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G1- Weimar Constitution

  • Adopted on 31st July 1919
  • Parliamentary democracy with the chancellor/cabinet needing majority support in Reichstag
  • Reich was to be a combination of 18 states.
  • Strong electorate in the form of a president who was to be elected every 7 years.
  • President was to be head of state and commander-chief of the army
  • Under Article 48 the president in emergencies could rule by decree.
  • President not only had the power to appoint a chancellor but could also dismiss them.
  • There were to be elections every 4 years using Proportional representation
  • PR encouraged a mass of political parties and ensured that every gov. had to be a coalition.
  • The chancellor and his ministers were accountable to the Reichstag.
  • Governments could be removed from the office by a hostile vote in the Reichstag.
  • Also had the Bill of rights which meant it could be classed as a liberal system.
  • Bill of rights gave broad freedoms- free speech, no censorship, religious freedom and also gve serial rights such as welfare provision.
  • In order to settle different interpretations of laws a Supreme court was set up.
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G1- The Treaty of Versailles

  • Lost all overseas colonies and Alsace-Lorraine was given to France.
  • Eupen and Malmedy were given to Belgium and North-Schleswig was given to Denmark.
  • Posen was given to Poland so that she would have access to the Baltic sea
  • The Rhineland was made into a demilitarised zone.
  • The Saar coalfields were given to France for 15 years.
  • The Port of Danzig was made a free city under the control of the LON
  • Germany had to return land to Russia.
  • Army was reduced to 100,000 men and the army was not allowed tanks or an airforce.
  • Germany was allowed only 6 capital naval ships and no submarines.
  • The allies were to keep an army of occupation on the West bank of the Rhine for 15 years.
  • Germany had to admit full responsibility for the war  under the War Guilt Clause.
  • Germany was made totally responsible so had to pay 132 billion marks in reparations
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G2- Threats from the Right

Kapp Putsch March 1920

  • 1st attempt by extreme right- favoured restoration of an authoritation dictatorial regime.
  • Were deeply influenced by Bolshevism 
  • As a result of demobilisation of army- 200 paramilitary units in Germany by 1919.
  • in 1920 12,000 Friekorps marched on Berlin, seized the main buildings virtually unopposed.
  • Installed a new gov. and the army provided no resistance.
  • Only collapsed as the SPD had called for a general strike which soon paralysed Berlin.
  • After 4 days it was clear that Kapp and his government had no real authority and they fled.

Munich Putsch 8-9 November 1923 

  • Crisis in Ruhr convinced Hitler time was ripe to launch a revolution
  • Nazi were too weak so got the help of Kahr (BSG) and Lossow (BSGA)
  • They both blamed problems on the national gov. and wanted a march on Berlin.
  • However fearing failure they decided to abandon but Hitler wanted to press on and declared a national revolution.
  • General Seekt chief of army commanded the armed forces to resist the putsch. When the Nazis attempted to take Munich they were crushed by Bavarian police
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G2- Threats from the Left

The Spartacist Uprising January 1919

  • They had opposed WWI, the creation of a National Constituent assembly and were deeply influenced by Bolshevism. Wanted to take power by strikes demonstrations and revolts.
  • January 1919- they decided time was ripe to launch an armed rising in Berlin.
  • Aimed to overthrow Eberts PG and led by radical socialists Luxemburg and Liebknect.
  • 5th January- occupied trade buildings, called for strikes and formed a revolutionary comm.
  • After 3 days of savage street fighting the coup was easily defeated- gov. had the army.
  • No mercy was shown.

The German October 

  • Revolution from 1919-23 culminated in the GO in Saxony- SPD/KPD state Government.
  • Mass protests had began in summer 1923 at the height of the Ruhr Crisis, although the uprising did not actually come to a head until October 1923. 
  • Major strikes/ protests encouraged the Comintern to organise GO inspired by Bolshevik Revolution. However was crushed by state government.
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G2- The Economic Problems from 1919-1923

  • 1919 the economy faced problems such as a decline in world trade and an increasing national debt.
  • TOV-  loss of resources such as coal, iron ore and arable  land from the loss of territories such as the Saar, plus the cost of paying reparations from 1921. 
  • Inflation dominated the first phase of the Weimar. Weimar gov.s didn't attempt to balance their budgets and adopted deficit financing, both of which allowed inflation to continue. 
  • Reparations contributed to greater inflation. They found the 132 billion marks too steep.
  • 1922- German gov. announced it couldnt pay and french invaded ruhr- take money by force.
  • Took control of the Ruhr’s factories, steelworks, mines and railways.
  • The Gov. couldn't defend itself because of its limited army.
  • The French shot 132 Gs & expelled 150,000 Gs from the region for refusing to obey orders
  • As a result of the occupation & resistance against it industrial production in Germany ground to a halt.
  • By 1923 the Weimar economy was suffering from hyperinflation and the value of the mark continued to decline. 
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G2- Stressmann's (S) policies

  • August 1923- new coalition under (S) introduced eco. policies to control money in circulation.
  • Included- resumption of reparations/reduction of gov. spending/ New currency (Rentemark)
  • Ordered strikes to go to back to work/ agreed to repay money to allies- French left 1925
  • By April 1924- Dawes Plan had fixed reparation for 5 years in line with Gs ability to pay./ It restored confidence in the German eco. and investments poured in. 
  • The Young 1929 plan extended the deadline for reparation for 59 years. 
  • Stresemann had restored confidence in the economy and improved international relations.

International relations- Accepted G again/1925 French left & signed the Locarno Pact/In 1926 G was allowed to join the LON/ 1928 G signed the Kellogg pact with over 60 places.

Stresemann success- W Eco. most stable & prosperous 1923-1929/ fall in support for left & right extremists/ hyperinflation brough under control/ Huge cultural revival./ Production levels increase/ greater foreign invesment/ rising exports and wages

Stresemann failures- Dependent on US loans/ Weak Constitution still remained/ TOV still hated/ Right wing attacked new culture/ value of imports always exceeded that of exports/ Unemployment never fell below 1.3 million/ 1928- rural recssion/ stability and prosperity collapsed in 1929.

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G3-Development of the Nazi Party 1924-1929

  • After Munich failure- Hitler knew an armed coup wasn't the way so he adopted legal policies.
  • The adoption of parliamentary, legal tactics was the new Nazi strategy for getting power.
  • Hitler used his trial for maximum publicity portraying himself as a national hero. He also wrote Mein Kampf which outlined his ideas and policies.
  • He needed to create a national party structure geared to gaining success in elections
  • Bamberg conference 1926- regained unity in the party, based around the leadership principle
  • Reorganisation- Germany was divided into 35 regions- reflected electoral geog of PR.
  • A Gaultier controlled each region- had the responsibility for creating district branch groups. 
  • Gregor Strasser was mainly responsible for building up an efficient party structure and this was reflected in an increasing party membership of 108,000 by 1928.- due to Nazi groups
  • Joeseph Goebells- propaganda- created newspaper Der Angriff- used posters, leaflets, radio and film to portray Nazi in a positive light. The party had been revitalised. 
  • Significant gains were made in 1929.
  • Got support of wealthy businessmen- get rid of communists and Trade unions- gave finance needed to run campaign. Set up Hitler youth and the ** as an elite bodygaurd.
  • Continued to use SA violence in the background to break up political opponents.
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G4- The Wall Street Crash and impact of the econom

  • Depression coincided with a rise in support for the Nazis and the KPD.
  • In the towns & Cities, poor housing, severe food shortages, high unemployment increased support for parties seeling to destroy the Weimar Republic.
  • The economic depression undermined the Weimar Republic- 50,000 businesses went bankrupt and 5 major banks closed down. 
  • American loans and investments were withdrawn, while there was a general decline in world trade.
  • The depression brought instability to the Republic- one of the main reasons why the Nazis grew to be the largest political party by the summer of 1932, the year in which unemploymebt peaked at 6 million. 
  • They had 37% of the popular vote and 230 seats in the Reichstag.
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G4- The Political Effects of the Great Depression

  • March 1930- Muller's SPD-led coalition collapsed. They had been divided over measures to deal with whether or not to increase unemployment contributions to fund increasing numbers needing relief.
  • Muller resigned when Hindenburg refused to use Article 48 to support his gov. 
  • Muller's gov. was to be the last coalition with a working majority and effecively marks the end of parliamentary government.
  • Hindenburg then made Brunning Chancellor and he formed a cnetre right government but one without a majority. Reichstag rejected the gov.s finance bill howver Bruning had it issued by article 48 when this faced opp. in the Reichstag Bruning persuaded Hindernburg to dissolve it.
  • As a result of teh September 1930 elections- extremists parties made substansia gains, any gov. would have found it hard to get a majority in the Reichstag.
  • The Brunning Government survived only by relying on decrees.
  • Bruning took little action to reduce the impact of the depression  and due to his unimaginative policies- Nazis made further gains.
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G4- Political Intrigue and Emergence of Nazis

  • In May 1932- Bruning was dismissed- named hunger chancellor. Hindenburg asked Von Papen to form a non-party presidential gov.
  • It didn't contain any member of the Reichstag. 
  • With deadlock in the Reichstag H dissolved it and held an election in July 1932.
  • Extremists made further gains. 
  • Papen tried to struggle on, but after a vote of no confidence in his government was passed by the Reichstag, Hindenburg dissolved it and allowed new elections.
  • Pre Nov. 1932 election- Reichstag was as unworkable as the old one. In December 1932, General Schleicher who had been advising H persuaded H to dismiss Papen and make himself chancellor.
  • Papen took the initiative to intrigue against Schleicher to get revenge for his own dismissal.
  • H then appointed Hitler as Chancellor with Papen as his deputy in January 1933.
  • Right-wing elite wanted to change the Weimar system by reducing the power of parliament.
  • They wanted to establish an authoritarian gov. 
  • This elite began to work with Hitler to bring about the collapse of the parliamentary system
  • Jan 1933- right wingers believed they could use Nazis popular support to channel the political system in a more authoritarian direction and that Hiter could be controlled by President H and vice chancellor Pape.
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G4- Nazi electoral breakthrough

  • Through his excellent oratoray and charisma Hitler explouted the unhappiness of the masses with the Weimar Republic.
  • He attacked the TOV and the "November criminals" who had signed it.
  • This enjoyed widespread support among yhr German electorate.
  • He also promised a strong government and a restoration of Germany's national pride.
  • Hitler also attacked race enemies such as Jews - appealed to sections of G people.
  • As did his tirades agaisnt Marxists and Bolsehviks. The Nazis were able to project their slogans at mass rallies through an effective propaganda machine established by Goebbels. 
  • The "Hitler over Germany"
  • The Nazis had a broad cross-section of the electorate: predominantly Protestant, rural and lower middle class and even a minority of working class.
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G4- Weimar Constitutional weaknesses

  • The system of proportional representation encouraged the growth of a large number of political parties. The voting system, based on pure proportional representation, encouraged the representation of a large number of political parties in the Reichstag which were often unwilling to work together at times of national crisis.
  • As a result, Weimar Germany was ruled by a succession of unstable coalition governments and the fall of Müller’s Government in March 1930 was due to disagreements among the coalition partners over measures to combat the economic crisis. 
  • President Hindenburg also played a key role in the decline of the Weimar Republic. By allowing successive chancellors to dissolve parliament and rule by emergency decrees under Article 48 of the constitution, Hindenburg accustomed the German people to “authoritarian” government and thus paved the way for the rise of the Nazis.
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G5- The legal Revolution

  • Hitlers position as chancellor in Jan 1933 was far from secure.
  • 24 hours after his appointment Hitler had called for  a general election- still w/o a majority.
  • The campaign was far from democratic- decrees to ban opposition/ 50,000 extra police and ordered them to take action against the SPD & KPD/ 3 million RMS from business leaders
  • 27th Feb Reichstag fire- Communist found near the scene- Hitler used this to arrest as many comm. opponents as possible and as a major platform in his election campaign Mar 1933- used it to say a communist uprising was imminent and he said comms must be stopped.
  • Hitler used blaze to make Hind to pass TLFPOPAS- outlawed KPD- gov. could now suspend most of the civil & political liberties established by Weimar such as free expression of opinion
  • Thousands of political opps were arrested, newspapers shut down and SA violence was stepped up. It also suspended most Lander governments.
  • GE (5/3/33)- held one to give him a clear mandate- Hitler arrested the 81 communist deputies and Nazis seized control of several lander governments where their opponents were in power.
  • The Nazis got 288 seats and by reasoning with 52 deputies from DNVP for their support they claimed a majority.
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G5- The Enabling Act

  • Hitler requestd full emergency powers for 4 years in order to deal with a comm threat.
  • 2/3s majority was needed- he had to get other centre-right parties support and get a majority
  • On 21st March- Day of Potsdam- very successful- H claimed they were in tune with imperial values.
  • 2 days later Hitler opened first session of Reichstag- no communist deputies- large numbers of ** and SA crowded into the room and behaved in a threatening manner.
  • Hitler then persuaded the ZP to support his demands for emergency powers- now only SPD were against him.
  • This enabling Act mde Hitler the dicator of Germany, with the power to do anything he liked- legally. Used it for ...
  • Law against formation of parties 
  • Law concerning the head of state of German Reich in August 1934
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G5- Terror and the Night of the Long knives

  • This SA including Rohm had not expected to get power in the way that they had
  • They wanted a second  revolution- one that would sweep away the current power structure and be replaced by and SA state.- reform of army would be necessary and the 4.5 million SA members would dominate.
  • Hindenburg was the Head of state and as such the supreme commander of the army- The army were concerned with SA- Hitler knew he would have to deal with the SA
  • 30th June 1934- NOTLK/Hummingbird- ** shot at least 90 people including about 50 SA leaders to defeat the Second Revolution, including Rohm. made legal by the EA
  • Army showed their loyalty by changing their army oath in Aug 1934- oath of personal loyalty to Hitler.
  • Soldiers had promised loyalty to the constitution. now soldiers promised to "render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hilter, The Fuhrer of the German Nation."
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G5- Gleichschaltung

  • Nazis began to use their power to make a 1 party dictatorship under Hitler- used Gleichschaltung to coordinate as many aspects of German political, social and cultural life as possible within Nazi ideals.
  • Local Governments- Since Feb/Mar Nazis in the provinces had been intimidating opponents and undermining Lander governments. Hitler then took steps to formalise Nazi control of local gov. Nazi-dominated Landers were given powers to make laws w/o approval of landtage. H also appointed 10 Nazi officials (Gaultier's)- given wide powers to govern and carry out Fuhrers decisions on policy. Jan 1934 LFTROTR abolished all the landtage and all federal governments.
  • Trade unions banned 2/5/33- Trade unions were hostile to the Nazis so it was vital to get them under control- their power had been partially eroded due to mass unemployment. 2nd May SA and ** occupied trade union buildings. The TU offices were closed down, money confiscated and their leaders imprisoned. in place they put the DAF- less pay/ couldn't strike
  • Big businesses-  industry and business also co-ordinated. In June 1933 the various employers' associations merged to form the Estate of German Industry/ in January 1934 the whole of German business was reorganised on functional and territorial lines, with the Reich economic chamber in control.
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G5- Propaganda

  • The Nazis recognised the importance of propaganda, and in March 1933 the Ministry for public enlightenment and propaganda was created. 
  • Josef Goebbels became the minister for popular enlightenment and propaganda and he established the Reich chamber of culture to help him.
  • The Nazis quickly recognised the value of the media.
  • From the early days of the party they used aggressive adversing to promote the Nazi ideology.
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G6-The Nazi Economy 1933-1945

  • Hitler needed to bring G out of the depression- 1932 Nazi began to think about the economy 
  • 1st- socio-economic aspects of the Nazi original aims e.g. profit sharing & nationalisation of all businesses- he'd accepted these ideas in the early years but never showed commitment.
  • 2nd- attention given to idea of deficit financing- by spending money on public works, deficit financing was intended to create jobs.
  • Finally- Defence economy- where Germany's peacetime economy geared towards War. To avoid the repetition of problems faced during WWI-resulted in eco-collapse- this is the policy which Hitler gave most attention to. However by Jan 1933 still no coherent plan and a lack of direction& control eco policy tended to be pragmatic.
  • Germanys eco condition 1933- Trade- depended heavily on its capacity to sell goods, in the slump of global trade G's exports had declined rapidly/ Industry- 1929 when G began to lose eco confidence demand fell and business cut production or collapsed/ Employment- there had been mass long-term unemployment- 1932- figure rose to 5.6 million. If the number of unregistered or unemployed was added, the total without work was 8 millions in 1932./ Agriculture- The situation in the countryside was no better that the situation in the towns and the agricultural depression deepened leading to widespread poverty. as global deman fell agricultural prices,farmers wages and incomes fell/ Finance- 5 major banks had collapsed since 1931.
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G6-The Nazi Economy 1933-1945

  • Schacht: economic policies and levels of success- Schacht led a major revival of public spending by the state which began a large- scale increase in its own spending in an effort to stimulate demand and raise national income.
  • Deficit spending was also adopted initially spread through transportation construction and rearmament- investments geared towards work creation schemes such as motorization and programmes to expand the housing sector and public buildings- Rearmament orders also helped with unemployment. Could be deemed a success as unemployment figures had fallen to 1.5 M 1936, industrial production increased by 60%, very low inflation. short term recovery had been achieved.
  • Drive for rearmament- Schacht financial reservations- Schacht knew he was only disgusing the problem and he knew with this much demand for rearmament the eco would go back to red- he then suggested as reduction in arms expenditure in order to increase the production of goods to beat least exported to earn foreign exchange- guns vs butter debate.
  • The 4 Year Plan- Nazis didn't want to reduce arms funds so Goring introduced 4-year plan. The eco was to expand vital war materials to make G ready for war. G had to be made self sufficient as possible- autarky. The Gov set overall targets that private industry must reach. success was mixed- quote from the table in folder. 
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G7- Social Impact


  • Policies were large reactionary. Wanted to reverse trends that had given women more opps.
  • Had a clear vision of women performing what they deemed their traditional role- homemakers and child bearers. 
  • In the racial struggle for survival women had a role to breed genetically pure Germans
  • Idea was summed up by the three Ks. To establish 1000 year Reich Hitler aimed to indoctrinate in the spirit of national socialism.
  • Marriage loans were granted to women who gave up their jobs 
  • LFEOM gave 1000 marks- 25% written off after each child born.
  • Restrictions on women employment in civil service. Divorce became easier to obtain.
  • Created NSF- umbrella organisation 
  • Status raised by propaganda campaigns- motherhood cross
  • Lebensborn offered to single women.
  • Far from successful- refer to notes. 
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G7- Social Impact


  • April 1933 first of 44 racial laws against Jews- made them non-Aryans- took many civil rights
  • April 1933- an official boycott of Jewish shops and businesses.
  • 1/2 M Jews in Germany were affected by antisemitism before WWII
  • Jews not allowed to say "Heil Hitler"/ ID cards for Jew/ Jews forced to use Jewish forenames such as Israel and Sar
  • 1935- 'Jews not wanted here' signs put up at swimming pools etc.Nuremberg laws 1935- removed German citizenships from Jews and forbade marriages and extramarital relations between Jews and Germans- represented important turning point 
  • The killing of German Diplomat led to Kristallnacht 9-10th November 1938.- at least 200 synagogues were destroyed, 10,000 businesses attacked, 20,000 Jews deported to concentration camps and at least 91 Jews killed 
  • Jan 1939- the Reich Central office for Jewish emigration had been created and it is estimated that half a million of the Jewish population had left before the outbreak of war.
  • WWII marked a significant turning point in the development of Nazi policies towards the Jews. It led to a further tightening of restrictions on Jews in Germany with the introduction of a curfew and in the longer term paved the way for the extermination of the Jews.
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G7- Social Impact

Education and Youth- Outside School 

  • Used two major- youth groups and the school system
  • Males- German Youth 10 - 14/ Hitler Youth (HJ) for male teenagers between 14- 18.
  • All other youth organisations, except those linked to the Catholic Church, were either banned or taken over. Membership of the Hitler Youth was made compulsory in 1939. By 1936 there were 6 million members, and by 1939 approximately 90% of German youth were members. 
  • There was constant political indoctrination and physical activity. Boys were prepared for their future role as warriors. - refer to notes for success 
  • Girls- Young Girls 10-  14/ League of German Girls (BDM) 14- 18. These organisations prepared girls for their future role as housewives and mothers. Girls were taught to be healthy and to be fit for their future role as child bearers. There was also political education. Racial awareness was an important element of the indoctrination.
  • When the League of German Girls and Hitler Youth met up, sex was high on the agenda. In 1936 when both groups attended the Nuremberg rally over 900 girls returned home pregnant. 
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G7- Social Impact

Education and Youth- Inside School 

  • Nazis transferred responsibility for education from the states to the Reich. The RMOE was established, and control of all education bodies was transferred to this Reich’s Ministry. 
  • It aimed to exercise greater control over the schools. To ensure that all teachers followed the party line, they were pressurised into joining the NSLB. By 1937, 97% had done so. 
  • Also aimed to change the curriculum. Emphasis was placed on physical training. History, German race culture and Mathematics were the subjects emphasised. These subjects were taught in such a way as to emphasise the cultural superiority of the German people, the importance of race, the Fuehrer principle, glorification of German war heroes, the shame of the Versailles Treaty, and the rebirth of Germany under the Nazis.
  • PE constituted 15% of the school timetable. There was also a move away from co-educational schools to ensure that the different sexes received an appropriate education. A number of elite schools were established e.g. Castles of Order and the Adolf Hitler Schools. 
  • The leadership principle replaced the democratic school principle. A decree of the Reich Minister of Education made the head of any school fully responsible for the conduct of the institution in line with the official party ideology. 
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G7- Social Impact

Euthanasia and Sterilisation

  • October of 1939: Hitler ordered widespread "mercy killing" of the sick and disabled. 
  • "Aktion T 4," the Nazi euthanasia program to eliminate "life unworthy of life"
  • First focused on newborns and very young children. Midwives/doctors were required to register children up to age three who showed symptoms of mental retardation, physical deformity, or other symptoms included on a questionnaire from the Reich Health Ministry.
  • If three medics agreed this resulted in a euthanasia warrant being issued and the transfer of the child to a 'Children's Specialty Department' for death by injection or gradual starvation. 
  • The Nazi euthanasia program soon expanded to include older disabled children and adults.
  • Questionnaires were then distributed to mental institutions, hospitals and other institutions.
  • Patients had to be reported if they suffered from schizophrenia, epilepsy, senile disorders, therapy resistant paralysis and other neurological conditions.
  • A total of six killing centers were established.
  • At Brandenburg, a former prison was converted into a killing center where the first Nazi experimental gassings took place.
  • On August 3, 1941, a Catholic Bishop, Clemens von Galen, delivered a sermon in Münster Cathedral attacking the Nazi euthanasia program 
  • As a result, on August 23, Hitler suspended Aktion T4
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G8- Opposition

Youth and Student Protests  Opposition youth groups included the Swing Youth and Jazz  Their activities were little more than dissent./ The Edelweiss Pirates, who were established as early as 1935 By the war years some became involved in more active resistance, for example in Cologne in 1944 when twelve of them were publicly hanged because of their assassination of a Gestapo officer./ It was also in the war years that the White Rose student resistance movement became prominent. The White Rose was the name given to a series of leaflets printed in 1942–1943 which were distributed.

The Christian Churches- Amongst Protestants, the Confessional Church, established in 1934 with Pastor Martin Niemöller as one of its co-founders, initially tried to protect its independence but by 1943 publicly opposed Nazi racial policies. / In 1937 Pope Pius XI attacked the Nazi system in an encyclical but by 1941 Bishop Galen of Munster’s outspoken sermon attacking Nazi euthanasia proved so powerful that the Nazi  actually stopped the programme. /Hundreds of Protestant pastors and Catholic priests were to die in concentration camps for their refusal to co-operate with the regime.

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G8- Opposition

Social Democrats, Communists and Industrial Workers- The New Beginning was a Social Democrat Group who preserved democratic ideals./ Communist cells continued to operate as underground movements. The most famous was the Red Orchestra, a spy network that successfully permeated the government. /Resistance by the workers took a variety of forms including absenteeism from work and sabotage of industrial machinery. Industrial unrest during the war in the Rhineland area was organised by the Mannheim Group.

Conservative and Military Resistance- The first attempt by the Army to overthrow the Nazi regime was planned by Colonel Beck in 1938 but the conspiracy failed to get off the ground. Beck became closely associated with Goerdeler. The Kreisau circle was a wide-ranging group of officers and aristocrats who met at the Kreisau estate of von Moltke. By 1943 they had drawn up a programme for a new Germany after Hitler. 

Some individual members were supporters of what became the most far-reaching act of resistance to Hitler’s Germany – the Bomb Plot of 20 July 1944. The Beck-Goerdeler Group was associated with Operation Valkyrie when elements of the military, including Stauffenberg and von Tresckow, failed to assassinate Hitler and overthrow the Nazi regime.

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G9- Culture in the Third Reich

  • 1933 Hitler set up MFPEP under Goebbels to gain control over the media & cultural activities.
  • The Nazis attempted to use culture in the Third Reich as a form of propaganda by systematically spreading info to promote the views of government to persuade people to think or behave in a certain way in accordance with the regime’s ideological beliefs. 
  • The Nazis established a Reich Chamber of Culture which was used to exercise control over all aspects of culture. Membership was compulsory for people involved in cultural activities.
  • The Nazis exercised control through direct ownership of the media by controlling those working in it, by directing what to produce, and by prosecuting non-conformist activities.
  • Newspapers & publishing- Book publication controlled/ Nazis established  Eher Verlag/ By 1939, Nazis controlled 2/3 of Germany’s newspapers/ Threats to people who cancelled subscriptions. Book burnings of opposition books/ Model Nazi book produced – heroic Hitler
  • Radio- 6,000 public loudspeakers/ Cheap radios ‘People’s Receiver’/ Only receive national broadcasts./“the spiritual weapon of the totalitarian state” (Goebbels) 
  • Cinema- Film going quadrupled between 1933 and 1942,/Admission only allowed at start. Had to watch trailers about Nazi party. Anti-semitic films produced.
  • Berlin Olympics- August 1936 – used to showcase Nazi ideas and show modern, well organised, civilised and that Aryan’s racially superior. 
  • Festivals & rallies- Nuremberg rallies. Big shows of force with parades, displays and speeches.
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