The World at War

GERMANY - The Republic in Crisis 1920 - 1923

GERMANY - The Republic in Crisis Timeline

1920January 5 Adolf Hitler becomes chief of propaganda for the German Workers’ Party (DAP).
January 10 Danzig is organized as a, “Free City”, under League of Nations’ supervision.
January 13 Government troops open fire on a crowd gathered in front of the Reichstag to protest the proposed Workers Council Bill which would create government controlled trade unions. Forty two protesters are killed and 105 injured.
January 15 Marshal Ferdinand Foch becomes chief of the Allied Control Commission in Germany.
January 16 The Allies request extradition of former Kaiser Wilhelm II from the Netherlands.
January 20 Treaty of Versailles comes into force.
January 23 The Netherlands refuses to extradite former Kaiser Wilhelm II to the Allies.
France demands that the German Army be reduced to 100,000 men and that it turnover 900 accused war criminals.
February 4 The November 1918 Arbeitsgemeinschaft (labor accord) concluded between the trade unions and industrialists receives the force of law.
February 5 Germany refuses to turn over 890 accused war criminals to the Allies.
February 10 A plebiscite in northern Schleswig favors reunion with Denmark by a vote of 75,431 to 25,329.
February 11 An Inter-Allied Commission of Government under French General Henri Le Rond takes over administration of Upper Silesia. The region is occupied by a 21,000 man garrison of French, British and Italian troops under the command of French General Jules Gartier.
February 24 Adolf Hitler delivers the manifesto of the German Worker’s Party to an audience of 2,000 gathered in Munich’s Keller Hofbrauhaus. Hitler announces that the DAP will henceforth be known as the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) and delivers a denunciation of the Treaty of Versailles. Rudolf Hess is in the crowd. Hess declares Hitler a man, “capable of restoring German honor” and decides to join the party.
February 28 Belgium sends troops to occupy Frankfurt along side the French Army.
February The Government opposes extradition of General von Ludendorff, Field Marshal von Hindenburg, Admiral von Tirpitz, former Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg and the former Crown Prince.
March 5 The Netherlands refuses a second request for the extradition of former Kaiser Wilhelm II.
March 12 Wolfgang Kapp organizes a coup d'etat with the support of monarchists and the Pomeranian Land League.
March 13 General von Lüttwitz, former commander of the Army in northern Germany who was dismissed for refusing to comply with the Treaty of Versailles, leads a pro-Kapp freikorps into Berlin and occupies the capital without resistance. General von Seeckt, commander of the guard, refuses to defend the Government on the principle that, “soldiers should not fire on their own”. The Government flees to Dresden and later to Stuttgart. Kapp proclaims himself chancellor and appoints von Lüttwitz commander in chief of the army.
March 14 The Orgesch putsch in Bavaria: the army overthrows the Social Democratic government of Adolph Hoffman in favor of a right wing regime head by von Kahr.
A Communist uprising is launched in the Ruhr.
March 14 - 16 The civil service refuses to take direction from Kapp. General von Seeckt remains neutral. The Government calls for a General Strike.
March 17 Kapp and General von Lüttwitz flee Berlin and request asylum in Sweden. The friekorps, now unwelcome in Prussia, retreats to Bavaria along with General Ludendorff who Kapp had considered installing as military dictator of the Reich.
Communists take over several towns and mines in the Westphalian district of the Ruhr.
March 19 The Ruhr is in Communist hands. The Government freikorps under General Lützow fails to crush the insurrection and is forced to retreat. The Minister of War Gustav Noske is forced to resign.
March 24 A plebiscite in southern Schleswig favors continued German sovereignty by a vote of 248,148 to 13,029.
March 26 The Bauer Government resigns rather than yield to trade union demands for the power to appoint cabinet ministers and direct legislation.
March 27 President Ebert appoints Social Democrat Hermann Müller to the chancellorship.
April 1 The Federal Government assumes control of all German state railways. The rail system had been highly profitable until the final year of the war then posted a 28% loss in 1918 and a 65% loss in 1919.
April 2 - 6 The Müller Government dispatches troops under General von Watter to suppress the Communist uprising in the Ruhr. The presence of German troops in the demilitarized zone arouses French suspicions.
April 6 French troops under General Dongoulette occupy Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Hamburg, Dieburg and Hanau. The French Government declares the action a precautionary measure to insure German respect for the Treaty of Versailles.
April 10 The Belgian Government decides to intervene on the right bank of the Rhine.
April 14 The German Army occupies the disputed district of Vogtland on the Czech border without opposition.
April 15 The Communist uprising in the Ruhr is suppressed. Law and order are restored.
April 16 France announces that its troops will continue to occupy German cities until German forces are withdrawn from the demilitarized zone along the Rhine.
April 17 Wolfgang Kapp is arrested in Stockholm.
Max Hölz commander of the communist Red Armies of Saxony is arrested at Marienbad, Czechoslovakia. The Czechs refuse to extradite him to Germany.
April 30 The former principalities of Reuss Gera and Reuss Greiz are incorporated into the newly formed State of Thuringia.
April Captain Ernst Röhm, a former member of the freikorps is named commander of Munich and becomes an intermediary between Hitler and the Army. Röhm urges members of the freikorps join the ranks of the NSDAP and defend the interests of the party.
May 17 German forces in the neutral zone along the right bank of the Rhine are reduced. French and Belgian troops withdraw from Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Hamburg, Dieburg and Hanau.
May 20 The United States Congress adopts a resolution declaring an end to the state of war with Germany and Austria-Hungary.
June 5 The first international exposition of Dadaism opens at the Otto Burchard Gallery in Berlin.
June 6 General election for the Reichstag:
Social Democrats - SPD - 21.7 - 102
Independent Social Democrats - USPD - 17.9 -84
German National Peoples Partty - DNVP - 15.1 - 71
German Peoples Party - DVP - 13.9 - 65
Center Party - Zentrum - 13.6 - 64
German Democrats - DDP - 8.3 - 39
Bavarian Peoples Party - BVP - 4.4 - 21
Communists - KDP - 2.1 - 4
Others - 3 - 9
June 8 Chancellor Hermann Müller’s government resigns.
June 14 Philosopher Max Weber dies in Munich at age 56.
June 15 An Inter-Allied Control Commission establishes the new border between Germany and Denmark. Denmark regains sovereignty over northern Schleswig.
June 21 Center Party leader Konstantin Fehrenbach is named chancellor and forms a center-right coalition with the Democrats and Peoples’ Party.
June 22 The Allies set the amount of German reparations at £12,500,000,000.
June 26 The Independent Socialist deputy Gareis is assassinated in Munich. The Vehme, clandestine rightists groups styled after the medieval brotherhood of Saint Vehme, begin summarily executing, “traitors to the Fatherland” i.e. pacifists, democrats and leftists.
June Hitler’s Nazis march in the streets of Munich carrying blood red flags and the old regimental colors of their leader Ernst Röhm. Hitler chooses red for the party colors for shock effect and to defy the Communists.
July 4 Painter and sculptor Max Klinger dies in Grossjena at age 63.
July 5 Allied and German delegations meet at the Château de la Fraineuse at Spa in the Belgian Ardennes to discuss reparations and implementation of German disarmament.
Denmark takes possession of northern Schleswig.
July 11 The districts of Allenstein and Marienwerder vote to remain German. Results of the Allied supervised plebiscite show 460,000 electors in favor of Germany against 16,000 for Poland.
July 16 The Spa Conference on war reparations closes. Germany agrees to deliver 2,000,000 tons of coal per month to the Allies and comply with the disarmament clauses of the Treaty by the beginning of 1921. Industrialist Hugo Stinnes’ abrupt refusal to comply with reparations demands arouses enthusiasm in the nationalist ranks.
July 24 A plebiscite conducted in Eupen and Malmedy. Eupen approves annexation to Belgium by a vote of 13,975 to 208. Malmedy votes 36,910 to 58 in favor of annexation. The referendum carries without opposition in the villages of Bévercé, Bellevaux and Waismes.
July 25 Winston Churchill unleashes a storm of protest with publication of his article The Peril from the East in which he proposes an alliance with Germany against the Bolscheviks.
August 7 Hitler formally reorganizes the German Workers’ Party as the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP).
August 8 Adolf Hitler unveils his policy in regards to the “Jewish Problem” in a speech at Salzburg, Austria.
August 14 The VIth Olympiad opens in Antwerp. Germany is excluded from participation in the games.
August 19 Premature celebration of the fall of Warsaw by Germans in Upper Silesia sparks a week of strikes and fighting between Poles and Germans in the region.
August 31 The finance ministry reports that the national debt has increased by 40 billion marks (+16.6%) during the preceding 3 months.
September 20 The Council of the League of Nations ratifies German cession of Eupen and Malmedy to Belgium.
October The Congress of the Bavarian Peoples’ Party meeting at Bamberg demands increased powers for the states within the federal system including the right to conclude treaties and establish their own diplomatic legations in foreign countries.
October 1 The Rhine-Elbe Coal & Steel Union established by Germany and Luxembourg.
October 12 The Independent Social Democratic Party Congress at Halle votes in favor of membership in the Communist International.
October 15 Richard Huelsenbeck publishes the Dada Almanac.
November 15 Ernest Toller’s revolutionary drama Masse Mensch (The Masses) premiers before a closed house in Nuremberg. November
Elections to the legislature of Saxony reduce the ranks of the Social Democrats from 42 to 27. Parties of the left retain a slim edge over those of the right in the overall vote count 1,029,083 to 1,011,108.
December 10 Walther Hermann Nernst is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, "in recognition of his work in thermochemistry".
December 17 The League of Nations ratifies the mandate over the former German colony of Samoa, “conferred upon his Britannic Majesty for and on behalf of the Government of the Dominion of New Zealand”. The League of Nations ratifies the mandate over the former German colony of South West Africa, “conferred upon his Britannic Majesty for and on behalf of the Government of the Union of South Africa”. The League of Nations ratifies the mandate over the former German colony of New Guinea including the Bismarck Archipelago and the island of Nauru, “conferred upon his Britannic Majesty for and on behalf of the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia”. The League of Nations ratifies the mandate over the former German colonies in the Caroline, Marshall and Mariana Islands conferred upon the Emperor of Japan.
December Ernst Röhm raises 60,000 marks to buy a newspaper for the Nazi Party. Most of the money comes from secret army funds controlled by Röhm’s direct superior, General von Epp, who also solicits contributions from prominent Munich businessmen. Röhm takes over an anti-Semitic weekly the Völkischer Beobachter (Peoples’ Observer). Playwright and poet Dietrich Eckhart becomes the editor in chief of the party journal.
1921January 1 Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, chancellor from 1909 to 1917, dies in Hohenfinow at age 65.
January 21 The First Congress of the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) meets in Munich. Adolf Hitler now has 3,000 followers.
January 24 – 29 The Paris Conference fixes the amount of German war reparations at 226 billion gold marks, payable in 42 annual installments in addition to the 20 billion marks payable under the terms of the Versailles Treaty
January 31 The number of unemployed workers increases to 357,000.
January The Frankfurt Gazette reports it index of “gold values” (i.e. industrial shares, bank stocks, real estate etc.) at 195 (January 1920 = base 100). February 1-2
Demonstrations protesting the war reparations accords are staged throughout the country.
February 3 Adolf Hitler condemns the Allies war reparations demands in a well received two hour speech before a crowd of 6,000 people in Munich.
February 20 The Communist Party (KPD) wins a majority in regional elections in Halle-Mansfeld.
February 28 Chancellor Fehrenbach rejects the Allied war reparations demands of the London Conference. Fehrenbach walks out of the conference after the Allies refuse to discuss a counteroffer.
March 8 British, French and Belgian troops occupy the Ruhr, Dusseldorf, Duisburg and Ruhrort. Germany recalls its ambassadors from London, Paris and Brussels.
March 12 The Reichstag adopts a resolution supporting Chancellor Fehrenbach’s resistance to Allied reparations demands by a vote of 268 to 49.
March 13 The Prussian Minister of the Interior orders the arrest of Communist leaders in Halle-Mansfeld on charges of plotting to destroy public property.
March 15 The Turkish Minister of the Interior Ahmat Talaat Pacha, former Ottoman Grand Vizir, is killed in Berlin by Soghomon Tchlirian an Armenian student.
March 20 Upper Silesia votes to remain German. 716,000 electors favor remaining with Germany. 471,406 favor annexation to Poland.
March 22 The Communist workers of Halle-Mansfeld take up arms but factional rivalries prevent effective action. Sympathy strikes are staged in Essen and Hamburg. Public buildings are bombed in a number of other cities, most notably Leipzig and Dresden. President Ebert declares a state of emergency.
March 23 Germany announces that it will not make the reparations payment due on May 1st.
March 24 The Communists attempt to seize power in Hamburg. Twenty two people are killed in clashes with government troops.
Great Britain imposes a 50% duty on imports from Germany.
March 28 The workers’ uprising in Halle-Mansfeld is crushed. Four thousand insurgents are arrested. The trade union federations reject a Communist call for a General Strike. April 11
The former Empress of Germany, Augusta Victoria, wife of Wilhelm II dies in Doorn, the Netherlands at age 63.
April 19 Former Empress Augusta Victoria is buried in Potsdam.
April 24 The Supreme Court of Leipzig acquits General Ludendorff of war crimes charges.
April 27 The London Conference reduces the German war reparations debt to 132 billion gold marks in annual payments of 2 billion marks plus 26% of the value of German exports.
April 28 José Capablanca of Cuba defeats German Emmanuel Lasker in a match for the world chess championship at Havana.
April The NSDAP opens the first Nazi Party office outside of Munich at Rosenheim, Bavaria.
May 3 Fighting erupts in Upper Silesia between Germans and Poles led by Plebiscite Commissioner Wojciech Korfanty.
May 4 The Fehrenbach government resigns when industrialists led by Hugo Stinnes insist it resist a forthcoming reparations ultimatum.
May 5 The London Conference presents an ultimatum to Germany, “the Ruhr will be occupied if Germany does not meet the reparations demands.”
May 6 A German - Soviet Peace Treaty is signed.
May 10 Center Party leader Joseph Wirth forms a new government in coalition with the Social Democrats and German Democrats.
May 11 The Reichstag supports the Government’s acquiescence to the London Conference ultimatum by a vote of 221 to 175.
May 20 Great Britain removes its 50% duty on German imports.
A German – Chinese Peace Treaty is signed.
May 21 A German freikorps defeats Polish partisans in a battle at Saint Annaberg in Upper Silesia.
May 28 Walther Rathenau is named Minister for Reparations.
May 31 France receives the first billion mark reparations payment from Germany.
June 8 A performance of the Berlin Opera is the first radio program broadcast in Germany.
June 25 Friedrich Bergius describes a method for extraction of oil from coal at the Stuttgart Chemical Congress.
June Adolf Hitler travels to Berlin for a meeting with nationalist groups arranged by Dietrich Eckhart (Eckhart remains in Munich to keep an eye on the Party because Hitler suspects it is riddled with spies). Hitler is introduced to Helene Bechstein, the wealthy wife of a piano manufacturer, who organizes parties to introduce him to the capital’s influential personalities.
July 11 The chairman of the NSDAP takes advantage of Hitler’s absence to begin merger negotiations with the Bavarian People’s Party and the Socialist Party of Julius Streicher. Hitler threatens to resign and conditions his return on an end to all discussion of cooperation with other parties on an equal basis.
July 29 During a meeting at the Sternecker brewery, Adolf Hitler is elected President of the NSDAP and ousts several founding member of the Nazi movement including Anton Drexler from the party. Hitler’s power over the party is total from now on. July 31
Rudolf Hess is charged with publicizing the Nazi program in an editorial for the party paper, Völkischer Beobachter. Hess sums it up as anti-parliamentary, anti-Semitic and anti-capitalist.
July Lenin criticizes the German Communist Party’s role in the Ruhr insurrection.
August 3 Hitler’s bodyguard is folded into the sports and gymnastic section of the Nazi Party. The move is a subterfuge invented by Ernst Röhm to allow the storm troops to continue their activities after the government complies with Allied demands to dissolve the paramilitaries.
August 14 General Ludendorff, speaking in Königsberg, declares that he has no doubt that the fate of the country will be decided sooner or later in a fight for the eastern border.
August 15 The value of the mark drops on the foreign exchange market. $1 buys 88 marks. £1 buys 540 marks.
August 21 The Einstein Observatory opens on Telegraph Hill in Potsdam.
August 26 Former chancellor and Versailles Treaty signatory Matthias Erzberger is murdered by two officers of the Ehrhardt Brigade freikorps. The assailants flee into Hungary which refuses to extradite them.
August 28 The Government bans a scheduled commemoration of the anniversary of the Battle of Tannenberg by rightwing militarists. The meeting is cancelled but police clash with Communists and Socialists.
August 29 A state of emergency declared. The cabinet bans assemblies, marches and publications deemed potentially violent or a threat to the constitutional order. Chancellor Wirth declares his intention to take strong measures against anti-republican movements. President Ebert issues a decree prohibiting the wearing of military uniforms by persons not on active duty.
September 1 The German National Party holds a convention in Munich in defiance of the Government ban.
Bavarian Prime Minister Gustave von Kahr, leader of the reactionary People’s Party, declares his support of the republican constitution.
September 2 Socialists break up prohibited meetings of the German People’s Party in Berlin and Chemnitz. September 9
The Frankfurt Gazette reports it index of “gold values” (i.e. industrial shares, bank stocks, real estate etc.) at 242 (January 1920 = base 100).
September 12 The Bavarian People’s and Nationalist parties repudiate the von Kahr Government’s acquiescence to Berlin’s demand that it lift the state of siege proclaimed during the Münchner Räterepublik uprising in May, 1919 and release 7 Socialist Lantag deputies held in prison on treason charges.The von Kahr government and the chief of the Bavarian police resign. September 18 – 24 The Social Democratic Party Congress at Goerlitz agrees to cooperate with the Democrats and People’s Party.
September 21 An explosion at the BASF Company’s synthetic nitrate factory in Oppau kills 800 including the French guard detachment and injures 2,000. The force of the blast levels the adjoining town, collapses walls in the city of Worms (12 miles distant) and is felt by some as far as 50 miles away. Damage is estimated over 1 billion marks.
September 22 Bavaria’s new Prime Minister, Count Hugo Lerchenfeld proclaims absolute fidelity to the central government and agrees to lift the state of siege.
September 27 Composer Engelbert Humperdinck dies in Neustrelitz at age 67.
September 29 The value of the mark continues to plunge. $1 buys 147 marks.
September 30 The Allies lift economic sanctions against Germany. French and Belgian troops evacuate the Ruhr.
September The chairman of the Bavarian Federalist League, Otto Ballerstedt, is wounded in an attack by Nazi sympathizers while preparing to address the Langtag.
October 5 Adolf Hitler authorizes formation of a Nazi paramilitary. Ernst Röhm reforms the sports and gymnastics section of the party as the Sturmabteilungen – SA.
October 16 Capitalist parties take control of Berlin city council. The right wins 842,000 votes against 800,000 for the Socialists and Communists.
October 18 Louis Wittelsbach, the deposed King Louis III of Bavaria, dies in exile at Sarvar, Hungary at age 76.
October 20 Allied Council of Ambassadors divides Upper Silesia between Germany and Poland. Germany is awarded three fifths of the plebiscite area but Poland gains most of the region's coal fields. Chancellor Joseph Wirth declares that the decision, “...will separate from the Reich and place under foreign domination German towns and the fruits of German labor and intelligence and will be regarded as unjust not only by the whole German nation, but by the majority of the population of Upper Silesia.”
October 22 The Wirth Government resigns following the division of Upper Silesia.
October 25 Joseph Wirth accepts the partition of Upper Silesia and resumes the chancellorship without the support of the industrialist Hugo Stinnes’ German People’s Party (DVP). October 26
Karl Heynen, the first German convicted of war crimes, is sentenced to 9 months in prison.
October 88 billion paper marks are in circulation that figure increases by 2.8 billion marks in a single week of the month.
November 4 The value of the mark continues to fall. $1 buys 225 marks. £1 buys 1,200 marks.
November 16 Germany requests a moratorium on reparations payments. A state of emergency is declared.
November 21 United States consular offices reopen in German cities.
December 1 The mark temporarily recovers. £1 buys 750 marks.
December 10 The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded to Albert Einstein of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect".
December 13 The Government introduces austerity measures including 2,000 to 3,000% increases in postal and rail rates. Chancellor Wirth proposes collateralizing government borrowing with the nation’s trade and industrial assets.
December 14 Germany announces that it will be unable to pay an installment of 500 million gold marks on reparations due January 15, 1922 nor the quarterly payment due throughout the next year. The Germans offer to pay 150 to 200 million gold marks in lieu of the payments of 25% of the value of German exports due in January and February.
December 16 The Supreme Court of Leipzig sentences the former chief of police and 2 other officials to 7 years in prison for complicity in the Kapp putsch.
December 30 The Reichstag ratifies a peace treaty with the United States.
During the Year Agricultural production remains far below prewar levels: wheat 74%, rye 68%, barley 64%, oats 38%
1922January The 70 billion paper marks in circulation have approximately the same purchasing power as 5.4 billion gold marks in circulation before the war.
January 5 The Cannes Conference on German reparations opens.
January 10 Publication of John Maynard Keynes book The Economic Consequences of the Peace causes a sensation in Germany.
January 13 The Cannes Conference closes. The Allies accept the need for a short term roll back in German reparations payments but the new French government of Raymond Poincaré demands collateral: coal mines and participation in the chemical industries on the left bank of the Rhine.
January The Reparations Commission requires Germany to pay 31 million gold marks every 10 days in lieu of the January and February installments and to submit a revised fiscal program and a proposal for the rescheduling of payments within 15 days.
January 22 The Second Congress of Hitler’s National Socialist Party (NSDAP) opens. The party has 6,000 members.
January 26 Chancellor Wirth announces a fiscal program that includes a 1 billion gold marks compulsory loan for three years without interest to cover the 1922 budget deficit, a 40% increase in coal duties, a 50 mark increase in sugar duties and a ½ to 2% /100kg tax on sales.
January 31 Walther Rathenau becomes minister of foreign affairs.
Germany’s cost of living index rose 73.7% during the preceding year.
February 6 Railway workers in the north and west of Germany strike in defiance of union leaders and a government ban. The strikers demand that the government lift the ban on strikes and withdraw legislation on railway finance and working hours. The Government seizes strike funds and threatens to jail railway officials who participate in the action.
February 12 The railway strike is called off after the Government promises not to invoke disciplinary measures against the strikers.
February 14 Polish and German delegations meet in Geneva to establish the border in Upper Silesia.
February 15 The Reichstag approves the Government’s fiscal program by a vote of 220 to 185 with the Independent Social Democrats (USDP) abstaining. February
The Cannes Conference reconvenes in an effort to settle the crisis in Germany. Walther Rathenau, head of the German delegation, declares that Berlin wishes to execute the Treaty and envisions payment with deliveries in kind to France. Great Britain offers the French a guarantee of its borders as an inducement to accept.
March 5 Wilhelm Murnau’s Nosferatu the Vampire, the most important and best known of the expressionist films, premiers in Berlin.
March 10 The Government orders removal of all symbols of the monarchy from public buildings.
March 15 The reparations accords are modified to allow Germany to pay in goods first.
March 20 The last American occupation troops leave Germany.
March 21 The Reparations Commission demands that Germany; pay 720 million gold marks in cash and 1.45 billion marks in goods during 1922, place the Imperial bank outside politics, reduce expenditures, balance the budget, abolish subsidies, reform the currency, resume publication of government fiscal statistics and introduce measures to stem further outflows of capital and recall the $2 billion that have left the country during the preceding two years.
March 24 The value of the mark drops. 329 marks buy $1 US.
March 30 Germany’s largest passenger liner, Bismarck, is handed over to Great Britain and is rechristened RMS Majestic. April
The cost of living increases rapidly. Hugo Stinnes, speaking on behalf of the industrial cartels, proposes that the railways be privatized to pay for reparations. The Government declines the proposal.
April 6 German women are allowed to sit as jurors.
April 8 General Erich von Falkenhayn dies at age 61.
April 10 The Government rejects the Reparations Commission’s demand that it raise 60 billion marks through increased taxation or have its finances placed under Allied control. The Gênes Conference opens. Twenty nine countries gather to discuss reparations and European economic problems.
April 13 The Reparations Commission repeats its demand for increased German taxation and declares that international loans requested by Germany cannot be made until the country adopts serious measures to balance its budget.
April 16 The Rapallo accords are signed. Germany accords diplomatic recognition to Soviet Russia and renounces all claims to German businesses nationalized by the Soviet Union. Russia agrees to allow Germany to conduct tests on and train personnel in the use of weapons prohibited by the Versailles Treaty in exchange for trade credits and technical assistance. Panzers practice at Kama, the future Luftwaffe at Lipietzk and new toxic gasses are tested at Saratov.
April 18 An Allied note accuses Germany of breaking the Cannes conventions by signing a secret accord with the Soviets.
April 27 Fritz Lang’s film Doctor Mabuse premiers.
April 29 The Reichstag approves the Rapallo accords despite the opposition of President Ebert, the Social Democrats and some members of the Center Party.
May 5 The Inter-Allied Aerial Surveillance Commission is withdrawn from Germany.
May 10 The German Government declares that it cannot meet the demands of the Reparations Commission without foreign loans nor possibly raise 60 billion gold marks through increased taxation by the end of the month. The French Government declares the German response evasive and indicates that it will take measures to enforce compliance.
May 15 German and Polish delegates meeting at Geneva reach an accord on the border in Upper Silesia.
May 19 The Gênes Conference closes in failure.
May 24 The Morgan Committee is formed in Paris to regulate international loans floated by Germany.
May 28 The German Government agrees to meet the demands of the Reparations Commission after meeting with foreign bankers.
May 31 The Wirth Government loses a vote of confidence. The German People’s Party and the Hugo Stinnes controlled press are dissatisfied with the Chancellor’s failure to consult them on reparations negotiations.
June 1 Ad Astra Aero, a Swiss airline, begins scheduled service between Geneva and Nuremberg.
June 10 The Reparations Commission refuses to back and international loan to Germany.
June 12 Wolfgang Kapp, leader of the monarchist putsch in November 1920, dies at age 54.
June 23 Karl Helfferich, leader of the German National People’s Party (DNVP), publicly denounces the policies of Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau.
June 24 Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau is assassinated in Berlin while walking between his home and the ministry by two members of the monarchist Consul Organization.
Hitler expresses satisfaction with the death of the minister whom he terms, “a dirty stateless Jew and degenerate.” Rathenau is the 376th politician killed in Germany since 1918. Adolf Hitler is jailed for his part in a September 1921 attack on a meeting of the Bavarian Federalist League during which BFL leader Otto Ballerstedt was wounded. Walter Frick, chief of Munich’s political police, who up till now has protected the Nazi leader, does not intervene. Hitler spends three months in prison.
June 25 A state funeral is held for Walter Rathenau in the Reichstag (the first since Bismarck’s). Chancellor Wirth addresses the assembly to accuse the German National People’s Party (DNVP) of explicitly ordering the act of terrorism. The value of the mark drops on foreign exchange markets. $1 US buys 348.5 marks.
June 26 An emergency decree is issued for the protection of the economy. Industrialist Hugo Stinnes proposes that workers put in additional hours without pay to wipeout the reparations debt.
June 27 President Ebert declares a state of emergency under article 48 of the Constitution. Instigators of terrorist acts are made liable to life imprisonment or the death penalty.
June 30 A special political court at Liepzig is created to try suspected terrorists.
July 3 Max Harden, anti-monarchist editor, survives an assassination attempt.
July 12 The Government requests a moratorium on cash payment of reparations but agrees continue delivery of goods in kind.
July 14 The Reparations Commission declares that Germany has not taken sufficient action to reduce the deficit and inflation and declines the request for a moratorium on cash payment of reparations.
July 18 The suspected assassins of Walter Rathenau commit suicide.
July 20 The Hague Confernece on German Reparations closes.
The League of Nations ratifies the Anglo-French mandates over the former German colonies of Cameroon and Togo. The smaller British portions of each are eventually annexed to the neighboring colonies of Nigeria and the Gold Coast respectively.
The League of Nations ratifies the British mandate over most of the former German colony of East Africa (Tanganyika).
The League of Nations ratifies the Belgian mandate over the former German East African districts of Ruanda and Urundi.
July 21 Chancellor Wirth introduces a law for the protection of the Republic banning extremist groups, placing severe penalties on plotters and requiring civil servants to support the republican system.
July 22 The Leipzig sports festival is organized as an alternative for German athletes who were excluded from the 1920 Olympic Games.
July 24 The Bavarian Government promulgates a decree for the protection of the Republic which is intended to supplant the law of the Reich.
July 27 Adolf Hitler is released from prison after serving one month of a three month sentence.
July 28 Adolf Hitler delivers an address on the Jewish “threat” at Munich. The Nazi leader expounds on the definition of the word socialist. A socialist in Nazi parlence is, “someone ready to marry the national cause to such point as he knows no other ideal than the well being of his nation; someone who understands that our great national anthem, Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles, means that nothing in the world can exceed Germany, her people and her land, her land and her people. Such a man is a Socialist.”
August 1 Panic on the stock market: the exchange rate falls to 860 marks = $1 US.
August 11 The Patriotic Association organizes a rally to protest the new law for the protection of the Republic on the Koenigsplatz in Munich. Adolf Hitler, surrounded by storm troopers carrying swastika banners, delivers a condemnation of the law.
August 25 The exchange rate continues to fall: 1990 marks buy $1 US.
August 31 Germany is granted a six month deferral of reparations payments by the Allies. The Reparations Commission agrees to accept German Treasury Notes as payment for the debt.
August The 337 billion paper marks in circulation have an equivalent purchasing power of 1.87 billion pre-war gold marks.
September 4 League of Nations president de Lubersac and industrialist Hugo Stinnes reach an accord on the participation of German industry in reparations.
September 21 The Social Democratic Congress meeting at Augsburg and the Independent Social Democratic Congress meeting at Gera approve the reunion of two parties which split in 1917 as the United Social Democratic Party.
September 23 Bertolt Brecht’s drama Drums in the Night premiers in Munich.
September 24 The Imperial Bank announces that it will be able to print 7 billion paper marks per day by October 15th and raises the discount rate from 7 to 8%. German marks purchased by American speculators for $960 million are now worth barely $60 million. Marks purchased by British speculators for £144,330,000 are now worth £10,515,000.
The Social Democratic and Independent Social Democratic Congresses meet in joint session at Nuremberg to approve a resolution of fusion. Former Chancellor Müller is elected chairman of the united party.
September Alfred Rosenberg becomes Hitler’s personnel counselor and director of international affairs for the Nazi Party. October
The mark continues to lose value. 3000 marks buy $1 US.
October 3 Trial of 13 persons accused of complicity in the assassination of Walter Rathenau begins in the political supreme court at Leipzig.
October 14 Industrial magnate August Thyssen proposes increased work hours. According to him only a 48 hour work week can save the economy.
October 15 Several thousand armed Communists break up a meeting of the nationalist Union for Freedom and Order at Berlin.
October 17 “The State has become our business; a situation profoundly hated by a considerable section of citizens and young people who simply will have none of it because, forsooth, it did not come to birth in triumph and the exercise of free choice but in defeat and collapse, making it seems bound up forever with weakness, shame and foreign domination.” – Thomas Mann The German Republic (Von deutscher Republik) Berliner Tageblatt
October 23 The economic crisis reaches a high point. Chancellor Wirth proposes that Germany declare national bankruptcy.
October 24 President Ebert’s term of office is extended until 1925 with the support of the German People’s Party (DVP).
October 27 A French officer and a British officer are attacked in Bavaria while attempting to carry out an inspection for the Disarmament Commission.
October 29 The Reparations Commission, two American observers and a committee of foreign financial experts meets with the German Government in Berlin. Finance Minister Andreas Hermes starts the negotiations with a request for a loan of 500 million marks, relief from payment of reparations in gold and a reduction of payments in kind and coal,
November 1 The Exchange rate drops sharply: 4450 marks buy $1 US; 20,000 marks buy £1 sterling.
November 10 The Reparations Commission returns to Paris after receiving a final note from Chancellor Wirth’s requesting a five year suspension of payments and proposing an international consortium be established to devise an overall settlement and permanently stabilize the mark.
November 13 The German People’s Party with backing from the German Democrats (DDP) and Center Parties demands participation in the cabinet on an equal footing with the other parties in the coalition.
November 14 Chancellor Joseph Wirth resigns after the Social Democrats refuse to join in a coalition with the Hugo Stinnes controlled German People’s Party (DVP). Konrad Adenauer, Mayor of Cologne and Center Party leader, is called on to form a new government but fails in the face of Social Democratic opposition. A General Strike is called in central Germany and the Ruhr to protest the high cost of living. Rioting erupts in Cologne.
November 22 Doctor Wilhelm Cuno, General Director of HAPAG (the Hamburg – America steamship lines), without party but close to the German People’s Party (DVP), is named Chancellor. Cuno organizes a coalition cabinet including members of the German Democratic Party (DDP) Center Party and German People’s Party (DVP). Most of the ministers come directly from the business world. The coalition governs as a minority dependent on the support of the German National People’s Party (DNVP) and the general satisfaction of the right. The Social Democrats are the major losers. Count Ulrich von Brockdorff-Rantzau is appointed the first ambassador from the Weimar Republic to the Soviet Union.
November 27 France announces its intention to occupy the Ruhr to assure the payment of reparations owed by Germany.
November The wholesale price index doubles during the month.
December 9 Chancellor Cuno presents a new proposal for an overall solution to the reparations question including a five year moratorium on payment, loans to stabilize the German currency and a pact with France and the other powers on the Rhine under which a popular referendum would be required to precede any declaration of war.
December 9 – 11 The Allied heads of government meet in London. There is no support for Chancellor Cuno’s new proposal. Raymond Poincaré of France demands continuation of reparations payments. Germany announces that it will not be able to make deliveries of timber on schedule. Poincaré declares that France maintains the right to invoke sanctions.
December 10 Otto Fritz Meyerhof of Kiel University is awarded a share of the Nobel Prize in Physiology, "for his discovery of the fixed relationship between the consumption of oxygen and the metabolism of lactic acid in the muscle".
December 15 Hitler names Hermann Goering chief of the Sturm Abteilung (SA) storm troopers.
December 20 The first exhibition of works by Constructivist painters (a new Russian school) including Aleksandr Rodchenko, Lioubov Popova and Vladimir Tatline is staged in Berlin at the initiative of Russian artist Eliezer Lissitzky.
December 26 The Reparations Commission declares the, “intentional default” of Gemany and threatens sanctions despite British protest.
During the Year Agricultural production continues to decline from prewar levels. German farms produce rye at 53%, barley at 52% and oats at 48% of the 1913 harvests. (Germany lost less than 15% of its areable land in post-war territorial cessions.)
Economist Walther Funk becomes editor in chief of the conservative Berlin journal Boersenzeitung (Stock Exchange Daily).
The National Bank of Germany merges with the Bank of Darmstadt.
1923“Rice, 80,000 marks a pound yesterday, costs 160,000 marks today, and tomorrow perhaps twice as much; the day after, the man behind the counter will shrug his shoulders, ‘no more rice.’ Well then, noodles! ‘No more noodles.’ Barley, oats, beans, lentils – always the same, buy, buy, buy. The piece of paper, the spanking brand new bank note, still moist from the printers, paid out today as a weekly wage, shrinks in value on the way to the grocer’s shop. The zeros, the multiplying zeros! ‘Well, zero, zero ain’t nothing.” – Friedrich Kroner Überreizte Nerven (Overwrought Nerves) Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, August 26, 1923
January Former British Prime Minister David Lloyd-George unleashes a polemic accusing France of imperialism in a series of articles published in England, America, Portugal and Scandinavia. He cites the favorable response of French public opinion to the idea of annexing the left bank of the Rhine as proof of his charge.
January 2 The mark continues to drop in value: $1 US buys 7,260 marks.
January 7 The Conference of European Communist Parties meets in Essen to protest against French imperialism.
January 9 The Reparations Commission notes delays in German coal deliveries.
January 11 French Premier Raymond Poincaré orders troops into the Ruhr in support of a commission of engineers dispatched to ensure deliveries of German coal which have been delayed by the mine operators. Three French and Belgian divisions occupy the region.
January 12 A one hour nationwide work stoppage is held to protest the occupation of the Ruhr.
January 15 A crowd of 500 demonstrators incites French troops making their entry into Bochum with anti-French chants. The soldiers fire on the crowd killing a high school student.
January 17 France undertakes new and sterner measures against Germany; industrial plants are occupied, wood, coal and transport are requisitioned; police barricades erected; wages, private businesses, tax revenues and customs duties are confiscated.
January 19 Chancellor Cuno, encouraged by indignation in all corners of German society, orders civil servants and railway workers to launch a campaign of passive resistance to the occupation of the Ruhr.
January 25 The Ruhr occupation plunges the economy into the abyss. The value of the mark plunges. $1 US buys 18,000 marks.
January 27 - 29 The Third Congress of Adolf Hitler’s 22,000 member National Socialist Party (NSDAP) is held in Munich. Five thousand SA storm-troopers march through the streets of the Bavarian capital in defiance of a ban.
January 29 The Franco-Belgian occupation authorities declare a state of siege in the Ruhr.
January 30 The Franco-Belgian occupation authorities forbid the shipment of coal from the Ruhr to unoccupied Germany.
January Kurt Schwitters, a Hanover based painter, founds the Dadaist revue Merz.
February 1 The Franco-Belgian occupation authorities privatize a portion of the Ruhr coalfields.
The Mark continues its free fall on foreign exchange markets. $1 US buys 47,500 marks. £1 sterling buys 230,000 marks.
February 4 French troops occupy the cities of Offenburg, Appenweier and Buhl.
February 10 Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, discoverer of the X-ray, dies in Munich at age 78.
February 12 French occupation authorities confiscate all German automobiles and trucks in Dortmund.
February A pound of butter costs over 7,000 marks.
Putzi Hanfstaengel, a rich friend of Hitler, loans $1,000 to the Nazi Party in exchange for a mortgage on the party newspaper Völkischer Beobachter.
March 1 The Franco-Belgian occupation authorities in the Ruhr threaten to impose the death penalty on anyone caught sabotaging the transportation system.
The speed limit for automobiles in towns is raised from 15 to 30 km/hour.
March 2 Le Berliner Illustrierte publishes The Dance of Tutankhamen, a parody of the craze incited by the discovery of the tomb in Egypt.
March 12 Two French soldiers are killed by Germans in the Ruhr.
March 14 Several cities order the dissolution of National Socialist Party chapters after the courts rule the NSDAP a threat to the security of the state.
March 31 Thirty Germans are killed in Essen when French soldiers fire on a demonstration by workers at a Krupp steelmill.
The finance ministry attributes a 7 trillion paper mark deficit to the difficulties in the Ruhr.
April 1 The International Olympic Committee receives a request for the readmission of Germany to the Olympic movement.
Adolf Hitler refuses to join a common front against the French occupation of the Ruhr.
April 2 Radical governments and revolutionary battalions are formed in Saxony and Thuringia.
April 10 Daimler Airways begins scheduled service between London and Berlin with stops at Bremen and Hamburg.
April 11 The ban on possession of radio receivers is ended.
April 12 Hugo Stinnes’ large purchase of hard money securities accelerates the decline of the mark.
May 1 Hundreds of French soldiers march beside German workers in the Ruhr May Day parades.
Ernst Röhm leads a march by leagues of right wing extremists in Munich. The SA wears brown shirts purchased from the army. General Otto von Lossow humiliates Hitler by preventing his 20,000 followers from disrupting the May Day parade organized by the labor unions.
The Reichsbank’s note printing capacity reaches 350 billion marks per day. 6.546 trillion paper marks are in circulation.
May 2 Chancellor Cuno proposes limiting reparations to a total of 30 billion marks and recognizing the western borders.
May 13 Mothers’ Day becomes an official holiday in Germany.
May 16 Socialist-Communist workers brigades are banned in Prussia.
May 19 Miners in the Ruhr go on strike to protest the occupation. Street fights break out in many German towns.
May 26 Leo Schlageter, a young saboteur, is executed at Düsseldorf by French troops provoking a wave of indignation in Germany.
May 31 The mark drops below the level of the Austrian crown on foreign exchange markets. The Russian ruble is the only major currency unit trading for less. $1 US buys 81,000 marks and 92,000 marks in the June futures market.
May Almost 1 trillion additional paper marks are put in circulation during the final week of the month.
June An additional 746 billion paper marks are put in circulation during the first week of the month. The total number of paper marks in circulation exceeds 9 trillion.
June 1 Dietrich Eckhart, ravaged by alcohol and morphine, quits his job as editor in chief of the Nazi Party newspaper Völkischer Beobachter. Alfred Rosenberg replaces him.
June 13 The French establish a customs boundary between the Ruhr and the rest of Germany. Railway passengers traveling from unoccupied Germany through the Ruhr are required to transfer to trains operated by the Franco-Belgian authorities and to purchase new tickets with francs.
June 15 The commodity price index climbs to 17496 against the 1914 base of 1.
Consumption of foodstuffs is drops below prewar levels; bread to 73%, potatoes to 49%, meat to 67.5% and coffee to 67%.
$1 US buys 150,000 marks.
June 18 Civil servants and railway workers demand payment of wages on a dollar basis.
A decree prohibits the posting of retail prices in foreign currencies. The order is widely ignored and Berlin shops continue to post prices in dollars, pounds, guilders or Swiss francs.
June 20 Food reserves in the Ruhr are rapidly diminishing. The region requires 550 to 600 carloads of supplies daily but only 256 railcars enter the region on this day.
June 27 A Papal letter condemning the occupation of the Ruhr receives an unfavorable response from the French and Belgian parliaments. The Pope requests that a system of guarantees be considered and that the question of reparations be resolved in a spirit of Christian charity.
June Mass demonstrations and strikes are initiated by the Communist Party at Berlin, Hamburg, in the Ruhr, Upper Silesia and Saxony. Occupation troops kill 31 and wound 91 demonstrators at Düsseldorf another 15 are killed and 60 wounded at Aachen.
July 1 Meat consumption during the first half of the year is reported at 34 pounds per person vs 84 pounds in 1922 and 123 pounds in 1912.
July 5 Hamburg – America Line’s steamship Albert Ballin departs Hamburg on its maiden voyage to New York via Southampton. July 8
A liter of milk costs 4,000 marks.
July 17 The former Crown Prince Wilhelm Hohenzollern files suit to recover his estate at Oehls in Silesia.
July 20 Great Britain proposes the creation of a committee of experts to verify Germany’s capacity to pay reparations. July 24
Public demonstrations are prohibited in Prussia.
July 29 France and Belgium reject the British proposal to create a committee of experts to study German capacity to pay reparations.
July 31 The Social Democratic Party’s financial program calls for meeting expenditures through increased taxation and loans rather than additional currency issues.
July Hyperinflation – $1 US buys 353,000 marks. Communists defeat Social Democrats by 45,000 to 22,000 votes in balloting for officers of the Berlin Metalworkers Union.
August 2 The Reichsbank raises the discount rate from 18 to 30%.
August 3 Communists seize control of strike bound coal mines at Swickhau, Saxony.
Princess Margarite of Saxony is sentenced to prison by the High Court of Leipzig for aiding the escape of an officer who participated in the Kapp Putsch.
August 7 $1 US buys 3,300,000,000 marks.
August 8 Finance Minister Andreas Hermes tells the Reichstag that the floating debt has increased from 1.6 to 69.6 trillion marks since the beginning of the Ruhr occupation.
August 9 2.10 French francs buy 1,000,000 marks.
August 11 The British foreign minister declares the occupation of the Ruhr contrary to the Treaty of Versailles.
August 12 The Cuno Ministry resigns after the Social Democrats withdraw their support. Gustav Stresemann of the German Peoples Party (DVP) succeeds him as Chancellor and also takes the foreign affairs portfolio. Stresemann forms a cabinet in coalition with the Social Democratic, Center and German Democratic Parties.
August 14 Chancellor Stresemann calls for continued resistance to the Franco-Belgian occupation of the Ruhr.
August 16 1 gold mark = 1,000,000 paper marks.
September 2 A German Day rally attended by over 100,000 nationalists is held in Nuremberg to mark the anniversary of German victory over France at Sedan in 1870. General Ludendorff presents a silver cup to member of the Wittlesbach family whom he addresses as “your Majesty”. Hitler’s Nazis march in review. September 4
The Reichsbank attempts to stabilize the currency by selling foreign bills of exchange.
$1 US buys 13,000,000 marks.
September 6 The cabinet authorizes the finance ministry to issue an additional 10 trillion marks in floating debt.
September 7 The Government decides to issue a new currency backed by mortgages on real estate, machinery, equipment and other real goods. Constitutional protections against searches of dwellings and the mails and against expropriation of property without due process are suspended. A commission is appointed and authorized to appropriate foreign currency, securities and precious metals; to search dwellings and compel citizens to reveal their property holdings and; to seize assets held outside Germany.
September 15 The Reichsbank raises the discount rate to 90%
September 23 Rhineland separatists hold rallies at Weisbaden, Essen, Bochum and Mainz.
German police attack a gathering of 30,000 Rhineland separatists at Düsseldorf killing 10 and injuring 74. French troops restore order and arrest four members of the municipal government on charges of instigating the attack.
German loyalists rally in Cologne and pledge their allegiance to the Reich.
September 24 The first talking motion picture Das Leben auf dem Dorfe is shown at the Alhambra Theatre in Berlin.
September 25 Bavarian Prime Minister von Knilling declares a state of exception without consulting Berlin. Gustav von Kahr is appointed chief of police with the full powers in order to facilitate the formation of an anti-republican stronghold in that state.
September 26 Chancellor Stresemann announces the death of the mark and calls for an end to the Ruhrkampf (passive resistance to the Ruhr occupation).
September 27 President Ebert dissolves the radical governments of Saxony and Thuringia and declares a state of emergency.
A General Strike erupts in the Ruhr.
September 29 Hugo Stinnes calls for suspension of the 8 hour workday and a ban on strikes.
September $1 US buys 99,000,000 marks. 133 printing works are manufacturing banknotes.
October 3 Chancellor Stresemann’s cabinet resigns after the Social Democrats support a Communist call for restoration of constitutional guarantees.
October 4 Frankfurter Zeitung’s wholesale price index climbs to 182,953,500 against a June 1914 base of 1. October 6
Chancellor Stresemann reconstitutes his cabinet at the request of President Ebert. The replacement of Social Democrat Rudolf Hilferding by Centerist Hans Luther as Finance Minister is the sole change in the ministry.
October 10 Prime Minister Zeigner accepts the entry of Communists into the government of Saxony citing the need to fight the reactionary danger posed by Bavaria.
October 11 £1 sterling buys 10,000,000,000 marks.
October 12 The Communists enter government in Thuringia.
October 13 The Reichstag grants the Government authority to take, “in financial, economic and social spheres, the measures it deems necessary and urgent, regardless of the rights specified in the constitution of the Reich” by a vote of 316 to 24. The powers are to expire at the end of the cabinet’s term of office or no later than March 31, 1924.October 16
1,500,000 German workers are entirely without work. 4 to 5 million workers are employed only part of the time including 2 million who are working less than half time. The maximum unemployment insurance benefit for a man with a wife and two children is 1.8 billion marks per week (about 1/3 the average wage for a full time worker).
A 3 pound loaf of bread costs 480 million marks, a pound of potatoes 50 million marks and a pound of margarine 900 million marks.
October 20 Bavarian Prime Minister Rudolf von Kahr convinces the General von Lossow to ignore Berlin’s order to suppress the Nazi Party paper Völkisher Beobachter and arrest its three directors. Von Lossow is dismissed but von Kahr announces that the General will remain commandant of Bavaria.
October 21 The Rhine Republic is proclaimed by Leo Deckers at Aachen with the approval of the Belgian occupation authorities.
$1 US buys 12,000,000,000 marks.
October 22 Another Rhine Republic is proclaimed at Bad Ems by Hans Dorten with the support of the French occupation authorities.
$1 US buys 40,000,000,000 marks.
October 23 Hans Dorten proclaims the Rhine Republic at Mainz.
The Reichswehr intervenes after Prime Minister Zeigner of Saxony refuses to dissolve the revolutionary battalions.
October 24 A Communist uprising in Hamburg is quickly suppressed.
October 25 Social Democratic leader Matthes proclaims a Rhine Republic at Coblenz.
October 29 A pound of butter costs over 26 billion marks.
October 31 The legislature of Saxony installs a new government composed exclusively of Social Democrats.
November 1 $1 US buys 80,000,000,000 marks.
November 2 The Social Democrats withdraw from the Berlin Government to protest the failure to intervene against the reactionary regime in Bavaria.
A decree is issued to curb price fixing by German manufacturing cartels.
Matthes dissolves the Rhine Republic of Aachen.
November 3 President Ebert refuses General Hans von Seeckt’s request for dictatorial powers.
November 6 A loaf of bread costs 428,000,000,000 marks, a kilogram of butter costs 6,000,000,000,000.
November 8 Gustav von Kahr, the Bavarian Prime Minister, is a half hour into delivering his speech to an audience of 3,000 including General Ludendorff at Munich’s Bürgerbräukeller when Hitler launches the Beerhall Putsch. A company of stormtroopers bursts into the bräukeller rolling a heavy machine gun before them. Hitler makes his grand entrance, jumps up on a chair and fires a pistol shot into the ceiling to silence the crowd. He announces that the revolution has begun, 600 armed men have the building surrounding and that he is forming a provisional government. Von Kahr, Bavarian police chief von Seisser and General von Lossow are ordered into an adjoining room for a conference. Hermann Göring urges calm and tells the assembly, “you’ve got your beer.” Ludendorff, Lossow, Seisser, and Kahr agree to join the pistol waving Fuehrer’s new government and are released. Once outside Lossow, Seisser, and Kahr repudiate the putsch. Meanwhile, Ernst Röhm and another group of Nazis gather in the Löwenbräukeller across town. They manage to takeover the Bavarian War Ministry but fail to take control of the telephone switchboard which enables von Lossow to call in loyalist forces from nearby towns. The Army and state police soon have Röhm and his followers under seige.
November 9 Hitler and Ludendorff decide to march through the city to Röhm’s rescue. Hitler believes a march will garner an outpouring of support. Ludendorff believes his celebrity will prevent the Army from firing on a march led by him. The march begins at noon. A phalanx of banner waving putschists preceded Hitler, Ludendorff and Göring. The marchers push past a small group of police at the Ludwigsbrücke but encounter resistance at the Feldherrnhalle where the more police have established a line blocking Residenzstrasse. A putschist fires the first shot. The police return the fire. The crowd scatters but 4 policemen and 14 revolutionists are killed before the melee ends. Ludendorff emerges unscathed and marches into the arms of an arrest.
November 11 Adolf Hitler is arrested.
Chancellor Stresemann declares that the return of the former Crown Prince Wilhelm Hohenzollern is a matter of internal policy and cannot be refused. The Allied Council of Ambassadors delivers a note to Berlin declaring that it will be held responsible for the Crown Prince’s activities should he return.
November 12 A Palatinate Republic is proclaimed at Speyer by Heintz Bleu and Otto Meyer who form a government with French support.
November 13 The Reparations Commission agrees to examine Germany’s capacity to resume reparations payments. Charles Dawes of the United States is appointed chairman of an investigating committee.
November 15 $1 US buys 4,200,000,000,000 marks. A mark is worth one thousandth of one billionth of its 1914 value. The value of German war debts is the equivalent of 15 pfennigs in prewar currency.
A new currency, the Rentenmark, is introduced to replace paper marks. The notes are issued by the newly established Rentenbank which is capitalized at 3,200,000,000 gold marks half of which is secured by mortgages on agricultural land and half by mortgages or bonds on industrial enterprises. The Rentenmark is valued at 1 trillion paper marks.
Six newspapers opposed to the separatist movement in the Palatinate are surpressed by French authorities. Berlin protests French support for the separatists and the British Government accuses the French of partiality in the matter.
November 16 French President Raymond Poincaré declares that, “the occupation of the Ruhr has cost 691,000,000 francs and returned only 520,000,000 francs.” A new agreement is instituted between France and the industrialists of the region. France is to receive an immediate payment of 250 million francs and 18% of the output of the mines to be collected by imposition of a tax of 10 francs per ton of coal. The industrialists institute a 10 hour work day. November 19
General elections for a new Reichstag result in the following distribution of seats:
Party - Votes - Seats
Social Democratic Party - 11,151,600 - 173
Center Party - 3,844,648 - 68
German National People's Party - 4,248,986 - 67
German People's Party - 3,919,523 - 66
German Democratic Party - 2,333,736 - 39
Communists & Minor Parties - 1,524,365 - 26
November 20 The value of the Rentenmark is stabilized on foreign exchange markets at 4.2 to the US dollar ($0.238).
November 21 The Council of Ambassadors removes supreme authority over the Inter-Allied Military Control Commission from French General Nollet and vests it in the entire body. The Council also delivers a note to Berlin informing the German Government that it will be held accountable for the safety of the Commission in its supervision of German compliance with the arms limitation clauses.
November 23 General von Seeckt orders the dissolution of the Communist and National Socialist parties.
November 24 It is reported that the typical worker in Essen spends 60% of his income on food and that a family of five is consuming an average of 37,000 calories per week.
November 29 The Reparations Commission names a panel of experts to investigate economic conditions in Germany.
Officials in the Ruhr city of Gelsenkirchen report that only 2,000 of the 190,000 inhabitants are employed and earning wages. Those few earn an average of 4 trillion marks per day. An unemployed worker with a wife and two children receives an allowance of 1.2 trillion marks. The cost of a 3 pound loaf of bread in the local market is 1.5 trillion marks, a pound of margarine 1.3 trillion marks. Meat and butter are virtually unobtainable.
November 30 Center Party leader Wilhelm Marx forms a coalition government with the participation of the German People’s, Bavarian People’s and German Democratic parties. Eight ministers from the outgoing Stresemann cabinet are retained including the former Chancellor with retains the foreign affairs portfolio.
November Infant mortality for the third quarter of the year is 20% higher than in the corresponding period for the previous year.
Cologne soup kitchens are feeding 50,000 of the 750,000 inhabitants. The mayor orders their capacity increased to 150,000.
December 6 Germany and the United States sign a trade and friendship treaty.
December 8 The Reichstag accords full powers to the Government for a second time to allow implementation of emergency economic and welfare measures. The measure passes by a vote of 313 to 18.
December 14 The work week is set at 54 hours for civil servants and 59 hours for steel mill workers.
December 17 Civil servants are paid half their salaries.
December 20 Krupp fires workers who refuse a 10 hour work day.
December 22 Hjalmar Schacht becomes president of the Reichsbank.
December The average wage is reported at 66 to 80% of prewar levels but has only 40% of the purchasing power.
U.S. Department of Commerce investigators report an ample supply of foodstuffs among the agricultural population and in small towns but that the unwillingness of farmers to accept worthless currency has hindered distribution of the harvest. Merchants have been unable to provide sufficient capital or foreign exchange to make up domestic shortfalls with imported goods.

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