1936: Key Dates
The Minister of the Interior for the Reich and Prussia issues a decree addressing “the Gypsy plague.” The decree officially recognizes many regulations and restrictions already in place at the local level on Roma (Gypsies) residing in Germany. Under its authority, state and local police forces round up Roma as well as other persons who they deem to be behaving in “a Gypsy-like manner.”
June 17, 1936
Hitler appoints Reichsführer-SS (SS chief) Heinrich Himmler Chief of German Police.
June 26, 1936
SS chief Himmler establishes two SS and police main offices: 1) the Security Police Main Office (Hauptamt Sicherheitspolizei; HA Sipo), under command of SS General Reinhard Heydrich, includes Gestapo and Criminal Police detective forces (Kriminalpolizei; Kripo); and 2) the Order Police Main Office (Hauptamt Ordnungspolizei; HA Orpo), under command of SS General Kurt Daluege, unifies all of the uniformed police forces in Germany.
The SS establishes the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Oranienburg, located to the north of Berlin, Germany. By September, German authorities have imprisoned about 1,000 people in the camp.
German authorities order the arrest and forcible relocation of all Roma (Gypsies) in the Greater Berlin area to a special camp in the Berlin suburb of Marzahn. Beginning in 1938 the authorities began to deport Roma from Marzahn to other concentration camps.
The Summer Olympic Games open in Berlin, attended by athletes and spectators from countries around the world. The Olympic Games are a propaganda success for the Nazi government, as German officials make every effort to portray Germany as a respectable member of the international community. They remove anti-Jewish signs from public display and restrain anti-Jewish activities. In response to pressure from foreign Olympic delegations, Germany also includes one part-Jew, the fencer Helene Mayer, on its Olympic team. Germany also lifts anti-homosexuality laws for foreign visitors for the duration of the games.
German authorities implement mass arrests of Jehovah's Witnesses in Germany. Most are sent to concentration camps.
Critical Thinking Questions
- Learn about warning signs for mass atrocity and genocide. What events during 1936 might be examples?
- What political purposes might be served by hosting the Olympics?