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WWII Timeline – Fall 1945

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at October – December 1945 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Fall 1945

October 24, 1945

The United Nations was “born,” formally coming into existence on this day when its charter was ratified by its five permanent members: the United States, Great Britain, France, China, and the Soviet Union.

Otto Frank received word that his daughters Anne and Margot died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Hermine “Miep” Gies, one of the Dutch citizens who hid the Frank family and four other Dutch Jews from the Nazis, gave him the diary written by Anne that she found in the annex after the family was arrested.

November 13, 1945

Free French leader General Charles de Gaulle was elected head of the provisional French government.

November 20, 1945

The best-known of the Nuremberg trials, the Trial of Major War Criminals, was held from November 20, 1945 to October 1, 1946. The former leaders of Hitler’s Third Reich on trial in Nuremberg, Germany included,

  • Hermann Göring
  • Rudolf Hess
  • Joachim von Ribbentrop
  • Wilhelm Keitel
  • Ernst Kaltenbrunner
  • Alfred Rosenberg
  • Hans Frank
  • Wilhelm Frick
  • Julius Streicher
  • Walther Funk
  • Hjalmar Schacht
  • Karl Dönitz
  • Erich Raeder
  • Baldur von Schirach
  • Fritz Sauckel
  • Alfred Jodl
  • Franz von Papen
  • Arthur Seyss-Inquart
  • Albert Speer
  • Konstantin von Neurath
  • Hans Fritzsche

The trial was conducted by a joint United States-British-French-Soviet military tribunal, with each nation supplying two judges.

The four counts in the indictment were:

  • Count 1 – Conspiracy to commit crimes alleged in the next three counts
  • Count 2 – Crimes Against Peace, including planning, preparing, starting, or waging aggressive war
  • Count 3 – War Crimes, including violations of laws or customs of war
  • Count 4 – Crimes Against Humanity, including murder, extermination, enslavement, persecution on political or racial grounds, involuntary deportment, and inhumane acts against civilian populations

The History Place reports that,

The majority of the defendants claimed they were unknowing pawns of Adolf Hitler or were simply following orders. Evidence used against the defendants included Nazi propaganda films and extensive Nazi paperwork documenting mass murder and other crimes. Also shown were films taken by the Allies after the liberation of extermination camps.

For more detail about the trial, follow the link below in Sources.

December 9, 1945

General George S. Patton broke his neck in a car accident near Mannheim, Germany. The accident left him paralyzed from the neck down.

December 21, 1945

General Patton died in a hospital in Luxemburg from injuries he sustained in the December 9 car crash.

December 22, 1945

Britain and the U.S. formally recognized the new government of Josip Broz Tito’s Yugoslavia.

U.S. President Harry S. Truman issued an executive order known as the “Truman Directive,” which gave preference to displaced persons for immigrant visas under existing U.S. immigration quota restrictions. Overall immigration into the United States did not increase but more displaced persons were admitted than before. About 22,950 displaced persons, of whom two-thirds were Jewish, entered the United States between December 22, 1945 and 1947 under provisions of the Truman Directive.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

The History Place: Nuremberg War Crimes Trial

Most recent post from the series:

Summer 1945

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2020


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