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  • End of WWI

    End of WWI
    Injured national pride. Extreme left and right political parties fight for control.
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    Rise of the Nazi Party

  • NSDAP (Nazi Party)

    NSDAP (Nazi Party)
    Adolf Hitler joined the German Workers' Party in 1919 and rose to leadership. He encouraged national pride, militarism, and a commitment to the "Volk". Hitler condemned the Jews, exploiting antisemitic feelings that had prevailed in Europe for centuries. He changed the name of the party to the National Socialist German Workers' Party, aka. the Nazi Party (or NSDAP). By the end of 1920, the Nazi Party had about 3,000 members. A year later Hitler became its official leader, or Führer.
  • Beer Hall Putsch

    Beer Hall Putsch
    Hitler's attempt at an armed overthrow of local authorities in Munich, known as the Beer Hall Putsch, failed. They were jailed and charged with high treason. However, Hitler used the courtroom at his public trial as a propaganda platform, ranting for hours against the Weimar government. The right-wing presiding judges sympathized with Hitler and sentenced him to only five years in prison, with eligibility for early parole. Hitler was released from prison after one year.
  • Mein Kampf

    Mein Kampf
    While in prison, Hitler wrote volume one of Mein Kampf (published in 1925). This work detailed Hitler's radical ideas of German nationalism, antisemitism, and anti-Bolshevism. Hitler's book became the ideological base for the Nazi Party's beliefs and practices.
  • Great Depression

    Great Depression
    The Great Depression began in 1929 and wrought worldwide economic, social, and psychological consequences. The Weimar democracy proved unable to cope with national despair as unemployment doubled from 3 to 6 million to six million by 1932. The existing "Great Coalition" government, a combination of left-wing and conservative parties, collapsed while arguing about the rising cost of unemployment benefits.
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  • Hitler appointed Chancellor

    Hitler appointed Chancellor
    President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler Chancellor.
  • Reichstag Fire

    Reichstag Fire
    The Reichstag building went up in flames. Nazis immediately claimed that this was the beginning of a Communist revolution. This fact leads many historians to believe that Nazis actually set, or help set the fire. This incident prompted Hitler to convince Hindenburg to issue a Decree for the Protection of People and State that granted Nazis sweeping power to deal with the so-called emergency. This laid the foundation for a police state.
  • President Hindenburg dies

    President Hindenburg dies
    Hitler combined the offices of Reich Chancellor and President, declaring himself Führer and Reich Chancellor, or "Reichsführer" (Leader of the Reich).
  • Nuremberg Laws enacted

    Nuremberg Laws enacted
    These laws stripped Jews of their civil rights as German citizens and separated them from Germans legally, socially, and politically. Jews were also defined as a separate race under "The Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor." Being Jewish was now determined by ancestry; thus the Germans used race, not religious beliefs or practices, to define the Jewish people.
  • Berlin Olympics

    Berlin Olympics
  • Anschluss

    In March 1938, Germany took over Austria without bloodshed. The Anschluss occurred with the overwhelming approval of the Austrian people. No countries protested this violation of the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Sudetenland Occupation

    Sudetenland Occupation
    The northwestern area of Czechoslovakia, which had 3 million German-speaking citizens, was called the Sudetenland. First, Hitler met with British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and threatened war. Then at the Munich Conference, Hitler prevailed upon Britain, France and, Italy to agree to the cession of the Sudetenland. The Western powers chose appeasement rather than military confrontation. Germany occupied the Sudetenland on October 15, 1938.
  • Kristallnacht

    Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels initiated this free-for-all against the Jews, during which nearly 1,000 synagogues were set on fire and 76 were destroyed. More than 7,000 Jewish businesses and homes were looted, about one hundred Jews were killed and as many as 30,000 Jews were arrested. The Nazis further persecuted the Jews by forcing them to pay for the damages of Kristallnacht.
  • Yellow Stars Required

    Yellow Stars Required
    Yellow stars required to be worn by Polish Jews over age 10.
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    The Ghettos

  • Invasion of Poland

    Invasion of Poland
    On September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland, officially starting World War II. Two days later, Britain and France, now obliged by treaty to help Poland, declared war on Germany. Hitler's armies used the tactic of Blitzkrieg.
  • First deportation of German Jews into occupied Poland

  • Nazis invade Denmark & Norway

  • Nazis invade France, Belgium, Holland, & Luxemburg

  • Nazis invade Romania

  • Krakow & Warsaw Ghettos sealed off

  • Nazis occupy Paris

  • France signs an armistice with Hitler

  • Nazis occupy Bulgaria

  • Nazis invade Yugoslavia & Greece

  • Nazis invade Russia

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    The Camps

  • Pearl Harbor attack

    Pearl Harbor attack
    Japanese attack United States at Pearl Harbor. The next day the U.S. and Great Britain declare war on Japan.
  • Hitler declares war on the US

  • Mass killings using Zyklon-B begin

    Mass killings using Zyklon-B begin
    Mass killings of Jews using Zyklon-B begin at Auschwitz-Birkenau in with the bodies being buried in mass graves in a nearby meadow.
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  • Operation Reinhard

    Operation Reinhard
    Himmler orders Operation Reinhard, mass deportations of Jews in Poland to extermination camps.
  • First resistance by Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.

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    Rescue and Liberation

  • Nazis occupy Hungary

  • D-Day

    Allied landings in Normandy on the coast of northern France.
  • Hitler commits suicide in his Berlin bunker.

    Hitler commits suicide in his Berlin bunker.
  • Opening of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal

    Opening of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal