Detailed Overview of Nazi Germany

This is basically the whole course summarised down. Includes:

The Rise of the Nazis

Consolidation of Power

Economic Policy

Education/Hitler Youth

Women

Church

Propaganda

Terror

Political System

Foreign Policy

(Look at my timeline resource for key events as well)

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  • Created on: 20-01-14 19:55
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Final Essay Question
Structure:
1. These sources are useful because they tell us about...
2. These sources are unreliable/reliable because... it is biased/exaggerating/leading
MP/official document/when it was written (primary or secondary source)/type of historian.
Does the reliability affect the usefulness of the source?
3. These sources are limited because they do not discuss.../Although sources ____ discuss
_____ they fail to mention _________ which would be useful to a historian studying...
a. When discussing the limitations consider political, economic, social, cultural, religious
and m???? factors.
b. Discuss the WHOLE period.
c. Refer back to the sources and the question.
4. Provide a supported judgement on the usefulness of the sources and be clear about which
sources are more usual than others. Comment on the wider range of sources that could be
useful to a historian.
In Detail Summary of Nazi Germany
Rise of Nazism
In October 1929 the Wall Street Crash occurred which caused America to call in existing loads, such as
the £40 million lent to Germany through the Dawes plan. This caused a huge economic crisis all around
the world and especially in Germany as unemployment went from 50000 in 1928 to 6 million by
1932. This caused desperate times so German people began to vote for extremist parties.
Hitler decided to win over the electorate after the Munich Putsch, November 1923, failed.
He put together a 25 point programme which literally had something for everyone. His ideas were
expansionist, anti-Semitic, socialist, anti-communist and absolutely against the Treaty of Versailles. In
1932, the Nazis won 230 seats in the Reichstag ­ nearly 20 times more than 1928.
Consolidation of Power
With election successes like these, Hitler wanted to become Chancellor. President Hindenburg did
not trust Hitler's motives so made von Papen chancellor instead but, because he didn't have a
majority in the Reichstag, Hindenburg had to pass emergency laws for him using Article 48. Von
Schleicher warned Hindenburg that a civil war would break out if this continued so, instead, von
Schleicher was made Chancellor. However, the same problem occurred as he, too, did not have a
majority. In the end Hitler was the only alternative. On the 30th January 1933, Hitler was made
Chancellor.
Hitler wanted to increase the number of Nazi seats in the Reichstag, as although he had the
most he did not have a majority. An election was set for the 5th March 1933. On the 27th February
1933, the Reichstag was burnt down. Marius van der Lubbe, a young Dutch communist, was caught on
the scene with firelighters. Hitler blamed the communists and gave the event huge importance by
saying:
"The burning of the Reichstag was to have been the
signal to a bloody uprising and civil war for the communists."

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This led to the Law for the Protection of the People and the State (Reichstag Fire Decree) to
be passed on the 28th February 1933. This led to total intimidation of Nazi "enemies" ­ 4000
communists were imprisoned ­ press was censored, there was no freedom of speech, letters and
telegraphs were tapped, there was no right to assemble and there was arrest without trial. Germany
became a police state. In the March election, the Nazis won 288 seats.…read more

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Dachau, Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald by 1937 and three more by 1939. By 1939, there were
25000 prisoners in camps. In the camps the regime was brutal, the prisoners were all categorized:
Red: socialists/communist
Black: anarchist/antisocial
Yellow: Jewish
Pink: gay.
They had basic rations, living conditions were hard and punishments were harsh. There was also the
Gestapo which acted as a secret police, controlled by SD.
Propaganda
Propaganda made great use f the economic and foreign policy successese.…read more

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Local government had been "brought into line" in 1933. Posts were filled by local Gauleiters.
Even local government was unclear, unorganised and chaotic. Localities varied due to local Gauleiters.
Frick (Minister of the Interior) tried to control them but the Gauleiters discouraged Hitler from doing
so.
Hitler
Gauleiters
Kreisleiters
400000 Blockleaders
(Snooped on their neighbours and reported upwards.)
The Economic System
1933 ­ 1936: Recovery
Compulsory labour scheme for all men aged 19-25 to do 6 months of
labour work e.g.…read more

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Victory
Between 1938 and 1939, Germany took over Austria and Czechoslovakia, gaining vital economic
resources, using a plunder/blitzkrieg techniques.
1943-1945: Defeat
Central Planning Board Reduced restraint on industry so to increase the output.
Total War Economy Big increase in productions of weapons etc.
Albert Speer Economic minister at the end of the war.
Siege Economy Germany was in a siege, so had to produce as many guns as possible.
Slave Workers Prisoners in concentration camps were used as slave workers.…read more

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Women
During the Weimar Republic women had been treated well. They had the vote, were encouraged to
obtain a good education and many had jobs in professional areas. This all changed under Hitler. In
1933, women were banned from professional jobs e.g. doctors, teachers and lawyers. Women were
expected to focus on Kinder (children), Kirche (church) and Kuche (cooking). There was the Law for
the Encouragement of Marriage which gave loans of 1,000 marks to newlyweds.…read more

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June 1934: German Interference in Austria. Italy made the Stresa Front with Britain and
France in 1935.
1935: Hitler announced that Germany would have an air force and conscription
against T. of Versailles. Anglo-Naval Agreement allowed Hitler to have the
equivalent of 35% of Britain's naval strength which caused France and Britain
to be at loggerheads.
April 1936: The Reoccupation of the Rhineland. France did nothing because:
a) Britain refused to support France.
b) France was politically divided.…read more

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Schuschnigg (Austrian Chancellor) signed the German Austrian agreement:
Recognised the independence of Austria
Austrian foreign policy would be consistent with Germany
Allowed Nazis to hold official posts in Austria.
1936
Schuschnigg hoped this would appease Hitler. He was wrong. Schuschnigg's
position was undermined in 1936 when Hitler and Mussolini formalised the
Rome-Berlin Axis during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Italy and
Germany became allies, and Austria was vulnerable to attack.…read more

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Czechoslovakia: The Munich Crisis, September 1938
Hitler determined on a Blitzkreig war against Czechoslovakia, to take the Sudetenland and make it
part of the greater Germany. The Sudeten Germans, led by Henlein and Frank, demanded
independence from Czechoslovakia. They were German speaking and could be added to the Reich
under Pan-German policy. Britain and France urged Czechoslovakia to give up the Sudetenland.
Neville Chamberlain, however, was only prepared to grant it by negotiation and not by force.…read more

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