KQ1 Revision Notes: How effectively did Hitler establish and consolidate Nazi authority 1933-45?

Revision Notes on Key Question 1 of the course Dictatorship and Democracy in Germany 1933-63

Specifically for AS OCR History A Unit F964 Option B

Study Topic 4: Dictatorship and Democracy in Germany 1933–63

[Sepcification for my course on pg 63 of:http://www.ocr.org.uk/download/kd/ocr_9582_kd_gce_spec.pdf]

Thanks to this member whose notes helped me: http://getrevising.co.uk/resources/ocr_germany_1933_63_kq_1

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Preview of KQ1 Revision Notes: How effectively did Hitler establish and consolidate Nazi authority 1933-45?

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How effectively did Hitler establish and
consolidate Nazi authority 1933-45?
Aims of the Nazis
Racial Purity
Establish the `natural order' of things by destroying the power of Jews and Communists.
Believed in `Social Darwinism', i.e. survival of the fittest, applied to the Aryan race.
The superior race were called the `herrenvolk'
Overthrow Versailles
`November criminals' (the socialist and democratic leaders who had signed the treaty) had humiliated and
subordinated Germany.
Wanted to unite all Germans by rebuilding Germany's army and economy and expanding `lebensraum' (living
space) for Germans. Wanted to gain raw materials from Poland, Ukraine and Russia by expansion.
New Germany with united Germans from Austria, Prussia, Sudetenland etc. called `Grossdeutsche'
Greater Germany
Wanted to create a power to compete with the USA and the British Empire.
Strong nationalism ­ drew up the 25 points of the party, 22 were nationalist and 3 were socialist.
Admission to Power in 1933
1928 Nazis win 2.8% of the vote
Wall street crash leads to economic collapse ­ people look for more radical solution to problems
1930 Nazi vote increased to 18.3%
Chancellor Brüning begins to bypass Reichstag because of more radical members
Growing social unrest between Nazis and Communists particularly due to growth of SA/SS
1932 Presidential Campaign ­ Hitler promised change/a revolution. Nazis achieve 37% of the vote.
Reichstag vote of no confidence in von Papen's government. Forced to resign.
Schleicher becomes Chancellor. Failed to gain widespread support.
Papen wanted to regain his position ­ coalition with the Nazis with Papen as vice-Chancellor in order
that they have a majority in the Reichstag. Hindenburg gave in because he thought that traditional
conservatives and Nationalists would control him.
th
30 January 1933 Hitler appointed Chancellor ­ only two other Nazi Cabinet members
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Consolidation of Power
Legal Revolution
Situation in 1933:
Weaknesses: Hitler's position as Chancellor in January 1933 was weak ­ the coalition didn't have a majority,
his post was dependent on Hindenburg and he would need to satisfy Trade Unions/the Army ­ couldn't pass
radical legislation.
Strengths: Hitler was the leader of the largest party in Germany ­ conservatives had to work with
him/needed him to stop Communism, he had gained access to the resources of the State, politically astute
where Papen was naive.…read more

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Hitler promised the Catholic Centre Party that he would not interfere with the
Catholic Church and in return they voted for the enabling act
Only SPD (Social Democrats) voted against
Passed by 444 votes to 94
Act stated that Parliamentary process/legislation would be removed to give full
power to the Chancellor for four years
One-party, totalitarian state ­ foundation for the Third Reich
Gleichshaltung (Co-ordination) ­ Creation of a One-Party Dictatorship
Federal States:
17 regional Länder ­ didn't fit in with Nazi wishes for a…read more

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They were disappointed by their lack of personal gain from the rise to power despite constant political
help ­ worried they would become a propaganda tool and nothing more.
Strengths of the Army:
Felt threatened by SA.
Could potentially depose Hitler.
Rivalry with SA ­ much more professional/disciplined.
Better equipped to fulfil Hitler's foreign policy aims.
Political reasons:
Needed support of the elites.
SA's thuggish behaviour was embarrassing to Hitler.
Wanted to become President ­ Hindenburg ill.…read more

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The Dual State
Two forms of government at work at the same time ­ Nazi party and pre-1933 organisations. Developed due to
Hitler's ambiguity over whether party or state controlled government:
Needed to persuade conservatives he wasn't revolutionary
Efficiency of the German state
Need to link the Nazi party with the tradition of German past
State institutions:
Reich Chancellery: responsible for co-ordination of government ­ more important as Cabinet's importance
diminished.…read more

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Only Aryans could join the SS.
1936 All police powers belonged to Himmler as `Reichsführer SS and Chief of all German Police'
1938 Waffen SS had 14,000 soldiers in 3 units.
1939 Security organisations brought together under the RSHA (Reich Security Office) under Himmler and his
deputy, Heydrich.
Influence increased greatly due to expansion of territories, decreased influence of army, exploitation and
plunder of new lands, holocaust (run by SS Totenkopf-Verbände).…read more

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Assassi
nation
Attem
pts
1935-6 Jewish students planned to assassinate Hitler. Failed due to lack of opportunity.
1938 A man tried to shoot Hitler at the annual Munich parade. Executed in 1941.
1939 Assassination plots increased from this point.
Georg Elser planted a bomb in the beer-hall where Hitler was speaking, but if went off after Hitler had
left. Executed in 1945.
1940 Police Chief von Schulenburg wanted to assassinate Hitler at a parade, but it was called off.…read more

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Had long hair, wore different clothes, left/never joined the Hitler Youth.
Operated in small local groups and did activities that would normally be done in the HJ ­ fought with Hitler
Youth.
Anti-Nazi leaflets.
Leaders were placed under surveillance and in 1942 739 pirates were placed in re-education camps.
1944 decree allowed more to be arrested and in November members were publicly hanged.
White Rose Group:
University group ­ inspired by the sermons of Bishop Galen.…read more

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KPD:
Formed underground cells (even in the DAF) e.g. the Red Orchestra (spy network which successfully
permeated government and military) but two thirds of members were arrested.
Rote Kapelle spy organisation sent information to the USSR ­ smashed in 1942 by the Abwehr.
Activists drawn away to fight in the International Brigades ­ limited support.
Took orders from Moscow ­ compromised by Nazi-Soviet pact.
Resistance groups remained isolated even when Germany went to war with the USSR.
Traditional Elites
Talk of replacing Hitler.…read more

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