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An overview of the events between 1933 and 1953


January 30, 1933:
Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor of the German Reich.

February 28, 1933:
Hitler issues a decree invalidating the basic rights.

April 1, 1933:
Boycott against Jewish businesses organized by the SA.

April 7, 1933:
New laws bar Jews from jobs in the civil service, universities and law courts.

May 2, 1933:
Banning of parties, trade unions and confiscation of their property (part of the process of "Gleichschaltung").

July 14, 1933:
Law on the confiscation of property of "enemies of the people and the State". Legal basis for the seizure of assets of emigrants.


February 27, 1934:
Law on the preparation of a corporative structure of the German economy. Establishment of administrations for the different economic sectors among these the insurance group ("Reichsgruppe Versicherungen") is set up.

June 30, 1934:
Party purge culminating in the liquidation of the SA leadership ("Röhm-Putsch").


March 16, 1935:
compulsory military service introduced.

May-August 1935:
boycotts and hate campaign against the Jewish population.

September 15, 1935:
Nuremberg Laws enacted: Jews lose their status as German citizens; marriage between Jews and Non-Jews considered illegal; dismissal of all Jewish officials.


March 7, 1936:
German army occupies the demilitarized buffer zone along the River Rhine.

August 1936:
Nazi-Regime exploits Olympics in Berlin to camouflage the aggressive and racist character of the German Dictatorship.


March 23, 1937:
In his encyclical "Mit brennender Sorge" ("With Burning Anxiety") Pope Pius XI. condemns the Nazi's divinization of race, the nation and the state.

April 26, 1937:
On behalf of General Franco the Condor Legion bombs the Basque town Guernica.

July 19, 1937:
After "purging" Germany's museums of most works of modern art the exhibition "degenerate art" is opened in Munich.

July 1937:
Buchenwald Concentration Camp is established near the city of Weimar.

November 16, 1937:
Decree of the Ministry of the Interior confining the issue of passports for Jews to exceptional cases.


March 12, 1938:
German troups enter Austria: Annexation of Austria.

April 26, 1938:
Decree about registration of Jewish assets exceeding a value of 5,000 Reichsmark.

October 1, 1938:
Occupation of the "Sudetenland" (part of Czechoslovakia).

November 9/10, 1938:
Officially inspired pogrom ("Night of Broken Glass") leads to the arrest or murder of many Jews and the destruction of synagogues and Jewish-owned shops and homes.

November 12, 1938:
Collective financial "punishment" of Jews (1 Billion marks) for compensation of damages resulting from the "Night of Broken Glass".


March 14/16, 1939:
German troops invade Czechoslovakia. Establishment of Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia.

August 23, 1939:
Non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany ("Hitler-Stalin Pakt").

September 1, 1939:
Germany invades Poland and starts World War II.


German forces continue their conquests in Europe: Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, and France capitulate.

April 30, 1940:
Establishment of the first supervised Jewish ghetto in Lodz, Poland.

August 13, 1940:
The German air forces start the Battle of Britain.

October 15, 1940:
Establishment of the ghetto of Warschau.


June 22, 1941:
Invasion of the Soviet Union ("Operation Barbarossa").

September 1, 1941:
Introduction of the Star of David as "distinguishing mark" for Jews.

November 25, 1941:
Decree of confiscation of Jewish assets in case of deportation ("11.Verordnung zum Reichsbürgergesetz").

December 11, 1941:
Germany declares war upon the United States.


January 20, 1942:
"Wannsee Conference": meeting of high-ranking civil servants and SS-officers concerned with the organisation and implementation of the genocide of the European Jews.

March, 1942:
beginning Liqidation of Polish ghettos and deportation of their inhabitants to the extermination camps Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka ("Aktion Reinhardt").

September 1, 1942:
Decree of the Ministry of the Interior declaring assets of concentration camp victims as state property.


January/February, 1943:
Surrender of the German troups at Stalingrad.

April 19, 1943:
Revolts at the Warsaw Ghetto.

July 1, 1943:
13. Order of the "Reichsbürgergesetz": determines that a Jew's assets are forfeit to the Reich on his/her death.

July 25, 1943:
End of the Fascist regime in Italy.


March 19, 1944:
German troups occupy Hungaria. Deportation of 440.000 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz.

June 6, 1944:
Landing of Allied troups in Normandy (D-day).

July 20, 1944:
Attempted assassination of Hitler by Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg.

July 23, 1944:
Liberation of Majdanek concentration camp.

September 11, 1944:
American forces reach the border of the German Empire.


January 27, 1945:
Soviet troups liberate Auschwitz.

February, 1945:
Jalta conference.

April 30, 1945:
Hitler commits suicide in Berlin.

May 8, 1945:
Unconditional surrender of the German Army in Reims (France) and Berlin.

Post war history

June 5, 1945:
Allied military commanders take over government power in Germany.

Partition of Germany. Four zones of occupation are established.

Beginning of the nationalisation of the insurance business in the Soviet zone of occupation.

Communist regimes are established in Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Romania.

Directive No. 24 of the Allied Control Council (1946) regulates the denazification process.


October 1, 1946:
International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg classifies 24 defendants as major war criminals and sentences them to death or imprisonment.


June 5, 1947:
European Recovery Program is proclaimed.

November 10, 1947:
Law No 59 of the Military Government on restitution and compensation for assets confiscated under the Nazi regime.


June 21, 1948:
The Deutschmark is introduced as a core element of the German currency reform.

June 24, 1948:
Beginning of Berlin Airlift after the Soviets imposed a blockade on West Berlin.


April 4, 1949:
NATO is founded.

May 12, 1949:
Berlin blockade is lifted.

May 23, 1949:
West German constitution "Basic Law" is proclaimed.

October 7, 1949:
East German constitution is proclaimed.

Anja Rechenberg
Spokesperson Corporate Responsibility

Phone +49 89 3800 4511
Fax +49 89 3800 84511