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A. Preliminaries (1933-39)In January, 1933 the Nazis came to power in Germany and in April, 1933 they began to persecute (harass) the Jews systematically. For example, the first Nazi anti-Jewish law banned most Jews from working in the public sector and sacked those already working there. Most Jewish students were expelled from universities and colleges (also in April 1933) and Jews were banned from working in the media. (The Nazis were particularly preoccupied with Jews in the media).

Other important landmarks (dates, events) include:

September 1935: The Nuremberg Laws defined 'Jew', degrees of 'Jewishness' and formally made the German Jews second class citizens; they also forbade marriage (and sex) between Jews and non-Jews.

November 9-10, 1938: Night of Borken Glass (Kristallnacht)

Jewish owned shops and some Jewish homes, and every synagogue in Greater Germany was vandalized by stormtroopers acting on orders in

a co-ordinated campaign. Also, 30,000 Jews were sent to concentration camps and by Christmas 1938 two thousand of them were dead.

September 1939: With the start of World War 2 further, severe restrictions were placed on Jews.

For a more detailed list of German anti-Jewish measures in the years 1933-39 please see the related question below.

B. GhettoizationIn many large German cities the Jews were ordered to move into designated Jewish apartment blocks.

The invasion of Poland greatly increased the number of Jews living under Nazi rule. The Jews in Poland were forced (starting in October 1939) to move into ghettos - in other words, into specified Jewish districts, which were (to somewhat varying degrees) cut off from the surrounding areas. (Most were surrounded by high walls and barbed wire). The Nazis controlled the supply of food and medication to these ghettos ... The Death Rate began to rise.

C. Routine mass shootingsOn 22 June 1941 the Germans invaded the Soviet Union (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, etc.). The German armies were followed by the Einsatzgruppen - the mobile killing units (death squads). Assisted by local volunteers, they first went into action in Kaunas, Lithuania on 25 June 1941 in a massive killing spree. In town after town they systematically murdered the Jews. The biggest single massacre was that of 33,771 Jews at Babi Yar outside Kiev (29-30 September 1941).D. DeportationsThe SS and SD, which was responsible for carrying the Holocaust, gradually came to the conclusion that it was simpler to transport the victims to the killers instead of sending the killers in pursuit of the victims. On 15 October 1941 the first routine deportations from Berlin (followed soon afterwards by other German cities) began. Some of the Jews were dumped in the already overcrowded ghettos in Lodz and Warsaw, but most were sent to Riga, in Latvia, and to Minsk, Belarus where ghettos were established in these cities and killing fields just outside. E. Routine gassings - extermination campsAt this stage the Nazis had yet invented the extermination camp. In September 1941 experimental gassings were carried out at Auschwitz. On 8 December 1941 the first routine mass gassing began at Chelmno using mobile vans with the exhaust directed into the vans.

By now the Holocaust was under way ...

Further, large extermination camps were established in the next few months at: Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka and Auschwitz II (Birkenau), and Majdanek was used as a 'back-up' extermination camp.

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Q: What were some major events of the Holocaust?
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