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Lecture notes (week two): NS Terror and Consolidation

Nazi Germany (1933-1945) [PowerPoint Lecture]

Lecture 11

The Expansion of the NS Police State - Timeline

9 Nov. 1925 First appearance of Schutzstaffeln (SS/Protection Squads)

6 Jan. 1929 Heinrich Himmler becomes Reichsführer SS (RFSS)

Autumn 1931 Sicherheitsdienst (SD/Security Service) under Heydrich

Jan. 1933 SS is 56,000 strong (officially still part of SA)

12 Feb. Purging of civil service & police begins

17 Feb. Göring authorises shoot-to-kill of 'enemies of the state'

27/28 Feb. Reichstag Fire by Dutch ex-Communist van der Lubbe

28 Feb. Reichstag Fire Decree suspends basic rights (freedom of person; speech; press; association; post; property)

by mid-March 10,000, mainly KPD, in 'protective custody' in Prussia

5-9 Mar. Nazi police commissars installed in the Länder

9 Mar. Himmler Munich police commissar; Heydrich political head

20 Mar. Himmler announces first concentration camp at Dachau

21 Mar. Defence against Seditious Attack decree outlaws criticism

1 Apr. Himmler Bavarian Pol. Police Commander in charge of camps

26 Apr. Geheime Staatspolizeiamt (Gestapa/Gestapo Office), Berlin

2 May Unions smashed by Nazis

9 Nov. SD incorporated into SS (acts as intelligence gatherer)

30 Nov. Prussian Gestapo becomes autonomous within Interior Min.

Nov.-Jan. Himmler becomes commander of pol. police in most Länder

20 Apr. 1934 Göring makes Himmler Inspector of Gestapo

30 June Concentration camps subordinated to RFSS

4 July Theodor "Papa" Eicke Inspector of Conc. Camps & SS Guards

20 July SS gains autonomy from SA after Night of Long Knives

30 Jan. 1935 SS Security Head Office formed under Heydrich to manage observation of opposition, espionage & sabotage

10 Feb. 1936 Gestapo Law frees Gestapo from judicial accountability

29 Mar. 3,500-strong SS guards renamed SS Death's Head Units

17 June Himmler RFSS (party) & Chief of German Police (state)

10 May 1937 Beginning of merger of SS & Ordnungspolizei (riot police)

13 Nov. Higher SS & Police Führers (HSSPFs) for war mobilisation

17 Aug. 1938 Constitution allows SS Death's Head troops to bear arms

20 Apr. 1939 SS Head Office of Administration & Economics under Pohl

1 Sept. @ 15,000 SS Death's Head troops in Polish campaign

27 Sept. SD & Sicherheitspolizei (Gestapo + Kriminalpolizei) merge into Reich Security Head Office (RSHA) under Heydrich

Oct. Formation of Das Reich & Death's Head divisions

7 Oct. Himmler Reich Commissar for Consolidation of Germanity

Jan. 1940 Term Waffen-SS (Weapons SS) introduced. 100-150,000 men

15 Aug. SS Leadership Head Office established as Waffen-SS HQ

22 June 1941 Einsatzgruppen begin murder of over 1 mill. Russians, targeting Jews and political commissars

16 Mar. 1942 SS Economics & Admin. Head Office begins running economy within economy (construction & arms) using camp labour

24 Aug. 1943 Himmler becomes Reich Interior Minister

30 June 1944 Waffen-SS 595,443 men; regular SS 200,498; camps 24,000

21 July Himmler becomes commander of the Replacement Army

Autumn SS pinnacle of strength: 910,000 men in 38 motorised & Panzer divisions, incl. 310,000 "Volksdeutsche", 50,000 "Teutonic volunteers", & 150,000 other nationals

23 May 1945 Himmler takes poison capsule at British Army HQ


Organised Opposition in the Third Reich - Timeline

31 Jan. 1933 SPD declares constitutional fight against government

3 Mar. KPD leader Ernst Thälmann arrested

27 May Evangelical church refuses to elect official Reich Bishop

3 June SPD forms exiled executive in Prague (Sopade)

21 Sept. Pastor Niemöller founds "Priests in Need" Association

Nov. Illegal Reich leadership of trade unions

8 Jan. 1934 Exiled SPD's Prague Manifesto calls for revolutionary struggle

17 June Papen (ex-Centre Party) holds Marburg speech calling for end to upheaval

May/June 1935Gestapo smashes SPD "Germania Circle" in Düsseldorf

26 Sept. German exiled anti-fascists in Paris discuss a popular front, but fail to agree

Nov./Dec. Mass trials across Germany against KPD, SPD & unionists

21 Dec. 1936 SPD underground in Berlin issues People's Front Programme

Jan./Feb. 1937 Gestapo arrests numerous Communists paralysing resistance

14 Mar. Pope's encyclical "With Burning Concern" criticises regime

June Goerdler of conservative opposition travels to Britain to sound out opinion

1 July Pastor Niemöller arrested (1938 convicted & put in camp)

12 Nov. Chief of Gen. Staff Beck protests at Hitler's war plans

Aug-Sept 1938 Beck group plan coup d'état upon declaration of war (undermined by Munich)

Autumn Smashing of other SPD resistance cells incl. Neu Beginnen

"Kreisau Circle" gathers at York v. Wartenburg's country seat

Summer 1939 Schulze-Boysen & Harnack form "Red Orchestra" spy group

Oct. Euthanasia programme begun (becomes covert from 1941 after Catholic protests)

Memo. of Gen. von Leeb against planned western offensive

8 Nov. Elser's abortive bomb attack on Hitler in Hofbräukeller

Oct./Nov. Halder and other military leaders plan coup d'état to forestall west offensive

18 Nov. Officers incl. Blaskowitz protest at SS murders in Poland

27 Nov. Leuschner (SPD), Kaiser (Christian) & Beck-Goerdeler meet

Autumn/spring National-conservative opposition sends feelers to GB via neutrals

Jan.-Feb. 1940 Goerdeler & von Hassell devise constitution for overthrow

4 Aug. 1941 Assassination plan on Hitler at Army HQ aborted

July/Aug. Many Catholic protests at euthanasia of mental defectives

Dec. Witzleben-Beck-Goerdeler plan for overthrow aborted

Jan. 1942 Knöchel sent to reorganise KPD (turned by Gestapo)

2 Mar. Bishop Wurm of Württemberg's memo against anti-church Kulturkampf

Apr. & Nov. Goerdeler seeks Swedish mediation for peace with Allies

May First meeting of "Kreisau Circle" (again in Oct. & 1943)

Late Aug. First arrests of "Red Orchestra"

Nov. Smashing of KPD Jacob-Bästlein-Abshagen group in Hamburg

18 Feb. 1943 Hans & Sophie Scholl of "White Rose" arrested leafleting at Munich Uni. (executed 22 Feb)

13 Mar. Plan to shoot Hitler in Smolensk or blow up plane fails

21 Mar. Plan to kill Hitler on visit to Zeughaus fails

Summer KPD's Anton Saefkow forms cell in Berlin (rumbled 1944)

12/13 July Nat. Committee of Free Germany founded in Soviet POW camps

Nov. Plan to kill Hitler during uniform presentation fails

Jan. 1944 Arrest of Helmuth James Graf v. Moltke & "Kreisau Circle"

11 Feb. Another plan to kill Hitler while viewing uniforms fails

4/5 June Arrest of Social Democrats Leber & Reichwein

20 July Bomb placed under table at Hitler's HQ in E. Prussia by Stauffenberg explodes but fails to kill H.

1 Aug. Family arrests (Sippenhaft) of conspirators begin

7/8 Aug. Volksgerichtshof trials of 20 July conspirators begin, leading to a series of grisly executions

11 Apr. 1945 Buchenwald concentration camp liberates itself as SS guards flee

27 Apr. "Freedom Action Bavaria" attempts insurrection in Munich