Hitler's Germany: 1920-1945



24 February 1920

German Worker's Party (DAP) changed its name to National Socialist German Worker's Party (NSDAP or Nazi Party). 25-point programme was announced in the first meeting.

SA formed

November 4, 1921

The SA, known as the 'stormtroopers' or 'brownshirts', were formed.

Munich Putsch

November 8, 1923

Attempt to overthrow the government that failed. He was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment but only served 10 months. In this time he wrote 'Mein Kampf'.

SS formed

April 4, 1925

Originally formed as Hitler's 'bodyguards' but later became the party militia.

Hitler Youth formed

July 4, 1926

The party had a youth section since it started, but its new re-organised Hitler Youth was more integrated into the SA.

First Nuremburg Rally meeting

August 20, 1927

The first annual party conference was held at Nuremburg.

Election - 18.3%

September 14, 1930

The NSDAP gained 18.3% of the vote in the Reichstag elections to become the second largest party.

Election - 37.4%

July 31, 1932

The NSDAP gaimed 37.4% of the vote in the Reichstag elections to become the largest party.

Hitler appointed Chancellor

January 30, 1933

Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Hindenburg.

Hitler's Foreign Policy formed

February 3, 1933

Hitler defined the Nazi Party foreign policy. This included: destroying the ToV, uniting all German speakers and implementing 'Lebensraum'.

Reichstag Fire

February 27, 1933

A fire that broke out at the Reichstag building was blamed on the Communist Party (KPD), on a man named Marinus van der Lubbe. As a result, the KPD, which was the second largest party in Germany, was banned.

Election - 44%

March 5, 1933

With the Communist Party banned, Hitler ordered a new election at which the Nazi Party gained 44% of the vote.

Enabling Act

March 23, 1933

The Enabling Act gave Hitler the power to make laws without consulting the Reichstag for a period of four years.

Nazi Takeover

April 26, 1933

The Nazis take-over the local government.

Gestapo formed

April 26, 1933

The Gestapo (the Nazi Secret Police) were formed.

Trade Unions banned

May 2, 1933

Trade Unions were banned.

'Action Against the Un-German Spirit' Movement

May 10, 1933

25,000 'un-German' books burned in the movement that was encouraged by Joseph Goebbels, head of the Nazi Party's propaganda.

All other political parties banned

July 14, 1933

All political parties except the Nazis were banned.

League of Nations withdrawal

October 1933

Germany withdrew from the League of Nations (LoN).

The Night of the Long Knives

June 30, 1934

150 leaders of the SA were executed. Many members of the SA were committed socialists and demanded that Nazi policy embrace socialist aims. This was not a direction the Nazis wanted to take so the SA were eliminated.

Hindenburg dies

August 2, 1934

President Hindenburg dies. Hitler declared himself as 'Fuhrer'; combining the post of President and Chancellor.

Hitler defines Women's role

September 1934

In a speech to the National Socialist Women's Organisation, Hitler defined women's role, stating a woman's "world is her husband, her family, her children and her home." He later developed this into the three Ks: Kinder, Kuche, Kirche. (Children, Kitchen, Church).

German Airforce formed

February 26, 1935

Hitler ordered Hermann Goering to establish the Luftwaffe (German airforce) in defiance to the terms of the ToV.

Conscription introduced

March, 1935

Hitler publicly announced that the German army was to be expanded. Conscription was then introduced.

Reoccupation of the Rhineland

March 7, 1936

In contravention of the terms of the ToV, Hitler sent German troops into the Rhineland with, surprisingly, no backlash from the allies.

Alliance between Germany and Italy formed

October 25, 1936

Anti-Comintern Pact

November 25, 1936

Anti-Comintern Pact concluded between Germany and Japan.

Hitler Youth made compulsory for boys

December 1936

Law made membership of the Hitler Youth compulsory for all German boys.


March 14, 1938

The Anschluss with Austria was formed. Hitler made a triumphant entry into Vienna.

Munich Agreement

September 30, 1938

Allies agreed that Germany could have the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia in return for world peace.

Invasion of Czechoslovakia

March 15, 1939

Hitler invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia in contravention of the Munich Agreement.

Britain back Poland

March 31, 1939

Britain issued a statement guaranteeing Poland's independence. The issuing of this statement meant that if Germany invaded Poland, then Britain would come to the aid of the Poles.

Nazi-Soviet Pact

August 23, 1939

Alliance between Hitler and Stalin which agreed to divide Poland between the two countries.

Invasion of Poland

September 1, 1939

Hitler invaded Poland. Although the Poles fought back, they were quickly defeated and Poland was occupied.

War declared on Germany

September 3, 1939

Britain and France declared war on Germany.

Denmark and Norway Invaded

April 9, 1940

Denmark and Norway invaded and occupied by Germany.

Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France Invaded

May 10, 1940

Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France invaded and occupied by Germany.

Battle of Britain

July 10, 1940

German Luftwaffe attempted to gain control of British airspace through defeat of the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Bombing of Britain abandoned

October 1940

Bomb raids on Britain (The Blitz) by the Luftwaffe were abandoned. Hitler also delayed and later abandoned plans to invade Britain.

Yugoslavia and Greece Invaded

April 6, 1941

Yugoslavia and Greece invaded and occupied by Germany.

Operation Barbarossa

June 22, 1941

Three million German troops invaded Russia.

War declared on the USA

December 11, 1941

Hitler declared war on the United States. Following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December, the US had declared war on Japan. Under the terms of the Anti-Comintern Pact, Hitler was bound to declare war on the US.

Final Solution

January 20, 1942

Wannsee Conference approved plans for the 'Final Solution'.

Germany defeated in North Africa

November 5, 1942

German troops defeated at the Second Battle of El Alamein in North Africa.

First Allied Bombing on German Cities

March 4, 1943

First Allied bombing raid on German cities.

Operation Overlord and Neptune

June 6, 1944

Operation Neptune was the codename for the many landing operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 (termed D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord (the Battle of Normandy).

Failed Assassination of Hitler

July 20, 1944

July Bomb Plot failed attempt to assassinate Hitler.

Hitler Commits Suicide

April 30, 1945

Germany surrender

May 2, 1945

Germany surrendered ending the war in Europe.