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Study notes

Weimar & Nazi Germany (1918-39) - Timeline of Key Events

  • Levels: GCSE
  • Exam boards: AQA, Edexcel, OCR

Here is a summary timeline of key events GCSE for students covering Weimar & Nazi Germany (1918-39).


9th November 1918: Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicates his throne

The Emperor of Germany leaves after initially refusing to agree to surrender. After several protests and a mutiny of German sailors in Kiel, he leaves Germany for the Netherlands.

11th November 1918: The Armistice is signed

Germany signs an armistice, bringing an end to the fighting.

5th-12th January 1919: The Spartacist Uprising

The Spartacist League hold an uprising in Berlin. Leaders include Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. The Freikorps suppress the rebellion.

February-June 1919: Weimar National Assembly established

The first Assembly of the Weimar Republic is established and drafts the Constitution. Friedrich Ebert is elected President.

28th June 1919: Germany signs the Treaty of Versailles

Germany signs the Treaty of Versailles - the peace treaty that ends the First World War.

11th August 1919: The Weimar Constitution is signed

The Constitution of the Weimar Republic is signed and introduces much greater democracy.

13th March 1920: The Kapp Putsch

A revolt in Berlin led by Wolfgang Kapp supported by the Freikorps. A strike brings the Putsch to an end.

11th January 1923: Occupation of the Ruhr

French and Belgian troops occupy the Ruhr industrial region as Germany had stopped paying reparations.

1923: Hyperinflation begins

Prices begin to rise rapidly made worse by the printing of money to pay striking workers in the Ruhr. The Reichsmark becomes worthless.

13th August 1923: Stresemann becomes Chancellor and Foreign Minister

Gustav Stresemann becomes Chancellor and Foreign Minister.

8th November 1923: The Munich Putsch

The Nazis attempt a failed putsch in Munich. Hitler is sent to Landsberg prison for his role in it.

August 1924: The Dawes Plan

The agreement helps Germany with its reparations.

18th July 1925: Mein Kampf published

Mein Kampf, Hitler’s book is published with his ideas for Germany.

16th October 1925: The Locarno Pact

Germany agrees to the border set out in the Treaty of Versailles.

14th February 1926: The Bamberg Conference

Hitler meets with leading Nazis to reorganize the party and cement his authority.

8th September 1926: Germany joins the League of Nations

Germany is admitted to the League of Nations. This had been prohibited under the Treaty of Versailles.

27th August 1928: Kellogg-Briand Pact agreed

The Kellogg-Briand Pact binds nations into an agreement not to use war as a method of solving disputes.

31st August 1929: Young Plan agreed

The Young Plan significantly reduces German reparations and gives Germany longer to pay them.

3rd October 1929: Gustav Stresemann dies

Former Chancellor and Foreign Minister who helped the Weimar Republic recover, dies of a stroke.

29th October 1929: Wall Street Crash

The US Stock market crashes triggering events that lead to the Great Depression in the 1930s.

31st July 1932: Nazis largest party in the Reichstag

The Nazis win 230 seats in the Reichstag election making them the largest party. 37% of voters support Hitler and the Nazis.

30th January 1933: Hitler appointed Chancellor

Hitler is appointed Chancellor by President Hindenburg.

27th February 1933: Reichstag Fire

Fire rips through the Reichstag building and Dutch Communist Van der Lubbe is arrested and executed for starting it.

28th February 1933: Reichstag Fire decree

The Nazis use the fire to pass a decree banning the Communist Party and suspending some civil liberties.

23rd March 1933: The Enabling Act passes the Reichstag

The Enabling Act gives Hitler complete authority in Germany.

1st April 1933: Boycott of Jewish shops and businesses

The Nazis organise a boycott of Jewish shops and businesses. The SA are used to intimidate customers.

26th April 1933: Establishment of the Gestapo

The official secret police of Nazi Germany is created by Hermann Göring.

20th July 1933: Concordat with the Catholic Church

The Nazis and Catholic Church sign an agreement to leave each other alone.

30th June 1934: Night of the Long Knives

Hitler removes enemies of the party through a purge of critics. Victims include Ernst Röhm (the Head of the SA) and other leading Nazis.

2nd August 1934: Death of President Hindenburg

Hindenburg dies of Lung Cancer. Hitler proclaims the merging of the roles of Chancellor and President. Hitler is undisputed ruler of Germany.

15th September 1935: Nuremberg Laws

The Nazis pass the Nuremberg Laws which restrict freedoms for Jews and seek to define a Jew.

Summer 1936: Berlin Olympics

Berlin stages the Olympic Games which become a propaganda tool. Hitler is embarrassed when US Athlete Jesse Owens wins Gold.

9th November 1938: Kristallnacht

A night of violence across Germany against Jews. SS members riot and destroy synagogues and Jewish businesses

1st September 1939: Second World War begins

Germany invades Poland under the terms of the Nazi Soviet Pact. Britain and France declare war on Germany two days later.


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