Third Reich Day by Day: April 1935

This year was a pivotal period for the Third Reich’s relations with the rest of the world. Adolf Hitler announced he was reintroducing universal conscription, which was a repudiation of the hated Treaty of Versailles, and was warmly welcomed at home. In addition, as German troops marched into the Saar, he was determined to reintegrate those ethnic Germans who were living outside Germany back into the Reich. On the domestic front, more laws were introduced against Jews, who were becoming second-class citizens in their own country.


Armed Forces, Air Force

The Luftwaffe’s existence is formally declared. The first German fighter squadron emerges under the command of Major Ritter von Greim, which bears the title Jagdgeschwader Richthofen 2.

The first Luftwaffe fighter school was established at the Deutsche Verkehrsfliegeschule (German Commercial Pilots School) at Schlelssheim, thus completing the formation of the new Luftwaffe and the Nationasozialistische Flieger Korps. Hitler’s conjuring trick had worked; through skilful propaganda and deception an astonished world was convinced that he had been able to produce a force as technically involved as the Luftwaffe virtually out of a hat. This feat added to Hitler’s international diplomatic aura and as the Luftwaffe gained experience in Spain later in the Civil War, the fear of this “terror machine”, which was interlaced with the chivalry of those knights of the air from the former days, often settled a diplomatic disagreement.

10 April

Nazi Party, Personalities

Göring finally asks the actress Emmy Sonnemann to marry him. Emmy, in her youth, was a provincial actress who developed into a beautiful and gracious lady who captivated Göring. Congratulatory telegrams and presents pour in from all over the world, which includes jewels, oriental rugs and two paintings by Cranach. This is a union that meets with Hitler’s approval. Their wedding is one of the “grandest social occasions” of the Third Reich that rivals any Hollywood spectacular. The ceremony is held in Berlin, where more than 30,000 members of the paramilitary organizations line the streets. Bells sound, and a formation of the latest German aircraft fly overhead as Hermann and Emmy drive in an open-topped Mercedes to the cathedral. Here, Hitler greets the bridal couple on the steps in front of the cathedral. The Reich Bishop, and armed forces chaplain, Ludwig Müller conducts the service, while Hitler undertakes the duties of best man. In all its riotous details, the proceedings are reported live on radio. The couple left the cathedral accompanied by an enormous band, which played the celebrated march from Lohengrin. The Görings saluted the large crowd that had gathered to view their marriage pageant.