Aktion Reinhard Timeline 1940

Last Update 27 May 2006


4 January: Hermann Göring was put in charge of Germany's war industry.
12 January: 440 patients of the mental home in Chelm (Poland) were killed by the Nazis.
15 January: The "Sonderkommando Lange" arrived at Koscian (Poland) to kill the patients of the Bernardine monastery. A first group of naked patients received an injection and were killed in a mobile gas chamber (gas van or gas trailer).
18 January: The first transport of 25 handicapped men arrived at the euthanasia centre Grafeneck Castle (Germany) from Eglfing-Haar near Munich (München), managed by the Grafeneck chief Dr. Horst Schumann.
23 January: In Germany Jews were forbidden to buy shoes and leather.
24 January: A decree was issued requiring the Jews of the Generalgouvernement to register all property.
25 January: The Nazis choosed the town of Oswiecim (Auschwitz) in Poland near Krakow as site of a new concentration camp.
26 January: Conclusion of the resettlement of Germans from Soviet-occupied Poland and the Baltic States to the Reich.
27 January: 1 million Poles from the Generalgouvernement should be sent to Germany for work.

Establishment of the T4 killing centres Grafeneck, Brandenburg, and Hartheim.
In Brandenburg 18 - 20 insane criminals were gassed in a test.
Euthanasia Centre Grafeneck Castle


3 February: Euthanasia killings started at the mental home in Gostynin (Poland).
5 February: Britain and France agreed to send aid and troops to Finland.
8 February: The Lodz Ghetto was established.
9 February: 2,750 Jewish and non-Jewish patients from mental and old people's homes in Germany arrived at the Koscian mental home. All were killed in gas trailers.
12 February: First deportation of German Jews to occupied Poland.
12 February: The first parts of the Enigma machine were recovered from the sunken German submarine U 33.
29 February: Palestine was divided into three parts in order to regulate the settlement of Jews and Arabs.
Lodz Ghetto Stamp

MARCH 1940

8 March: Restrictions for Poles who live in Germany. They were not allowed to contact Germans.
12 March: Finnish-Soviet peace treaty.
13 March: Euthanasia killings started at the mental home in Kochanowka (Poland).
14 March: Göring called on the Germans to donate all kinds of metal ("Metallspende").
16 March: The German Luftwaffe bombed the British naval base at Scapa Flow.
28 March: Britain and France agreed not to make a separate peace with Germany.
Poster, calling for the Donation of Metal

APRIL 1940

2-4 April: 499 patients of the mental home in Warta (Poland) were killed.
2 April: Civil mobilization in Italy.
8 April: The Royal Navy started to mine the Norwegian coast.
9 April: "Operation Weserübung": Without declaration of war German troops entered Denmark and Norway.
27 April: Himmler ordered the establishment of a concentration camp in Auschwitz (Oswiecim).
In addition he ordered to deport 2,500 German Sinti and Roma to Belzec, Krychow, and Siedlce.

30 April: The Lodz Ghetto was sealed off with 230,000 Jews locked inside.

Establishment of the T4 killing centre Sonnenstein.
Auschwitz Stammlager

MAY 1940

3 May: The German Aviation Ministry ordered the general blackout between sunset and sunrise.
4 May: Himmler appointed Rudolf Höß as Auschwitz commandant.
10 May: German troops occupied the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
10 May: Britain's Prime Minister Chamberlain announced his resignation. Winston Churchill succeeded him.
10 May: German airplanes bombed Freiburg i.Br. (Southern Germany) by mistake. This accident later served as justification for the attack on Great Britain.
10 May: Great Britain occupied Iceland.
11 May: The British Government approved the bombing of German towns.
14 May: The German Luftwaffe bombed Rotterdam.
15 May: The Dutch Army surrendered, Queen Wilhelmina fled to England.
15 May: Great Britain began the strategic bombing campaign against Germany. RAF bombers attacked targets in the Ruhrgebiet.
17 May: German forces captured Brussels.
20 May: A deportation train with Romany departed from Hamburg. They were brought to Belzec.
24 May: The Germans halted their advance on Dunkirk.
26 May: Start of the evacuation of the encircled Allied troops from Dunkirk to England.
27 May: Allied forces captured Narvik.
28 May: The Belgian Army surrendered.
30 May: Japanese set up a puppet Chinese government at Nanking.

The first 633 mental home patients were gassed at the euthanasia centre Hartheim (Austria).
Belzec: Approximately 10,000 Jews from Lublin, Radom and Warsaw district arrived at Belzec village and were distributed on several labour camps.
Euthanasia Centre Hartheim Castle

JUNE 1940

3 June: The German Luftwaffe bombed Paris.
3 June: The evacuation of Dunkirk ended.
5 June: General de Gaulle became member of the French ministry of war.
6 June: The German criminal law (including death penalty) was introduced in Poland.
8 June: The British aircraft carrier HMS Glorious was sunk by the German battleship Scharnhorst.
9 June: The last allied troops left Narvik (Norway) for Great Britain.
10 June: Italy declared war on Great Britain and France.
10 June: The last Norwegian troops surrendered.
11 June: The French government left Paris for Tours.
11 June: The first air combat between Great Britain and Italy at Cyrenaica and Malta.
14 June: German troops entered Paris.
14 June: The first prisoners were sent to Auschwitz: 728 Polish political prisoners (including some Jews) arrived there from Tarnow.
15 June: Soviet troops occupied Lithuania.
16 June: Marshal Pétain became French Prime Minister.
18 June: Hitler met Mussolini in München to discuss the conditions for the French surrender.
18 June: In London General de Gaulle called on the Frenchmen to continue their resistance against the German occupation.
18 June: RAF bombers attacked Hamburg and Bremen.
21 June: Italian forces attacked France.
22 June: Signing of the French capitulation document in the famous railway waggon (Versailles Treaty / 1918) at Compiègne in France.
23 June: Hitler visited Paris.
24 June: France signed an armistice with Italy.
25 June: Japan demanded the right to send troops to French Indochina.
28 June: Great Britain recognized General de Gaulle as the Free French leader.
30 June: German forces occupied the Channel Islands.

End of June the first euthanasia victims were gassed at Sonnenstein.
Hitler in Paris

JULY 1940

1 July: Stalin refused the Allied offer for cooperation.
4 July: Italy entered the Sudan.
8 July: Neutral Sweden permitted the transit of German war equipment to Norway.
9 July: Last killings at the mental home in Gostynin (Poland).
9 July: A memorandum, sent by the German churches to Hitler, started their protest against the Nazi euthanasia.
13 July: Italy entered Kenya.
16 July: Hitler gave orders to start the planning for the invasion of Great Britain ("Operation Seelöwe" / Operation Sea Lion").
17 July: First anti-Jewish measures in "Vichy France".
19 July: Hitler's "last offer" to Great Britain to commence peace negotiations.
19 July: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Two-Ocean Navy Expansion Act.
21 July: The new "parliaments" of the Soviet-occupied Baltic States decided the integration of their countries into the Soviet Union.
22 July: Great Britain created the SOE (Special Operations Executive) to act against German forces in occupied Europe.
26-27 July: Hitler met the heads of government of Romania and Bulgaria to talk about a new order for the Balkans.

Eichmann's "Madagascar Plan" was presented, proposing to deport all European Jews to the island of Madagascar.
From July until August 1940 Lublin Jews were forced to build up a labour camp on the site of the former Lublin airfield. Workshops were installed in former hangars and new barracks.
Destroyed Lublin Airfield


1 August: Hitler issued the "Directive 17", updating the Invasion of Britain. Target date was 19-26 September.
3-19 August: Italian troops occupied British Somaliland in East Africa.
5 August: Churchill proclaimed instructions for the wartime, especially air-raid precautions.
8 August: Military agreement between Great Britain and de Gaulle's French troops.
8 August: Romania introduced anti-Jewish measures restricting education and employment, later the "Romanianization" of Jewish businesses started.
9 August: In Germany Jews were not allowed having any assets.
13 August: "Adlertag" ("Day of the Eagle"): The first day of the German Luftwaffe's large-scale attack on British airfields and factories.
17 August: Hitler declared the blockade of the British Isles.
20 August: The German Episcopal Conference forbade Catholic institutions to support the euthanasia measures in mental homes.
23-24 August: First German air raid on Central London.
25-26 August: First British air raid on Berlin, in reprisal for the attack on 23-24 August 1940.
German Bombers


2 September: The U.S. agreed to supply Britain with 50 early-model destroyers.
12-13 September: Italian troops invaded Libya and Egypt, commanded by Marshal Rodolpho Graziani.
15 September: Massive German air raids on London, Southampton, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, and Manchester.
16 September: Universal military conscription in the U.S.
20 September: The allied convoy HX-72 was attacked by a German submarine Wolfpack. 12 of 41 ships were sunk.
27 September: "Tripartite Pact" signed by Germany, Italy, and Japan.
30 September: The German Luftwaffe switched from daylight to night bombings over England.

During late summer of 1940 a section of the Bernburg complex was leased to the "Gemeinnützige Stiftung für Anstaltspflege" (Welfare Foundation for Mental Nursinghomes), better known as Aktion T4. From then onwards the Bernburg mental home was divided into a regular institute and an euthanasia killing site.
Euthanasia Centre Bernburg


2 October: Establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto.
7 October: German troops entered Romania.
12 October: Germans postponed "Operation Sea Lion" (the invasion of the British Isles) until Spring of 1941.
22 October: The Netherlands: Jewish businesses must be reported to the Nazi authorities and registered.
28 October: Italy declared war on Greece, and started to invade Greece.
29 October: The last victims (children) were gassed at the euthanasia killing centre Brandenburg.
29 October: British forces occupied Crete.

Within four weeks during October/November 1940, 80 m2 of the cellar at the former Männerhaus 2 (Men House No.2) of the Bernburg Euthanasia centre were converted into a killing facility.
Belzec: The work camps in Belzec and nearby villages were abandoned.
Prisoners at a Belzec Forced Labour Camp


5 November: Roosevelt re-elected as U.S. president.
14 November: The city centre and the cathedral of Coventry (England) were destroyed by German bombers.
15 November: The Jewish ghetto in Warsaw was sealed off.
20 November: Hungary became member of the "Tripartite Pact".
21 November: The first 25 mentally ill persons of the mental home at Neuruppin were gassed in Bernburg.
21 November: Jews were dismissed from all government positions.
23 November: Romania joined the "Tripartite Pact".
24 November: Slovakia became member of the "Tripartite Pact".
Warsaw Ghetto Wall


5 December: Greek forces entered Albania, pushing the Italians back.
9-10 December: British troops started a desert offensive in North Africa against the Italians.
13 December: Last gassings at the T4 centre Grafeneck, then closed.
17 December: Roosevelt tried to strenghten the British economy by lending American credits.
17 December: In North Africa British troops entered the Italian colonies.
18 December: Hitler gave orders for the planned "Operation Barbarossa" (the invasion of the USSR).
29 December: Biggest attack of German bombers on London (The "London Blitz").
London under German aerial Attack

© ARC 2006