UC Santa Barbara > History Department > Prof. Marcuse > Courses > Hist 133b Homepage > Files > Nazi Timeline 1923-1941

UCSB Hist 133 B, Winter 2007 (homepage)
German History, 1900-1945

Prof. Marcuse (homepage)

The Nazi Party's Rise to Power
(pdf print version-2 pages)

Glossary (back to top)

  • SA: Sturmabteilung, rough-and-ready troops organized in 1920 to protect Nazi party meetings; made into paramilitary army by Free Corps officers; ca. 700,000 members in 1933; unimportant after June 1934.*
  • SS: Schutzstaffel, special body-guard detail formed in 1925 to protect top Nazis; later inner-Party police (SD=Security Service) and elite fighting army of up to 1 million soldiers.
  • Gleichschaltung : "coordination," i.e. removal or destruction of all organizations and affiliations competing with the NSDAP; replacement by Nazi organizations (1933-34).
  • Eintopfgericht : "one pot meal," ["Casserole Sunday"] required every week to save resources & show solidarity.
  • Volk: people or nation; Volksgemeinschaft: "national community"
  • Volksempfänger, Volkswagen: type of radio and car mass produced so cheaply that anyone could afford one.
  • Kraft durch Freude: "Strength through Joy:" Nazi vacation program for the masses.


Dates (back to top)


Nov. 9

"Beer Hall Putsch" by Hitler, Ludendorff, Frick, Göring, Himmler, Röhm and others



Trial of Hitler; 5-year sentence commuted after one year.



NSDAP (Nazi Party), prohibited Apr 1924, refounded. Reichstag election results:



    .8 mio= 2.6%



  6.4 mio=18%



13.7 mio=37%



11.7 mio=33%



Heinrich Brüning (Center) appointed Reich Chancellor (until June 1932)



Harzburg Front: alliance of DNVP, Stahlhelm and NSDAP



presidential election: Hindenburg 47%, Hitler 30%; runoff: 53:37% (+KPD)


Dec. 2:

Franz von Papen (right wing in Center) appointed Chancellor
v.Schleicher chancellor


Jan. 30

so-called Seizure of Power: actually Hindenburg appoints Hitler


Feb. 27

Reichstag Fire; 28th: emergency decree


Mar. 5

elections: NSDAP 44%, DNVP 8% secure majority


Mar. 20

Dachau concentration camp opened


Mar. 23

Enabling Act opposed only by SPD: Executive can make the laws


Apr. 1

24 hour boycott of Jewish stores and businesses (reduced from 1 week)


Apr. 7

Law for the Reconstruction of the Civil Service (no Jews or opponents)


May 2

Trade Unions prohibited after May 1st celebrations


May 10

Public book burnings


July 14

Gleichschaltung begins (SPD banned June 22)


July 20

Reichskonkordat with the Vatican


Oct. 14

Germany leaves the League of Nations (anti-Versailles 1)


Dec. 1

'Law for Safeguarding Unity of Party and State'


June 30

"Night of Long Knives"; Ernst Röhm, v. Schleicher, Gregor Strasser etc. "purged"


July 25

Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss assassinated (he and Mussolini opposed Hitler & Nazis)


Aug. 2

Hindenburg dies; Hitler becomes "Führer and Reich Chancellor"


Oct. 20

"German Labor Front" founded


Jan. 13

Saar region "returns to the Reich" (anti-Versailles 2)


Mar. 16

Reimposition of the draft, to rebuild army (anti-Versailles 3)


Sept. 15

Nuremberg Laws


Mar. 7

military returns to the Rhineland (anti-Versailles 4)



Olympics in Berlin


July 18

Start of Spanish Civil War (until Mar. 1939); 26 Apr 37 Guernica bombed


Oct. 25

Axis alliance with Rome


Mar. 12

German troops occupy Austria (anti-Versailles 5)


Sept. 29

Munich Agreement


Oct. 1

German troops occupy Sudeten area of Czechoslovakia


Nov. 9

"Crystal Night" Pogrom


Mar. 15

German troops occupy Czechoslovakia


May 22

military alliance with Italy


Aug. 23

"Hitler-Stalin Pact"


Sept. 1
Sept. 3

German troops enter Poland /
Britain and France declare war on Germany


Apr. 9

Germany invades and occupies Denmark and Norway


May 10

Western campaign begins (Netherlands, Belgium, France)


June 22

Armistice with France


Aug. 13

Beginning of the Battle of Britain


Mar. 30

African campaign begins


Apr. 6

Yugoslavia and Greece attacked by Germany


June 22

Surprise attack on the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa)


Dec. 11

Germany declares war on the United States

Quotations (back to top)

  • Hitler's first antisemitic writing, September 16, 1919 :
    "The danger posed by Jewry for our people today finds expression in the undeniable aversion of wide sections of our people. The cause of this aversion is not to be found in a clear recognition of the consciously or unconsciously systematic and pernicious effect of the Jews as a totality upon our nation. Rather, it arises mostly from personal contact and from the personal impression which the individual Jew leaves--almost always an unfavorable one. For this reason, antisemitism is too easily characterized as a mere emotional phenomenon. And yet this is incorrect. Antisemitism as a political movement may not and cannot be defined by emotional impulses, but by recognition of the facts. The facts are these: First, Jewry is absolutely a race and not a religious association. Even the Jews never designate themselves as Jewish Germans, Jewish Poles, or Jewish Americans but always as German, Polish, or American Jews. Jews have never yet adopted much more than the language of the foreign nations among whom they live. A German who is forced to make use of the French language in France, Italian in Italy, Chinese in China does not thereby become a Frenchman, Italian, or Chinaman. It's the same with the Jew who lives among us and is forced to make use of the German language. He does not thereby become a German. Neither does the Mosaic faith, so important for the survival of this race, settle the question of whether someone is a Jew or non-Jew. There is scarcely a race whose members belong exclusively to just one definite religion.
    Through thousands of years of the closest kind of inbreeding, Jews in general have maintained their race and their peculiarities far more distinctly than many of the peoples among whom they have lived. And thus comes the fact that there lives amongst us a non- German, alien race which neither wishes nor is able to sacrifice its racial character or to deny its feeling, thinking, and striving. Nevertheless, it possesses all the political rights we do. If the ethos of the Jews is revealed in the purely material realm, it is even clearer in their thinking and striving. Their dance around the golden calf is becoming a merciless struggle for all those possessions we prize most highly on earth."

  • Hitler at his trial in 1924 : "The army we have formed is growing from day to day . . . I nurse the proud hope that one day the hour will come when these rough companies will grow to battalions, the battalions to regiments, the regiments to divisions, when the old banner will be taken from the mud, when the old flags will wave again, when there will be a reconciliation at that last great divine judgment which we are prepared to face . . . For it is not you, gentlemen, who will pass judgment on us. That judgment is spoken by the eternal court of history. … You may pronounce us guilty a thousand times over, but the goddess of the eternal court of history will smile and tear to shreds the brief of the State Prosecutor and the sentence of this court. For she acquits us."
  • Question 3 due Tuesday:

    • Name 2 paradoxes about the Nazi use of violence.
    • Name 2 ways that Nazism changed family and/or village life.
    • What changes in the Hitler Youth gave rise to alternative movements by the late 1930s? Describe 2 such movements (1 sentence each).
    • List 4 of the 7 bases of the Hitler Myth. What one event did most to deflate it?

handout prepared for web by H. Marcuse on Feb. 1, 2007, updated: /07
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