March 1933 Election

-Hitler needed a majority to pass laws; he called an election and used the SA to break up meetings of other parties. He, as chancellor, dominated the airwaves
-27th Feb 1933, Reichstag Fire, communist van der Lubbe was arrested and Hitler used this to get the Law for the Protection of People and State, allowing him to suspend the freedoms of speech and assembly. No other party could campaign
-81 communists imprisoned, more voting for hitler
-middle class voters were approved, more voting for hitler
-didn’t achieve a majority
-The Concordat
-Kroll opera house, intimidation

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Enabling Act

-counted votes of 26 absentees in favour of the law
-SA and ** intimidated parties
-23rd MARCH 1933
-Hitler could rule as a dictator
-extended his power
-abolished trade unions, allowed Hitler to get rid of opposition and he set up the DAF to control workers

  • all regional governments reopened under Nazi leadership
    Law and order under Nazi leadership, eg. Peoples’ Courts, Gestapo, Oath of Allegiance
  • Concentration camps, remove enemies from society
    political parties banned from recruiting
    created the fúhrer
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Night of the Long Knives

-Hitler wanted the support of the army
-Ernest Röhm was a political embarrassment who wanted the SA to replace the army, preventing Hitler from gaining their support

  • The army felt threatened as they were smaller than the SA
    Hitler was concerned that the tactics of the SA were alienating the Germans
  • 30 June 1934, units of the ** arrested the leaders of the SA and other political enemies, 77 men were executed and a law was passed to declare this legal
  • Hitler said the SA were planning a putch, gaining support of the army and president
  • The army pledged a personal oath of allegiance
  • by August 1934, Hitler was a political and military dictator
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  • over 150,000 informants who didn’t wear uniforms created tension and fear throughout Germany
  • they had the power to arrest and imprison without trial. They violently questioned people before releasing or imprisoning them
  • some reported on neighbours and friends, this encouraged conformity due to fear
  • they targeted undesirable groups, discouraged individuality and suppressed anti-Nazi ideology
    Blockleiters informed on neighbours therefore discouraging anti Nazi behaviour in private
  • By monitoring the foreign press, they prevented alternative views spreading
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  • type of political advertising
  • Goebbels controlled the ministry of information
  • saturating minds with Nazi ideology controlled how people thought about important issues
    Nuremberg Rallies: showcased Nazism, making people think it was important to be a member
    Peoples’ Receiver: short wave radio, Nazi ideas in every home, strictly monitored
    Film: glorified war and the Aryan nation, for example, 1935 Triumph of the Will
    Loudspeakers: Nazi ideas played in public
    Press: Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer, 69% newspapers under Nazi control, criticism eliminated
    Awards: Motherhood Cross
    Cultural Events: Day of German Art, Night of the Amazons
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Courts and Concentration Camps

  • top jobs in law were given to Nazis and they reported to Himmler
  • crimes by Nazis weren’t investigated, this suggested that being a Nazi was a position of authority
  • judges pledged an oath of allegiance and courts with held Nazi ideas, punished minorities and made people conform
  • many lawyers worked for the Nazi party and they informed on their clients
  • you were not entitled to a defence
  • death penalty in minor cases
  • Minorities were sent to camps
  • because camps were built in Rural areas, they cultivated secrecy and dread
  • church men and other opposition were sent to camps
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  • ensured Germans only heard Nazi ideas
  • Malicious Gossip Law 1934 banned anti Nazi jokes
  • opposing journalists were sent to camps
  • art was confiscated and race music was banned
  • 20,000 non-Nazi books were burned in Berlin and this discouraged anti Nazi opinions
  • films were used to twist thinking, for example, 1940 The Eternal Jew
  • long wave radios were confiscated
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Jews 1934-1945

  • by 1939, almost half of the Jews had emigrated -mostly to Poland
  • invasion of Poland (1 September 1939) = escalation in Jewish persecution
  • Jews in Polish cities found themselves in ghettos after the start of the war. Segregated areas, at first, ‘open’ but later ‘sealed’ and surrounded by guards. Anyone who tried to leave was shot
  • Einsatzgruppen rounded up Jews and executed them. By 1943, approx 2 million Jews had been killed by the Einsatzgruppen
  • 20th January 1942= Wannsee Conference, discussion of final solution of Jewish problem
    > Jews to be resettled in East
    > Process of selection and families separated
    > Jews were gassed
    > Some worked in Sonderkommando
    > 1 million killed in Auchwitz
    > Medical experiments
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Minority Groups 1933-1939

  • subject to persecution. Beggars week in 1933 rounded up alcoholics and workshy and sent them to camps.
  • diseased offspring law of 1933 allowed sterilisation of the disabled and after 1935, doctors were able to end such pregnancies by force. Mentally disabled were sent to camps and labelled stupid
  • Roma Gypsies we’re rounded up in 1936 and sent to camps
  • Homosexual women were frowned upon, homosexual men were sent to camps. Some castrated and experimented on.
  • in 1933, Jehovah’s Witnesses declared their opposition to Nazism. The religion was banned and 2000 were sent to camps. 250 were executed.
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Impact of Nazi Racial Ideas on Jews

  • Financial hardship: they were sacked from professional jobs and it was easier to confiscate their land. Shops were boycotted leading to a decline in custom
  • legal isolation: Nuremburg laws in 1935 stripped Jews of their citizenship, introduced racial profiling, the law for the protection of German blood and honour banned mixed marriages and relationships
  • violence: Kristallnacht in November 1938, synagogues were burned, Jewish shop windows were smashed, and young male Jews were arrested. This was the first organised and widespread act of violence against Jews. Jews were fined 1 billion marks and were made to clear the damage-some emigrated and some were sent to camps
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Impact of Nazi Policies on the Lives of Young Peop


  • jewish teachers were sacked and all teachers had to belong to the Nazi teaching league. Nazi ideals were taught
  • textbooks were rewritten to subtly indoctrinate young people
  • New subjects were introduced to teach racial ideas like eugenics
  • boys were taught about weapons to encourage them as soldiers
    Free Time
  • controlled to avoid exposure to other opinions
    After 1936, all children are expected to go to Hitler Youth
  • by 1938, over 6 million enrolled at Nazi camps and rallies
  • all school and free time was controlled and young people were saturated with Nazi ideas, however 1 million children avoided Nazi Youth and it is debatable how many young people acted out in fear and how many acted out in obedience
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Swing Youth

-A group of jazz and swing lovers, mainly in Berlin and Hamburg and there were some smaller groups throughout Germany-this made them difficult to control
-Mostly middle or upper class; more likely university educated and more likely to question propaganda
-aged 14 to 21; tended to avoid Nazi youth and this made it difficult to indoctrinate them
-Opposition was individual and subtle, not easy to deal with all members
-Nazis banned under 21s from dance bars
-300 members were arrested and sent to camps in 1941
-Günter Discher, a ring leader, was sent to the youth camp of Moringen
-Difficult to suppress all incidents but the Nazis manage to interfere

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Edelweiss Pirates

-made up of young people who valued freedom and opposed discipline
-most cities in W.Germany had a form of Edelweiss pirates
-defied restrictions of movement by going hiking, they sang songs banned by the Nazis, rural settings allowed for freedom of speech
-pirate radio stations created to spread anti Nazi propaganda, difficult to control
-until the war, they were seen as a minor irritant leading to shaving heads of offenders
-during the war, they spread British propaganda and they were placed in camps in 1942.
-in November 1944, 13 were hanged in Cologne
-some continued to work with allies

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Leipzig Hounds

-anti Nazi gangs of children based in Leipzig
-promoted Communist ideas
-numbers in Leipzig estimated to be at 1500; no go zones for Nazis
-attacks on Hitler Youth
-listened to Russian broadcasters
-few recorded cases of prosecution as they stayed away from criminal activities and showed little desire for sabotage

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Leipzig Hounds

-anti Nazi gangs of children based in Leipzig
-promoted Communist ideas
-numbers in Leipzig estimated to be at 1500; no go zones for Nazis
-attacks on Hitler Youth
-listened to Russian broadcasters
-few recorded cases of prosecution as they stayed away from criminal activities and showed little desire for sabotage

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