This Weimar Republic timeline includes significant political, economic and social events in Germany, from 1929 to 1933. Written by Alpha History authors.
June 7th: The Young Plan is accepted by Germany. It further revises the final reparations figure and schedules 59 annual payments.
October 3rd: After two months of serious ill health, foreign minister Gustav Stresemann suffers a fatal stroke, aged 51. The foreign press mourns his loss, hailing him as a champion of the “new Germany”.
October 16th: Several nationalist groups, led by newspaper baron Alfred Hugenberg, initiate a referendum bill, dubbed the Liberty Law. It calls for the rejection of the Young Plan, the Versailles treaty and Germany’s reparations obligations.
October 24th: Wall Street stock exchange in New York crashes, later leading to the Great Depression.
December 22nd: Hugenberg’s Liberty Law fails after being voted down by the Reichstag and gaining only 14 per cent of the public vote.
March 27th: Another Weimar coalition government collapses. The Centre Party’s Heinrich Bruning is appointed chancellor of a minority government.
July: French troops leave the Rhineland.
July 16th: President Hindenburg dissolves the Reichstag and begins to issue Bruning’s policies as emergency decrees.
September 14th: Reichstag elections result in increased support for both the NSDAP and KPD.
May: Unemployment figures in Germany reach four million.
May 11th: Austria’s largest bank collapses and declares bankruptcy. The flow-on effects lead to a banking crisis in Germany.
June 20th: The Hoover Moratorium. US president Herbert Hoover suspends payment of all war debts, including reparations, for a period of one year.
July 13th: A banking crisis erupts when the Danat Bank, one of the three largest banks, fails to open. This prompts a run on the banks.
July 27th: A Frankfurt political and economic society collects a petition for Hitler’s appointment as chancellor of the republic.
February 26th: Hitler officially becomes a German citizen, having previously been considered a ‘stateless person’.
April 10th: Paul von Hindenburg re-elected as German president, defeating Adolf Hitler by a small margin.
May 30st: Unable to govern effectively without support in the Reichstag, chancellor Heinrich Bruning resigns. Bruning’s 26 months in office makes him the longest serving of all Weimar chancellors.
June 1st: Hindenburg plucks Prussian conservative Franz von Papen from political obscurity and appoints him as chancellor.
June 16th: Papen lifts a ban on the Sturmabteilung (SA, or ‘Brownshirts’), the Nazi Party’s thuggish paramilitary branch.
July: The Nazi newspaper Volkischer Beobachter carries a petition for Hitler’s appointment as chancellor, allegedly signed by 51 influential academics.
July 9th: The Lausanne Conference in Switzerland votes for an indefinite suspension of Germany’s reparations payments, due to the Great Depression.
July 31st: Nazis (NSDAP) win 230 of the 608 seats in Reichstag elections. The Communist Party (KPD) also increases its vote.
August 13th: As leader of the largest party in the Reichstag, Hitler meets with President Hindenburg and Chancellor von Papen.
August 13th: Hitler publicly declares that he will not accept any ministry or role in the government, other than chancellor.
October: Papen, unable to govern effectively, calls another election to reform the Reichstag.
November 6th: General election sees the Nazis lose 34 seats, however they still occupy almost two-thirds of the Reichstag.
November 19th: President Hindenburg receives the Industrielleneingabe, or ‘Industrial Petition’, a document signed by 20 influential business leaders, urging him to appoint Hitler as chancellor.
December 3rd: Papen is unable to hold together the coalition government. Kurt von Schleicher becomes chancellor.
January 28th: Kurt von Schleicher resigns as chancellor; Hindenburg is pressured to appoint Hitler as his successor.
January 30th: Adolf Hitler sworn in as German chancellor.
February 20th: Hitler holds a secret meeting with around two dozen wealthy German industrialists, who pledge approximately two million marks to the Nazi campaign fund.
February 27th: Fire destroys part of the Reichstag building in Berlin. Hitler immediately blames communist revolutionaries.
February 28th: Hitler persuades President Hindenburg to issue the Reichstag Fire Decree, removing many civil and legal rights.
March 5th: Another general election. In the wake of the Reichstag fire, the Nazis increase their representation to 288 seats.
March 6th: The KPD is declared an illegal organisation. The Nazi regime begins to arrest and detain KPD members.
March 22nd: The Nazis open their first concentration camp for political prisoners in Dachau, near Munich.
March 23rd: The NSDAP, with the assistance of the Centre Party, passes the Enabling Act. It permits Hitler and his ministers to effectively pass laws without the Reichstag.
March 23rd: SPD leaders in the Reichstag make a statement promising to cooperate with the Hitler government.
April 7th: The Law for the Restoration of the Civil Service removes Jews and socialists from the public service.
April 26th: The formation of the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police.
May 1st: The Nazis raid trade union offices and arrest union leaders, then ban all trade unions in Germany.
June 23rd: A presidential decree declares the SPD an illegal organisation and orders the arrest of party leaders.
July 5th: At the urging of Franz von Papen, the Centre Party voluntarily disbands itself, in return for assurances that Catholic schools and youth groups would be protected.
July 14th: The NSDAP becomes the only recognised political party in Germany; all other parties are banned.
This page was written by Jennifer Llewellyn, Jim Southey, Brian Doone and Steve Thompson. To reference this page, use the following citation:
J. Llewellyn et al, “Weimar Republic who’s who”, Alpha History, accessed [today’s date], http://alphahistory.com/weimarrepublic/weimar-republic-whos-who/.