Chronography of France & Germany, from 1 January 1816 ex World War Two

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Demography of France

Demography of Germany


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Box Index (click belowfor quick access to historical periods)

19.0, Gilet Janue (Yellow Vest) protests across France, 2018-19

18.0, Racial tensions hit France and Germany, 2014-16

17.0, Restoration of Berlin as German capital 1991-99

16.0, End of the Red Army Faction 1998

15.0, Racism in Germany 1992/3

14.0, German Reunification, 1989-90

13.0, Klaus Barbie Trial 1987

12.0., Baader Meinhof terrorists captured, imprisoned, 1972-77

11.0, Normalisation of relations between East and West Germany, 1970-74

10.0, De Gaulle loses referendum; replaced by Pompidou, 1969-70

9.0, French Civil unrest, Strikes, De Gaulle wins power, 1968

8.0, Berlin Wall, construction 1958-61

7.0, French 5th Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle. Plans for Algerian independence, opposed, 1958-63

6.0, West Germany becomes a regularised State 1953-56

5.0, Soviet crackdown in East Germany 1952-53

4.0 De Gaulle Presidency 1945-46

3.0 Inception of, and division between,post war East and West Germany, 1947-52

2.0 Soviet blockade of West Berlin, 1948-49

1.0 Judicial dealings with Nazis, 1945-51

0.0 Post World War Two political developments, 1946-57

For World War Two click here

-1.0, Germany prepares to invade Poland; start of World War Two, with Britain and France involved, 1939

-2.0, Nazi Germany annexes Memel (Lithuania), 1939

-3.0, Nazi Germany annexes the remainder of Czeckoslovakia, 1938-39

-4.0, Refugees from Spanish Civil War flee to France, 1939

-5.0, Final prelude to War 1938-39, last attempts to preserve peace in Europe

-6.0, Nazi Germany annexes the Sudetenland (Czeckoslovakia), 1935-38

-7.0, Nazi Germany annexes Austria, 1936-38

-8.0, Consolidation of Nazi power in Germany; political, cultural and economic, 1935-39

-9.0, Increasing power of Hitler and the Nazis, 1934-36

-10.0, Chancellor Dollfus of Austria bans Nazis, assassinated by Nazis, 1933-34

-11.0, Hitler gains absolute power in Germany, eliminates all opposition, 1933-34

-12.0, Nazis suffer electoral defeat. Attempt to form non-Nazi Government, but agreement impossible, 1932-33������������������������������������������������������������������������������������

-13.0, Nazi electoral resurgence 1929-33. Reichstag Fire, Hitler becomes Dictator

-14.0, German banking and unemployment Crisis 1929-31 (see Hyperinflation 1923-24 below)

-15.0, France evacuates the Rhineland, Germany makes treaties, tries to join League of Nations, 1925-30

-16.0, Nazis, start of Party, then electoral decline, 1919-29; but see 1930s

-16.5, Hitler imprisoned, released early, 1923-4

-17.0, German Hyperinflation Economic Crisis 1923-24

-18.0, German Reparations Crises Terms eased, Allied occupation ended, 1921-34

-19.0, Communist agitation in western Europe, 1918-23

-20.0, International adjustments post World War One. German War Trials begin, 1918-20

For World War One 1914 � 18 click here

-21.0, Western European nations begin a military build up, 1905-13

-22.0, Germany backs down over Morocco rivalry with France, 1911-12


27 June 2023, Nahel Merzouk, 17-year-old French of Algerian descent, was shot dead by police after he failed to stop his car for them in Paris. Several nights of rioting across French cities ensued, with many shops looted and other facilities destroyed by fire. Many cars were also burnt.

24 April 2022, In the final round of the French Presidential elections, Emmanuel Macron won by 58.5% to Marine le Pen;s 41.5%; turnout was just 71.9%, the lowest since 1969. The 2017 result was 66.1% Macron to 33.9% le Pen.

16 October 2020, A teenage Chechen refugee beheaded Samuel Paty, a French teacher who had shown his class at a school on the edge of Paris controversial cartoons of the prophet Mohammed from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

26 September 2019, Jacques Chirac died aged 86. He had twice been President of France.

15 April 2019, Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris was very severely damaged by fire. The fire was believed to have been caused by renovation works, which, having suffered delays due to lack of funding, had been going on for years; the blaze started shortly after 6pm local time.


19.0, Gilet Janue (Yellow Vest) protests across France, 2018-19

20 April 2019, Yellow Vest protests in Paris for the 23rd consecutive Saturday.

23 March 2019, Yellow Vest protestors caused disturbances in the Champs-Elys�es area of central Paris for the 19th consecutive Saturday. The previous Saturday, 16 March 2019, the level of destruction had ratcheted up with banks, cafes and shops being set fire to. President Macron put military soldiers on the streets on the 23 March 2019, raising fears that a protestor would be shot dead.

8 December 2018, Another weekend of rioting in Paris saw 1700 arrested and 71 injured. Riots also occurred in Brussels and Amsterdam.

1 December 2018, Rioting by the �yellow vests� in France escalated, with major unrest around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and in several other cities, also The Netherlands and Belgium were affected. 412 were arrested and 133 seriously injured, including 23 policemen, as several cars and other property was torched. The protestors took their name from the yellow high-visibility jacket that motorists in France must carry; the unrest was focussed on high fuel taxes. Protestors called for President Macron to resign.

24 November 2018, A week of rioting across France (began 17 November 2018) with 300,000 people protesting at high petrol taxes. By this date, one protestor had died and over 400 had been injured.


29 October 2018, Mrs Angela Merkel announced that she would not stand in 2021 for re-election as Chancellor of Germany, a post she had held since 2005. This followed disappointing election results for her Party, the CDU (Christian Democratic Union), and her coalition partners, the Social Democrats, in elections in Hesse.

24 September 2017, German elections. Angela Markel�s CDU (Christian Democratic Union) Party still had the largest number of seats, but lost votes as her share fell to 33%, from 41.5% in 2013, the lowest since 1949. Meanwhile the Far Right AfD (Alternative for Germany) Party gained, securing 12.6% of the vote, especially in the rural east, on the back of concerns about immigration levels. In Saxony, the AfD got a vote of 27%.

6 July 2017, Anti-G20 Summit protestors in Hamburg blocked roads and set cars alight.

16 June 2017, German statesman Helmut Kohl died, aged 87.

7 May 2017, In the final round of the French Presidential Elections, Emmanuel Macron of the En Marche Party won 66.1% of votes cast, against 39.1% for Marine le Pen of the Front National. However Macron was only supported by 43.6% of the total electorate, le Pen receiving 22.4%, whilst 25.4% of voters abstained and 8.5% of ballot papers were left blank or spoilt, as a protest against both the candidates on offer.

17 May 2016, A wave of strikes hit France. Petrol stations ran dry as strikers picketed refinery gates. Workers were objecting to France introducing more flexible labour laws.


18.0, Racial tensions hit France and Germany, 2014-16

19 December 2016, A large lorry was driven into crowds at a Christmas market in Berlin. The lorry had been hijacked by an Islamist terrorist who killed the Polish driver and drove it, laden with 25 tonnes of steel, into the market. 12 shoppers were killed and 48 injured.

26 October 2016, Demolition of the �Jungle� refugee camp at Calais began. Its residents were dispersed to reception areas across France. However some inhabitants set up their own unofficial tent cities in central Paris.

22 July 2016, A German-Iranian gunman opened fire at a shopping mall in Munich, killing 9 and injuring 21. He later killed himself.

14 July 2016, Islamist terrorists drove a lorry into crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France. 84 were killed and 202 injured, 18 critically. The lorry driver was shot dead by police. The lorry contained guns and explosives, raising fears that a worse attack could have been possible.

31 December 2015, Some 200 women alleged they had been groped, robbed and even raped during New Year�s Eve celebrations in Cologne by migrant gangs. Tensions in Germany over mass immigration increased.

13 November 2015, Multiple attacks by Islamic gunmen across six sites in Paris, including the Stade de France, the Bataclan concert hall, and the Cambodge restaurant. 132 dead and 352 injured, 99critically.

7 January 2015, Ten cartoonists were shot dead at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine, along with 2 policemen, by Islamists in revenge for perceived anti-Islamic cartoons.

20 August 2014, Anti-Semitic attacks occurred in Paris. A synagogue in Sarcelles, a working-class suburb of northern Paris with many Sephardic Jews, known as �Little Jerusalem�, was threatened. Youths from the French Jewish defence League defended the synagogue so Muslims attacked Kosher shops instead. The Muslim attacks followed from the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

13 June 2014, A 17-year-old Roma youth was attacked by about 20 men and left in a coma in the northern Paris suburb of Pierrefitte sur Seine. Many Roma lived in makeshift camps and had been blamed for rat infestations and burglaries. There was conflict between Moroccans and Roma in Paris.


5 May 2011, Claude Schoules, the last known combat veteran of World War One, died in Australia, aged 110.

12 March 2008, Lazare Ponticelli, the last surviving French foot soldier of World War One, died aged 110.Born in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, he loved France and joined the French Foreign legion aged 16.When Italy joined the war he was enlisted in the Italian army but returned to France after the war and became a French citizen in 1939.

24 January 2008, The French bank, Societe General, revealed that a rogue trader, Jerome Kerviel (born 11 January 1977), had cost it 4.9 billion Euros (about US$ 7 billion, or UK� 3.7 billion). Kerviel was arrested on charges of breach of trust and falsifying documents, and the bank was fined 4 million Euros for failing to monitor his trading position. Daniel Bouton resigned as the banks chief executive. Kerviel was found guilty in October 2010 and sentenced to prison, but remained free pending an appeal. On 24 October 2012, a Paris appeals court upheld the October 2010 sentence to three years in prison with another two suspended, and ordered to reimburse 4.9bn euros to Societe General for its loss.

16 May 2007, Sarkozy was sworn in as President of France.

4 April 2006, France equalised the permissible age of marriage between males and females. Formerly, the Civil Code of 1804 had set this age as 15 for females and 18 for males.

2 April 2006, Countess von Stauffenberg, widow of the officer who tried to assassinate Hitler, died (born 27 August 1913).

22 November 2005, Angela Merkel became Germany�s first female Chancellor.

Angela Merkel became Chancellor of Germany


Protests in France 2005

8 November 2005, French President Chirac declared a State of Emergency, on the 12th day of riots in France.

6 November 2005, Rioting continued in France, started by the death of 2 Algerian-origin boys by electrocution as they hid from police in Paris; by now some 1,300 cars had been torched.

27 October 2005, Riots began in Paris after the deaths of two Algerian-origin teenagers, see 6 November 2005.

29 May 2005, The French, in a referendum, resoundingly rejected the European Constitution.The margin was 45% to 55%.This was effectively a vote against the unpopular French President Chirac, and against globalisation.


28 October 2005, Eugene K Bird, director of Spandau Prison, died.

27 January 2005, Nazi concentration camp survivors and world leaders gathered at the Polish town of Oswiecim, better known as Auschwitz, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of its liberation by Soviet forces.

29 November 2004, France announced plans to buildthe Louvre II at Lens to exhibit some 600 artworks currently in storage at the Louvre.

19 September 2004, In regional elections in the former East German States of Brandenburg and Saxony, neo-Nazi Parties gained votes, polling at 6% and 7% respectively. The Democratic Socialists (successors to the East German Communist Party) polled 28% and 23.6% respectively. The neo-Nazi gains were due to an economic crisis in whichunemployment had exceeded 20%.

23 May 2004, Part of Charles de Gaulle International Airport Terminal 2E collapsed, killing 5 people and injuring 3.

10 February 2004, The French National Assembly voted 494 to 36 in favour of banning overt religious symbols, including Islamic headscarves and Christian crosses, in the country�s State schools.


Jacques Chirac elected French President 2002

14 July 2002. A neo-Nazi attempted to assassinate French President Jacques Chirac at the Bastille Day parade in Paris.

16 June 2002, Jean Pierre Raffarin became French Prime Minister.

5 May 2002, In French Presidential elections, Jacques Chirac won a landslide victory, winning over 80% of the vote.

21 April 2002. In the French Presidential elections, the National Front candidate, Jean Marie Le Pen, scored a surprising second place with 17% of the vote to enter the run-off with the right wing candidate Jacques Chirac. Lionel Jospin, the left wing candidate, was narrowly beaten into third place. Jospin�s stance as �New Socialist�, not too far to the left, drove some left wing voters to fringe left parties, allowing Le Pen in. In the second round of voting on 5 May 2002 Chirac was unsurprisingly elected with a massive 82% of the vote, against 18% for Le Pen.


3 September 1999, After an 18-month French judicial inquiry, paparazzi press were cleared of responsibility for the car crash which killed Diana.

10 February 1999, Avalanches in the French Alps killed 10 people.

2 April 1998, In Bordeaux, France, Maurice Papon was convicted of complicity in Nazi crimes against humanity committed under the Vichy regime. He was sentenced to 10 years prison.

1 June 1997, The Socialist Party won French elections starting a period of �cohabitation� (cooperation) between a Left-wing Parliament and a Right-wing President. Socialist leader Lionel Jospin became Prime Minister.

27 January 1997, It was revealed that French museums contained nearly 2,000 pieces of artwork looted by Nazis.

3 December 1996, Algerian Islamic Fundamentalists exploded a bomb on the Paris Metro at Port Royal Station, at 6.05pm in the rush hour, killing 2 and injuring 50 others. Algerian fundamentalists had carried out 7 attacks on the Paris Metro in 1995. They were protesting at a referendum in Algeria, backing a crackdown on fundamentalist political Parties.

17 July 1996, In France, convicted war criminal Paul Touvier died in Fresnes Prison, of prostate cancer, see 17 March 1994.

29 January 1996. France bowed to international pressure and announced it had ended the current series of atomic tests at Mururoa Atoll in the south Pacific.

8 January 1996. President Mitterrand, (born 1916) died of cancer. He was President of France 1981-95.

25 July 1995. A bomb exploded on a train at the St Michel Metro station in Paris, killing seven people.

16 May 1995, Jacques Chirac became President of France.

7 May 1995. Jacques Chirac, Gaullist, was elected President of France. He defeated the Socialist candidate Lionel Jospin. Alain Juppe became Prime Minister of France.

18 January 1995, In France, a large cave system with many prehistoric paintings was discovered near Vallon Pont d�Arc.


Jacques Chirac became President of France

17.0, Restoration of Berlin as German capital 1991-99

19 April 1999, The German Parliament returned to the new Reichstag buildings in Berlin.

8 September 1994, The last British forces left Berlin.

7 September 1994, The American flag was lowered over the US HQ in Berlin, formally ending American presence on the city after almost 50 years.

23 June 1993. The US lowered the Stars and Stripes for the last time at the Tempelhof airbase in Berlin after 48 years of military service there.

20 June 1991. The German Parliament voted to move the seat of government from Bonn to Berlin.


12 April 1999, Chancellor Gerhardt Schroder became leader of the German Social Democratic Party ()SDP)

27 September 1998, In German Parliamentary elections, the governing Centre-Right CDU/CSU-FDP coalition lost its overall majority. Gerhardt Schroder became Chancellor at the head of a �red-green� coalition of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Greens.

7 July 1998, German car manufacturer Volkswagen AG agreed to pay compensation to those who were used as slave labour during World War Two.

14 April 1997, Former Nazi SS Captain Eric Priebke was retried; on 22 July 1997 he was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

7 July 1996, The German town of Konstanz elected a Green Mayor.


16.0, End of the Red Army Faction 1998

20 April 1998, In Germany, the Red Army Faction announced that it was ceasing operations and winding up, as it no longer had a political reason to exist.

13 February 1991. Germany�s Red Army Faction carried out a gun attack on the US Embassy in Bonn, claiming a link to the Gulf War.

30 November 1989, The Red Army, a West German terrorist group, blew up Alfred Herrhausen, head of the Deutschebank in Frankfurt.


15.0, Racism in Germany 1992/3

30 May 1993. Neo-Nazi skinheads attacked and set fire to a hostel housing Turkish migrant workers in the German steel town of Solingen. This was the worst of several such attacks on migrant workers. The German government responded with a crackdown on Neo-Nazis and more controls on immigration.

29 September 1992. Racism was on the rise in Germany. 28% of Germans aged between 16 and 24 had racist views, compared with 15% in 1990.

6 September 1992, Racially motivated violence in Germany was increasing, with attacks on eastern Europeans and Jews as well as on non-European refugees.

19 August 1992. Right wing rioting began in Rostock, Germany. Hundreds of right wing youths, throwing paving stones and firebombs, attacked an immigrant hostel, cheered on by local people, in the poor Lichtenhagen area of the city. Thousands of police were drafted in to restore order, which had broken down when many Romanian refuges, unable to secure a place in the hostel, had camped outside it. The asylum seekers were evacuated but fighting between police and youths continued for days and spread to other German cities. Germany had seen both a rise in asylum seekers and increased unemployment in the east since reunification, as eastern industries were exposed to competition from the more efficient west.

5 April 1992. Germany�s extreme Right gained in elections, over the issue of immigrants from eastern Europe.


20 April 1994, In France, Paul Touvier was found guilty of ordering the massacre of 17 Jews whilst serving in the Vichy France Milice.

17 March 1994, In France the trial of Paul Touvier, head of the Vichy militia during World War Two, began. In April 1994 he was sentenced to life imprisonment. He died in prison on 17 July 1996.

3 February 1993. Statistics showed French women had the highest life expectancy in Europe at 81.1 years, 8 years more than French men.

20 December 1992, The Folies Bergere, Paris music hall which opened in 1869, closed down.

17 November 1992, In France, cave paintings were discovered at Cosquer that were estimated to date from 25,000 BC.

8 October 1992, Willy Brandt, Chancellor of West Germany, died.

6 July 1992. French lorry drivers blockaded roads, causing chaos.

1 June 1992, The terrorist Carlos the Jackal was sentenced to life imprisonment in France.

12 April 1992. Euro-Disney opened just east of Paris. The $4 billion, 4,800 acre, complex could accommodate up to 60,000 visitors a day. It had 6 hotels with a total of 5,200 rooms, and a total of 14,000 staff, or �cast members�. On 4 June 1992 Euro-Disney reported that it had received 1.5 million visitors, or 30,000 per day.

17 December 1990, Lothar de Matziere resigned from the German government after allegations that he had worked for the Stasi.


14.0, German Reunification, 1989-90

29 May 1994, Erich Honecker, leader of East Germany, (born 1912) died.

14 January 1993. Despite calls for his arrest on manslaughter charges, the former East German leader, Eric Honecker, 80 years old and with terminal liver cancer, was allowed to depart for Chile because of his failing health.

29 July 1992, Herr Honecker, former leader of East Germany, was forced to leave the Chilean Embassy in Moscow where he had taken refuge, to face manslaughter charges over the deaths of people trying to escape over the Berlin Wall to West Germany.

2 December 1990. Helmut Kohl of the Christian Democrats won the first election in the reunited Germany.

14 November 1990, Germany and Poland signed a treaty agreeing their border as the Oder-Neisse line.

3 October 1990. East and West Germany reunited as the Federal Republic of Germany. The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 was one of the most remarkable events of the 20th century. However the economy of the East was much poorer than the West and funds were needed for housing, education, and health. In July 1990 the currency of West Germany became that of the East. On reunification on 3 October 1990 Berlin became the capital city.

20 September 1990, The East and West German Parliaments passed legislation enabling reunification.

1 July 1990, The Deutschemark became the official currency of both East and West Germany.

18 May 1990. A treaty was signed in Bonn introducing German economic and monetary union. The reunification took place on 3 October 1990.

24 April 1990, East and West Germany agreed to merge their currencies and economies on 1 July 1990.

18 March 1990, East Germany held its first free elections since 1932.

9 March 1990. Talks on German reunification began in Berlin.

15 January 1990, Thousands stormed the Stasi HQ in Berlin in order to see their records.

22 December 1989. Berlin�s Brandenburg Gate reopened, after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

3 December 1989. The East German leader Egon Krenz and the politbureau resigned. A USSR-USA summit was held in Malta. The Cold war was declared over at 12.55pm that day.

1 December 1989. The East German Parliament voted to remove the Communist monopoly on power.

13 November 1989, Hans Modrow was elected Prime Minister of East Germany.

10 November 1989, Bulldozers began to demolish the Berlin Wall.

9 November 1989. The East German government lifted the Iron Curtain to allow free travel between East and West Berlin. Thousands of East Berliners visited the West. 100,000 East Berliners visited West Berlin. The Berlin Wall originally went up on 13 August 1961.

7 November 1989, The entire East German Government resigned, replaced the following day with Hans Modrow as Prime Minister.

5 November 1989. Refugees were reportedly leaving East Germany at the rate of 300 an hour.

4 November 1989, See 7 October 1989. Pro-democracy rallies sparked by Gorbachev�s visit to East Germany resulted a a million-strong protest in East Germany.

18 October 1989, Erich Honecker was dismissed as General Secretary of of the SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany).

9 October 1989, East Germans in Leipzig demonstrated, demanding the legalisation of opposition groups and democratic reforms.

7 October 1989. On a visit to East Germany, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev urged the East German government to introduce reforms. See 4 November 1989.

26 September 1989. Over 1,500 East German refugees occupied the West German embassies in Prague and Warsaw

13 June 1989, Mikhail Gorbachev and Chancellor Kohl agreed that East and West Germany should be reunited.

4 October 1989. 10,000 East Germans left Prague by train for West Germany.

12 September 1989, The �Democracy Now� movement was founded in East Germany.

4 September 1989, The first of a series of �Monday Demonstrations� calling for democracy were held in ;Leipzig, East Germany.


5 October 1989, In Paris, the Moulin Rouge celebrated its centenary.

14 July 1989. Margaret Thatcher upset French festivities on Bastille Day when she denied that the French Revolution had inspired Human Rights.

13 June 1989, The wreck of the German battleship Bismarck which was sunk in 1941, was discovered 600 miles west of Brest, France.

29 March 1989, In France, President Mitterrand inaugurated the huge glass Louvre Pyramid.

24 September 1988, Large and angry protests against the World Bank and IMF meetings in West Berlin.

10 May 1988. President Mitterand of France won a second term. The Right was split, but the far Right Jean Marie Le Pen got 14.38% of the vote, 4 million votes. In Marseilles, Le Pen led with 28% of the vote.

26 August 1987, The funeral and burial of Rudolf Hess.

17 August 1987. Former top Nazi Rudolf Hess, born 1894, committed suicide in Spandau Prison, Berlin, after 46 years spent there.He was 93 when he died. He had been the only inmate, and demolition of the prison began almost immediately.

5 August 1987, Georg Gassman, German politician, died.


13.0, Klaus Barbie Trial 1987

4 July 1987. Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie, 73. was convicted in France, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

6 February 1983, The trial of Klaus Barbie began in Lyons, France. Known as the �Butcher of Lyons� during World War Two, Barbie deported hundreds of French Resistance fighters and Jews on trains to Nazi death camps Barbie was tracked down to Bolivia by Nazi-hunters Serge and Beatie Klarsfeld in 1971 but not extradited until 1983.

5 February 1983. Klaus Barbie was extradited from Bolivia to France to face Nazi war crimes charges.

19 January 1983, The Nazi war criminal, Klaus Barbie, was arrested in Bolivia.


25 January 1987, In West German Parliamentary elections, the incumbent CDU//FDP coalition won a further term.

5 April 1986, The La Belle discotheque in West Berlin, Germany, was bombed by terrorists. 2 died and over 100 were injured.

23 August 1985, Hans Tiedge, Head of West German counter-intelligence, was discovered to be an East German agent.

6 May 1983, West Germany pronounced that the �Hitler Diaries� were a fake, made from paper not available until at least 1955.The magazine Stern was swindled out of an undisclosed sum for the �diaries�. See 23 April 1983.

23 April 1983, The German weekly magazine Stern announced it had possession of hitherto unknown �Hitler Diaries�. See 6 May 1983.

6 March 1983, In West German elections, the incumbent CDU/FDP coalition won a majority. The Green Party won seats in Parliament for the first time.

13 January 1980, The Green Party was established in Germany.

1 October 1982, In Germany, the Christian Democrat leader Helmut Kohl was elected, replacing Helmut Schmidt as Chancellor of West Germany.

20 November 1981, The USSR contracted to supply natural gas to West Germany.


20 March 1986, In France, Jacques Chirac, Gaullist, was appointed Prime Minister.

16 March 1986, In French elections, the rightist opposition won a narrow majority ending five years of Socialist rule.

Rightist victory over the socialists in French elections


Socialist administration in France 1981-86

28 December 1985, Fernand Braudel, French historian, died aged 83.

22 September 1985, French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius admitted that French agents had sunk the Greenpeace boat Rainbow Warrior in Auckland, New Zealand, on 10 July 1985. The French Defence Minister was forced to resign.

15 October 1983, In France the �March for Equality and Against Racism set out from Marseille. It arrived in Paris on 6 December 1983 where it was met by the socialist President Mitterrand. In March 1981 Mitterrand had defeated incumbent right-wing President Valery Giscard d�Estaing, ending 23 years of rightist government.Mitterrand relaxed rules on immigration and ended �double punishment� � the obligation of convicted criminals to leave France if their parents were immigrants. The march symbolised the coming of age of many young French citizens born in Algeria to North African parents and their place in French society.

15 July 1983. Armenian terrorists set off a bomb at Paris airport.

20 June 1983, In Lyons, France, Toumi Djaidja, a young French citizen of Algerian origin who had campaigned against police harassment of migrants, was shot and seriously injured by a policeman whilst protecting a child from a police dog. He spent 15 days in a coma, during which time civil unrest occurred across France (see 6 December 1983). The anti-racism march from Marseilles to Paris (see 15 October 1983) was to symbolise the place of young French citizens born to migrants from Algeria in France,

18 October 1982, Pierre Mendes France, French politician, died aged 75.

21 June 1981, In French elections, Socialists won a landslide victory in the second round of elections to the National Assembly. The new Assembly included three Communists.

21 May 1981, Mauroy became French Prime Minister.

10 May 1981. Socialist, Francois Mitterand was elected President of France. He defeated Valery Giscard D�Estaing.

Socialist victory over the rightists in France


24 December 1980, Death of German commander Grand Admiral Karl Donitz, who was briefly Fuhrer in 1945.

5 November 1980, Schmidt again became Chancellor of Germany.

10 October 1980, East Germany banned the sport of hang-gliding, in case it was used to escape to West Germany.

5 October 1980, West Germany re-elected Chancellor Helmut Schmidt with an increased majority.

26 September 1980. In Munich, neo-Nazis planted a bomb at a beer festival killing 12 and injuring 200 people.

13 August 1980, French fishermen blockaded Channel Ports, in a campaign for government aid.

26 June 1980, French President Giscard D�Estaing disclosed that France had the capability to produce a neutron bomb.

18 March 1980, Erich Fromm, German sociologist, died aged 79.

3 February 1980. The Communist leader of East Germany, Mr Honecker, praised the efforts of East German spies in the West.

16 October 1979, 23 people died when a tsunami hit Nice, France.

16 September 1979, Three families fled East Germany by balloon.

2 May 1979, Riots in Longwy, France, over the proposed closure of steel plants.

23 March 1979, A peaceful march in Paris against growing unemployment and threatened layoffs descended into violence when around 100 radicals began destroying shops and cafes, and throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the police.

26 June 1978, A bomb set off by Breton nationalists damaged Versailles.

31 March 1978, In France, President Giscard reappointed Raymond Barre as PM of the centre-Right coaltion.

19 March 1978, In France, a Left wing coaltion of Socialists and Communists narrowly failed to win control of Government. In French National Assembly elections, with a record 85% turnout, pro-Government Parties won 50.49% of the vote and 291 of the 491 seats in the National Legislature.

10 September 1977. The last official execution by guillotine in France; execution of Hamida Djandoubi. See 17 June 1939.

4 September 1977, E F Schumacher, German economist, died aged 66.

29 March 1977, Barre was elected French Prime Minister.


12.0., Baader Meinhof terrorists captured, imprisoned, 1972-77

28 April 1977, In Germany, the Baader Meinhof terrorists, Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin and Jan Raspe, dedicated to the violent overthrow of capitalism, were jailed for life. The trial began on 21 May 1975.

7 April 1977, In Germany, terrorists murdered the Attorney-General who was prosecuting the Baader-Meinhof gang.

12/1976, The French Gaullist Party became the Rassemblement pour la Republique (Rally for the Republic) Party. Jacques Chirac became Party leader.

9 May 1976, The terrorist Ulrike Meinhof, 42, hanged herself in her prison cell in Stuttgart.

21 May 1975, The trial of the Baader Meinhof terrorist group began. On 284/1977 they were sentenced to life imprisonment.

16 June 1972, German police captured Ulrike Meinhof, the last member of the Baader Meinhof gang still at large.


15 December 1976, Schmidt again became Chancellor of Germany.

3 October 1976, In German elections, Helmut Schmidt�s Social-Democrat-led coalition was returned to power with a reduced majority.

27 August 1976, Barre became French Prime Minister.

25 August 1976, Jacques Chirac resigned as French Prime Minister and was replaced by Raymond Barre.

27 May 1975, Jacques Chirac became Prime Minister of France.

27 February 1975, Peter Lorenz, Chairman of the West Berlin Christian Democratic Union, was kidnapped by terrorists. He was released on 5 March 1975 after demands that 5 terrorists were released from German jails and flown out of the country were met.


11.0, Normalisation of relations between East and West Germany, 1970-74

4 September 1974. The USA established diplomatic relations with East Germany.

22 June 1973. East and West Germany were accepted into the UN.

21 December 1972, East and West Germany signed the Grundvertrag (Basic Treaty), by which the two States recognised each other�s boundaries and established a reciprocal presence in each other�s capital cities.

24 November 1972, Finland became the first western nation to formally recognise East Germany.

19 March 1970, Prime Minister Willi Stoph of East Germany met Chancellor Willy Brandt of West Germany. They discussed how to improve relations between the two countries.


19 May 1974, Valery Giscard d�Estaing was elected President of France.

16 May 1974, Helmut Schmidt became Chancellor of West Germany.Chancellor Brandt had resigned on 6 May 1974 over a spy scandal.

6 May 1974, Willy Brandt, Chancellor of West Germany, was forced to resign after he unwittingly employed an East German spy as a secretary. There had been warnings fro 4 years that Gunter Guillaume was a spy.Brandt became Foreign Minister in 1966 and West Germany�s first Social Democratic Chancellor in 1969. In 1971 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Price for his policies of detente with the Communist bloc.

2 April 1974. Georges Pompidou, French president from 1969, died in office, from cancer, aged 62.

21 March 1974, France suffered widespread power cuts as electricity workers went on a 24-hour strike..

24 November 1973, Germany imposed speed limits on its autobahns in response to the global oil crisis. The limits were ;lifted 4 months later.

5 September 1973, Jordanian terrorists held 13 hostages in the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Paris.

12 June 1973, In West Germany, Helmut Kohl became leader of the right of centre Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU).

9 June 1973, Erich von Manstein, military adviser to Adolf Hitler in World War Two (born in Berlin, 24 November 1887) died, having been imprisoned by the British in August 1945. His advice on attacking France through the Ardennes in 1940 was crucial to Nazi success here.

5 May 1973, Messmer was elected Prime Minister of France.

14 December 1972, Brandt became Chancellor of Germany.

8 November 1972, East and West Germany signed the Basic Treaty, agreeing to respect each other�sindependence and sovereignty. The East claimed that this Treaty finalised the division of Germany; the West claimed it did not preclude the possible later reunification of Germany should the Cold War come to an end. In any case the Treaty was a political triumph for Chancellor Willy Brandt and his policy of Ostpolitik, allowing for personal contact between the leaders of East and West Germany.

11 May 1972, In West Germany, The �Red Army Faction� set off a bomb at the American 5th Army Corps base.

5 July 1972, Pierre Mesmer succeeded Jacques Chaban-Delmas as Prime Minister of France.

23 January 1972, Jerome Guedj, French Socialist Party politician, was born.

3 September 1971, The USA, Britain, France and the USSR signed the Berlin Agreement on communications between West Berlin and West Germany.

3 May 1971, Erich Honecker succeeded Walter Ulbricht as First Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of East Germany.

21 October 1969. Willy Brandt was elected Chancellor of West Germany. He succeeded Kurt Georg Kiesinger.

1968, The Krupp steel business in Germany ceased to be a family business of the Krupp family. The Krupp family, present in the Essen, Ruhr, region since the 16th century, had been major arms manufacturers for over 300 years. Under Alfred Krupp (1812-87) the business became the largest cannon manufacturer in the world from 1847 onwards, also having ownership of mines and other neterprises in the Ruhr region. Afred�s son, Friedrich Alfred Krupp (1854-1902) diversified into shipbuilding and armour plate. Freidrich committed suicide following accusations of immoral conduct and his daughter, Bertha (1886-1957) took over the business. In 1902 she married Gustav von Bohlen und Halbach, and he was allowed to change his name to Gustav Krupp von Bohlen (1869-1950). The Krupp enterprise manufactured armaments for Gremany and its Allies during both World wars; between the Wars it made tractors for the Weimar Republic. The Krupp family, from 1932, vigorously supported Hitler, as did their son Alfred Felix Krupp (1906-67). In 1943 Hitler passed a special Lex Krupp to ensure the business would remain in Krupp family hands.

In 1945 Gustav Krupp was indicted at Nuremberg as a major war criminal, having utilised 130,000 slave labourers at Essen and Auschwitz, and for inhumane treatment of foreign workers; however he was deemed too frail to stand trial. Alfred Krupp was conicted and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in 1947; however he wasd released in 1951 to assist on the economic recovery of west Germany. By 1963 he was the most powerful industrialist in the Common Market. Just before his death in 1967 the Krupp enterprise encountered financial problems and was sold out of the family.

11 June 1968, East Germany began requiring visas for West Germans to cross its territory.


10.0, De Gaulle loses referendum; replaced by Pompidou, 1969-70

9 November 1970. Charles De Gaulle died, aged 79 of a heart attack, in Colombey les Deux Eglises. See 28 April 1969. He had been President of France between 1944 and 1945, and between 1959 and his resignation on 28 April 1969.

22 June 1969, Chaban Delmas became French Prime Minister.

15 June 1969, Pompidou became President of France, see 28 April 1969.

28 April 1969. General De Gaulle, 79 years old, resigned as Prime Minister of France. President Pompidou, who became French President on 15 June 1969, succeeded him.De Gaulle lost a referendum on changes to French regional institutions.De Gaulle was resented for high taxation to pay for the French military, whilst health, education, and social services were neglected, leading to French student riots in spring 1968.De Gaulle retired to Colombey.See 9 November 1970.

1 April 1969. France formally left NATO.


9.0, French Civil unrest, Strikes, De Gaulle wins power, 1968

11 July 1968, Couve de Murville became French Prime Minister.

30 June 1968. De Gaulle won massive support in French elections.

12 June 1968, The French Government banned demonstrations and dissolved 11 student organisations,

30 May 1968, French President De Gaulle announced he would not resign, and called a General Election.

25 May 1968. Riots continued in Paris. Demonstrators erected barricades and students stormed the Bourse and set fire to the interior. In London a demonstration of support for the rioters was made outside the French Embassy; the police moved in and arrests were made, resulting in fines totalling �145 for 17 people. In north London, students at Hornsey College of Art continued a sit in of the main building, demanding �a change to the college�s educational system�.

22 May 1968. Striking French workers now numbered 9 million.

19 May 1968. Two million workers in France were on strike.

17 May 1968. French President Georges Pompidou appealed to ordinary Parisians to help stop the anarchy as student riots continued in Paris, with 30,000 people involved in a day and a night of violence. Students at The Sorbonne were locked out of campus, causing further unrest; the demonstrations were against the Vietnam War.

The Cannes Film Festival collapsed in chaos as striking technicians and directors caused film screenings to be cancelled, and three days later the number of striking French workers had risen to about six million.

22 March 1968, Student �anarchists� rioted and occupied an administration building at Nanterre University, France. The riots soon spread to other universities.

20 March 1968, Six French students were arrested in Paris during an anti-Vietnam War demonstration.


6 April 1968, In East Germany, 94.5% of voters approved the new socialist constitution.

2 April 1968, Two West German terrorists, Baader and Ensslin, firebombed a Frankfurt department store, in protest against the bombs being dropped by the US on Vietnam.

19 April 1967, Konrad Adenauer, West German Chancellor from 1949 to 1963, died.

2 June 1967, Rioting in West Berlin against the visit of the Shah of Iran, in which Benno Ohnesorg is killed by a police officer. His death resulted in the founding of the terrorist group Movement 2 June.

6 April 1967, Pompidou was re-elected French Prime Minister.

1 October 1966, Albert Speer, Hitler�s architect, was released from Spandau prison, West Berlin, along with Nazi Baldur von Shirach, having completed their 20 year sentences. Rudolf Hess, serving a life sentence, was now the sole inmate.

1 July 1966, France withdrew its armed forces from NATO.

11 March 1966, De Gaulle announced that France was to withdraw from NATO and that NATO must remove its bases from France by the end of 1966.

19 December 1965. De Gaulle was re-elected president of France.

6 December 1965. General De Gaulle failed to win the French presidential election outright, necessitating a second ballot between him and Monsieur Mitterand.

20 October 1965, Erhard became Chancellor of Germany

15 February 1964, Willy Brandt, Mayor of West Berlin, became leader of the West German Social Democratic Party.

23 June 1963, US President Kennedy began a five-day tour of West Germany, including West Berlin. He promised, �we shall risk our cities to defend yours�.

22 January 1963, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) signed a Treaty of Friendship with French President Charles de Gaulle, marking �the end of a century of hostility and suspicion between the two nations�.

13 December 1962, Rudolf Wissell, German politician and former Minister for Economic Affairs in the Weimar Republic, died aged 93.

11 December 1962, In West Germany, a coalition government of Christian Democrats, Christian Socialist and Free Democrats was formed.


8.0, Berlin Wall, construction 1958-61

5 October 1964, 57 people escaped from East to West Berlin through a 98 metre tunnel under the Berlin Wall.

17 August 1962, Peter Fechter, 18, became the first person to be killed whilst trying to cross the Berlin Wall. He was shot dead by border guards.

5 May 1962. Eleven elderly East Berliners escaped to the West through a tunnel. They had dug the tunnel six feet high so the women wouldn�t have to crawl.

28 October 1961, The Berlin Crisis, US and Soviet tanks began a gradual withdrawal from stand-off positions either side of the border.

19 August 1961, US President Johnson visited West Berlin.

17 August 1961, Construction of the Berlin Wall began, see 13 August 1961. The Soviets had hidden building materials close to the site of the wall, so construction was rapid.2,000 people a day had been leaving the east for West Germany.

13 August 1961. East German border guards stopped cars passing through the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin.The border between East and West Berlin was sealed, at first with barbed wire, later by the Berlin Wall, erected on 17 August 1961. On 22 August 1961 a 100 metre no-man�s-land was created either side of the Berlin Wall.

The Wall was 96 miles long and 3.6 metres high. It had 302 armed watchtowers and 20 bunkers.192 persons were killed at the Wall, and another 200 wounded by shooting. The East German Government called the barrier �an anti-fascist protection wall�. A second wall was added in June 1962, and a third in 1965, reinforced by a fourth in 1975. The Berlin Wall finally came down on 8 November 1989.

4 June 1961, The USSR tried to negotiate for the general demilitarisation of Berlin. It was concerned that the joint occupation arrangements were providing an escape route for many young skilled people to the West. The USA rejected the suggestion.

31 August 1960. East Germany closed the border with West Berlin.

7 September 1960, Wilhelm Pieck, President of East Germany since the nation's creation in 1949, died aged 84. The office was abolished following his death.

1 October 1959, East Germany changed its flag (until now, the same as West Germany�s) to include worker and rural peasant symbols.

27 November 1958, The Soviet Union demanded an end to the 4-power occupation arrangements of Berlin and the entire city to become a demilitarised zone


For Algerian wars of independence see Algeria

7.0, French 5th Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle. Plans for Algerian independence, opposed, 1958-63

4 September 1963, Robert Schuman, French Prime Minister, died.

6 July 1963, France declared its first National Park, the Vanoise Park in Savoy.

21 June 1963, France withdrew its navy from NATO.

14 April 1962, Georges Pompidou became French Prime Minister.

21 January 1962 . In Paris OAS terrorists opposed to President De Gaulle�s plans for Algeria planted ten plastic explosives bombs

17 October 1961, French police killed over 200 Algerians in Paris. They were demonstrating for independence from France.

22 August 1961, Opponents of Charles de Gaulle�s plan to grant Algeria independence attempted to assassinate him.

8 January 1961, France held a national referendum on whether Algeria should be granted independence. The result was in favour of independence.

29 May 1959, Charles de Gaulle formed a �Government of National Safety� in France.

8 January 1959, Charles de Gaulle was installed as first President of the 5th Republic.See 21 December 1958.

28 December 1958, France devalued the Franc by 17.5%, and announced that a new �heavy Franc�, equal to 100 old Francs, would be phased in during 1959.

21 December 1958. De Gaulle was elected the first President of the Fifth Republic, with 78% of the vote.He now had the strong Presidency he had desired in 1945 (see 13 November 1945). See 29 May 1958.

5 October 1958, In France the Fifth Republic was formed.

28 September 1958, In France, a referendum gave a 4 to 1 majority approval for the institutions of the new 5th Republic. De Gaulle won the elections of November 1958.

29 May 1958. De Gaulle was voted into power in France, to deal with the crisis in Algeria. See 21 December 1958.


17 November 1961, Adenauer again became Chancellor of Germany.

7 November 1961, Konrad Adenauer was elected Chancellor of Germany for the fourth time.

29 May 1961, The Western European Union agreed that West Germany would be allowed to build destroyers equipped to fire nuclear weapons.

16 July 1960, Albert Kesselring, German Air Commander on all fronts during World War Two, condemned as a war criminal, died.

31 May 1960, Walter Funk, Nazi government official, died aged 69.

14 September 1958, Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of West Germany, visited French Prime Minister De Gaulle at his home in Colombey les deux Eglises to discuss Franco-German relations.

28 May 1958, Pierre Pflimlin resigned as French leader.

14 May 1958, In France, Pierre Pflimlin, Popular Republican, formed a government.

18 April 1958, Maurice Gamelin, French Army General, died aged 85.

For Algerian wars of independence see Algeria

19 October 1957, West Germany severed diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia after Yugoslavia recognised East Germany.

3 October 1957, Berlin voted in its youngest ever mayor, 44-year-old Willy Brandt.

15 September 1957, Konrad Adenauer�s Christian Democratic Union Party won a massive victory in German general elections.

12 June 1957, In France, Maurice Bourges-Manoury, Radical, formed a Government.

21 May 1957, In France, Guy Mollet, Socialist, resigned as Prime Minister after a Government defeat in the Assembly.

1 January 1957, The Saar was formally integrated in the German Federal Republic.

For Suez Crisis 1956 see Egypt

29 November 1956, France rationed petrol, due to shortages resulting from the Suez Crisis.

16 October 1956, British Prime Minister Anthony Eden and Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd visited Paris and met with French Minister Guy Mollet and Foreign Minister Christian Pineau to discuss joint action against Egypt.

30 September 1956, Doenitz (born 1891), German Admiral during World War Two, and technically head of State of Germany from Hitler�s suicide on 1 May 1945 until his internment on 23 May 1945, was released from Spandau Prison.He had been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 1946 by the Allied Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.

5 June 1956, In Luxembourg, Chancellor Adenauer of Germany and Prime Minister Mollet of France agreed that the Saar would have political union with Germany from 1 January 1957, and economic union after a longer period.

19 April 1956, Prince Rainier of Monaco married American actress Grace Kelly.

1 February 1956, Following French elections on 2 January 1956, Guy Mollett formed a Socialist government in France.

23 February 1955, In France, Edgar Faure formed a Radical government.

5 February 1955, The Algerian crisis caused the fall of the French Government under Pierre Mendes-France.. Former French Minister of Finance and economoic affairs, Edgar Faure, formed a new Government.

18 June 1954, Pierre Mendes-France became Prime Minister of France. He promised to end the war in Indo-China, after the humiliation of France at Dien ben Phu. He initiated decolonisation in Tunsia and Morocco as well as Indo-China.


6.0, West Germany becomes a regularised State 1953-56

1 May 1956. Germans demonstrated in favour of reunification.

8 March 1956, West Germany amended its Constitution to allow for the use of conscription for the military.

6 October 1955, The first group of German PoW�s released from World War Two captivity in Russia were brought to the Russian-Polish border at Bialystok, to be taken on to West Germany. By the end of 1955, over 9,000 such PoWs had been repatriated,

9 September 1955, The West German Chancellor, Dr Adenauer, went to Moscow as a guest of the Soviet Government. At a dinner with Marshall Bulganin, they agreed to the final release of German prisoners of war from World War Two back to West Germany, after more than a decade in captivity.

9 May 1955. West Germany became a member of NATO.

5 May 1955. West Germany became a sovereign state (see 26 May 1952); the Allied occupation by France, UK and USA officially ended.

25 January 1955. The USSR officially ended the war with Germany.

23 October 1954. NATO voted to end the occupation of West Germany and to form the Western European Union. West Germany became a member of NATO.

17 July 1954, In West Germany, Theodor Heuss was elected President.

9 October 1953, Adenauer again became Chancellor of Germany

29 September 1953, Ernst Reuter, Mayor of West Berlin, died aged 64 of a heart attack

6 April 1953, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer visited New York; on 14 May 1953 he visited London.


5.0, Soviet crackdown in East Germany 1952-53

17 June 1953. In East Berlin, Soviet tanks crushed an anti-Soviet uprising. Hundreds of East Germans took to the streets in a protest that began over increased work quotas and food shortages caused by the collectivisation of agriculture (see 12 July 1952).The protests escalated to demands for free elections. The first people to protest were construction workers on Stalinallee, a new highway slicing through east Berlin. After Stalin�s death in March 1953 some liberation was hoped for, but instead work quotas were raised by 10%. Churches were also to be abolished. Food prices were high, there was little meat and no fruit at all. Red Army tanks were brought in and the Soviet military commander proclaimed a state of emergency. 50 people were killed by Soviet forces, at least 20 of whom were summarily executed, and over 1,000 were convicted of taking part in the �attempted fascist coup�. Churchill and the other western powers were reluctant to intervene because they feared a reunited Germany. In a memo of 22 June 1953 Churchill felt a divided Germany was safer at present, but feared to say so in public for fear of German public opinion.

31 August 1952, During the past month, 16,000 people had escaped from east to West Berlin,

1 June 1952. The Soviet Iron Curtain isolated West Berlin.


30 November 1952, Elections in the Saar favoured autonomy from Germany and eventual alignment with France. West Germany rejected this result.

20 August 1952, Kurt Schumacher, German politician, died aged 56.

28 May 1952, Communist demonstrations in Paris, France.

1 April 1952, Vincent Bollore, French industrialist, was born.

29 March 1952, In France, the government of Edgar Faure fell after failing to get the National Assembly to approve tax increases. Antoine Pinay, Conservative, formed a government with Gaullist support.

29 February 1952, In France, Prime Minister Edgar Faure resigned after 40 days in office. He was succeeded by Paul Reynaud.

11 January 1952, French General de Lattre de Tassigny died of cancer in Paris. He was the chief architect of the French defence plan in World War Two.

13 December 1951, The French National Assembly ratified the Schuman Plan. This placed French and German steel iron and coal industries under one common authority, to which other countries could also accede.

17 June 1951, Elections for the French Assembly gave 107 seats to the Gaullists; 97 to the Communists; 94 to the Socialists; 87 to the Conservatives; 82 to the Popular Republicans; and 77 to the Radical Socialists.

10 March 1951, In France, political deadlock was resolved when Henry Queuille formed a government.

28 February 1951, In France, the government of Rene Pleven fell over issues of electoral reform.

26 January 1951, Gilles Lemaire: French politician, was born.

24 June 1950, Georges Bidault, French Prime Minister, resigned after his government was defeated in a vote on a technical issue.

30 March 1950, Leon Blum, French statesman, died

3 March 1950. France granted the Saar autonomy. However the Saar coal mines, also economic and customs affairs, remained under French control. West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer protested but the Saar did not return to German control until 1957.

5 September 1948, In France, Robert Schuman became President of the Council while being Foreign Minister, As such, he was the negotiator of the major treaties of the end of World War II.

30 August 1947, About 90 people were killed and 60 injured in a cinema fire in the Rueil district of Paris, France. Police said the blaze was caused by a wire in the second balcony that short-circuited

14 April 1947, In France, De Gaulle organised the RPF (Rassemblement du Peuple Francais) Party, also known as �Gaullists�, to unite and reform anti-Communists.

16 January 1947, In France, Vincent Auriol was elected President.

16 December 1946, In France, Leon Blum formed a Socialist government.

10 November 1946, In France, elections to the National Assembly produced 166 seats for the Communists, 158 for the Popular Republican Movement, 90 for the Socialists, 55 for the Radical Socialists, 70 for the Conservatives and 5 for the Gaullists. There was political deadlock.

17 May 1946. France nationalised its coal mines.


4.0 De Gaulle Presidency 1945-46

20 January 1946. De Gaulle resigned.Goiun became President of France.

21 December 1945, France appointed Jean Monnet as head of a commission to repair and develop French industry.He evolved the Monnet Plan which with 5 years enabled French industry to surpass its per-war output level.

13 November 1945. De Gaulle was elected President of France by the unanimous vote of all 555 deputies.However he resigned within ten weeks when the Fourth Republic disagreed with his idea for a strong US-style Presidency.See 21 December 1958.

21 October 1945, Elections in France provided gains for the Left. The Communists won 148 seats, the Socialists 134, Radical Socialists 35 (the Popular Republican Movement won 141 seats), Conservatives 62 seats, others 2 seats.


3.0 Inception of, and division between,post war East and West Germany, 1947-52

26 May 1952, A treaty was concluded for West Germany to be a sovereign state (see 5 May 1955), so long as Germany contributed to Western defence.Fears of the Soviet Union overrode fears of German aggression.

15 October 1950, In East German elections, a vote of 99.7% was recorded for the Communist-dominated National Front Party.

5 October 1950, For the first time since the surrender of Germany after WW2, the Allied Powers allowed German citizens to charter and to fly civilian aircraft, subject to approval of each flight by the Allied Civil Aviation Board at Wiesbaden. For more than 5years, West Germany and East Germany had been a "no fly zone" for domestic aircraft.

15 June 1950. West Germany admitted to the Council of Europe.

8 February 1950, The Stasi was founded in East Germany.

9 December 1949, East Germany banned the Christmas holiday.

7 October 1949. The German Democratic Republic was set up in East Germany.

15 September 1949, Konrad Adenauer was elected Chancellor of Germany.

12 September 1949, Theodor Heuss was elected first President of the Federal Republic of Germany.

20 June 1949, The USA, the USSR, France, and the UK signed a Four-Power agreement on Berlin, including a clause ensuring the freedom of movement within the entire city.

23 May 1949. The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was formally established, with its capital at Bonn.

28 April 1949, The Allies set up the International Authority for the Ruhr, or IAR.This was dissolved on 10 August 1952 when the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) came into force.

1 August 1948, The French zone of occupation was merged with the �bizone� (see 27 May 1947) to form the �trizone�. The �trizone� later became West Germany (see 23 May 1949).

18 June 1948, Germany replaced the old Reichsmark with the Deutschemark.

27 May 1947, The US and British zones of occupation were merged to form the �bizone�.

2 December 1946, The US and UK agreed to merge their occupation zones in 1947, to create a self-sustaining entity, at a cost of US$ 3 billion, shared equally between the UK and USA.

11 July 1946, At the meeting in Paris of the foreign ministers of the four Allied powers who were carrying out the post-war Occupation of Germany, U.S. Secretary of State James F. Byrnes proposed an economic merger of the occupation zones. The United Kingdom agreed on July 29, and the American and British zones would become the "United Economic Area", informally referred to as "Bizonia", on January 1, 1947. The French zone would join in 1949, and the three areas would become West Germany later that year.


2.0 Soviet blockade of West Berlin, 1948-49

6 October 1949, The Berlin airlift ended.It had carried on from 12 May 1949 despite the Soviet lifting of the land blockade.

12 May 1949. The Soviet blockade of West Berlin was called off after 11 months, it began 28 June 1948. It had cost the Allies �200 million to fly in food and essential supplies, with up to 200 flights a day.

9 May 1949. Prince Ranier III became Head of State of Monaco, succeeding his grandfather Prince Louis II.

5 May 1949, The USSR announced it would lift the blockade of Berlin on 12 May 1949.

16 April 1949, 16,000 tons of supplies were airlifted to West berlin in just 24 hours.

28 June 1948. The Anglo-US airlift to Berlin began; see 12 May 1949.

24 June 1948. The Russians began a blockade of West Berlin.The Berlin Airlift began on 28 June 1948 and delivered some 7,000 tons of food supplies to the city over a period of three months by British and American aircraft, defying the Soviet land blockade. The airlift continued until 30 September 1949, although the Soviet blockade was lifted on 12 May 1949. See 30 March 1948.

18 April 1948, All roads between Berlin and West Germany were now blocked by the Soviets.

1 April 1948. The Soviets suspended all rail services between Berlin and West Germany.

30 March 1948, The Russians imposed restrictions on Western traffic into West Berlin. See 26 April 1948. The West feared that the USSR was trying to absorb West Berlin; Moscow said it was responding to the West creating West Germany out of the three western occupation zones.


1.0 Judicial dealings with Nazis, 1945-51

23 July 1951, Marshal Petain, Head of Vichy France between 1940 and 1944, died in prison in the Ile d�Yeu, aged 95, serving a life sentence for collaboration, having been reprieved from a death sentence in 1945.

9 June 1951. In West Germany, the last Nazis convicted of war crimes were hanged.

15 January 1951, Ilse Koch, the �Bitch of Buchenwald�, wife of the Commandant of Buchenwald concentration camp. was sentenced to life imprisonment in a Court in West Germany.

6 January 1948, The Ministries Trial began in Nuremberg. Twenty-one officials of various ministries of the Third Reich went on trial, facing charges for their roles in atrocities committed by the Nazis.

6 May 1947, The war crimes trial of Albert Kesselring ended in his death sentence

19 April 1947, The Flick Trial began in Nuremberg. Friedrich Flick and five other leading Nazi industrialists were put on trial for using slave labour, among other crimes.

26 October 1946, Otto Thierack, German Reich Minister of Justice 1942-45, hanged himself in Neumunster internment camp to avoid being brought to trial.

16 October 1946. After 216 meetings of the Nuremberg Tribunal, from 20 November 1945, the verdicts on 24 top Nazis charged with war crimes were delivered on 30 September 1945. 3 Nazis were acquitted; Hjalmar Schacht, Franz von Papen and Hans Fritzsche. A fourth defendant, Robert Ley, had committed suicide in prison before the trials were completed. The industrialist Gustav Krupp was judged to be unfit to stand trial through senile dementia. The remaining 19 defendants were found guilty. Four of them, Karl Donitz, Baldur von Shirach, Albert Speer and Konstantin von Neurath, received sentences of between 10 and 20 years. Three defendants, Rudolf Hess, Walther Funk and Erich Raeder, received life sentences. Rudolf Hess was detained at Spandau Prison, Berlin, until his death in 1987. The remaining 12 defendants were sentenced to death. Martin Bormann was not executed as he had been tried in absentia having escaped the Allied authorities. Hermann Goering committed suicide in prison a few hours before he was due to be hanged. The remaining ten, Hans Frank, Willhelm Frick, Julius Streicher, Alfred Rosenberg, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Fritz Sauckel, Alfred Jodl, Wilhelm Keitel and Arthur Seiss-Inquart, were hanged on 16 October 1946.

As regards lesser Nazis, the problem facing the Allies was that millions of Germans had joined the Nazi Party, some merely for reasons of self-preservation, so it was impractical to prosecute all those who had served Hitler. Ultimately, out of a population of 44.5 million Germans in West Germany,209,000 were prosecuted. In East Germany the Soviets prosecuted a much smaller number, just over 17,000. This was because many Nazis were executed by the Soviets without a formal legal process.

6 October 1945, Leonardo Conti, Swiss-born Nazi and Reich Health Leader, aged 45, committed suicide by hanging in his Nuremberg prison cell.

30 September 1946, Former Nazi leader Hermann Goering committed suicide, the night before he was due to be executed.

13 September 1946, Captain Amon Goth, 37, Nazi SS officer who had carried out the mass executions of more than 13,000 Jews in Krakow and Tarnow, and the Szebnia concentration camp, was hanged, along with Dr. Leon Gross, a Jew who had collaborated with him at the Plaszow concentration camp.

2 July 1946, In the American Zone of Germany, Lt. Gen. Lucius D. Clay, Deputy Military Governor, pardoned all Nazis under 27 years old, except those accused of war crimes, and restored one million men to German citizenship. One commentator noted, "Clay acted on the assumption that many of these Germans became Nazis before they were old enough to realize what they were doing."

17 June 1946, The Allied decided not to try Hirohito as a war criminal.

22 May 1946, Karl Hermann Frank, the Nazi ruler in Czechoslovakia who ordered the massacre at Lidice, was hanged in Prague.

21 March 1946. Goering denied he knew anything of the �final solution�.

11 March 1946, Rudolf Hoss, the Nazi Commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp, was located and arrested by British military police near the northern German town of Flensburg, where he had been working on a farm under the alias "Franz Lang". Hoss, who confessed to overseeing the murder of millions of prisoners, mostly Jewish, was himself executed at Auschwitz on April 16, 1947.

7 February 1946. Hess was on trial at Nuremberg for war crimes.

8 January 1946. The trial of Goering and Von Ribbentrop began.

3 January 1946. Nazi propagandist William Joyce, the notorious Lord Haw Haw, was hanged in London for treason. He was known as Lord Haw Haw for the falsely posh nasal tones of his radio broadcasts telling of German military �successes� (often false). He had been convicted on 19 September 1945.

20 November 1945. The Nuremberg Trials began. Setting up a war crimes tribunal was unprecedented and an act of doubtful legality, but the world had a keen desire to see revenge for the atrocities the Nazis had committees, especially in their concentration camps. 24 Nazi leaders were on trial. Defendants included Goering, Hess, and Ribbentrop. On 16 October 1946 the executions of the guilty began. These included Von Ribbentrop, Rosenberg, and Streicher.

2 November 1945, 42 staff members of Dachau concentration camp were indicted at Nuremberg.

24 October 1945. Vidkun Quisling was hanged as a war criminal, at Askerhus Fortress, Oslo. He had joined the Norwegian Fascist Party (Nasjonal Samlung) in 1933, and had encouraged Hitler to invade Norway. He was also held responsible for sending nearly 1,000 Norwegian Jews to Nazi concentration camps. See 10 September 1945.

15 October 1945, Pierre Laval, leader of the French Vichy government, was executed for treason for collaboration with the Nazis.

9 October 1945. Pierre Laval, Prime Minister of Vichy France, was sentenced to death.

17 September 1945, 44 German concentration camp guards and the commandant of Belsen went on trial at Nuremberg.

10 September 1945. Vidkun Quisling was sentenced to death at Oslo for collaborating with the Nazis. He had been puppet Prime Minister during the Nazi occupation of Norway. He was executed on 24 October 1945, by firing squad, at Akershus Fortress, Oslo.

15 August 1945, Marshal Petain was convicted of treason (see 23 July 1945) and sentenced to death. Like all death sentences on minors and women, this was commuted by President De Gaulle to life and the 90-year-old Marshal was confined to the Ile de Yeu off the Vendee coast. In June 1951 Petain, feeble and devoid of mental faculties, was released; he died less than a month later. Overall in France the purge of collaborators, known as l�epuration (the purification) lasted from September 1944 to the end of 1949. Just over 2,000 death sentences were handed down, of which 768 were carried out. Even the entertainer Maurice Chevalier, who had merely entertained French PoWs in Germany, narrowly escaped a firing squad. Some 12x this number of those officially executed were summarily shot by firing squad immediately after liberation.

8 August 1945. The International Military Tribunal that was set up to try major war criminals named by the major four powers agreed the London Charter. War criminals would be tried for a) crimes against peace, waging a war of aggression, b) war crimes, violating the laws and customs of war, and c) crimes against humanity, inhumane treatmentand persecution of civilians/ Those who participated on formulating or executing a common plan or conspiracy to commit these crimes would also be tried.

23 July 1945, Marshal Petain was charged with treason, see 15 August 1945.

14 June 1945, Joachim von Ribbentrop was captured in Hamburg.

28 May 1945, Lord Haw Haw, William Joyce, was arrested, see 3 January 1946. William Joyce, known as Lord Haw Haw for his falsely posh tones in his pro-Nazi radio broadcasts, was arrested in Denmark and charged with treason.

23 May 1945. Heinrich Himmler, former Nazi Chief of Police, killed himself whilst in British custody. He had joined the waves of German civilian refugees unnoticed after VE Day and wandered aimlessly until he encountered a British checkpoint at Bremervorde, where his true identity was uncovered. As he was being searched he bit into a cyanide capsule and died.

10 May 1945, Vidkun Quisling was captured by Resistance fighters in Norway.

3 May 1945, At a three-Power UK-USA-USSR Foreign Minister�s meeting in San Francisco, the UK dropped its summary execution stance for war criminals.

9 February 1945, War crimes policy was briefly discussed at Yalta. Stalin wanted trials, provided they were �not too judicial�, whilst Churchill still wanted summary shootings. No agreement was reached here.

22 January 1945, Roosevelt agreed to proposals for international trials of WW2 war criminals.

15 September 1944, Roosevelt and Churchill approved a plan to shoot Nazi war criminals without trail, drawn up by Viscount Simon. This was put to Stalin, with a list of names, but he insisted on holding trials first.

16 June 1944, British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden drew up a list of top German war criminals, from Hitler down.

30 October 1943, The Big Three Allied powers, the UK, USA and USSR, warned Germany of their intention to hold War Crimes trials after the war.

Judicial dealings with Nazis


0.0 Post World War Two political developments (see above for judicial dealings with Nazis) 1946-47

25 November 1947. The USSR demanded war reparations from Germany.

10 February 1947. A Peace Treaty concluded in Paris between Italy, Romania, and Bulgaria made the following provisions. a) Most of the Italian province of Venezia Giulia, with its predominantly Slovene and Croat population, as well as the enclave of Zadar (Zara) and all the Adriatic Islands were ceded to Yugoslavia. b) A Free Territory of Trieste, demilitarised and neutral, was to be formed. However this was impractical and on 5 October 1954 the British, US, Italian, and Yugoslav governments agreed to divide the territory between Italy and Yugoslavia. c) Romania ceded Northern Bukovina and Bessarabia to the USSR. The Russian occupation of these areas had been by aggression on 27 June 1940; the population of Bessarabia was however mainly Romanian.

1 January 1947. The USA and British zones in West Germany were merged.Russia objected, and so did France, who wanted a divided Germany, and had annexed the Saar from French-occupied Germany.

20 August 1946, The German Army was officially dissolved by the Allied Control Commission.

29 July 1946, The Paris Peace Conference began.

30 March 1946, Some 800 Germans were arrested in US and British controlled zones of Germany and Austria, to thwart a possible revival of the Nazi Party.

26 March 1946, Allied Control Commission set limits on the level of German industrial production.

20 March 1946, Starving Germans in Hamburg started food riots, then looted food shops and railway wagons.

31 December 1945, Most Berliners were subsisting on just 800 calories a day; in 1946 in the British sector rations dropped on occasion to a slow as 400 calories a day, less than was received by the inmates at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Not only was food desperately short but numbers to be fed were swollen by huge numbers of German refugees from eastern Europe. Medical supplies were also virtually non-existent, and 43 of Berlin�s 44 hospitals had been destroyed or badly damaged. Typhoid spread due to broken water mains and damaged sewers. Then mosquitoes and other insects feeding on corpses spread disease, and dysentery killed 6 out of 10 babies born in Berlin in July 1945. Another lethal hazard was unexploded ordnance, shells, mines and grenades. In 1945 Berlin women outnumbered men by 3 to 1.

23 January 1946, Felix Goulin became Head of the Provisional French Government.

23 October 1945, Communists were the most popular Party in France.

1 October 1945, Britain, France and the USA ended most �fraternisation restrictions� between their troops and the German people. Marriage and cohabitation were still banned. Russia, taking a harder line, did not relax such restrictions.

12 September 1945, An estimate of War casualties reckoned that Britain had lost 420,000 members of the armed forces; the US had lost 292,000, and the USSR, 13 million. German loss of military men was put at 3.9 million, Japan�s at 2.6 million. British civilian casualties from air raids were set at 60,000, with 860,000 severely injured.

7 September 1945, Berlin Victory Parade of 1945: The Allies held a victory parade in Berlin. The Soviet JS-3 heavy tank was displayed in public for the first time.

2 August 1945, The Potsdam Conference (began 16 July 1945) ended without agreement on the future of Europe. The Soviets would not agree to free elections in Eastern Europe.

26 July 1945. In the Soviet-occupied zone of Germany, the banks were closed and citizens ordered to hand over all their gold, silver, foreign currency and other valuables to the Russians, who were also dismantling factories and taking them to Russia as reparations.

17 July 1945, The Potsdam Conference began, attended by Allied leaders Truman, Stalin, and Churchill (later replaced by Attlee).

12 July 1945, Concentration camp survivors carrieda huge cross through Paris in memory of French victims of Nazism.

11 July 1945, Russia handed over West Berlin to British and US forces.

6 July 1945, US Chiefs of Staff plan the evacuation of 400 top German scientists.

9 June 1945, Russia established Soviet Military occupation in Germany (SMAD), in Berlin.

5 June 1945. Allied commanders signed a pact for the occupation of Germany; it was t be divided into 4 zones, British, French, USA, and USSR.

14 May 1945, The last of Germany�s U-Boats in the Atlantic surrendered at Londonderry.

11 May 1945. Prague, the last European capital, was liberated.

Post World War Two political developments (see above for judicial dealings with Nazis)


8 May 1945. VE Day. The Second World War officially ended in Europe, at one minute past midnight. Field Marshall Keitel signed the final capitulation. The Channel Islands remained under Nazi occupation till the following day, 9 May 1945. Street parties were held all over Britain.

UK Bomber Command has calculated the following statistics relating to the Second World War. 55,573 aircrew were killed, of whom 47,130 died on operations, 138 died as PoWs, and 8,090 were killed in �mon-operational incidents� (mostly flying accidents). Of those killed, 38,462 were British, 9,980 were Canadian, 4,050 were Australian and 1,703 were New Zealanders. 530 RAF groundcrew were killed, and 759 injured, in incidents such as bombs detonating when being loaded onto aircraft or being jammed in the bomb bay. Total bombs dropped on Axis countries amounted to 955,044 tons, of which 657,674 tons was dropped on Germany itself. 336,037 bombing raids were carried out by the RAF. 8,655 aircraft were reported as missing (failed to return). By the end of 1944 Allied raids had reduced German oil production by 40%, so that many German tanks and aircraft became unuseable due to lack of fuel, even if they were serviceable.

German civilian casualties have been estimated at between 350,000 and 600,000.

Some 3.4 million German houses and flats had been destroyed out of a total of 17.1 million; a further 30% of homes had been severely damaged by bombing. The desperate housing shortage was exacerbated by an influx of some 10 million refugees from eastern Europe. Many Germans lived 5 or 6 to a room, or existed in makeshift shelters. Some, as at Dachau near Munich, lived in former concentration camps.

In Greater Manchester 684 people died in the bombing, and an additional 2,364 were injured.


For Chronography of World War Two in Europe and North Africa, from the invasion of Poland 1939 to VE Day 1945, click here


The start of major fighting in World War Two. Hostilities began between Germany and Poland, and Germany and France.


-1.0, Germany prepares to invade Poland; start of World War Two, with Britain and France involved, 1939.

31 August 1939, In Gleiwitz, a small German town close to the border with Poland, a small force of Nazi agents, dressed in Polish Army uniforms, took over the local radio station and broadcast anti-German propaganda in Polish. They then took bodies from Dachau concentration camp, dressed these in Polish Army uniforms, and mutilated the corpses to make identification impossible. Within a few hours Adolf Hitler was denouncing the �Gleiwitz Incident� in the German Reichstag and using it as a pretext to invade Poland.

26 August 1939, Daladier and Chamberlain attempted to negotiate with Hitler, but nothing was achieved.

25 August 1939, Britain signed an assistance pact with Poland, the Anglo-Polish Alliance. Britain had seen Hitler seize Czechoslovakia, in breach of the Munich Agreement; Hitler was now demanding the return of Gdansk (Danzig) and the coastal strip of land linking Germany to East Prussia (depriving Poland of its Baltic coast).Britain therefore abandoned its policy of appeasement with Germany.

23 August 1939. Hitler and the USSR concluded a 20 year non-aggression pact, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This left Hitler free to invade Poland.Hitler believed the German-Soviet pact would lead France and Britain to withdraw their guarantees of assistance to Poland.When instead Britain reaffirmed its support for Poland on 25 August 1939, Hitler postponed the attack on Poland, originally scheduled for the night of 25-26 August 1939.�� Diplomatic moves with Britain failed to dislodge UK support for Poland, and Hitler invaded on 1 September 1939.

22 August 1939, Hitler gave the Obersalzberg Speech to commanders of the Wehrmacht, detailing the pending invasion of Poland and plans for extermination of the Poles.

28 April 1939, Hitler denounced his earlier non-aggression pact with Poland, and demanded the incorporation of Danzig with Germany.

3 April 1939, Hitler ordered his generals to prepare plans for invading Poland.

31 March 1939. The British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, pledged to defend Poland, if attacked by Germany; so did France.

28 March 1939. Hitler�s deputy Von Ribbentrop signed an agreement with the USSR that they would both invade Poland. See 31 March 1939 and 1 September 1939.

27 March 1939, Nazi Germany began an anti-Polish propaganda campaign against �oppression of Germans in German lands now controlled by Poles�.


-2.0, Nazi Germany annexes Memel (Lithuania), 1939

23 March 1939, Between 5 and 7 a.m. German troops crossed into Memel. 31 ships of the German fleet arrived at the port at 10:20 a.m. Aboard the Deutschland, Hitler signed the decree formally turning the Territory over to Germany.

22 March 1939. Memel, part of Lithuania, was ceded to Germany, see 20 March 1939.

20 March 1939, Germany issued an ultimatum to Lithuania demanding the return of Memel, ceded by Germany in 1919.

16 January 1939, Lithuania and Germany signed a non-aggression pact. However in March 1939 Germany seized the Lithuanian territory of Memel-Klaipeda, where many ethnic Germans lived.


-3.0, Nazi Germany annexes the remainder of Czeckoslovakia, 1938-39

16 March 1939, Slovakia became a German protectorate.Hungary annexed Ruthenia, another part of Czechoslovakia.

15 March 1939. Germany occupied the remainder of Czechoslovakia (Bohemia and Moravia). The Sudetenland had already been occupied by Germany. Hitler described this as his last territorial claim in Europe. See 6 June 1938.

9 March 1939. President Hacha of Czechoslovakia sacked his pro-German prime Minister. Germany invaded a week later.

20 September 1938, The Hungarian leaders, Imredy and Kanya, were summoned to Germany. Hitler told them he had no objections to Hungary�s desires to regain Slovakia and Ruthenis, so long as Hungary actively took part in the destruction of Czechoslovakia.


-4.0, Refugees from Spanish Civil War flee to France, 1939

13 February 1939, France closed its border with Spain.

9 February 1939, In Spain, Franco�s army, pursuing the fleeing Republicans north from Barcelona, reached the French border. France had given refuge to the Republican forces, having confiscated their vehicles and weapons.

30 January 1939, France opened refugee camps for Republican women and children fleeing Barcelona after the defeat of the Republicans there on 26 January 1939. By March 1939, these camps at Argeles and other locations in SE France housed 250,000 refugees. This population movement was known as the Retirada (withdrawal).


-5.0, Final prelude to War 1938-39, last attempts to preserve peace in Europe

22 May 1939. Hitler and Mussolini signed the 'Pact of Steel' in Berlin.

15 April 1939, US President Roosevelt asked Hitler and Mussolini for assurances that they would not attack 31 named States.

13 April 1939, Britain and France guaranteed the independence of Romania and Greece.

17 March 1939, The French Parliament granted Edouard Daladier extensive powers to accelerate rearmament.

14 February 1939 The German battleship Bismarck was launched.

27 January 1939, Hitler approved Plan Z, an ambitious naval construction program that would give the Kriegsmarine some 800 ships by 1948.

1 November 1938, In Britain, Balloon Command was formed, under Fighter Command, to establish barrage balloon protection for 12 cities including Bristol and Cardiff. Experiments with barrage balloons had been carried out by the Germans back in 1917; the Allies also used them to protect Venice in 1918. The idea was to hoist a �barrage� of cables to prevent bomber aircraft diving low, so their accuracy was impaired. With the balloons, they could still dive but could not pull out afterwards without hitting a cable and crashing. The balloon wincher faced danger from lightning bolts, and from the static electric charge built up on the wincher, especially in wet weather. An operator had to jump away from the winch when leaving to avoid electrical conductance between his body and the winch and earth.

24 October 1938, Hitler demanded the return from Poland to Germany of Danzig.Poland refused.


-6.0, Nazi Germany annexes the Sudetenland (Czeckoslovakia), 1935-38

5 October 1938, President Benes of Czechoslovakia resigned.

1 October 1938. Germany annexed the Sudetenland, see 6 June 1938.

30 September 1939, Chamberlain told a crowd �I believe it is peace in our time� and waved the agreement he had made with Hitler at Munich, bearing Hitler�s signature.Chamberlain said �How horrible, fantastic, incredible, it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas masks here because of a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing�.

29 September 1938. In Munich, Chamberlain appeased Hitler over Sudetenland.Under the Munich Agreement, an agreement between Germany, Britain, France, and Italy, the Sudetenland was surrendered to Nazi Germany.No Czech representative was present.

15 September 1938. Neville Chamberlain visited Hitler at the Berchtesgarten, over the Czech crisis. Hitler declared he only wanted the Sudetenland.

12 September 1938, Hitler made a bombastic speech in Nuremberg demandningt an end to the oppression of Sudeten Germans. The British Cabinet held a meeting after Hitler had finished speaking. They were relieved that Hitler had only demanded �justice� for Sudeten Germans and had not committed himself to war.

7 September 1938. Sudetenland gained autonomy from Czechoslovakia, see 6 June 1938.

15 August 1938. Chamberlain visited Hitler for crisis talks.

12 August 1938. Germany mobilised its forces.

6 June 1938. President Benes of Czechoslovakia offered self-government to the Sudetenland. However on 27 September 1938 Hitler stated his intention to annex the Sudetenland. On 21 September 1938 Prague agreed to Anglo-French proposals to cede the Sudetenland to Germany. Czechs protested. German troops entered the Sudetenland on 1 October 1938, as Teschen, in Czech Silesia, was annexed by Poland. On 5 October 1938 President Benes of Czechoslovakia resigned.

20 May 1938. Czechoslovakia ordered 400,000 troops to the Austro-German border.

28 April 1938. Anglo-French talks on the Sudeten question. President Benes was urged to make concessions.

24 April 1938, Sudeten German leader Konrad Henlein presented a list of demands in a speech in Karlsbad. The principal demand was the creation of an autonomous German state within Czechoslovakia. Though left unsaid, it was readily inferred that this state could then vote to secede and join Germany.

23 April 1938. Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia demanded total self-government.

24 March 1938. The British Prime Minister, Chamberlain, announced that Britain would not oppose the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, in the interests of peace. However Britain would fight for France and Belgium.

29 November 1937, Sudeten Germans walked out of the Czech Parliament following a ban on political meetings.

17 November 1937, Lord Halifax arrived in Berlin for talks with Hitler on the Sudetenland; this was the first step in the process of appeasement.

17 October 1937. Sudeten Nazis rioted in Czechoslovakia.

19 May 1935. The Nazi Party made gains in elections in the Sudetenland.


-7.0, Nazi Germany annexes Austria, 1936-38

13 March 1938 Austria was declared to be part of the German Third Reich (the Anschluss, or �joining�); a province of Germany called Ostmark.A Nazi-controlled referendum gave a �vote� of 99.75% in favour of unification. The Anschluss had been expressly forbidden by the Treaties of Versailles and St Germain, 1919, and a proposed customs union between the two countries in 1931 had been vetoed by France and Czechoslovakia. However after Austrian Chancellor von Schuschnigg was forced to resign in early 1938, the Germans occupied Austria and formally declared a union anyway.

12 March 1938. Germany invaded Austria.This was 24 hours before an Austrian plebiscite was to have been held concerning closer relations with Germany.At 10.00 am German troops crossed into Austria, thereby tearing up Article 88 of the Treaty of Versailles, which forbade union of Germany and Austria.

11 March 1938, Hitler demanded the resignation of Austrian Chancellor Kurt von Schusnigg, after Schusnigg tried to forestall Hitler�s demands for unification with Germany by a referendum.

9 March 1938, Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg announced a referendum for March 13 to determine the question of unification with Germany.

1 March 1938, Field Marshal Hermann Goering was named Chief of Staff of Germany�s Luftwaffe.

12 February 1938. Hitler insisted that Austria released Nazi prisoners.

15 January 1937. Austria announced an amnesty for Nazis.

11 July 1936, Austria and Germany entered closer relations.Hitler forbade the Austrian Nazis from mounting another uprising to preserve a face of legality.


19 July 1938, King George VI of Britain visited Paris.

10 March 1938, In France, the Chautemps Government collapsed, weakening the French administration.

20 December 1937, Erich Ludendorff, German general who helped formulate strategy in World War One, died.

24 November 1937, In Germany, Walter Funk replaced Dr Schacht as Minister of Economics.

18 November 1937, A Fascist plot was discovered in Paris.

22 October 1937. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor arrived in Berlin to meet Hitler, study housing conditions, and hear a concert by the Nazi District Orchestra. The Duke had been advised not to go to Germany, but, having abdicated as King, he wanted to show he still had influence.

12 July 1937, Lionel Jospin, Prime Minister of France, was born.

4 February 1937, The German Ambassador gave King George VI a Nazi salute.


-8.0, Consolidation of Nazi power in Germany; political, cultural and economic, 1933-39

8 August 1939, The German press began an anti-Polish campaign.

8 June 1939, Members of the Hitler Youth were forbidden from eating ice cream cones while in uniform. They were informed by their superiors that it was "not in conformity with the dignity" of the uniform.

20 March 1939, The Nazis burnt �degenerate� art works in Berlin.

5 January 1939, Hitler demanded the return of Danzig from Poland.

15 December 1938, At the opening ceremony of a new section of the Autobahn in Rangsdorf, Joseph Goebbels told the German people that the territories occupied by the Reich were "still too small to meet our vital needs."

6 December 1938, Germany and France reached a friendship pact similar to the Munich Agreement. Hitler disavowed any interest in Alsace-Lorraine, and then claimed this was proof of his peaceful intentions.

22 April 1938, Nazi Germany decreed that Jewish-owned businesses were forbidden from changing their names.

4 February 1938. Hitler took over as War Minister in Germany. Joachim Von Ribbentrop became Foreign Minister.

5 September 1937. A huge rally marked the start of the Nazi congress in Nuremberg.

19 July 1937, In Berlin, the Germans staged an exhibition, intended as mocking, of �degenerate art�; art condemned by the Nazis.

16 July 1937, The Buchenwald concentration camp opened in Germany, on a plateau overlooking Weimar. The first inmates were mainly political prisoners, but most of the 238,980 prisoners ultimately sent there were Jews, of whom 56,545 died in the gas chambers.

For details of Nazi anti-Semitism, see Judaism, history

2 June 1937, German War Minister Werner von Blomberg began a three-day visit to Italy to discuss German-Italian military ties.

20 June 1937, All Catholic schools in Bavaria were closed by the Nazis.

14 March 1937, Pope Pius XI issued an encyclical entitled �On the condition of the Catholic Church in the German Reich�, condemning the racism and paganism inherent in Nazism. However Catholic church officials within Germany remained quiet. Hitler continued to persecute Catholics, sending many to concentration camps. The Nazis also used �morality trials� to turn public opinion against the Church.

30 January 1937, Hitler made a speech on the 4th anniversary of the beginning of the Nazi Revolution.He spoke of having friendly relations with other European powers but also spoke of the need for �lebensraum� � living space � stating that Germany needed colonies for economic expansion. He also promised to respect the neutrality of Belgium and The Netherlands.

16 January 1937, The Kiel Canal was supposed to be open without restriction for all shipping. This day Germany abrogated a condition of the Treaty of Versailles by requiring that ships now obtain permission for transit from their naval command.

5 January 1937, Nazi Germany recommended its artists depict at least four children in illustrations of German families.

1 December 1936. In Germany the Hitler Youth Law was ratified, making membership of the Hitler Youth compulsory for children aged 10 to 18.

25 November 1936. Germany and Japan agreed to protect world civilization from the Bolshevik menace, and signed the Anti-Comintern Pact, organised by Ribbentrop.Germany recognised the Japanese puppet state in Manchuria.See 6 November 1937.

14 November 1936, Germany denounced the clauses of the Versailles Treaty internationalising its waterways.

1 November 1936. Mussolini announced an anti-Communist �axis� with Germany, and urged France and Britain to join.

20 October 1936, Hitler established closer relations with Mussolini, using the Spanish Civil war as a pretext.

19 October 1936, Germany began a Four Year Plan for Economic Growth. This was intended to prepare the nation for war by late 1940.

24 August 1936, Germany extended conscription from one year to two.

16 August 1936. Hitler�s dreams of the proof of Aryan supremacy at the Berlin Olympics were shattered when the Black athlete, Jesse Owens, won four gold medals in the 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres relay, and the long jump. After Owens�s second win, Hitler stormed out of the stadium in disgust.

11 August 1936, Joachim von Ribbentrop was appointed German Ambassador to London.

1 August 1936. Adolf Hitler opened the 11th Olympic Games in Berlin.The Olympic flame was carried to the venue from Greece for the first time.See 16 August 1936.

1 May 1936, Starting on this day, every newlywed couple in Nazi Germany was to receive a copy of Mein Kampf from the registrar.

20 April 1936, The German cruiser Emden began a controversial 10-day goodwill visit to Baltimore, Maryland, sponsored by local German-American groups. Over 2,000 people marched to protest the cruiser's arrival, but thousands of other Baltimoreans waited for hours to take tours of the ship during its stay.

18 February 1936, Charlie Chaplin�s film, Modern Times, was banned in Nazi Germany because it had �Communist tendencies�. Many suspected the real reason for the ban was the resemblance of Charlie Chaplin to Hitler in the film.

15 February 1936, Hitler announced that every German household would have a Volkswagen car.

6 February 1936. Hitler opened the Winter Olympic Games in Germany.

30 November 1935. Non-belief in Nazism was made legal grounds for divorce in Germany.

12 October 1935, Hitler banned American jazz from German radio, calling it decadent. Music of Jewish or Black origin was also banned.

26 October 1933, The German Government took over directorship of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. This made the players into civil servants, meaning that Jewish players could be barred as Jews were forbidden form working for the civil service.

4 October 1933, The Schriftleitergesetz (Editorial Control Law) took effect in Germany, placing the press under the control of the government. All newspaper and magazine editors had to be members of the new "Reich League of the German Press", which banned non-Aryans as well as people married to non-Aryans.

11 March 1933, The Nazi Germany Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, later simply the Propagandaministerium, was established. Joseph Goebbels became the first Propaganda Minister on 14 March.


4 January 1937, Paul Behncke, German admiral, died aged 67.

2 October 1936, France devalued the Franc (27 September 1936, France left the Gold Standard). Inflation began to rise, obliterating the gains made by the French working class, causing bitter political divisions later on.

25 September 1936, The French government decided to devalue the franc by one-quarter to one-third in order to stabilize the currency.

17 July 1936, France nationalised its munitions industry.

30 June 1936, The Fascist Party in France was suppressed.

12 June 1936, France instituted a 40-hour working week.

4 June 1936, In France, Leon Blum formed a Leftist Popular Front government.

26 May 1936, General Strike began in France.

8 May 1936, Oswald Spengler, German historian, died aged 55.

3 May 1936, The Left won in French elections.

23 January 1936, In France, Prime Minister Pierre Laval resigned after criticism of the Hoare-Laval pact. This was a secret pact between the British Foreign Secretary, Samuel Hoare, and the French Prime Minister, Pierre Laval, to allow Italy to retain its conquest of Abyssinia, so as not to drive Italy closer to Germany.

4 June 1935, In France, Pierre Laval formed a government.

31 May 1935, In France, politician Pierre Flandin lost power.

26 May 1935, Several were injured in a riot at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris. A group of Nationalists had gathered to see Maxime Weygand preside at a ceremony rekindling the tomb's eternal flame, cheering him on with shouts of "put Weygand in power!" The riot was set off by someone failing to doff his hat.

2 May 1935. France and the USSR signed a mutual defence pact in case of attack.See 7 March 1936.

14 April 1935. Britain, France, and Italy agreed to form a united front against German re-armament.

15 October 1934, Raymond Poincare, French statesman, died aged 74.

9 October 1934, Alexander (1888 � 1934), King of Yugoslavia since 1921, was assassinated by Croatian terrorists from the Ustase Movement in Marseilles. The French Foreign Minister, Louis Barthou, was also killed. Alexander I was succeeded by his 11-year old son Peter II (1923-1970). Alexander�s cousin, Paul (1893-1976) acted as Regent until 27 March 1941; however just a fortnight after this, Peter II was forced into exile by invading German forces.


-9.0, Increasing power of Hitler and the Nazis, 1934-36

29 March 1936. Hitler won 99% of the vote in German 'elections'.

12 March 1936, Germany threatened to enter a state of "honourable isolation" and increase its military presence in the Rhineland if France and Belgium continued to mass troops on their eastern borders.

7 March 1936. The German Army re-entered the Rhineland, supposedly a demilitarised area. A token force of 22,000 troops marched into the 50-kilometre wide strip of territory bordering the Rhine, goose-stepping through Essen, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Cologne. France wanted action but Britain did not object. This was in breach of the Treaties of Versailles and Locarno. Germany justified its move by saying the French-Soviet pact, concluded in 1934 and ratified by the French government in early 1936, was against the Locarno Treaty.

7 November 1935, Germany introduced a new Reichskriegsflagge (Reich war flag). It resembled the national swastika flag, with elements of the old Imperial war flag included.

15 September 1935. The Swastika was made the official flag of Germany.

15 August 1935. Hitler decreed that the Swastika was to be Germany�s national flag, and banned German-Jewish marriages.

18 June 1935. France was angry at an Anglo-German naval deal that allowed Germany to build up its naval strength, albeit to only 35% of the Royal Navy. This was in contravention of the Treaty of Versailles.

11 May 1935, Nazi Germany ordered that all new or altered buildings would be required to consult the Air Protection League on the possibility of constructing bomb- and gas-proof cellars.

8 May 1935, The UK Cabinet heard that it was estimated that the RAF was inferior to the Luftwaffe by 370 aircraft and that in order to reach parity the RAF must have 3,800 aircraft by April 1937�an extra 1,400 on the existing air programme. It was learnt that Germany was easily able to outbuild this revised programme as well. On 21 May 1935, the Cabinet agreed to expanding the home defence force of the RAF to 1,512 aircraft (840 bombers and 420 fighters).

7 April 1935. In the free city of Danzig, the Nazis won 60% of the vote.

29 March 1935, Stalin and Eden met in Moscow to discuss German re-armamament.

16 March 1935, Germany announced it was reintroducing conscription, for one year (see 24 August 1936), with a view to building a peacetime army of 35 divisions.This was in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles; other Europeanpowers protested but did nothing else.

15 March 1935. France extended compulsory military service to two years.

11 March 1935. In Germany, Hermann Goering announced the creation of the Luftwaffe, or German air force.

13 January 1935. A plebiscite in the Saar indicated a desire to return to Germany.The vote was 90.36% in favour of joining Germany, with an almost-100% turnout.The Saar rejoined Germany on 1 March 1935.2,000 refugees fled the Saar for France.

1934, Nazi Germany began the Erzengungsslacht program to make the country self-sufficient in food. By 1937 Germany was producing 90% of the food it consumed.

28 November 1934. Churchill warned of growing German air strength.

24 October 1934. Nazi labour movement formed.

18 September 1934. Britons first heard Lord Haw Haw (Irishman William Joyce) make a pro-Nazi broadcast.

4 September 1934. In Germany, 750,000 attended the opening of the Nazi Party Conference.

19 August 1934. A plebiscite in Germany gave sole power to the Fuhrer; agreeing to his merging the offices of President and Chancellor, Adolf Hitler. Of 45.5 million voters, 38m voted for Hitler, 4.25m voted against him, and 870,000 spoilt their ballot papers.

3 August 1934, Following the death of Hindenberg, the German Cabinet merged the offices of President and Chancellor, and made Hitler �Der Fuhrer�.


4 May 1936, Ludwig von Falkenhausen, German General, died aged 91.

2 August 1934. Paul von Hindenburg, German military leader and President from 1925, died aged 86.

27 July 1934, Louis HG Lyautey, French Minister of Defence 1916-17, died aged 79


-10.0, Chancellor Dollfus of Austria bans Nazis, assassinated by Nazis, 1933-34

31 July 1934, The murderers of Chancellor Dolfuss were executed.

30 July 1934, Kurt von Schuschnigg was appointed Chancellor of Austria.

26 July 1934. Following the murder of Chancellor Dollfus in Austria, on 25 July 1934 in a failed Nazi coup, the Austrian government ordered the round up of all Nazis. Over 150 Austrian Nazis were arrested. The Nazis in Austria had attempted an unsuccessful coup against the Dollfus administration; Dollfus was a devout Catholic and violently anti-Socialist. He had used the army to crush the schutzbund, the big socialist defence force established in the housing estates outside Vienna. The workers held out against the army for five days. A Nazi gang broke into the Austrian Chancellery; Dollfus was shot in the throat and left to bleed to death for four hours. When it was clear the Nazi coup was going to fail the gang took other government ministers hostage and negotiated a promise of safe conduct to the German border. This promise was withdrawn when it was discovered that Dollfus was dead. Three police and two Nazis died in a three hour battle for the radio station.

25 July 1934, Engelbert Dolfuss (1892-1934), Chancellor of Austria, was assassinated in Vienna by rebel Austrian Nazis.Otto Planetta was convicted of the crime and hanged.

19 June 1933. The Prime Minister of Austria, Engelbert Dollfuss, banned all Nazi organisations.

29 March 1933, Austrian Nazis staged a large demonstration, in defiance of Chancellor Dollfuss. Meanwhile Germany instituted a punitive 1,000 Mark tourist tax on any German visiting Austria, which severely damaged the Austrian tourist industry.


3 May 1934. The author H G Wells predicted there would be a major world war by 1940.

23 April 1934, Berlin police prohibited fortune-telling.

12 February 1934, General Strike in France began (until 13 February 1934) in protest at the dangers of Fascism.

9 February 1934, Former president Gaston Doumergue became Prime Minister of France.

7 February 1934, Daladier resigned as Prime Minister of France due to inability to control the rioting in Paris.

6 February 1934, Riots in Paris between far Right and Communist factions. These riots continued until 9 February 1934. They had been sparked by the suicide, on 8 January 1934, of the Russian-born Serge Stavisky, a dubious speculator who had been protected from prosecution by corrupt government officials. There were allegations that he had in fact been killed to protect these officials, and both Far Right and Communist factions protested over the inefficiency and corruption of the French administration. Civil war loomed in France, until the establishment of a group of new government officials who were innocent of any corruption allegations.

8 January 1934, The death of financier Alexander Stavisky precipitated a p[olitical crisis in France.

24 October 1933, Edouard Daladier resigned as Prime Minister of France after the Socialist deputies in Parliament failed to support his plans for increased taxes and decreased government spending. After both Albert Sarraut and Camille Chautemps served for one month and two months respectively, Daladier would become Prime Minister again on January 29, 1934.

23 October 1933, Albert Sarraut became Prime Minister of France.

21 May 1933. Britain signed a ten-year non-aggression pact with Italy, France, and Germany.


-11.0, Hitler gains absolute power in Germany, eliminates all opposition, 1933-34

20 July 1934, In Germany, the SS was constituted an independent organisation within the Nazi Party.

13 July 1934. Heinrich Himmler (33) was put in charge of Germany�s concentration camps.

3 July 1934. German Vice-Chancellor Von Papen resigned.

30 June 1934. Hitler�s rival Ernst Rohm and hundreds of influential Nazis were murdered by the SS in the �night of the long knives�. Hitler justified this by claiming the SS were planning to overthrow him. The Army probably also threatened to take over unless Hitler got rid of the brownshirt thugs and stopped talk of socialist revolution. So they were crushed and the blackshirts, or SS, emerged triumphant.

29 March 1934, Germany published its defence estimates' which showed a total increase of one-third and an increase of 250% in its air force

26 January 1934. Germany signed a non-aggression pact with Poland.

30 January 1934. In Germany the regional Lander Diets were abolished and power centralised.

1 January 1934. Sterilisation became law in Germany.

23 December 1933, In Germany, the sentences were announced at the Reichstag Fire Trial.

12 December 1933. In Germany, the new Reichstag met but adjourned indefinitely.

30 November 1933, Hermann Goering created the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei, or secret state police), as an instrument of terror and repression.

12 November 1933. In a plebiscite in Germany, the Nazis won 92% of the vote.

14 October 1933. Germany withdrew from the League of Nations.

27 September 1933, In Germany the National Synod elected the pro-Nazi Ludwig Muller as Reichs-Bishop. Opponents rallied round Pastor Neimoller and formed the anti-Nazi Confessional Church.

21 September 1933,The Reichstag Fire trial began.

2 September 1933, Adolf Hitler addressed a huge crowd at Zeppelin Field, promising that the Nazi Party would meet in Nuremberg for the next 1,000 years.

25 August 1933, The Haavara (�transfer�) Agreement was signed between the Nazi German Government and Zionist Jews. It provided for the relocation of Jews from hostile Germany to what was then British Mandated Palestine, and for these Jews to take some assets that would otherwise have been confiscated by Germany. Advantages to Nazi Germany included the removal of Jews from their territory and a possible easing of sanctions on the country which had been imposed by Jews in the rest of Europe, which were a threat to the still-fragile German economy. The Agreement was cancelled in 1939 after Hitler invaded Poland. Hitler inititally opposed the Haavara Agreement, but supported it in the period 1937-9.

25 July 1933. Hitler�s Cabinet announced that disabled people would be sterilised.

14 July 1933. Nazis banned all other political parties in Germany.

4 July 1933. The Deutsche Volkspartei (DVP) was dissolved. The DVP had been formed in December 1918 as a moderate right-wing Party representing liberalism and industry. Its leader, Streseman, served as German Foreign Minister from 1923 until his death in 1929; he did much to alleviate the harsher provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. However from 1930 the DVP lost most of its electoral support.

22 June 1933, In Germany, the Social Democrat Party was suppressed.

30 May 1932, German Chancellor Heinrich Briening (1885-1970) was ousted from office by the pro-Nazi Franz von Papen.Breining had been appointed as Chancellor by President Hindenburg on 28 March 1930, as a counterweight to Nazi influence.Breining escaped from Germany to Holland in 1934 and went on to lecture at Harvard.

28 May 1933. The Nazis won elections in the free city of Danzig.

17 May 1933, Hitler made the first of his �Peace� speeches.

16 May 1933, Hitler gave a secret instruction to begin mass production of weaponry for the German Army.

9 May 1933. Hitler ordered the burning of more than 25,000 books. �Un-German� volumes were thrown onto a huge bonfire outside Berlin University. Other similar fires took place in other German cities and over 1 million books may have been burned altogether.

6 May 1933, In a prelude to mass book burnings in Germany, a gang of students destroyed the work of Magnus Hirschfeld, burning the contents of the Institut f�r Sexualwissenschaft (Institute of Sex Research) in Berlin. Hirschfeld was out of the country at the time and never returned to Germany. He died in 1935 aged 67.

2 May 1933, Trades Unions were forbidden in Germany. The

ADGD (Allgemeiner Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund) had been formed in 1919, as a federation of German Trades Unions, and had gained a total membership of 5 million workers. On this day it was banned by the Nazi Party.

26 April 1933, The Gestapo German secret police force was established.

23 March 1933. Germany passed 'Enabling Laws' giving Hitler dictatorial powers.

21 March 1933, The first meeting of the German Reichstag, after the fire of 27 February 1933.The Reichstag met in the garrison church in Potsdam, a historical site of Prussian military power.

See Jewish History 1930s for anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany

14 March 1933. Goebbels was appointed as Nazi Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment. The Nazis banned Kosher meat.

5 March 1933. The Nazis won almost half the seats in the German elections (43.9% of the vote). The Communists won 12.3% of the vote.Hitler capitalised on the Reichstag Fire (27 February 1933) to raise the spectre of a Bolshevist takeover of Germany. The result was, Nazis 288 seats, Social Democrats 120 seats, Communists 81 seats, Centre 74 seats, National People�s Party 52 seats, Others 32 seats.

4 January 1933, Adolf Hitler and Franz von Papen met to conspire to oust Kurt von Schleicher as German Chancellor.

1 March 1933. The Nazis began mass arrests of all political opponents.

28 February 1933, In Germany, the Reichstag Fire Decree banned the Communist Party.


26 February 1933, James Goildsmith, financier, was born in Paris.

31 January 1933, Edouard Daladier became Prime Minister of France.

18 December 1932, In France, Edouard Herriot resigned after defeat over proposal to pay War Debt to the USA, and Joseph Boncour formed a Government.

29 November 1932. (1) Jacques Chirac, French Prime Minister 1995-2007, was born in Paris.

(2) The USSR and France signed a non-aggression pact.

4 June 1932, Second Government of Edouard Herriot began in France.

10 May 1932, Albert Lebrun succeeded Doumier as French President.

8 May 1932, The Left gained around 100 seats in French elections.

7 May 1932, Albert Thomas, French socialist politician (Minister of Armament in WW1), died aged 53

6 May 1932, President Doumer of France was assassinated.

6 January 1932, Andre Maginot, French politician, died.


-12.0, Nazis suffer electoral defeat. Attempt to form non-Nazi Government, but agreement impossible, 1932-33

28 January 1933, In Germany, Kurt von Schleicher�s Government fell, after the Left and Centre failed to reach agreement.

4 December 1932, In Germany, Kurt von Schleicher attempted to form a coalition with a majority in the German Parliament, but failed.

20 July 1932, As law and order deteriorated in Prussia, Chancellor Franz von Papen dismissed the Prussian Social Democrat Prime Minister (Otto Braun) and the Prussian Minister of the Interior (Severing).

2 June 1932, In Germany, Franz von Papen, having been repudiated by the Centre Party, formed a non-party �Cabinet of Barons�.

13 April 1932. The Nazi paramilitary SA and SS were banned in Germany.

10 April 1932. Paul Von Hindenburg won the German Presidency against Adolf Hitler after a second ballot to secure a majority. See 31 May 1932. Paul von Hindenburg received 19.5 million votes, 53%, against Hitler, 13.4 million votes, 36.8%. Thalmann received 3.7 million, 10.2%.

13 March 1932. Hindenburg defeated Hitler in the German presidential elections.Paul von Hindenbiurg received 18.6 million votes (49.6%); Adolf Hitler received 11.3 million votes (30.1%), and the Communist Ernst Thalmann received 4.9 million votes (13.2%). Because Hindenburg was o.4% below an absolute majority, a second round was held on 10 April 1932.

10 March 1932, Paul von Hindenburg gave a radio address in his one and only public speech of the German presidential campaign, emphasizing his non-party status and pledging to "oppose those who merely stand for party interests"


-13.0, Nazi electoral resurgence 1929-34. Reichstag Fire, Hitler becomes Dictator

18 November 1934, The Nazi Party won elections in the Free City of Danzig, where opposition parties were still permitted to run.

27 February 1933. The German Reichstag burned down. The fire was blamed on a simple-minded Dutch Communist, Marinus Van Der Lubbe, who police found in the Reichstag grounds. Marinus Van Der Lubbe was guillotined on 10 January 1934. However many suspect the Nazis. Hitler now pressed for, and succeeded in getting, dictatorial powers from President Hindenburg, and the lack of a majority in the Reichstag was no longer a hindrance to the Nazis.

10 February 1933. Hitler made a speech in Berlin attacking democracy.

30 January 1933. Adolf Hitler, 43 years old, was appointed Chancellor of Germany by 85-year old President Paul Von Hindenburg. Hitler�s Cabinet included only two Nazis; Hermann Goering (Minister without Portfolio) and Wilhelm Frick (Minister of the Interior). Franz von Papen was vice-Chancellor, and Constantin von Neurath was Foreign Minister.

19 November 1932, At President Hindenburg�s invitation, Adolf Hitler attempted to form a coalition with a majority in the German Parliament, but failed.

17 November 1932. In Germany, Prime Minister Von Papen resigned after failing to form a government. Hitler refused the Chancellorship, if it meant a coalition with other parties, as Hindenburg wanted.

6 November 1932, In Germany�s last elections before Hitler assumed absolute power, the Nazi Party lost 34 Reichstag seats, with gains for the Communists. The Nazis won 192 seats, Social Democrats 121 seats, Centre Party 70 seats, Communists 100 seats, National People�s Party 52 seats, Others 45 seats.

2 November 1932, In Germany 12 died in clashes between Communists and Nazis.

14 September 1932, Germany withdrew from the Geneva Disarmament Conference (until December 1932), demanding to be allowed to possess armaments equal to the other powers.

12 September 1932. Von Papen dissolved the Reichstag.

30 August 1932. Herman Goering, Nazi Party, was elected President of the Reichstag.

13 August 1932. Hitler refused to serve as Chancellor under Von Papen.

4 August 1932. Nazi versus Communist riots in Berlin.

31 July 1932. The Nazis were now the biggest party in the Reichstag, with 230 seats, but without an overall majority.

26 July 1932. The War Minister of Germany, Kurt Von Scheidler, said that Germany was ready to re-arm.

16 June 1932, In Germany, a ban on Nazi storm troopers, in place since April, was lifted.

31 May 1932. (see 10 April 1932) President Hindenburg invited Franz Von Papen to form a government. On 1 June 1932 Von Papen formed one that excluded the Nazis. However on 14 June 1932 Hitler promised to co-operate with Von Papen. On 16 June 1932 the ban on Nazi storm troopers in Germany was lifted.

24 April 1932. The Nazis led in four state elections (Prussia, Bavaria, Wurttemberg and Hamburg; in Prussia they were the largest single Party in Parliament). In the Prussian state Parliament, their share of the seats rose from 6 to 162.

25 February 1932. Adolf Hitler was granted German citizenship. He had been technically stateless since renouncing Austrian citizenship in 1925.

22 February 1932. The Nazis choose Hitler as presidential candidate.

30 December 1931. The Nazi Party was formed in Holland.

15 November 1931. The Nazi Party won elections in the state of Hesse.

17 October 1931, 100 were injured in fighting between Nazis and Communists in Braunschweig, Germany.

9 July 1931, In Germany, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and German Nationalist leader Alfred Hugenberg agreed to cooperate.

5 April 1931, Germany formed a customs union with Austria. See 25 March 1931.

25 March 1931. Germany announced plans for a customs union with Austria, in defiance of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.France and Britain strongly objected. See 5 April 1931.

2 February 1931. The Nazis demanded that Germany withdraw from the League of Nations.

23 September 1930, Three Reichswehr artillery officers went on trial before the Leipzig Supreme Court in Germany, charged with high treason for conspiring with the Nazis to overthrow the German Government.

15 September 1930. Adolf Hitler, because he was an Austrian citizen, was barred from taking his seat at the Reichstag. There was further trouble at the Reichstag when Nazi deputies turned up, on 13 October 1930, wearing uniform; this was illegal for civilians.

14 September 1930, The Berlin stock market fell 20 points as news that the Nazis (denouncing the Versailles Treaty) had gained 107 seats to become the second largest party after the Socialists.Before the elections they had only 12 seats. Their vote rose from 800,000 in 1928 to 6.409,000, only 2,000,000 behind the Socialists. Adolf Hitler played on voter�s fears of economic chaos and social disorder. He blamed Jews and Bolsheviks as the cause of the nation�s problems and promised to make Germany great again.

30 March 1930, In Germany Heinrich Bruning became Federal Chancellor of a minority right-of-centre Government. However without a clear majority he had to increasingly rely on emergency powers.

23 February 1930, Nazi thug Horst Wessel died in a Berlin hospital of blood poisoning, aged 22. He had been shot in a street brawl 14 January 1930. The Nazis made him a martyr, and used his �Horst-Wessel-song�, with anti-Semitic lyrics and a tune plagiarised from older Hamburg sailor�s ballads.

23 January 1930, In Germany, Wilhelm Frick was appointed Minister for Education and the Interior in Thuringia, the first Nazi party member to become a Minister in State Government.

8 December 1929. Hitler�s Nazi Party won municipal elections in Bavaria.


7 November 1931, French police launched large raids against Corsican bandits.

13 May 1931, In France, Paul Doumier was elected President.


-14.0, German banking and unemployment Crisis 1929-31 (see Hyperinflation 1923-24 below)

22 July 1931. Britain, France, and the USA renewed credits for Germany to help it through financial problems.

13 July 1931. All German banks closed till 5 August 1931 following the collapse of Danatbank.

13 June 1931. German bank failure (Danatbank) caused the closure of all German banks.

11 May 1931. In Austria, the bankruptcy of Credit-Anstalt began Europe�s financial collapse.

24 February 1931. German unemployment reached almost 5 million.

16 September 1930, The Berlin city council met for the first time since summer recess, but broke up in turmoil after the Communists and Nazis introduced a motion demanding that the council dissolve. The motion was defeated.

27 March 1930, In Germany, Hermann Muller�s Government resigned because of Social Democrat opposition to planned cuts in Unemployment Benefits.

22 September 1929. Communists and Nazis fought on the streets of Berlin.

3 May 1929. Severe civil unrest in Berlin.

1 May 1929, Communists in Berlin attacked policemen. Three days of clashes ensued, with 15 dead.

15 February 1929. German unemployment was over 3 million. In 1926 it had been 2 million, falling to around 1.3 million in 1927 and 1928.


27 January 1931, Pierre Laval became Prime Minister in France.

3 January 1931, Joseph Joffre, French marshal and commander in chief of the French armies on the Western Front, died.

15 July 1930, Jacques Derrida, French philosopher, was born (died 2004).

3 April 1930. Helmut Kohl, German Chancellor, was born.

6 March 1930, Alfred von Tirpitz, German Admiral, died.

22 January 1930, Old imperial fortifications near Kehl in Germany were blown up. Until recently they had been occupied by the French, but it was agreed at the second Hague conference that the French would evacuate the forts and the Germans would raze them afterward.

24 November 1929, Georges Clemenceau, Prime Minister of France, died.

27 September 1929, In France, Raymond Poincare resigned due to ill health. Aristide Briand became Prime Minister.

20 March 1929. The French military commander Marshal Ferdinand Foch died aged 68.

6 February 1929, Germany ratified the Kellogg-Briand anti war pact.

15 January 1929 The USA ratified the Kellogg-Briand anti war pact.

1928. Jean Marie Le Pen, French Far Right Wing politician was born, son of a Breton fisherman. He formed the National Front Party in 1972.

27 August 1928. In Paris, 15 nations signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact, outlawing war. The USSR signed the pact on 6 September 1928.

28 June 1928, In Germany, Hermann Muller, Social Democrat, was appointed Chancellor following the resignation of Wilhelm Marx on 13 June 1928.

24 June 1928, France devalued the Franc against the US Dollar.

13 June 1928, In Germany, Chancellor Wilhelm Marx resigned.

22 April 1928. In French elections Right-wing Parties won 325 out of the 610 seats.

28 March 1928. France shortened its term of compulsory military service to one year.

24 July 1927, The Menin Gate, a memorial at Ypres to the soldiers of the British Empire, was unveiled by Lord Plumer.

7 February 1927, Emile Coue, French psychotherapist, died at Nancy.


-15.0, France evacuates the Rhineland, Germany makes treaties, tries to join League of Nations, 1925-30

17 May 1930, French Prime Minister Andr� Tardieu decided to withdraw the last French troops from the Rhineland (they departed by 30 June 1930).

16 September 1927. President Von Hindenburg repudiated German responsibility for the Great War (World War One).

8 September 1926. The League of Nations voted to admit Germany as a member. On 11 September 1926 Spain left the League in protest at Germany joining.

24 April 1926. Germany signed a friendship treaty with the USSR.

13 March 1926. Germany was refused a place on the League of Nations Council.

8 February 1926. Germany applied to join the League of Nations.

1 December 1925, The Peace of Locarno was signed (by UK, France, Italy, and Germany), guaranteeing peace and existing national frontiers in Europe.

16 October 1925, France and Germany concluded the Locarno Treaty, guaranteeing their mutual frontier. Italy and Britain also signed.Germany reaffirmed its renunciation of Alsace-Lorraine and guaranteed not to attack France or Belgium.Russia feared the Locarno Treaty meant an alliance of western powers against it, see 24 April 1926.

12 October 1925, Germany and the USSR signed a commercial treaty.

5 October 1925, The Locarno Conference opened, to decide the German border and future of the Rhineland.

13 July 1925. French troops begin to withdraw from the Rhineland.


2 February 1926, Giscard D�Estang, French President, was born.

27 November 1925, Aristide Briand formed a Government in France.

22 November 1925, Paul Painleve resigned as French Prime Minister when a credit moratorium article in his financial plan was defeated in the Chamber of Deputies by three votes.

10 April 1925, In France, Paul Painleve became Prime Minister after the defeat of Edouard Herriot.

26 March 1925, Hindenburg was elected President of Germany.

15 January 1925, After a month of intense political negotiations in Germany, Hans Luther (Independent) succeeded Wilhelm Marx as Chancellor, and Gustav Stresemann became Foreign Minister.


-16.0, Nazis, start of Party, then electoral decline, 1919-29; but see 1930s

20 May 1928, In Germany, Socialists won the elections. The result was, Social Democrats rose from 131 seats to 153, to become the largest party but without an overall majority. Centre Party, 62 seats. Communists, 54 seats. German National People�s Party, 73 seats. German People�s Party, 45 seats. Nazis, 12 seats.

29 August 1926. A Nazi Party rally was held at Nuremberg.

9 November 1925. The German Schutzstaffel, or Protection Squad (SS), was formed.

18 June 1925. France accepted German proposals for a security pact. Hitler�s Mein Kampf was published.

25 April 1925. Hindenburg became President of Germany. He won 48.5% of the popular vote, against 42.5% for Wilhelm Marx of the Centre Party.

28 February 1925, Friedrich Ebert, Social Democrat President of the German Republic, died. He had been pilloried buy the extreme Right in Germany who had accused him of treason since he was appointed in 1919. He was replaced by war hero Hindenburg (see 25 April 1925).

27 February 1925, Hitler spoke at a Nazi meeting at a Munich beer hall.

14 February 1925. The ban on the Nazi Party in Bavaria was lifted.


-16.5, Hitler imprisoned, released early, 1923-4

20 December 1924. Adolf Hitler was freed from prison on parole after serving just 8 months of his jail term for high treason.

7 December 1924, In German elections, the Communists (45 seats) lost ground to the Social Democrats (131 seats). The Conservative Nationalists also gained (103 seats) whilst the Nazis slumped to 14 seats. The Centre Party won 69 seats.

8 July 1924, Adolf Hitler resumed leadership of the Nazi Party.

4 May 1924, In elections to the German Parliament (Reichstag), the Nationalists made gains, winning 95 seats, as did the Communists with 62 seats. The Social Democrats won 100 seats and the Centre Party had 65 seats. For the first time the National Socialist (Nazi) Party entered Parliament, with 32 seats.

1 April 1924. Adolf Hitler was jailed for 5 years for his part in the abortive Munich beer hall putsch.

26 February 1924, Adolf Hitler was charged with treason for his part in the abortive Munich beer hall putsch.

9 January 1924, In Germany, Rhineland secessionist leader Heinz was assassinated.

9 November 1923. The Munich beer hall putsch marked the start of Hitler�s rise to power in Germany. This putsch against the Bavarian Government failed and Hitler was arrested on 11 November 1923 in a village outside Munich and imprisoned.Hitler then spent several months in prison in Landsberg Am Lech, Bavaria, where he dictated part of his Mein Kampf to Rudolf Hess.

Hitler imprisoned, released early, 1923-4


2 September 1923, Hitler fiercely denounced the Weimar Republic.

12 August 1923, Streseman became German Chancellor.

27 January 1923. The German Nazi Party held its first rally, in Munich.

20 January 1923, All US troops withdrawn from Germany.

29 July 1921 Hitler became President of the National Socialist Party.

1 April 1920, The Nazi Party was officially founded in Germany.

24 February 1920. The National Socialist Workers (Nazi) party, led by Adolf Hitler, published a programme for a Third Reich.

5 January 1919.The Nazi (National Socialist) Party was founded in Germany. Adolf Hitler, a soldier in World War One who was awarded the Iron Cross for bravery, and who was angry at the armistice terms imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles, and extremely opposed to Communism, headed the new Party. Hitler was a poor student in the Austrian secondary school system. He became an artist but failed to gain entry to the Academy of Fine Arts; Hitler was a melancholic character, obsessed by fears that Jews, linked to communists, would take over the world.


2 December 1924, The UK and Germany signed a trade pact.

13 June 1924, Gaston Doumergue became the 13th President of France.

11 June 1924, The French President, Millerand, resigned. He had been accused by the radoical Socialist Party ;leader Edouard Herriot of being too Right-wing, when the President should be neutral. On 13 June 1924 Gaston Doumergue became the new French President and on 14 June 1924 Herriot became the new Prime Minister.

1 June 1924, Raymond Poincare resigned as Prime Minister of France.

11 May 1924, In French elections the Left bloc emerged with the largest number of seats, 287 out of 581.

28 December 1923. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, who designed the 300 metre Eiffel Tower, Paris, died aged 91.


-17.0, German Hyperinflation Economic Crisis 1923-24 (See banking failures and unemployment 1929-31 above) (see also Reparations 1921-32 below)

7 November 1924, Germany announced its first balanced budget since the war.

1 September 1924, The Dawes Plan was implemented in Germany. It was drafted by Charles G Dawes, a Chicago banker. Under it, a new Reichsmark was issued at one billion old marks. The Reichsbank was now under Allied control. German reparations were rescheduled, and the Allied loaned Germany 800 million gold Marks. Ne wtaxes were introduced, and inflation began to subside. Political stability followed, and support for extremist Parties declined.

30 August 1924, The German Reichsbank was made independent of the government.It issued a new currency, the ReichsMark, at 1,000,000 million old Marks to the new currency.

6 June 1924, The German Reichstag approved the Dawes Plan by a 247�183 vote.

15 November 1923. Rampant German inflation peaked with the Mark worth 4,200,000 Million to the US Dollar, and 10,000,000 Million to the UK Pound � if you could find anyone willing to change your marks for dollars. It had been 4.2 to the Dollar in 1914, 350,000 to the pound (1 pound was 5 dollars) on 1 June 1923, and 622,000 to the pound on 22 June 1923. A loaf of bread cost 63 pfennigs in 1918, and 250 pfennigs in January 1923. But by July 1923 a loaf cost 3,465 pfennigs, and by November 1923, 201,000 million marks. Workers were paid twice a day and by the evening a loaf of bread would cost what a house was worth in the morning.

Money had effectively become worthless; trade was done by barter. Middle class families with cash in the bank had been ruined. The problem had been that, after French troops occupied the Ruhr to enforce war reparations, the German Government began to print marks in huge numbers. German industry was unable to produce the goodsto match the vast increase in money supply. On 15 November 1923 Germany introduced the Rentemark, tied to the country�s real estate. Each rentemark was worth 1,000 million old marks.

12 November 1923, In Germany, Dr Hjalmar Schacht was appointed special commissioner to deal with the currency problem. By November 1924 Germany�s currency had stabilised again.

19 October 1923, Germany's Chancellor Gustav Stresemann told the Cabinet that the Reichswehr had been ordered to invade Saxony and Thuringia, to �intimidate the extremist elements and restore public order and security.�

11 October 1923, The German Mark reached 10,000 million to the UK Pound.

1 October 1923, The German mark reached 242,000,000 to the US$

27 September 1923. Martial law was proclaimed in Germany, under Article 48 of the Constitution.

15 September 1923, As the German economy deteriorated, the German Bank Rate was raised to 90%.

11 August 1923, The Cuno strikes broke out across Germany as opposition to Wilhelm Cuno hardened. 35 workers were killed and 100 wounded around the country.

10 August 1923, Civil unrest began in Germany; strikes and riots, until 13 August 1923.

7 August 1923, German Chancellor Wilhelm Cuno called a conference of the six top party leaders where it was decided to put the country back on a gold basis.

1 July 1923, The German Mark reached 160,000 to the US$.Pre 1914 it had been 4.20; during 1922 the rate fell from 162 to over 7,000 to the US$.

29 May 1923, Strikes in the Ruhr spread to parts of Germany outside of the French occupation zone

1 February 1923. Inflation in Germany continued; �1 was now worth 220,000 Marks. On 2 January 1922�1 had been worth 30,000 Marks.

12 January 1923 Germany protested at the occupation of the Ruhr (see 11 January 1923) and ceased all coal reparations shipments to France.The French erected customs posts and economically divided the region from the rest of Germany.This was a serious blow to the German economy, especially after the loss of the industrial Upper Silesia to Poland.The resultant economic disruption hit the German economy and its currency began to collapse.See 31 July 1925.

2 January 1922. As inflation soared in Germany, �1 bought over 30,000 German Marks. See 1 February 1923.

4 November 1921. The German currency began to collapse.


6 August 1923, In Germany, Gustav Stresemann was appointed Chancellor following the sudden resignation of Wilhelm Cuno. Stresemann formed a coalition Government.

23 December 1922, Birth of Helmut Schmidt, German Chancellor.

22 November 1922, Wilhelm Cuno succeeded Wirth as German Chancellor.

4 September 1922, Silesia voted to remain with Prussia.

14 July 1922, French President Millerand escaped an assassination attempt.

24 June 1922, German Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau, aged 54, was murdered by anti-Semitic nationalists.

16 April 1922. Germany restored relations with the USSR, signing the Second Treaty of Rapallo. Secretly, the USSR agreed to let Germany build and test weapons in Soviet territory that were forbidden within Germany under the Treaty of Versailles.

26 February 1922, Britain and France concluded a 20-year alliance.

25 February 1922, The French murderer Henri Landru, known as Bluebeard, was guillotined. He had killed 10 women after luring them to his flat by dating adverts in newspapers.

31 January 1922, In Germany, Walter Rathenau was appointed Foreign Minister.

15 January 1922, In France, Raymond Poincare formed a Government in France, following Aristide Briand�s resignation on 12/ January 1903.

17 October 1921, Ludwig III, King of Bavaria, died.

12 October 1921, The Council of the League of Nations awarded the upper two thirds of Silesia to Poland (along with most of its coal mines and steelworks). Germany reluctantly accepted the decision.

21 September 1921, Large explosion at German factory near Mannheim; 2,000 killed or injured.

26 August 1921, The former German Finance Minister, Mathias Erzberger, was assassinated by a pro=Nazi nationalist gang.

25 August 1921. Peace treaty (Treaty of Berlin) signed between Germany and the USA.

24 June 1921, Weimar Germany Government Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau was assassinated.

28 May 1921, In Germany, Chancellor Wirth appointed industrialist WalterRathenau as Minister for Reconstruction, including responsibility for reparations.

20 May 1921, Germany and China resumed diplomatic relations.

6 May 1921, Germany and Russia signed a peace treaty.

3 May 1921, Polish irregular forces attempted to seize Upper Silesia. Under the Versailles Agreement this region was supposed to go to Poland but in the face of German objections the Allies agreed to a plebiscite. The result was 60% in favour of remaining German. France refused to allow the German Army to oust the Poles, and the pro-Nazi Freikorps did this instead. However the antipathy between the Freikorps and the Weimar German Government then increased.


-18.0, German Reparations Crises Terms eased, Allied occupation ended, 1921-34

27 April 1934, Britain and France warned Germany not to default on reparations payments.

9 July 1932. In Switzerland, the Allies voted to ease Germany�s economic crisis by suspending the repayment of war debts.

7 January 1932, German Chancellor Heinrich Bruning declared that Germany could not, and would not, resume Reparations payments.

30 June 1930. France pulled the last of its troops out of the Rhineland, 5 years before the date set by the Versailles Treaty.

12 October 1929, The last British troops left the Rhineland, moving out of their base in Wiesbaden.

8 June 1929. At The Hague, Germany�s war debts were rescheduled. Germany was no longer required to pay for the reconstruction of France�s war-damaged provinces. The Young Plan, named after its American author Owen Young, removed controls on the German economy. However Germany must still repay �1.65 billion over the next 40 years, including �2 million a year that Britain insists upon to cover its American debt. Militant Germans, including the Nazis, demonstrated against these payments. The Plan was intended to strengthen the position of the Weimar Government but instead undermined it further.

30 January 1926. British troops ended a 7-year occupation of the Rhineland.

30 November 1924, The last French and Belgian troops left the Ruhr.

17 August 1924. French and Belgian troops agreed to withdraw from the Ruhr within 1 year following Germany�s agreement on war reparations.

16 August 1924, The Allies and Germany accepted the Dawes Plan, for a revised timetable of reparations.

8 August 1924, A ten-nation summit agreed a plan drawn up by US banker Charles Dawes, designed to assist Germany�s economy and fulfil reparation payments.

27 October 1923, French troops occupied Bonn and Wiesbaden.

30 September 1923, A German uprising in Dusseldorf against French occupation of The Ruhr.

31 March 1923, Rioting German workers at the Krupps works in Essen in French-occupied Ruhr were shot by French troops.

12 January 1923 Germany protested at the occupation of the Ruhr (see 11 January 1923) and ceased all coal reparations shipments to France.The French erected customs posts and economically divided the region from the rest of Germany.This was a serious blow to the German economy, especially after the loss of the industrial Upper Silesia to Poland.The resultant economic disruption hit the German economy and its currency began to collapse.See 31 July 1925.

11 January 1923, Germany defaulted on reparations payments (see 26 December 1922), and French and Belgian troops occupied Essen and The Ruhr.

16 December 1922, The Reparation Commission accused Germany of intentional shortfalls in wood and coal deliveries to France.See 11 January 1923.

2 November 1922, Economic experts opened a conference in Berlin on the German financial crisis

13 January 1922, At a conference at Cannes, the Allies agreed to postpone Germany�s reparation payments.

15 December 1921. Germany sought a moratorium on reparations.

14 October 1921, Demolition of the great fortress of Heligoland was completed.

30 September 1921. French troops pulled out of the Ruhr.

11 May 1921, Germany agreed to pay its reparations, one day before a deadline which, if not met, would have seen an Allied occupation of the entire Ruhr Valley.

4 May 1921. France invaded the Ruhr to enforce reparations.

2 May 1921, France mobilised its troops in preparation for an invasion of the Ruhr.

27 April 1921, The Allies claimed �6,650 million (132,000 million gold Marks) compensation from Germany. Germany reluctantly agreed, but it would put a great strain on the German economy.The Fehrenbach German government at once resigned.The Allies threatened that if Germany did not agree, they would occupy the Ruhr.

24 April 1921. Germany pleaded in vain to the USA for aid on reparations. On 27 April 1921 reparations were set at �6.65 42 annual instalments.

23 March 1921. Germany defaulted on reparations.

20 March 1921, A plebiscite in Upper Silesia resulted in a majority vote for remaining with Germany.Germany tried to claim that the whole territory should therefore remain as German, no part passing to Poland.The resultant crisis, with France supporting Poland, was passed to the League of Nations, see 20 October 1921.

8 March 1921. Because of Germany�s failure to give a satisfactory response to demands for war reparations, Allied troops occupied the Ruhr towns. Germany agreed to pay war reparations on 11 May 1921. These consisted of �10 billion in gold over the next 42 years plus a 12.5% tax on Germany�s exports.

1 March 1921, Allied troops entered Germany to enforce war reparations payments.

29 January 1921, A new sum for German Reparations was set at US$ 31 billion.

24 January 1921, The Reparations Conference in Paris fixed German War Reparations at US$ 56 billion, to be paid over 42 years; of this sum, France would get 52%. German politician reacted with outrage, seeing this as �enslavement of the German economy�, and defaulted on repayments on 23 March 1921. Under pressure from the US, the Allies reduced their claim but when Germany defaulted on this, too, they reoccupied the Rhineland.


-19.0, Communist agitation in western Europe, 1918-23

23 October 1923, A Communist uprising occurred in Hamburg.

22 October 1923, Communists in Hamburg led by Ernst Th�lmann were secretly called on to mobilize.

24 March 1921, Pro-Communist riots in Hamburg, Germany.

30 December 1920, The French Communist Party was founded at Tours.

2 May 1919. German troops entered Munich to crush the fledgling Soviet Republic in Bavaria.

22 February 1919. After the murder of the Bavarian Prime Minister, Kurt Eisner, a Soviet Republic was declared in Bavaria.

4 February 1919, The �Soviet Republic of Bremen� was suppressed.

11 January 1919. The Spartacus League initiated a week of revolt in Berlin. Led by Rosa Luxembburg and Karl Leibknecht, they wanted a Communist workers Statein Germany

10 January 1919, Bremen declared itself a Soviet Republic; this was crushed on 4 February 1919,

30 December 1918, The German Communist Party was founded.However within a fortnight, irregular German troops had murdered its leaders.


28 January 1921, In Paris, a symbolic Tomb of the Unknown nSoldier was installed below the Arc de Triomphe to commemorate the dead of World War One.

21 January 1921, The French Chamber of Deputies approved Aristide Briand as the new Premier, along with his government, with a vote of 475 to 68 of confidence in his more moderate policy regarding German reparations due to France.

16 January 1921, In France, Aristide Briand formed a Government.

10 December 1920, Woodrow Wilson and Leon Bourgeois were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

23 September 1920, Alexandre Millerande was elected President of France, succeeding Paul Deschanel who had resigned due to ill-health.


-20.0, International adjustments post World War One. German War Trials begin, 1918-20

10 January 1921, In Leipzig, war trials began at the German Supreme Court.

10 August 1920. Other post-war provisions included the creation of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia,Galicia was given to Poland, Transylvania to Romania, and Istria, Trentino, and South Tyrol to Italy. Greece and Yugoslavia acquired parts of Bulgaria.German East Africa went to Britain, the Samoan Islands to New Zealand, and South West Africa to South Africa.Germany itself lost territory to Poland, France, Denmark, and Lithuania.

19 April 1920, The Conference of San Remo opened.Following on from the London Conference (see 12 January 2920), post World War One frontiers in Europe were settled.

11 July 1920, The result of a plebiscite in East and West Prussia was a 97% vote to remain with Germany.

6 April 1920, To force a German evacuation of the Ruhr area, French forces this day occupied Frankfurt, Darmstadt and Hanau. They stayed until 17 May.

14 March 1920, A plebiscite in the middle zone of Schleswig favoured integration with Germany.

6 February 1920, The League of Nations took over administration of Saarland from France.

5 February 1920, Germany refused to hand over alleged war criminals to the Allies.

23 January 1920, The Netherlands refused to extradite Kaiser Wilhelm II, as demanded by the Suprme Allied War Council.

20 January 1920, Peace Talks in Paris concluded, see 18 January 1919.

31 July 1919. Germany adopted the Weimar Constitution, named after the town where the constitution was drafted.

12 July 1919, Britain and France authorised the resumption of commercial relations with Germany.

4 July 1919. France demobilised its troops.

28 June 1919. The Treaty of Versailles was signed. This peace treaty between the Allies and the Germans was signed at Versailles and officially ended World War One, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand started it. Alsace Lorraine was returned to France, German colonies were under mandate, German East Africa went to Britain and German South West Africa (Namibia) to South Africa.The west bank of the Rhine and a zone 30 miles deep on its east bank was demilitarised. See 7 May 1919.

22 June 1919, The German National Assembly at Weimar authorised the signing of the Peace Treaty.

20 June 1919, The German Chancellor, Schiedemann, fell due to his opposition to the Paris Peace Plan. On 21 June 1919 Gustave Bauer formed a Cabinet comprising Social Democrats, Centre, and Democrats.

29 May 1919, German delegates made counter-proposals to the Paris Peace conference,

7 May 1919, Peace terms were dictated to Germany.Germany had to ceded Alsace-Loraine to France; Upper Silesia, most of Poznan, and West Prussia went to Poland.This separated East Prussia from the rest of Germany as Poland gained a corridor to the sea at Danzig.North Schleswig went to Germany and Memel went to Lithuania. See 28 June 1919.

6 May 1919. Peace conference shared out former German colonies.

28 April 1919, German delegates arrived at the Paris Peace Conference.

4 April 1919. At Versailles, the Germans agreed to make Danzig a �free city�.

11 March 1919. The Allies agreed to supply famine-hit Germany with food.

18 January 1919, Peace talks opened at Versailles.See 20 January 1920. 27 nations attended; Germany was excluded

12 January 1919, Delegates arrived in Paris for the Peace talks, see 18 January 1919.

6 December 1918. Allied troops occupied Cologne.

5 December 1918, The British Prime Minister demanded that the ex-German Kaiser be prosecuted by an International Court.

2 December 1918, One of the last acts of the British War Cabinet; it demanded the extradition of the German Kaiser Wilhelm.

1 December 1918. The British Second Army entered Germany.

30 November 1918. German occupation of Bucharest, capital of Rumania, ended, see 6 December 1916.

25 November 1918, French troops entered Strasbourg.

23 November 1918, Mutinous German sailors occupied the Chancellery and took Ebert hostage; he was rescued on 24 November 1918 by soldiers from Potsdam.

21 November 1918. Surrender of the German Fleet to the Allies at Scapa Flow, for internment. On 21 June 1919 it was scuttled at Scapa Flow, in the Orkneys.
18 November 1918. The German occupation of Brussels ended, see 20 August 1914.


21 June 1920, In Germany, Konstantin Fehrenbach of the Centre Party became Chancellor. His coalition Government of Social Democrats and Centre Party was joined by the People�s Party.

14 June 1920, Max Weber, German sociologist died aged 56.

6 June 1920, In Germany, the first elections held after the Treaty of Versailles showed a shift away from the Social Democrats and Centre, towards extremist Parties.

19 March 1920. In Germany, Socialists rebelled and captured Essen.

13 March 1920. A pro-Royalist coup was attempted in Berlin, led by Dr Wolfgang Kapp. The German Government had to retreat to Stuttgart but the German workers opposed the coup and began a general strike; the coup plotters had to flee.

17 January 1920, Paul Deschanel was elected President of France. Georges Clemenceau was rejected because the Treaty of Versailles was regarded as too lenient o n Germany.

19 February 1919, French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau was shot by an anarchist.

23 January 1919. The Socialists won the German elections.

23 December 1918, Helmut Schmidt, German leader, was born (died 2015)

For World War One 1914 � 18 click here

11 October 1916, King Otto of Bavaria, monarch of Bavaria from 1886 to 1913, died (born 1848)

27 February 1915, In Paris, the Moulin Rouge burnt down.

31 July 1914, French socialist anti-war leader Jean Jaures was assassinated.

10 May 1914, Anti-militarist radicals and socialists did well in French elections.

16 March 1914, Madame Caillaux, wife of the French Finance Minister, shot dead the editor of Le Figaro to protect her husband against libel.

18 December 1913, Willy Brandt, German Chancellor, was born in Lubeck as Karl Herbert Frahm.

20 November 1913, The Zabern Incident. A German officer insulted Alsatian recruits, causing friction between France and Germany.

7 April 1913, Jean Constans, French politician, died in Paris (born 3 May 1833 in Beziers).

24 February 1913, Jules Gabriel Compayre, French educationalist, died in Paris (born 2 January 1843 in Albi).

21 January 1913, In France, Aristide Briand succeeded Poincare as Prime Minister.

5 January 1913, Gottlieb von Jagow became German Foreign Minister.

18 February 1912, The German Kaiser, Wilhelm, declined to meet the Socialist winners of the General Election.

6 February 1912, Eva Braun, mistress of Adolf Hitler, was born.


-21.0, Western European nations begin a military build up, 1905-13

7 August 1913, France passed an Army Bill, imposing three year�s compulsory military service.

30 June 1913, The German Reichstag passed the Army and Finance Bills by a wide margin. This provided for increasing the army by 4,000 officers, 15,000 non-commissioned officers and 117,000 men. The Socialists opposed the measure. There would be a one-off tax on property to finance this which to appease the Socialists would not be levied by the less well off.

5 March 1913, 71 sailors drowned when the German destroyer S-178 was accidentally rammed by the German cruiser Yorck in the North Sea off of Helgoland.

6 June 1913. Germany passed a Bill for a large increase in its army.

8 December 1912, The German Kaiser held a secret meeting with his military chiefs. It was agreed that the Schlieffen Plan, to quickly conquer France before turning east on Russia, should not be delayed much beyond 1914 because after that swifter Russian mobilisation would cause a collapse of the German Eastern Front before France fell. The Schlieffen Plan, named after Graf Schlieffen, Chief of the German General Staff 1890-1905, was to attack France through Belgium, by-passing the heavily-fortified Franco-German frontier. German troops defending this frontier were to be reduced, possibly even allowing for French advances into Germany here. However the German advance through Belgium would then swing eastwards to the south west of Paris and come round to hit the French Army in the rear. Schlieffen allowed for ten German divisions to hold the Russian front until France could be crushed (six weeks allowed for this task); also for a British Expeditionary Force of 100,000 to assist the French.

8 February 1912, Britain suggested to Germany that is would support German colonial ambitions in Africa if Germany held the strength of its Navy at current levels. However Germany announced on 8 March that it was to continue increasing its naval strength, and discussions with Britain ended.

27 August 1911. At Hamburg the German Kaiser made his �place in the sun� speech, foreshadowing a large increase in the German navy. Britain responded by increasing its navy, although Anglo-German relations remained friendly.

1 August 1911. Germany began to fortify Heligoland, a small island in the North Sea.

21 July 1911, Lloyd George, Chancellor of the Exchequer, warned Germany not to threaten British interests in the western Mediterranean, or Gibraltar.See 1 July 1911.Germany denied such ambitions, but Britain began preparing for war with Germany.

8 March 1911, Britain stated it would not assist France if it was attacked by Germany.

24 February 1911, The Reichstag voted to increase the German Army by half a million men.

7 June 1909. France joined the arms race by announcing it was to spend �120 million on new naval ships.

27 October 1908, Emperor William II made comments that the German people were hostile to Britain; the Daily Telegraph published these comments, worsening German-UK relationships.

11 August 1908, King Edward VII of Britain met Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany at Friedrichshof, Germany. The main point of contention was the increasing size of the German Navy.

6 August 1908, The British Admiralty stated that the new battleships being built by the Germans would be the most heavily armed in the world.

8 July 1908. The German Navy was catching up in strength with the British, according to the 'World Navy List'.

14 June 1908, A fourth German naval Bill authorised expenditure on four more large naval vessels.

5 June 1906, Germany decided to build more battleships.

10 February 1906, Britain launched the revolutionary new battleship Dreadnought.She made every other warship obsolete, outgunning and outranging them all. Her new steam turbine propulsion made her much faster than older ships. This marked the start of a keen naval arms race between Britain and Germany. Germany now realised that the latest class of battleships were too big to pass through the Kiel Canal. The Russo-Japanese War demonstrated the need for such battleship innovation, as naval battles were now fought at long range, using torpedoes, and torpedo boats therefore had to be destroyed at a distance with accurate long-range artillery.

19 September 1905, Britain and Germany held simultaneous war manoeuvres.


-22.0, Germany backs down over Morocco rivalry with France, 1911-12

27 November 1912. France and Spain agreed on their respective spheres of influence in Morocco.

4 November 1911, Germany settled the Morocco crisis with France. Germany agreed to allow France a free hand in Morocco, in exchange for territory in the Congo.

10 July 1911, Russia warned Germany that it supported France in the Morocco crisis.

1 July 1911, Germany sent the gunboat Panther to Agadir, Morocco, to protect German commercial interests there from French expansion in Morocco.Britain was concerned about Germany�s ambitions in Africa so close to Gibraltar.See 21 July 1911.


31 August 1911, The Director of the Louvre art gallery, Paris, was sacked following the theft of the Mona Lisa (22 August 1911). The painting was not recovered until two years later.

16 August 1911, E F Schumacher, German economist and statistician, was born (died 1977).

11 July 1911, In Paris, 60,000 stonemasons went on strike.

5 July 1911. Birth of Georges Pompidou, in Montboudif, Auvergne. He was French President from 1969 until his death in 1974.

26 May 1911, The German Reichstag granted the former French territory of Alsace-Lorraine its own legislature and a large measure of autonomy.

15 May 1911, King George V and his cousin the Kaiser reasserted their friendship.

10 March 1911. France adopted Greenwich Mean Time as standard time across the country.

17 January 1911, An attempt was made on the life of the French Prime Minister, Aristide Briand.

24 July 1909, Aristide Briand became French PM.

14 July 1909, In Germany, Berhard von Bulow resigned as Chancellor and was replaced by Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg.

8 July 1909, Gaston Galliffet, French General, died (born 23 January 1830).

18 June 1909, Joan of Arc was beatified by the Pope, 478 years after the English burnt her at the stake in Rouen.

8 May 1909, Friedrich von Holstein, German statesman, died (born 1837)

13 September 1908, In Germany the Social Democrats staged a rally at Nuremberg.

10 January 1908, Socialist-led demonstration across Germany demanding universal suffrage. Prussia still retained a 3-class voting system.

27 October 1907, The first trial in Germany�s Eulenberg Affair ended today. Prince Eulenberg, a close friend of the Kaiser whose closeness with him inspired jealousy in von Bulow, also in Count Holstein (the diplomat whom the Kaiser had fired for his belligerency at the Algeciras Conference) was now accused of homosexuality in the magazine Die Zukunft. This magazine was run by Maximilian Harden, a supporter of Holstein. The Kaiser initially ignored the allegations, but then undertook legal action against Harden when public opinion began to shift against the Kaiser. This day the trial found in favour of Harden, but subsequent legal actions uncovered scandals that harmed all concerned.

31 August 1907, The UK and Russia agreed an entente, defining spheres of influence in Persia, Tibet, and Afghanistan.There was an implicit agreement that Britain would not allow Russia to control the Bosporus, and the entente opened up the London money markets to Russia, allowing it to recover from the Japanese defeat of 1904/5. France was also part of this agreement, forming a Triple Entente to contain the newly unified Prussian-dominated Germany.

3 August 1907, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Nicholas II met at Swinemunde to discuss the Baghdad Railway.

7 July 1907, Germany, Austro-Hungary and Italy renewed their Triple Alliance for another 6 years.

2 May 1907, King Edward VII of Britain met the French President in Paris.

12 March 1907, The French battleship Jena exploded at Toulon, killing 118.

11 January 1907, Pierre Mendes-France, French politician, was born (died 1982)

9 January 1907, Marie of Saxe-Altenburg, Queen of Hanover, died aged 88.


German constitutional crisis 1906-07

7 February 1907, German elections called by von Bulow after a constitutional crisis in the Reichstag produced a Conservative rally against the Socialists, and a Conservative-majority Government was elected.

13 December 1906, A revolt of the Centre Party in the German Reichstag opposed spending on colonial wars. Von Bulow dissolved the Reichstag; in subsequent elections the Socialists lost ground.

28 November 1906, The German Centre Party, which had held the balance between the Conservatives and Socialists in the Reichstag since 1890, sparked a constitutional crisis by refusing to vote for funds to combat an uprising in Germany�s colony of SW Africa (Namibia). Von Bulow was forced to dissolve the Reichstag and call new elections.


25 October 1906, Georges Clemenceau became PM in France.

5 April 1906, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany dismissed Count Friedrich Holstein, a key advisor in the Foreign Department, ending fears of a German war with France over Morocco.

17 February 1906, Clement Armand Fallieres was elected President of France, but Georges Clemenceau held the real power. After the tensions of the Dreyfus Affair and the Morocco Crisis, France became more nationalist and patriotic. However a series of strikes in the wine industry now led to more violence in the coming months.

15 February 1906, Yvette Labrousse, winner of Miss France 1930, was born.

4 February 1906, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German theologian who was part of the group who tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler, was born.

11 February 1906, Pope Pius X condemned the separation of Church and State in France as an �insult to God� in his encyclical Vehementer Nos.

17 January 1906, In France, Radical Leftist Clement Fallieres was elected president, through the influence of Georges Clemenceau.

10 January 1906, Britain and France began closer co-operation on military and defence issues.,

1 January 1906, General Von Moltke was made head of the German armed forces.

29 November 1905, Marcel Lefebvre, French Roman Catholic Bishop, was born (died 1991)

25 September 1905, Jacques Cavaignac, French politician, died (born 21 May 1853).

13 September 1905, Rene Goblet, French politician, died (born 26 November 1828).

24 July 1905, Kaiser William of Germany and Czar Nicholas of Russia signed the Treaty of Bjorko at a meeting in Finland. This proposed a mutual defence pact between the two countries if either was attacked by another European power. However the Russian Foreign Office opposed the Treaty because it threatened Russia�s relationship with France, upon whom Russia was dependent for aid. The German Chancellor, Von Bulow also opposed the Treaty, and Franco-German tension over the Morocco crisis left the Treaty dead in the water.

6 June 1905, Theophile Delcasse, French Foreign Minister since 1898, resigned under pressure from Germany.

1 May 1905, In talks lasting until the 5th May, Paul Rouvier, French Prime Minister, failed to settle the Moroccan Question with Germany.

31 March 1905, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany arrived in Tangier, Morocco, to give a speech in favour of Moroccan independence. This was intended to humiliate France, who saw Morocco as their own protectorate, and to test the closeness of the Franco-British entente. Germany intended to subsequently �grant France limited control in Morocco�, a move supposed to bring France closer to Germany and away from Britain. However Germany was surprised by the forcefulness with which British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey backed France; Germany was further isolated from France, Britain and hence Russia too. This event paved the way for the Agadir crisis of 1911.

13 March 1905, Entertainer and spy Mata Hari introduced her exotic dance act in the Mus�e Guimet, Paris.

10 January 1905, Clemence Michel, French anarchist, died.

15 October 1904, George, King of Saxony, died.


Britain improves relations with France, at the expense of relations with Germany, 1903-04

12 July 1904, Britain and Germany signed a five-year treaty, to resolve disputes through arbitration rather than by military means.

28 August 1904. A treaty was concluded in London whereby France would allow the British freedom of action in Egypt in return for the British allowing the French a free hand in Morocco. For many years the nominally independent Sultanate of Morocco had been losing power as it became increasingly dependent on French, Spanish, and German business and subsidies for financial security. In October 1904 the French also concluded a secret treaty with the Spanish. This disturbed Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany who saw his country being squeezed out of North Africa. Wilhelm II therefore landed at Tangier on 31 March 1905. The sultan sided with the Germans and serious friction with the French resulted. On 161/1906 the Algecieras Conference was held. German claims were backed by Austria whilst French claims were backed by Britain. Germany failed to curb France�s privileged position in Morocco. See 8 April 1904.

8 April 1904. Entente Cordiale set up between Britain and France. Each country recognised the other�s colonial interests.France agreed not to interfere in Egypt and England agreed not to interfere in Morocco. Germany, which also wanted control in Morocco, felt threatened by this entente. Britain had become unpopular with many countries after the Boer War, and needed friends; relations with France had been strained since the Fashoda incident in 1898. Now both Britain and France felt anxious over the rise of the German economy and military might, especially its navy. The entente meant Britain�s navy could concentrate on defending the North Sea whilst France�s monitored the Mediterranean. See 28 August 2904.

1 February 1904, Britain agreed with France to remain neutral if there was war between Russia and Japan.

6 July 1903, French President Emile Loubet, and Theophile Delcasse, visited London to begin the Entente Cordiale.

1 May 1903, King Edward VII of Britain began a State visit to France (until 4 May), where he strengthened Anglo-French relations, but Anglo-German ones deteriorated. On 8 May 1903 an entente cordiale was signed between Britain and France.

4 March 1903, King Edward VII of Britain concluded a visit to Paris, during which Anglo-French relations were strengthened.


1 February 1903, Martin Delbruck, Prussian statesman, died (born 16 April 1817).

22 November 1902, In Germany, the steel magnate Friedrich Krupp (1854-1902), head of Germany�s largest manufacturing firm and the richest man in the country, died unexpectedly of a stroke.He was aged 48.Friedrich�s father Alfred had founded the Krupp Company but Freidrich had been in charge since the age of 33 when his father died.

8 November 1902, The Kaiser arrived in London on a 12-day State Visit to try and improve Anglo-German relations.

1 November 1902, France signed the Franco-Italian entente with Italy. Italy assured France it would remain neutral if France was attacked.

7 August 1902, Rudolf Bennigsen, German politician, died (born in Luneburg 10 July 1824)


French anti-religious policy, 1901-02

27 June 1902, France closed 120 schools for girls that had been established illegally after the passage of the Religious Associations Law.

3 June 1902, In France, Rene Waldbeck-Rousseau resigned, despite having a majority on the Chamber, over disputes with extremists. He was succeeded by Emile Combes, who pursued a strongly anti-clerical policy.

1 July 1901, France enacted its anti-clerical Association Law, which outlawed all religious institutions not formally registered with the State.


10 June 1902, Frederick Augustus, King of Saxony from 1873 (born 23 April 1828) died.

5 June 1902, Kaiser Wilhelm II responded to growing demands from Poles and other Slavic peoples living within Germany with calls for more �Germanisation� of these peoples.

27 October 1901, Negotiations on an Anglo-German alliance broke down, after the British Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chamberlain, made an anti-German speech in Edinburgh.

5 August 1901, Victoria, Empress of Germany, 60, daughter of Queen Victoria of the UK, sister of King Edward VII, wife of Kaiser Friedrich III, and mother of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, died aged 60.

29 May 1901, Lord Salisbury, in a confidential memo, decided against developing an alliance between Britain and Germany.

24 April 1901, 200 were killed in an explosion at a chemical factory in Griesheim, Germany.

6 March 1901, Anarchists attempted to assassinate Kaiser Wilhelm, who escaped with face wounds.

21 December 1900, Leonhard Blumenthal, Prussian Field-Marshal, died in Quellendorf (born in Schwedt on Oder 30 July 1810).

16 December 1900, France and Italy agreed to respect each other�s sphere of influence in North Africa.

16 November 1900, In Germany, a woman hurled an axe at Kaiser Wilhelm, but failed to kill him.


10 November 1900, The first World Fair closed in Paris; it had been open since 14 April 1900. It had included over 70,000 exhibitors, and co-run with the Olympic Games also in Paris this year. The scale of the event meant that, despite huge numbers of visitors, it was a financial loss, covered by the French Government, Culturally however the event was good for France, promoting art-nouveau, and precipitating a rash of construction projects in France including new boulevards, new Paris rail termini, and the Paris Metro.

29 April 1900, A footbridge collapsed at the Great World Exhibition, Paris, killing 10 people.

14 April 1900, The World Exhibition opened in Paris. See 10 November 1900.

2 August 1900, In Paris, anarchist Francois Salsou attempted to assassinate the Shah of Persia, but he survived.


German naval expansion, �a place in the sun� policy

18 October 1900, Count Bernard von Bulow became German Chancellor, succeeding Prince Hohenlohe, who had resigned on 16 October 1900. Von Bulow was regarded as lightweight, aiming only to please the Kaiser. However he did refer first to Germany�s �need for a place in the sun�, and this shaped German foreign policy for the next 40 years.

10 October 1900, In Germany, Chlodwig von Hohenlohe resigned as Chancellor, and was replaced by his Foreign Minister,the Nationalist Prince von Bulow.

12 June 1900, A second German Naval Act proposed a fleet of 38 battleships within the next 20 years.

28 March 1898, Germany passed an Act allowing for substantial expansion of its navy.


23 March 1900, Erich Fromm, German social psychologist, was born (died 1980).

1899, The Right-wing French movement Action Francaise was founded by the poet and political journalist Charles Maurras (1868-1952). It sought to rally the defeated opponents of Dreyfus, and was anti-Semitic, nationalistic and royalist. Its influence peaked in the 1920s. Supporting the Vichy Government of 1940-44, the movement became indistinguishable from fascism.

2 May 1899, Martin Simson, German politician, died (born 10 October 1810)

16 February 1899, Francois Faure, President of France, died (born 30 January 1841).

6 February 1899, Georg Caprivi, German statesman (born 24 February 1831) died.

28 July 1898,Bismarck died, three years after his wife, at Friedrichsruh.He was a Prussian politician and founder of the modern state of Germany.

13 February 1898, August Potthast, German historian (born 13 August 1824), died.

15 June 1897, Tirpitz was appointed German Naval Secretary.

7 May 1897, Henri Aumale, French statesman, died in Zucco, Sicily (born 16 January 1822 in Paris).

19 February 1897, French tightrope walker Charles Blondin died. He was born on 28 February 1824.

8 December 1896, Ernst Engel, German political economist, died (born 21 March 1821).

26 October 1896, Paul Challemel-Lacour, French politician, died (born 19 May 1827).

18 August 1896, Richard Avenarius, German philosopher, died in Zurich (born 19 November 1834 in Paris).

20 January 1896, Henry Prince of Battenberg died (born 5 October 1859).

For Dreyfus Affair see Jewish

1895, In France the CGT (Confederation Generale du Travail) was formed, a Trades Union organisation.

29 December 1895, Leander Starr Jameson, an agent of the British South Africa Company, invaded the Boer Republic of Transvaal with 470 men. On 2 January 1896 Jameson surrendered At Doorn Kop after a defeat at Krugersdorp. On 3 January 1896 Kaiser William II sent a telegram to Paul Kruger congratulating him on the defeat of Jameson. This caused outrage in Britain, which saw the telegram as an attempt by Germany to expand its influence in Africa. Britain mocked the German Navy, saying it would be �child�s play� for the British Navy to wipe it out. Wilhelm I now decided on a course of massive expansion of the German Navy, seeing Britain no longer as an ally but a potential threat.

24 November 1895, Saint Hilaire Barthelemy, French politician, was born in Paris (died 24 November 1895).

22 July 1895, Heinrich Gneist, German politician, died (born 13 August 1816)

28 January 1895, Francois Canrobert, French military leader (born 27 June 1809) died.

17 January 1895, Francois Felix Faure became President of France.

13 January 1895, President Jean Casimir Perier of France resigned.

12 December 1894, Auguste Burdeau, French politician, died (born 1851).

26 October 1894, Prince Chlodwig Hohenlohe succeeded Leo von Caprivi as Imperial German Chancellor.

24 June 1894, The President of France, Marie Francois Carnot, was stabbed to death at Lyons by an Italian anarchist.

15 March 1894, Germany and France signed a treaty outlining their spheres of influence in tropical Africa

10 February 1894, Germany signed a commercial treaty with Russia.

4 January 1894, Russia and France signed a treaty of mutual defence. Despite huge differences between their political systems, both countries felt threatened by encirclement. France felt threatened by a rare entente between Germany and Britain. Russia saw itself threatened to the south and east by the British Empire in central and eastern Asia.

17 October 1893, Marie MacMahon, French President, died (born 13 July 1808).

22 August 1893, Ernst II, Duke of Saxe Coburg Gotha, died (born 21 June 1818).

13 July 1893, Germany passed a bill to substantially increase the size of its army.

17 March 1893, Jules Ferry, French politician, died (born 5 April 1832).

17 August 1892, Russia and France signed a military convention.

2 May 1892, Baron Mandred von Richtofen, German air ace of World War One, known as the �Red Baron� because he flew a red Fokker, was born in Schweidnitz in Prussia, to aristocratic parents.

4 March 1892, Jean Jurian de la Graviere, French Admiral, died.

24 January 1892, Henri Baudrillart, French economist, died in Paris (born in Paris 28 November 1821).

30 December 1891, Antoine Pinay, French statesman, was born

12 December 1891, Charles Freppel, French politician and Bishop, died (born 1 June 1827).

30 September 1891, George Boulanger, French General, committed suicide in Brussels (born in Rennes 29 April 1837).

16 September 1891, Karl Doenitz, German Admiral, was born in Berlin.

9 September 1891, Francois Grevy, French President 1879-87, died (born 15 January 1813)

1 May 1891, In a violent clash between striking French workers and French troops, nine workers, including two children, were killed as troops opened fire. 60 more workers were injured. The workers were campaigning for an 8 hour day.

24 April 1891, Helmuth von Moltke, Prussian general, died.

22 November 1890, Charles de Gaulle, French President, was born in Lille (died 1970).

28 October 1890, The German East Africa Company ceded all its powers and assets to the German government.

17 September 1890, Jules Joffrin, French politician, died (born 16 March 1846).

9 August 1890, Heligoland was formally transferred from Britain to Germany.

1 July 1890, Britain and Germany signed the Heligoland Treaty, by which Germany gave up claims in East Africa, including Zanzibar, in return for the British island of Heligoland in the Elbe estuary. Germany soon made Helogoland a major naval base for the defence of the newly constructed Kiel Canal.

6 May 1889, The official opening of the Eiffel Tower, Paris, to the public. It was only intended to stand for 20 years, but soon acquired iconic status.


Principal Nazis born

24 April 1906, Nazi collaborator William Joyce, or �Lord Haw Haw�, was born in Brooklyn, New York City.

19 March 1906, Adolf Eichmann, German Nazi responsible for the execution of millions of European Jews during World War II, was born in Solingen. See Jewish History.

19 March 1905, Albert Speer, architect for the Nazis, was born.

4 October 1903, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Austrian Nazi and head of the Austrian SS, was born in Ried im Innkreis, Austria (died 1946)

16 September 1902, Jakob Sporrenberg, Nazi official and war criminal, was born in Dusseldorf (executed, 1952)

7 October 1900, Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler was born in Munich. He was leader of the Nazi SS, second in command to Hitler from 1929, and gained notoriety in 1934 when he masterminded the assassination of several Nazis whose loyalty to Hitler was in question. He controlled the concentration camps in which millions of Jews, communists, trade unionists, Jehovah�s Witnesses, and others, died.

29 October 1897, Joseph Goebbels, Nazi political leader and propagandist, was born in Rheydt, son of a factory foreman.

26 April 1894, Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler�s deputy, was born in Alexandria, Egypt.

30 April 1893, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler�s foreign minister, was born

12 January 1893, Hermann Goering, German Nazi leader and founder of the Luftwaffe, was born in Rosenbaum, Bavaria.

15 November 1891, Birth of German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, commander of the Afrika Corps, in Heidenheim, Germany.

20 April 1889. Birth of Adolf Hitler, in Braunau, Austria (died 1945). His father was a customs official who changed his name from Schicklgruber.

17 June 1888, Heinz Guderian, German World War Two General, was born.

24 November 1887, Erich von Manstein, military adviser to Adolf Hitler in World War Two, was born in BerlinHe died on 9 June 1973, having been imprisoned by the British in August 1945. His advice on attacking France through the Ardennes in 1940 was crucial to Nazi success here.

18 July 1887, Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian diplomat who turned traitor, was born in Fyresdal, Telemark province, southern Norway.

20 November 1885, Albert Kesselring, German Air Force Commander, was born in Markstedt.


15 June 1888, Frederick III, Emperor of Germany, died. He was succeeded by his 29-year son, Wilhelm II, who was the last German monarch.

15 April 1888, In France, Georges Boulanger, having retired from the army and now elected to the Chamber of Deputies, started plotting to overthrow the Third Republic and become dictator; he failed.

9 March 1888, Death of Kaiser Wilhelm I of Prussia, aged 90. He was succeeded by his 57-year old son, Friedrich Wilhelm, but he died of cancer later in the year, on 15 June 1888.

27 February 1888, As Italian-French relations deteriorated, France imposed selective duties against Italian products. Italy retaliated in kind on 1 March 1888.

2 December 1887, Francois Grevy, President of France from 30 January 1879, resigned after a scandal involving his son in law Daniel Wilson, involving the sale of Legion d�Honneur medals. The scandal; boosted the popularity of the nationalist Boulanger.

14 July 1887, Alfred Krupp, German manufacturer of arms in Essen, the Ruhr, died.

23 May 1887. The French crown jewels went on sale and raised six million francs.

18 May 1887, In France the Right-wing Georges Boulanger was excluded from a new administration formed by Maurice Rouvier. As war minister, Boulanger had led a nationalist campaign for revenge (revanche) against Germany.

20 February 1887, The Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria and Italy was renewed for a further 5 years.

29 January 1887, Construction work began on the Eiffel Tower, Paris.


Bismarck, 1878-90

18 March 1890, Prince Otto von Bismarck was dismissed from the German Chancellorship by Kaiser Wilhelm II, after 29 years as Germany�s first Chancellor. Bismarck�s foremost achievement had been the unification of Germany under Prussian leadership. He had held Germany back from a damaging competitive rush for colonies that would cause conflict with other European powers, and he negotiated the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia that limited the possibility for conflict between them. However when Wilhelm II succeeded his father Kaiser Frederick III, German policy changed. Bismarck was replaced by Leo von Caprivi, who allowed the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia to lapse. This pushed Russia into closer relations with France, Germany�s enemy. Meanwhile Germany pursued a fruitless attempt to make a friendship treaty with Britain.

14 January 1887. Bismarck dissolved the Reichstag because it refused to vote for the military budget.

11 January 1887, Bismarck proposed an expansion of the German Army.

18 June 1881, Bismarck of Germany instituted the Dreikaiserbund (Three Emperor�s League), an informal agreement between Germany, Austro-Hungary and Russia.

19 October 1878, Bismarck passed an anti-Socialist law, placing many restraints on socialist meetings and banning trade union activities.


29 June 1886, Robert Schuman, French politician and Prime Minister, was born in Luxembourg.

13 June 1886, Ludwig II, King of Bavaria, drowned, probably suicide.

16 January 1886, Frederic Falloux, French politician died (born 11 May 1811). He organised the Loi Falloux (Education-Schools, France, 15 March 1850).


French governance post Franco-Prussian war, 1872-86

4 January 1886, In France, Georges Boulanger was appointed Minister for War. His anti-German speeches came close to provoking war with Germany, and he had ambitions to overthrow the French Third Republic.

24 August 1883, Henri Chambord, contender for the French throne, died (born 29 September 1820).

12 May 1881, Tunisia became a French Protectorate. The French invaded in April 1881 when the Tunisian first minister made various reforms taking away French economic privileges. This French move was disturbing to Italy, who had believed that Britain would never permit an extension of French power in North Africa.

2 June 1879, Louis, Prince Imperial of France and prospective Napoleon IV, was killed by a Zulu assegai. The French suspected British connivance.

30 January 1879, Royalist support was declining in France, and the position of President MacMahon became untenable (see 5 January 1879). He resigned this day, and was succeeded by the conservative republican, Fran�ois Paul Jules Grevy.

5 January 1879, In French Senate elections, the Republicans gained seats but the majority was still Royalist, including President MacMahon. However see 30 January 1879.

16 May 1877, In the Seize Mai crisis, French President MacMahon forced the resignation of Prime Minister Jules Simon. Simon appeared half-hearted in his opposition to the anti-clericalism movement that had become powerful in France. Some now feared a return to autocratic military rule, but Republicanism reasserted itself.

16 July 1875, France ratified its new Constitution. This provided for a Chamber of Deputies and a Senate, with a President serving a seven-year term. Marie Edme Patrice Maurice de MacMahon continued as President.

15 September 1874, The Prince of Wales visited France. This was the first visit there by a member of the British Royal Family since the French revolution.

16 September 1873, The last German troops left France. An economic recovery of France had taken place, which was to enable it to build up its military forces.However a recession began in France from 1873 onwards.

24 May 1873, M Thiers ceased to be President of France.

9 January 1873, Napoleon III of France, nephew of Bonaparte, died in exile at Chislehurst, Kent, to where he had withdrawn following his defeat by the Prussians and his imprisonment at Wilhelshohe Castle.

30 September 1872, The last date for the inhabitants of Alsace, conquered by Germany in 1870, to opt for either German nationality and remain or French nationality and leave for France. Around 45,000 opted to leave for France.


9 September 1884, The foundation stone for the new German Reichstag Parliament building was laid (see 19 April 1871). The building opened in 1894.

29 April 1883, Franz Schulze-Delitzsch, German economist, died in Potsdam (born 29 August 1808 in Delitzsch).

29 October 1879, Franz von Papen, German politician and ambassador, was born in Werl, Westphalia.

20 October 1879, Bernhardt von Bulow, German statesman, died (born 2 August 1815).

1 October 1879, An Austro-German alliance was signed.

19 November 1878, Theresa Essler, wife of Prince Adalbert of Prussia, died (widowed 1873).

7 August 1876, Dutch spy, Mata Hari (Margarete Gertrude Zelle), who passed secrets to the Germans in World War One, was born in Leeuwarden. The French arrested her in 1917 and she was executed by firing squad.

5 January 1876, Konrad Adenauer, West German Chancellor, was born in Cologne.

29 October 1873, John, King of Saxony, died (born 12 December 1801). King Albert of Saxony succeeded his father to the throne. He was born on 23 April 1828, and died on 10 June 1902.

7 April 1870, Gustav Landauer, German anarchist, was born.


Birth of the unified German State, centred on Berlin

19 April 1871,The new German Parliament, the Reichstag, began planning for a permamnent home. This was not started until 9 June 1884.

3 March 1871, The first all-German elections were held, and returned a Parliament dominated by the National Liberal Party. The German Union was changed by this Parliament from a Bund (Federation, as proposed by Bismarck, to reassure states reluctant to join a Prussian-dominated union such as Baden and Wurttemberg that their autonomy would not be lost), to the more centralist term Reich, organised from Berlin. This was the Second Reich, (First Reich = Holy Roman Empire) which fell in 1918. The red-black-white colours of its flag inspired the colours of the Nazi Third Reich.

18 January 1871, William I, King of Prussia, was declared Emperor of Germany at Versailles. Within Germany, William I had created a united State out of what was formerly Prussia, Saxony, Bavaria and Wurttemberg, also 5 Grand Duchies, 13 Duchies and Principalities, and the Free Cities of Hamburg, Bremen and Lubeck.


Paris Commune set up, suppressed.

28 May 1871, The Paris Commune, set up on 28 March 1871, was brutally suppressed by French government troops. Urban warfare in Paris had killed 33,000 and left sections of the city in ruins. Other Communes in Lyons and Marseilles had also collapsed. The Paris Communards had failed to adequately man a fort defending the west of Paris.

21 May 1871, The Treaty of Frankfurt was ratified.

10 May 1871, Germany and France signed a peace treaty at Frankfurt. France surrendered all of Alsace and most of Lorraine to Germany. France also had to pay an indemnity of 5 billion francs to Germany, the equivalent amount that Napoleon I imposed on Prussia in 1807; a German army was to remain in France till this is paid. The British Prime Minister, Gladstone, protested that Alsace and Lorraine should not be handed over without a vote by the people living there. Prussia�s Prime Minister, Bismarck, placed no limit in the treaty on the size of France�s future army, gambling that France was already isolated and humbled by her defeat at Sedan.

28 March 1871, French proletarian radicals proclaimed a �Paris Commune�, backed by intellectuals and workers, hoping to exploit popular discontent at France�s humiliating loss of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany. The French Government fled to Versailles. See 28 May 1871.

18 March 1871, The Commune insurrection against the French Government began in Paris.

1 March 1871, In France, Napoleon III was deposed and the Paris Commune set up.


End of Franco-Prussian War; France totally defeated.

26 February 1871. Prussia and France signed a preliminary peace treaty at Versailles.

17 February 1871, The Pact of Bordeaux was signed.

16 February 1871The French fortress of Belfort capitulated to the Germans.

28 January 1871. Starving and surrounded by Prussian troops, Paris surrendered to Germany. During the 5-month siege, balloons were used to maintain contact with the rest of France. Finally, a 3-week artillery bombardment destroyed all resistance. All the animals at Paris Zoo had been eaten (which one was eaten last?)


Seige of Paris, 9/1870 � 1/1871. Defeat of France by Prussia.

27 January 1871, German forces grew impatient with the length of the siege of Belfort and on this day General von Tresckow launched an attack on the city which was repulsed and the siege operations resumed.

22 January 1871, The Moselle railway bridge at Fontenoy was blown up.

19 January 1871, Germany defeated the French at the Battle of St Quentin.

15 January 1871, Battle of Lisaine, near Belfort; Germany defeated France.

10 January 1871, The Battle of Le Mans began; Germany defeated France.

9 January 1871, The Battle of Beaugency, near Orleans; Germany defeated France. Germany advanced towards Tours.

8 January 1871. Prussian troops bombarded Paris.

2 January 1871, Germany defeated France at the Battle of Baupame.

23 December 1870, Germany defeated France at the Battle of Hallue, near Amiens. German forces now advanced south west towards Rouen.

2 December 1870,Germany defeated France at the Battle of Loigny, near Orleans.

28 November 1870. The Germans in the Franco-Prussian War took Amiens.

9 November 1870, The Battle of Coulmiers, near Orleans; France defeated Germany.

3 November 1870. The Prussians besieged Belfort, 275 miles ESE of Paris. The siege continued until the armistice of 15 February 1871.

27 October 1870. The French at Metz, 140,000 troops, surrendered to Prussia after a two-month seige. In November 1870 the southern German states of Wurttemberg and Bavaria joined with the North German Confederation, ensuring Prussian political hegemony. Francois-Achille Bazaine (1811-88), Marshall of France and commander of the 180,000 men besieged at Metz, was accused of treachery and after a court martial at Versdailles in 1873 was sentenced to death. This was commuted by President Macmahon to 20 years imprisonment. In August 1874 Bazaine escaped from the island fortress of Ste Narguerite and fled to Madrid. His supporters maintained that Bazaine was a scapegoat for general French military inefficiency and for the failures of other Field Commmanders from more distinguished families.

7 October 1870, Gambetta, French Minister of the Interior, escaped the siege of Paris in a balloon.Reaching the safety of Tours, he encouraged the French troops.

28 September 1870. Strasbourg, under siege by Prussia since August 1870, was surrendered by the French.

19 September 1870. Siege of Paris by the Germans began.


Franco-Prussian War, 7/1870 � 2/1871. Prussia defeated France.

4 September 1870. France formed a Republic (The Third Republic) and a government of national defence was formed.

2 September 1870. Napoleon III of France capitulated to Prussia at Sedan. Fighting had lasted 44 days, and the 380,000 strong Prussian army had triumphed over the 235,0000 strong French army. Only a hastily assembled French National Guard stood between the Prussians and Paris. Empress Eugenie and the prince imperial fled to England. Napoleon III was held as prisoner in the comfortable royal apartments of Wilhelmshohe Castle. The French had sent a force to relieve their main Army besieged at Metz but this army, 84,000 men, 2,700 officers, 39 generals, surrendered to Prussia.

1 September 1870, (1) The Battle of Sedan; the Germans defeated the French.

(2) The siege of Metz began.

30 August 1870, Battle of Beaumont; Germany defeated France.

18 August 1870. Prussian forces defeated the French at the Battle of Gravelotte.

16 August 1870,The French lost to the Prussians at the Battle of Vionville.

13 August 1870, Germany defeated France at the Battle of Noisseville.

6 August 1870, Battle of Froeschwiller, in NE France; Germany defeated France.

4 August 1870. Germany defeated France at the Battle of Wissembourg, in NE France.

2 August 1870, Prussia had mobilised rapidly and now had 380,000 troops on the French border.

19 July 1870, France declared war on Prussia. The origins of this war lay in the vacancy of the Spanish throne, which the French regarded as their sphere of influence. There was a Hohenzollern (German) candidate for the Spanish throne, and Napoleon III demanded, not only the withdrawal of the Hozenhollern claim to the Spanish throne, but the guarantee from Germany never again to claim this position. In the Ems telegram of 13 July 1870 the Prussian King, in Ems, wrote to Bismarck declining to give such a guarantee.

France was unprepared for war and its army disorganised,and within a month the main French Army was besieged at Metz. See 2 September 1870. See also French Railways 11 June 1842.

12 July 1870, Prince Leopold, the Hohenzollern candidate for the Spanish throne, withdrew, not keen on such an insecure position as Spanish monarch. France rejoiced, but Bismarck of Prussia felt humiliated; he wanted war with France. Bismarck received news of Leopold�s withdrawal by telegram at Ems on 13 July 1870. Benedetti of France had sought assurances from King William of Prussia of Leopold�s withdrawal, which until now William had refused to give.When Leopold himself withdrew, William regarded the affair as closed and saw no further need for meetings with Benedetti. It was this news that was in the telegram to Bismarck. However Bismarck edited the telegram to a shorter version that made it appear as if King William had declined to meet with Benedetti, not due to Leopold�s withdrawal, but due to the demands made by Benedetti. This was the version of the telegram released to the media. It now looked as if Benedetti had been discourteous to William, and William had curtly rebuffed the French. Once this version was reported by the press, both the French and German peoples wanted war.

6 July 1870, The French Foreign Minister stated that unless Prince Leopold, the Hohenzollern candidate for the Spanish throne, was withdrawn, France would treat it as a cause for war. The King of Prussia was part of the Hohenzollern family, and France feared encirclement by pro-German States.


1 May 1869, The Folies-Bergere music hall opened in Paris.

29 February 1868, Ex-King Louis of Bavaria died in Munich, aged 81. Louis was a patron of the arts and his capital, Munich, was a centre of culture. Louis had an affair with an Irish dancer, Marie Gilbert (stage name Lola Montez). This affair provoked a revolution; Louis had to abdicate in 1848, and Marie died destitute in New York in 1861, aged 43.


Supremacy of Prussia 1861-69

17 June 1869 Wilhelmshaven, Germany�s first military port, was officially inaugurated.

3 February 1868, Karl Mathy, Baden statesman who worked for German unity, and who helped found the newspaper Deutsche Zeitung, which promoted the unification of the German states, died (born 17 March 1807).

1 July 1867. The German Federal Constitution came into force.

17 April 1867, The North German Reichstag adopted the new federal Constitution.Four years later all of the German Empire had adopted it.

16 April 1867, The North German confederation was formed, under the leadership of Prussia.

8 February 1867, As Prussia became increasingly powerful under Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck and King Wilhelm I, political differences between Germany and the Hapsburgs of Austria, who had ruled Austria since 1278. This weakened Austria to the point where Hungary threatened to break away, and to save the unity of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austria was forced to agree to a Dual Monarchy, where each State had a separate government and a convoluted system of joint Ministers to oversee the Empire. However this in turn alienated ethnic minorities within Austro-Hungary, ultimately sparking off demands for Serbian independence and the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand that led to World War One.

3 October 1866, The states north of the Mainz joined a new North German Confederation under Prussian leadership.Austria was finally excluded from the German Confederation.The formerly independent duchy of Nassau, Germany, 1,830 square miles, was incorporated with the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia annexed Schleswig-Holstein, Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, and Frankfurt Am Main.The southern German states agreed that their troops should come under the command of Prussia in the event of war.


Austro-Prussian (Seven Weeks) War, 1866

23 August 1866, The Treaty of Prague was signed, ending the war between Austria and Prussia. Austria agreed to withdraw from the German Confederation, renounced its claim on Schleswig-Holstein, and ceded Venetia to Italy.

26 July 1866, The preliminary Peace Treaty of Nikolsburg was signed between Austria and Prussia.

3 July 1866, In northern Czechoslovakia, the Austrian army was routed by Prussian forces at the Battle of Sadowa (Koniggratz). The victory by Bismarck was sealed at the Treaty of Prague, by which Austria renounced her claim to Schleswig-Holstein, where Germany would later build a great naval base at Kiel and build the Kiel Canal linking the Baltic and North Seas.

29 June 1866, The Hanoverian army was forced to capitulate to the Prussians after a defeat in the Battle of Lasngensalza. King George V of Hanover had refused, contrary to the wishes of his Parliament, to agree to Prussian demands that the Kingdom of Hanover remain neutral in the war between Prussia and Austria. In 9/1866 Hanover was formally annexed by Prussia.

15 June 1866, Prussian troops crossed the frontiers of Hanover, Saxony, and Hesse-Cassel.

14 June 1866, The brief Austro-Prussian War began, over a dispute between Prussia and Austria over the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein.

7 June 1866, Prussian troops entered Holstein.This was the start of the Austro-Prussian War.

21 April 1866, Austria mobilised, before it was ready for war, against Prussia.

8 April 1866. Bismarck arranged an alliance between Italy and Germany. Italy promised to join Germany against Austria if war broke out in the next three months.


12 May 1863, The German Socialist Party was founded.

28 September 1862, Bismarck made his �blood and iron� speech.

23 September 1862. Bismarck arrived in Berlin and was made Prime Minister of Prussia.

30 October 1864. By the Peace of Vienna, Denmark gave up Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenberg.These provinces came under Austrian and Prussian rule.

21 April 1864, Max Weber, German political economist, was born.

10 March 1864, Maximilian II, King of Bavaria, died.

1 February 1864, Austrian and Prussian troops under the command of Friedrich von Wangle invaded Schleswig, Denmark. Although the British monarch, Queen Victoria, was pro-German, the British Prince Edward, the future King Edward VII � who had only months earlier married Alexandra of Denmark � was shocked; they supported Denmark. The Second Schleswig War began. This event ensured that under King Edward VII�s reign, British foreign policy was pro-Danish, anti-German, and Britain formed a triple entente with France and Russia against Germany.

2 January 1861, Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia died aged 65. He was succeeded by his brother and Regent, Wilhelm I.


21 July 1862, Work began on building the new Paris Opera.

23 January 1860, Britain and France signed a Treaty of Reciprocity, establishing free trade between them.

5 October 1859, Henry Prince of Battenberg was born (died 20 January 1896).

10 July 1859, The Treaty of Villafranca was signed.

27 January 1859, Kaiser Willhelm II was born in Potsdam, near Berlin. He was the son of the German Emperor and the grandson of Queen Victoria.

7 October 1858, Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia was certified insane, and his brother, 61-year-old Wilhelm, was made Regent.

10 July 1858, Napoleon III of France secretly met Count Cavour at Plombieres. The two agreed to jointly attack Austria.

For more on Austro-Piedmont War 1859 see Italy

20 March 1858, Johannes Gossner, German preacher and philanthropist, died (born 14 December 1773).


Orsini assassination attempt on Napoleon

13 March 1858, Felice Orsini, Italian revolutionary, was executed for his part in the assassination attempt on Napoleon III in Paris.

14 January 1858, An Italian assassin threw a bomb at French Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie as they drove to the Paris Opera. The bomb, thrown by Felici Orsini, missed its target but killed eight bystanders and injured 100. Orsini planned the attack in London, causing anti-British sentiment in France.


24 April 1856, Philippe Petain, French Army Marshall, was born in Cuchy a la Tour.

30 July 1855, Georg Wilhelm von Seimens, German industrialist, was born.

For Crimean War see Russia 1850s

4 April 1853, The customs union signed by various German states was extended for another 12 years; Austria remained excluded.

3 April 1853, Louis Pontecoulant, French politician, died in Paris (born 17 November 1764 in Caen)


Louis Napoleon Bonaparte seizes more power

29 January 1853, Napoleon III of France married Eugenie de Montijo in Paris.

1852, Napoleon III gave the Bois de Bolougne to Paris for a public park. It had been a royal hunting ground since the 1600s.

2 December 1852, Louis Napoleon was proclaimed Emperor of France as Napoleon III.The Second French Empire was proclaimed.

2 December 1851, In France, President Louis Napoleon Bonaparte extended his term in office and ended the Second Republic. He ordered troops to occupy Paris, arrest Parliamentary Deputies, and to fire on unarmed protestors.

9 June 1850, The French administration of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte banned many clubs and meeting places, to counter a surge in political support for radical Parties.

31 May 1850, France passed a law requiring voters to be resident in the same place for three years before qualifying for a vote.This was to exclude migratory workers, who tended to be radical.

20 December 1848, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed President of France.

11 December 1848. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was elected President of the French Republic by a large majority.


12 January 1852, Joseph Joffre, French Army Marshall and Commander in Chief on the Western Front, was born in Rivesaltes.

18 November 1851, Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover, died (born 5 June 1771).

2 October 1851, Marshal Ferdinand Foch, French General who led the counteroffensive that defeated Germany in 1918, was born in Tarbes, France.

24 December 1850, Frederic Bastiat, French economist, died in Rome (born in Bayonne 29 June 1801).

26 August 1850, Death of Louis Philippe, the �citizen king�, who abdicated rather than face a middle-class revolt.

25 July 1850, Battle of Idstedt; Denmark defeated Germany.

16 April 1850, Swiss waxworks show proprietor Madame Marie Tussaud died. She was born on 11 December 1761 in Strasbourg. She learnt the art of wax modelling from her uncle, Philippe Curtius. Before the French Revolution Mme Tussaud was art tutor at Versailles to Louis XVI�s sister, Elizabeth. After a period in prison she was tasked with making death masks from the heads of those guillotined, some of whom she recognised as friends. She left Paris in 1802, along with her waxwork models, and two sons from a failed marriage to a French engineer, Francois Tussaud. She spent 33 years touring Britain before opening a permanent display in London.

3 May 1849, Bernhard, Prince von Bulow, German Chancellor and Prime Minister of Prussia (1900-09) was born.

19 March 1849, Alfred von Tirpitz, German Admiral, was born in Kustrin, Brandenburg, Prussia.

For 1848-49 Schleswig conflict see Denmark.


Political, economic, unrest in France 1847 - 48

26 June 1848. Riots in Paris from the 23rd to the 26th June.

10 May 1848, The French Assembly spurned the proposal of Louis Blanc to establish a Ministry of Labour and Progress, a bold measure to implement Blanc's socialist agenda.

3 March 1848, Louis-Philippe of France arrived in England, following his abdication. Meanwhile economic depression and hunger, and discontent amongst the growing middle classes, was spurring revolution across Europe. Demonstrations occurred in Vienna and across Hungarian cities; ethnic minorities within the Austro-Hungarian Empire were demanding self-rule. Venice proclaimed independence from Austria.

2 March 1848, Universal male suffrage was enacted in France, giving the country nine million new voters.

28 February 1848, French workers demonstrated in the Place de l'H�tel-de-Ville, Paris, to demand a Ministry of Labour and the 10-hour day.

26 February 1848, The Second French Republic was proclaimed. See 24 February 1848.

25 February 1848, Lamartine rejected the proposed Socialist Red Flag as the new French flag, preferring the �liberal democratic� Tricolour to the �Blood Flag of anarchy�.

24 February 1848, The French monarchy fell as King Louis Philippe fled to exile in England. See 26 February 1848.

22 February 1848, In France a socialist �banquet�, or political meeting, to commemorate the birthday of George Washington was banned. This ban caused major unrest and riots in the following days.

12 February 1848, In France, the Liberal Opposition to the Conservative Guizot Government in France reduced Guizot�s majority to 43 in the Chamber of Deputies.

28 January 1847. Severe depression, unemployment, and food shortages provoked rioting amongst agricultural workers in central France. See 27 February 1848.


France 1816-47

18 December 1847, Marie Louise, 2nd wife of Napoleon I, died (born 12 December 1791).

15 January 1846, In France, Angelique Cottin, aged 14, of La Perriere, began to experience frightening paranormal phenomena in which objects including furniture violently retreated at her touch. Many witnessed these events, which lasted for some 10 weeks.

18 August 1842, Louis Freycinet, French navigator, died (born 7 August 1779).

8 May 1842, Jules Dumont, French navigator, died (born 23 May 1790).

28 September 1841, Georges Clemenceau, French Prime Minister 1917-20, was born.

30 January 1841, Francois Faure, President of France, was born (died 16 February 1899).

15 December 1840, Napoleon�s body was interred in Les Invalides, Paris.

29 July 1839, Gaspard Prony, French engineer, died (born 22 July 1755)

30 December 1838, Emile Loubet, 7th President of the French Republic 1899-1906, was born.

11 August 1837, Marie Carnot, 4th President of the Third French Republic, was born (died 24 June 1894).

30 July 1836, The Arc de Triomphe, Paris, was completed (commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon to commemorate his victories from 1790 onwards). It is Europe�s largest triumphal arch, 50 meres high and 45 metres wide.

19 February 1836, Guiseppe Fieschi, conspirator to assassinate Louis Philippe,was guillotined.

20 May 1834, Marquis de Lafayette, Frenchman who fought with the American colonists for independence from Britain and was a key figure in the French Revolution, died..

7 August 1834, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, French inventor, died.

1832, France ceased to brand its galley slaves with the letters TF (Travaux Forces).

9 March 1831, King Louis-Philippe founded the French Foreign Legion. Its headquarters was at Sidi-bel-Abbes in Algeria. In 1962 the headquarters was moved to Aubagne, France. See 5 July 1830.

7 August 1830, Louis Philippe accepted the Crown of France.


King Charles X 1824-30, deposed after harsh rule, revolution

6 November 1836, Charles X, King of France, died (born 1757).

2 August 1830, The July Revolution in France ended. Charles X abdicated.

29 July 1830, French liberals opposed to Charles X seized Paris.

27 July 1830, Revolutionary riots in Paris, The July Revolution, sparked by the harsh policies of King Charles X.

14 June 1828, Augustus Charles died (born 3 September 1757).

23 April 1828, Frederick Augustus, King of Saxony from 1873 (died 10 June 1902) was born.

26 June 1826, Adolf Bastian, German ethnologist, was born in Bremen.

1 June 1826, Jean Frederic Oberlin, German social reformer, died (born 31 August 1740 in Strassburg)

5 May 1826, Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, was born in Grenada., Spain.

13 October 1825, Maximilian I, King of Bavaria, died.

2 July 1825, Emile Olivier, French statesman, was born near Marseilles.

20 June 1825, Coronation of King Charles X of France.


King Louis XVIII, stabilises the regime and empowers the middle class

16 September 1824, Louis XVIII, King of France, died aged 68, leaving a strong and prosperous country, in contrast to its defeat under Napoleon. However his attempts at constitutional reform were thwarted by the ultra-royalists. He was succeeded by his brother, Charles X.

9 September 1817, In France, the ultra-Royalists, those Conservatives desiring a return to an absolute monarchy, lost seats in French elections.

10 February 1817, Britian, Prussia, Austroia and Russia agreed to decrease the size of the Army of Occupation within France.

5 February 1817, France changed its electoral franchise laws to increase the power of the middle classes, so stabilising the regime.

5 September 1816, King Louis XVIII of France dissolved the ultra-conservative Chambre Itrouvable (Chamber of Deputies, convened in 1815) so moderate deputies obtained a majority in the upcoming election.


28 February 1824, Charles Blondin, French tightrope walker famous for his crossings of Niagara Falls, was born in Hesdin near Calais, as Jean Francois Gravelet.

1 April 1822, Louis Bertillon, French anthropologist, was born in Paris (died in Neuilly 28 February 1883).

28 November 1821, Henri Baudrillart, French economist, was born in Paris (died in Paris 24 January 1892).

5 May 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte died, in exile on St Helena, in the Atlantic (born 15 August 1769).The cause may have been arsenic poisoning, or it may have been stomach cancer, which also killed Napoleon�s father.

29 December 1820, Antoine Montyon, French philanthropist, died (born 23 December 1733)

16 November 1820, Jean Lambert Tallien, French Revolunionist, died in Paris (born 1767)

29 September 1820, Henri Chambord, contender for the French throne, was born (died 24 August 1883)

1 May 1819, France introduced freedom of the press.

21 December 1818, In France, Armand du Plessis, duc de Richelieu, resigned as Prime Minister, and was succeeded by Elie, duc de Decazes. October elections had shown increasing support for the Left.

21 November 1818, France was admitted to the Quadruple alliance, now the Quintuple alliance (see 20 November 1815).France�s war indemnity was cut.

9 October 1818, The Allies (Britain, Prussia, Austria, Russia) agreed to evacuate their Armies of Occupation from France by 30 November, as France was paying its Napoleonic war indmnities.

29 September 1818, The Congress of Aix La Chapelle began.

9 June 1817, Anne Josephe Theroigne de Mericourt, French Revolutionary, died.


Germany 1816-48

9 November 1848, Robert Blum, German politician, was executed.

20 March 1848, Ludwig I, King of Bavaria, abdicated.

17 March 1848, Protests in Berlin against the conservatism of Prussian ruler Frederick William IV.

25 August 1845, Ludwig II, King of Bavaria, was born.

18 December 1844, Ludwig Brentano, German economist, was born.

7 May 1842, A large fire ended in Hamburg, Germany (began 5/5). It had destroyed 4,219 buildings including 2,000 homes, leaving a fifth of the city homeless.

7 June 1840, Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia died at 69 after a reign of over 42 years. He was succeeded by his 44-year-old son, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who ruled until 1861.

2 March 1835, Francis II, last Holy Roman Emperor, died. He was succeeded, as Emperor of Austria only, by his 4-year-old son, Ferdinand I.


Unification of Germany 1817 - 34

1 January 1834, The German zollervein (customs union) now extended to all German states except Austria and the north-eastern states.

22 March 1833, A customs union, or zollverein, was signed between Bavaria, Wurttemberg, Prussia, and Hesse-Darmstadt. Austria was excluded. This zollverein covered 17 states with a total population of 20 million. Until now, 67 different tariffs and 13 non-Prussian enclaves, each with a different fiscal system, had hampered economic development. The zollverein was the idea of the economist Friedrich List, who returned to Prussia from the USA in 1832. Germany was also being united by the spread of the railways out from Berlin.

28 June 1832, Metternich insisted on the German Confederation�s acceptance of the Six Articles. This uniformised the behaviour of sovereigns across German States, forbade public meetings, and introduced surveillance of suspicious characters.

24 September 1828, Several German states founded the Commercial Union of Central Germany, signing a customs agreement with Prussia.

11 January 1828, The Prussian zollverein, or customs union, was extended to Hesse Darmstadt.From 1825 a new Prussian finance minister, Friedrich von Motz, had begun to extend the Prussian customs union or zollervein.Independent enclaves or city states had previously served as smuggling centres, hindering tax collection.In May 1829 Bavaria, whose ruler Louis I was keen on the zollervein, joined.See 1 January 1834.

10 October 1819, Prussia concluded a tariff treaty with the State of Schwarburg-Sonderhausen. Th is was the start of the creation of the zollverein, customs union.

28 May 1818, The Prussian Tariff Reform Act standardised taxes and tariff across Prussia.

26 May 1818, A Bill presented by the economist and councillor Karl Maaseen was adopted. It abolished customs procedures within Prussia and lifted trade restrictions.

18 October 1817, At the Wartburg Festival in Jena, German students gathered to celebrate the anniversaries oi the death of German Protestant reformer Martin Luther and the Battle of the Nations at :Leipzig, where Napoleon I was defeated.. This was an aspect of growing nationalism within Germany.

3 March 1817, Prussian Chancellor Karl August., Prince von Hardenberg, created Councils of State, with advisory powers, to supervise Prussia�s separate provinces.


18 October 1831, Frederick III, Emperor of Germany, was born.

15 December 1830, Karl August Ferdinand von Borcke (born 18 February 1776) a Prussian general and the first recipient of the Iron Cross, died.

21 March 1821, Ernst Engel, German political economist, was born (died 8 December 1896)

11 November 1819, Austrian chief minister Klemens, Prince Metternich, convened a conferemcein Vienna with the aim of modifying the Fedreal Sct of the German States to proscribe them from pursuing liberal policies.

25 September 1819, The German Sate of Wurttemberg adopted limited Parliamentary representation, similar to that adopted in Bavaria and Baden.

20 September 1819, The Frankfurt Diet (Assembly) of the German Confederation sanctioned the Carlsbad Decrees. These abolished freedom of the press, placed universities under State control, and suppressed all political agitation. This was to curb revolutionary and liberal movememnts within Germany.

12 September 1819, Gebhard von Blucher, Prussian Field Marshall who helped the Allies to victory against Napoleon, died in Silesia.

27 May 1819, George V, King of Hanover, was born.

30 March 1818, Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, founder of the German agricultural co-operative banks, was born (died 11 March 1888)

5 May 1817, Sweden joined the Holy Alliance, originally in 1815 of Austria, Russia and Prussia.

5 November 1816, The Diet (National Assembly) of the German Confederation (the newly-created association f German States, set up to replace mthe former Holy Roman Empire) opened at Frankfurt am main, under Klemens, Prince Metternich, the Austrian Chief Minister.

8 August 1816, Bavaria jpoined the Holy Alliance formed between Austria, Russia and Prussia in 1815.

21 May 1816, The United Netherlands joined the Holy Alliance formed by Prussia, Russia and Austria in 1815.



Demography of Monaco

12 July 2005, Prince Albert II became ruler of Monaco after the 3-month period of mourning for the death of his father had ended. A week earlier he had acknowledged his illegitmate son.

14 March 1959, Prince Albert II of Monaco was born.

19 November 1949. Prince Ranier III was sworn in as the 30th ruling Prince of Monaco.

31 May 1923, Prince Ranier III, prince of the House of Grimaldi, was born in Monaco.

28 January 1911, The first Monte Carlo car rally was run.

29 March 1910, The world�s largest oceanographic museum opened in Monaco.

1862, The first gambling casino opened in Monte Carlo.

2 February 1862, Monaco sold the towns of Menton and Roquebrune to France.

2 February 1861, The Franco-Monagesque Treaty restored independence to Monaco. Under this Treaty, the towns of Mentone and Roccabruna (now, Roquebrune), were ceded to france in return for a payment of 4 million Francs.

1860, Nice was transferred to France, which thereby brought Monaco under French protection.

1856, Earliest record of gambling tables at Monaco.

1848, Sardinia took advantage of civil disturbances in Mentone and Roccabruna to annex those towns to Monaco.

1815, The Kingdom of Sardinia, which then also included Nice, took possession of Monaco.

1814, The Treaty of Paris restored Monaco to the Goyon Grimaldi family.

1800, Up till now, Monaco exercised the right to exact dues from passing ships.

1793, Under the National Convention, France annexed Monaco.

1641, Honore II reverted from Spanish to French allegiance.

1524, The rulers of Monaco switched allegiance from France to Spain.

1300, Monaco was infamous as a pirate base.

1000, Monaco was owned by the powerful Grimaldi family of Genoa.


The Phoenicians, then the Greeks, had a Temple to Heracles here, who was also known as Monoikpon, hence the name Monaco


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