Germany Timeline

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Timeline of events in Germany 1918-1945

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Germany Timeline
1 8th November 1918-The Kaiser fled to Holland
1.1 11th November 1918-Germany agrees to sign armistice to end World War 1
1.1.1 Gave rise to the "stab in the back theory"-the idea that Germany had been betrayed by its politicians and that they could have fought on
1.1.1.1 Nationalists called Ebert's government the November Criminals
1.1.1.2 This was because the Kaiser never told bad news to the German people
1.1.2 Treaty of Versailles
1.1.2.1 German people told that the Treaty would be fair and based on Wilson's 14 points
1.1.2.1.1 However Germany was not allowed to participate in the discussions
1.1.2.1.1.1 This was known as DIKTAT
1.1.2.2 Impact of the Treaty
1.1.2.2.1 1.The German Army was reduced to 100,000 men. No tanks, airforces or submarines.this left Germany totally defenceless against other countries
1.1.2.2.1.1 They did not see other countries disarming
1.1.2.2.2 Alsace-Lorainne was returned to France, all German colonies were taken away, Poland was given German territory and the Rhineland was demilitarized.
1.1.2.2.3 Germany lost 10% of its land and 12.5% of its population.
1.1.2.2.3.1 Millions of Germans were now ruled by foreigners.
1.1.2.2.3.2 East Prussia was cut off from the rest of Germany by the Polish Corridor.
1.1.2.2.4 Germany had to pay REPARATIONS of £6.6 billion to compensate the allies for war damage.
1.1.2.2.5 Germans were very bitter about the treaty, only Germany was disarmed. Germans were denied national self-determination, they felt shamed by the war guilt clause.
1.1.2.3 Germany was now a Democratic Republic
1.1.2.3.1 The rules for it was set out in a COSTITUTION
1.1.2.3.1.1
1.1.2.3.1.2
1.1.2.3.1.2.1 The new constitution had several weaknesses
1.1.2.3.1.2.1.1 It used a system of PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION which meant that no party won more than half the votes between 1919 and 1933
1.1.2.3.1.2.1.1.1 This often lead to COALITIONS
1.1.2.3.1.2.1.1.1.1 All governments were coalitions and when faced with serious problems the coalitions often fell out.
1.1.2.3.1.2.1.2 Also many people such as the aristocratic families (Junkers), industrialists and members of the army did not like democracy. They wanted Germany to have one strong leader like before the war.
1.1.2.3.2 Freidrich Ebert is elected President
1.1.2.3.2.1 January 1919-Sparticist Uprising
1.1.2.3.2.1.1 In January 1919 communists in Berlin calling themselves Spartacists tried to overthrow the government. KARL LIEBKNECHT and ROSA LUXEMBURG led them.
1.1.2.3.2.1.2 They took over the main streets and public buildings in Berlin. Ebert was taken prisoner but was released when he promised to meet their demands.
1.1.2.3.2.1.3 Ebert called on the army to put down the rebellion but they refused. Many officers were OPPOSED to the new government.
1.1.2.3.2.1.3.1 Ebert was forced to ask the leaders of the FREIKORPS for help. These were bands of ex-soldiers who held on to their weapons and continued to follow their officers.
1.1.2.3.2.1.3.1.1 The well-armed Freikorps units killed thousands of communists and executed their leaders. The revolt was over
1.1.2.3.2.1.4 The Kapp Putsch-provoked when Ebert tries to disband the Friekorps due to the Treaty of Versailles limiting the army to 100,00-led by Dr Wolfgang Kapp
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.1 The Freikorps marched on Berlin in March 1920 and proclaimed Dr Wolfgang Kapp Germany’s new leader. The army refused to fire on the Freikorps, many of whom had fought alongside them in the war. The government fled Berlin.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.1.1 Ebert appealed to the ordinary people of Berlin for help. They went on a GENERAL STRIKE to show their opposition to Kapp. Kapp gave up and fled
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2 Invasion of the Ruhr
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.1
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.1.1 the French and Belgium invaded the Ruhr to seize raw materials such as coal because Germany had not payed its reparations as stated in the Treaty of Versailles.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.1.1.1 The industrial workers responded with passive resistance.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2 1923-Hyperinflation
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.1 The German government was unable to raise enough money to pay its bills and decided to print more. This got out of hand and resulted in hyperinflation.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.1.1 German money was worthless which ruined the lives of many people in Germany
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.1.1.1 German industry came to a halt and unemployment soared.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.1.1.1.1 People lost their life savings and were forced to sell their valuables to buy food. Workers had to take suitcases to work to collect their wages twice a day.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.1.1.1.1.1 Middle class people on monthly salaries suffered because pay could not keep up with price rises and any investments they had became worthless.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.1.1.1.1.1.1 Old age pensioners, disabled people and the unemployed who were on fixed incomes faced starvation because they did not have enough to buy food.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.1.1.2 However not everyone lost out. People who had borrowed money found it easy to repay in worthless marks. Some businessmen made fortunes in this way.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2 November 8th-Munich/Beerhall Putsch
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.1 Adolf Hitler made his first bid for power when Germany was at its weakest
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.1.1 He believed that the army and people would support him
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.1.1.1 Hitler and a group of armed Nazis took members of the Bavarian government as hostages
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.1.1.1.1 The next day Hitler and his supporters marched on Munich on their way to army barracks. Police and troops stopped them. Eleven people were killed.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.1.1.1.1.1 Hitler was put on trial and sentenced to 5 years but only served 9 months as the judges sympathised with him
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.1.1.1.1.1.1 Hitler then decided to use legal means to gain power. As soon as he came out of prison he reorganised the Nazi party
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2 Stresemann becomes chancellor of Germany
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.1 Stresemann and Ebert scrapped the worthless mark and introduced new money called the RENTENMARK
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.1.1 Government spending was also cut(700,000 government workers lost their jobs).
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.1.1.1 Hyperinflation finally came to an end when the Americans agreed to the DAWES PLAN in 1924.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.1.1.1.1 The Dawes Plan gave Germany loans of 800 million gold marks
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.1.1.1.1.1
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.1.1.1.2 It was also decided that Germany should be given longer to pay
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.1.1.1.2.1 This gave Germany economic stability.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.1.1.1.2.1.1 Germany’s recovery was totally dependent on American loans. These loans were for a short period only. The American banks could demand their money back at a very short notice if they wanted.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2 1925-The Locarno Treaty
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.1 This meant that Germany agreed to accept the borders between Germany, France and Belgium which had been set out in the Treaty of Versailles.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.1.1 It improved Germany’s relations with France, Britain and the USA.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.1.1.1 However it left Poland and Czechoslovakia feeling nervous as it did not say anything about their borders
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2 1926-Germany is invited to join League of Nations
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.1 Showed that Germany was accepted by the rest of the world again.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.1 Allowed Stresemann to negotiate some of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2 1928-Kellogg-Briand Pact
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1 This stated that they would not use war as part of their foreign policy.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2 The Young Plan
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1 This reduced Germany’s reparations payments and spread them out to make them easier.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2 Art and culture in the Weimar Republic flourished
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1 1929-The Great Depression
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.1 Wall Street Crash in America caused a worldwide depression. Unemployment in Germany rose from under 2 million to over 6 million between 1930 and 1932.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.1.1 As a result, many Germans turned to extreme political parties such as the Communists and the Nazis who claimed they could solve Germany’s problems. Both parties wanted to end democracy.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2 March 1932-Presidential Elections
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1 January 1933-Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.1 Many thought that he would not be chancellor for long because:
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.1.1 He had limited power – he needed the support of Hindenburg who disliked him.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.1.2 There were only two Nazis in the Cabinet
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.1.3 Conservatives believed they could control Hitler
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.1.4 In two months we’ll have pushed Hitler into a corner so hard that he’ll be squealing’ – Von Papen
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.1.5 However Hitler had some advantages such as the fact that...
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.1.5.1 He was the leader of the largest single party
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.1.5.2 The Conservatives needed him more than he needed them – the alternative would be civil war
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.1.5.3 He now had access to state resources – Goebbels could now use the state printing press for propaganda.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2 February 27th 1933-Reichstag Fire
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.1 A Dutch communist, Marinus Van der Lubbe confessed to starting the fire
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.1.1 Hitler used what had happened to claim that the communists were trying to seize power and had 4000 leading communists arrested.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.1.1.1 Hitler persuaded Hindenburg to sign a "Decree for the Protection of People and the state"
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.1.1.1.1 He used these emergency powers to prevent his opponents from holding meetings
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2 23rd March 1933-Enabling Act passed
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.1 This would give Hitler the power to make laws without the Reichstag for 4 years
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.1.1 To make sure that he got the majority he wanted, Hitler ordered the stormtroopers to surround the building to intimidate the voters
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2 20th June 1933-Concordat
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.1 Hitler makes an agreement with the Pope who sees him as someone who can destroy communism. This agreement allows Hitler to take over political power in Germany as long as he leaves the Catholic Church alone.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2 30th June 1934-Night of the Long Knives
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2.1 The leaders of the SA wanted Hitler to merge the SA with the German army. The force would be put under the control of the SA leader, Ernst Rohm.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2.1.1 However the army did not want to be controlled by Rohm.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2.1.1.1 So on the night of the 30th June 1934 Hitler ordered his elite bodyguard the SS to arrest and execute the leaders of the SA. Hitler had made up a file which accused Rohm of plotting to overthrow him. Hitler also took the opportunity to settle a few old scores and had Von Schleicher his predecessor put to death.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2.1.1.1.1 This eliminated all opposition to Hitler from his party.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2.1.1.1.1.1 Now he also had the loyalty of the army who swore an oath of allegiance not to Germany but to HITLER
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2.2 2nd August 1934-Death of Hindenburg
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.1 19th August 1934-Fuhrer
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.1.1 Hitler decided that the country no longer needed a president and merged chancellor and president into a new title Fuhrer.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.1.1.1 Hitler was now total leader of Germany
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.1.2 September 1935-Nuremburg Laws
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1 August 1936-Berlin Olympics
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.1 November 9th-10th-Kristallnacht
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.1.1 When a Nazi diplomat was shot dead in Paris, Hitler ordered attacks Jewish homes,synagogues and their property
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.1.1.1 In the morning the Jews were ordered to clear up the mess. The also had to pay a fine of 1 million marks for the eventual clear-up.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2 chance for germany to show off their skills and prove their beliefs
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.2 Jews were forbidden to marry or have sexual relations with Germans. They could not be German citizens or vote.
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.2 Hitler stood for president but lost to Paul von Hindenburg who had been a great army general
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2 There was less censorship
1.1.2.3.2.1.4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1 But some Germans hated the new ideas in art and saw them as decadent and unpatriotic.  They wanted art to celebrate the traditional values of German society. They saw the new artistic styles, popular music, jazz and clubs showed how Germany was going into moral decline.
1.2 A new Provisional government took over.
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