The holocaust 1939-1941


Germany declares war and invades Poland, triggering the outbreak of World War II.

Polish Jews ordered to wear armbands or lapel badges with a yellow Star of David.

All German Jews ordered to surrender their radios to authorities.

The Nazi government orders Jews to surrender all precious metals and gemstones to the state, without compensation.

The German lottery agency declares that Jews may no longer purchase tickets or receive lottery prizes.


The deportation of German Jews into ghettos or concentration camps begins.

A site is selected for the construction of Auschwitz, a new concentration camp in southern Poland.

Jews in Germany are no longer permitted to own or use telephones.

The cinematic release of the German anti-Semitic propaganda film Der Ewige Juden (‘The Eternal Jew’).

Warsaw Ghetto sealed off, its entrances blocked by checkpoints, bricks and barbed wire.