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Left: John Heartfield Design for 'Adolf, the Superman: swallows gold and spouts rubbish’ c1932, photomontage (retouched), John Heartfield Archiv, Akademie der Künste, zu Berlin Right: Right: Artist unknown Archival photograph of the 'First International Dada Fair’ 1920, courtesy Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur; National Gallery of Art, Washington; Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin.


Berlin’s population doubles to two million people


Expressionists move from Dresden to Berlin


Social Democratic Party is the largest party in the Reichstag


Expressionists attain great success with their city scenes


Artists George Grosz, Oskar Schlemmer, Otto Dix, Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Max Beckmann and Franz Marc enlist in the army

World War I begins


Grosz declared unfit for service, Beckmann suffers a breakdown and Schlemmer is wounded


Marc dies in combat

Dada begins at Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich


Lenin and Trotsky form the Soviet Republic after the Tzar is overthrown


Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicates and flees to Holland

Richard Huelsenbeck writes a Dada manifesto in Berlin

Kurt Schwitters creates Merz assemblages in Hanover

Revolutionary uprisings in Berlin and Munich

Social Democratic Party proclaims the Weimar Republic

World War I ends


Treaty of Versailles signed

Freikorps assassinates the Spartacist leaders, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg

Cologne Dada group formed

Bauhaus established in Weimar by Walter Gropius


Kapp Putsch fails after right-wing forces try to gain control of government

Inflation begins in Germany

First International Dada Fair opens in Berlin

National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) founded

Berlin is the world’s third largest city after New York and London


Hitler made chairman of the NSDAP


Hyperinflation continues

Schlemmer’s Triadic ballet premieres in Stuttgart


Inflation decreases and a period of financial stability begins

Hitler sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for leading the Beer Hall Putsch


Reduction of reparations under the Dawes Plan

Hitler writes Mein Kampf while in prison


The Bauhaus relocates to Dessau

New Objectivity exhibition opens at the Mannheim Kunsthalle


Germany joins the League of Nations


Unemployment crisis worsens

Nazis hold their first Nuremburg party rally

Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis released


Hannes Meyer becomes the second director of the Bauhaus

Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s The threepenny opera premieres in Berlin


Young Plan accepted, drastically reducing reparations

Street confrontations between the Nazis and communists in Berlin

Stock market crashes on Wall Street, New York

Thomas Mann awarded the Nobel Prize for literature


Ludwig Mies van der Rohe becomes the third director of the Bauhaus

John Heartfield creates photomontages for the Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ)

Nazis win 18% of the vote and gain 95 seats in the national elections

Minority government formed by Heinrich Brüning, leader of the Centre Party

Resignation of Chancellor Hermann Müller’s cabinet, ending parliamentary rule


Unemployment reaches five million and a state of emergency is declared in Germany


Nazis increase their representation in the Reichstag to 230 seats but are unable to form a majority coalition

Mies van der Rohe moves the Bauhaus to Berlin

Grosz relocates to New York as an exile


Nazis organise book burnings in Berlin

Mies van der Rohe announces the closure of the Bauhaus

The first Degenerate art exhibition denouncing modern art is held in Dresden

Many artists including Gropius, Kandinsky and Klee flee Germany

Beckmann, Dix and Schlemmer lose their teaching positions

Hindenburg names Hitler as chancellor

Hitler creates a dictatorship under the Nazi regime


Fifteen concentration camps exist in Germany


The swastika becomes the flag of the Reich


Germany violates the Treaty of Versailles

Olympic Games held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Berlin

Spanish civil war begins

Thomas Mann deprived of his citizenship and emigrates to the United States


German bombing raids over Guernica in Spain in support of Franco

Purging of ‘degenerate’ art from German museums continues

Beckmann, Kirchner and Schwitters leave Germany

The Nazi’s Degenerate art exhibition opens in Munich and attracts two million visitors