1931 January 1 The Nazi Brown House is officially opened in Munich.
1931 January 1 W.A. Harriman & Co. merges with Brown Brothers. Prescott Bush, father of future President George Bush, becomes the managing partner of the new firm: Brown Brothers Harriman. This firm will subsequently become the largest and most politically important private banking house in America. The London branch of the Brown family firm continued to operate under the name -- Brown, Shipley.
(Note: During the American Civil War (War of Southern Secession), the Brown family with offices in the U.S. and London shipped 75% of the South's slave cotton to British mills.)
1931 January Hjalmar Schacht meets with Hitler and is impressed by Hitler's eloquence and absolute conviction. Before long, Schacht begins telephoning politicians, urging that the National Socialists be incorporated into a coalition government. (Children)
1931 January The general student committee of the University of Erlangen, dominated by the National Socialists, makes a request to the Ministry of Culture for the creation of a chair of race-investigation, race-science, race-hygiene and genetics. (Science)
1931 Montagu Collet Norman, Bank of England Governor and former Brown Brothers partner, whose grandfather had been boss of Brown Brothers during the Civil War, becomes known within the British aristocracy as one of Hitler's most avid supporters. Some historians suggest it was Montagu Norman who essentially managed the so-called "Hitler Project," an alleged Anglo-American plan to finance Hitler's rise to power as a foil against the Soviets.
1931 February 12 The eight Catholic bishops of Bavaria, organized in the Bavarian (Freising) Bishops Conference under the chairmanship of Cardinal Faulhaber, the Archbishop of Munich and Freising, strictly forbids all Catholic priests from taking part whatsoever in the National Socialist movement. Nazi party formations with flagsare also prohibited from attending services "since such parades in churches would make the people think that the Church had come to terms with National Socialism."
1931 March 5 The six bishops of Cologne compare the errors of National Socialism to those of Action Francaise, already condemned by Pope Pius XII.
1931 March 10 Membership in the Nazi party is ruled impermissable by the three bishops of Paderborn province.
1931 April Johann Warthari Wölfl, Lanz von Liebenfels' long-time follower, begins publishing Ostara-Rundschau (Panarische Revue) based on the concept of "Pan-Aryan" cooperation between the right-wing radical groups of the world. It included the addresses of the "Völkischer Beobachter" in Munich, as well as racist and patriotic associations in Italy, France, Great Britain and the United States. (Roots)
1931 April 22 Averell Harriman meets in Berlin with both Friedrich Flick and Wilhelm Cuno, chief executive of the Hamburg-Amerika Line and a close Warburg associate.
1931 May 4 Credit-Anstalt, Austria's principal bank, and several others fail due to French financial pressure. The collapse is seen by many as an attempt to prevent an anschluss (union) between Germany and Austria.
1931 Summer Otto Rahn visits the castle of Montsegur in France, spending three months carefully exploring the local caves and grottos in search of the Holy Grail.
1931 June 4 Himmler is first introduced to Reinhardt Heydrich at Waldtrudering, where Himmler is recovering from a recent illness. After a brief written examination outlining plans for a new SS intelligence unit, Himmler offers Heydrich a position on his headquarters staff. Himmler is greatly impressed by Heydrich's Nordic appearance. (Secrets)
1931 June 30 President Hoover proposes that payments of all intergovernmental war debts and reparations be held up for one year. The purpose of this action, known as the Hoover Moratorium, was to provide a "breathing spell" for European countries. Germany took this opportunity to ask for a complete adjustment of all war debts.
1931 July The Darmstadter-National Bank in Germany fails.
1931 August 3-5 The Fulda Bishop's Conference, attended by all the Prussian bishops, the bishops of the Upper Rhenish province, as well as the Archbishop of Munich, fail to adopt a clear position on Nazi party membership.
1931 August 24 The Labour government in London resigns because of the gathering financial crisis.
1931 August 25 - October 27 A national coalition government is formed in Britain. The bulk of the Labour party does not follow MacDonald into the coalition government but he remains as Prime Minister.
1931 September 12 On the eve of the Jewish New Year, Nazi gangs in Berlin attack Jews returning from synagogue.(Atlas)
1931 September 18 Geli Raubal, Hitler's niece and reputed lover, commits suicide in Hitler's Munich apartment.
1931 September 18 Japanese soldiers stationed in southern Manchuria are involved in a minor clash with Chinese troops. Japan uses the incident as an excuse to spread its forces throughout Manchuria, subduing the region.
1931 September 21 The Bank of England quits the gold standard.
1931 December German unemployment exceeds 5 million.
1931 December 31 The SS Engagement and Marriage order is officially announced. Under this regulation, no member of the SS is allowed to marry until both his and his prospective bride's geneology has been analyzed by a new SS department, directed by Richard Walther Darré. This department will eventually be designated as the Office of Race and Settlement. (The SS, Time-Life Books)
(Note: The order states: "Permission to marry will be granted or refused solely and exclusively on the basis of criteria of race and hereditary health." (Science)
1931 Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels enthusiastically reviews a book proposing a Hollow Earth Theory. The founder of the Hollow Earth doctrine was Cyrus R. Teed (1839-1908) who claimed to have undergone a spiritual illumination in 1870, when he received by revelation the tenets of this doctrine, which he called Koreshianity (Koresh is Hebrew for Cyrus). In 1903 he established a community at Estero, Florida. The doctrine was brought to Germany by Peter Bender who read the sect periodical, The Flaming Spear, while a prisoner of war in France. (Roots)
1931 Spain is declared a republic and King Alfonso XIII abdicates.
1931 The Empire State Building in New York becomes the world's tallest building.
1931 In the third edition of his textbook (with E. Baur and E. Fischer), professor Fritz Lenz writes: "We must of course deplore the one-sided anti-Semitism of National Socialism. Unfortunately, it seems that the masses need such 'anti' feelings... we cannot doubt that National Socialism is honestly striving for a healthier race. The question of the quality of our hereditary endowment is a hundred times more important than the dispute over capitalism or socialism, and a thousand times more important than that over the black-white-red or black-red-gold banners." (The banner of the Weimar Republic, which had replaced that of Imperial Germany, black-white-red.) (Science)
1931 "The Star-Spangled Banner" becomes the national anthem of the United States.
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