Return to home 1917 Jan 5,
Wieland Wagner, German opera director (grandson of Richard Wagner),
1917 Jan 5, Bulgarian and
German troops occupied the Port of Braila in East Romania.
(HN, 1/5/99)(WUD, 1994, p.178)
1917 Jan 10, Germany was
rebuked as the Entente officially rejected a proposal for peace
talks and demanded the return of occupied territories from Germany.
1917 Jan 19, The Zimmermann
Note-a coded message sent to Germany's minister in Mexico by German
Foreign secretary Arthur Zimmermann, proposed an alliance between
Germany and Mexico in the event war broke out between the U.S. and
Germany. Intercepted by British naval intelligence, the note
proposed, among other things, "We shall give generous financial
support, and it is understood that Mexico is to reconquer the lost
territory in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona." The message was
forwarded by the British to the U.S. State Department, which
subsequently released it to the press on March 1.
1917 Jan 31, Germany resumed unlimited sub
warfare, saying that all neutral ships that are in the war zone
would be attacked.
(AP, 1/31/98)(HN, 1/31/99)
1917 Feb 1, Admiral Tirpitz
(1849-1930) announced that Germany would attack all shipping in the
North Atlantic with its feared U-Boats. [see Jan 31]
(WSJ, 1/29/96, p. C-1)(WUD, 1994 p.1488)
1917 Feb 3, The United States
broke off diplomatic relations with Germany, which had announced a
policy of unrestricted submarine warfare. A German submarine sank
the U.S. liner Housatonic off coast of Sicily.
(AP, 2/3/97)(HN, 2/3/99)
1917 Feb 7, The British steamer
California was sunk off the coast of Ireland by a German U-boat.
1917 Feb 8, The British
steamship Mantola was torpedoed by a German submarine off the coast
of Ireland. All but seven crew members, who drowned when their
lifeboat overturned, were rescued by the HMS Laburnum. The ship sank
the next day. The British Ministry of War Transport paid a War Risk
Insurance Claim for £110,000 (in 1917 value) for silver that was on
board when the ship sank. In 2011 Odyssey Marine Exploration
discovered the ship.
1917 Feb 24, The British
presented the decoded Zimmermann telegram, a German plot for Mexican
help, to Pres. Wilson and an enraged Wilson released the document to
the American public on March 1. On April 6, 1917, America formally
declared war on Germany and her Allies.
(HNPD, 2/24/99)(MC, 2/24/02)
1917 Feb 28, AP reported that
Mexico and Japan would ally with Germany if US enters WW I.
1917 Mar 14, China broke off
diplomatic relations with Germany.
1917 Mar 18, The Germans sank
the U.S. ships, City of Memphis, Vigilante and the Illinois, without
any type of warning.
1917 Mar 19, A German submarine
in the Mediterranean Sea sunk the French battleship Danton. In 2009
the Danton was discovered on the seabed southwest of Sardinia.
1917 Apr 2, President Wilson
asked Congress to declare war against Germany, saying, "The world
must be made safe for democracy."
(AP, 4/2/97)(HN, 4/2/98)
1917 Apr 6, The US Congress
approved a declaration of war against Germany and entered World War
I on the Allied side.
(HN, 4/6/98)(AP, 4/6/04)
1917 Apr 9, Battle of Arras
began as Canadian troops launched a massive assault on Vimy Ridge in
France. The assault brought four Canadian divisions fought together
for the first time and cost 10,600 lives.
1917 Aug 14, China declared war
on Germany and Austria during World War I.
1917 Apr 15, The British
defeated the Germans at the battle of Arras.
1917 May 10, Atlantic ships got
destroyer escorts to fend off German attacks.
1917 May 15, British Lt. John
Harold Pritchard was killed in a nighttime battle at Bullecourt,
France. This was during the two week 2nd battle of Bullecourt on the
Hindenburg Line. Thousands of dead were scattered on both sides. In
2013 Pritchard’s body was found on a farm that covered the
(SFC, 4/24/13, p.A5)
1917 Jun 7, British Field
Marshal Sir Douglas Haig launched his assault in Flanders to take
German pressure off his French allies. For months, troops of the
British Expeditionary Force fought a series of pointless battles in
a nightmarish landscape of knee-deep shell holes filled with mud and
blasted, skeletal trees. When the campaign finally ground to a halt
on November 10, 1917, the BEF had suffered losses of 300,000 men and
German losses were around 200,000--for a total gain of four miles.
1917 Jun 13, Germany bombed
1917 Jun 17, The Russian Duma
met in secret session in Petrograd and voted for an immediate
Russian offensive against the German Army.
1917 Jul 16, Ludwig Philipp
Scharwenka (70), German composer (Album Polonaise), died.
1917 Jul 22, British bombed
German lines at Ypres with 4,250,000 grenades.
1917 Jul 31, The third Battle
of Ypres commenced as the British attacked the German lines.
1917 Aug 14, The Chinese
Parliament declared war on the Central Powers, Germany and Austria,
during World War I.
(AP, 8/14/97)(HN, 8/14/98)
1917 Sep 2, Admiral Tirpitz
formed the Deutsche Vaterlands Party.
1917 Sep 4, The American
expeditionary force in France suffered its first fatalities in World
War I when a German plane attacked a British-run base hospital..
1917 Sep 17, The German Army
recaptured the Russian [Latvian] Port of Riga from Russian forces.
1917 Oct 17, The 1st British
bombing of Germany took place.
1917 Oct 24, The Austro-German
army routed the Italian army at Caporetto, Italy. In what came to be
known as the 1st blitzkrieg German and Austro-Hungarian forces took
at least 250,000 Italian soldiers as prisoners on the Isonzo Front.
(HN, 10/24/98)(SFEC, 7/9/00, p.T14)
1917 Nov 5, General Pershing
led U.S. troops into the first American action against German
1917 Nov 10, The assault on
Flanders, begun July 11, finally ground to a halt. The British
Expeditionary Force (BEF) had suffered losses of 300,000 men and
German losses were around 200,000--for a total gain of four miles
and the occupation of Passchendaele. The battle was later described
by Edwin Campion Vaughan in “Some Desperate Glory" (1981).
(HN, 6/7/98)(HNQ, 11/2/98)(WSJ, 10/7/06, p.P12)
1917 Nov 21, German ace Rudolf
von Eschwege was killed over Macedonia when he attacked a
booby-trapped observation balloon packed with explosives.
1917 Dec 11, The first
declaration of independence was claimed by Lithuania and an economic
and military union was established with Germany.
(LC, 1998, p.30)
1917 Dec 24, The Kaiser warned
Russia that he would use "iron fist" and "shining sword" if peace
1917 Emil Nolde, German
expressionist, created his painting "Blumengarten (Utenwarf)." In
2009 it was sold to a European art collector for an undisclosed
amount to the heirs of Otto Nathan Deutsch, a Jewish businessman who
lost it when he fled Germany to escape Nazi persecution in 1939. The
was estimated to be worth between $4-6 million. A Swedish museum had
bought the artwork from a Swiss gallery in 1967, unaware of its
1917 In Germany Hans Pfitzner
premiered his opera "Palestrina," about the life of the 16th cent.
composer and how Palestrina supposedly saved polyphony in church
music during the Council of Trent.
(WSJ, 7/1/97, p.A12)(WSJ, 7/29/97, p.A12)
1918 Jan 2, Bolsheviks talked
about resuming war unless the Germans quit Russian soil.
1918 Jan 6, Germany
acknowledged Finland’s independence.
1918 Jan 7, The Germans moved
75,000 troops from the East Front to the Western Front.
1918 Jan 25, Austria and
Germany rejected U.S. peace proposals.
1918 Feb 22, Germany claimed
the Baltic states, Finland and Ukraine from Russia.
1918 Mar 3, Germany,
Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and Russia signed the
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World
War I. Germany and Austria forced Soviet Russia to sign the Peace of
Brest, which called for the establishment of 5 independent
countries: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. The
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World
War I, was annulled by the November 1918 armistice. The treaty
deprived the Soviets of White Russia.
(HN, 3/3/99)(LHC, 3/1/03)(AP, 3/3/08)
1918 Mar 3, Richard Göring's
"Seeschlacht" premiered in Berlin.
1918 Mar 7, Finland signed an
alliance treaty with Germany.
1918 Mar 10, Günther Rall,
German Luftwaffe ace in World War II, was born.
1918 Mar 21, During World War
I, Germany launched the Somme 'Michael' Offensive in France, hoping
to break through the Allied line before American reinforcements
could arrive. It is better remembered as the First Battle of the
(WUD, 1994, p.1356)(AP, 3/21/97)(HN, 3/21/99)
1918 Mar 23,
Crépy-en-Laonnoise: German artillery shelled Paris France and 256
were killed. The Paris bombs were named "Thick Bertha's Dike"
(nickname for the widow Krupp).
1918 Mar 23, Germany became the
1st country to recognize the independence of Lithuania. This was
based on the Lithuanian legislative act of Dec 11, 1917.
1918 Mar 26, On the Western
Front during World War I the Germans took the French towns Noyon,
Roye and Lihons.
1918 May 28, The Battle of
Cantigny began during World War I as American troops captured the
French town from the Germans; the Americans were able to resist
German counterattacks in the days that followed.
1918 Apr 4, Battle of Somme
[France], an offensive by the British against the German Army ended.
1918 Apr 21, Baron Manfred von
Richthofen (25), the cousin of Frieda Lawrence and the
highest-scoring German ace of World War I with 80 victories, was
killed in a dogfight over France's Somme Valley over Amiens. As he
pursued a Canadian pilot with jammed guns, von Richthofen, flying a
red Fokker triplane, broke one of his own flying rules by following
his prey too long, too far and too low. Two miles behind Allied
lines, Richthofen was mortally wounded when he was fired upon
simultaneously by another Canadian pilot and Australian ground
troops. The following day, the Red Baron was buried by his enemies
with full military honors. He was replaced with Hermann Goering.
(WSJ, 5/15/95, p. A-16)(AP, 4/21/97)(HNPD,
1918 Apr 22, British naval
forces attempted to sink block-ships in the German U-boat bases at
the Battle of Zeeburgge.
1918 May, The German army
staged a surprise offensive and rolled into the Marne Valley through
the center of the French 6th Army. The Germans were held at bay by
some 9,000 US Marines of the 5th and 6th Regiments of the 4th
(SFC, 6/6/97, p.A26)
1918 Jun 3, The Finnish
Parliament ratified its treaty with Germany.
1918 Jun 4, French and American
troops halted Germany's offensive at Chateau-Thierry, France.
1918 Jun 6, In France the US
Marines counter-attacked the Germans and pushed them back to the
woods at Bois de Belleau. U.S. Marines entered combat at the Battle
of Belleau Wood. 1st US victory of WW I.
(SFC, 6/6/97, p.A26)(HN, 6/6/01)(MC, 6/6/02)
1918 Jun 18, Allied forces on
the Western Front began their largest counter-attack against the
spent German army.
1918 Jun 26, After a brief
respite, the Germans began firing their huge 420 mm howitzer "Big
Bertha" at Paris. During World War I, Germany's 98-ton howitzer used
to shell Verdun and Liege-Big Bertha-was named after the wife of
munitions maker Gustav Krupp. Bertha Krupp was actually the heir to
the Krupp family fortune when she married Prussian diplomat Gustav
von Bohlen und Halbach, who changed his name to Krupp and took over
the family firm, which was the world's largest manufacturer of
munitions. Gustav Krupp went on to support Adolph Hitler and help
finance the Nazis.
(HN, 6/26/98)(HNQ, 8/28/98)
1918 Jun 27, Two German pilots
were saved by parachutes for the first time.
1918 Jun 28, The US Marines
took the Bois de Belleau.
(SFC, 6/6/97, p.A26)
1918 Jul 11, German Prince
Herzog von Urach (1864-1928) was elected King of Lithuania with the
regnal name Mindaugas II. He never assumed the crown, however, as
German authorities declared the election invalid. The invitation was
withdrawn in November 1918.
1918 Jul 15, The Second Battle
of the Marne began during World War I.
1918 Jul 18, US & French
forces launched Aisne-Marne offensive in WW I. After an artillery
attack, nearly 400 Allied tanks rolled against the German positions.
By nightfall the Germans were on the retreat and Paris was mostly in
1918 Jul 19, German armies
retreated across the Marne River in France.
1918 Aug 6, The 2nd battle of
the Marne ended.
1918 Aug 11, The British
attacked with 450 tanks at the Battle of Amiens as the Allies pushed
(MC, 8/11/02)(PC, 1992, p.728)
1918 Sep 3, Allies forced
Germans back across Hindenburg Line.
1918 Sep 6, The German Army
began a general retreat across the Aisne, with British troops in
1918 Sep 12, During World War
I, U.S. forces led by Gen. John J. Pershing launched an attack on
the German-occupied St. Mihiel salient north of Verdun, France.
1918 Sep 26, The Meuse-Argonne
offensive against the Germans began during World War I.
1918 Sep 26, German Ace Ernst
Udet shot down two Allied planes, bringing his total for the war up
1918 Sep 29, Allied forces
scored a decisive breakthrough of the Hindenburg Line during World
1918 Oct 8, US Sgt. Alvin C.
York almost single-handedly killed 25 German soldiers and captured
132 in the Argonne Forest in France.
1918 Oct 10, While President
Woodrow Wilson was attempting to establish "peace without victory"
with Germany, the German UB-123 torpedoed RMS Leinster, a civilian
mail and passenger ferry, off the coast of Ireland. Leinster was
usually escorted by a Royal Air Force airship as a precaution, but
on October 10, 1918, the ferry set out alone. Leinster was sunk; 564
passengers and crewmen perished, many of them American and Allied
troops. After Leinster, the Germans lost their chance for an easy
1918 Oct 14, In France the
American 32nd division was sent to engage German troops on the Dame
Marie, while the 5th and 42nd Divisions under Gen. Douglas MacArthur
swept in pincer movements to occupy Cote de Chatillon. The
objectives were taken in 3 days of tough fighting. In 2008 Robert H.
Ferrell authored “The Question of MacArthur’s Reputation: Cote de
Chatillon, October 14-16, 1918."
(WSJ, 11/24/08, p.A17)
1918 Oct 20, Germany aimed at
an armistice and agreed to further concessions.
1918 Oct 23, President Wilson
felt satisfied that the Germans were accepting his armistice terms
and agreed to transmit their request for an armistice to the Allies.
The Germans had agreed to suspend submarine warfare, cease inhumane
practices such as the use of poison gas, and withdraw troops back
1918 Oct 26, Germany's supreme
commander, General Erich Ludendorff, resigned, protesting the terms
to which the German Government had agreed in negotiating the
armistice. This set the stage for his later support for Hitler and
the Nazis, who claimed that Germany did not lose the war on the
battlefield but were "stabbed in the back" by politicians.
1918 Nov 3, There was a mutiny
of the German fleet at Kiel. This was the first act leading to
German's capitulation in World War I. [see Nov 4]
1918 Nov 4, Kiel, Germany, fell
into the hands of revolutionary sailors. [see Nov 3]
1918 Nov 9, Germany was
proclaimed a republic. Kaiser Wilhelm II announced that he would
abdicate. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands offered him political
asylum and there he lived until his death in 1941.
(AP, 11/9/97)(Econ, 10/25/14, p.85)
1918 Nov 9, Guillaume
Apollinaire (38), [Kostrowitsky], French poet (Alcools), died.
1918 Nov 10, Retired German
Kaiser Wilhelm II fled to the Netherlands.
1918 Nov 11, At ten minutes
past five in the morning, German and Allied negotiators placed the
final signatures on the armistice that would end World War I six
hours later. After the signing, French General Ferdinand Foch sent
all Allied commanders the following message: "Hostilities will cease
on the entire [Western] front November 11 at 11:00 a.m." Even as the
hour approached 9 of 16 commanders of US divisions on the Western
Front ordered a final assault that left an additional 11,000
casualties. Although the Allies had not invaded Germany and there
was no clear military victory, the Germans were forced to sign the
armistice because of insurmountable problems. German troops, pushed
past their limits of endurance by five years of fighting, faced a
fresh stream of well-equipped American soldiers. Germany's allies,
Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria, had already ceased
fighting and mutinies increased as German soldiers and sailors
refused to carry out suicidal missions. Food shortages, both at home
and at the front, had reached crisis levels. The costs of the First
World War were astronomical with 7.5 million dead and more than 35
million total casualties. The US Armistice Day holiday was changed
to Veteran’s Day after the Korean War. It was celebrated as
“Veteran’s Day" for the first time in the US in Emporia, Kansas, on
November 11, 1953. In 2004 Joseph E. Persico authored “Eleventh
Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918, World War I
and Its Violent Climax."
(SFC, 11/9/96, p.A16)(SFC,11/8/97, p.A11)(HNPD,
11/11/98)(SFC, 12/28/04, p.D1)
1918 Nov 14, The Grand Duchy of
Baden ceased to exist and became a republic. The provisional
government declared the establishment of the freie Volksrepublik
Baden (Free Peoples' Republic of Baden), and set 5 January 1919 as
the date for new elections. In 1933 it went under Nazi rule.
1918 Nov 17, German troops
1918 Nov 21, The last German
troops left Alsace-Lorraine, France.
1918 Nov 21, 2 German
ammunition trains exploded in Hamont, Belgium and 1,750 died.
1918 Nov 28, Kaiser Wilhelm of
Prussia and Germany, abdicated.
1918 Dec 1, An American army of
occupation entered Germany.
1918 Dec 3, The Allied
Conference ended in London; Germany was required to pay to full
limits for the war.
1918 Dec 7, Spartacists called
for a German revolution.
1918 Dec 9, French troops
1918 Dec 10, U.S. troops were
called to guard Berlin as a coup was feared.
1918 Dec 13, US army of
occupation crossed the Rhine and entered Germany.
1918 Dec 23, Helmut Schmidt,
Chancellor of Germany, was born.
1918 Dec 25, Revolt erupted in
1918 Fritz Haber (1868-1934),
German chemist, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for extracting
ammonia from nitrogen in 1909. The Haber-Bosch process was
beneficial for food production and explosives. Haber also helped
develop poison gas during WW I.
(WSJ, 12/8/00, p.W11)(SSFC, 8/7/05, p.C6)
1919 Jan 5, The National
Socialist Party (Nazi) formed.
1919 Jan 21, The German Krupp
plant began producing guns under the U.S. armistice terms.
1919 Feb 4, City of Bremen's
Soviet Republic was overthrown.
1919 Feb 8, Lithuanian and
German military forces forced the Bolsheviks from Kedainiai.
1919 Feb 17, Germany signed an
armistice giving up territory in Poland.
1919 Mar 3, Communist Party in
Germany announced a general strike.
1919 Mar 11, A general strike
in Germany was crushed.
1919 May 6, Paris Peace
Conference disposed of German colonies; German East Africa was
assigned to Britain & France, German SW Africa to South Africa.
1919 Jun 20, Treaty of
Versailles: Germany ended the incorporation of Austria. [see Jun 28]
1919 Jun 21, German sailors
under Admiral von Reuter scuttled 72 warships at Scapa Flow in the
Orkneys even though Germany had surrendered. It was the greatest act
of self-destruction in modern military history.
(HN, 6/21/98)(Camelot, 6/21/99)(MC, 6/21/02)
1919 Jun 28, The Treaty of
Versailles was signed in France, ending (WW I) World War I. World
War I began in 1914 and ended on this date. Germany signed the
Treaty of Versailles under protest. Books by participants included
"Peacemaking" by Harold Nicolson; "The Economic Consequences of the
Peace" by John Maynard Keynes; and "The Truth About the Peace
Treaties" by David Lloyd George. In 2000 Richard Holmes authored
"The Western Front." Nearly 1 million British died and nearly 2
million each for France, Germany, Russia and Turkey. In 2002
Margaret MacMillan authored "Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the
(HFA, ‘96, p.32)(AP, 6/28/97)(HN, 6/28/98)(WSJ,
8/16/00, p.A20)(SSFC, 12/15/02, p.M3)
1919 Jul 4, The ADGB
(Allgemeine Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund) party was formed.
1919 Jul 21, Anthony Fokker
established an airplane factory at Hamburg and Amsterdam.
1919 Jul 31, Germany's Weimar
Constitution was adopted by the republic's National Assembly. The
Weimar Republic became Germany’s 1st democratic government.
(AP, 7/31/97)(SFC, 8/3/99, p.A8)(SSFC, 8/1/04,
1919 Aug 11, Germany's Weimar
Constitution was signed by President Friedrich Ebert.
1919 Sep 12, Adolf Hitler
joined the German Worker's Party. In 2004 Robert O. Paxton authored
"The Anatomy of Fascism," on the rise and fall of Hitler and
(HN, 9/12/98)(SSFC, 4/4/04, p.M3)
1919 Richard Strauss composed
his opera "Die Frau Ohne Schatten" (The Woman Without a Shadow).
(WSJ, 12/26/01, p.A8)
1919 Walter Gropius co-founded
the Bauhaus in Germany. Two existing schools in Weimar were combined
into a single institution. The new school, "the house of building,"
also combined two important trends in art education: artistic
training and arts and crafts. Henry van de Velde was one of the
founders. Gropius served as the founding director until 1927.
(V.D.-H.K.p.363)(SFC, 9/2/98, Z1 p.6)(Econ,
1919 Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925)
opened his 1st private school for the workers at the Waldorf-Astoria
(SFC, 10/29/00, p.A7)
1919-1920 Hanna Hoch (1889-1978), photomontage
artist of the Berlin Dada movement made her work "Cut With the
Kitchen Knife Dada Through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Epoch of
(SFC, 3/25/97, p.E3)
1919-1933 This is the period of the Weimar
Republic, Germany’s 1st democratic government. In 2007 Eric D. Weitz
authored “Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy."
(Econ, 9/22/07, p.100)
1920 Jan 14, Berlin was placed
under martial law as 40,000 radicals rushed the Reichstag; 42 are
dead and 105 are wounded.
1920 Jan 23, The Dutch
government refused demands from the victorious Allies to hand over
the ex-Kaiser of Germany.
1920 Feb 3, The Allies demanded
that 890 German military leaders stand trial for war crimes.
1920 Feb 12, The last German
forces withdrew from Klaipeda as French and English naval forces
1920 Feb 16, The Allies
accepted Berlin’s offer to try World War I war criminals in
Leipzig’s Supreme Court.
1920 Feb 24, A fledgling German
political party held its first meeting of importance at Hofbrauhaus
in Munich; it became known as the Nazi Party, and its chief
spokesman was Adolf Hitler.
1920 Mar 13, The Kapp Putsch
took place, involving a group of Freikorps troops who gained control
of Berlin and installed Wolfgang Kapp (a right-wing journalist) as
chancellor. The national government fled to Stuttgart and called for
a general strike. The strike crippled Germany's ravaged economy and
the Kapp government collapsed after only four days on March 17.
1920 Apr 1, Germany's Workers
Party changed its name to Nationalist Socialist German Worker's
Party (Nazis). The National Socialist (Nazi) party was born in
Munich in the 1920s.
(HN, 4/1/98)(HNQ, 1/26/00)
1920 Apr 15, Richard von
Weizsacker, baron, president (Germany, 1984-94), was born.
1920 Jun 14, Max Weber
(b.1864), German sociologist, died. His books included “The
Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism" (1905).
1920 Oct 20, Max Bruch (82),
German composer (Kol Nidre), died.
1920 Dec 18, Rita Streich,
German singer, was born.
1920 Dec 20, The opera "Die
Tote Stadt" by Erich Korngold (1897-1957) premiered in Germany. It
was first recorded in a 1975 production by Charles Allan Gerhardt
(d.1999 at 72).
1920 Ernst Juenger (Jünger)
(d.1998) published his first book "In Storms of Steel." The book
glorified the horrors of WW I and put him in the rank of militant
nationalists who writings helped pave the way for the Third Reich.
In 2003 Michael Hoffman made a translation, Storm of Steel, to
(SFC, 2/18/98, p.A18)(WSJ, 10/7/06, p.P12)
1920 In Germany a Weimar 5
pfennig postage stamp of this year doubled in cost the following
year. It jumped to 10 marks in 1922, 30 marks in January 1923, 1,000
marks in May and 800,000 marks in October. By the end of 1923
sending a letter cost 10 billion marks.
(Econ, 6/16/12, p.64)
1920-1933 Joseph Roth, Austrian novelist, spent
this period in Berlin. In 2002 his writings from this time were
translated by Michael Hofmann and published as "What I Saw: Reports
From Berlin 1920-1933."
(SSFC, 12/29/02, p.M3)
1921 Jan 28, Albert Einstein
startled Berlin by suggesting the possibility of measuring the
1921 Mar 1, The Allies
rejected a $7.5 billion reparations offer in London. German
delegations decided to quit all talks.
1921 Mar 8, French troops
1921 Mar 25, Simone Signoret,
(Casque d'Or, Room at the Top), was born in Wiesbaden, Germany.
1921 Mar, Communist rebellions
were put down in Saxony and Hamburg.
1921 Apr, The German bill for
reparations was tallied. An int’l. reparations commission determined
that damages caused by Germany amounted to $33 billion or 133
billion gold marks.
1921 May 23, The German Supreme
Court began a series of 9 trials for German WWI war criminals.
Several cases ended in an acquittal of the accused, but most were
followed by imprisonment or incarceration in a fortress.
1921 May 30, Salzburg, Austria,
voted to join Germany.
1921 Jun 21, U.S. Army Air
Service pilots bombed the captured German battleship Ostfriesland to
demonstrate the effectiveness of aerial bombing on warships. At the
time, the ship was one of the world's largest war vessels. Brigadier
General William "Billy" Mitchell, assistant chief of the Army Air
Service, arranged the demonstration to prove that air power should
become the country's first line of defense.
1921 Jul 29, Adolf Hitler
became the president of the Nationalist Socialist German Workers'
1921 Aug 25, The United States,
which never ratified the Versailles Treaty ending World War I,
finally signed a peace treaty with Germany.
(AP, 8/25/97)(HN, 8/25/98)
1921 Sep 21, In Oppau, Germany,
an explosion at the Bradishe Aniline chemical works, a nitrate
manufacturing plant, destroyed the plant and a nearby village with
561 deaths and over 1500 persons injured.
(HSAB, 1994, p.46)(MC, 9/21/01)
1921 Sep 27, Engelbert
Humperdinck, German opera composer (Hansel & Gretel), died.
1921 Sep, Germany made an
initial reparations payment of $250 million. However, an economic
crisis which had gripped the country, caused runaway inflation and
an end to additional installments.
1921 The film Nosferatu by
German director F.W. Murnau was produced. In 1998 Jim Shephard
published his novel "Nosferatu" that was based on a mock diary by
(SFEC, 5/17/98, BR p.6)
1921-1986 Joseph Beuys, artist, recorded his own
blackboard scrawls as drawings and made performance art of his
freewheeling lectures. Andy Warhol made some prints of Beuys.
(SFC,12/18/97, p.E3)(WSJ, 8/27/98, p.A12)
1922 Mar 5, "Nosferatu"
premiered in Berlin.
1922 Mar 15, France was willing
to accept raw material instead of currency for German reparations.
1922 Mar 20, President Harding
ordered U.S. troops back from the Rhineland.
1922 Apr 16, A German-Russia
treaty was signed in Italy. It recognized the Soviet Union.
1922 Apr 19, Erich Hartmann,
German WW II pilot who later downed 352 Russian aircrafts, was born.
1922 Apr 27, Fritz Lang's "Dr
Mabuse, der Spieler" premiered in Berlin.
1922 Aug 15, Lukas Foss,
[Fuchs], composer (Prairie), was born in Berlin, Germany.
1922 Nov 30, Hitler spoke to
50,000 national socialists (Nazis) in Munich.
1922 Herman Hesse (1877-1962)
published his novel “Siddhartha." In 1951 it was translated to
(WSJ, 8/5/06, p.P8)
1922 Adolph Hitler and Hermann
Goring became friends and political allies because of their mutual
hatred of the Versailles Treaty. In 2004 Anthony Read authored "The
Devil's Disciples: Hitler's Inner Circle."
(SSFC, 4/4/04, p.M3)
1922 In the Rapallo Treaty
Germany recognized Lenin's regime.
(WSJ, 8/5/99, p.A16)
1922 Otto Meyerhof (1884-1951),
German doctor, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of
the fixed relationship between the consumption of oxygen and the
metabolism of lactic acid in the muscle.
1922 Carl Wieselsberger, German
physicist, described a method of suspending models on an airstream,
i.e. the ground effect.
(Econ, 9/8/07, TQ
1922 Walther Rathenau, a
German-Jewish industrialist, was assassinated by right-wing thugs.
The 1999 book "Einstein's German World" by Fritz Stern included an
essay on Rathenau. Other essays presented views of Max Planck,
physicist, Paul Ehrlich, founder of chemotherapy, and Fritz Haber,
who worked on the insecticide later known as Zyklon-B.
(WSJ, 9/21/99, p.A24)
1923 Jan 10, The United States
withdrew its last troops from Germany.
1923 Jan 11, The French entered
Essen in the Ruhr. They were there to extract Germany's resources as
1923 Jan 13, Hitler denounced
the Weimar republic as 5,000 storm troopers demonstrated in Germany.
1923 Jan 28, The 1st "National
Socialist German Workers Party" (NSDAP, aka NAZI) formed in Munich.
1923 Feb 4, French troops took
Offenburg, Appenweier and Buhl in the Ruhr as a part of the
agreement ending World War I.
1923 Feb 8, German NSDAP (Nazi
Party) Volkischer Beobachter newspaper became a daily.
1923 Feb 10, Wilhelm Konrad von
Röntgen (77), physicist (Nobel 1901), died. In 1971 Robert W. Nitske
authored “The Life of Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen: Discoverer of the X
(ON, 11/04, p.8)
1923 Mar 1, Allies occupied
Ruhrgebied and killed a railroad striker.
1923 Mar 14, German Supreme
Court prohibited the NSDAP (Nazi Party).
1923 Mar 20, Bavarian minister
of Interior refused to forbid the Nazi SA. [NOTE: The Sturmabteilung
SA, German for "Assault Division" and sometimes translated storm
troopers, functioned as a paramilitary organization of the NSDAP –
the German Nazi party. It played a key role in Adolf Hitler’s rise
to power in the 1930s. SA men were often known as brown shirts from
the color of their uniform and to distinguish them from the SS who
were known as black shirts.]
1923 Mar 31, French soldiers
fired on workers at Krupp factory in Essen; 13 died.
1923 Apr 10, Hitler demanded
"hatred and more hatred" in Berlin.
1923 May 29, Adolf Oberländer
German painter, died.
1923 Jun 13, The French set a
trade barrier between the occupied Ruhr and the rest of Germany.
1923 Jun 20, France announced
it would seize the Rhineland to assist Germany in paying her war
1923 Jun 24, Pope Pius XI spoke
against allies occupying Ruhrgebied.
1923 Jul 29, Albert Einstein
spoke on pacifism in Berlin.
1923 Aug 23, Wolfgang
Sawallisch, conductor (Vienna Symph 1960-70), was born in Munich,
1923 Nov 2, Bloody street
fights took place in Aachen. The pro-French separatists were driven
1923 Nov 6, European inflation
soared and one loaf of bread in Berlin was reported to be worth
about 140 Billion German Marks. Germany suffered a terrible economic
inflation. Hyperinflation eventually made 4.2 trillion marks worth
(MT, Fall ‘96, p.7)(HN, 11/6/98)(WSJ, 1/11/99,
1923 Nov 8, Adolf
Schicklgruber (Hitler) launched his first attempt to seize power
with a failed coup in Munich, Germany, that came to be known as the
Beer-Hall Putsch. He proclaimed himself chancellor and Ludendorff
dictator. After the unsuccessful beerhall putsch, he wound up in
jail writing "Mein Kampf." Mein Kampf, was sub-titled Four-and-Half
Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity, and Cowardice. The Nazi
dictator wrote much of Mein Kampf (My Struggle) while in prison in
1923 and 1924 for attempting to overthrow the German government. The
work became the bible of the Nazi Party and a blueprint for the
(TMC, 1994, p.1923)(AP, 11/8/97)(HN,
1923 Nov 12, Adolf Hitler was
arrested for his Nov 8 attempted German coup.
(HN, 11/12/98)(MC, 11/12/01)
1923 Nov 15, Germany introduced
the gold mark. Its issuance was severely restricted by the new
Rentenbank. This allowed paper money to settle down to a rate of 4.2
trillion to the dollar by the end of the year.
(Econ, 9/14/13, p.91)
1923 Nov 23, German army
commander Gen. Von Seeckt banned the NSDAP & KPD.
1923 Nov 29, International
commission headed by American banker Charles Dawes was set up to
investigate the German economy.
1923 Peter Joachim Frohlich was
born in Germany. He emigrated to the US in 1941 under the name Peter
Jack Gay. He later published "The Enlightenment: An Interpretation"
in 2 volumes (1966-1969) and the 5-volume "The Bourgeois Experience:
Victoria to Freud." In 1998 he published the memoir "My German
Question: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin."
(SFEC, 11/1/98, BR p.4)
1923 Alban Berg composed his
opera "Wozzeck." [see 1926 premiere] It was based on a 1836 play by
Georg Buchner and featured the rhythmic speechsong called
Sprechstimme. Berg's opera was composed in 1925.
(WSJ, 2/19/97, p.A15)(SFC, 11/4/99, p.B1)
1923 The Berlin Tempelhof
Airport was opened. Its 3-story brick terminal was completed in 1929
and is considered the first modern airport terminal.
(Hem., 5/97, p.68)
1923 German researchers Franz
Fischer and Hans Tropsch, working at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute,
developed a process for converting coal to gas, which was then used
to make synthetic fuels.
1924 Feb 26, A trial against
Hitler began in Munich.
1924 Mar 1, Germany's
prohibition of Communist Party (KPD) was lifted.
1924 Mar 3, German and Turkish
friendship and trade treaty was signed.
1924 Mar 13, The Reichstag was
dissolved for the fifth time in German history.
1924 Apr 1, Adolf Hitler was
sentenced to five years in prison for "Beer Hall Putsch." Gen
Ludendorff was acquitted for leading the botched Nazi's "Beer Hall
Putsch" in the German state of Bavaria
(HN, 4/1/98)(MC, 4/1/02)
1924 May 4, Fascists and
communists gained power in the German Republic elections.
1924 May 26, German government
of Marx resigned.
1924 Jun 3, Franz Kafka
(b.1883), Czech writer, died. He was born in Prague and authored
"The Castle" and "The Trial," both published after his death. Kafka
had requested that his papers be burned after his death, but his
friend, Max Brod, kept them and carried them to Tel Aviv when he
fled Prague in 1939. A critical German edition of The Castle was
published in 1982 and an English translation of that edition came
out in 1998. In 1927 Max Brod edited Kafka’s unfinished manuscript
called "The Man Who Disappeared" and published it as "Amerika." In
2005 Roberto Calasso authored “K," a contemporary evaluation of
(WSJ, 10/10/96, p.A1)(SFEC, 4/5/98, BR
p.11)(SSFC, 12/8/02, p.M4)(SSFC, 2/20/05, p.B1)(SFC, 8/18/08, p.A12)
1924 Jun 6, The German
Reichstag accepted the Dawes Plan, an American plan to help Germany
pay off its war debts.
1924 Aug 16, Conference about
German recovery payments opened in London.
1924 Oct 15, German ZR-3 flew
5000 miles, the furthest Zeppelin flight to date.
1924 Dec 8, Franz X. Scharwenka
(74), German pianist and composer (Mataswintha), died.
1924 Dec 20, Adolf Hitler was
released from prison after serving less than one year of a five year
sentence for treason.
1924 Dec, Albert Einstein
completed a manuscript that predicted that particles of gas near
absolute zero will clump together in one larger mono-atom. The paper
was published in 1925 in the proceedings of the Prussian Academy of
Sciences. In 2001 the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Eric
Cornell, Carl Wiemann and Wolfgang Ketterlie of the US for their
1995 discovery of the Bose-Einstein condensate, a new state of
(SSFC, 8/21/05, p.A3)
1924 The first traffic light in
Europe was set up on the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin.
(SFEC, 6/20/99, p.T4)
1924 D.W. Griffith made his
film "Isn’t Life Wonderful" with Lionel Barrymore. It was about a
Polish refugee family living in devastation and poverty in postwar
(SFEC, 12/22/96, DB p.52)(SFEC, 10/4/98, DB p.50)
1924 The German economy began
to recover following the stabilization of its re-invented currency.
(Econ, 9/22/07, p.100)
1924-1930 Germany sold bond in the US during this
period. The Dawes bonds raised $110 million and the Young bonds
raised over 98 million. Hitler later defaulted on the bonds and
ordered that none be repaid. Germany began buying them for pennies
on the dollar before the start of WWII and stashed thousands
in bank vaults and resold others. In 2010 a half dozen US
bondholders filed suit to force Germany to make good on the debts.
(SFC, 9/7/10, p.D6)
1925 Feb 22, Gerard Hoffnung,
artist, humorist, musician (Hoffnung Music Festival), was born in
1925 Feb 27, Hitler resurrected
the NSDAP (Nazi) political party in Munich.
1925 Apr 25, General Paul von
Hindenburg took office as president of Germany.
1925 Jun 16, France accepted a
German proposal for a security pact.
1925 Jul 18, Hitler published
"Mein Kampf" (My Struggle). It became the bible for the Nazi Party.
The book is filled with anti-Semitic writings, a disdain for
morality, worship of power, and the blueprints for world domination.
1925 Aug 25, Last Belgian
troops vacated Duisburg.
1925 Sep 8, Germany was
admitted into the League of Nations. Joseph Avenol,
secretary-general of the League of Nations, sold out the
organization he had sworn to uphold.
1925 Nov 9, German Nazis formed
the SS (Schutzstaffel- elite special forces).
1925 Dec 1, After a seven year
occupation, 7,000 British troops evacuated Cologne, Germany.
1925 Walter Gropius and the
Bauhaus fled Weimar, Germany, for Dessau after conservative city
officials halted financing.
(SFC, 8/3/99, p.A10)(Econ, 8/16/08, p.54)
1925 In Germany Fritz Haarmann,
known as the "Butcher of Hannover," was beheaded with a guillotine
after being found guilty of murdering more than two dozen young men
between 1918 and 1924. The case is said to have served as one of the
inspirations for Fritz Lang's 1931 thriller "M." Haarmann’s body was
cremated in 2015.
1925 Lovis Corinth (b.1858),
German Expressionist painter, died.
(SSFC, 1/27/02, p.C7)(SFC, 3/26/02, p.D6)
1925-1939 Joseph Roth (1894-1939), an Austrian
Jew, was assigned to Paris by a Frankfurt newspaper. After one year
the job was given to a Nationalist. He stayed in Paris and wrote for
emigre publications and railed against Germany and racism in his
essays and novels. In 2004 his selected essays appeared in English
as "Report From a Parisian Paradise: Essays from France, 1925-1939."
(SSFC, 1/11/04, p.M4)(Econ, 2/2/13, p.74)
1926 Feb 8, German Reichstag
decided to apply for League of Nations membership.
1926 Jun 12, Brazil quit the
League of Nations in protest over plans to admit Germany.
1926 Jul 4, The NSDAP (Nazi)
party formed in Weimar.
1926 Sep 8, The League of
Nations Assembly voted unanimously to admit Germany.
1926 Oct 7, Emil Kraepelin
(b.1856), German psychiatrist, died. He co-discovered Alzheimer’s
disease along with Alois Alzheimer. The final edition of his
Textbook of Psychiatry was published in 1927, shortly after his
1926 Oct 18, Frankfurter
Zeitung published Lenin's (d.1924) political testament.
1926 Dec 10, Part 2 of Hitler's
Mein Kampf was published.
1926 Dec 29, Germany and Italy
signed an arbitration treaty.
1926 The German film "Der
Bastard" (The Bastard) starred Maria Jacovini.
(SFEC, 10/15/00, DB p.62)
1926 The German film "Mountain
of Destiny" was directed by Arnold Fanck and starred Leni
(SFC, 9/10/03, p.A19)
1926 Berg’s "Wozzeck" was
premiered at the Berlin State Opera.
(SFC, 10/19/96, A22)
1926 Walter Gropius built the
Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany. It became a monument to the Int'l.
(SFC, 7/14/99, p.7)
1926 The US Rockefeller
Foundation awarded $250,000 toward the creation of the Kaiser
Wilhelm Institute for Psychiatry in Germany.
(SSFC, 11/9/03, p.D6)
1926 Werner Heisenberg, German
scientist, formulated his uncertainty principle. It stated that the
precision of a time measurement is limited by the precision of a
corresponding energy measurement. So the more accurately you try to
measure the position of a particle, the less accurately you can
measure its speed, and vice versa. This soon led Heisenberg, Erwin
Schrodinger and Paul Dirac to reformulate mechanics into a new
theory called quantum mechanics. The new field of quantum mechanics
described matter on the scale of subatomic particles.
(BHT, Hawking, p.55)(NH, 5/96, p.72)(Econ,
1926 J. Oswald of Freiburg,
Germany, patented a moving eye mechanism for use in clock cases
shaped like dogs, owls and turbaned women.
(SFC, 1/23/08, p.G4)
1927 Mar 10, Prussia (Bavaria)
lifted its Nazi ban, Hitler was allowed to speak in public.
(HN, 3/10/98)(MC, 3/10/02)
1927 Mar 19, Bloody battles
between Communists & Nazis took place in Berlin.
1927 Mar 26, Alfred Hugenberg
purchased German film company UFA.
1927 Apr 16, Joseph Alois
Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI (2005), was born in Marktl am
Inn, Bavaria, Germany.
(WSJ, 11/25/06, p.A10)
1927 May 1, Adolf Hitler held
the first Nazi meeting in Berlin.
1927 May 5, Dmitri
Shostakovitch' 1st Symphony, premiered in Berlin.
1927 May 13, "Black Friday" on
Berlin Stock Exchange.
1927 Oct 16, Günter Grass,
novelist, playwright, painter and sculptor, was born in Danzig,
Germany. He is best known for his first novel "The Tin Drum."
(HN, 10/1/00)(MC, 10/16/01)
1927 Oct 26, Gustav Schickedanz
(1895-1977) founded Quelle, a German mail-order business.
(WSJ, 7/17/06, p.C8)(http://tinyurl.com/p7ypb)
1927 Dec, Harry Frommermann
place an ad for an audition in Berlin that led to the formation of
the "Comedian Harmonists." They rocketed to fame as concert
performers. Their act was banned in 1935 by the government because 3
of the performers were Jews (Fromermann, Collin and Cycowski). In
1997 a film based the group’s history was directed by Joseph
(WSJ, 2/5/98, p.A20)(SFC, 8/17/02, p.D3)
1927 Carl Schmitt, a German
jurist, authored his paper "The Concept of the Political." He
proposed the doctrine of "decisionism" and defined the state’s
assertion of its sovereignty. "The specific political distinction to
which political claims can be reduced is that between friend and
(WSJ, 10/19/01, p.W19)
1927 In Germany Hannes Meyer
succeeded Walter Gropius as director of the Bauhaus and continued to
(Econ, 11/14/09, p.104)
1927 In Germany the Frankfurt
Kitchen was the 1st mass-produced fitted kitchen and was installed
in thousands of Frankfurt flats.
(Econ, 4/8/06, p.84)
1928 Jan 29, Lithuania and
Germany signed a boundary agreement that established the Nemunas
River as a border up to Klaipeda.
(Voruta #27-28, 7/1996, p.2)(LHC, 1/29/03)
1928 Mar 5, Hitler's National
Socialists won the majority vote in Bavaria.
1928 Mar 16, Christa Ludwig,
soprano (Vienna State Opera, Met Opera), was born in Berlin Germany.
1928 Jun 4, Ruth Westheimer,
sex therapist (WYNY-FM), was born in Germany.
1928 Aug 31, Brecht and Kurt
Weill’s "The Threepenny Opera" opened in Berlin.
(HN, 8/31/00)(MC, 8/31/01)
1928 Sep 28, Prussia forbade a
speech by Adolf Hitler.
1928 Oct 15, The German
dirigible Graf Zeppelin landed in Lakehurst, N.J., on its first
commercial flight across the Atlantic. It made 590 flights before it
was decommissioned in 1937.
(AP, 10/15/97)(SFC,12/24/97, Z1 p.6)
1928 The German silent film
"Pandora’s Box" defined the term femme fatale.
(SFEM, 5/31/98, p.14)
1928 Grant Wood, American
artist, encountered the German art movement Neue Sachlichkeit (New
Objectivity), while supervising the production of a stained-glass
window he had designed for the Cedar Rapids Veterans Memorial
(Sm, 3/06, p.39)
1928 Gun control, the Law on
Firearms and Ammunition, was introduced to Germany under the Weimar
regime (there was no Right to Arms in the Constitution of 1919) in
large part to disarm the nascent private armies, e.g. the Nazi SA
(aka "the brownshirts"). The Weimar government was attempting to
bring some stability to German society and politics.
1928-1933 The Munich Illustrated Press was edited
by Hungarian-born Stefan Lorant (d.1997 at 96). He later wrote "Sieg
Heil!: An Illustrated History of Germany from Bismarck to Hitler" in
1929 Feb 6, Germany accepted
1929 Mar 17, General Motors
purchased an 80% stake in Opel, a German car manufacturer, for $33.3
million. GM raised the stake to 100% in 1931.
1929 Apr 6, Andre Previn,
pianist and conductor, was born in Berlin, Germany.
(HN, 4/6/01)(MC, 4/6/02)
1929 May 1, Police killed 19
Mayday demonstrators in Berlin.
1929 Jun 27, Pres. Von
Hindenburg refused to pay the German debt of WW I.
1929 Aug 4, Some 60,000 SA and
SS storm troopers marched in Munich.
1929 Aug 7, Germany’s Graf
Zeppelin airship embarked from Lakehurst, New Jersey, on the first
round-the-world passenger voyage.
1929 Aug 29, German airship
Graf Zeppelin ended a round-the-world flight.
1929 Sep 8, Christoph von
Dohnanyi, conductor and pianist (Cleve Orchestra), was born in
1929 Sep 22, Communist and Nazi
factions clashed in Berlin.
1929 Sep 30, The 1st manned
rocket plane flight was made by auto maker Fritz von Opel at
Frankfurt-am-Main [see May 29, 1928].
1929 The German film "Diary of
a Lost Girl" starred Louise Brooks (1906-1985) and was directed by
G.W. Pabst. It was based on book first published in 1905.
(SFEC, 11/8/98, DB p.50)(SFC, 11/12/10, p.E4)
1929 In Frankfurt the city
council set up an official fenced concentration camp for Gypsies,
but inhabitants could enter and leave at will.
(WSJ, 1/19/00, p.A20)
1929 The German dirigible Graf
Zeppelin completed a trip around the world.
(SFC,12/24/97, Z1 p.6)
1930 Feb 23, Horst Wessel (22),
German Nazi brawler (wrote lyrics for "Die Fahne Hoch," the Horst
Wessel Song), was killed.
1930 Mar 11, Silvio Gesell
(b.1862), German merchant and theoretical economist, died. He was an
ethical vegetarian, considered himself a world citizen and believed
Earth should belong to all people, regardless of race, gender,
class, wealth, religion. Based on his theories the Bavarian
coalmining village of Schwanenkirchen created an alternative
currency in 1931 called the wara, which obligated its holder to pay
a tax. This encouraged all users of the currency to get rid of it as
soon as possible.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvio_Gesell)(Econ, 1/24/09, p.81)
1930 Mar 16 For the first
time, a live opera performance was transmitted via shortwave from
Dresden Germany and received by NBC in New York, which broadcasted
the event for American listeners. Unfortunately, reception was poor
and Americans only heard about 20 minutes of the opera, "Fidelio."
(NY Times, 3/17/1930, p.33)
1930 Apr 3, Helmut Kohl, German
statesman, was born. He served as Chancellor for 16 years.
(WP, 6/29/96, p.A20)(HN, 4/3/98)(SFC, 4/3/00,
1930 Jun 30, France pulled its
troops out of Germany’s Rhineland.
1930 Jul 3, Carlos Kleiber
(d.2004), conductor (Bavarian State Orchestra), was born in Berlin,
(SFC, 7/19/04, p.B6)
1930 Aug 4, Siegfried Wagner
(61), German opera composer and son of Richard Wagner, died.
1930 Sep 14, Nazis took 107
seats in German elections.
1930 Sep 26, Fritz Wunderlich,
tenor (Stuttgart 1955-58), was born in Kusel, Germany.
1930 Sep 27, Igor Kipnis,
harpsichordist and professor (Fairfield), was born in Berlin,
1930 Oct 13, New German
Reichstag opened with 107 Nazi Party members in uniform.
1930 Nov, Alfred Wegener (50),
German scientist and main proponent of the continental drift theory,
was killed while on an expedition in Greenland.
(DD-EVTT, p.190)(ON, 9/04, p.9)
1930 Dec 12, Last Allied troops
left the Saar.
1930 Dec 24, Eduard David (67),
German minister (constitution of Weimar), died.
1930 Dec 25, Theodor Noldeke
(b.1836), German professor, died in Karlsruhe, Germany. He is
generally recognized as the father of Western Qur'anic criticism. In
1857 a Paris academy offered a prize for the best critical history
of the Quran and Noldeke won.
1930 The opera "Transatlantic"
by George Antheil had its premiere in Frankfurt 10 months after Kurt
(WSJ, 4/23/98, p.A16)
1930 In Germany Mies van der
Rohe succeeded Hannes Meyer as director of the Bauhaus and continued
to 1933 when the Nazis shut it down.
(Econ, 11/14/09, p.104)
1930 The Germany Stihl company,
founded in 1926 by Andreas Stihl, introduced a portable gasoline
(WSJ, 4/3/09, p.C5)
1930 Physicists in Germany
discovered the neutron. Walther Bothe and Herbert Becker described
an unusual type of gamma ray produced by bombarding the metal
beryllium with alpha particles. James Chadwick recognized that the
properties of this radiation were more consistent with what would be
expected from Ernest Rutherford's neutral particle. The subsequent
experiments by which Chadwick proved the existence of the neutron
earned him the 1935 Nobel Prize in physics.
1930 Otto Warburg (1883-1970),
German physiologist and medical doctor, discovered that cancer cells
often rely on glycolysis. This came to be called the Warburg effect.
1930s William L Shirer
succeeded George Seldes as the Berlin correspondent for the Chicago
Tribune. Shirer later wrote "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich."
(SFEC, 7/27/97, p.T5)
1930s The Nazis sequestered
artwork deemed "degenerate." An inventory was made that listed
16,500 works in 2 volumes. In 1997 the 2nd volume turned up in
London and revealed that many art pieces were sold to Swiss dealers.
(SFC, 3/28/97, p.C15)
1930s Hitler began building his
"Eagle’s Nest" above the town of Berchtesgaden in the German Alps.
(LVRJ, 11/1/97, p.16A)
1931 Feb 26, Otto Wallach (83),
German chemist (Nobel 1910), died.
1931 Apr 1, Rolf Hochhuth,
German playwright (Deputy), was born.
1931 Jul 13, A major German
financial institution, Danabank, failed, leading to the closing of
all banks in Germany until August 5. By the end of the 1931,
approximately six million Germans are out of work.
1931 Aug 9, Two Berlin police
officers were shot and killed during a Communist demonstration. In
1993 Erich Mielke (d.2000 at 92), former head of the East German
Stasi, was convicted for participating in the shooting.
(SFC, 5/26/00, p.D3)
1931 Oct 11, Some 100,000
extreme right Germans formed the "Harzburger Front."
1931 Dec 7, A report indicated
that Nazis would ensure "Nordic dominance" by sterilizing certain
1931 Irmgard Keun (22), German
writer, authored "The Artificial Silk Girl." It was banned by the
Nazis in 1933. A new English translation was made in 2002.
(SSFC, 7/28/02, p.M4)
1931 The German film "The
Company's in Love" was directed by Max Ophuls.
(SFEC, 9/5/99, DB p.50)
1931 The German psychological
thriller film "M" starred Peter Lorre and was directed by Fritz
(SFC, 9/5/97, p.C3)
1931 Austria and Germany
dropped out of the gold standard. By 1936 the gold standard was
(Econ, 7/5/14, p.57)
1931 Geli Raubal, Hitler’s
niece, died in Hitler’s apartment. It was a probable suicide and
Hitler’s pistol was used. In 1999 Ron Hansen authored his novel
"Hitler’s Niece" based on Raubal.
(NW, 8/20/01, p.56)
1932 Feb 25, The German state
government of Brunswick, in which the Nazi Party participated,
appointed Adolph Hitler of Austria to a minor administrative post
this month and on this day gave him German citizenship. Hitler was
thus able to stand against Hindenburg in the forthcoming
1932 Mar 13, Hindenburg won
49.6% of the vote in the German presidential election, Hitler won
30.1%, and the rest of the votes went to other candidates. Since
Hindenburg did not win a majority, a run-off election was set for
1932 Mar 17, German police
raided Hitler's Nazi headquarters.
1932 Mar 20, The German
dirigible, Graf Zepplin, made the first flight to South America on
1932 Apr 10, Paul von
Hindenburg was elected the first German president. German president
Paul von Hindenburg was re-elected with 53% of the vote; Adolf
Hitler coming in 2nd with 36%.
1932 Apr 14, Germany’s Pres.
Hindenburg signed a decree outlawing Nazi SA and SS. Chancellor
Bruning thought this would curb Hitler’s growth. Instead, it will
prove to be Bruning’s fall.
1932 Apr 24, In German national
elections the NSDAP/NAZI won 36.3% in Prussia.
1932 Jun 3, Von Hindenburg
disbanded the German Parliament.
1932 Jun 16, The ban on Nazi
storm troopers was lifted by the von Papen government in Germany.
Germany forbade SA/SS street brawls.
(HN, 6/16/98)(MC, 6/16/02)
1932 Jul 31, Adolf Hitler's
Nationalist Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis) doubled its
strength in legislative elections. Nazi Party won 37.3% of the vote.
1932 Aug 13, Adolf Hitler
refused President Hindenburg’s offer to serve as Franz Von Papen's
vice chancellor saying he was prepared to hold out "for all or
(AP, 8/13/97)(HN, 8/13/98)
1932 Aug 30, Nazi leader
Hermann Goering was elected president of the Reichstag.
1932 Sep 12, The German
Reichstag under the new chairmanship of Hermann Goring gave a vote
of no confidence to Franz von Papen and his government. Just before
that vote was taken, Papen had slapped an order on Göring's desk
dissolving the Reichstag and calling yet again for new elections.
1932 Nov 1, Werner von Braun
was named head of German liquid-fuel rocket program.
1932 Nov 17, German government
of von Papen resigned paving the way for a Nazi takeover.
1932 Nov 19, Shaft and Thyssen
demanded that Hitler become German chancellor.
1932 Dec 2, In Germany Pres.
Hindenburg appointed Gen. Schleicher as Chancellor.
1932 Dec 5, German physicist
Albert Einstein was granted a visa, making it possible for him to
travel to the United States. In 2003 Thomas Levenson authored
"Einstein in Berlin."
(AP, 12/5/97)(SSFC, 4/20/03, p.M2)
1932 Hans Fallada (1893-1947),
German writer, authored “Little Man, What Now?" The book was an
immediate success in Germany, where today it is considered to be a
modern classic, given its intense descriptions of the last days of
the Weimar Republic.
(http://tinyurl.com/nksb5cj)(Econ, 1/3/15, p.70)
1932 The Kurt Weill production
of "Die Burgschaft" had its premier in Berlin. It depicted the
decline of a society based on power and money.
(WSJ, 6/7/99, p.A16)
1932 The German film "Libelei"
starred Magda Schneider as a young opera singer experiencing first
love in turn of the century Vienna. It was directed by Max Ophuls.
(SFEC, 9/5/99, DB p.50)
1932 Thuringia was the first
German state to elect a Nazi government.
(SFC, 8/3/99, p.A10)
1932 There was a transport
workers’ strike in Berlin in which the Communists collaborated with
the Nazis against the democratic Weimar Republic.
(WSJ, 6/02/97, p.A20)
1932 Werner C. Heisenberg
(1901-1976), Germany physicist, won the Nobel Prize in physics.
1933 Jan 30, German President
Paul von Hindenburg made Adolf Hitler chancellor. After World War I,
Germany fell into disarray and looked for a leader to strengthen it
again. Hitler had emerged after joining the Nazi Party in 1919 and
taking it over in 1921. In 1932 Hitler ran against von Hindenburg
and lost--but not by a wide margin. The Nazis won 230 seats in the
German parliament and continued to gain influence, stifling
democracy and communism by force and by making laws against them.
After Hindenburg's death in 1934, Hitler proclaimed himself Der
Führer of the Third Reich and continued as Germany's leader through
World War II. Gen. Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord tried to block the
appointment of Hitler as chancellor but was overruled by Pres.
(AP, 1/30/98)(HN, 1/30/99)(HNPD, 1/31/99)(SFC,
1933 Feb 1, German Parliament
was dissolved and Gen. Ludendorf predicted catastrophe.
1933 Feb 2, Adolf Hitler
dissolved Parliament 2 days after becoming chancellor.
1933 Feb 2, Reichstag President
Herman Goring banned communist meetings and demonstrations in
1933 Feb 4, German Pres. Von
Hindenburg limited freedom of the press.
1933 Feb 6, Adolf Hitler's
Third Reich began to press censorship.
1933 Feb 7, At a
Social-Democrat meeting in Berlin thousands cheered as Marxism was
1933 Feb 19, Herman Goring,
Nazi Prussian minister, banned all Catholic newspapers.
1933 Feb 22, Nazi Herman Goring
1933 Feb 24, Final
demonstration of German communist party in Berlin took place.
1933 Feb 27, Germany's
parliament building, the Reichstag, caught fire. The Nazis blamed
the Communists and used the fire as a pretext for suspending civil
liberties and increasing their power. Georgi Dimitrov, a Bulgarian
Communist, was one of the accused plotters, but was acquitted. After
WW II Dimitrov became the 1st premier of communist Bulgaria. In 2003
Ivo Banac edited "The Diary of Georgi Dimitrov."
(AP, 2/27/98)(HN, 2/27/99)(WSJ, 6/6/03, p.W9)
1933 Feb 28, German Pres. Von
Hindenburg abolished the free expression of opinion.
1933 Feb 28, Hitler disallowed
the German communist party (KPD).
1933 Mar 3, German Presidential
candidate Earnest Thälmann (KPD) was arrested.
1933 Mar 5, In German
parliamentary elections, the Nazi Party won 44 percent of the vote,
enabling it to join with Nationalists to gain a slender majority in
(AP, 3/5/98)(HN, 3/5/98)
1933 Mar 12, Hindenburg dropped
the flag of the German Republic and ordered that the swastika and
empire banner be flown side by side.
1933 Mar 13, In Germany
Wagner’s opera "Die Meistersinger" was used to celebrate the first
Nazi-dominated Reichstag and became the Third Reich’s national
(WSJ, 8/2/96, p.A10)
1933 Mar 13, Josef Goebbels
became Nazi minister of Information and Propaganda.
1933 Mar 16, Hitler named
Hjalmar Horace Greeley Shacht president of Bank of Germany.
1933 Mar 21, Hitler, Goering,
Prince Ruprecht, Bruning and other top army commanders met in
1933 Mar 23, Kroll Opera in
1933 Mar 23, The German
Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act, which effectively granted Adolf
Hitler dictatorial legislative powers, i.e. the power to rule by
(AP, 3/23/97)(WSJ, 11/26/96,
1933 Mar 28, Nazis ordered a
ban on all Jews in businesses, professions and schools.
1933 Mar 28, German Reichstag
conferred dictatorial powers on Hitler.
1933 Mar 31, German Republic
gave dictatorial power to Hitler.
1933 Apr 1, Nazi Germany began
persecuting Jews with a boycott of Jewish-owned businesses.
1933 Apr 1, Heinrich Himmler
became Police Commander of Germany (Reichsfuhrer-SS).
1933 Apr 7, The 1st two Nazi
anti-Jewish laws barred Jews from legal and public service.
1933 Apr 7, Jan Erik/Eric Jan
Hanussen, Berlin astrologer, illusionist, was murdered.
1933 Apr 11, Hermann Goering
became premier of Prussia.
1933 Apr 26, Jewish students
were barred from school in Germany.
1933 May 2, In Germany, Adolf
Hitler banned trade unions.
1933 May 10, The Nazis staged
massive public book burnings at Opernplatz in Berlin, Germany. Some
40,000 people watched or took part. In the great Nazi book-burning
frenzy Freud’s work went up in flames, with the declaration: "Down
with the soul-devouring exaggeration of instinctive life, up with
the nobility of the human soul!" Also burned were books by
"unGerman" writers such as: Marx, Brecht, Bloch, Hemingway, Heinrich
Mann and Erich Maria Remarque, author of All Quiet on the Western
(AP, 5/10/97)(SFC, 1/8/99, p.A13)(HNPD,
1933 Jun 13, German Secret
State Police (Gestapo) was established.
1933 Jun 22, Germany became a
one political party country as Hitler banned parties other than the
1933 Jul 1,
Strauss-Hofmannsthal opera "Arabella," premiered in Dresden.
1933 Jul 1, German Nazi regime
decreed married women should not work.
1933 Jul 14, All German
political parties except the Nazi Party were outlawed.
1933 Jul 14, Nazi Germany
promulgated the Law for the Protection of Hereditary Health. It was
the beginning of their Euthanasia program.
1933 Aug 1, The death penalty
was declared for anti fascists in Germany.
1933 Sep 21, The trial against
Marinus der Lubbe opened. He was accused of starting the Feb 27
1933 Oct 14, The Geneva
disarmament conference broke up as Germany proclaimed withdrawal
from the disarmament initiative, as well as from the League of
Nations, effective October 23.
(AP, 10/14/97)(HN, 10/14/98)
1933 Oct 17, Due to rising
anti-Semitism and anti-intellectualism in Hitler's Germany, Albert
Einstein immigrated to the United States. He made his new home in
(AP, 10/17/97)(HN, 10/17/98)
1933 Oct, Police records later
revealed that 26,000 communists, Social Democrats, and other Reich
skeptics had been arrested.
(WSJ, 11/26/96, p.A16)
1933 Nov 4, Hermann
Goring, Hitler's chief minister (1893-1946), and Georgi Dimitrov,
Bulgarian Communist, had a duel of wits over whether Dimitrov was
guilty of the burning of the Reichstag on February 27, 1933.
Dimitrov conducted his own defense winning recognition and acclaim
worldwide. He was acquitted and went to Russia where he became a
1933 Nov 12, In Germany 92% of
votes went to National Socialists in the First Reichstag elections
in the one-party state.
1933 Dec 1, Rudolf Hess and
Earnest Roehm became ministers in Hitler govt. Nazi storm troops
become an official organ of the Reich.
(HN, 12/1/98)(MC, 12/1/01)
1933 Dec 23, Marinus van der
Lubbe was sentenced to death for Reichstag "Fire."
1933 Dec 23, The Pope condemned
the Nazi sterilization program.
1933 George L. Mosse (d.1999 at
80), a Univ. of Wisconsin historian, published c1970 "Germans and
Jews: The Right, the Left, and the Search for a 'Third Force' in
(SFEC, 1/31/99, p.D8)
1933 Einstein renounced his
German citizenship and fled to the US.
(V.D.-H.K.p.326)(TMC, 1994, p.1933)
1933 Fritz Hirschberger
(1912-2004), later Holocaust artist, founded the Dresden chapter of
the Zionist underground organization "Betar."
(SFC, 2/6/04, p.A25)
1933 The Int’l. Rescue
Committee was founded at the suggestion of Albert Einstein to help
Jews escape from Nazi, Germany. It later broadened its mandate to
cover all refugees and displaced people.
(SFC, 10/5/02, p.A19)
1933 The Nazis closed the
Institute of Sexual Science in Berlin run by Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld.
(SFEC, 6/15/97, DB p.47)(SFC, 8/2/97, p.E4)
1933 British intelligence
agents discovered that the Nazis were defying a ban on weapons
imposed at Versailles.
(ON, 11/05, p.1)
1933-1934 Martin Heidegger (b.1889) served as the
Nazi rector of the Univ. of Freiburg.
(WSJ, 10/11/01, p.A20)
1933-1939 In 2005 Richard J. Evan authored “The
Third Reich in Power: 1933-1939."
(Econ, 10/29/05, p.87)
1933-1945 A study of classical music during the
Third Reich was published in 1997 by Michael H. Kater: "The Twisted
Muse: Musicians and Their Music in the Third Reich."
(WSJ, 10/27/97, p.A20)
1933-1945 In 1998 the "Penguin Dictionary of the
Third Reich" was published.
(SFEC, 8/28/98, Par p.20)
1933-1945 The Sachsenhausen camp at Oranienburg
held some 200,000 people over this period. About half died including
an estimated 10,000 Jews and 18,000 Soviet soldiers.
(SFEC, 9/19/99, p.A21)
1933-1945 In 2008 Latvian filmmaker Edvins Snore,
directed “Soviet Story." It shows the close
connections—philosophical, political and organizational—between the
Nazi and Soviet systems beginning in 1933 thru WWII.
1933-1997 The 1998 book "German Art from Beckmann
to Richter" was edited by Eckhart Gillen. It accompanied a large
1997 exhibition in Berlin.
(SFEC, 2/1/98, BR p.6)
1934 Jan 7, Six-thousand
pastors in Berlin defied the Nazis insisting that they will not be
1934 Jan 10, Marinus van der
Lubbe (24), a bricklayer and Dutch communist, was executed in
Berlin. He had been convicted of arson and high treason for torching
the Reichstag parliament building on Feb 27, 1933. On Dec 6, 2007,
German prosecutors formally overturned the conviction.
1934 Jan 11, The German police
raided the homes of dissident clergy in Berlin.
1934 Jan 26, Germany signed a
10-year non-aggression pact with Poland, breaking the French
(WUD, 1994, p.1682)(HN, 1/26/99)
1934 Jan 29, Fritz Haber (65),
German chemist (Nobel 1918), died. In the 1920s Haber exhaustively
searched for a method to extract gold from sea water, and published
a number of scientific papers on the subject. However, after years
of research, he concluded that the concentration of gold dissolved
in sea water was much lower than those concentrations reported by
earlier researchers, and that gold extraction from sea water was
uneconomic. In 2005 Daniel Charles authored “Master Mind: The Rise
and Fall of Fritz Haber, the Nobel Laureate Who Launched the Age of
1934 Feb 2, Alfred Rosenberg
was made philosophical chief of the Nazi Party.
1934 Feb 7, Kathleen Norris, a
SF Bay Area novelist based in Palo Alto, summed up a trip to Germany
saying Hitler has virtually solved problems of unemployment and
poverty. She said the leader was idolized everywhere as the people’s
(SSFC, 2/1/09, p.50)
1934 Mar 20, Test of practical
radar apparatus was made by Rudolf Kuhnold in Germany.
1934 Apr 6, 418 Lutheran
ministers were arrested in Germany.
1934 Apr 18, Hitler named
Joachim von Ribbentrop, ambassador for disarmament.
1934 May 2, Nazi Germany began
1934 May 2, In Germany a
Chancellery meeting took place between Adolph Hitler and executives
of General Motors Corp. and its German division (Opel). Opel quickly
became an essential element in German rearmament. Over the next 4
years GM’s workforce in Germany grew from 17,000 to 27,000.
(SSFC, 1/7/07, p.E6)
1934 Jun 22, "Dr. Ing. h.c. F.
Porsche GmbH, Konstruktionen und Beratung für Motoren- und
Fahrzeugbau" received the go-ahead from the "Reichsverband der
Automobilindustrie (RDA)" (the Association of the German Reich of
the Automotive Industry) to construct and build the Volkswagen.
Hitler had asked Ferdinand Porsche Sr., owner of a consulting and
design firm, to build a "people’s car," from which resulted the
Volkswagen. Porsche took the design from the Tatra T97 of
Czechoslovakia’s Hans and Erich Ledwinka.
p.B12)(Econ, 6/28/08, p.20)
1934 Jun 28, Hitler flew to
Essen (Night of Long Knifes) where a massive purge of SA (storm
troopers) was carried out to placate the Army and the high command.
[see Jun 30]
1934 Jun 30, Adolf Hitler began
his "blood purge" of political and military leaders in Germany.
Among those killed was one-time Hitler ally Ernst Roehm (46), gay
leader of the Nazi stormtroopers. Hitler personally confronted Rohm
in a jail cell and left a single shot pistol in the cell. Ten
minutes later, Rohm had killed himself. Hitler purged the Nazi Party
by destroying the SA and bringing to power the SS in the "Night of
the Long Knives." Also killed were Gregor Strasser (42), German
pharmacist, Nazi leader and Karl Ernst, German SA-leader.
(AP, 6/30/97)(HN, 6/30/98)(MC, 6/30/02)
1934 Jul 9, SS-Reichs Fuhrer
Heinrich Himmler assumed command of German Concentration Camps.
1934 Jul 25, There was a Nazi
coup in Vienna. Austrian Premier Engelbert Dollfus was shot and
killed by Nazis. Hitler murdered Austria's Chancellor Dollfus.
(WUD, 1994, p.424,1682)(TMC, 1994, p.1934)(HN,
1934 Aug 2, Pres. Paul von
Hindenburg of Germany died. Within hours Adolf Hitler announced a
law, dated the previous day, that made him Reichsfuhrer, an office
that combined the duties of president and chancellor.
1934 Aug 19, A plebiscite in
Germany approved the vesting of sole executive power in Adolf Hitler
as Fuhrer. 38 million Germans voted to make Adolf Hitler the
official successor to President von Hindenburg.
(AP, 8/19/97)(HN, 8/19/00)
1934 Sep 16, Anti-Nazi
Lutherans staged a protest in Munich.
1934 Oct 1, Adolph Hitler
expanded the German army and navy and created an air force,
violating Treaty of Versailles.
1934 Oct 7, Ulrike Meinhof,
German Red Army member, was born.
1934 Oct 20, Richard Strauss
completed his opera "Die Schweigsame Frau."
1934 Nov 16, Carl P.G. von
Linde (92), German physicist, died.
1934 Nov 26, German theologian
Karl Barth surrendered to Nazis.
1934 Nov 28, Churchill made a
speech in Parliament and warned of German aircraft bombing London.
(ON, 11/05, p.2)
1934 The German propaganda
documentary film "Triumph of the Will" was made by Leni Riefenstahl.
(WSJ, 11/8/99, p.A48)
1934 In Germany Herman Goering,
Nazi party official, approved a request from the Reich Forestry
Service to release North American raccoons into the wild. By 2007
there were over a million raccoons living in Germany.
(SSFC, 5/27/07, p.A2)
1935 Feb 8, Max Liebermann
(b.1847), German impressionist painter, graphic artist, died in
Berlin. He was associated with several artists’ organizations
including the Berlin Secession.
1935 Feb 26, Germany began
Luftwaffe operations under Reichsmarshal H. Goering.
1935 Mar 1, Germany celebrated
the return of the Saar Basin to the Reich.
1935 Mar 1, Germany officially
established the Luftwaffe.
1935 Mar 7, Saar was
incorporated into Germany.
1935 Mar 9, Hermann Goering
announced the existence of the German Luftwaffe (air force).
1935 Mar 15, Joseph Goebbels,
German Minister of Propaganda banned four Berlin newspapers.
1935 Mar 16, Adolf Hitler
ordered a German rearmament in violation of the Versailles Treaty.
He announced in public Nazi rearmament and the existence of the new
German air force, the Luftwaffe.
(AP, 3/16/97)(HN, 3/16/98)(ON, 11/05, p.2)
1935 Mar 17, Hitler reviewed
the military parade in Berlin.
1935 Mar 23, France, Italy and
Britain agreed to present a unified front in response to Germany.
1935 Mar 25, Hitler declared
that the Soviets endangered peace in Europe.
1935 Mar 30, Britain and Russia
agreed on treaties intended to curb the power of the Reich.
1935 Mar, The German
Reichpost (Post Office) began the "first television broadcasting
service in the world". However, the quality was poor and
receivers were almost non-existent."
1935 Apr 12, Germany prohibited
the publishing of "not-Aryan" writers.
1935 May 22, Stanley Baldwin,
Britain’s former PM, admitted that his estimation of Germany’s
Luftwaffe strength was wrong.
(ON, 11/05, p.2)
1935 Jul 13, Richard Strauss
resigned as chairman of the Nazi Reichskulturkammer.
1935 Jul 29, Peter Schreier,
tenor (Dresden State Opera 1961), was born in Meissen, Germany.
1935 Aug 11, There was a Nazi
mass demonstration against German Jews.
1935 Sep 15, In Berlin, the
Reich under Adolf Hitler adopted The Nuremberg Laws which deprived
German Jews of their citizenship, made the swastika the official
symbol of Nazi Germany and established gradations of "Jewishness."
"Full Jews," people with four "non-Aryan" grandparents, were
deprived of German citizenship and forbidden to marry members of the
"Aryan race." German Jews, had been barred since 1938 from
government, medical, and legal professions, and shut out from every
area of German public life. After the war Gen'l. Patton gave the
documents to a friend and they were stored in the Huntington Museum
(AP, 9/15/97)(HN, 9/15/99)(SFC, 6/26/99, p.A3)
1935 Oct 7, Himmler, Hess and
Reinhard Heydrich agreed to build a concentration camp at Dachau.
1935 Nov 14, Nazis stripped
German Jews of their citizenship. [see Sep 15]
1935 Nov 28, The German Reich
declared all men ages 18 to 45 as army reservists.
1935 Nov 30, Non-belief in
Nazism was proclaimed grounds for divorce in Germany.
1935 The 6 man singing group
"Comedian Harmonists" was banned from performing because three of
the members were Jewish. The group split in 2 and an émigré faction
went on to the US and performed until disbanding in 1941. The
German-based Meistersextett also broke up in 1941.
(WSJ, 2/5/98, p.A20)
1935 In Germany Paragraph 175
of the Criminal Code punished "lewd and lascivious" behavior between
men. As many as 100,000 were arrested under the law.
(SFEC, 6/29/97, p.A18)
1935 The W. Goebel porcelain
factory in Rodental, Germany, began producing Hummel figurines.
(SFC, 10/12/05, p.G3)
1935 Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld,
(SFC, 8/2/97, p.E1)
1936 Jan 2, In Berlin, the Nazi
officials claimed that their treatment of the Jews was not any of
the League of Nation's business.
1936 Feb 6, Adolf Hitler opened
the Fourth Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. 1061 athletes
stood at attention half-hidden by a furious blizzard. Austrian and
French athletes gave the Nazi salute in passing the revue stand.
1936 Feb 11, The Reich arrested
150 Catholic youth leaders in Berlin. When the war was over many of
the leaders of the Reich were put on trial for the atrocities that
had been committed.
1936 Mar 4, The 1st test flight
of airship Hindenburg was made in Germany.
1936 Mar 7, Adolf Hitler
ordered his troops to march into the demilitarized Rhineland,
thereby breaking the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact.
(WSJ, 10/28/97, p.A22)(AP, 3/7/98)(HN, 3/7/98)
1936 Mar 9, The German press
warned that all Jews who voted in the upcoming elections would be
1936 Mar 14, Hitler told a
crowd of 300,000 that Germany's only judge is God and itself.
1936 Mar 29, Nazi propaganda
claimed 99% of Germans voted for Nazi candidates.
1936 May 6, The Hindenburg
airship departed Germany and on the 9th on May, it arrived at
Lakehurst, N.J., having completed the first scheduled transatlantic
1936 Jun 19, Max Schmeling of
Germany knocked out Joe Louis in their first fight in NYC.
1936 Jul 4, The Reich
Government decided to build a separate plant for the new Volkswagen,
the Volkswagenwerk. The "Company for Preparation of Deutsche
Volkswagen Ltd" was established on 28 May 1937.
1936 Aug 1, The 11th Olympic
games, dubbed "The Nazi Games," opened in Berlin with a ceremony
presided over by Adolf Hitler. Jesse Owens won four gold medals
including the 100-meter dash--becoming the world's fastest man.
Owens also set new Olympic records in the long jump, the 200-meter
dash and the 4 x 100-meter relay. It had been 36 years since a
track-and-field athlete had won three gold medals in one Olympics.
The games were filmed by Leni Riefenstahl and the torch relay was
introduced by Joseph Geobbel’s Propaganda Ministry. Berlin’s
homeless and itinerant Gypsies were sent into concentration camps.
The game of Kabaddi was played as a demonstration sport.
(TMC, 1994, p.1936)(WSJ, 7/30/96, p.A12)(Hem,
6/96, p.104)(AP, 8/1/97)(HNPD, 8/1/98)
1936 Aug 4, Jesse Owens
(1913-1980) won his 2nd Olympic medal (long jump) at the Berlin
1936 Aug 5, Jesse Owens won his
3rd Olympic medal (200m sprint) at the Berlin Olympics.
1936 Aug 9, Jesse Owens won his
fourth gold medal at the Berlin Olympics as the United States took
first place in the 400-meter relay.
(AP, 8/9/97)(HN, 8/9/98)
1936 Aug 12, Hans Haacke,
artist (Right to Life, Dripper Boxes), was born in Cologne, Germany.
1936 Aug 16, The 11th Olympic
games closed in Berlin.
1936 Sep 21, The German army
held its largest maneuvers since 1914.
1936 Oct, Dutch-born Peter
Debye (1884-1966), won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies
on the structure of molecules. In 1938, as Chairman of the German
Physical Society, he had a letter sent out under his name requesting
that the domestic Jewish members voluntarily resign. In 1940 he
moved to the US. In 2006 he emerged in a book, "Albert Einstein in
the Netherlands." which contained evidence of pro-Nazi actions. In
2008 the Terlouw Committee, appointed by the Dutch Ministry of
Education, reviewed the allegations and issued its report clearly
stating that Debye was neither a Nazi collaborator nor a Nazi
1936 Nov 1, In a speech in
Milan, Italy, Benito Mussolini described the alliance between his
country and Nazi Germany as an "axis" running between Rome and
Berlin after Count Ciano’s visit to Germany.
(AP, 11/1/97)(HN, 11/1/98)
1936 Nov 15, Nazi Germany and
Japan signed the Anti-Komintern pact.
1936 Nov 18, Germany and Italy
recognized the Spanish government of Francisco Franco.
1936 Nov 19, German Luftwaffe
bombed Madrid and continued bombing to Nov 23.
1936 Nov 27, Great Britain’s
Anthony Eden warned Hitler that Britain would fight to protect
1936 The German documentary
film "Olympia" was made by Leni Riefenstahl.
(WSJ, 11/8/99, p.A48)(SFC, 9/10/03, p.A19)
1936 The 76,000 seat Berlin
Olympic Stadium was designed by Albert Speer.
(SFC, 1/9/02, p.A5)
1936 Germany’s Jewish emigrants
were only allowed to keep 10 marks.
(WSJ, 9/13/96, p.A8)
1936 Germany’s Reichspost
launched the world’s first public videophone service. It was
developed by Dr. Georg Schubert and opened using square displays of
8 inches (20 cm), but which quickly closed in 1940 due to the WWII.
(Econ, 10/9/10, p.91)(http://tinyurl.com/2ceklpr)
1936-1939 The Spanish Civil War has been commonly
referred to as "a rehearsal for World War II" by historians because
of the intervention by Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the Soviet
Union, and their use of the war to test new weapons and military
techniques. It was fought between the liberal Second Spanish
Republic government and right-wing rebel forces, including the
fascist Falangists, monarchists and Nationalists. The rebels had the
support of the Roman Catholic Church, in addition to Germany and
Italy. The Government supporters, called Loyalists, had the support
of communists, socialists, anarchists, the Soviet Union and
volunteers from around the world who formed the International
Brigades. Between 400,000 and 1 million were killed in the war,
ultimately won by the rebels. In 2008 Paul Preston authored “We Saw
Spain Die: Foreign correspondents in the Spanish Civil War." In 2012
Paul Preston authored “The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and
Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain."
(HNQ, 9//00)(Econ, 10/18/08, p.97)(Econ, 3/24/12,
1937 Mar, The encyclical "With
Burning Sorrow" was smuggled into Germany. Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli
(later Pius XII) helped Pius XI draft the work which denounced Nazi
paganism and racism.
(WSJ, 4/25/97, p.A18)
1937 Apr 26, German planes from
the Condor Legion--sent to Spain by Adolf Hitler to help fascist
General Francisco Franco overthrow the communist Popular Front
regime-- attacked the Basque town of Guernica in Spain. Bombs fell
for three hours and escaping villagers were shot down by
machine-gun fire from the air. The attack killed as many as
1,600-1,650 Basque civilians and injured 900. Although the alleged
target was a bridge of military significance some distance from the
town, dazed survivors described a merciless four-hour bombing and
strafing attack by German pilots directed toward the village and its
inhabitants. The Guernica atrocity became synonymous with the horror
of modern warfare and inspired one of the 20th century's greatest
works of art, Guernica, by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.
(440 Int’l., 4/26/97, p.2)(WSJ, 4/28/97,
p.A1)(AP, 4/26/98)(HNPD, 4/26/99)
1937 Apr 27, German bombers of
the Condor Legion conducted follow up raids at Guernica, Spain. [see
1937 May 6, At 7:25 p.m. the
giant German airship (dirigible or zeppelin) Hindenburg burst into
flames and crashed to the ground as it attempted to dock with a
mooring mast at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. Carrying
36 passengers and 61 crew, Hindenburg left Frankfurt on May 4 for
its first transatlantic voyage of the 1937 season. A total of 36
died when the fire ignited the 16 hydrogen-filled cells and
destroyed the zeppelin in only 34 seconds. This included 13
passengers, 22 crew members and one of the ground crew. The airship
was 803 feet long and had private rooms for 50 passengers. It had an
11,000 mile range. A newsreel film of the Hindenburg Disaster was
made. The true cause of the disaster remains a mystery, although
crash investigators considered claims that Hindenburg was lost due
to sabotage or an accidental charge of static electricity.
(Hem., 1/96, p.108)(AP,
5/6/97)(SFC,11/21/97, p.C17)(ON, 8/12, p.11)
1937 May 31, German battleships
shelled Almeria, Spain.
1937 Jul 1, Rev. Martin
Niemoeller (Bekennende Kirche) was arrested in Germany.
1937 Jul 20, Don Budge (22),
American tennis player, defeated Baron Gottfried von Cram (28) of
Germany at Wimbledon in a semi-final round to see who would face
England. James Thurber later described the Budge-Cramm five-set
marathon as “the greatest match in the history of the world."
(WSJ, 4/25/09, p.W8)
1937 Aug 1, The Buchenwald
concentration camp, near Weimar, Germany, became operational. The
hill on which it stood was called "Ettersberg," a place where Goethe
often wrote and sketched, and that was the initial name for the
camp, which the people of Weimar protested. The name was then
changed to Buchenwald, Beech Forest. By April 11, 1945, an estimated
56,000 people were killed here, including approximately 11,000 Jews.
(HN, 8/1/98)(SFC, 8/3/99, p.A10)(AP, 6/5/09)
1937 Sep 15, Prime Minister of
England Neville Chamberlain flew to Germany to discuss the future of
Czechoslovakia with Adolf Hitler.
1937 Sep 25, German Chancellor
Adolf Hitler met with Italian Premier Benito Mussolini in Munich.
1937 Nov 5, Hitler told his
military advisors of his intentions of going to war.
1937 Nov 11, Messerschmidt
ME-109V13 flew to a world record 610.4 kph.
1937 Nov 17, Britain's Lord
Halifax visited Germany and marked the beginning of appeasement.
1937 Dec 20, Erich Ludendorff
(72), German general (WW I), died.
1937 Max Beckmann (1884-1950),
painter, Was branded by the Nazis as a degenerate artist. He
moved to Amsterdam and then to New York where he died. His work
included the triptychs "Departure" (1932-1933) and "Beginning"
(1946-1949), and the "Self-Portrait in Tails" (1937). He was a
figurative painter in an age of abstraction.
(WSJ, 11/20/96, p.A18)
1937 Heinrich Himmler, acting
interior minister of Germany, revised the chimney-sweep law. His
rules tied the sweeps to their districts and decreed that they need
to be German, to enable him to use them as local spies. In 1969 the
law was updated and in theory opened the profession to non-Germans.
(Econ, 10/21/06, p.76)
1937 Dr. Ferdinand Sauerbruch,
Hitler’s personal physician, said that Hitler was showing signs of
growing megalomania and "was a border case between genius and
insanity… (potentially) the craziest criminal the world ever saw."
(SFC, 4/28/01, p.A10)
1937 Mercedes- Benz developed
an all-wheel-drive car, largely for military purposes.
(WSJ, 9/16/05, p.W12)
1937 An English cricket team
toured Germany. In 2014 Dan Waddell authored “Field of Shadows: The
Remarkable True Story of the English Cricket Tour of Nazi Germany,
(Econ, 5/10/14, p.82)
1937-1945 The Buchenwald Nazi concentration camp
operated over this period. It was located near the city of Weimar
where Germany's Shakespeare Society and the Goethe-Schiller Archives
(Hem., Nov.'95, p.114)
1938 Jan, The career of Werner
von Blomberg (60), defense minister of Nazi Germany, came to an end
due to a marriage scandal. Less than two years before, German Reich
Chancellor Adolf Hitler had made him the first of the Third Reich’s
field marshals in reward for his successful rebuilding of the German
armed forces under the Nazi regime. His role as military commander
and adviser to the Führer soon came to an abrupt end, however, when
the scandalous details of his new marriage to a convicted prostitute
1938 Feb 4, Hitler seized
control of German army and put Nazis in key posts.
1938 Feb 20, Hitler demanded
self-determination for Germans in Austria and Czechoslovakia. As
Hitler's quest for Lebensraum ("living space") expanded into
Czechoslovakia, thousands of Czechoslovakian soldiers and airmen
escaped to participate in the liberation of their country.
1938 Mar 8, Herbert Hoover told
Hitler that his doctrine would be unacceptable and intolerable in
1938 Mar 9, In Vienna, Kurt
Schuschnigg defied the Nazis calling for a decree on independence.
1938 Mar 12, Germany invaded
Austria after the Austrian Nazi Party invited German troops to march
in and the union came to be know as the Anschluss. Hitler took over
Austria, as his mission to restore his homeland to the Third Reich,
and a chunk of Czechoslovakia. The Nazis took over Austria and
expelled all Jews and other political opponents from the
(WUD, 1994, p.1682)(TL, 1988, p.111)(TMC, 1994,
p.1938)(StuAus, April '95, p.18)(HN, 3/12/98)(AP, 3/12/98)
1938 Mar 24, The U.S. asked
that all powers help refugees fleeing from the Nazis.
1938 Mar 26, Herman Goering
warned all Jews to leave Austria.
1938 Apr 6, U.S. recognized the
German conquest of Austria.
1938 May 3, The concentration
camp at Flossenburg opened.
1938 Jun 3, The German Reich
voted to confiscate so-called "degenerate art."
1938 Jun 15, Ernst Ludwig
Kirchner (b.1880), German Expressionist painter, died by his own
1938 Jun 22, US boxing champion
Joe Louis knocked out Max Schmeling in the first round of their
heavyweight rematch at New York City's Yankee Stadium. Schmeling had
won their first fight in NYC on June 19,1936.
1938 July 6, Delegates from
thirty-two countries met for 9 days at the French resort of Evian to
discuss the problem of Jewish refugees from Germany and Austrian.
The German government was able to state with great pleasure how
"astounding" it was that foreign countries criticized Germany for
their treatment of the Jews, but none of them wanted to open the
doors to them when "the opportunity offer[ed]." The French foreign
ministry, the Quai d’Orsay, sabotaged the Evian conference on
European refugees, the only diplomatic effort to alleviate the fate
of “stateless" German and Austrian Jews.
1938 Jul 22, The Third Reich
issued special identity cards for Jewish Germans.
1938 Aug 9, Leo Frobenius
(1873-1938), German ethnologist and archaeologist, died in Italy. He
undertook his first expedition to Africa in 1904 to the Kasai
district in Congo. Frobenius had taught at the University of
Frankfurt. In 1925, the city acquired his collection of about 4700
prehistorical African stone paintings, which are currently at the
University's institute of ethnology, which was named the Frobenius
Institute in his honor in 1946.
1938 Sep 12, In a speech in
Nuremberg, Adolf Hitler demanded self-determination for the Sudeten
Germans in Czechoslovakia.
1938 Sep 14, Graf Zeppelin II,
world's largest airship, made its maiden flight.
1938 Sep 15, There was a
conference at Berchtesgaden between Adolf Hitler and British Prime
Minister Neville Chamberlain.
(WUD, 1994, p.1682)
1938 Sep 21, Winston Churchill
condemned Hitler's annexation of Czechoslovakia.
1938 Sep 25, President Franklin
Roosevelt urged negotiations between Hitler and Czech President
Benes over the Sudetenland.
1938 Sep 26, Hitler issued his
ultimatum to Czech government, demanding Sudetenland.
1938 Sep 27, Jewish lawyers
were forbidden to practice in Germany.
1938 Sep 29, British, French,
German and Italian leaders signed the Munich Agreement, which was
aimed at appeasing Adolf Hitler by allowing Nazi annexation of
Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland, inhabited by a German-speaking
minority. The treaty ceded three areas of Czechoslovakia to other
powers: the Sudetenland was annexed into Germany, the Teschen
district was given to Poland, and parts of Slovakia went to Hungary.
British PM Neville Chamberlain gained a brief peace agreement from
Hitler at Munich and without consulting the Czechs agreed that Nazi
forces could occupy Sudetenland. Some mark this "appeasement policy"
as the decisive event of the century. Chamberlain predicted "peace
in our time." French PM Edouard Daladier was very depressed from the
meeting. In 1980 Telford Taylor published "Munich: The Price of
Peace." It is a detailed political & diplomatic history of the
1930's in Europe, culminating in the Munich conference. Taylor later
helped write the rules for Nuremberg Trials. In 2008 David Vaughan
authored “Battle for the Airwaves: Radio and the 1938 Munich
6/9/96, Z1 p.5)(SFC, 6/16/96, Z1 p.6)(WSJ, 6/8/98, p.A21)(AP,
9/29/06)(SFC, 5/26/98, p.B2)(Econ, 10/11/08, p.115)
1938 Oct 1, Germany annexed
Sudetenland (1/3 of Czech Republic).
1938 Oct 7, Germany demanded
all Jewish passports stamped with letter J.
1938 Oct 10, Germany completed
its annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland.
1938 Oct 14, Nazis planned
Jewish ghettos for all major cities.
1938 Nov 1, German
colonel-general Gerd von Runstedt retired.
1938 Nov 2, Germany gave
southern Slovakia to Hungary.
(WUD, 1994, p.1682)
1938 Nov 7, Ernst vom Rath
(29), a German diplomat in Paris, was shot and mortally wounded by a
17-year-old Polish Jewish youth, Herschel Grynszpan, who had fled
from Germany to France. Rath died after two days and news of his
death triggered Nazi reprisals.
1938 Nov 9, Maurice Bavaud
(25), a Swiss theology student, failed in his attempt to shoot
Hitler at a Nazi parade in Munich. Switzerland, which followed a
policy of neutrality toward Germany before and during World War II,
failed to intervene on Bavaud's behalf, and he was guillotined in
May, 1941, in Berlin's notorious Ploetzensee prison.
1938 Nov 9, Kristallnacht took
place in Germany. Nazi leaders heard that a Jew had shot Ernst vom
Rath, a German diplomat in Paris, and ordered reprisals. Nazis
killed 35 Jews, arrested thousands and destroyed Jewish synagogues,
homes and stores throughout Germany and Austria in what became known
as Kristallnacht. 30,000 Jews were sent to concentration camps. The
event is depicted by Peter Gay in his 1998 book "My German
(AP, 11/9/97)(WSJ, 11/3/98, p.A20) (SFC,
11/10/98, p.A12)(SSFC, 11/10/13, DB p.46)
1938 Nov 11, German and
Austrian Jews suffered 1 billion Mark damage in the Nov 9 Nazi
Kristallnacht; Jews forced to wear Star of David.
1938 Nov 12, Hermann Goering
announced he favored Madagascar as a Jewish homeland.
1938 Nov 21, Nazi forces
occupied western Czechoslovakia and declared its people German
citizens. This annexation of Sudetenland was the first major
belligerent action by Hitler. The allies chose to sit still for it
in return for a promise of "peace in our time," which Hitler later
1938 Nov 30, Germany banned
Jews from being lawyers.
1938 Dec 6, France and Germany
signed a treaty of friendship.
1938 Dec 8, The Graf Zeppelin,
Germany's only aircraft carrier during World War II, was launched.
It was taken over by Russia after the war and last seen in 1947. In
2006 a Polish oil company found the wreckage on the sea floor about
38 miles north of the northern port city of Gdansk.
1938 Dec 15, Washington sent
its fourth note to Berlin demanding amnesty for Jews.
1938 Dec 29, Time Magazine
named Adolf Hitler as “Man of the Year."
(SSFC, 12/29/13, DB p.42)
1938 Paul-Louis Landsberg
(1901-1943), German philosopher, authored “The Experience of Death:
and The Moral Problem of Suicide." Landsberg, a Jewish Catholic,
died in a Nazi concentration camp.
(Econ, 7/12/08, p.92)(http://tinyurl.com/6bjhe7)
1938 Norbert Schultze (d.2002
at 91), German composer, wrote his song "Lili Marlene" based on a
WWI poem by Hans Leip "The Song of a Young Sentry." In 1980 Rainer
Werner Fassbinder directed the film "Lili Marlene." In 1996 Schultze
authored the book "With you, Lili Marlene."
(SFC, 10/26/02, p.A23)
1938 Herman Goering called for
the complete Aryanization of the retail stores owned by the retail
chain A. Wertheim. During the 1920s and 1930s the company had
purchased properties in East Berlin to block competitors from
acquiring sites near its flagship store near Leipziger Platz. In
2006 Germany validated a claim by Wertheim heirs to the property,
valued at some $350 million.
(WSJ, 3/29/02, p.A8)(SFC, 1/24/06, p.A2)
1938 The Nazis took a
collection of 12,500 posters taken from the home of Hans Sachs
(d.1974), who soon fled with his family to the US. On Jan 28, 2010,
a Berlin appeals court ruled that while Peter Sachs, the son of
collector Hans Sachs, is the owner of the posters, now worth
millions, he isn't entitled to their restitution by the
government-owned German Historical Museum.
1938 German SS officer Ernst
Schafer led an expedition Tibet in an effort to trace the origins of
the Aryan race. In 1939 he brought back a 23.4 statue of the
Buddhist god called Vaisravana that was carved from a meteorite that
had crashed to Earth thousands of years earlier. The existence of
the statue, perhaps a thousand years old, was only revealed in 2007.
(SFC, 9/28/12, p.A2)
1938 Alfred Flatow (1869-1942),
Jewish gymnast and three-time, first-place medalist in the 1896
Olympics, fled to the Netherlands. He was later arrested by the
Nazis for possession of guns following their occupation of the
Netherlands. Flatow was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration
camp in 1942 where he was starved to death.
1938-1945 This period was later covered by Klemens
von Klemperer in his: German Resistance Against Hitler: The Search
for Allies Abroad, 1938-1945."
(SFEC, 3/28/99, p.A30)
1938-2001 In 2001 Gitta Sereny authored "The
Healing Wound: Experiences and Reflections, Germany, 1938-2001."
(SSFC, 12/16/01, p.M3)