Germany 2


weakness The Weimar Republic 1918-23

After the Kaiser abdicated, Friedrich Erbert put together a new government, but it had major weaknesses. Some key features were:

  • proportional representation- more than 51%
  • the use of PR lead to coalision govs. they often disagreed
  • elections every four years- frequent changes of government
  • appointent of chancellor- after 1930, he appointed chancellors who didnt lead the largest party and allowed them to rule using article 48
  • Power of pres- the president could suspend the constitution and pass laws by decree- during times of crisis, the pres could use Article 48 to pass laws without the approval of reichstag. it also took away freedom of speech
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gov had to sign tov on 28/06/19 which punished ger and majority of gers were horrified by thrm and thought it was a great humiliation. consisted of 440 clauses but mains were-

Land Army Money Blame

Terriroal terms-  lost 13 percent of its land, Alsace-Lorrain given France, 6 million people loss

Military- army limited to 100,000 men, forbidden to posses tanks, heavy guns, aircraft and subs, Rhineland was to demilitarised

Economical- under clase 231 (war guilt) ger had to acept full respponsibily of causing the war and had to pay £6600 million as reparations

Political- forbidden to join the League of Nations and had to accept blame

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Origins of nazi party 1919-23

  • 1919 -Hitler joined the DAP (German Workers' Party) (led by Anton Drexler)
  • 1920 -Hit was put incharge of propaganda
  • feb 1920- him and drexler wrote the 25 point. Programme points in the programe included

Treaty of Versaille must be scrapped)Germany must be allowed to expand into neighouring countries -lebensraum) No German citizenship for Jews )Fight the Bolshevik menace

  • July 1921- Hitler took over control of the Nazi Party and adopted the title 'Fuhrer'
  •           Changed to NSDAP (National Socialist DAP).
  •            Developed the swastika and introduced the raised arm salute.
  •            Set up the SA(who wore brown uniforms and were ex military) for security and fights             with communists and led by Ernst Rohm
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Munich Putsch and Kapp+spartcist

  • evening of 8 november, 1923, Hitler + 600 SA men bursts into a beer hall where a public meeting was being held by von Kahr, The Chief Minister
  • at gunpoint, von Kahr and Army Chief von Lossow agreed to help in the planned takeover of Weimar Gov(informed police)
  • 9 nov 23, 2000 SA men marched through munich where the police was waiting there for them
  • 16 nazis and 4 police men were killed
  • hitler escaped but arrested 2 days after
  • hitler was put on trial(which lasted a month) and the Nazi party was banned
  • it gave him national publicity and allowed his view points get spread amoungst the public. he critised the 'November Criminals'(politicians who signed the treaty) and blamed it on the 'Jews'
  • hit was found guilty of treason and sentenced for 5 years- he served 9 months
  • in prison he released Mein Kampt
  • 1919- attempted communist revolution (spartacist uprising) 
  • 1920- attempted right wing take over (Kapp Putsch)
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Development of the nazi party (after he released f

  • he managed to get the ban lifted from the group
  • created his own body guard- **
  • set up in 25) introduced the Hitler Jugend to attract younger members and covert ger to nazi ideas

in 25- 27,000 members, 28- over 100,000

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Mein Kampt

ideas expressed 

  • abolish tov
  • anti-semitsm- thought all ills caused by Jews
  • Social Darwinism- Ayran master race. Jews- race polluters
  • Anti-Communist- socialist and communist polliticians had 'stabbed them in the back'
  • Lebensraum- obtain living space and create a 'better Germany'
  • Volksgemenschaft- peoples community
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Wall Street Crash 1929

Much of the economic recovery in the late 20s was reliant on us loans. following the wall street crash in 1929, us banks recalled their loans. depression hit the economy 

  • Demands for goods fell and workers were lay off
  • international trade began to contract, ger exports fell rapidly
  • factories clased and unemployment reached 6.2 million in '32
  • germans unable to pay rent
  • 4/10 gers were unemployed

politicians appeared to be doing very little and people were turning to extreme parties for solutions 

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Impact of Depression

in 1923, germany had fallen behind on their reparations=belgian and french troops invaded the ruhr (the richest area of germany) and took goods to cover the reparation. Many gers angry= passive resistant (instead of fighting, they refused to work.) Gov printed more money for workers doing passive resistance. The flood of paper money resulted in hyperinflation

benefitted                                                                                                Not benefit

  • people who had debt                                                                small business
  • those who had portable wealth ie-jewls                                    people with fixed wages
  • rich because their money was in foreign banks                       middle working class and poor

wages got higher
food prices rose
many starved
people burnt money to keep warm

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How hyperinflation ended

  • Stressman called for the end of passive resistance in the ruhr
  • realised ger wouldnt be able to pay reparatons so he negociated the Dawes Plan w/ usa=lowered repayments by 3/4 and french withdrew from ruhr
  • usa agreed to give loans to ger and it greatly helped German industry
  • youngs plan 29 introduced by allies=reduced reparations and time expanded to 59 years
  • Stressemann introduced new temp currency-Rentenmark in efort to bring inflation down
  • 24= economy had stablished and permanent currency was brought into place to replace Rentenmark with Reichsmark and restored the value of German money)

 Remaining problems

  • Short lived coalition governments, extremist parties, unemployment, reliant on US loans, industry slowed down by 1927, USA buying Germany's exports, German nationalists hated Young&Dawes Plans
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Bruning, von papen and hitler becoming chancellor(

  • in 1930, pres hindenburg appointed Brüning of the Centre Party as Chancellor. lacked majority= had to rely on hind and article 48. from this point, the reichstag was used less frquently and the use of article 48 marked the end of parliamentary democracy in Ger.
  • Bruning became more and more unpopular as it was forced to cut unemployment benefits and he became known as the 'Hunger Chancellor'. He resigned in may '32 and the next general election, the nazi party polled their highest ever vote (37%) making them the largest party
  • in '32, hit stood against hind in the presidential elections but lost. in the previous general election, hit won and therefor shouldve been appointed chancellor. hindenburg despised hit and instead appointed the nationalist leader, franz von papen as chancellor
  • von papen was unable to obtain a working majority and was forced to call another eelection. the nazis still had the largest amount of seats and hit demanded to become chancellor. hindenburg refused and turned von Schleicher, the misister of Defence, into chancellor, but also unable to hold a majority.
  • in 1933, hind appointed a Nazi-Nationalist government with hit as chancellor and von papen as vice chancellor. papen thought he could control hit but he couldnt. jan 33= hit chancellor
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Reasons for nazi electoral success

  • use of Propaganda- Goebbels was in charge of prop. through mass rallies, posters, using radio
  • impact of depression-cmany voted for extreme parties. ppl were tired and wanted radical action
  • appeal of hitler- through mein kampt + projected the image of saviour through rallies and tours
  • finanical support- big industrialists feared a communist takeover and concerned about growth of trade union power
  • use of sa- protected nazi speakers, disrupted meetings of rivals


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Reichstag fire and importance

  • happened on 27th feb 33, a week before the general election
  • a dutch communist, van der lubbe started fire 
  • hit argued that communists were planning a revolution
  • hind signed the 'Decree for the Protection of the People and State'
  • enabling act was then passed...
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Enabling Act How it was passed

23 March 33

it would give him and his government full powers for the next 4 years and allowed hit to secure closer control of the state

how it was pasted

  • hit banned the communists from entering
  • circled building with SA men who prevented opponents from entering
  • absentees were counted present and in favour of bill
  • hit had a concordat between the caths and nazis that nazis would leave them alone if they voted  for him 
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Enabling act - Dictatorship

Use of the act to establish Nazi dictatorship( end to weimar Constitution and democracy)

he could impose his policy of bringing germany's social, economical and politicalactivites under state control (gleichschaltung)

foundationstone of third Reich

  • control of states- replaced Landers with reich governors- resulted in centralised government
  • contol of press- imposed strict conrol and cenorship on press
  • ban on political parties- germany was now a one party state
  • trade unions- replaced with German Labour Front (DAP)and strikes made illegal. if strike=go to con camp. they banned them because unions went against gov
  • Purge of the civil service- removed jews and opponents of the nazis from their posts in the civil service


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Night of Long Knives 30 June 34 and importance

  • the sa had payed a key part in the growth of the nazi party and rohm wanted to incorperate them with the army
  • rohm wanted more gov interference in the running of the county and began pushing for social  revolution
  • hit saw sa and its leadership a treat
  • sa were becoming lawle** and if they werent brought under control, hit may lose the support of hind and poweverful conservatives
  • he needed the support of the army
  • on 30 june, '34,  hit used the ** to carry out 'Operating Hummingbird' and 400'enemies of state' were arrested and shot by the ** inc- rohm, von Schleicherand von Kahr

The importance

  • it got rid of opponents
  • secured army's support
  • sa now had a minor role
  • provided himmler with opportunity to expand **
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Death of Hindenburg 020834

on 2 august, 34 

  • pres hindenburg dies
  • hit combined the post of President and Chancellor to the new tittle führer
  • he was now head of state and commander and chief of the armed forces 
  • army swore oath to hit
  • hit absolute dixtator of germany
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Unit 2) How hitler consolidate power 33-34

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Dealing with Germany's economic problems

  • Creation of National Labour Service Corps (RAD)- made in compulsory for all males aged 18-25 to serve in the RAD for 6 months, undertaking manual labour jobs
  • Public works programme- men were put to work on public work schemes which included building 7000km of autobans, construction of hospitals, schools and houses, and tree planting
  • Rearmament- conscription was introduced in '35 and army was increased from 100,000 in 1933 to 1,400,000 in '39.  26million marks spent on producing tanks, aircraft and ships
  • control of economy- Schacht (pres of the Reichsbank) believed in deflict spending (when government spends more money than it receives to expand the economy) and Goering(who replaced Schacht afterwards) introduced the Four-year plan which was designed to speed up rearmament and prepare ger for war in 4 years and establish Autorky (self-sufficient) 
  • Invisivle unemployment- 6 mill ('33) to 350,000 ('39). didnt include women or Jews)
  • Control of the workforce- hit viewed trade unions as the breeding ground for socialism and communism. he banned trade unions- replace with DAF. regulated times and disipline
  • Rewarding the workforce- through organisations like 'KdF'. aimed to improve leisure time by sponsoring leisure activities
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Employment and standard of living

  • Set working hours/rates of pay, made sure workers/employers doid what state needed
  • Unemployed working, compulsory (1935) for all young men, army-style work and living conditions, public works e.g. building 7 000 miles of autobahn by 1939
  • Wanted to rebuild German military power, military spending rose from 3.5 billion - 26 billion marks (1933-39), economy refocused on supplying for military, boost for war factories and economy, less unemployment
  • Unemployment (1933-38) 4.8 million-0.5 million - Invisible unemployment (Jews&Women), Men (Military)
  • Wages rose/Afford consumer goods - Became more expensive to buy things
  • Car ownership up by 300% in 1930s - Overspending on military (imminent bankruptcy)
  • SdA (Beauty of Labour): improved working conditions - Had to work for longer hours
  • KdF (Strength through Joy): holidays&leisure activities for workers - Had to work for longer hours
  • Public support for Nazis as better living standards - Standards of living were so low in the Great Depression that they were bound to rise once the depression was over

Key = DAF (German Labour Front) / RAD (National Labour Service) / Rearmament / Arguments for Nazi success in raising living standards / Arguments against Nazi success in raising living standards

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Nazi attitudes and policies towards women

during the weimar period, women made lots of advancements in german society

however, nazis thought different

nazi policys towards women

  • The three Ks- encouraged to follow kitchen, church, children and give up their job
  • Law for encouragement of Marriage(1933)-  provided loans to encourage couples to marry, provided the woman left her job. couple allowed to keep a quarter of the loan for each child up to 4 children. 'The Motherhood Cross medal'was introduced to reward mothers with large families
  • Lebensborn Programme (36)- in order to increase the population, unmarried ayran women were encouraged to 'donate a baby to the Führer' by becoming pure by ** men
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Control of education and youth

hit realised the importance of indoctrinating young people in nazi beliefs. his aim was to turn them into loyal supporters of the third Reich

  • Teachers- had to belong to the Nazi teachers League: they had to promote nazi ideas and swear an oath to hit
  • ciriculum- 15% devoted to PE. boys- preparation of military. Girls- dommestic
  • Lessons -started with heil hitler. every subject was taught through the nazi point of view
  • textbook-rewritten to reflect nazi ideas. evils of communism and jews blammed for depression

hitler wanted to influence the young about nazi ideas inside and outside school. The Hitler Youth Law of 36 made it difficult to avoid joing in the HJ. The Second Hitler Youth Law of 39 made membership compulsory

in the hj. by '39- 7 million members

  • boys- military skills ie shooting, map reading, hiking, camping
  • girls- received physical training and learned domestic training for motherhoodand marriage
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Control of Germany

  • police state
  • **- (after nolk, ** replaced sa as the main security force) responsible for removal of opposition
  • Gestapo-(sp) set up in 1933 by Goering.could impri**on'enemies of state'160,000 arrestedby'39
  • Concentration camps- Dachau first one (33)- torture and hard labour ie-extracting raw metals
  • Legal System
  • judges and lawyers belonged to National Socialist League for the Maintenance of Law. refused=sacked
  • '33 German Lawyers Front was established 10,000 members swore oath of loyalty to hit
  • '34 a new peoples court  was set up to try 'enemies of state' '39 had sentenced over 500 for death
  • Control of central and local gov
  • Central- the Enabling Law meant that the Reichstag was no longer needed to pa** laws. gov policies carried out by nazi leaders inc Goering and Goebbels
  • Regional gov- each state was headed by a reich govenor. had power to make state laws
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Use of propaganda and censorship to control German

The Ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda was set up under Goebbels to control thoughts, beliefs and opinions of gers

  • Cinema- all films had to be given pro-nazi story lines and shown to goebbels before production
  • radio- placed under nazi control, cheap radios were sold,'39=70% of households had a radio loudspeakers broadcast in streets
  • Newspapers- strict censorship- germans could only read what nazis wanted them to know
  • Rallies- annual mass of over 100,000 was staged in september in Nuremburg to showcase nazi regime. projected image of fear. aimed at ayrans
  • The arts- music, painign snf theatre had to portray nazi interpretation of german life empasising the qualities of the 'master race'
  • Books- all books censored and those published had to put across the nazi message. in may '33 Goebbels organised burning of 20,000 banned books in berlin (Jewish, anti-communist and anti-nazi books)
  • posters- great use was made to put across nazi messages
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Racial theory

Ayrans=master race

tall, fair hair, blue eyes

race had been contaminated by 'sub humans'

in order to rebuild the master race nazis:

  • used selective breeding (lebensborn)
  • prevent those who were not ayran from having children. (disabled, blacks, gypsies, homos and metally ill were steralised)
  •  in extreme cases, killing them
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Treatment of Jews (not AS extreme)

hit had no masterplan to eliminate the jews until 39 but he did take measures towards german jews. life got harder for jews as the 30s progressed strting with public humiliation, and eventually taking away their rights

  • jews were encouraged to leave the country '33-550,000 '39-280,000
  • '33- boycott of jewish business, banned from working in civil service and journalists
  • 35- banned from entering the armed forces, Nuremburg Laws: The Recih Law on Citizenship- took the rights of citizenship away from Jews. the Law for the Protection of German Blood- made it illegal for them to marry aryans
  • 38-Jews issued with identity cards, jewish doctors forbidden to treat aryans, had to change name to 'Sarah' or 'Isreal'
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Nazi treatment of the Church

  • Nazi attitudes towards religion

hit viewed the churchas a threat but also realised the importance of its support as ger was a christian country. 2/3 was Protestant and 1/3 was catholic. many people thought that nazism went against christian values

  • relations with the cath church

in 33, hit signed a cordat with the pope which allowed the cath church to opperate without interference of the nazis if they signed the enabling act. hit soon broke this agreement- cath scools taken out of cath control, cath youth clubs were shut down and cath priests were harassed and arrested. in 37 Pope Pius XI protested against the abuses which reseulted in 400 catholic priests being arrested and sent to Dachau

  • relations with the protestant church

many prots opposed nazism and the National Reich Church. They were led by Niemoller which set up the confessional church in 34 which openly attacked the nazi regime. in 37- niemoller was arrested and sent to a concentration camp

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Creation of the Reich Church

set up to 'nazify' the protestant church structure

led by müller

The Bible, Cross and other religious objects were replaced with a copy of Mein Kampf, a sword and a portrait of hitler (on alter)

The nazis didnt succeed in destroying the church

priests and pastors had to  make the choice of staying quiet or being arrested by the gestapo

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Unit 3) Wartime germany

divided into 2 phases

early years of war (39-41)

war didnt have a big impact on the lifeof gers, infact, it was good

later years of war(42-45)

allied bombing raids and food shortages and supplies. introduction of 'Final Solution'

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Early years of War 39-41

  • Everday life= success of Blitzkrieg tactics(lightening war) used by the germans brought quick victories. this secured raw materils, food and luxury goods
  • Food= ger followed pollicy of autarky=rationing introduced=germans had a healthier ballanced diet
  • Evacuation= in 40, fearing bombing raids, children evacuated from berlin but soon came back home
  • War Effort-=many supported the effort. HJ collected metals clothing books for recycling
  • Changing roles of women= more women were being recruited to fill the places left by men(wasnt a policy til later )
  • propaganda=effective use of propagannda to boost morale and support effort towards the war
  • volkssturm= not introduced yet
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Later war years 42-45

  • everday life= during 42- 43, ger sufferered sererval key defeats inc- battle of Stalingrad, which meant that the war was no longer in their favour. many lived in fear
  • food=food shortages decreased and parks and gardens used as vegetable patches
  • evacuation= millions made homeless and refugees (cah of bomings)
  • bombings= 43- britain and usa began heavy bombing campain in an attempt to disrupt war production incl Berlin and Dresden. around 800,000 gerskilled during these bombings. Dresen-70% of all buildings destroyed over a 2 night period
  • total war=in 43- Goebbels announced Total War which meant that all sections of society had to take part in the war effort Speer (minister for arnaments) cut the production of consumer goods and concentrated upon the war production
  • propaganda= To keep up moralle, goebbels launched an intesive propaganda campaign. posters played on a fear of communism
  • Role of women= 43- 3 million women aged 17-45 were called to work but only 1 mill took on jobs
  • Volkssturm=44- Volksstrum introduced (ppls home guard) to defend cities against allied invasionm made up ofold men and boys from hj. lacked experience.
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Treatment of Jews during the war years 39-45

Emigration- forced emigration and at one point, the french island of madagascar was considered as an area of resettlement for Jews

Ghettos- the invasion of poland brought 3 mill more jews under nazi control and jews were hearded into ghettos- the largest being Warsaw. Conditions were harshed and thousands died of starvation, disease and cold weather. around 55,000 Jews died in Warsaw

Einsatzgruppen- because of the invasion of the ussr, 5 million more jews were under nazi control. killing squads moved into the ussr and shot the jews into mass graves. by 43, killing squads had murdered more than 2 milion jews 

Death camps and gas chambers- there were too mzny jews to contol. by 45, up to 6 million Jews had been worked to death, shot or gassed.

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Opposition from the public (young and students)

Opposition from young people

  • Edelweiss Pirates; objected to the way the nazis attempted to contol their lives. they wore checked shirts and dark trousers. beat up members of HJ. pushed prop leaflets dropped by allies through letterboxes. 12 members hanged
  • Swing Kids; members tended to be middle class. rejected HJ ideas. establishedin bars and houses in cities like Hamburg, Dresden and Berlin

Opposition from students

  • White rose - Set up by Hans and Sophie Scholl and Professort Huber in 41. The group campaigned of passive resistance against the nazi regime and distrubuted pamphlets to make people aware of Nazi atrocities. they painted anti-Nazi slogans on walls and in '43 the leaders were arrested by the gestapo and they were tortured and hanged
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Opposition from Church

Niemoller- set up the confessional Church in 34. spoke out in public against nazi regime. arrested and spent seven years in con camps.

Bonhoffer- Protostant paster and member of the Confessional Church. he spoke out critically against the Nazi racist policies and helped Jews escape to Switzerland. arrested by gestapo and executed in 45 

von Galen- stoke out critically aggainst the Nazi euthanasia policy

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Removing the Opposition

  • Used legal methods (March 1933 election, Enabling act), party organisation (propoganda, donnations from businesses) and illegal methods (intimidation and violence) to remove opposition&take control
  • 27 February 1933 - Reichstag Fire (Reichstag building burnt down by Dutch communist (Marinus van der Lubbe) who confessed, Hitler persuaded Hindenburg to call an emergency election, Nazi's won 288 seats, made deals to get 2/3 majority needed to change the constitution)
  • March 1933 - Enabling Act (power to make any laws without Reichstag approval for four years)
  • People were prevented from organising into groups that might challenge the Nazis:Censorship of the press and Ministry of Propoganda established, people could be arrested&held without trial (suspension of Habeas Corpus), any house could be searched&belongings confiscatedRohm challenged Hitler - wanted Nazis to be about workers, not big businesses
    • 1933 - (May) Trade Unions banned and strikes made illegal, (July) Other political parties banned
    • January 1934 - Regional parliaments closed down
  • ** got rid of theis opposition, shot Rohm and 400 other opponents
  • President Hidenburg died, propoganda ensured 90% of voters chose Hitler for Fuhrer

Key = How? / Reichstag Fire / Enabling Act / What happened after the Enabling Act? / The Night of the Long Knives / The death of Hindenburg

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Opposition from Military

General Beck resigned from his post in the army because he disagreed with hits plan to change thhe tov. together with Goerdeler(a nazi official), they gathered a circke which organised 2 failled assinations of hit in 43. they also played a big role in the July bomb plot

Colonel von Stauffenburg  was appalled by atrocities he saw on the eastern front and he devised 'Operation Valkyrie' which planned to assasinate hitler, declare martial law, set up a temporary gov and negociate peace with this Allies.

on 20th july 44, Stauffenburg left a bomb under the table in a conference room at hitlers headquarters and left before the bomb exploded. it killed 4 people but hit received minor bruises

stauffenburg was arrested and shot in Berlin.

in total, around 6000 people were suspected of being involved were executed-including 20 generals and 30 colonels

on 24th july, all members were required to reswear an oath of loyalty to hitler.

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Devolpments for Eastern and Western front

Developments of the Eastern front 43-45

  • 42-43 was the turning point in the eastern front war as germany failed to take the city of Stalingrad and surrender their forces
  • 43- germans defeated at battle of Kursk losing 2000 tanks 
  • end of 44- ussr began to advance westwards rapidly and by '44 all ger troops were pushed out of tthe soviet union
  • by april 45, ussr were threatening berlin

Devolpments of western front 43-45

  • 6 june 44, d-day, allied forces landed on normandy beaches, opening a second front 
  • after capturing the beachheads, allied forces advanced and pushed into belgium(25 august 44)
  • heavy bombing raids by the RAF and USAAF during 43-45 destroyed industrielle sites, roads, rail networks which disrupted the ger efort
  • 9 march 45, allied forced crossed the River Rhine and entered germany
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Defeat of Germany (8May)

On 16 april 45, soviet union attacked berlin involving 1.5 mill men, 6300 tanks and 8500 aircraft

24 april 45 berlin was surrounded and house-to-house fighting took place. 100,000 members of the Volksstrum attempted to defend country

30 april 45- hit commited suicide

1 may 45- goebbels commited suicide

8 may 45 Dönitz agreed to unconditional surrender which ended the war and the third reich

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Punishment of Germany (conferences and trials)

Yalta Conference  Feb 45

  • 3 allied leaders, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin met at Yalta.
  • it was decided that germany was to be divided into4 zones (british, american, soviet and french)
  • it  was agreed to hunt down nazi war criminals and allow countries which were under nazi control to have free elections to decide their future government

Potsdam Conference july 45

  • Tensions between allies were emerging as the soviets showed no signs of withdrawing from eastern europe
  • agreed to demilitarise the country
  • ban nazi party
  • denazication and but nazi leaders on trial

Numemburg trials 21 nov 45, 22 senior nazis and 200 other nazis put on trial. charged with commiting crimes against peace. Goering commited suicide the day before his execution

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