The history of the region
- around 800
Charlemagne elevates the mission station – which was founded in Osterwieck in 902 and relocated to Halberstadt – to a bishopric.
- 10th Century
The Merseburg Incantations are among the oldest attested examples of German literature.
- 1009 – 1018
Thietmar von Walbeck (Thietmar von Merseberg) heads the Bishopric of Merseburg, which was established again in 1004. He is one of the best-known and most important historians of his time.
The “Marienbibliothek zu Halle”, one of the oldest and largest church libraries in Germany, is founded.
During the Thirty Years War (1618 – 1648) the city of Magdeburg, which had remained Protestant, was stormed by Tilly’s imperial forced and pillaged. At this point, Magdeburg had become one of the most important cities in “Germany.” It was almost completely destroyed after the conquest. The city lost its central role in the aftermath.
The Elector of Brandenburg Frederick III opens the University of Halle.
Naumburg becomes the seat of the high regional court for the province of Saxony and the Duchy of Anhalt.
- Around 1924
Along with Frankfurt am Main, Magdeburg becomes a center of housing and apartment construction aligned with the “Neues Bauen” movement in Germany.
- 1925 - 1932
Dessau offers a home to Bauhaus (founded in Weimar in 1919). One of the first universities for design, it assembles a range of important architects and artists of the time and becomes a production site and center of international discussions, in addition to an educationally innovative teaching center.
In two parliamentary elections, the NSDAP becomes the strongest party in Anhalt and puts a prime minister in office for the first time. The new government orders Bauhaus to close; it relocated to Berlin.
On January 30, Adolf Hitler becomes Reich Chancellor. The states are forced into line politically (“gleichgeschaltet”). This measure takes away their independence. In Anhalt, the Gauleiter of Magdeburg-Anhalt becomes the Reich governor. Opponents of the regime are persecuted and concentration camps are set up in Prettin (Lichtenburg) and other locations.
During “The Night of Broken Glass” (November 9 and 10), severe violence and abuses were committed against Jewish citizens. Synagogues were destroyed in Dessau und Halle. There is also violence in other locations in the region.
The Second World War begins on September 1 with Germany’s attack on Poland. What is now Sachsen-Anhalt is developed into one of the most important armament centers in Germany.
The Wannsee Conference takes place on January 20. The sole item on the agenda is the “Final Solution”. At this point, task forces have already killed more than 500,000 Jews in Poland and the Soviet Union.
An attempt on the life of Adolf Hitler fails on July 20. The men involved in the July 20 plot include Magdeburg native Hennig von Tresckow, Teutschenthal Lord of the Manor Carl-Emil Wentzel, and the former Merseberg district president, Ernst von Harnack. Wentzel and Harnack are executed, and von Tresckow commits suicide on the Eastern front.
Allied air attacks destroy Magdeburg, Dessau, Halberstadt, Zerbst and Merseburg shortly before the end of the war. The German armed forces surrender unconditionally on May 8. In 1933, at the start of the National Socialist dictatorship, the Jewish community in Halle had about 1,200 members – afterwards there were not even 30.
- 1945 to 1947
The province of Sachsen-Anhalt is formed. Dr. Erhard Hübener (LPD) becomes its first prime minister. Its constitution is promulgated on January 10, 1947, and on July 21, 1947, it is renamed “the state of Sachsen-Anhalt.”
The constitution of the state of Sachsen-Anhalt is promulgated. Sachsen-Anhalt thus becomes the third new German federal state to have a democratic constitution.