This Weimar Republic timeline includes significant political, economic and social events in Germany between the start of 1921 to the end of 1923. Written by Alpha History authors.
March 21st: In a plebiscite [vote] held in the border region of Upper Silesia, the people elect to remain part of Germany.
March 25th: The Allies alter the German-Polish border, giving Poland control of around one-third of Upper Silesia. Though fair, this decision causes outrage among German nationalist groups.
May 4th: Disputes over foreign policy and reparations cause the collapse of the government coalition and the resignation of chancellor Constantin Fehrenbach.
May 5th: The London Commission sets the final reparations figure at 132 billion gold marks or 6.6 billion British pounds, to be payable in annual instalments of 1.5 per cent.
May 6th: The Weimar government signs an agreement with the Soviet Union, recognising the Communist Party there as the legitimate government in Russia.
May 10th: Centre Party politician and finance minister Joseph Wirth is appointed chancellor.
July 29th: Adolf Hitler becomes the leader of the National Socialists (NSDAP), following a series of disputes over leadership and policy.
August 26th: Center Party politician and 1918 armistice signer Matthias Erzberger is murdered by Freikorps members.
September 14th: Adolf Hitler is arrested for participating in an assault against a Bavarian separatist. He is later sentenced to three months in prison.
October 22nd: Chancellor Joseph Wirth resigns in protest after German-speaking areas of Upper Silesia are ceded to Poland. Friedrich Ebert later convinces him to return to the chancellorship.
November 4th: The NSDAP’s paramilitary brigade deals violently with dissenters at a public meeting in Munich. It is thereafter known as the Sturmabteilung, or ‘Stormtroop Unit’.
April 16th: Germany and the Soviet Union sign the Treaty of Rapallo, renouncing earlier post-war treaties and promising “cooperation in a spirit of mutual goodwill”.
June 24th: The Weimar Republic’s foreign minister, Walther Rathenau, is assassinated in Berlin by nationalists associated with the Freikorps.
June 27th: At Walther Rathenau’s funeral, Ebert, Joseph Wirth and others deliver angry political speeches, while around one million people gather in protest in Berlin.
July 21st: As a consequence of Rathenau’s murder, the Reichstag passes the Law for the Protection of the Republic, outlawing groups that promote, endorse or engage in acts of political violence.
July 27th: Adolf Hitler is released from prison, after serving one month for an assault the previous year.
August 11th: Deutschlandlied, sometimes known as Deutschland uber Alles, becomes the national anthem of the Weimar Republic.
October 29th: Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini concludes his ‘March on Rome’ and two days later is appointed the prime minister of Italy. Mussolini’s achievement convinces Adolf Hitler to adopt a similar tactic in Germany.
November 14th: Chancellor Joseph Wirth resigns after continuing disputes about Germany’s economic policy and the issue of reparations.
November 22nd: President Ebert appoints Wilhelm Cuno, a business executive not aligned with any political party, as chancellor. Wirth forms a cabinet dominated by political and economic moderates.
January 11th: French and Belgian troops begin to occupy the Ruhr region, sparking the Ruhr Crisis.
May 27th: Albert Schlageter, a Freikorps volunteer, is executed by a French firing squad, for carrying out acts of sabotage in the Ruhr.
August 12th: Chancellor Wilhelm Cuno resigns following a series of strikes and protests over the collapsing paper currency.
August 13th: Gustav Stresemann is sworn in as chancellor and foreign minister in the new government. Stresemann is backed by a Reichstag ‘Great Coalition’ of the SPD, DVP, DDP and Centre parties.
September 1st: Exchange rates in Germany reach 10,000,000 (ten million) Reichmarks for one US dollar.
October 1st: The Kustrin putsch’: led by Major Buchrucker, a group of Freikorps dubbed the ‘Black Reichswehr‘ attempts to occupy the fortress town of Kustrin in Brandenburg. The putsch fails and Buchrucker and others are arrested by the regular Reichswehr.
October 23rd: Communists take over Hamburg. The uprising is suppressed two days later.
October 23rd: General Otto von Lossow, head of the army in Bavaria, calls on the Reichswehr to remove the Weimar government.
October 27th: The Weimar government issues ultimatums to communist-dominated state governments in Bavaria and Saxony, demanding that they disband. Both ultimatums are rejected.
October 29th: Reichswehr troops occupy Dresden, the capital of Saxony. Most communists are expelled from the government there.
November 8th: In Munich, the Adolf Hitler-led NSDAP launches the Beer Hall Putsch, an attempt to seize control of Bavaria.
November 9th: The Beer Hall Putsch is defeated by police and army units. Several NSDAP members are killed and Hitler is arrested.
November 30th: The Weimar government coalition collapses. Stresemann is replaced as chancellor by Wilhelm Marx.
November 12th: Hjalmar Schacht, a banker and supporter of Adolf Hitler, is appointed president of the Reichsbank.
November 15th: The Weimar government issues the Rentenmark, a new currency backed by industrial property and pegged to the gold standard (one Rentenmark = $US4.20).
November 23rd: Outraged by the government’s actions the previous month, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) leaves the coalition, forcing the resignation of the chancellor, Gustav Stresemann. He remains in the cabinet as foreign minister.
November 30th: Centre Party politician Wilhelm Marx becomes the eighth Weimar chancellor in just five years. He remains in office for almost 14 months, overseeing the stabilisation of Germany’s currency.
December 17th: German physicians report a new form of mental illness, allegedly caused by the 1923 hyperinflation. Dubbed ‘zero stroke’, its sufferers spend their time writing endless rows of zeros or engaging in difficult mathematics calculations.