GCSE History Nazi Germany Exam

My homemade notes on Nazi Germany 1918-1939 GCSE ready for the exam in 2012 and beond, including revision tips and exam tips.

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The Stresemann Period - Late 1923-29

The currency reform was to stop hyperinflation (which was caused by the Occupation Of Ruhr). It was known as the rentenmark and the Reichsbank, the only draw back was that people who had savings couldn't get there money back.

The Dawes plan in 1924 was very beneficial as it reduced the amount of reperations that Germany had to pay each year. It also provided loans from the American banks to help the German industry grow, however this then ment that Germany was reliant on US loans.

The Locarno Pact in 1925 which Germany signed with it's neighbors including Britian, France and Belgium, had the benefits that Germany agreed to respect the borders with France and Belgium as decided by the treaty of versailles. In retern, allied troops were taken out of the Rhineland and the main powers agreed to consider German membership in the league of nations. However some Germans were furious with Stresemann's foreign policy as they believed that it showed that they accepted the treaty of versailles.

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The Stresemann Period - Late 1923-29

Membership of the league of nations in 1926 was the begining of Germany being treated as an equal improving it's image with the world powers. However, the german public hated it as it was set up at the Paris peace conference along side the treaty of versailles.

The Kellog-Briand Pact in 1928 was when 65 countries agreed not to go to war with one another to achieve there foreign policy aims, Germany was begining to be seen as an equal to other countries as they were considered. However, Germans were still furious.

The Young Plan in 1929 was very successful as it reduced reperations to be paid from 6.6billion to £2billion and Germany was also given an extra 59 years to pay. However reperations still had to be paid and one of the most hated part of the treaty of versailles was being accepted by the goverment.

They also allowed freedom in the arts, for example, theatre, books and paintings but some Germans saw this as un-german and immoral.

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Youth In Nazi Germany

The youth movement became compulsory after 1936 as it was used to indoctrinate and brainwash children in their spare time. The two groups were known as the BDM - League of German Maidens and the Little fellows/Hitler youth. The BDM trained young women to be good mothers and wives where as the Hitler youth trained young men in military and teamwork exercises.

In schools student subjects were cooking and needle work for girls and race studies to promote that the Germans were an elite race, they furthered Nazi views in maths and history. Their teachers were also scrutinized, they sacked Jews and Communists as teachers and set up the Nazi Teachers League. All students had to read Mein Kampf Hitlers biography, and in lessons PE was prioritized to make a strong and healthy Germany.

The youth opposition were the Edelweiss Pirates who beat up the Nazi youth members and Swing Types who listed to banned jazz music and grew there hair longer.  

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Youth In Nazi Germany

The Nazi view of women were that they should be fit and good housewives/mothers as Hitler believed this would create a strong foundation for Germany.

The Nazi view of men was that they should be strong, fit soldiers and believe in Nazi Germany to make it strong.

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How Did Hitler Consolidate His Power And Become A

Hitler used a wide range of Nazi propaganda, for example most papers were censored and the editors restricted by the Editing Law. To boast their supporters they also exaggerated the communist threat and claimed that only Hitler could stop the communists. They used the Reichstag fire as an excuse. When the Enabling Law was brought in they banned other parties and there meetings removing any opposition to the party, they believed that it would lead to a stronger Germany. Propaganda was ongoing though the war.

The Reichstag fire was when a communist started a fire at one of the main government buildings, this lead to a state of emergency as they couldn't determine whether it was a putch attempt or not. The Nazis exploited this and with the police under the control of Goering uncovered a conspiracy. This lead to the Decree of people and state, which gave the ability to remove peoples human rights.

The enabling law was given to Hitler after a Plebiscite in Parliament, this allowed him 4 years to pass laws without general consent. He banned trade unions and other political parties, he also started censorship and the people's court.

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How Did Hitler Consolidate His Power And Become A

The suppression of the opposition was when Hitler introduced an number of new laws under the Enabling Law. He created the gestapo or the secret police, made strikes illegal, brought in Nazi judges, communists were banned and therefore arrested and were not allowed to vote in Parliament

The night of long knives was when Hitler gave the order to kill 400 SS members as they posed a threat if they teamed up with the army. The killing was done by the SA and they killed the main leaders Rohm and Von Schnieder. This was censored in Germany so most of the public didn't realize the scale of it.

Finally Hindeburg's death allowed Hitler to hold a plebisite of which 90% voted for him to be the new president, he then began to call himself the "Furher" which means father.

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Why And How was Hitler Appointed Chancellor In 193

The effects of the economic depression caused 6 million to be unemployed by 1932 after the wall street crash in america, this effected Germany as they had loans from the Dawes plan and America where then demanding they were paid back. This caused businesses to collapse, Hitler exploited this and offered "work and bread".

The weakness of the Weimar republic also allowed the Nazi party to point out that that democracy was weakening Germany as they had 9 collaboration governments in less years, the police force was also very ineffective. This lead to street violence and the breakdown of law and order. Hitler also wanted to remove the reliance on foreign loans. 

The fear of communism was also a large playing piece as they lost support in 1932 but before they had 50% extremist votes. This was changed by the Reichstag fire and the presence of SA/brown shirts/storm troopers.

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Why And How was Hitler Appointed Chancellor In 193

Hindenburgs role in Hitlers appointment was that he was he chansellor, he therefore believed that he and his advisers could control Hitler using Von Papen and Shnleder plots.

Hitler also had good people skills allowing him to become a very popular choice, he promised that he could restore Germany's power that was lost in the Treaty Of Versailles. He appeared to be a strong, military leader of which Germany had lacked since WW1, his publicity in 1932 showed him as a disciplined savior.

At the time Nazi propaganda was every where, in the cinema, books, radio, the papers were censored. He appealed to men and women with strong businesses backing him like Fritts and Tyser.

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Censorship and Propaganda By Joseph Goebells

The press was controlled by the editors law, which if broken you could be put in jail, and classic German ideas. They contained folk tales and promoted political party ideas, this was all heroic images and they were told what to write.

Cinema was also made really cheap as the Nazi propaganda was played before each movie with a news reel, the Nazi party also used cartoons of Hitler to indoctrinate children.

The Radio was also at its highest owner rate ever and placed in town squares with load speakers so everyone could listen to it, they did this as they had Nazi channels which political speeches were given. It was known as the peoples radio.

The university content was also cesnsored as there was no free thinking, jazz, books were burnt. Also 3000 professors were fired as they wouldn't teach Nazi views.

Sports were depended on as they held the Olympics to show of Germany, they believed that it lead to a strong an independent Germany.

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The Treaty Of Versailles - Effects

The effects of the Treaty of Versailles were mainly economic, this was because Germany lost lost large plots of land, like the polish corridor, this meant that they lost precious resources like coal and oil. They were also cut of completely from the sea. Another economic issue was they many Germans lost there jobs after it was decided they had to pay 6.6million in reparations. It caused large amounts of unemployed, few businesses and trade and homelessness, this all ultimately lead to bankruptcy.

There were also many political problems caused by the TOV for example the November criminals (politicians who signed the TOV) were murdered. They also were being controlled by a weak government and had little power and a poor excuse for a army.

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The Treaty Of Versailles - Reactions

The German People were very angry as they wanted to continue the war and were never really defeated, further more the TOV was a dictation as Germans weren't invited to decide the terms.

They were also angry as it left Germany very weak, they had a reduced army of 10000 men and this was only to be internally used, further more the navy was reduced to:

12 Destroyers

6 Crusers

12 Torpedo Boats

6 Battle Ships

It also left Germany economicly unable to avoid bankruptcy leaving poverty and devastation in its wake.

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The Impact Of The Great Depression

As the Great Depression reached Germany the wealthy and middle classes began to fear the communists, this also caused the big businesses for support the Nazi's as they were fearful that they would lose their wealth and the Nazi's promised to fix it.

The Great Depression was also used as an excuse to increase extremist support, the Nazi vote was increased from 26% of the vote in 1928 to 38% in 1932, this caused the communist party to become the third largest. 

People blamed the government and political parties, so many people aspired for a strong leader. It allowed political parties to exploit propaganda, as they could promise to fix the fall in standards and poverty.

Four million people were unemployed by 1932, this left millions of young people desperate, poor, angry and joining the SA. 

Chancellor Bruning was unable to keep control or deal with issues, his advisers were Von Papen and Von Schliecher they continually undermined him. 

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Problems With The Weimar Republic

One of the problems with the Weimar Republic is the weakness of constitution, one of the problems were that all of the democratic system the government were decided by proportional representation which meant that they had to get 1/3 of the votes to be in power. This lead to a lot of collaboration governments. This lead to the Friecorp who wanted the Kaiser to return and hated communists also the sparticists who launched the Kapp Putch and were communists. It also meant that hyperinflation was unsolvable, that meant that the public were unhappy. 

The Kapp Putch was when the communist sparticists took over a range of government buildings, however, there were strikes against them and with out support they had to pull out.

The Ruhr occupation was another large problem as it lead to hyper inflation which was caused by the government printing more money to get out of reparations, this meant that there was a shortage of trade and the people were poorer. Also there was sabotage and strike in the Ruhr against the french soldiers.

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Key Points About The Nazis

The Nazi's beliefs were as follows they hated democracy, they wanted a strong Germany, they believed that Germany needed a strong leader, they hated communism, they were Anti-Semitism (hated Jews). They also had a 25 point programme, they wanted to achieve 'Lebensraum' which means living space, to stop jews being German citizens, they also believed in seizing power by force. In the end they wanted to get rid of the TOV.

They had the SA who were also known as storm troopers and brown shirts, who acted as body guards and security. They attacked opponents especially communists. The Nazi party was originally the DAP or German Workers Party, and was very small in size to begin with. Hitler changed the name to NSDAP (Nazi Party) The membership increased to a few thousand and this increased funds. They therefore brought a newspaper to put there views in the public limelight. The important members were Rohm, Goering and Striecher.

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The Nazi's supported the 3K's with women which were church, kitchen and children. They would get medals for having children and the youth would be encouraged to be good germans, this meant that girls should be housewives and men should be soldiers. The kitchen part was that women should cook and clean for there husbands, however, this changed as women were required to work towards the end of WW2.

The Lebensborn Spring Of Life was where furtile women of the Abayns who were not married were sent to have children with SS soldiers who were racially pure.

They were also expected to wear susceptible dress, skirts below the knee and no make up to convey morals and respectful role models to younger children.

For motherhood they allowed marriage loans so the more children you have the more money you can keep from a original loan. They were also sacked from there jobs so they could be at home, to further this they introduced a Law for the Encouragement of Marriage.

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Nazi Control

Propaganda: Subjects changes in school with lessons depending on your sex, the BDM was created, before the lessons they had to salute Hitler, this was all part of the indoctrination of the German population along side the Hitler Youth.

Enabling Law/Act: This put fear into the public with the Gestapo and the editors law, this allows no Nazi criticism and no other political parties.

Police State: They controlled the police and courts with Nazi judges, the SA and people court.

Youth Children:They indoctrinated children with books, music and other ways. They also repressed the church and strong women.

Censorship:Trade unions and strikes were banned, so this takes away the freedom from the people. To continue they introduced concentration camps and Numburg laws and executed the night of long knives.

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Weimar Germany 1924-1933

Depression was started in the USA after the wall street crash, this was furthered by the Dawes plan which caused Germany to become reliant on US loans. The Nazi Party exploited this as many businesses collapsed and six million unemployed 1932.

The weakness of constitution in the Weimar republic caused the break down of law and order as there was street violence and an ineffective police source. They were also reliant on US loans, the collaboration governments were decided by proportional representation. 

The propaganda used has many forms like the peoples radio and cinema reels. They also exaggerated the communist threat, they appealed to men, women, workers and business owners.  

Communism was exploited because of one lone persons actions in the  Reichstag fire, the controlled police force supposedly uncovered and communist threat and they lost support in 1932.

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Weimar Germany 1924-1933

The Great Depression had many sides. The economic side is that businesses supported extremism parties as if the communists got into power they would lose there wealth. The social side is that living standards fell so that young people were jobless and living in poverty. The political side is that there was increased  Nazi support and people blamed the current governments policies. 

Stresemann was able to reduce reparations and allow free arts he also introduced the Young and Dawes plan. However, he made Germany reliant on US loans, his foreign policies and the treaty was accepted to the public hatred.

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A full timeline

There's a full timeline I've made at this address I hope it helps :)


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Thank you.

Georgia Sowden

welcome :)


Very detailed and well written - thank you.

Georgia Sowden

There will be more this evening as I'm working though my notes 


Awesome notes! Now I am within chance to remember all my history (:


Awesome notes! Now I am within chance to remember all my history (:

Georgia Sowden



You are a life saver, thankyou!  :D
PS is this all we need for germany? nothing else?

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