9th November 1918

Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated. Weimar Republic declared.


28th June 1919

Treaty of Versailles signed. 

5th January 1919

German Workers’ Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) DAP formed by Anton Drexler, Gottfried Feder, Dietrich Eckart and Karl Harrer


12th September 1919

Adolf Hitler, who had been sent by the German Army to spy on the German Workers’ Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) DAP, decided that he liked the political ideas of the party and became a member.

24th February 1920

German Workers’ Party (DAP) changed its name to National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDP) called the Nazi Party for short. During its first meeting a 25 point programme was announced

29th July 1921

Adolf Hitler became leader of the NSDP and took the title der Fhrer

4th November 1921

SA (Sturm Abteilung) formed. Known as Stormtroopers these were the party militia. They were also known as brownshirts because of the brown shirts that formed part of their uniform.

8th November 1923

Munich (Beer Hall) Putsch – Hitler and the NSDP attempt to overthrow the Bavarian government failed. The leaders were arrested and charged with treason.

26th February 1924

Hitler’s trial for his part in the Munich Putsch began.  He was sentenced to 5 years in prison but only served 10 months. During his time in prison Hitler wrote Mein Kampf.

April 1925

SS (Schutzstaffel) formed. The SS, who wore black shirts to distinguish them from the SA, initially formed Hitler’s personal bodyguard, but later became the party militia.

4th July 1926

Hitler Youth, League of German Worker Youth was formed. The party had had a youth section since its beginning, but this new re-organised Hitler Youth was more integrated into the SA.

20th August 1927

The first annual party conference to be held at Nuremburg. Known as the Nuremburg Rally all subsequent annual meetings were held at Nuremburg.

1929 – 1930

Great Depression – The world depression saw many Germans face unemployment and poverty. Support for the Nazi party increased dramatically.

During 1930

Hitler Youth junior branches established – Deutsches Jungvolk for boys aged 10 – 14 years and the Bund Deutscher Model (League of German Girls) for girls aged 10 – 18 years.

September 1930

The Nazi party gained 18.3% of the vote in the Reichstag elections to become the second largest party.

July 1932

The Nazi party gained 37.4% of the vote in the Reichstag elections to become the largest party.

30th January 1933

Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Hindenburg

3rd February 1933

Hitler defined the Nazi party foreign policy. The prime goal was to secure lebensraum (living space) for the German master race.

27th February 1933

The Reichstag Fire. A fire which broke out at the Reichstag building was blamed on the Communist Party (KPD). As a result the KPD, which was the second largest party in Germany, was banned.  The banning of the Communist party gave the Nazis a clear majority in government.

5th March 1933

With the Communist party banned Hitler ordered a new election at which the Nazi party gained 44% of the General election vote.

23rd March 1933

Enabling Act gave Hitler power to make laws without consulting the Reichstag for a period of four years

26th April 1933

The Gestapo, Nazi secret police, were formed

26th April 1933

The Nazis took over local government

2nd May 1933

Trade Unions were banned

10th May 1933

25,000 ‘un-German’ books burned in an “Action against the Un-German Spirit”. The move was encouraged by Joseph Goebbels, Head of Propaganda.

14th July 1933

All political parties except the Nazis were banned

October 1933

Germany withdrew from the League of Nations

30th June 1934

The Night of the Long Knives – 150 leaders of the Stormtroopers SA were executed. Many members of the SA were committed socialists and demanded that Nazi policy embrace socialist aims. This was not a direction the Nazis wished to follow so the SA were eliminated.

2nd August 1934

President Hindenburg died. Hitler combined the post of President and Chancellor and called himself Fuhrer.

September 1934

In a speech to the National Socialist Women’s Organization, Hitler defined women’s role stating that a woman’s ” world is her husband, her family, her children, and her home.”

26th February 1935

Hitler ordered Hermann Goering to establish the Luftwaffe, German airforce, in defiance of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles

March 1935

Hitler publicly announced that the German Army was to be expanded. Conscription was introduced.

15th September 1935

Nuremburg Laws defined German citizenship. Relationships between Jews and Aryans were banned.

7th March 1936

Re-occupation of the Rhineland. In contravention of the terms of the Versailles Treaty, Hitler sent German troops to re-occupy the Rhineland.

1st August 1936

Berlin Olympics began.

25th October 1936

Axis alliance concluded between Germany and Italy

25th November 1936

Anti-Comintern pact concluded between Germany and Japan

December 1936

Law concerning the Hitler Youth made membership of the Hitler Youth compulsory for all boys

14th March 1938

Anschluss with Austria. Hitler made a triumphant entry into Vienna

30th September 1938

Munich Agreement – Allies agreed that Germany could have the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia in return for peace

November 1938

Kristallnacht – Jewish shops and synagogues were destroyed. Following the event the Jewish population was fined for the destruction.

15th March 1939

Hitler invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia in contravention of the Munich Agreement

31st March 1939

Britain issued a statement guaranteeing Poland’s independence. The issuing of this statement meant that if Germany invaded Poland then Britain would come to the aid of the Poles.

23rd August 1939

Nazi-Soviet Pact – Alliance between Hitler and Stalin which agreed to divide Poland between the two countries.

25th August 1939

Anglo-Polish Common Defence Pact – This agreement offered mutual military assistance in the event that one country was attacked by another European country. A clause was added specifying that the assistance would only be offered if the invaded country’s army fought against the aggressor.

1st September 1939

Hitler invaded Poland using Blitzkrieg (lightning war) tactics. Although the Poles fought back they were quickly defeated and Poland was occupied.

3rd September 1939

Britain and France declared war on Germany

9th April 1940

Denmark and Norway invaded and occupied

10th May 1940

Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France invaded and occupied

10th July 1940

Battle of Britain began – German Luftwaffe attempted to gain control of British airspace through defeat of the Royal Airforce.

October 1940

Daylight and night bombing raids on Britain (The Blitz) by the Luftwaffe were abandoned. Hitler also delayed and later abandoned plans to invade Britain.

6th April 1941

Yugoslavia and Greece invaded and occupied

22nd June 1941

Operation Barbarossa – 3 million German troops invaded Russia

5th December 1941

German advance in Russia halted by Russian winter and Russian counterattacks.

11th December 1941

Hitler declared war on the United States. Following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December the United States had declared war on Japan. Under the terms of the Anti-Comintern Pack Hitler was bound to declare war on the United States

20th January 1942

Wannsee Conference approved plans for the ‘Final Solution’.

5th November 1942

German troops defeated at the Second Battle of El Alamein in North Africa

2nd February 1943

German 6th Army defeated at Stalingrad

4th March 1943

First allied bombing raid on German cities

6th June 1944

Operation Overlord, D-Day. Allied invasion of Normandy

20th July 1944

July Bomb Plot failed attempt to assassinate Hitler.

30th April 1945

Hitler committed suicide

2nd May 1945

Germany surrendered ending the war in Europe

20th November 1945

Nuremburg war crimes trial began


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