia.  By the end of March, most of these Jews are sent to the gas chambers of Treblinka.
 
March 6, 1943
SS Obersturmführer Heinz Röthke estimates there are 270,000 Jews remaining in France, including 200,000 in the southern zone.  He hopes to deport 8,000-10,000 Jews per week beginning in April.  Under new ordinances, Germans are free to arrest Jews without French police present.
 
March 9, 1943
Metropolitan Stephan, of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Sofia, and the Metropolitan of Plovdiv Kiril, protest the planned deportation of Bulgarian Jews and bring their objections directly to King Boris.
 
King Boris X and members of the Bulgarian parliament defy the Nazis by rescinding the order to deport Bulgarian Jews.  Although Bulgaria has previously allowed the deportation of thousands of Jews to Treblinka from Thrace, Macedonia and Serbia, they prevent the deportation of 50,000 Bulgarian Jews.  With the help of the local population, Jews are dispersed and hidden in the countryside.
 
José Rojas, Spanish Minister in Bucharest, criticizes Nazi policy of persecuting Jews.  He adamantly opposes the deportation of Jews and the brutal conditions imposed by the Nazis.  He posts diplomatic protective signs on more than 300 houses where Jewish families live.
 
The US passes the Barkley Resolution, which strongly advocates for the punishment of Nazis for war crimes.  The US House of Representatives passes a similar resolution on March 18.
 
March 13, 1943
An assassination attempt on Hitler fails.
 
Spanish Foreign Minister Francisco Gomez Jordana notifies the Germans that some Jewish Spanish nationals will be repatriated.
 
March 20, 1943
Mussolini transfers authority over Jews from the Italian army to the Italian ministry of the interior.  He appoints Guido Lospinoso Commissioner for Jewish Questions in Nice.  Lospinoso does everything in his power to thwart German plans to deport Jews.  He is successful in helping Jews through September 1943.  He works closely with Jewish banker and rescuer Angelo Donati and Catholic monk Father Benoit.  Benoit operates out of a monastery in Marseilles.
 
March 20-August 18, 1943
Jews deported from the Salonika ghetto to Auschwitz.
 
Spanish government issues a statement reiterating its position that it will repatriate Jewish Spanish nationals.
 
March 22-29, 1943
7,158 Jews from Macedonia are deported to Treblinka.
 
March 23, 1943
4,226 Jews from Thrace and the city of Pirot are deported to Treblinka.
 
Archbishop Papandreou Damaskinos, head of the Greek Orthodox Church, publishes a letter denouncing the deportation of Greece’s 77,000 Jews.  The letter is signed by 28 Greek leaders.  The letter further states that all Greek citizens must be entitled to the same treatment from the occupation authorities, regardless of race or religion.
 
March 25, 1943
Von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, complains to Mussolini regarding lack of cooperation by the Italian diplomatic corps and Army in the Italian occupied zone of southern France.
 
March 27, 1943
Rabbi Wise receives information regarding the mass murder of Jews in Treblinka.  He calls on presidential envoy Myron Taylor with a proposal to establish a rescue group.
 
March 28, 1943
Jewish Congressional delegation and committee meet with FDR to protest State Department’s sabotaging of rescue efforts by its complicated screening procedure for visa applicants.  FDR does nothing.
 
March 29, 1943
Non-governmental leaders in Athens appeal to Euginio Prato, the Political Secretary in the Italian embassy in Athens, to halt the deportation of Greek Jews.
 
March 31, 1943
Germany gives Spain until March 31, 1943, to repatriate its Jewish Spanish nationals.  Jews not repatriated would be treated as all other Jews.
 
April 1943
US Ambassador to Turkey Laurence Steinhardt is instrumental in getting Turkey to accept nearly 30,000 Balkan Jews, including many from Romania, for temporary refuge and transit for Palestine.
 
The Greek leader, Ioannis Rallis, protests to the Gestapo regarding the deportation of Jews.  The Greek Minister of Education, Nikolaos Louvaris, greatly helps Jews.  More than 600 Greek clergymen are arrested, some deported, for helping Jews.  The Greek underground hides many Jews and smuggles them to unoccupied areas.  A number of Jewish communities in Greece survive virtually intact.  They include Thessaly, Volos, Katerine, Larrissa, Trikkola, Cardhitsa, Cholis and Patris.
 
An internment camp on the island of Rab (Arbe), of the Dalmatian coast of Yugoslavia, is established by Italian military and diplomatic authorities.  More than 3,500 Jews are protected on the island.  The camp is liberated on September 8, 1943.  Virtually all of the Jews survive.
 
Sebastián Romero Radigales, Spanish Consul General in Athens, intervenes on behalf of more than 800 Jews of Athens and Salonica, preventing their deportation to Nazi concentration camps.  In one instance, he manages to evacuate 150 Jews from a deportation train.  Throughout the war, Radigales continues to protest German actions against Jews.  As a result, the German Ambassador in Athens lodges a complaint against Radigales asking the Spanish government to instruct Radigales not to interfere in deportations.  By the end of the war, Radigales is able to provide protection for numerous Jews in Greece and save them from deportation to Auschwitz.
 
April 2, 1943
Bulgarian church leader Metropolitan Stephan, in meeting Holy Synod, warns of the imminent danger of deportation of Bulgarian Jews.
 
April 7, 1943
Winston Churchill warns Spanish ambassador that closing the border to Jewish refugees could cause “destruction of good relations” between Spain and Great Britain.  As a result, Spain keeps its borders open.  Between July 1942 and September 1944, more than 7,500 Jewish refugees cross into Spain.
 
Papal nuncio in Slovakia Monsignor Giuseppe Burzio protests deportation of Slovakian Jews.
 
April 10, 1943
Spanish officials give approval for American relief organizations to operate in Spain.  These relief organizations have offices in the US embassy and funds for rescue efforts are provided by the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
 
April 13-14, 1943
The British Council of Churches condemns anti-Semitism in all forms.
 
April 17, 1943
Hitler summons Hungarian Regent Admiral Horthy to Salzburg, Austria, to urge him to allow the Jews of Hungary to be ‘resettled.’  Horthy refuses: “The Jews cannot be exterminated or beaten to death.”
 
April 19-20, 1943
The Jewish underground in Belgium attacks a deportation train from the Mechelen camp bound for Auschwitz.  231 Jews escape, 23 are shot.
 
April 19-30, 1943
Bermuda Conference: British and American representatives meet in Bermuda to discuss rescue options, but fail to come up with any significant possibilities.  The US has guaranteed the failure of this conference by significantly limiting any realistic or significant actions that could aid in the rescue of Jews.  The conferees declare “it would be unfair to put nationals who profess the Jewish faith on a priority list for relief.”
 
April 19-May 16, 1943
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising; Jews in the Warsaw ghetto resist German deportations to the Treblinka death camp.  This uprising lasts nearly a month and is the most successful Jewish revolt in Nazi-occupied Europe.  The news of the revolt spreads throughout Europe and inspires other ghettoes to resist.
 
April 20, 1943
Gerhardt Riegner proposes the rescue of 100,000 Jews in Romania and France.  This requires the transfer of rescue and relief money from Jewish relief agencies to Romania.  The US State Department effectively delays and blocks the transfer of this money for many months.
 
April 26, 1943
The American military general staff in North Africa refuses to allow the Allies to set up refugee camps, fearing it would alienate local Arabs.
 
April 30, 1943
Revolt of Jewish prisoners deported from Wlodawa, Poland to the Sobibor death camp.  This revolt fails and all Jewish participants are killed.
 
Spring 1943
Winston Churchill addresses joint session of the US Congress.  He predicts the defeat of Hitler and Japan.
 
Spring 1943 - Greece
After the German occupation of Greece, the Nazis begin rounding up the Jews of Salonica for deportation to Auschwitz.  The Italian consulates in Salonica refuse to participate in the roundup of Jews.  Italian consulates impede the deportations be engaging in lengthy discussion on defining what a Jew is.  Italian consulates also issue naturalization papers to Jews.  This action protects many Jews from deportation.
 
Pellegrino Ghigi, Italian Minister Plenipotentiary in Athens, with the help of General Carlo Geloso, Italian Commander of the 11th Army in Greece, protects Jews in the Italian zone and rescues as many as possible from the German occupied areas such as Salonica.
 
Guelfo Zomboni, Italian Consul General in Salonica, Greece, on his own authority and without permission from the Italian Foreign Ministry, provides hundreds of Greek Jews Italian birth certificates and certificates of citizenship, which protect Greek Jews from deportation to Auschwitz.  He is challenged by the German authorities, but is able to pretend he has authority from the Italian government.
 
Giuseppe Castruccio replaces Guelfo Zomboni as Italian Consul General in Salonica, Greece.  Castruccio plays a key role in saving 350 Salonica Jews by placing them on an Italian military train that takes them out of Salonica into the Italian neutral zone.  He does this on his own authority.  Like his predecessor, Castruccio issues identification papers and other protective documents to Jews.
 
Italian soldiers are sent to German detention camps in Salonica on a mission to save Jewish women.  They falsely claim they are their wives.  The Germans release the women to their "husbands."
 
Italian military trains carry protected Jews from the German occupied zone to Athens, where they remain temporarily under the protection of the Italian army. 
 
The head of the Italian legation in Athens, Pellegrino Ghigi, and General Carlo Geloso of the Italian Army, agree to protect Jews.  As a result, more than 10,000 Jews in Athens are saved by the Italian diplomatic and military forces there.
 
As long as the Italian army remains as an occupying force, these Jews are fed, housed and remain under Italian protection.  After the Italian surrender and withdrawal, many of the Jews are deported and murdered.
 
May 1943
Spain decides to protect Jews of Sephardic heritage.  By the end of the war, 11,500 Jews will be saved because of Spanish diplomatic intervention.
 
May 13, 1943
Tunisia is liberated by the Allied armed forces.
 
May 14, 1943
President Roosevelt decides it would be “extremely unwise” to bring Jewish refugees to camps in military zones in North Africa.
 
May 18, 1943
The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) is established.
 
May 19, 1943
The British Foreign Office approves of the idea of a Swedish proposal that would request that Germany release 20,000 Jewish children who would be transferred and taken care of in Sweden until the end of the war.  The Swedish government requests the United States and Great Britain to share the cost of food and medicine for these refugees.  The Swedish government had already allowed 35,000 Jews into Sweden up until this time.  The US State Department and British Foreign Ministry do not reply until January 1944, nearly eight months later.  The Swedish plan is abandoned.
 
May 20, 1943
The Italian Army establishes an internment camp as a safe haven for Yugoslavian and Slovakian Jews on the island of Rab (Arbe).
 
May 24, 1943
Bulgarians hold protest in Sofia against the proposed deportation of Jews.
 
May 27, 1943
The secret organization, National Resistance Council, is created in France.  Jean Moulin is its head.
 
May 1943
Dutch Catholic Church forbids Dutch Catholic policemen to participate in the roundup and deportation of Jews, even if they may lose their jobs. 
 
Episcopal clergy in Holland actively support and participate in the rescue of Dutch Jews.
 
June 1943
Himmler orders the liquidation of all ghettos in Poland and the Soviet Union.
 
June 6, 1943
19,153 Bulgarian Jews are dispersed from Sofia into the Bulgarian countryside.  They are housed and fed by their neighbors.
 
June 25, 1943
Armed rebellion by Jews in Czestochowa, Poland.
 
June 28, 1943
Herbert Morrison, British Home Secretary, comes out against sending life-saving Palestine immigration certificates to Jews under Nazi control.  His objection is on the grounds that the Allies should not negotiate with the Nazis.
 
June 30, 1943
Churchill asks Roosevelt to provide relief for victims of the Nazis.  A refugee camp is set up in Fedhalla in North Africa.  By August 1944, 630 Jewish refugees will be moved to Fedhalla from Spain.
 
Summer 1943
Swiss Minister (ambassador) René de Weck saves more than 2,000 Jewish orphans in Moldavia from deportation.  He also manages to protect Hungarian Jews in Romania.
 
July 1943
Eichmann sends his SS assistant Alois Brunner to Paris with 25 men to speed up the deportations.  Brunner takes over operations at the Drancy camp.  Vichy announces it will no longer actively cooperate with the Germans in the arrest of French Jews.
 
July 5, 1943
The Wehrmacht conducts its last major offensive in the German occupied territory of the Soviet Union.  Soviet offensives around Kursk fatally weaken the Wehrmacht at the front.
 
July 9-10, 1943
US and British Allied forces invade Sicily.  This is the beginning of the liberation of mainland Europe.
 
July 10, 1943
The Gestapo in Marseilles reports that Italian police commissioner Guido Lospinoso has moved thousands of Jews out of the German area to Megéve, St. Gervain and Vence, which are Italian protected areas.
 
July 16, 1943
British government tells Jewish Agency for Palestine that Jewish refugees who escape to Turkey will be given permission to enter Palestine.
 
Catholic priest Father Marie-Benoit has audience with Pope Pius XII.  He presents the Pope with documents regarding the persecution of Jews in France.  He asks for assistance in rescuing Jews in the Italian occupied zone in France.  Working with Jewish Italian businessman Angelo Donati, he begins preparation for evacuating 30,000 Jews from the south of France to Italy, Spain and North Africa.  The project is approved by the Vatican, by Sir Arcy Osborne, the British Ambassador to the Holy See, and by Harold Tittman, US Ambassador to the Vatican.  The evacuation plan fails due to the Italian withdrawal from the war on September 8, 1943.
 
July 20, 1943
Hitler orders the Wehrmacht in the Soviet Union to launch no additional offensives.
 
1,700 Jews are deported from the island of Rhodes to Athens.
 
July 21, 1943
Himmler orders the liquidation of all ghettoes in Ostland.
 
July 23, 1943
Jean Changeneau, police prefect of the Alpes Maritimes, replaces French policeman Ribiere.  Changeneau announces that he will protect Jews in his area.
 
July 25, 1943
Benito Mussolini is overthrown; Marshal Pietro Badoglio sets up a new government in Italy.
 
Italian Foreign Ministry orders the Defense Ministry not to release Jews on the island of Rab into German custody.
 
The Italian Foreign Ministry reiterates to the Italian army not to release Jews from its zone for deportation.  In addition, the Foreign Ministry tries to arrange for transport of Jewish refugees to Italy.
 
July 28, 1943
Jan Karski, Polish diplomat/courier, meets with President Roosevelt and gives him eyewitness details of the murder of Jews in Eastern Europe.
 
August 1943
Between August and December 1943, 10,708 refugees are allowed to enter Switzerland.
 
August 2, 1943
Jewish uprising at the Treblinka death camp near Warsaw.
 
August 3, 1943
Jewish uprising in the Bedzin ghetto in Poland is unsuccessful.
 
August 5, 1943
The Soviet Union launches major counteroffensives against German armies around Orel and Belgorod.  This ends the German attempts to break through Soviet defenses.
 
Mid-August 1943
King Boris III of Bulgaria, whose country was officially aligned with Germany, refuses Hitler’s demands to deport Bulgaria’s Jews to Germany for extermination.  Jews hide in the countryside.  Two weeks later, on August 28, the king dies under mysterious circumstances.
 
August 14-24, 1943
The Quadrant Conference between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill is held in Quebec, Canada.  Churchill and Roosevelt agree to defeat Germany before Japan and aim for an invasion of France in May 1944.
 
August 16-20, 1943
Hundreds of Jewish resistance fighters at the Jewish ghetto in Bialystok, Poland, battle Nazis for several days.  Using only small arms, bayonets and axes, they hold off the Nazis for several days.  The revolt fails.
 
August 23, 1943
The Soviet army recaptures Kharkov.
 
Adam Czerniakov, head of the Warsaw Jewish Council, commits suicide rather than supply more Jews for Nazi deportations.
 
August 29, 1943
A major crisis erupts between the German occupation authorities and the Danish government.  Nazis impose state of emergency. Danish public rises up in acts of sabotage and civil disobedience against the German occupiers.  German authorities declare martial law and the Danish government resigns.
 
Germans order the Vichy government to recruit French and foreign Jews for forced labor in Germany.
 
September 1943
The American Unitarian Committee sends a representative to Spain to help refugees.
 
September 1, 1943
The uprising in the Vilna ghetto is stopped.  Fighters escape to forests and meet up with partisans.
 
September 3-4, 1943
The last deportation of Jews from Belgium, it is called Operation Iltis.
 
September 3-8, 1943
The Allies invade southern Italy.  Italy surrenders.  An armistice is signed with the Allies, with Italian Marshal Badoglio.  The German Army and SS units move into Italy.  Mussolini is arrested.
 
September 8, 1943
The Italian government surrenders to the Allies and withdraws from the war.  Italian Armed Forces in Yugoslavia and southern France return to Italy.  Thousands of Jewish refugees flee with them.
 
Some Italian units flee to Switzerland.  They are disarmed and permitted to enter the country.
 
German forces occupy Athens.  Italian forces surrender to the Germans.
 
Metropolitan Theophilos Damaskinos protests the proposed deportation of Jews from Athens.  Damaskinos tells clergy under him to help Jews escape the Nazi net.  Jews are hidden and Greek Orthodox religious institutions.
 
Greek Jews are welcomed into Greek underground resistance organizations.  The Nazis demand resignation of Damaskinos.  He replies: “The priests of the Orthodox Church never resign.  They stay in the place where God put them, even if they are hanged for it!”
 
The Greek Orthodox Metropolitan in the town of Volo in Thessaly warns the local rabbi of imminent deportation.  822 Jews are taken out and hidden.  Most survive.  The police chief of Athens, Anghelos Evert, authorizes police forces to give protective papers to Jews.  Police units are active in helping Jews during the occupation.
 
Dr. Werner Best, the Nazi Plenipotentiary in Denmark, requests permission from Hitler to arrest and deport Danish Jews.
 
September 9, 1943
German army occupies former Italian zone in southern France.  Thousands of Jews are trapped around Nice.
 
Italy is cut in two.  The south is held by the Allies.  The central and north of Italy are occupied by the German army.
 
Most Jewish communities are concentrated around Rome and in the northern areas and are now subject to Nazi deportations.
 
September 10, 1943
Germany Army occupies Rome.
 
Pope Pius XII opens Vatican properties, including churches, monasteries, convents, and schools, to house Jewish refugees who are seeking protection.  Some Jews are even hidden in Vatican City.
 
Late 1943-May 1945
After the German takeover, most Italian Jews go into hiding and into the underground.  Most get sanctuary from their neighbors and the general population.  Many are hidden in houses, farms and in the rural countryside.  Despite the extreme danger of hiding Jews from the Nazis, the greater part of the Italian people, for humanitarian reasons alone, risked their lives to save Jews. 
 
Many Jews were saved by Catholic religious institutions.  Over 200 Jews were saved by Catholic organizations in Assisi, Italy, by a number of priests in numerous institutions.
 
Approximately 2,000 Jews served in the Italian partisan forces.  More than 100 were killed in partisan actions.
 
By the end of the war, more than more than 35,000 Jews, 85% of the Italian Jewish population, was saved from the Nazi murderers.  This was a completely spontaneous, altruistic rescue effort.
 
September 12, 1943
Mussolini is rescued from his fortress prison in Italy by German troops.
 
Fall 1943
King Christian X of Denmark intercedes directly with the Germans on behalf of the Jews.  He is later placed under house arrest.
 
September 13, 1943
German Consul Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz, in Copenhage, tries to prevent deportations of Danish Jews by personally intervening with German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop.
 
September 15, 1943
Mussolini tries to establish a new fascist government at Saló, on Lake Garda in Italy.
 
September 17, 1943
Recommendation to deport Danish Jews is passed on to Hitler, who gives authority for implementation of the action.
 
September 20, 1943
Jewish Council is established in Athens, Greece.
 
September 25, 1943
Soviet forces recapture Smolensk.
 
Duckwitz secretly flies to Stockholm and meets with Swedish Prime Minister Per Albin Hansson.  Duckwitz tells of plans to deport Danish Jews.  Sweden agrees to grant refuge.
 
Swedish ambassador to Denmark Gustav von Dardel participates in the rescue of Danish Jews.
 
The headquarters of the SS sends an order to all of its offices stating that, “in agreement with the Foreign Office,” all Jews are now to be deported.  Italian Jews are to be arrested and deported first, with the order to be carried out immediately.
 
Friedrich Möllhausen, the German Acting Consul General in Rome, tries personally to intervene with German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop to stop the deportation of Rome’s Jews.   As a means to spare them, Möllhausen suggests that Jews be used for labor.  Instead, his suggestion is refused and he is censured by von Ribbentrop’s staff.
 
German Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, Commander of the Army Group South in Italy, refuses to give approval for the use of German troops for deportations of Jews in Rome.
 
September 29, 1943
Duckwitz warns Danish political leaders about imminent deportation of Danish Jews.  Jewish community leaders are warned on the eve of the Jewish High Holidays.  The Danish community mobilizes and successfully hides the Jewish community in preparation for a mass escape to Sweden.
 
SS confiscate Jewish lists of names and addresses from the main synagogue in Rome.
 
2,000 Jews in Amsterdam are sent to the Westerbork transit camp.
 
End of September 1943
By the end of September, a total of 52,000 Jews are deported from France.  6,000 are citizens.  13,000 are refugees from Vichy, 4,000 of which are from Marseilles.  This was less than half the figure Eichmann had projected.  He concluded the French “no longer wished to follow [them] in the Final Solution in France.”
 
October 1943
SS officer Theodore Dannecker arrives in Rome with a detachment of 44 SS men to deport the Jews of Rome.
 
October 2, 1943
Rescue of 7,900 Danish Jews. Danish fisherman and policemen smuggle 98% of the nation’s Jews to neutral Sweden.  This is the most successful rescue operation by percentage of Jews in the war.  This action is supported by virtually the entire nation.  400 Jews are captured during the Nazi roundups.  Of these, fewer than 50 are killed by the Nazis, largely due to the interest and intervention by the Danish King and parliament.
 
Jewish partisans from the Solim ghetto in Poland help liberate and rescue Jews in Kosovo.  400 Jews escape into the forests.
 
October 7, 1943
SS general and police chief Jürgen Stroop in Athens orders Jews to register.  Only 2,000 register.
 
October 13, 1943
Italy declares war on Germany.
 
October 14, 1943
A Jewish revolt in the Sobibor death camp in Poland results in the deaths of 11 guards and the escape of more than fifty Jewish prisoners.  As a result, the camp is closed and demolished.
 
October 15-16, 1943
SS troops begin “Black Sabbath” raid on the Jews of Rome.  1,127 Jews are rounded up and deported to Auschwitz.  Thousands of Jews go into hiding.  The German ambassador in Rome warns the Pope about the imminent deportation. The Pope subsequently instructs priests to give the Jews sanctuary.  The Vatican hides 477 Jews and 4,238 Jews are hidden in convents and monasteries and religious orders in Rome.  In addition, many Italians take Rome’s Jews into their homes.  In all, 5,615 Jews of Rome are successfully hidden and could not be found by the Nazis.  This is 90% of the Roman Jews.
 
Bishop Ludwig Hudal of the German church in Rome, asks the German military commander to stop the deportation.
 
Roman police supervisor Angelo de Fiore refuses to give up Jewish registration lists.  Police officer Mares Ciallo Mario de Marco issues fake registration cards to Jews.
 
October 18, 1943
Italy declares war on Germany. 
 
In Nazi-occupied Rome, 1,035 Jews are arrested and deported to Auschwitz.
 
October 18-30, 1943
The Moscow Conference, between US, Great Britain and the Soviet Union, is held.  It discusses the future of Europe after the Allied victory.
 
October 20, 1943
The World Jewish Congress requests that the American Red Cross declare Jews in ghettos and concentration camps to be treated as Prisoners of War.  This would provide Jews with Red Cross and Geneva Convention protection.  The Red Cross rejects the idea on the grounds that Germans consider Jews to be an internal problem.
 
November 1943
International Committee of the Red Cross representative Charles Kolb is sent to Bucharest, Romania.  He tours camps in Transnistria and attempts to bring aid to Jewish survivors.
 
November 1, 1943
Moscow Declaration is signed by Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin, notifying German leaders that they will be held responsible for crimes against humanity for the murder of Jews and others, and will be subject to extradition to the countries where the crimes were committed.  The declaration does not mention Jews.
 
November 3, 1943
42,000 Jews are murdered in Poland in an action called “Ernfest” [harvest festival].
 
November 6, 1943
Soviets retake Kiev.
 
November 9, 1943
US Senator Guy Gillette, along with Congressmen Will Rogers, Jr., and Joseph Baldwin, introduces a resolution to establish a presidential commission “of diplomatic, economic, and military experts to formulate and effectuate a plan of action to save the surviving Jewish people of Europe.”  The resolution becomes the basis for the War Refugee Board, which will be created in January 1944.
 
The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (UNRRA) is established.
 
November 19, 1943
Jewish Sonderkommando [prisoners] in the Janowska camp rise up in revolt.  Several dozen escape.
 
November 24, 1943
Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau drafts a letter to the Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, objecting to the State Department’s slow approval of the transfer of funds for the rescue of Jews in France and Romania.
 
November 28-December 1, 1943
Teheran Conference is held with Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin.
 
November 30, 1943
SS officer Theodore Dannecker is put in charge of the arrest and deportation of Italian Jews.
 
The Nazis order all Jews in Italy into concentration camps.
 
November 1943
Series of intensive air raids against Berlin is begun.  It is called the Battle of Berlin.
 
Breckinridge Long continues his campaign against Jewish immigration to the United States.  He gives misleading testimony about immigration before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  Between December 1941 and the end of the war, only 21,000 refugees are admitted to the US and they comprise only ten percent of the US quota available for Axis-controlled countries.
 
Nazis destroy the death camp of Treblinka. 
 
Inmate resistance at the Majdanek death camp.  Hundreds are killed, but ten prisoners escape.
 
40 deportation trains leave France for Auschwitz.  There are no deportations in December and January 1943-1944.
 
Several French prefects destroy the Jewish census and registration files.  Refugees are helped by French citizens to flee to the Spanish border by sympathetic French police and civilian officials.
 
December 3, 1943
Under pressure, Swiss authorities agree to accept all Jewish refugees entering the country.
 
December 20, 1943
US Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau and his assistant, John Pehle, meet with US Secretary of State Cordell Hull and his assistant, Breckinridge Long.  Morgenthau complains about the State Department’s almost complete non-cooperation in approving the transfer of funds to be used for the rescue of Jews.  Morgenthau assigns Randolph Paul, General Counsel of the Treasury Department, to prepare a background paper documenting the eight month delay in granting World Jewish Congress representative Gerhardt Riegner the license to transfer money.  Josiah E. DuBois, Jr., prepares the paper with John Pehle and the Foreign Funds Control Division.  Pehle and DuBois investigate the State Department’s inaction on this and other matters, and they prepare a document entitled Report to the Secretary on the Acquiescence of This Government in the Murder of Jews.  It is signed by Randolph Paul.  The full report is never published.
 
December 23, 1943
Gerhardt Riegner is finally given a license to transfer funds from Jewish agencies for the relief and rescue of the Jews of Romania and France.  This is eight months after Riegner first requested permission from the US State Department to do so.
 
December 1943
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) representative Charles Kolb tries to protect Jewish deportees in Romania.  Kolb visits camps to ascertain living conditions of Jews.  Kolb intervenes on behalf of the thousands of Romanian Jews who had been sent to Transnistria.

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