Politics and World Events
Second World War
Political and diplomatic developments
January 1: History of the United Nations: During the Arcadia Conference in Washington, D.C., 26 states of the anti-Hitler coalition sign the United Nations Declaration. It serves to formalize and confirm the Atlantic Charter adopted last year and is a step towards the founding of the United Nations.
January 1: Venezuela breaks off diplomatic relations with Italy, Japan and the German Empire.
January 2: The largest espionage case in US history ends with 33 German agents of the Duquesne spy ring being sentenced to prison terms totaling over 300 years. J. Edgar Hoover describes the dismantling of the spy ring as the greatest counterintelligence success in United States history.
January 25 Thailand declares war on Britain and the United States, entering World War II on the side of the Axis powers.
January 29: Half a year after the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran, the new Shah Mohammad Reza Shah signed an agreement in which the USSR and Great Britain were assured all possible non-military support.
February 1: The US government broadcaster Voice of America broadcasts its first program in German via British transmitters.
February 15: The Vichy regime legislates for abortion to be a "crime against state security" and imposes the death penalty on those who perform abortions on pregnant women.
February 19: In the United States, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, a directive establishing restricted military areas that will result in the forcible resettlement and internment of Japanese-Americans. The Manzanar War Relocation Center and the Minidoka War Relocation Center are two of ten internment camps that will be established on this legal basis.
March 9: Major General Henry H. Arnold becomes Commanding General of the United States Army Air Forces, giving them greater autonomy from the United States Army.
April 26: The last Reichstag session in the German Reich from 1933 to 1945 takes place in the Krolloper in Berlin. Adolf Hitler now becomes the supreme court – without being bound by existing legal provisions. (See also: Resolution of the Greater German Reichstag of April 26, 1942)
August 4: The Swiss Federal Council confirms in a decision that Jewish Germans in particular will be turned back at the borders, even if the foreigners affected by this could suffer serious disadvantages (danger to life and limb).
August 8: For six participants in the Operation Pastorius commando operation, their willingness to commit acts of sabotage in the United States on behalf of Germany ends shortly after the verdict on the electric chair by a US military court. Two other perpetrators in spe receive long prison sentences.
October 30: The crew of the British destroyer HMS Petard captured code books of the Enigma M4 cipher machine while sinking the German submarine U 559 off the coast of Egypt.
26./27. November: On the initiative of Josip Broz Tito, the Antifascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia is founded in Bihać as a self-proclaimed war parliament and provisional war government.
December 18: The Interallied Declaration on the Extermination of the Jews in 1942 is read. This declaration shows and legally announces that the international community will pursue the Nazi crimes against the Jews after the Nazi regime was defeated.
January 8: Troops of the Soviet Northwest Front under Pavel Alexeyevich Kurochkin open de