Michel Thomas
About Michel Thomas
Short Summary of the Life of Michel Thomas
Chronology of Michel's Life
The Michel Thomas Language Centers

Chronology of Michel's Life

February 3 Born in Lodz, Poland
Gets Rickets as child
Moves to Breslau
January 30 Hitler becomes Chancellor.
Attends Bordeaux University.
Leaves Bordeaux University.
Summer courses at Le Sorbonne.
In Grasse with Michael Ken.
Final visit to Poland
Michel moves to Vienna University.
March 11-12 Reich annexes Austria in Anschluss.
His passport confiscated, Michel flees Austria.
August 23 Germany signs non-aggression pact with USSR.
September 1 Germany invades Poland.
September 3 UK and France declare war on Germany.
Michel volunteers for the French Army.
September Meets Viennese writer in Nice.
March 28 Agreement between France and Britain prohibits either country from making a separate peace.
May 13 German Army enters France by crossing the Meuse river at Dinant and Sedan.
June 10 French Government leaves Paris for Loire Valley.
June 14 German Army enters Paris. French Government moves from Loire Valley to Bordeaux.
June 16 French cabinet rejects plan for Anglo-French Union. Marshal PÈtain takes helm.
June 17 PÈtain's broadcast calls for an armistice.
June 22 Franco-German armistice signed.
June 23 Hitler visits Paris.
June 24 France signs armistice with Italy.
June 29 PÈtain's government leaves Bordeaux for Clermont-Ferrand.
July 1 PÈtain's government moves from Clermont-Ferrand to Vichy.
On Churchill's orders, the Royal Navy sinks French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir.
July 11 PÈtain establishes the Vichy regime with himself as Head of State.
July 22 Vichy begins to review citizenship of those naturalized since 1927.
August 2 French Military tribunal condemns de Gaulle to death.
August 17 Germans ban Jews who fled to the Southern Zone from returning to the Occupied Zone.
August 29 LÈgion FranÁais des Combattants formed in the Southern Zone.
September 27 German decree requires a census of Jews in the Occupied Zone.
September Michel arrested by Vichy police.
October 3 Vichy introduces first Statut des Juifs, defining Jewishness and banning Jews from higher public service and positions influencing public opinion.
October 22 PÈtain meets Hitler at Montoire, near Tours.
October 28 Pierre Laval appointed Foreign Minister.
October 30 PÈtain advocates collaboration in a radio broadcast.
January 9 Michel released from jail in Nice.
February 14 Refus de sÈjour.
Jan-Apr Resident in Monte Carlo.
March Vichy establishes Commissariat GÈnÈral aux Questions Juives (CGQJ) headed by Xavier Vallat.
April Vichy's Groupes Mobiles de Reserve, April, 1941.
April 27 Michel interned in Le Vernet (Transport 17 Juifs)
May 11 Vichy celebrates Joan of Arc's feast day.
May 14 First rafle of Jews in Paris.
June Hitler invades Soviet Union.
June 2 Vichy's second Statut des Juifs, requiring a census of Jews in the Southern Zone and excluding Jews from commerce and industry.
July 22 Vichy law authorises confiscation of Jewish property and enterprises.
August 21 First public assassination of German.
November 29 Vallat establishes the Union GÈnÈrale des Israelites de France, supposedly to let Jews manage their own affairs.
December Fateful conversation with Suzanne
Michel sent to slave labour camp in the Alps.
February 4 Service d'Ordre Legionnaire, predecessor of the Milice, is formed.
March Franc-Tireurs et Partisans (FTP) formed.
March 27 First trainload of French Jews leaves Drancy for Auschwitz.
May 29 Jews over the age of 6 in the Occupied Zone are required to wear the yellow star.
August 5 First Jews from the camps in the Southern Zone sent to Drancy en route for Auschwitz.
Michel taken from Alpine camp to Les Milles.
August Children torn from mothers at Les Milles
August 13 Switzerland closes its borders to Jewish refugees.
September Michel joins Resistance in Lyon
November 8 Allies begin landings in North Africa.
November 11 Germans occupy Southern Zone.
December 11 Vichy regime orders Jews in the Southern Zone to have Juif or Juive stamped on personal documents.
January 23 Germans destroy Vieux Port in Marseille.
January 31 The Milice Francaise is founded, with Laval as president.
January Jean Moulin merges resistance groups.
February 9 Michel arrested by Barbie.
February 16 SÈrvice du Travail Obligatoire (STO) introduced.
March 30 Michel arrested by Grenoble Milice and tortured for six hours.
April 24 First Miliciens killed by resistants.
June 21 Klaus Barbie captures Moulin and other leading resistants at Caluire (Lyon).
September Michel named Section Chief in the A.S. (Secret Army).
September 8 Germans take over Italian-occupied territory in southern France. Italy agrees to armistice with Allies.
September 11 Germans occupy Rome.
October 3 RÈsistants and Free French liberate Corsica.
January 27 Authority of the Milice extended to the north of France.
March 26 Maquisards defeated in battle on the plateau of GliËres.
April Milice killed at Voiron, Grenoble.
June 6 D-Day landings. Resistance received BBC codes.
June 7-9 Maquisards occupy Tulle but withdraw on arrival of an SS Division, which hangs 99 local men.
July 12 Vichy ministers hold their last cabinet meeting.
July 14 USAF makes its largest daytime drop of supplies in the Lot, the Correze and the Dordogne as well as the Vercors plateau.
July 21-23 The Maquis defeated on the plateau of the Vercors, losing 630 men.
August 15 French and Allied troops land in Provence.
Suzanne arrested.
August 17 Last trainload of Jews leaves France for Auschwitz.
Liberation of Grenoble.
August 27 Michel attached to the S-2 First Battalion, 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th division of American 7th Army. .
October Lt. Henry Teichmann signs order detaching Michel from the 180th infantry Regiment. Michel trains with the French army to parachute into Germany
November Battle in Vosges mountains.
December 16-26 The battle of the Bulge: German counter-offensive in the Ardennes almost reaches the Meuse near Dinant before being repelled.
January 26 Russian troops enter Auschwitz.
March Allied Troops cross Rhine.
Michel joins the 45th Division Counter Intelligence Corps .
April Michel first learns of Rocket programme.
April 12 Allies liberate Buchenwald and Belsen.
April 29 Michel enters Dachau.
May 1 Based on information obtained in Dachau, Michel arrests Emil Mahl (the hangman of Dachau).
May 8 End of war in the West.
Michel discovers the Nazi party Master File at a paper mill in Freimann, near Munich.
June French intelligence officers tell of loot at Ebensee.
June 21 Given TD to Southern France - Government Transport approved.
July 7 Letter from Suzanne.
July 23 -
August 15
PÈtain tried, convicted and sentenced to death.
August 28 Report on Rocket R-Gerat
September Michel is transferred to Ulm subsection of 307th CIC Detachment. Ted Kraus joins CIC in Ulm.
November 20 Nuremberg trials of 21 leading Nazis begins.
January 3 Michel captures Gustav Knittel a priority War Criminal wanted for the Malmedy massacre.
September Ted Kraus and Michel go on holiday in France, Italy and Austria.
October 2 Michel recommended for US citizenship by his commanding officer, CIC.
October 16 Leading Nazis found guilty at Nuremberg and sentenced to hang.
May Michel leaves CIC and goes to America. Founds the Polyglot Institute (lanquage school) in Beverly Hills, CA.
January 5 France - First amnesty law revokes punishment of those sentenced to dÈgradation nationale or prison terms of less than 15 years.
November 6 Association pour DÈfendre la MÈmoire du MarÈchal Petain formed.
August 3 Second amnesty law effectively ends the epuration.
April Michel teaches problem class at George Washington Carver High School.
April Marcel Ophuls' film The Sorrow and the Pity released in cinemas (but not shown on French TV until October 1986.)
February 5 Barbie extradited from Bolivia to France and indicted for crimes against humanity.
May 11 -
July 4
Michel testifys at the trial of Klaus Barbie. Barbie is given a life sentence.
May 24 Touvier arrested in Nice for crimes against humanity.
September 25 Barbie dies in prison.
1994 Touvier sentenced to life imprisonment.
July 17 Touvier dies in prison.
September 18 Judges in Bordeaux rule that Maurice Papon, former Vichy official in the Gironde, should stand trial for crimes against humanity.
Michel finally brings himself to read the 50-year-old letters from his mother and aunt.

Michel's mother Freida - strong, independent and adored by her son.

Michel in Vienna as a student.