D: The Fall of the Third Reich

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  • Created by: BeccaEK
  • Created on: 02-05-15 10:23
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  • The Fall of the Third Reich
    • Outbreak of war 1939
      • Caught Hitler by suprise
        • He had been planning for war in 1941/2
        • German economy nowhere near full production
          • Only achieved autumn + winter of 1944
        • Only when Operation Barbarossa failed did Nazis begin to reorganise economy
      • Production lagged behind rearmament
        • It had been focused around infrastructure
        • Many German companies unwilling to change
      • Hitler was disinterested in economic planning
      • Most decisions made by Hitler
        • Banned regular cabinet meetings + forbade ministers to meet unofficially
        • 1942 - Central Planning Board controlled supply of new materials
          • New mass production methods
        • Shortage of labour but proposals to conscript women = unpopular
          • Not until Jan 1943 Himmler announced all men 16-65 + women 17-45 must register for war work
    • Changes in role of Nazi party and SS
      • With outbreak of war, Nazis no longer considered themselves bound by decency
        • Could afford to ignore foreign opinion
      • SS used slave labour
        • Allowed them to control 150 companies by 1940
      • Nazis responsible for morale + well-being of civillians
      • 1941 - Hitler ordered attack on christianity
        • It was incompatible with with National Socialism
        • In Poland, many priests murdered
      • From 1943 - Party officials responsible for officer selection + army training
      • 1942-44 - rations maintained at reasonable level but still 10% below minimum required
      • Evacuation intensified in 1943
        • 9 million children, women + elderly moved from cities
    • Opposition to Nazis
      • Few Germans openly opposed Nazis
      • Churches had beliefs opposing Nazi ideology
        • Priests supported Nazi opposition to communism
      • Confessional church careful to avoid open conflict
        • Did condemn extermination policy in 1943
        • Other German Protestants prepared to co-operate with Nazis
          • They still retained their independance
      • Catholic church tolerated Nazis
      • Swing groups widespread late 1930s
      • White Rose Movement
        • Idealisticlly Christin
        • Distributed leaflets in Munich 1942-43
        • Leaders arrested, tried + shot Feb 1943
      • SPD smuggled literature into the country
        • KPD set up underground so never completely eliminated
      • Kreisau Circle
        • Radical group who envisaged European parliament with European elections
        • More interested in planning for idealistic new order after hostilities than opposing Nazi
      • Opposition in army
        • Twice planned to kill Hitler but failed both times
        • Operation Valkyrie organised by Stauffenberg
    • Persecution of Jews + development of idea of holocaust
      • By end of 1939 Jews in Germany were forced into ghettos
        • Labelled untermenschen
      • Occupation of Poland provided space for Jews
        • First ghettos here
          • Followed by concentration camps
      • Holocaust = only logical conclusion of Nazi policies since 1933
        • Hitler was a real driving force and wanted the 'final solution'
    • Why was Germany defeated?
      • German forces hopelessly overstretched after invasion of Soviet Union in 1941
      • Declaration of war on  USA tipped balance completely against them
        • Roosevelt concentrated US efforts in Europe as 1st stage in victory
        • Germany would never match production in USA
      • Always short of essential war materials
        • After withdrawal of USSR they had little oil or food
      • Hitler didn't allow effective research into weaponary
        • Never developed a heavy bomber
        • New weapons sometimes ineffective

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