||Hitler appointed Chancellor
of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg.
||German Chancellor Adolf
Hitler tells his top generals of his determination to conquer
land, to the east.
||German Reichstag burns
down. Four Communists are tried and executed for
setting the fire.
||First Concentration Camp
opened at Oranienburg outside Berlin.
||Joseph Goebbels is made Reich Minister
for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.
||Enabling Act passed by
the Reichstag allowing Hitler to assume dictatorial power.
||Nazis Boycott of Jewish
||Nazis burn books in Germany.
||Nazi party declared official
party of Germany; all other parties banned.
||Germany withdraws from the Disarmament
Conference at Geneva, Switzerland.
||German Chancellor Adolf
Hitler withdraws Germany from the League of Nations.
||Germany and Poland sign
a ten-year non-aggression pact.
||Henry Pu-yi was crowned emperor of
Manchukuo by the Japanese.
||The 1932 non-aggression pact betwen
the Soviet Union and Poland is extended to the end of 1945.
||Hitler orders the elimination
of much of the political and military opposition within Germany,
including SA Chief Ernst Rohm in what is known as the "Night
of the Long Knives". More than a 1,000 people are assassinated
and others are removed from positions of influence within the
SA and Army.
||Nazis murder Austrian Chancellor
||With the death of President
Paul von Hindenburg, Chancellor Adolf Hitler assumes the office
of Reich President as well. The Wehrmacht oath of allegiance
is changed to be directly to Adolf Hitler.
||Hitler combines the offices of president
and chancellor and assumes the title of Führer.
||The Soviet Union joins the League
||The Foreign Minister of
France, Barthou and King Alexander of Yugoslavia are killed
by Croatian terrorists in Marseille, France.
||In a plebiscite, the Saar
region decides to unite with Germany.
||Adolf Hitler denounces
the disarmament clauses of the Versailles Treaty. He announces
that Germany will introduce compulsory military service, thereby
creating an army of 36 divisions. Germany also announces the
existence of the Luftwaffe, which directly infringes upon the
Treaty of Versailles, which forbids Germany to have an airforce.
||France and the Soviet Union conclude
negotiations for a five-year Treaty of Mutual Assistance, although
the treaty is never ratified by France.
||Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union
sign a five-year Treaty of Mutual Assistance.
||Adolf Hitler agrees to
not intevene in Austria or add Austria to the German Reich.
||The Anglo-German Naval
Agreement is signed, limiting the German surface fleet to 35
percent of British tonnage, and submarine fleet to 45 percent.
The agreement signals Britain's unwillingness to defend the
||Nuremberg race laws promulgated,
which relegates Jews to a separate second-class status in
intermarriage and sexual relations with Germans.
||The Italians, wanting
to be a great power in and around the Mediterranean, invade
In direct response the League of Nations decides to impose economic sanctions
||The Gestapo is placed above
||Adolf Hitler decides the
time is right for Germany to re-occupy the Rhineland.
||The French chamber ratifies
the Franco-Soviet pact.
||Hitler issues final orders
for troops to re-occupy their former garrison posts in Rhineland
towns. If French forces take action, the troops are instructed
||Hitler denounces the Rhineland
provisions of Treaty of Versailles and Locarno Treaty. German
troops march in to re-occupy the Rhineland. German representatives
inform foreign ministers and ambassadors of the German re-occupation
of the Rhineland, and outline a peace plan including 25-year
non-aggression pacts for all countries bordering on Germany.
||Italian campaign in Ethiopia
ends and King Haile Selassie I flees the country.
||Spanish Civil War breaks
out; Hitler and Mussolini send aid to Franco.
||The Olympic games begin
||Franco becomes dictator
of Spain and is declared Head of State.
||Germany signs an Anti-Comintern
Pact with Japan, which commits them to cooperate in defense
against international Communism.
||Japan withdraws from Washington
Conference Treaty limiting the size of its navy.
||The Polish Military Attaché in Paris,
France, agrees to cooperate with Belgian General Staff in exchanging
information concerning the German Army.
||Neville Chamberlain becomes
Prime Minister of England.
||Josef Stalin begins purge
of Red Army officer corps.
||Canada's Prime Minister
William King meets with German chancellor Adolf Hitler in Berlin.
||A conflict on the Marco-Polo
bridge in Peking leads to full-scale war between China and
||The German Government pledges to respect
the neutrality and territorial integrity of Belgium.
||During the Hossbach Conference,
Adolf Hitler announces to five of his chief subordinates his
plans for an expansion of Germany over the next five years,
in particular, into Austria and Czechoslovakia.
||Italy signs the Anti-Cominterm
Pact, joining Germany and Japan.
||The German General Staff's
strategy plan, Plan Green, is completed, anticipating an aggressive
war with Czechoslovakia.
||Hitler announces a reorganization
of the army, abolishing the post of war minister, appointing
General Wilhelm Keitel as chief of the armed forces high command
||Austrian Chancellor Dr.
Kurt von Schuschnigg meets with Adolf Hitler in Berchtesgaden,
Bavaria. Adolf Hitler demands that Austria become a protectorate
of Germany, governed by him. Schuschnigg signs in agreement.
||Adolf Hitler makes a speech
in which he demands self-determination for Germans of Austria
||Austrian Chancellor Kurt
von Schuschnigg calls for a public vote for the 13th March,
to decide if the country should remain independent, or join
||Hitler orders a plan for
the military occupation of Austria.
||Hitler issues Directive
No. 1 for the occupation of Austria and Directive No. 2 for
the bloodless invasion of Austria. Austrian Chancellor Kurt
von Schuschnigg resigns.
||Germany announces "Anschluss"
(Union) with Austria, as German forces cross the border.
||Russian Army Commander B.M. Shaposhnikov
produces a war plan, proposing a Red Army offensive or counter-offensive
either north or south of the Pripet marshes, with a strong
defence in the other sector.
||An order is issued that forces all
Jews to declare fortunes above
||Czechoslovakia begins to mobilise
its armed forces.
||Swedish Foreign Minister
Sandler announces that Sweden reserves the right to remain neutral.
||Adolf Hitler issues a directive
for Fall Grün (Case Green), for the occupation of Czechoslovakia.
||Hitler says the Sudeten
problem is an internal matter for the German minority in Bohemia
and the Czecho-Slovak government.
||After a meeting with Adolf Hitler
at Bergchtesgarden in Germany, British Prime Minister Neville
Chamberlain states that Adolf Hitler appears to be "a
man who could be relied upon when he had given his word".
||Winston Churchill warns
of the futility of appeasing Adolf Hitler: "The belief
that security can be obtained by throwing a small state to the
wolves is a fatal delusion."
||Adolf Hitler, quoted on his desire
to annex part of Czechoslovakia says: "It is the last
territorial claim which I have to make in Europe, but it is
the claim from
which I will not recede."
||A two-day conference begins
in Germany, held by Adolf Hitler, Italy's Benito Mussolini,
Britain's Neville Chamberlain, and France's Edouard Daladier,
to discuss German demands on Czechoslovakian territory.
||Shortly after 0100 hours
the Munich Agreement, allowing Germany to annex the Sudetenland
portion of Czechoslovakia, is signed, by British Prime Minister
Neville Chamberlain, French Premier Édouard Daladier,
Italian leader Benito Mussolini, and Adolf Hitler. Prime
Neville Chamberlain says "This is the second time that
there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace
I believe it is peace for our time."
||German forces occupy the
Sudetenland. The Czech Government resigns.
||Nazi authorities orchestrate a nationwide
pogrom against the Jews in Germany and Austria. This follows
the murder of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath, by Herschel Grynszpan
a French Jew in the German Embassy in Paris. Jewish homes,
businesses, and synagogues are looted and burned. 91 Jews are
killed, and 20,000 are taken to concentration camps. This becomes
known as Kristallnacht (Night of broken glass).
||Adolf Hitler set the press the task
of preparing the german people for war.
||Laws are announced in
Germany that prevent Jews from obtaining driving licences or
visiting theatres, concerts and cinemas.
||SS leader Reinhard Heydrich
is ordered by Göring to speed up emigration of Jews.
||Neville Chamberlain is
criticized by many members of the British Parliament for his
recognition of the Franco government in Spain.
||In his speech before the
Reichstag on the sixth anniversary of his coming to power, Hitler
proclaims... 'In the course of my life I have very often been
a prophet, and have usually been ridiculed for it. During the
time of my struggle for power, it was in the first instance
only the Jewish race that received my prophecies with laughter
when I said that I would one day take over the leadership of
the state and with it that of the whole nation and that I would
then among other things settle the Jewish problem. Their laughter
was uproarious, but I think that for some time now they have
been laughing on the other side of their face. Today I will
once more be a prophet: if the international Jewish financiers
in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations
once more into a world war, then the result will not be the
Bolshevising of the earth and thus the victory of Jewry, but
the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!'.
||The Republican Government
crosses the Pyrenees into France, followed by a flood of refuges.
||The German battleship Bismarck
is first launched.
||Nazis force Jews to hand
over all gold and silver items.
||The British Prime Minister,
Neville Chamberlain recognises Franco's Fascist Government in
||Stalin postulates a "kinship"
between Nazism and Communism in his radio speech.
||Czech president Emil Hacha
accepts Adolf Hitler making Bohemia-Moravia a German protectorate.
That same day Slovakia and Ruthenia declare their independence
from the Czech government in Prague.
||Adolf Hitler declares "Czechoslovakia
has ceased to exist" as German troops occupy the
rest of Czechoslovakia, annexing Bohemia and Moravia, making
Slovakia a protectorate and giving Ruthenia to Hungary. This
was all in violation of Munich Agreement of the previous year,
but only produced weak British and French protests.
||Edouard Daladier announces
that France intends to increase defence spending.
||The Soviet Commissar for
Foreign Affairs, Maxim Litvinov, suggests to British Ambassador
Sir William Seeds that delegates from the UK, Soviet Union,
France, Poland, and Romania should meet to discuss collective
action in the event of war with Germany. British Prime Minister
Neville Chamberlain tells the Cabinet that continuing negotiations
with Adolf Hitler is impossible.
||British Foreign Secretary
Lord Halifax replies to Soviet Commissar Maxim Litinov, saying
they were examining an alternative scheme to a five-country
||Hitler reiterates his demands
against Poland for the return of Danzig and the "Polish
Corridor" to the Reich.
||Poland again refuses German
demands for the return of Danzig and the "Polish Corridor."
||German troops occupy the
city of Memel, which is situated on the border of East Prussia
and Lithuania. Poland warns Germany that any similar attempt
to seize Danzig would mean war. Poland partially mobilizes its
||At a Foreign Policy Committee
meeting of the British Cabinet, the Ministers decide to side
with Poland, rather than try for a multi-nation agreement involving
the Soviet Union.
||Madrid finally falls to
Franco's forces as the Spanish Civil War nears its end. Poland
again rejects German demands that Danzig be ceded to Germany.
||France and Britain declare
that they will stand by Poland. British Prime Minister Neville
Chamberlain announces in an address to the House of Commons
British support of Polish independence. All resistance by Republican
forces in Spain ends.
||Franco declares the end
of the Civil War in Spain.
||Adolf Hitler issues a directive
to the Army High Command to prepare for an attack on Poland,
code named Fall Weiss (Case White), to be ready to implement
by 1st September.
||Britain and Poland sign
a mutual-assistance pact.
||Mussolini, jealous of Hitlers
successes, sends his troops into Albania which had been under
Italian influence since the civil war of 1925, in which Italy
||Britain and France pledge
to support Romania and Greece should they be attacked.
||President Roosevelt seeks
assurances from Germany and Italy that they would not attack
another European country. However, such assurances were not
forthcoming. Hitler and Mussolini knew that Roosevelts
hands were tied by the 1935-1937 Neutrality Acts, which forbade
the USA from giving help to either side in the event of war.
||The USSR proposes a ten-year
alliance with Britain and France.
||Slovakia passes its own
anti-Jewish version of the Nuremberg Laws.
||Adolf Hitler addresses
the Reichstag in the Kroll Opera House in Berlin. He denounces
the 1934 ten-year non-aggression pact with Poland and the Anglo-German
Naval Agreement of June 1935. Hitler calls the Anglo-Polish
Agreement an alliance directed exclusively against Germany and
demands the return of Danzig to Germany.
||Jews lose rights as tenants
and are relocated into Jewish houses.
||Two warships escort Britain's
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on a visit to Canada. Each
ship carries about 15 million Pounds Sterling in gold for safekeeping
||Turkey and Great Britain
conclude a security pact.
||In Halifax harbor, Nova
Scotia, Canada, gold from two British warships is transferred
to trains for delivery to Ottawa.
||Sweden, Norway and Finland
reject Germany's offer of non-aggression pacts, although Denmark
||At the Reich Chancellory
in Berlin, Italian Foreign Minister Count Ciano and German
Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop sign a ten-year political
and military alliance, dubbed the Pact of Steel, which guaranteed
support from the other in the event of war.
Winston Churchill writes in Collier's magazine: "Unless
some change of heart or change of regime takes place in Germany
she will deem it in her interest to make war, and this is more
likely to happen in the present year than later on.
||German Jews denied the
right to hold government jobs.
||Winston Churchill urges
the British government to form a military alliance with the
||Adolf Eichmann is appointed
director of the Prague Office of Jewish Emigration.
||Poland gives Britain and
France a German Enigma machine each, whose codes they have broken.
||Albert Forster, Gauleiter
for Danzig and Nazi leader, addresses a crowd of 100,000 in
Danzig: "The hour of liberation is at hand... our Motherland
and our Führer, Adolf Hitler, are determined to support
us." A trial blackout is ordered for London, England,
in preparation for war.
||Poland rejects the USSR's
demand for permission for the Red Army to enter Poland.
||Indian troops arrive in Egypt to reinforce
British forces around the Suez Canal.
||Captain Bertrand of the French Signals
Intelligence gives to a British Secret Service Liaison officer
a Polish-built copy of the German Enigma coding machine.
||Germany and Russia sign
a trade treaty. 14 German U-boats are sent to patrol the North
||Soviet forces under Georgi Zhukov
attack the Japanese at Nomanhan in the Mongolian People's Republic
on the border with Manchukuo.
||The German pocket-battleship
Admiral Graf Spee slips through the North Sea, unobserved
the British. Adolf Hitler reads a telegram from Josef Stalin,
acknowledging agreement on a non-aggression pact. Hitler responds
by banging his fist on the supper
table, exclaiming "I have them! I have them!". Shortly afterwards
Berlin radio announces that Germany and Russia have concluded a treaty
||Hitler authorizes the killing
"without pity or mercy, all men, women and children of
Polish descent or language."
||Germany and the USSR sign
a non-aggression pact in Moscow. A severe blow to the hopes
of Britain and France Polands death-knell, since one
of the clauses agreed a split of the country between Germany
and the USSR. It also gave Russia a free hand in the Baltic
states and Bessarabia. Hitler now gives orders for the
invasion of Poland to begin on the 26th August 1939. Another
German pocket-battleship, this time the Deutschland sails through
the North Sea, without the British noticing.
||The Polish-British Common
Defense Pact against Germany is signed. Mussolini complains
to Hitler that he is not yet ready for war. The German battleship
Schleswig-Holstein arrives at Danzig harbour. Hitler cancels
his orders for an attack on Poland and issues Order X, for a
partial mobilization in preparation for war.
||Hitler cancels the order
for the invasion of Poland on this day. He sets a new date
the 1st September. The Canadian Government issue orders for
the callup of the militia to protect coastal defences and
industrial points. The Irish Regiment of Canada is called to
active duty. Hitler guarantees the neutrality of Belgium,
Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark and Switzerland.
||Britain and France try
to persuade Poland to negotiate with Germany, but she refuses.
In preparation for war, Poland disperses military aircraft to
small camouflaged airfields around Warsaw.
||The British Admiralty assumes
control of all British-registered merchant ships.
||In Britian the Royal navy
is put on full alert. Army and navy mobilization is commenced,
censorship of all communications to and from the British Isles
is imposed, the Stock Exchange is closed, and civil airplanes
are banned from flying over half of Britain. In Moscow, the
Soviet Parliament unanimously ratifies the Russo-German non-aggression
pact, and Marshal Klemenly Voroshiloff, Commisar of War, announces
the proposed Military Training Law. Conscription age is lowered
from 19 to 17. The Slovak Government calls on Poland to return
the Javorina district territory to Slovakia. Hitler receives
the Polish Ambassador to Berlin, mainly to appease Mussolini,
who is trying to establish a peace formula. The talks lasted
no longer than a few minutes as Hitler had already made up
his mind to invade Poland. Directive Number 1 declares that
at 4:45am on the 1st September 1939, the German Armed Forces
will invade Poland. German radio makes public a proposed 16-point
peace plan the government had proposed for Poland, claiming
Poland refused to accept the terms. The proposal deals with
annexing Danzig, maintaining a corridor from Germany to East
Prussia, and the treatment of minorities in Germany and Poland.
That evening the German radio station at Gliewitz on the German-Polish
border is "attacked by Polish troops". However, all
is not what it seems as these soldiers were actually concentration
camp inmates, dressed in Polish uniforms and organised by the
SS to give Hitler a pretext for invading Poland that he could
show the world.