November 9, 1918
German revolution overthrows imperial government and creates a republic
November 11, 1918
Germany signs armistice with allies, ending fighting in World War I
May 7, 1919
The Treaty of Versailles is presented to the German delegation on May 7, 1919. The treaty is signed on June 28. Perhaps the most humiliating portion of the treaty for the defeated Germany is Article 231, commonly known as the "War Guilt Clause," which forced Germany to accept complete responsibility for initiating World War I. Revision of the Versailles Treaty represents one of the platforms that gave radical right wing parties in Germany, including Hitler's Nazi Party, such credibility to mainstream voters: propaganda slides such as this one from ca. 1936 linked the Weimar Republic with the humiliation of Versailles.
In September 1919, Adolf Hitler joins the German Workers Party, the future National Socialist German Workers Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei; NSDAP or Nazi Party).
The Nazi Party adopts the swastika as its symbol. The swastika becomes the most recognizable icon of Nazi propaganda, appearing on the Nazi flag as well as on election posters, arm bands, medallions, and badges for military and other organizations.
Hitler presents a 25-point Program to a Nazi Party meeting. In the 25-point program, Nazi Party members publicly declare their intention to segregate Jews from "Aryan" society and to abrogate Jews' political, legal, and civil rights. Point 4 of the program, for example, states that "Only a national comrade can be a citizen. Only someone of German blood, regardless of faith, can be a citizen. Therefore, no Jew can be a citizen." The 25 points remain the party's official statement of goals, though in later years many points were ignored.
November 9, 1923
In the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, Hitler and the Nazi Party attempted to overthrow the Weimar Republic.
January 1, 1924
There are 1,580 private registered radio sets in use in Germany
Hitler’s attempt to overthrow the government in November 1923, the so-called Beer Hall Putsch, led German authorities to try—unsuccessfully—to deport the Nazi leader to his native Austria. Hitler (pictured here reading a newspaper in his cell in Landsberg prison) served only a short sentence for high treason; after his release he was prohibited from speaking at public gatherings in Bavaria until 1927.
January 1, 1925
There are 548,749 registered radio sets in Germany
Nazi Party begins producing propaganda films to show in "film-mobiles" in rural areas
Standing amidst a large crowd, Adolf Hitler gives the Nazi salute during a Reichsparteitag (Reich Party Day) rally. In front of him is Hermann Goering.
Nazi Party wins 12 seats in German parliamentary elections
American stock market crash
Germany's first sound film, Der Blaue Engel starring Marlene Dietrich, is shown across Europe
September 14, 1930
Adolf Hitler leads an SA unit in a Nazi Party parade in Weimar, 1931.
Ballot from the November 1932 Reichstag election.
Germany has 3,800 cinemas equipped to play sound films
The Nazi Party wins 230 seats in German parliamentary elections, becoming the largest party represented.
Nazi Party has more than one million members by August 1932Back to Top