Leading up to WW II
January 30, 1933: Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany. President Paul von Hindenburg named him Fuhrer of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) or the Third Reich. Immediately he ordered expansion of the state police, (the Gestapo).
Hindenburg appointing Hitler Chancellor of Germany
February 27, 1933: The Reichstag building Burned.
A Dutchman named Marinus van der Lubbe was arrested for the crime. The Nazis blamed the Communists.
February 28, 1933: Under the pretense of controlling the Communists, abolished individual rights and protections.
March 23, 1933: The enabling Act was passed. It sanctioned Hitler’s dictatorial efforts.
May 10, 1933: Hitler appointed Joseph Goebbels to burn over 25,000 books. Several irreplaceable books were destroyed such as those written by Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein. Magazines, newspapers, radio broadcasts were censored. Goebbels title was the Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.
September 15, 1935: The Nuremberg Laws were enacted. They formed the legal basis for the Jews’ exclusion from German society. Many Jews attempted to flee Germany.
October 25, 1936: Adolf Hitler for Nazi Germany and Benito Mussoline for Fascist Italy form the Rome-Berlin Axis treaty. It declared they would be Allies and would help each other in times of war.
Hitler and Mussolini
July 7, 1937: Japan invades China.
Depiction of the Chinese slaughter by Japanese Troops in Nanjing December 1937
March 12, 1938: Hitler annexes Austria into Germany.
When the Nazis marched into Austria, Hitler ordered all of Austria to switch to driving on the right side of the road.
Crowds cheer to greet the Nazis in Vienna 1938
July 1938: Representatives of 32 countries met in Evian Franch to discuss the refugee immigration problems created by the Nazis in Germany. By the autumn of 1941, Europe was in effect sealed to most legal emigration. The Jews were trapped.
March 1939: Czechoslovakia surrenders to imminent German invasion. Hitler annexes Austria and western Czechoslovakia.
April 1939: Hitler cancels the German-British naval agreement and the German-Polish non-aggression pact. Italy invades Albania.
July 1939: Polish intelligence passes all its knowledge about the German Enigma machine to British and French intelligence.
August 1939: Germany and Russia sign non-aggression pact, secretly agreeing to invade Poland and share it. German U-boats and battleships sale to the Atlantic Ocean for war.
August 31, 1939: Adolf Hitler dressed an unknown prisoner in a Polish military uniform and staged a fake ‘Polish attack” and shot the prisoner. The next morning German troops began their advance into Poland. This was named, Operation Himmler.
Source for the Holocaust data: Jewish Virtual Library.