Holocaust Timeline: 1914 to 1932

The Growth of the Nazi Party

The Holocaust, the attempted genocide of the Jewish people, is one of the most horrific events in all of history. The Nazis succeeded in murdering six million Jews and another five million others in a systematic process created specifically for killing.

Although the mass killings began in earnest in 1941 with the Einsatzgruppen and then, later, gas chambers, the path to genocide started much earlier. 

Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party and later Fuhrer of Germany, was a central figure in the cause of the Holocaust, but it is impossible for one man to do all this alone. The entire German populace was disgraced by their loss in World War I and the subsequent peace treaty at Versailles created a vacuum of power within Germany that allowed for the rise of the Nazi Party.

Follow this timeline, divided into three sections, to learn about the growth of antisemitism, the rise of the Nazi Party, and the evolution of the Final Solution.

1914 to 1932 |  1933 to 1938 | 1939 to Present

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French troops in firing position during World War I.
French "37" in firing position on parapet in second-line trench. This gun has a maximum range of a mile and a half, is more accurate than a rifle, and is capable of firing 28 rounds a minute. Dieffmatten, Germany. (June 26, 1918). (Picture courtesy the National Archives and Records Administration)

June 28 -- Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria assassinated, leading to the start of World War I

August 3 - Adolf Hitler petitioned King Ludwig III of Bavaria for permission to join in a Bavarian regiment (granted)

December -- Hitler awarded the Iron Cross, Second Class

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October 7 -- Hitler wounded in the leg by a grenade splinter during the Battle of the Somme

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Adolf Hitler as a WWI soldier
Adolf Hitler as a WWI soldier. (Photo courtesy the U.S. National Archives)

August 4 -- Hitler awarded the Iron Cross, First Class

October 13 -- Hitler suffered temporary blindness from a British gas attack

October 28 -- Munity by sailors at the Kiel Naval Base

November 9 -- Weimar Republic proclaimed

November 10 -- Hitler told of end of World War I while in a hospital recovering from a British gas attack

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Hitler assigned job in the Press and News Bureau of the Political Department of the Army's district command

Hitler posted to a Munich regiment as an educational officer in the Press and Propaganda Office of the District Army Command

January 5 -- The German Workers' Party founded

January 15 -- Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg murdered

February 28 -- Scheidemann government resigned; replaced

June 28 -- The German delegates sign the Treaty of Versailles

July 31 -- Weimar Constitution adopted (became law August 11)

September -- Hitler received orders to look into the German Workers' Party - Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (joins)

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Picture of an SA member holding a Nazi flag.
Picture postcard showing a member of the SA waving a large Nazi flag while standing on a mountain ridge overlooking a valley. The postcard was produced by the Julius Schleicher Postkarten Verlag in Leisnig. (1932). (Photo courtesy of the USHMM)

February 24 -- German Workers' Party changes its name to National Socialist German Workers' Party - Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) (Nazi Party)

March 12-17 -- Kapp Putsch

Summer -- Hitler came up with the design for the Nazi flag and symbol

Summer -- Hitler organized the Ordnertruppe

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Summer -- Hitler takes dictatorial control over the Nazis

October 5 -- Ordnertruppe officially named Sturmabteilung (SA)



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June 24 -- Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau murdered (shot)



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January 11 -- Ruhr occupied by French and Belgian forces because German was behind on reparations

November 9 -- Hitler attempts a coup, the Beer Hall Putsch (fails)

November 11 -- Hitler arrested

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Picture of Adolf Hitler's book, Mein Kampf.
Adolf Hitler's book, Mein Kampf, as seen on display at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Memorial in Jerusalem. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

February 26 -- Hitler's trial for treason begins

April 1 -- Hitler sentenced to five years in prison in Landsberg fortress;
Writes Mein Kampf

December 20 -- Hitler released from prison

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February 28 -- President Ebert died

July -- French troops completed their evacuation out of the Ruhr


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September -- Germany entered the League of Nations



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March 10 -- End of the ban on Hitler speaking 

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October 3 -- Gustav Stresemann died

October 24 -- "Black Tuesday" - the Stock Market Crash on Wall Street; the beginning of the Great Depression 

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June 30 -- Last French troops removed from Germany

July 16 -- Chancellor Brüning invoked Article 48

December -- The release of the movie Im Westen nichts Neues (All's Quiet on the Western Front), based on the book by Erich Maria Remarque, was followed by riots led by the Nazis and then banned

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March -- Hitler runs for German president (loses)

April 10 -- Hindenburg reelected president

June 16 -- Hindenburg revoked the ban on the SA and the SS

July -- Nazi Party holds a majority of seats in the Reichstag (German parliament)



For More

* For an even more thorough timeline of the Holocaust, check out the Chronology at the end of the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, edited by Israel Gutman.