Timeline

1925

The NSDAP is re-established in the Weimar Republic by Adolf Hitler. A local NSDAP group is founded in Nordhausen by, among others, the later mayor Heinz Sting.

1932

The democratic government in the Free State of Prussia, to which Nordhausen belongs, is dismissed by Reich President von Hindenburg in a coup d'état. The previous Minister President Otto Braun (SPD) is replaced by a Reich Commissioner.

In neighbouring Thuringia, NSDAP Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel takes over the presidency of the state government and also becomes Minister of the Interior.

1933

The NSDAP seizes power on 30 January with the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Reich Chancellor.

The "Decree for the Protection of People and State" ("Reichstag Fire Decree") legitimises the persecution of Communists and Social Democrats.

In February, the Social Democratic Nordhäuser Volkszeitung is forced to cease publication.

In the Reichstag elections in March, the NSDAP receives 46.7 per cent of the vote in Nordhausen.

With the "Laws on the Coordination of the States with the Reich", the state and local parliaments are dissolved and newly constituted in favour of the NSDAP.

Heinz Sting becomes mayor of Nordhausen.

After the April boycott, Jews are banned from visiting the municipal swimming pool, the theatre, joining clubs and participating in public events.

In July, the "Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring" is passed.

The "German Christians" come to power in the Protestant parishes of Nordhausen.

1935

Dr Johannes Meister becomes the new mayor.

Introduction of compulsory conscription in March

On 15 September, the Reichstag unanimously adopts the "Nuremberg Laws", which stipulate racist criteria for citizenship. The legal status of Jews is increasingly restricted in the following years.

1936

Nordhausen becomes a garrison town with the establishment of the airbase and the Boelcke-Kaserne military barracks.

1937

Foundation of the Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar

1938

"Anschluss" of Austria to the German Reich in March, occupation of the Sudetenland in October

Anti-Semitic pogroms on 9/10 November: the synagogue and the homes and businesses of Jews are also destroyed in Nordhausen.

1939

German invasion of Czechoslovakia in March

With the Wehrmacht's invasion of Poland on 1 September, the German Reich begins the Second World War. The first Polish prisoners of war and forced labourers are brought to Nordhausen.

After "blitzkriegs", the Wehrmacht occupies France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway, and in spring 1941 also Yugoslavia and Greece.

1941

The Majdanek and Auschwitz extermination camps are established in occupied Poland. Bełzec, Sobibor and Treblinka follow in 1942.

After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June, thousands of Soviet civilian labourers (so-called "Ostarbeiter") and prisoners of war are deported to the district and town of Nordhausen and forced to work in numerous factories.

300 Jewish women from Vienna are deployed as forced labourers in Nordhausen tobacco factories.

1942

Adolf Hitler appoints the Thuringian Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel as General Plenipotentiary for Labour Deployment, who in this function is responsible for the deportation of millions of men, women and children from the occupied territories for forced labour to the German Reich.

The Jews still remaining in Nordhausen are deported to the extermination camps to be murdered.

An explosion at the underground army munitions depot in Wolkramshausen kills 145 people, many of them from Nordhausen.

1943

The defeat of the Wehrmacht at Stalingrad marks the turning point of the Second World War for the German Reich. Goebbels propagates "total war".

Dr Herbert Meyer becomes Lord Mayor on 9 May.

At the end of August, the SS set up the Dora camp at Kohnstein as a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp. The inmates have to convert an underground tunnel system into a rocket factory (Mittelwerk).

1944

The Dora subcamp becomes the independent Mittelbau concentration camp. Concentration camp inmates also have to work in Nordhausen companies.

With the relocation of several branch plants to Kohnstein, the Junkers company sets up a camp for 6,000 civilian forced labourers in the Boelcke-Kaserne.

In October, the Volkssturm is set up in Nordhausen to mobilise the last military forces.

1945

Several thousand people die in British air raids on Nordhausen on 3 and 4 April, including numerous concentration camp inmates and forced labourers.

On 11 April, American soldiers liberate several hundred concentration camp inmates in the subcamp in the Boelcke-Kaserne and the main camp of Mittelbau-Dora.

On 15 April, the US occupation authorities appoint the Social Democrat Otto Flagmeyer as mayor.

On 8 May 1945, the Second World War in Europe ends with the German capitulation.

In July, Nordhausen becomes part of the Soviet occupation zone.