My grand-father Ulrich von Hassell (1881-1944)

1881: Born on November 12 in Anklam/Pommern, the son of Lieutenant Colonel Ulrich von Hassell and Margarete (née von Stosch)

1899: Completed his education (Abitur?) at the Prinz-Heinrich-Gymnasium in Berlin

1899–1903: Studied Law in Lausanne, Tübingen Berlin

1903: Training exams in Berlin

1903–1904: Military Service

1905–1906: Law residency at the German district court of Tsingtau (China).

1907: Reserve Lieutenant (foot infantry guardsman)

1908: Takes the civil service exam in Berlin; language studies in England;

1909: Enters into Foreign Service

1911: Marriage to Ilse von Tirpitz; Children: Almuth (1912), Wolf Ulrich (1913), Johann Dietrich (1916) and Fey (1918)

1911–1914: Vice Consul to Genoa

1914: Takes part in World War I; sustains a serious injury in the First Battle of the Marne on September 8th, 1914 (a shot to the heart)

1916: After a long recovery, enters into the inner administration and commences duties as administrative member and Community Officer in Stettin

1917–1919: Director of the Union of Prussian Districts in Berlin

1917 – September: Becomes politically active,(Founding Member) through the chairmanship of his father-in-law Alfred von Tirpitz’ German Fatherland Party, founded by the Prussian Landscape Director Wolfgang Kapp.

1918: Engages politically in the DNVP after leaving the German Fatherland Party.

1919: Founds the “State Political Work Union”” within the DNVP

Autumn: Returns to the Foreign Service

1920 – 5. January: Enters into the embassy staff at the Quirinale in Rome; invited to become manager after the death of the General Consul von Herff.

1921–1926: General Consul in Barcelona

1. June: Writes oath of fulfilment for the Constitution

1926–1930: Ambassador to Copenhagen

1930–1932: Ambassador to Belgrade

1932 – 8. November: Takes over of duties as diplomat in Rome (Quirinale)

9. November: Presents his certificate

1933: Enters the NSDAP

1938 – 12. February: Farewell audience to King Vittorio Emanuele III.

17. February: Dismissed and enters into retirement

5. March: Leaves Rome

1939: Makes first contact with the resistance group through Carl Goerdeler; Plans for inner restructure of Germany after a successful coup against Hitler; after the outbreak of war: secret contacts fall into the hands of the western forces

1943: February: Moves through the foreign office during cease fire;
appointed in the Board of Directors of the Middle-European economy conference, Berlin

1943–1944: Becomes member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Economic Research, Berlin

1944 – 28. July: Arrested by the Gestapo

8. September: Sentenced to death by the People’s Court ruled by Roland Freisler, and executed the same day together with Wirmer, Leuschner and Lejeune-Jung in Berlin-Plötzensee .

 

NATIONAL SOCIALISM AND RESISTANCE IN GERMANY 1933–1945

1933 – 30. January: Election of Hitler as Reich Chancellor.

27. February: Burning of the Reichstag; the KPD was outlawed on 28th February

5. March: During the new elections in the Reichstag, NSDAP gets 43.9 percent of the votes und is transferred to the support of the DNVP.

23. March: The Enabling Act becomes a bill with 444 against 94 votes; Hitler maintains legislative power; de facto ending of the Weimar constitution; opens the door to different laws the goal of which is the equalization of public and society institutions.

2. May: Destruction of unions and representative bodies.

June–July: Outlaw of SPD; self-dissolution of the DVP, DDP, BVP, Centre, DNVP and hardliners.

14. July: Law against the founding of new parties.

1934 29.– 31. May: Convocation of well-known reform and united churches, and Lutheran members; the outgoing “theological explanation” protests against the policies of the NSDAP.

30. June: Revolt: based on Hitler’s orders, the SS murder almost all the SA-leadership and other conservatives, including former Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher.

2. August: Death of Hindenburg; Hitler is referred to from this moment by the highest state workers as “Fuehrer” and “Reich Chancellor”.

1935 – 15. September: The Nüremberg Laws (race laws): outlaw marriages and relationships between Germans and Jews, as well as other subsequent anti-Semitic laws.

1936 – 7. March: German troops occupy demilitarized areas of the Rhineland; breaking the Versailles Treaty.

1937 – 14. March: Encyclical by Pope Pius XI. “Mit brennender Sorge”(“with burning concern”): condemnation of Germany’s church politics, and its national socialistic laws about state and race.

1938 – 17. January–

4. February: Arrest of the Reich Minister Werner von Blomberg and the Commander in Chief Werner von Fritsch during the “Blomberg-Fritsch-Crisis”, an intrigue by Hitler and Göring; Hitler opens up military leadership positions to non-Junkers

May: Report by the leader of the military Ludwig Beck with comments on the military disobedience against Hitler’s war policy, followed by other thoughts with the goal toward “reinstatement of orderly competence.

18. August: Beck enters as head of the military out of moral protest against Hitler’s war policy.

27. August: Beck’s follower, General Franz Halder, covers up the Reich’s plans for the conservative military leaders.

September: After a large German agreement with Hitler in the wake of his success of the Munich Conference, the Reich plans are abandoned.

1939 1. September: Entrance of German troops into Poland; beginning of the Second World War.

8. November: Bombing attempt against Hitler in a Munich cellar by carpenter Johann Georg Elser; Hitler survives, having left the cellar one hour earlier. Winter

1939/40: The British government probes conservative opposition areas in Switzerland (order: Theo Kordt – Conwell Evans, order: Hassell – Lonsdale Bryans and Joseph Wirth – Otto Gessler – Malcolm Christie) and the Vatican (order: Josef Müller “chsensepp”” – Prelate Kaas – Pope Pius XII.) after the request for a peaceful ending to the military plans in Germany.

1940: Founding of the “Kreisau Circle” by Helmuth James Graf von Moltke and Peter Graf Yorck von Wartenburg; Gatherings of representatives of different oppositional social groups(Conservative, Christian, Liberal, Socialist and Communist leanings) with the goal to prepare politically for a post-Hitler Germany.

1942: Members of the “Kreisau Circle” make foreign contact attempts and probe for a separate peace agreement between western forces and a Germany without Hitler (Trott, Schönfeld, Gerstenmaier) through the general secretary of the World Council of Churches. Visser’t Hooft, as well as through the secret gathering of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Lord-Bischof Bell in Sigtuna/Sweden.

1943- 18. February: Arrest of members of the resistance movement “White Rose” after they give out leaflets at Munich University (“Reestablishment of genuine resistance”).

22. February: The People’s Court sentences Hans and Sophie Scholl, as well as Christoph Probst, to death; in the following months the Court also sentences to death Alexander Schmorell, Willi Graf und Kurt Huber.

13. & 21. March: Fabian von Schlabrendorff’s attempt (and aide-de-camp Henning von Tresckow’s) to detonate a bomb in Hitler’s airplane, fails due to a defective cap. A new attempt by Colonel Rudolph Christoph von Gersdorff is successful.

July: Contact by Helmut James Graf von Moltke in Turkey with the American intelligence service (CIA) (mediation by Paul Leverkühn and Alexander Rüstow).

August: Der Kreisau Circle announces the establishment of a new-order Germany based on Christian values and as a basis to European unification.

November: Lieutenant Axel von Bussche-Streithorst attempts to assassinate Hitler: Because of bombing by the Allies, the exhibition of new uniforms, which was to be the setting for the attempt, does not take place.

1944: Separate contact attempts by Hans Bernd Gisevius (Switzerland) and Otto John (Spain) with British and American locations based on orders by Stauffenberg in preparation for a separate peace agreement.

20. July: Assassination attempt by Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg on Hitler at the “Wolf’s Lair”.Hitler survives, though lightly injured; the coup d’etat falls apart the same day. Simultaneously another coup attempt by the French military governor Carl Heinrich von Stülpnagel falls apart in Paris. Stauffenberg and his co-plotters are arrested at the seat of the Wehrmacht Commander and the Military Resistance Movement in Berlin. Stauffenberg, his assistant Werner von Haeften, General Friedrich Olbricht and Albrecht Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim are executed by firing squad the same night; Colonel General Ludwig Beck commits suicide.

August 1944 through Febuary 1945: In the aftermath of the falling through of the coup, other resistance members are condemned to death by Roland Freisler in the People’s Court, including Carl Goerdeler, Helmuth James von Moltke, Adam von Trott, Hans Bernd von Haeften and Ulrich von Hassell.

 

GERMAN-ITALIAN RELATIONS 1922–1945

1922 -26.–30. October: “March to Rome”; Mussolini is named President.

1932 – 8. November: Hassell overtakes Ambassador’s duties in Rome (Quirinale).

11. December: Five-Power Treaty in Lausanne: Germany’s arms Reich Chancellor.

16. July: Joint signing by the four-power pact (England, France, Italy and Germany) in Rome, which Mussolini had suggested.

20. July: Signing of the Reich Concordat between the German Reich and the Vatican through Franz von Papen and Eugenio Pacelli. The Italian Government handles the negotiations.

14. October: Germany exits the League of Nations. This seriously hurts the relationship between Germany and Italy.

1934 – 17. February: Three-power pact by England, France and Italy on the independence of Austria from the German Reich.

14./15. June: First meeting between Hitler and Mussolini in Venedig.

25. July: Failed coup attempt by Austrian nationalists (Murder of Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuß).

1935 – 7. January: Arrangement between Mussolini and French Foreign Minister on the limitation of colonial influence, and the agreement on a joint effort to make Austria independent from the German Reich.

11.–14. April: Leader conference with Italy, England and France in Stresa (“Stresa-Front”).

8. September: Hitler receives the newly-named Italian Ambassador Bernardo Attolico.

2./3. October: Beginning of the Italian assault on Abessinia.

7. October: The United People’s Court forces permanent sanctions on Italy.

1936 – 7. March: Occupation of the Rhineland. The German embassy in Rome is quickly informed. Only Hassell’s negotiation skills prevent a new crisis of trust.

5. May: Mussolini announces the Italian actions against Avessinia are over.

9. May: King Vittorio Emanuele III is named Kaiser of Abessinia.

11. July: German- Austrian meeting on the recovery of a friendly relationship between the countries. Italy also signs the agreement.

17./18. July: Eruption of the Spanish Civil War; Mutual support of the insurgent generals by Italy and the German Reich.

21.–23. October: State visit of Italian foreign minister Count Ciano to Germany . Protocol signing which stated that the activities of both governments will focus on a number of fields (League of Nations, Bolshevism, Spain, Austria, Colonies, Donau Land). Germany recognizes Italy’s Sovereignty over Ethiopia.

1. November: Mussolini mentions the “Berlin-Rome Axis” for the first time in Mailand

1937 – 25.–28. September: Mussolini visits Germany.

6. November: Italy enters into the German-Japanese Anti-Comintern Pact.

11. December: Italy exits the League of Nations.

1938 11. March: Mussolini promises Hitler he will not interfere in the Austrian interests; Hitler orders the March to and seizing of Austria.

29. September: Munich conference between Hitler, Mussolini, Daladier and Chamberlain on the allocation of Southern-German lands to the German Reich.

17. December: Italy terminates the Mussolini-Laval-treaty of January 1935.

1939 28. March: End of the Spanish Civil War.

6. April: Italy marches into Albania after an ultimatum following the resolution of a tariff union.

22. May: End of the “Pact of Steel” between Germany and Italy; the military treaty is equally seen as a duty in the case of a war of aggression.

1. September: German troops march into Poland; World War II begins; The Italian Foreign Office announces that Italy will not enter the war.

1940 10. June: Italy enters the war; declaration of war to France and Great Britain.

27. September: Three-power pact between Germany, Italy and Japan.

28. October: Italy attacks Greece; Hitler and Mussolini meet in Florence.

1941 20. April: Discussion between Ribbentrop and Ciano in Vienna on the division of Yugoslavia into occupation zones (after the surrender of Yugoslavia on April 17).

11. December: Germany and Italy declare war on the USA, after the USA declares war on Japan on December 8 in response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.

1942 3. July: German-Italian forces advance in North Africa halts 100 kilometres west of Alexandria (corner of El Alamein).

1. December: Mussolini advises Hitler, “to end the chapter of the war against Russia, which has no more purpose, one way or another”.

1943 23. January: English troop conquer Tripoli and end Italy’s colonial rule.

10. July: Allies land in Sicily.

25. July: The Fascist Court condemns Mussolini with 19 votes against 7; King Vittorio Emanuele III names Marshall Pietro Badoglio as Mussolini’s replacement; Mussolini is arrested.

3. September: Armistice between Italy and the Allies.

8. September: After announcing the thus far secret armistice, Germany occupies north- and middle-Italy.

12. September: German paratroopers rescued from prison through the Gran Sasso.

15. September: Mussolini enters the top of a Fascist exile government, which administers north- and middle-Italy under German control (“Repubblica di Salò”).

1944 23. March: After a partisan attack on a German military zone in Rome, which kills 33 soldiers, the chief of the local Gestapo, Oberst Herbert Kappler, commands the random execution of hundreds of Italians in the Fosse Adriatine (335 victims).

22. April: Rebuilding of the government Badoglio in Bari with the inclusion of Catholic, liberal, socialist and communist ministers.

4. Juny: Allied forces retake Rome.

1945 28. April: Mussolini and his partner, Clara Petacci, are taken by Italian partisans and shot the next day

30. April: Hitler and his wife Eva Braun commit suicide in Berlin.

7.–9. May: World War II ends in Europe with Germany’s unconditional surrender.