On January 2, 1861, Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig von Preußen became the first German Emperor. He also held the title of Wilhelm I, King of Prussia. Wilhelm I had a son, Friedrich Wilhelm Nikolaus Karl, who was born in October 1831.
On January 25, 1856, Friederich Wilhelm married Princess Royal Victoria, the eldest daughter of England’s Queen Victoria.
On January 27, 1859, Friederich Wilhelm and Princess Royal Victoria had a son named Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert. He was born with a withered arm which many believe help lead to his lifelong insecurity.
On March 9, 1888, Wilhelm I died at the age of 90. His son, assumed the throne as Frederick III.
On June 15, 1888, Wilhelm I died from throat cancer. Twenty-nine-year-old Friederich Wilhelm Viktor Albert assumed the throne as Wilhelm II, Kaiser Wilhelm II.
On April 20, 1889, Adolf Hitler was born in the small Austrian village of Braunau-am-Inn
In 1896, Kaiser Wilhelm II supported Dutch South Africa in their defeat of British forces into Boer territory. His support enraged British leadership, especially his grandmother, Queen Victoria.
In 1899-1901, Kaiser Wilhelm II sent German troops to fight in the Chinese Boxer Rebellion.
On January 3, 1903, Alois Hitler, the tyrannical father of Adolf, dies suddenly of a lung hemorrhage.
In 1907, Adolf Hitler fails the entrance exam to the Vienna School of Fine Arts. He has already had a troubled past in various schools.
On December 21, 1907, Klara Hitler, Adolf’s mother died of breast cancer. Adolf was very close to his mother and took her death extremely hard.
In 1912, Hitler visits his half-brother Alois Jr. in Liverpool, England and decides to stay in England. However, not being able to speak very much English, he was unable to obtain employment and was forced to return to Vienna. Hitler was greatly impressed by England’s industrialization.
In 1913, In order to avoid being forced into the Austrian Army, Hitler moves to Munich, Germany.
In 1914, Austria demands Hitler be returned to serve in the military, but he fails the physical and returns to Munich. Later that year, he enlists in a German Army regiment from Bavaria. Not long into the war, Hitler is awarded the Iron Cross First Class for bravery in battle.
On August 1, 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Germany declares war on Russia.
On August 3, 1914, Germany declares war on France.
On August 4, 1914, Great Britain declares war on Germany.
From August 1914 to November 1918, Germany fought in World War I. Through much of the war, government propaganda led the German people to believe that Germany was winning the war and about to establish a whole new empire. Through the later years of the war, the British Navy successfully blockaded Germany’s northern ports, depriving the nation of vital supplies and food. Many of the German people went hungry but believed that it was to help provide food for their soon to be victorious troops. What they didn’t know was that the German troops were also going hungry.
On October 7, 1916, Hitler is wounded in the Battle of the Somme and sent back to Munich to recover. During his recovery, he trims off the edges of his mustache creating the look he was best known for.
In March 1917, Hitler had recovered from his wounded thigh and returns to his unit.
In October, 1918, Hitler is temporarily blinded when he is exposed to chlorine gas used by the British. By this time, the German people had learned the truth about the Great War and that Germany was losing. Sentiment among the German people turned from full support of their government to anger.
On November 9, 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm II announced that the was abdicating the throne, then he fled to the Netherlands. Although Allied leaders wanted to put Kaiser Wilhelm II on trial for war crimes, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands refused to extradite him and offered him sanctuary.
By the end of World War I in 1918, Germany was left in economic ruins. They had been ordered to pay reparations as result of the war as per the Treaty of Versailles.
In September 1919, Corporal Hitler was order to investigate a new uprising in southern Germany that called itself the German Workers’ Party. He attended a meeting in the back room of a Munich beer hall dressed in civilian clothes. After hearing a couple speeches, one of which spoke about Bavaria breaking away from Germany and forming a South German nation with Austria, he spoke out against the idea. His speech was attention getting and one of the leaders of the German Workers’ Party, Anton Drexler, reportedly told another attendee that Hitler had the gift of gab and they should use him. Drexler handed Hitler a pamphlet he had written about establishing a strong nationalist, anti-Semitic, pro-military political party made up of working class people. Much of what Hitler read were close to the same views he held and soon afterward became a member of the German Workers’ Party.
In 1920, Hitler becomes a popular public speaker in southern Germany, speaking out against Jews, Marxist and the Treaty of Versailles. His oratory powers draw in hundreds to the German Workers’ Party which Hitler renames the National Socialist German Workers’ Party also known as the Nazi Party.
On July 29, 1921, members of the Nazi Party vote and elect Hitler the leader (Führer) of the Party.
In 1923, Germany prints more money than they have. This is done to help pay striking workers, but leads to hyperinflation which devalued their money to the point that virtually everyone’s savings were worthless.
On November 8-9, 1923, Beer Hall Putsch in which Hitler tries to seize power in Bavaria. His efforts quickly fade and three police and 16 Nazi Party members killed in firefight. Hitler is arrested, charged, tried and convicted of treason. He uses the courtroom to espouse his political views for Germany and wins a lot of support. The judges sentence Hitler to only 5 years in prison for treason.
From 1924 to 29, the US lent Germany millions of dollars in order to help rebuild their economy and industrialization. During these years, known as the Golden Years, many Germans found jobs, the nation prospered and unemployment fell.
In December 1924, Hitler barely served a year in prison when he is released.
By 1928, the Nazi Party now has 60,000 members.
In 1929, the American stock market crashed. The impact was felt throughout most of Europe, including Germany. Over the next 4 years, the economy of Germany collapsed and unemployment rose sharply.
In September 1930, in the wake of the Great Depression, Hitler helps the Nazi Party win 107 seats in the German Reichstag, making them the second largest political party in the government. Hitler promises the German people more jobs, more businesses and a restoration of the Germany to its former glory.
On September 18, 1931, Hitler’s niece Geli Raubl, commits suicide with Hitler’s gun in the apartment she shares with him. Hitler had been in love with her, but the relationship was filled with a lot of arguing. Her suicide devastated Hitler, but he was soon consoled by 17-year-old Eva Braunin whom he later married.
On July 31, 1932, Hitler loses the presidential election to incumbent Paul von Hindenburg. However, the election resulted in the Nazi Party becoming the largest and most powerful political party in Germany.
On January 30, 1933, German Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher dies and Hitler is appointed new Chancellor of Germany.
In March 1933, the Nazi Party controlling the Reichstag passes the ‘Enabling Act’ which gave Hitler virtual control of Germany.
On August 2, 1934, President Paul von Hindenburg died. Hitler takes control by announcing his new Führer Law and then promises a public vote for the presidency with himself as a candidate. The vote is to be a plebiscite vote meaning that only those qualified voters belonging to a specific political party, namely the Nazi Party, would be allowed to vote.
On this day, August 19, 1934, Hitler wins a landslide vote and becomes President of Germany as well as Chancellor. He now has absolute and complete power and control of Germany.
Sources for the above includes: Adolf Hitler Becomes President of Germany; Adolf Hitler joins German Workers’ Party; Adolf Hitler Timeline; German Economy in the 1920s; 1919-1933: An Economic Overview; Kaiser Wilhelm Biography; WWI Timeline; Kaiser Wilhelm II