A Potted History of Germany

So, now you live in Germany, but how much do you know about the history of your current home? Use our simple timeline below to familiarize yourself with some of the key highs and lows of Germany’s colorful past.

editorial credit IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock.com© Shutterstock-David Pegzlz

 Historic Events between 800s – 1400s

  • (800) Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor
  • (843) Treaty of Verdun
  • (870) Formation of duchies of Franconia, Saxony, Bavaria and Lorraine
  • (919 -1024) The Saxon dynasty rule Germany
  • (936) Otto I crowned King
  • (1024-1255) The Salian dynasty rules the Germans
  • (1027) Konrad II crowned Emporer of the Salians
  • (1118) Knights Templar founded to protect Jerusalem and European pilgrims on their journey to the city
  • (1138) Konrad III, first Hohenstaufen Emperor
  • (1155) Friedrich I Barbarossa crowned Emperor
  • (1250) Beginning of the Great Interregnum
  • (1273) Coronation of Rudolf I
  • (1312) Heinrich VII becomes Emperor
  • (1348) The Black Death ravages Europe
  • (1419-36) Hussite Wars
  • (1438) Albrecht II Emperor House of Hapsburg
  • (1499) Switzerland breaks away from the German Empire
  • (1517) Martin Luther’s Reformation
  • (1522) The Knights’ War
  • (1524-25) The Peasants’ War
  • (1540) First stock exchanges developed
  • (1546) Schmalkalden War begins
  • (1608) Establishment of the Protestant Union
  • (1609) Formation of the Catholic League
  • (1618-1648) Thirty Years’ War
  • (1701) Frederick, King of Prussia crowned
  • (1702-14) War of Spanish Succession
  • (1740) Frederick the Great crowned King of Prussia
  • (1740-42) The Silesian War
  • (1740-1748) The War of Austrian Succession
  • (1756-63) The Seven Years’ War
  • (1803) Territorial reform of the German states
  • (1806) The Confederation of the Rhine established by Napoleon Bonaparte
  • (1813) Battle of the Nations at Leipzig
  • (1814-1815) German confederation of 39 independent states established at the Congress of Vienna
  • (1847) Communist Manifesto published
  • (1848-49) The March Revolution
  • (1862) Otto von Bismarck appointed Prime Minister of Prussia
  • (1866) Prussian-Austrian War
  • (1870-71) Franco-Prussian War
  • (1871) Wilhelm I crowned Prussian King, Kaiser of the German Empire
  • (1890) Fall of Bismarck
Statue of Otto von Bismarck

Statue of Otto von Bismarck

 Historic Events in the 1900s

Adolf Hitler. Editorial credit IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock.com© Shutterstock- IgorGolovniov
  • (1914) Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary in Sarajevo, Bosnia provokes the start of World War I
  • (1918) Declaration of the Republic of Germany
  • (1919) World War I ends. Weimar Republic established
  • (1919) Treaty of Versailles signed, Rhineland placed under allied occupation for 15 years
  • (1921) Adolf Hitler becomes leader of the NSDAP
  • (1923) Failed Beer Hall Putsch
  • (1926) Germany accepted into League of Nations
  • (1933) Hitler appointed Chancellor of the Reich by Hindenburg
  • (1934-1945) Nazi Holocaust
  • (1934) Hitler declares himself der Führer
  • (1936) Germany hosts Summer and Winter Olympics
  • (1938) Germany annexes Austria
  • (1938) Reichskristallnacht
  • (1939) Germany occupies Czechoslovakia
  • (1939) Germany invades Poland, World War II begins
  • (1940) German captures Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Luxembourg
  • (1941) Germany invades USSR
  • (1944) Allies land at Normandy
  • (1944) Liberation of first concentration camp (Majdanek, Poland) by Soviet army
  • (1944) Failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler
  • (1945) Hitler commits suicide
  • (1945) Germany surrenders, World War II ends
  • (1945) Liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp
  • (1947-1991) Cold War between US/Nato Allies and Soviet Union/Eastern Block
  • (1948-49) Berlin blockade
  • (1949) Federal Republic and GDR established
  • (1954) West Germany wins FIFA Soccer World Cup
  • (1961) Berlin Wall built
  • (1963) President Kennedy visits West Berlin
  • (1970-1998) Red Army Faction/Baader-Meinhof Group active
  • (1972) West Germany hosts Summer Olympics – Munich massacre of eleven Israeli team members
  • (1973) West and East Germany join UN
  • (1974) Hosts FIFA World Cup, and wins
  • (1982) Helmut Kohl elected Chancellor
  • (1987) President Reagan visits West Berlin
  • (1989) Fall of the Berlin Wall
  • (1990) West Germany wins FIFA World Cup
  • (1990) Reunification of Germany
  • (1991) Berlin named capital
  • (1998) Gerhard Schröder elected Chancellor
The Berlin Wall. Editorial credit 360b / Shutterstock.com© Shutterstock- 360b

Historic Events in the 2000s

Pope Benedict XVI. Editorial credit 360b / Shutterstock.com© Shutterstock- 360b
  • (2000) Hanover hosts Expo 2000
  • (2001) Women begin serving in Bundeswehr
  • (2002) Euro introduced across Germany
  • (2005) Pope Benedict XVI consecrated
  • (2005) Angela Merkel elected Chancellor
  • (2014) Germany wins the FIFA Soccer World Cup
  •  In European migrant crisis migrants numbers in Germany increase up to 1.5 million
  • (2016)Bad Aibling rail accident
Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Editorial credit 360b / Shutterstock.com© Shutterstock- 360b
The 2014 German National Soccer Team. Editorial credit ANDRE DURAO / Shutterstock.com© Shutterstock-Andre Durao
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