This Weimar Republic timeline includes significant political, economic and social events in Germany during the period 1924-28. This period spans the so-called ‘Golden Years of Weimar’, the election of Paul von Hindenburg and the reformation of the National Socialist (NSDAP) part. This timeline has been written by Alpha History authors.
January: A group of business experts, headed by Charles G. Dawes, start planning how to restore Germany’s economy.
February 22nd: Die Reichsbanner Schwartz Rot Gold (‘The German Banner, Black Red Gold’) is formed by Social Democratic Party (SPD) and liberal politicians, as a republican form of the Freikorps. Its objective was to protect the Republic from political extremism.
February 26th: Adolf Hitler‘s treason trial begins in Munich. Given considerable freedom by the trial judges, Hitler uses the hearing as an opportunity to deliver a political speech, condemning the Weimar Republic and its leaders.
April 1st: Hitler is sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of 200 marks.
April 25th: Hitler celebrates his 35th birthday in prison and receives scores of gifts from admiring NSDAP members and supporters.
May 4th: National elections produce significant gains for the German National People’s Party (DNVP, up 24 seats to 95) and the Communist Party (KPD, up 58 seats to 62). National Socialist (NSDAP) members, running as the National Socialist Freedom Movement (NSFB), win a total of 32 seats.
May 21st: The DNVP proposes one of its Reichstag members, ageing World War I admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, as a candidate for the chancellorship. This suggestion causes outrage abroad and is rejected by other parties.
June 8th: Chancellor Wilhelm Marx retains the chancellorship with a new cabinet, still made up of political liberals and moderates.
August 29th: The German Reichstag ratifies the Dawes Plan, which is scheduled to come into effect in September.
October 20th: President Friedrich Ebert dissolves the Reichstag, following a month of inaction, stalemate and division over the Dawes Plan.
December 7th: The second Reichstag election for the year produces an increase for the SPD (131 seats).
December 20th: Adolf Hitler is released from prison after serving less than nine months of his five-year sentence.
December 23rd: A judge sentences a journalist to three months in jail for defaming president Friedrich Ebert – but also rules that Ebert’s actions in 1918 did legally constitute an act of treason. The ruling causes a sensation in the press and takes its toll on Ebert’s health.
December 31st: Two Jewish businessmen, the Barmat brothers, are arrested for bribing SPD politicians and state bank officials. Right-wing groups use this scandal to discredit the SPD and allege Jewish interference in the Weimar economy.
January: The government lifts a ban on the NSDAP newspaper Volkischer Beobachter.
January 15th: Chancellor Wilhelm Marx resigns, after calling for further negotiation with the Allies over reparation and the Ruhr. Marx is replaced by cabinet member Hans Luther.
February 23th: President Friedrich Ebert becomes seriously ill from influenza and appendicitis. He dies five days later.
February 26th: The NSDAP holds a ceremony to ‘re-launch’ the party, with Hitler as ‘member number one’.
March 1st: The Bavarian government bans Hitler from making public speeches to non-NSDAP members for a period of two years.
March 29th: Elections for the presidency produce no absolute winner.
April 26th: The second round of presidential elections sees new nominee Paul von Hindenburg (48 per cent of the vote) defeat Wilhelm Marx (45 per cent).
May 12th: Hindenburg is sworn in as the second president of the Weimar Republic.
July: France ends the Ruhr occupation, beginning a staged withdrawing of its troops. The withdrawal is completed the following month.
July 18th: The first volume of Adolf Hitler’s autobiography and political memoir, Mein Kampf, is published. Around 10,000 copies are sold in the first year.
October 16th: The Locarno Treaties are signed in Switzerland. These treaties secure Germany’s borders and improve relations with other European states.
January 20th: Chancellor Hans Luther is forced to reshuffle his cabinet after losing the support of the Reichstag.
April 24th: Germany and the Soviet Union sign the Treaty of Berlin, a five-year non-aggression pact.
May 12th: The Reichstag passes a vote of no confidence in Hans Luther, forcing him to resign as chancellor. The catalyst for this was Luther’s decision to give the old German imperial flag equal status with the new republican flag.
May 17th: Former chancellor and presidential candidate Wilhelm Marx is returned as chancellor.
June: German government grants a high-interest loan of 300 million marks to the Soviet Union.
September 10th: Germany granted membership of the League of Nations.
December 18th: The Reichstag passes the Law for the Protection of Youth from Trash and Filth Writings, allowing certain books, artworks and films to be prohibited. This law contradicted the Weimar constitution, which explicitly prohibits censorship.
January 10th: The science fiction movie Metropolis, directed by Fritz Lang, is released in Berlin.
January 20th: Chancellor Wilhelm Marx re-forms his cabinet, bringing in four nationalists as ministers.
July 16th: The Reichstag passes the Unemployment Insurance Law, providing welfare support funded by employer and employee contributions.
September 16th: President Paul von Hindenburg provokes international outrage with a speech asserting that Germany was not responsible for causing World War I.
January 19th: Former military chief Wilhelm Groener is appointed to the Weimar cabinet as defence minister. He retains this position for more than four years.
May 20th: Another federal election produces a significant gain for the SPD (up 22 Reichstag seats to 153) and a loss for the nationalist DNVP (down 30 seats to 73). The NSDAP wins 12 seats, dropping two from the previous election.
June 12th: The May election causes the collapse of another Reichstag coalition and the resignation of Chancellor Wilhelm Marx.
June 28rd: The formation of another ‘Great Coalition’ government, with SPD politician Hermann Muller as chancellor. This government lasts almost two years.
August 27th: Germany becomes one of the first nations to sign the Kellogg-Briand Pact, a multilateral agreement not to use war to resolve disputes or conflicts.