The World at War

GERMANY 1930 - 1933

GERMANY Timeline

1930January 3 The Second Hague Conference on the Young Plan opens.
January 23 Wilhelm Frick, a close collaborator of Hitler, becomes Minister of Interior and Public Education in the regional government of Thuringia.
January Hitler tries to buy the Strasser publishing house whose, “socialist content”, irritates him. He offers Gregor Strasser the post of NSDAP press bureau chief in Munich but Strasser turns him down.
February 4 Menschen am Soontag (Sunday’s Men) the first film directed by Robert Siodmak, in collaboration with Billy Wilder and Fred Zinnemann is released in Berlin.
February 9 The first automobile race on ice is run in Bavaria. German Hans Stuck, driving an Austro-Daimler, wins.
February 23 Horst Wessel, a 23 year old SA leader, is mortally wounded under mysterious circumstances in a Berlin brawl. Goebbels blames the fatal shot on Communists then proceeds to make the youth a Nazi myth and the Horst Wessel Song the NSDAP anthem.
February The number of unemployed totals 3,500,000.
Numerous strikes and demonstrations are organized by the Revolutionary Syndicalist Opposition, a Communist front group.
March The discord within the government becomes clear and worsens over the unemployment insurance issue. A compromise solution calling for a premium increase of 4% is reached but the German Peoples Party (DVP) decides to leave the coalition anyway and the Social Democrats (SPD) refuse to accept a 3.75% premium.
March 3 The industrialists demand the dismissal of Chancellor Müller, “so that financial reform can be carried out and the profitability of the companies restored.”
March 6 Hjalmar Schacht resigns as Director of the Central Bank of the Reich. Former chancellor Hans Luther, President of the League for Renewal of the Reich, succeeds him.
Hitler publishes Walther Darre’s agricultural policy manifesto of the NSDAP. Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz dies in Ebenhausen, Bavaria at age 81.
March 12 The Reichstag ratifies the Young Plan.
March 27 Chancellor Müller resigns. The Social Democrats (SPD) refusal to compromise with the German Peoples Party (DVP) on the unemployment insurance issue brings down the republican coalition and the parliamentary regime.
March 28 Hindenburg calls on Center Party leader Heinrich Brüning to form a new government. The ministry, which is formed without consulting the political parties, retains Curtius at Foreign Affairs and Groener as Reichswehr Minister. Schiele and Treviranus, two German National Peoples Party (DVNP) moderates, are brought into the cabinet. The Government’s authority now rests solely with the confidence of the President (Präsidialregierung).
March 29 The Nazi controlled parliament of Thuringia approves an enabling act (Ermächtigungsgesetz) giving Wilhelm Frick the power to rule by decree.
April 1 Premier of Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel), a film by Josef von Sternberg, starring Marlene Dietrich and Emil Jannings
April 14 The National Socialist caucus in the Reichstag, under the influence of Gregor Strasser, introduces a measure to nationalize the banks. Hitler immediately orders it withdrawn.
April Carl Goerdeler is appointed Mayor of Leipzig by the Brüning Government.
May 2 Lena Bernstein pilots a Farman 192 to new world record for endurance flying by a woman at 35 hours and 46 minutes.
May 17 The final protocol of the Young Plan is signed (retroactive to September 1, 1929). French Premier André Tardieu orders the anticipated evacuation of the Rhineland to begin.
May 21 Adolf Hitler grants Otto Strasser a morning interview at the Hotel Sansouci in Berlin.
May 22 The Hitler – Strasser interview continues at the Sansouci. Hitler defends his links with the capitalists when Strasser accuses him of abandoning the social revolution.
May 26 The International Olympic Committee awards the 1936 summer Olympics to Berlin.
May - June Negotiations for the return of the Saar to Germany end in failure.
June 12 Max Schmeling becomes heavyweight boxing champion of the world.
June 22 The NSDAP wins the general election in Saxony.
June 25 The Prussian Government bars civil servants from membership in the Communist and Nazi parties.
June 30 The last French troops leave Mainz. The occupation of the Rhineland ends five years before the date set in the Versailles Treaty. The region is declared a demilitarized zone.
June The National Socialist cells in companies (NSBO) are organized into a true trade union by Reinhold Muchow.
June - July Metalworkers in the Rhineland and the Communist stronghold of Halle-Mansfeld near Berlin strike in protest against salary cuts.
July 4 Otto Strasser resigns from the NSDAP. His brother Gregor remains a Nazi. Otto and his supporters ask, “true socialists” to follow their example. The dissidents found the Fighting Community of National Socialist Revolutionaries (Kampfgemeinschaft revolutionärer National-sozialisten). July 10
A fire in the Wenceslav Mine at Neurode (Lower Silesia) kills 162.
July 11 The Reichstag and the German Government reject Briand’s proposed European Union. July 16
The Social Democratic, Communist and German National Peoples parties combine to defeat the Brüning Government’s deflationary project; an increase in military appropriations, a 10% salary reduction for civil servants, a reduction in unemployment benefits, creation of a tobacco tax and increases in existing taxes, in the Reichstag. Brüning resorts to article 48, the constitution’s emergency powers clause, to impose the measure by Order in Council. The Reichstag then votes 236 to 221 to override the Order. July 18
Brüning obtains the dissolution of the Reichstag and issues a decree imposing even tougher austerity measures.
July 25 Hitler takes control of Gregor Strasser’s shares in the brothers’ publishing house which goes out of business. Otto Strasser is out of work.
July 26 President Hindenburg imposes a new budget by decree.
August 29 The Berlin SA rebels against the party political apparatus. SA leader Walter Stennes occupies the Office of the Gauleiter to protest against the abandonment of the social program. The SS restores order and is given responsibility for internal policing. The leader of the SA, Franz von Pffefer, resigns and Hitler takes personal charge of the SA with the assistance of a Chief of Staff, Otto Wagener.
August German military instructors arrive in Nanking to train the Kuomingtang army of nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek.
September 3 The Social Democrats adopt a policy of Tolerierungspolitik deciding to support Chancellor Brüning a lesser evil.
September 10 A referendum to decide the future status of the Saar is discussed during the opening of the League of Nations 60th session.
The Graf Zeppelin lands in Moscow for the first time.
September 14 General Elections for the Reichstag: 82% of the electorate cast ballots. The Nazis (NSDAP) become the second largest party in Germany. Goering, Goebbels, Himmler, Robert Ley, Sepp Dietrich and Alfred Rosenberg are among the prominent Nazis elected.
Party - % of Vote Cast - Seats Won
Social Democratic Party (SPD)24.5 - 143
National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP)18.3 - 107
Communist Party of Germany (KPD)13.1 - 77
Center Party (Zentrum)11.8 - 68
German National Peoples Party (DNVP)7 - 41
German Peoples Party (DVP)4.5 - 30
Economic Party 3.9 - 23
States Party (Staatspartei) 3.8 - 20
German Farmers Party (Deutsches Landvolk)3.2 - 19
Bavarian Peoples Party (BVP)3 - 19
Christian Peoples Party (Christlicher Volksdienst)2.5 - 14
others 4.3 - 16 The NSDAP wins the regional election in Brunswick.
September 23 The trial of three officers from the 5th Artillery Regiment from Ulm on charges of joining the NSDAP in violation of the Army Minister’s decree of 31 January 1923 opens in the High Court of Leipzig.
September 25 Adolf Hitler is called to testify at the trial of the three Nazi officers in Leipzig. He swears before the tribunal that his party has not attempted to accede to power by illegal means.
September 28 German Hans Joachim von Morgen, driving a Bugatti, wins the inaugural race at the Masaryk Track in Brno, Czechoslovakia.
September The NSDAP creates and Office of Agriculture under the directorship of Walter Darré.
October 6 Chancellor Brüning meets with Adolf Hitler following the strong showing by the Nazis in the elections.
October 10 The High Court of Leipzig sentences three officers of the 5th Artillery Regiment of Ulm to 18 months in prison for joining the NSDAP.
October 13 The 107 NSDAP members of the Reichstag provoke a furor by sitting in their SA uniforms. The Nazis introduce a series of demagogic and anti-Semitic bills.
The Junkers Company begins test flights of its new single engine transport plane the Ju 52 at Dessau.
October 17 Thomas Mann delivers a speech calling for a coalition of all democrats against National Socialism.
October 18 The National Socialists (NSDAP), German National Peoples (DNVP), Communist (KPD) and Peasants (Landvolpartei) parties vote no confidence in Brüning whose financial ordinances are approved by a coalition of the resigned.
October 25 Explosion and fire at the 700 meter level of a Saar mine kills 89 miners.
November 2 The Do X, the largest seaplane in the world, takeoffs from Germany on a test flight to Amsterdam.
November 30 The Nazis score a victory in the Bremen municipal elections.
December 1 Chancellor Brüning promulgates a new series of financial decrees.
December 4 Hitler gives a speech before an audience of students and academics at the Neue Welt, a reception hall in a working class district of Berlin. Young architect Albert Speer, age 25, meets the Nazi leader for the first time.
December 10 Hans Fischer is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, "for his researches into the constitution of haemin and chlorophyll and especially for his synthesis of haemin".
December 11 Germany follows Austria’s lead in banning Lewis Milestone’s film version of All Quiet on the Western Front.
December 12 France withdraws its military forces from the Saar but retains administrative and economic control of the region.
December 4,400,000 workers unemployed
During the Year Joseph Wirth becomes Minister of the Interior.
Otto Strasser, who left the NSDAP, forms the Black Front.
Thuringian Minister of the Interior and Public Education Wilhelm Frick (NSDAP) promulgates an ordinance, “against negro culture, for the defense of German popular genius” which introduces censorship and puts all cultural artists under surveillance.
1931January 4 Elly Beinhorn leaves Berlin on his first flight to Africa.
January 5 The former President of the Central Bank of the Reich, Hjalmar Schacht, and industrialist Fritz Thyssen meet with Hitler to discuss participation of the Nazis in government.
January 6 Hitler fires Otto Wagener for failing to control dissent in the ranks of the SA and recalls Ernst Röhm who left the Nazis in 1925 and later, in 1929, became a military advisor in Bolivia. Röhm begins reorganizing the SA which will have a headquarters and general staff from now on.
January 15 The number of unemployed totals 4,765,000.
January 17 The Communist Party of Germany (KPD) launches a major anti-Fascist campaign.
January 29 The League of Nations blames discriminatory measures taken by Poland for the unrest of the German minority in Upper Silesia.
January 31 The number of unemployed workers rises to 4,887,000.
February The Nazi deputies threaten violence to obtain a dissolution of the Reichstag.
February 2 The Nazis demand that Germany withdraw from the League of Nations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs signals its absolute opposition.
February 9 Chancellor Brüning wins a vote of confidence from the parliamentary majority. Hitler demands a revision of German policy.
February 10 The Nazis and 42 German National Peoples Party deputies refuse to continue sitting in the Reichstag.
February 19 Georg Wilhelm Pabst presents his latest film, Three Penny Opera, a screen adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s play, in Berlin.
February 21 A fire at the Eschweiler mine near Alsdorf kills 31 miners.
February 24 The unemployed number over 5,000,000.
February 25 The Reichstag approves Chancellor Brüning’s budget proposal by vote of 277 to 64 (all Communists). The Communists (KPD) organize a, “World Unemployment Day” to coincide with the vote.
March 1 Architect Albert Speer joins the NSDAP. The 25 year old carries membership card #474481.
March 7 Romanian born German director Lupu-Pick, age 45, dies in Berlin.
March 11 The German director Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, age 43, best known for his work Nosferatu the Vampire, dies in California.
March 12 German drivers Rudolf Caracciola and Wilhelm Sebastian win the Mille Miles de Brescia, in Italy, driving a Mercedes.
March 17 The Bishop of Paderborn condemns Catholics who join the NSDAP.
March 19 Plans for an Austro-German customs union are announced but the union is prohibited by treaty. Paris, Rome and Prague issue protests and notify the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
March 23 The International Anti-Fascist Congress opens in Berlin.
March 28 President Hindenburg promulgates a series of decree laws suspending constitutional freedoms. Hitler calls on his followers to strictly observe the law.
March 31 A law intended to aid agriculture in the east is approved. It provides 500 million reichmarks to extinguish farm debts and another 150 million reichmarks to stimulate trade over the next five years.
April 1 Nazi Minister of Interior and Public Education in Thuringia, Wilhelm Frick, is repudiated by his former allies the German National Peoples Party (DNVP) and the German Peoples Party (DVP). He resigns on orders from Hitler who fears the party’s chances for gains at the national level will be hurt. The head of the SA in Prussia, Walter Stennes, is expelled from the NSDAP for refusing to accept Hitler’s strategy for a legal takeover and pushing for a coup de force. Stennes forms the Independent Fighting National Socialist Movement (Unabhängige nationalsozialistische Kampfbewegung).
April 11 A Soviet industrial espionage network is discovered to be operating in Germany.
April Himmler’s SS intervenes to crush an attempted coup by Kurt Daluege’s radical element of the Berlin SA.
May 3 The NSDAP scores a victory in the Schaumburg-Lippe regional elections.
May 10 Hermann Goering travels to Rome where he is received by Mussolini and Cardinal Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII.
May 13 The International Olympic Committee awards the 1936 summer games to Berlin.
May 17 The NSDAP wins the regional elections in Oldenburg.
May 22 The Communist Party of Germany (KPD) publishes an economic proposal to reduce unemployment.
June 3 Decree laws reduce social welfare benefits. Unemployment insurance benefits are reduces 14% and the minimum age require to qualify for payments is raised from 16 to 21. Women are excluded from the unemployment insurance system. Family assistance is reduced and taxes are raised 4 to 5%.
June 5 Reduction in civil service salaries and benefits announced.
June 11 The Social Democrats (SPD) refuse to organize a common front with the Communists (KPD) against the Brüning Government.
June 20 The German Kronfeld crosses the English Channel by glider.
American President Herbert Hoover proposes a general moratorium on German debts until June 30, 1932.
June 30 The censor finally authorizes the screening of All Quiet on the Western Front despite the protests of Nazi groups and a resolution of the Reichstag.
June German-Soviet Military Treaty of 1926 renewed.
July 6 The Hoover Moratorium on German debts enters force.
July 9 Hitler meets the leader of the German National Peoples Party (DNVP), Alfred Hugenberg. The two men issue a declaration according to which their two parties will work together to overthrow the existing political system.
July 11 The Darmstädter Nationalbank declares bankruptcy. German banks close for three days.
July 12 A decree restricts freedom of the press.
July 24 The Graf Zeppelin takes off on flight over the Arctic.
July 31 Reichsbank President Hans Luther imposes exchange controls and raise the discount rate to 15%.
July Reinhard Heydrich joins the NSDAP following his expulsion from the Navy for his affair with the daughter of a shipyard owner.
Summer Sepp Dietrich is promoted to General in the SS.
Economics journalist Walther Funk joins the NSDAP and becomes Hitler’s finance councilor. August 1
President Hindenburg receives German National Peoples Party (DNVP) president, Alfred Hugenberg, and scolds him for his alliance with the NSDAP.
Munich brothers Franz and Toni Schmid become the first climbers to conquer the north face of the Matterhorn in Switzerland.
August 2 German Rudolf Caracciola wins the Avus automobile race.
August 3 Austria and Germany annul their customs accord. Chief German diplomat Julius Curtius resigns. Responsibility for foreign affairs is placed in the hands of Chancellor Brüning.
German banks reopen.
August 8 Savings banks reopen.
August 9 The referendum to overthrow Carl Severing’s Social Democratic government in Prussia, jointly organized by the Nazis and the Communists, fails. The alliance with the NSDAP shocks many KPD supporters.
August 19 A committee of Allied financial experts meeting in Basel, Switzerland issues the Layton-Wiggin Report, authorizing a six month delay for the first payment of German debts under the Young Plan. Despite this measure, Germany remains insolvent and the Young Plan inapplicable.
September 2 The discount rate is lowered from 15 to 9%.
September 5 The International Court at The Hague rules in favor of France and condemns the creation of an Austro- German customs union.
September 8 The German minority in Poland complains, once again, to the League of Nations about the discriminatory attitude of the Polish government.
September 12 The SA perpetrates anti-Semitic violence in Berlin.
September 26 The Nazis win the regional elections in Hamburg.
September 27 – 28 French Premier Pierre Laval and Foreign Minister Aristide Briand visit Berlin.
September 29 The German Employers Federation issue an ultimatum to Chancellor Brüning demanding lower wages, reduce social welfare payments and tax relief.
September Chancellor Brüning issues a decree ordering a new wage reduction of 7%.
October 2 The extreme leftwing of the Social Democratic Party withdraws to form the Socialist Workers Party (SAP).
October 8 - 9 The Government is reorganized; Chancellor Brüning retains the foreign affairs portfolio, Wirth is dismissed and Groener assumes the post Interior Minister remains Reichswehr Minister.
October 10 Hindenburg receives Hitler and Goering. The President offers the Nazi leader a position of secondary power but Hitler refuses to confine himself to an appointed position.
October 11 The Harzburger Front: A grand demonstration against the economic crisis organized on the initiative of Hugenberg brings anti-republican elements including the Reichslandbund, the DNVP and other populists, together at Bad-Harzburg. Economist Hjalmar Schacht gives a resounding speech. The Stahlem parades before its leaders including von Lüttwitz and von Seeckt. Hitler watches his SA pass in review then leaves the platform thus demonstrating the lack of unity among the enemies of the constitutional order.
October 13 Dissident Nazi (NSDAP) and German Nationalist (DNVP) deputies return to their seats in the Reichstag after an 8 month absence.
October 18 Winston Churchill discusses the dangers of Nazism with Otto von Bismarck at the German embassy in London.
October 30 Hitler names Baldur von Schirach chief of the Hitler Youth.
Autumn Engineer Fritz Todt, one of the first members of the NSDAP, is promoted to Colonel in the SS.
November 15 NSDAP wins legislative election in the state of Hesse.
November 19 Adolf Windaus produces the first crystals of vitamine D1 at Göttingen.
November 23 The British ambassador to Berlin invites Goering to lunch along with several prominent Americans.
November 25 Chancellor Brüning releases the Boxheim documents to the public. The documents outline measures the Nazis will take when they assume power (for example the police are to be taken over by the SA).
November 26 Hitler renounces the Boxheim document and reaffirms the commitment to legalism given by Goering to the Minister of the Interior and Army, General Groener, in October 1930.
December 1 Communist Party Secretary Ernst Thälmann proposes formation of a common front with the Social Democrats.
December 4 Elly Beinhorn departs Berlin on a round the world flight.
December 8 The Brüning government introduces austerity measures. A decree imposes new wage and price cuts of about 10%. Another lowers the interest rate on loans to farmers.
Radio transmission to the United States of a speech by Hilter is prohibited by decree.
December 10 Carl Bosch and Friedrich Bergius share the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, "in recognition of their contributions to the invention and development of chemical high pressure methods"
Otto Heinrich Warburg is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology, "for his discovery of the nature and mode of action of the respiratory enzyme"
December 12 Adolf Hitler tells British and American journalists that he is a democrat.
Josef Goebbels marries Magda Quandt, a rich and already pregnant divorcee. Hitler and Ritter von Epp are the witnesses.
December 16 The Social Democrats join with the Reichsbanner, the labor unions and its youth and sports movement to form the Eiserne (Bronze) Front for the defense of the Weimar Constitution.
December 23 The Young Plan is revised again.
December 31 5,660,000 German workers are without a job.
During the Year Former Social Democratic chancellor Hermann Müller dies in Berlin at age 55.
Rudolf Hess prevents a march by Social Democratic demonstrators in Hanover by buzzing the crowd in an airplane for 2 and ½ hours.
The Council of Germans in Poland "Rat der Deutschen in Polen" established.
1932January 1 An emergency decree reduces salaries and pensions.
January 4 Chancellor Brüning declares that Germany will no longer pay war reparations.
January 6 The Government proposes extending President Hindenburg’s term of office which is set to expire on May 5th. Presidential secretary Otto Meissner and General Groener the Minister of Interior and the Army engage Adolf Hitler in talks aimed at gaining the support of Nazi deputies for the proposal which requires the approval of the Reichstag. January 13
Hitler informs Chancellor Brüning that his party will not support extension of President Hindenburg’s mandate. The presidential election campaign begins. Hitler may perhaps not in fact be a candidate as he is still a citizen of Austria.
January 27 Fritz Thyssen invites Hitler to speak before the Industrial Club of Düsseldorf.
January 28 The industrial magnates lend secret support to Hitler and Goering.
January A second German rearmament program is authorized.
February 2 World Disarmament Conference opens in Geneva. The German delegation is led by General Werner von Blomberg.
February 15 Unemployment reaches record high. 6,126,000 German workers are without a job.
February 22 Negotiations between the members of the Harzburg Front to choose a common candidate for the upcoming presidential election end in failure.
February 24 Adolf Hitler becomes economic councilor of the State of Brunswick at its legation in Berlin, owing to the intervention of Dietrich Klagges, the Nazi Minister of Interior and Public Education in Brunswick.
Adolf Hitler acquires German citizenship in order to run as a candidate for president.
February 26 The Social Democratic Party decides not to run a candidate in the presidential election and announces its support for Hindenburg.
February 27 Adolf Hitler declares his candidacy for the presidency.
March 12 First round balloting in the presidential election draws 86.2% of the eligible voters to the polls. Marshal Hindenburg falls just short of the majority required to avoid a runoff.
Candidate - Party - Votes Cast - % of Total Vote
Paul von Hindenburg - NA - 18,661,000 - 49.45
Adolf Hitler - National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP)- 11,338,000 - 30.23
Ernst Thälmann - Communist Party of Germany (KPD)- 4,982,000 - 13.2
Colonel Duesterberg - Conservative Right - 2,557,000 - 6.8
March 17 Searches in Prussia uncover supplies secreted for use by the SA.
March 20 The Graf Zeppelin begins regularly scheduled service to South America.
April 1 Adolf Eichmann joins the NSDAP.
April 3 - 9 Hitler puts on a strong campaign in the second round of the presidential election assisted by the use of a private aircraft and the violence of the Nazi paramilitaries.
April 10 The second round of balloting in the presidential election draws 83.5% of the eligible voters to the polls. Marshal Hindenburg, aided by Communist voters who fear a victory by Hitler, is reelected at the age of 85.
Candidate - Party - Votes Received - % of Votes Cast
Paul von Hindenburg - NA - 19,367,000 - 52.93
Adolf Hitler - National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) - 13,419,000 - 36.68
Ernst Thälman - Communist Party of Germany (KPD) - 3,706,000 - 10.2
April 13 An Order in Council bans the activities of the SA and the SS in response to the violence surrounding the presidential campaign.
April 14 The Social Democratic Party dissolves its Reichsbanner paramilitary organization.
Former Crown Prince Wilhelm von Hohenzollern protests the ban on the SA and the SS to Army Minister Groener.
Hitler calls for the total mobilization of his supporters for the upcoming regional elections.
April 16 - 23 Hitler is greeted with immense enthusiasm during an election tour by airplane.
April 24 The Nazis emerge victorious in regional elections in Prussia, Bavaria, Anhalt, Wurttemburg and Hamburg. The NSDAP carries between 36.8 and 41.65% of the vote in each region and increases its presence in the Prussian Parliament from 6 to 160 seats.
May 1 Joachim von Ribbentrop joins the NSDAP.
May 4 The German Party wins a referendum in the “Lithuanian” city of Memel.
May 10 Leftwing Nazi Gregor Strasser proposes a 10 billion reichmark program of public works (roads and housing ) to create two million jobs.
May 11 Chancellor Brüning delivers his last speech, a passionate call for perseverance, “one shouldn’t yield in the last five minutes... within a hundred meters of the goal.”
May 12 General Groener, Minister of the Interior and of Defense (Reichswehr), who banned the SA and the SS throughout the Reich, is forced to resign under pressure from General Schleicher and Goering.
May 15 President Hindenburg receives Hitler and Goering.
May 21 The Nazi Freyberg is named Regional Council President in Anhalt.
May 25 Violent clashes between Communist and Nazi deputies erupt in the Prussian parliament.
May 29 The Nazis receive 48.5 % of the in Oldenburg and take control of the regional council.
German driver Rudolf Caracciola, driving an Alfa Romeo, defeats René Dreyfuss in a Bugatti to win the race at Adac-Eifel.
May 30 Hindenburg, under pressure from the Prussian Junkers, who demand a ministerial realignment and a rightward shift in policy, obtains the resignation of Chancellor Heinrich Brüning.
June 1 Franz von Papen, the Catholic candidate supported by General Schleicher, is appointed chancellor against the wishes of his own party, the Center, which he quits at once.
June 2 The new chancellor forms a “cabinet of barons” (only two ministers are not aristocrats) including von Braun (DNVP), Interior Minister von Gayl (junkers), Finance Minister von Krosigt, Foreign Minister Konstantin von Neurath and Army Minister von Schleicher.
June 3 100,000 demonstrators turnout for the Anti-Fascist Day organized by the Communist Party in Berlin.
June 4 Chancellor von Papen announces the dissolution of the Reichstag and the advent of the authoritarian state in a radio address. Elections are set for July 31st.
June 5 The Nazis receive 48.9 % of the vote in Mecklenburg-Schwerin and take control of the regional council.
June 10 The Communist organized Anti-Fascist Week opens.
June 13 Chancellor von Papen receives Hitler who demands and end to the prohibition on the SA and the SS.
June 14 An Order in Council cuts benefits for the unemployed.
The new Minister of the Interior, von Gayl, a representative of the agrarians and close associate of Hindenburg, lifts the prohibition on the SA and the SS.
June 16 The Lausanne Conference on German war reparatation opens.
Hitler decides not to oppose Franz von Papen.
June 19 The NSDAP wins 43.9% of the votes in a regional election for Hesse.
June 28 The Social Democrats rebuff Communist proposals for the constitution of a popular front.
June An Anti-Fascist Action Front is formed.
Otto Hahn, founder of the Salem School, forbids his students from joining the Nazi Party.
July 1 Luft Hansa purchases the freighter Westfalen for transformation into a floating base for seaplanes.
July 9 The Lausanne Conference on war reparations ends. Application of the Young Plan is suspended for three years after a payment of 3 million reichsmarks.
July 15 Adolf Hitler embarks on the legislative election campaign by air.
July 17 Bloody Sunday: the electoral campaign turns into a civil war. A streetfight at Hamburg-Altona, Prussia leaves 18 dead including two SA stormtroopers and 16 civilians and more than 100 wounded.
July 19 Demonstrations banned. The NSDAP wins authorization to use the radio for their electoral campaign.
July 20 Coup de force in Prussia under the pretext of the bloody disorders of the electoral campaign (99 deaths in Prussia since June 14th): Von Papen calls on Prussian Interior Minister Severing to inform him that a Presidental Order in Council has put an end to the Prussian Government of Otto Braun. Severing contests its legality. Von Papen issues a second decree declaring a State of Exception in Berlin and Brandenburg placing the districts under control General von Rundstedt. The legal government of Prussia yields. Von Papen is appointed High Commissioner in Prussia. The Social Democrats reject Communist proposals for a General Strike and urge working men to remain calm. The Prussian administration is purged.
July 26 The training ship Niobe sinks in the Baltic. Sixty sailors perish in the storm.
July 30 Hitler ends his electoral campaign.
July 31 General Elections for the Reichstag draw 84.1% of the eligible electors to the polls. Chancellor Papen, supported only by the German National Peoples Party (DNVP) goes down to defeat.
Party - % of Vote Cast - Seats Won/Net Gain or Loss
National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP)- 37.3 - 230 +123
Social Democratic Party (SPD) - 21.6% - 133 -10
Communist Party of Germany (KPD) - 14.3 - 89 +12
Center Party (Zentrum) - 12.5 - 75 +7
German National People's Party (DNVP) - 5.9 - 37 -4
Bavarian Peoples Party (BVP) - 3.2 - 22 +3
German Peoples Party (DVP) - 1.2 - 7 -23
States Party (Staatspartei) - 1 - 4 -16
Christian Peoples Party (Christlicher Volsdienst)- 1 - 3 -11
Others - 2.1 - 8 -8 The Nazis receive an absolute majority in the Thuringian regional elections.
August 2 Von Papen and Schleicher offer two ministries to the NSDAP: Supply and Foreign Affairs as well as the vice chancellorship. Hitler demands the chancellorship and the Interior Ministries of the Reich and Prussia effectively rejecting the attempt to co-opt him.
August 9 President Hindenburg promulgates a decree against political terrorism which is aimed primarily at the Communists (KPD). Tribunals of Exception are put in place.
August 10 A Communist worker is kicked to death in his home at Potempa, Upper Silesia by 5 members of the SA.
August 12 Multiple interventions by the police against the Communist Party and its affiliated organizations
August 13 Hitler is received by Hindenburg who indicates that he will not confer power on a man of such intolerance and that he will move to end the outrages of the SA.
August 14 Los Angeles Olympic Games close. Germany wins three gold medals: rowing, Greco-Roman wrestling (Jakob Brendel) and weightlifting (Rudolf Ismayr).
August 22 Five SA men convicted in the murder of a Communist worker in Potempa, Upper Silesia are sentenced to death. Hitler demands their release.
August 25 Chancellor von Papen announces his economic program to the industrialists who generally approve but protest the scale of projects to provide work for the unemployed.
August 26 The inauguration of a Nazi controlled regional council in Thuringia is greeted with enthusiasm by the population despite the excesses of the previous NSDAP administration under Wilhelm Frick.
August 28 Chancellor von Papen promulgates his economic recovery plan which creates a volunteer work service, suppresses existing collective bargaining agreements, decreases social security benefits and strengthens the prerogatives of employers.
August 30 The new Reichstag convenes for its first session. Communist Clara Zetkin, the oldest member, administers the oath of office. The Nazis sit in uniform. Hermann Göring, is elected President of the Reichstag by virtue of an agreement between the NSDAP, DNVP and Center Party.
September 2 At the request of Chancellor von Papen, President Hindenburg pardons the five SA stormtroopers convicted of the killings at Potempa; though sentenced to they will spend only a few months in prison.
September 4 Von Papen issues an Order in Council reinforcing the measures taken on August 28th. It calls for tax reductions, an expansion of credit and an investment of 2.5 billion reichmarks to create jobs.
September 12 The Reichstag approves a Communist resolution calling for an end to the State of Emergency and the decree on the revival of the economy by a vote of 512 to 42. Reichstag President Goering refuses to warn the Chancellor in advance of the no confidence vote. Von Papen responds by ordering the Reichstag dissolved.
September 14 Germany leaves the Geneva Disarmament Conference.
September 16 The industrialist demand that the Communist backed trade unions mobilizing against the Von Papen economic recovery plan be outlawed.
September 17 New general election scheduled for November 6.
September 19 Geman driver Rudolf Caracciola wins the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in an Alfa - Roméo.
September 26 Max Schmeling beats American boxer Mickey Walker with a technical knock-out. The victory in New York opens the way for Schmeling to fight for the World’s Heavyweight Championship.
September 28 Official reports count 155 victims of political violence in Prussia killed since January.
October 1 – 2 National Congress of the Hitler Youth draws 110,000 participants to Potsdam.
October 1 – 4 Transport strike in Hamburg.
October 11 Hitler uses a new airplane to begin the general election campaign.
October 20 A Thuringian ministerial decree requires students in that state to memorize Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles which required Germany to accept sole responsibility for World War I.
October 25 The Constitutional Court of the Reich declares the overthrow of the Social Democratic government of Prussia on July 20th illegal. The Socialists reclaim power.
October 7,500,000 Germans are unemployed or working part time.
November 1 A rumor circulates in Munich that Eva Braun, the 20 year old mistress of Hitler, has attempt to commit suicide.
November 3 Berlin transit workers begin a strike carried out in concert with the Nazis and Communists.
November 6 General elections for the Reichstag draw 80.6% of the eligible electorate to the polls. The Nazi vote drops by more than 2 million while the Communists make gains. Hitler attributes the setback to the weariness of the German electorate who have been called to the polls five times since the beginning of the year.
Party - % of Vote Cast - Seats Won/Net Gain or Loss
National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) 33.1 - 196 -34
Social Democratic Party (SPD)20.4 - 121 -12
Communist Party of Germany (KPD) 16.9 - 100 +11
Center Party (Zentrum) 11.9 - 70 +5
German National Peoples Party (DNVP) 8.3 - 52 +15
Bavarian Peoples Party (BVP)3.1 - 20 -2
German Peoples Party (DVP) 1.9 - 11 +4
Christian Peoples Party (Christlicher Volksdienst) 1.2 - 5 +2
States Party (Staatspartei)1 - 2 -2
Others 2.2 - 7 -1
November 7 Berlin transport strike ends.
November 11 The International Commission in charge of internal affairs for the Saar decides to dissolve the SA and SS paramilitaries operating in the territory.
November 12 Former Reichsbank president Hjalmar Schacht informs Hitler that the great industrialist will request his appointment as chancellor.
November 17 Chancellor von Papen, who retains the confidence of President Hindenburg and hopes to be renominated, tenders his resignation. He urges the president to amend the Constitution to install a military dictatorship and Hindenburg agrees.
November 19 Hindenburg receives Hitler and offers him the chancellorship on condition that he seek a majority in the Reichstag and govern with the approval of the president. Hitler demands, in vain, the formation of a presidential cabinet under his control. The same day, Hindenburg receives a petition from the industrialists led by Thyssen and the bankers led by Schroeder and Schacht urging the nomination of Hitler to the chancellery.
November 19 - 21 During a series of interviews with President Hindenburg regarding his eventual nomination as chancellor, Hitler persists in his demands for full powers. The negotiations fail.
November 21 Hjalmar Schacht attends a meeting with Nazi leaders in Berlin.
November 24 Hitler refuses appointment to the chancellorship after President Hindenburg refuses to grant him emergency powers.
November Hitler names Robert Ley head of administrative services for the NSDAP.
December 1 Hindenburg receives von Papen and Schleicher. Von Papen proposes the installation of a military dictatorship which Schleicher refuses to support. Von Papen leaves.
December 3 Defense Minister General Kurt von Schleicher is named Chancellor and Reichs Commissioner for Prussia. Schleicher contacts the Social Democratic and Christian trade unions as well as Gregor Strasser, leader of the NSDAP’s proletarian wing to whom he offers the vice-chancellorship and presidency of the Prussian Regional Council. The negotiations end in total failure.
December 4 Municipal election in Thuringia: the NSDAP’s share of the vote drops 40% from the previous election in July. Gregor Strasser begins his own negotiations with Chancellor Schleicher. Hitler, whose authority within the NSDAP seems to be exhausted, takes it as an act of open rebellion.
December 5 Gregor Strasser and Hitler engage in a violent arguemen in the Kaiserhof Hotel in Berlin.
Ernst Thälmann tells the Federal Conference of the German Communist Party that, “the Schleicher Government will be the last before that of Hitler”.
December 6 The Reichstag reconvenes. Goering retains the presidency. Von Papen’s decree of economic urgency is repealed. December 7
The NSDAP encounters financial problems owing to the business milieux mistrust of the party’s proletarian wing led by Gregor Strasser. Hitler is on the verge of suicide. December 7 - 8
Hitler and Gregor Strasser meet under pressure from Goebbels. Strasser renounces his opposition to Hitler and abands his role in the Nazi Party. Robert Ley will succeed Strasser as head of the NSDAP’s organizational department. Strasser takes the night train to Italy. The threatened schism will not take place. Hitler’s decision to break with Strasser earns him the support of business and financial circles who now see him as a rampart against Bolshevism. December 10
Werner Karl Heisenberg is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, "for the creation of quantum mechanics, the application of which has, inter alia, led to the discovery of the allotropic forms of hydrogen".
The Five Power Conference on Disarmament in Geneva accords equality of rights to Germany.
December 11 Schleicher gains full satisfaction of his demands during a meeting of the Five Powers at Geneva. Germany agrees to take its seat at the disarmament conference scheduled to open on February 2, 1933.
December 12 Germany returns to the Geneva Disarmament Conference that it left on September 14th.
December 15 During a radio interview, Schleicher defines himself as a, “social general”, who rejects both capitalism and socialism. He announces his intention to create jobs by limiting working hours. The Junkers who have benefited from a forgiveness of debts will have to yield ground to the unemployed. The Chancellor also institutes winter aid consisting of coal and food handouts to the worst off but the trade unions refuse to go along with the program. December 18
Socialist theoretician Edward Bernstein dies in Berlin at age 82.
December 24 Heinrich Himmler names Rudolf Hess Obergruppenführer of the SS.
December 30 Rudolf Hess marries Ilse Pröhl under discrete pressure from Hitler who is sensitive to rumors caused by the presence of so many unmarried men in his entourage. The festive rejoicing is brief. The couple dispenses with the traditional vows for ideological reasons. Hitler and Haushofer are the witnesses to the civil ceremony. Hess’ parents remain in Egypt and Ilse’s mother refuses to consent to the marriage because she doesn’t share her son in law’s political convictions.
December The number of unemployed climbs to 5,773,000.
1933January 3 Former chancellor Wilhelm Cuno is murdered near Hamburg. The 57 old Cuno was chancellor from 1922 to 1923.
January 4 Hitler meets in secret with von Papen at the home of banker Schröder in Cologne. Von Papen proposes a “Government of National Concentration” (a two headed arrangement that would include German National Peoples Party leader Hugenberg). January 7
Von Papen presents his Government of National Concentration project to the business establishment.
January 9 During a meeting with Hindenburg, Papen attempts to convince the President to permit Hitler’s entry into government. Hindenburg gives his implict approval to the formation of a Papen-Hitler-Hugenberg triumvirate and not to the chancellorship of Hitler.
January 11 Count Kalckreuth of the Landbund complains to Hindenburg about the, “agrarian Bolshevism” surrounding the chancellor. The President chides Schleicher but the chancellor remains committed to his policy. The estate owners turn to von Papen and Hitler who meet the same day at the home of von Ribbentrop in Dahlem.
January 12 Business interests decide to lend financial support to the Government of National Concentration project.
January 15 Election in the small state of Lippe: the NSDAP gains 6,000 votes over the preceeding November total but is still 3,000 votes short of its July number. This small success is transformed into triumph by skillful propaganda but the success of the Social Democrats even more than that of the Nazis confirms for the business community the urgent need for it to support Hitler.
January 17 Hitler and Von Papen meet with German National Peoples Party president Alfred Hugenberg to discuss the division of positions and direction of the future ministry of national concentration.
January 18 Hitler and von Papen meet again, this time in the presence of Goering, Röhm and Himmler. Von Papen is forced to admit that Hindenburg in unwilling to entrust the chancellorship to Hitler.
January 19 Hitler and von Papen meet with industrialist Fritz Thyssen and submit their proposal on the composition of the government of national concentration.
January 20 The SA demonstrates outside the Berlin headquarters of the German Communist Party.
January 20 - 21 Chancellor von Schleicher’s attempts to compromise with Hitler and von Papen are refused.
January 21 German nationalists flock to Belgium in support of Flemish autonomy. There will be no private viewing at the Belgian Art Exhibition in Berlin.
January 22 Oskar Hindenburg, son of the President and Otto Meissner accompanied by Hindenburg’s personal secretary meet with von Papen, Hitler, Goering and the other Nazi leaders at the home of von Ribbentrop. The two men leave the meeting convinced that it has become necessary to entrust the chancellery to Hitler.
The SA demonstrates in front of Karl Liebknecht House, the Berlin office of the Communist Party Central Committee.
January 23 Schleicher demands that Hindenburg dissolve the Reichstag, declare a State of Emergency and grant him full powers. Hindenburg refuses and threatens to appoint Hitler to the chancellorship.
Nazi agents assassinate Formis, the creator of an anti-Nazi underground radio station operating from Prague on behalf of Otto Strasser’s Black Front.
January Otto Meissner sets the decisive intrigue in motion. He arranges for the President to receive General Blomberg though he is unaware that his subordinate is already backing Hitler.
January 27 President Hindenburg continues to oppose the nomination of Hitler as chancellor despite criticism from all sides.
January 28 Chancellor von Schleicher demands that President Hindenburg declare the Reichstag dissolved and grant him full powers. The President refuses and von Schleicher resigns.
January 29 President Hindenburg responds to false rumors spread by von Papen of an impending Army coup in favor of von Schleicher by appointing Blomberg as Minister of Defense.
January 30 Hindenburg appoints Hitler to the chancellorship and asks him to form a new government. Aside from Hitler, only two Nazis are called to power but they are given key portfolios; Wilhelm Frick at the Interior and Goering over the Air Ministry and the Prussian Interior Ministry. The other positions are filled by members of the German National Peoples Party (Hugenberg over Agriculture and the Economy, Franz Gurtner over Justice), and to close associates of the party (Seldte of the Stahlem becomes Labor Minister) or to aristocrats like Konstantin von Neurath (who remains Foreign Minister) and von Krosigh (Finance Minister), Blomberg becomes Defense Minister. Von Papen is appointed Vice Chancellor. The Communist ask the trade unions and Social Democrats to support a General Strike
January 30 - 31 Militant Nazis mark their night of victory with a torchlight parade from the Brandenburg Gate to the Chancellery.
January 31 The Social Democrats refuse to break the law as long as the Government doesn’t violate it. The SPD rejects the Communist call for a General Strike and urges its supporters to uphold the Constitution. Hitler declares, “give us four years...” Morgenrot d’Ucicky, a revanchist film glorifying the U-boat campaign of the First World War, premiers in Berlin with the cabinet in the audience. Hitler receives the film with enthusiasm. January
Unemployment reaches a record high.
February 1 President Hindenburg yields to Hitler’s request for a dissolution of the Reichstag and sets the next election for March 5th.
February 2 The new government promulgates an ordinance banning demonstrations.
Geneva Disarmament Conference resumes.
February 3 Hitler harangues the generals gathered at the Hammerstein-Equord house. He announces that the Reichswehr will remain independent of the political parties and promises rearmament along with an offensive against the Communists and Pacifists.
February 4 Hindenburg signs a decree, “for the protection of the German people,” which permits the suspension of civil rights. He authorizes the Government to ban newspapers and rallies on the pretext that they are distributing false news to harm the State or defame the authorities and civil service. February 5
Goering dissolves the Prussian regional assembly and replaces it with a favorable Council of State but he is without power to dismiss the Landtag whose deputies oppose him along with the Council of State where Braun and Adenaur out vote the Nazi Landtag president.
February 6 Hindenburg signs a decree which deprives Braun of his prerogatives to the profit of Von Papen. A dissolution of the Pussian Landtag is thus acquired. Prussia falls under the grip of Interior Minister Goering.
February 10 An accidental explosion in a steelmill in Neunkirchen, Saar, kills 70 and injures 1,000.
February 12 Bloody day in Eisleben where the SA attacks the Communists
February 16 Author Heinrich Mann quits the Prussian Academy of Arts to protest against the Nazis.
February 17 Goering issues a decree authorizing the Prussian police to fire on demonstrations at will.
February 18 Krupp perfects the diesel engine.
February 20 Hitler speaks to an audience of 20 industrialists and financiers chosen by Schacht and Goering who are edified by the Chancellor’s announcement of the establishment of the authoritarian state and the dismantling of the Marxist trade union regardless of the outcome of the March 5th elections. Schacht concludes the meeting by asking the audience to finance the NSDAP’s election campaign. February 22
Hermann Goering creates the Hilfpolizei, a 40,000 man auxiliary policeforce, regrouping the SA, SS and Stalhelm.
February 27 At 9 p.m. , the Reichstag burns. The fire is lit by Marinus van der Lubbe, an unemployed mentally retarded Dutchman who is caught in possession of Communist Party membership card. The Nazis blame the Communists and thousands are arrested throughout the country. The KPD is delt a decisive blow. The president of the Communist caucus in the Reichstag, Ernst Togler, is imprisoned after voluntarily turning himself into the police in an effect exculpate the Party.
February 27 - 28 Hermann Göring orders the arrest of 4,000 Communist functionaries, their offices closed, their paper banned and suspect writers including Carl von Ossietzky place in preventive detention.
February 28 The Cabinet decrees the end of Constitutional freedoms and fundamental individual rights including personal liberty, inviolability of one’s domicile, freedom of expression, assembly, the press and postal secrecy opening the way to arbitrary arrest and legalizing those of the preceding night. Paragraph two of the decree authorizes intervention in States that do not apply the measures. Another decree authorizes repression of treason towards the German people. The Government is authorized to pursue all persons suspected of opposing it. February
The first concentration camp opens at Oranienburg.
March 3 Communist Party Secretary Ernst Thälmann is betrayed by a close associate and placed under arrest.
March 4 Goering organizes a repression of unprecedented magnitude towards his political opponents in Prussia. The police are orders to, “stop, by all means, the activity of organizations opposed to the nationalists” and, “if necessary use their service arms”.
March 5 The last multiparty general election for the Reichstag draws 88.8% of the eligible voters to the polls. The Combat Front coalition formed by the NSDAP and Hugenberg’s German National Peoples Party wins a 51.9% majority but falls just short of the 2/3rds majority needed to amend the constitution.
Party - % of Vote Cast - Seats Won/Net Gain or Loss
National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP)43.9 - 288 +92
Social Democratic Party (SPD)18.3 - 120 -1
Communist Party of Germany (KPD)12.3 - 81 -19
Center Party (Zentrum)11.2 - 74 +4
German National Peoples Party (DNVP) 8 - 52
Bavarian Peoples Party (BVP)2.7 - 18 -2
German Peoples Party (DVP)1.1 - 2 -9
Christian Peoples Party (Christlicher Volksdienst)1 - 4 -1
States Party (Staatspartei)0.9 - 5 +3
Others 0.6 - 3 -4 A Nazi Reich Commissioner is appointed in Hamburg.
March 6 The offices of the Social Democratic and Communist Parties, the major trade unions and publishing houses are occupied by forces loyal to the Nazis.
Nazi Reich Commissioners are appointed in Bremen and Lübeck.
March 7 A Nazi Reich Commissioner is appointed for Hesse where the Government retires without resistance in the face of the National Socialist threat.
March 8 Nazi Reich Commissioners are installed in Saxony, Wurttemburg and Baden.
March 9 Bulgarian Georgui Dimitrov, Secretary of the Western Bureau of the Communist International Executive Committee, is arrested for complicity in the burning of the Reichstag.
Acting on orders from Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick, the SA and SS make sure that civil service supervisors are replace by Nazis throughout Germany.
Nazis occupy the Bavarian Parliament and expel the deputies. General von Epp is appointed Governor of Bavaria.
March 11 A campaign “for the destruction of Marxism so that the national uprising can become a reality” is launched. March 12
President Hindenburg bans display of the black, red and gold flag of the Weimar Republic.
March 13 Nazi Joseph Goebbels, age 40, is appointed Minister of Education, Public Information and Propaganda.
March 15 The Communist Party of Germany (KPD) is banned. All persons disseminating Communist ideas will be placed under arrest.
March 16 The Bavarian head of government, Held, withdraws, in the face of odious violence towards his ministers. Heinrich Himmler, assisted by Reinhard Heydrich, becomes Chief of Police. He establishes a second concentration camp at Dachau, northwest of Munich.
Reichsbank President and former Chancellor Hans Luther is replaced by Hjalmar Schacht after voicing doubts about the financing of German rearmament. Luther is sent to Washington as an ambassador.
March 17 The Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, a 120 man personal guard is formed under the direction of Sepp Dietrich.
March 19 Von Papen complains to the Chancellor about Nazi attacks on foreigners. Hitler defends the SA and issues a veiled threat towards the conservatives.
March 20 Hitler negotiates with the Center Party for support of his demand for full power. The Center demands guarantees regarding Church – State relations including recognition of concordats between the Vatican and the States, maintenance of religious influence in the schools, maintenance of presidential prerogatives and in regards to the judicial system. Brüning requires a written promise.
Communist and Social Democratic officials are arrested.
The opening of the Dachau Concentration Camp for political detainees is announced in the press.
March 21 Goebbeles organizes Potsdam Day to coincide with the return of the Reichstag and to demonstration unity of opinion between the nationalist right and the Nazis. The demonstration, broadcast in its entirety and filmed, is staged in the presence of civic and religious leaders with the participation of President Hindenburg, Crown Prince Wilhelm Hohenzollern, the Army, the clergy and representatives of the diplomatic corps. The ceremonies begin religious invocations and a memorial to the martyrs of the party led by Hitler. At noon, the Chancellor shakes hands with the President in front of the garrison chapel in a gesture symbolizing the union of Prussia and National Socialism and confirmed by the laying of a crown on the tomb of Frederick II. Later on, the Reichstag convenes at the Kroll Operahouse in Berlin under the presidency of Georing and approves a decree, “to prevent perfidious attacks” on the government of national concentration.
Emergency courts are established.
March 22 Nazi leader continue the bargaining with the 73 Center Party deputies for their support in granting full powers to Hitler.
March 23 The Reichstag meets at the Kroll Operahouse; the SS and SA surround the building and the deputies cast a vote of approval in the face of the implied threat. The assembly passes an act abrogating the Weimar Constitution by a crushing majority. Adolf Hitler is granted full powers for a period of four years by a 2/3rds majority vote which includes the Center Party deputies who as yet have not received a letter confirming Hitler’s promised acceptance of their terms. The final vote tally is 444 in favor and 94 opposed (only the Social Democrats, led by Otto Wels, rise to condemn the violence and oppose the proposal). Industrialist Fritz Thyssen who is not on the board directing the RDI issues an abrupt announcement of its alignment with Nazi principles.
March 24 The Employers Federation thanks Hitler for saving the German economy.
Parliamentary democracy is abolished by law.
Goebbels decides to co-opt the symbolism of May Day for the benefit of the Nazis.
March 25 The International Alliance against Anti-Semitism based in London declares a boycott against German goods.
March 27 Nationalist director Fritz Lang along with Trenker and Boese founds the National Socialist Operational Organization (nationalsozialistische Betriebsorganisation).
March 28 Goebbels organizes a boycott of Jewish owned shops in Berlin.
The Catholic bishops issue the Declaration of Fulda which calls for support of the new order whose attacks on Liberalism and Marxism satisfy the hierarchy.
March 29 The Testament of Doctor Mabuse by Fritz Lang is banned by the Nazis.
March 31 The first law suppressing the powers of the regions puts an end to Communist governments in the states and municipalities.
April 1 The Gauleiter of Franconia, Julius Streicher undertakes an operation against, “Jewish violence”. SA stormtroopers are posted in front of Jewish shops, block customers attempting to enter and carry placards inciting others to boycott Jewish owned establishments. Similar scenes unwind in front of the pharmacies, doctors and lawyers offices. During the evening, Nazi organizations parade through Berlin to protest against, “Jewish intrigues”. Hitler explains that he prefers to to take the initiative before the population takes matters into its own hands. If fact the population has not shown any outpouring of support for the movement and in some cases even protested the boycott, the movement is stopped. Hitler issues an order prohibiting anti-Semitic actions. April 2
The trade unions are dissolved and replace by the Nazi controlled German Workers Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront).
April 4 Nazi Walter Darré takes charge of the agricultural organizations.
April 5 Baldur von Schirach, head of the Hitler Youth, takes over the offices of the National Committee of Youth Associations.
April 7 The second law governing the administration of the regions is enacted. Hitler imposes a Statthalter in place of the old governments. This new administrator is in charge of financial and political control. The government also publishes a law, ‘reestablishing the civil service system” under which the elimination of Jews and leftists from public office is legalized. Hindenburg intervenes to preserve the jobs of Jewish veterans until 1935. Employers are authorized to fire employees engaged in political or trade union activities deemed detrimental to the conduct of State business.
April 11 Hermann Goering is appointed Minister President of Prussia.
April 20 Jewish enrolment in schools, colleges and universities is restricted.
Napola, elite boarding schools charged with preparing 12 – 18 year olds for careers in the Army, are opened. Austro-German director Fritz Lang divorces screenwriter Thea von Harbou.
April 21 Hitler appoints his friend Rudolf Hess deputy Führer (Stellvertreter des Führers).
April 26 Hermann Goering founds the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei), the secret state police, along with a special tribunal for political crimes.
April 30 The Social Democratic Party announces that it is breaking with the Second International and denounces press attacks on Hitler.
April Ludwig Müller, a Protestant military chaplain, is charged with establishing a single Protestant Church (Reichskirche) in step with the political regime.
Alfred Rosenberg creates the Foreign Political Service of the NSDAP.
May 1 The government declares this day, “a day of national work”; a grand demonstration, technically organized by architect Albert Speer, takes place in Berlin in which the Social Democratic ADGB trade unions agree to participate. The autobahn construction program is launched.
The NSDAP suspends acceptance of new members.
May 2 Robert Ley orders the offices of the trade unions occupied, their assets seized and their leaders arrested.
May 3 Industrialist Krupp is granted full power to reorganize the industrial sector in the spirit of “national concentration”. May 5
The National-sozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (NSV), an aid and assistance organization, is established. Traditional social welfare organizations like Caritas and the Red Cross continue to operating with limited toleration until 1936.
May 9 The Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst aka SD) is created.
May 10 Several university towns are turned into stages for Nazi street theater. 20,000 books (“banned and harmful literature”) including master works of the German language are publicaly burnt in ceremonies chaired by Goebbels. The Work Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront-DAF) is instituted by Robert Ley. All workmen are obliged to join the Nazi control trade union.
May 12 Walther Darré takes control the Chambers of Agriculture.
May 15 The law on rural properties declares the hereditary estates property of the Reich.
May 17 Hitler delivers a peace speech to the Reichstag. He declares himself ready to disarm provided other nations do likewise. The Social Democrats still sitting in the assembly approve a resolution of support for the policy.
The exiled leaders of the Social Democratic Party (Wels, Ollenhauer and Stampfer) form the SOPADE in Prague.
May 19 Reichstreuhänders (work administrators) are appointed to head the 14 economic regions. They report to the Minister of Labor who will control their wages and the incomes of their employees.
May 22 The RDI is dissolved.
May 26 Communist Party property is seized.
May 28 Agricultural engineer and theoretician Walther Darré becomes head of the Reich Peasantry (Reichsbauernführer).
May Germany and the Soviet Union extend the 1926 Treaty of Berlin.
Gauleiter Bohle takes over direction of the NSDAP’s foreign organizations. Reichssportführer Hans von Tschammer und Osten founds the Gymnastic League of the Reich (Deutscher Reichsbund für Leibesübungen) as a means of exercising ideological control over the German sports associations.
June 1 Plan Reinhardt: a plan to reduce unemployment with major public works expenditures for urban renewal is adopted.
June 2 The industrialists create a fund for the support of the Nazi Party, the Adolf Hitler Spende.
June 5 Political parties other than the NSDAP dissolved.
June 7 Germany, Italy, France and Great Britain sign a pact for peace in Rome. Mussolini hopes to neutralize German territorial ambitions with this accord.
June 9 Conductor Arturo Toscanini refuses to participate in the Festival of Bayreuth to protest the nazi attitude towards artists.
June 15 Goering names his friend Bruno Loerzer head of the German flying clubs.
June 17 Baldur von Schirach, leader of the Hitler Youth, is promoted to Reichsjugenführer over all youth programs. He undetakes the dissolution of all independent youth organizations except those run by the Catholic Church which will remain autonomous until 1937.
June 19 The RDI, dissolved one month earlier, becomes the German Industrial Corporation. Krupp remains its president and the organization preserves a certain autonomy.
The steering committee of the Social Democratic Party decides to eliminate Jews from its board of directors.
June 20 Militant feminist and German Communist Clara Zetkin dies in Russia at age 76.
June 21 SA stormtroopers invade the working class district of Berlin-Köpenick and unleash a week of bloodshed that will claim 91 victims.
Seldte delivers the Stahlhelm to Hitler.
June 22 Hitler bans the Social Democratic Party as an organization, “hostile to the State”. A small group of deputies, led by Paul Löbe, declares itself ready to cooperate with the regime but later renounces that decision.
June 26 A law for the prevention of hereditary sickness is enacted.
Minster of the Economy and Agriculture Alfred Hugenberg, President of the German National Peoples Party DNVP, is forced to resign from the government. He retires from public life entirely. Kurt Schmitt becomes Economic Minister.
June 27 The States Party (Staatspartei), deprived of its mandates, dissolves itself.
June 28 The German Peoples Party (DVP) dissolves itself.
June 29 Walter Darré becomes Minister of Agriculture.
July Engineer Fritz Todt is place in charge of the autobahn construction program.
July 1 Premier of Arabella an opera by Richard Strauss.
July 3 Martin Bormann becomes personal secretary to Rudolf Hess as well as adjudant of the Führer.
Exclusion of the Jews from the civil service begins.
July 4 The Bavarian Peoples Party (BVP) is disolved.
July 5 Brüning is obliged to dissolve the Center Party.
July 6 Before the Statthalters, Hitler proclaims the, “end of the revolution” and declares that it has become necessary to lead the uncontrollable current of the revolution i.e. the SA into a quiet path of evolution. Röhm speaks of a betrayal of the revolution’s aims.
July 14 The law prohibits the formation of new political parties. The NSDAP becomes the only officially approved party. Another law makes the referendum the sole means of popular consultation. A statute on unification of the Protestant Church is in the course of preparation. The Government has also decided to enact laws on the sterilization of the mentally ill and terminally sick, on the confiscation of property belonging to the enemies of the German race, regarding withdrawal of German citizenship from exiles and integration of the Protestant Church and the State.
The Pact of Four is signed in Rome. Concluded for 10 years, it provides that the four powers (Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain) will act in concert and collaborate on all efforts to maintain peace within the framework of the League of Nations.
July 15 Krupp, Thyssen, Vögler, Bosch, Siemens and Schröder found a General Council of German Industry.
July 20 Germany signs a concordat with the Holy See which views Hitler as a means to defeat Communism. The German Catholic Church preserves the right to operate school and practice its rituals but is politically neutralized since priest are required to eschew politics.
July 26 A sterilization law “for the improvement of the German race” is promulgated.
July 30 Professor Jakob Wilhelm Hauer von Tübingen and Count Reventlow found Deutsche Glaubensbewegung (Movement for a German Era) a new anti-Christian and anti-Semitic cult based on old Germanic legends.
July 31 Six months after the Nazis assumption of power, the first concentration camps are already full. 26,789 political prisoners are in detention.
July A clandestine German Air Force is formed.
August 1 The first death sentences of Communist militants are handed down.
The first clandestine anti-Nazi pamphlets appear.
August 31 – September 3
The NSDAP Congress convenes in Nuremberg.
September 11 Lutheran pastor and theologian Martin Niemöller, opposing National Socialism, inspires the creation of the Association of Pastors in Distress who must by, “total and unconditional engagement” fight all attacks on the Evangelical confession and materially help their oppressed brethren.
September 13 The Winter Aid Service to assist distressed members of the German racial community is created along with a Reich Nutrional Corporation to which all members of professions linked to agriculture are required to join. Strict agricultural production and marketing controls are enacted to ensure the hold of the party.
September 20 The Reichstag arson trial opens before the High Court of Leipzig. Among the accused, aside from presumed torchman Marinus van der Lubbe, one finds Ernst Torgler, president of the Communist caucus in the assembly and three Bulgarian Communists.
September 22 The Reich Cultural Chamber is created under Goebbels and all cultural workers are required to join. It is composed of a literary chamber, a press chamber, a broadcasting chamber, a theatrical chamber, a music chamber and a fine arts chamber. The Reich Cultural Chamber puts all spheres of cultural life under the yoke of the regime.
September 23 Erbhofgezetz (law on inheritance of farms) enacted: it preserves the integrity of plots of 7.5 ha to 125 ha. Hereditary farms will pass to a single male heir and will not be sold in cases of indebtedness. Even voluntary sales are subject to authorization. Subscribers are placed on a priority list for distribution of lands to follow the colonization of Eastern Europe.
September 27 Following a Wittenberg synod, the Evangelical Church ousts Pastor von Bodelschwingh and names Ludwig Müller, Reichsbischof. The German Evangelical Church officially submits to the Nazi regime.
September 30 The unemployed number 3,849,000.
September Adolf Hitler approves an autobahn construction program.
October 1 General Ludwig Beck is appointed Army Chief of Staff.
The Reich postal administration puts the world’s first telex link in service between Berlin and Hamburg. October 4
Hitler ends freedom of the press and threatens journalists with prison.
October 10 The League of Nations creates a high commission on refugee problems to aid German anti-Nazis who flee their country.
October 14 Germany withdraws from the Geneva Conference on Disarmament. Hitler announces that the German people will be called on to ratify the action in a referendum. The same day, he proposes a series of bilateral security accords.
October 19 Germany withdraws from the League of Nations.
October The head of the Communist Party in Berlin, Walter Ulbricht, flees to Paris where he takes charge of the German Communist Party in Exile.
Martin Bormann, personal secretary to Rudolf Hess, is promoted to Reich Chief of the NSDAP.
November 12 The first one party election for the Reichstag sees 92.1% of the voters cast ballots. 89.9% of the voters approve German withdrawal from the League of Nations in a referendum.
November 15 The President of the Reich Chamber of Culture, Josef Goebbels, inaugurates the new organization with a speech on the function of culture under the new order.
November 25 A Protestant movement to resist Nazi political interference in ecclesiastic matters is formed.
November 27 The German Workers Front (DAF) creates the Strength Through Joy Organization (kdF) to plan and control the leisure pursuits of the German people.
December 1 The Unity of Party and State Law is enacted. The NSDAP becomes an institution of the State. Hitler calms SA chief Ernst Röhm by naming him minister without portfolio the same as Rudolf Hess.
December 15 Fritz Lang, a refugee in France, begins filming Liliom in Paris for Fox-Europe which is produced by Erich Pommer, himself an exile.
December 19 The Protestant bishop of the Reich Ludwig Müller integrates the Evangelical Youth with the Hitler Youth.
December 23 The High Court of Leipzig delivers its verdict on the Reichstag fire. The accused arsonist, Marinus van der Lubbe, is sentenced to death. Charges against the four accused Communists (Torgler, Dimitrov, Popov, Tanev) are dismissed for lack of evidence.
December The Government signs a contract with IG Farben for the manufacture of gasoline which includes financial guarantees.
Release of the film Flüchtlinge d’Ucicky which It tells the story of a retired officer (played by Albers) who rallies the Volga Germans, exiled in Manchuria, to the side of the motherland. The film, remarkable for its studio recreation of crowd scenes, establishes the foundations of Nazi cinema.

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