1929 Wall Street Crash
The 'volcano' that Stresemann had feared erupted with full force. Companies all over Germany went bankrupt.When the American economy went out of control following the Wall Street Crash in October 1929, the economic depression quickly spread to Europe, especially Germany. Germany suffered when American banks demanded repayment of loans given to Germany since 1924. Many businesses in Germany went bankrupt. By 1932, almost 6 million people were unemployed. Many others could not afford to pay rent and became homeless.The government was powerless. As a result of the system of proportional representation, there were several small political parties represented in the Reichstag, but no party had more than half of the seats. With life becoming more difficult for millions of Germans, many looked towards extremist solutions. Both the Communist and Nazi parties gained supporters. The Communists appealed to the poor working class. The Nazis, being a catch-all party appealed both to businessmen, who had lost everything in the economic collapse, and to the unemployed workers.
Men paid to sleep 'on the line' in a warm room during the winter of 1930, The rope held them up while they sleep.Unemployed coal miners and their families in Upper Silesia in 1931 moved into shacks on the edge of town because they had no money to pay the rent on their homes.
The Nazis believed that the Jews were an inferior race, and therefore it was the duty of the Nazi State to persecute them. The Jews had been also accused of joining with the Communists to cause Germany's defeat in WW1. Jews had, Hitler claimed, continued to undermine Germany after 1918. When Hitler came to power in 1933, many Jews had powerful positions in society in businesses and professions. Especially in some cities, many doctors, lawyers and bankers were Jews. This gave the impressions that it was the Jews who were controlling society and the economy. When Hitler took over Austria in March 1938, there was a large concentration of Jews in the capital, Vienna, and this reinforced Hitler's views about how much the Jews were in control. Some extremists in the Nazi Party encourage actions against the Jews: In April 1933, there was an official one-day boycott of Jewish shops, lawyers and doctors throughout Germany. During 1934, anti-jewish propaganda increased. The Nuremburg laws in September 1935 provided legal restrictions on Jews. It banned marriages between Jews and Aryans, and banned sexual relations outside marriages. The Reich Citizenship Law made Jews 'subjects' rather than 'citizens' and this meant that Jews lost some legal rights. In September 1937, Jewish businesses were seized by the Nazis. In June-July 1938, Jewish doctors, lawyers and dentists were forbidden to treat Aryans. In October 1938, Jews had to have a red letter 'J' stamped on their passports. In November 1938, the Kristallnacht.
Education was controlled from the moment children started school, so that they learned Nazi beliefs. In history, children were taught the Nazi versions of the past, for example that Germany ad been stabbed in the back at the end of WW1 by German politicians who were influenced by the Jews. Boys were taught military skills whilst Girls were taught housekeeping, cookery and how to be good mothers. A new subject was introduced, Eugenics, that is the study of how to 'imp[rove' the German race through selective breeding. All Jewish teachers were sacked and other teachers had to take an oath of loyalty to Hitler.
Hitler initiated youth organisations, which became compulsory to join after 1936. There were different groups for 6-10, 10-14 and 14-18 year olds. All groups were taught Nazi beliefs, and given lots of physical exercise and training. The older boys were expected to learn military discipline, while for the girls there was the League of German Girls that aimed to make girls fit to become strong German mothers.
Hitler had no respect for Christianity but kept his views vague as he realised many of his supporters were Christian. He tried to appeal to both Christians and Protestants. The Catholic Church should have benefited from the Concordat signed in 1933, however Catholic teachers were dismissed and there was much interference in the curriculum. In the late 1930s, hundreds of priests and nuns were arrested on various unlikely charges.
Germany at the end of WW1
After WW1, Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated, fled Germany and went to the Netherlands. Food and coal supplies were scarce. The allied blockade made it impossible for the German government to import food.The Weimar Government was made at the end of WW1 in January 1919 which involved an elected President and Reichstag. They met in the town of Weimar in Saxony which was 150 miles away from Berlin due to chaos. The Weimar Republic was a democracy. Due to the War Guilt Clause, Germany received the Reparation bill which was set at £6.6 billion. This was payed for the damages of the war and fixed in April 1921.
Sparatcists were Communists and aimed to copy Russia with their Communists government which was achieved in 1917. In Janurary 1919, they staged an attempt revolution, however it was badly organized and the leaders, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Leibknecht, only supported it when it had already started. The Freikorps crushed the uprising. Over 100 Spartacists were killed. The Freikorps consisted of unemployed ex-soldiers with extreme right-wing views and formed themselves into unofficial units. After the Armistice in Novemeber 1918, many army offices did not want to be demobilised. 356 politicians were assassinated due to mass protestings and demonstartions. They wanted to restore German pride. Freidrich Ebert's new government used these arm officers to help defeat the Spartacists.
Kristallnacht (the NIght of the Broken Glass) happened after a Jewish youth shot and killed a German embassy official in Paris. Goebbels, the propaganda minister, announced that there should be 'demonstrations' against the Jews during the night of 9th November. This encouraged the attacking of 8,000 Jewish shops and homes and most of the Jewish synangogues in Germany. About 100 Jews were killed and over 20,000 arrested and sent to concentration camps. The Nazis fined the Jews 1 billion Reichsmarks to repair the damage, any remaining Jewish businesses were confiscated, and Jewish pupils were only allowed to attend Jewish schools. Jews were expected to do the worst jobs and German people were encouraged to treat Jews badly. By 1939, Jews were officially encouraged to emigrate, the first mass of arrests of Jews took place in March 1939. Nearly 30,000 Jewish men and boys were sent to concentration camps.
Young People/Church (2)
The Protestant Churches were grouped together by the Nazis into the Reich Church. Some objected and formed their own separate church. This was a clear challenge to Nazi power, and serveral hundred pastors were arrested. Pastor Martin Niemöller, their most famous spokesman in the 1930s, spent 7 years in concentration camps.
Work and Leisure (2)
It attempted to provide activites for Leisure time to ensure a happy workforce. Holidays and cruises were the ones that attracted much publicity. This gave ordinary workers access to activities previously enjoyed only by those better off. Hitler also wanted more Germans to have their own cars. The Volkswagen (people's car) was designed and, in 1938, Hitler laid the foundation stone for the factory in which cars would be built.
During the mid-1930s, unemployment was falling and pride in Germany was rising, especially after they hosted the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936.
1932-33 Hitler's rise to power (2)
As Hitler became well known within Germany, he decided to fight against Hindenburg in the Presidential Elections, held every 7 years. Hindenburg won with 19 million votes, but Hitler came a respectable second with 13 million votes. Hitler had used the campaign to hammer home the main Nazi messages based on the nationalism of Germany, their hatred of the Treaty of Versailles and their suspicion of the Jews.
In January 1933, Hindenburg was forced to make Hitler Chancellor and even shook hands with him on his appointment. He did try to ensure that Hitler's power would be limited by making von Papen the Vice-Chancellor and restricting the number of other Nazis in Cabinet to two.
Work and Leisure
Hitler and the Nazis spent vast amounts of money on job creation schemes. The amount doubled between 1933 and 1938. One major project was road building - Hitler intended to buil 7,000km of autobahnen (motorways). Public works provided jobs, these included forestry work, water projects, building new hospitals, schools and sport stadiums. By 1939, the Labour Front had 44,500 paid officials. Hitler also started a huge programme of rearmament and conscription, which was announced officialy in 1935. The army grew from 100,000 in 1933 to 1.4 million in 1939. Between 1933 and 1939, coal and chemical production doubled; oil, iron and steel trebled; and iron-ore mining increaded 500%. Under the 4 year plan, started in 1936, Germany was moving towards self-sufficiency. Small businesses often did well - especially since rival Jewish businesses had been closed down by the Nazis. Big businesses benefited from the huge construction projects and big profits were made - so long as businesses were happy to produce what the Nazis wanted. From July 1935, it became compulsory for all German men between 18 and 25 to do 6 months' work on pratical projects. They were not paid wages, just pocket money, which was never very popular but did provide a sense of purpose for the unemployed.
The 'Strength Through Joy' organisation was part of the German Labour Front.
Propaganda and Censorship (2)
German radio was brought under State control in 1934. Goebbels arranged for 6,000 loudspeakers to be set up in public places so that everyone could hear government announcements. Cheap radios were manufactured so that most families could afford to buy one. Foreign stations were difficult to tune in because of the wavebands used by the German stations. The only source of news allowed was the State-controlled press agency. Detailed instructions were given at daily press conferences about how the news was to be presented. The only newspapers allowed were Nazi-run. The cinema provided a similar mixture of entertainment and politics as that on the radio. Most popular were the escapist romances or adventures, which Hitler himself enjoyed watching. Only the work of Leni Riefenstahl was recognised as outstanding. Her most famous film was Triumph of the Will, a film about the 1934 party rally. Books not approved by the Nazis were burnt. A huge bonfire organised by young Nazis in May 1933 resulted in 20,000 books being destroyed. Eventually, the works of over 2,500 writers were officially banned such as Ernest Hemingway, Bertolt Brecht and Karl Marx. Hitler despised anything that had been associated with the liberal culture of the Weimar era.
Stresemann 1923-1929 (1)
Stresemann was Chancellor from August to November 1923, and then was foreign minister until his death in October 1929. He was responsible for teh rapid recovery of the German economy in the late-1920s. In September 1929, Stresemann called off passive resisitance in the Ruhr and resumed reparations payments. A new currency, the Rentenmark, was introduced and the old currency was scrapped. In 1924, an american banker, Charles Dawes, drew up a plan where large American loans (totalling 800 million gold marks) were to be made availble to help the German economy recover by bulding new factories, which would provide more jobs and wealth - Dawes Plan. In 1929, the Young Plan was intended to help Germany further by extending the time period for reparations payments until 1988. it also reduced Germany was required to pay to £2.2 billion.
Germany had secretly signed a treaty with the USSR at Rapallo in 1922. On a small scale, germany was allowed to build factories in Russia, which produced airplanes, tanks and poison gas. The Locarno Treaties in 1925 were signed by Germany, France, Belgium, Britain and Italy. They agreed to accept the boundaries of Western Europe imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. For Germany it meant that the French could not invade the Ruhr again. In return, German accepted that the Rhineland would remain a demiltiarized zone.
Hitler becomes dictator (3)
(Night of the Long knives) On 30th June 1934, Hitler used the SS to arrest and shoot leading members of the SA. Just before 7am a number of SS cars careered into the village. Hitler leapt out, marched inside and woke up Röhm with the words, "You're under arrest." The same process was repeated in toher bedrooms. By 10am the SS began to round up other leading SA members in Berlin. Some where shot. Röhm himself was shot in prison after he refused to commit suicide. The process continued for the next few days and nights. 200 SA members were shot. The previous chancellor, von Schleicher was shot.
On 2nd August 1934, President Hindenburg died. hitler combined the offices of President and Chancellor, and became the Führer. The German armied swore a personal oath of loyalty to Hitler, He had gained total power within Germany
Propaganda and Censorship
Propaganda was used to impose the Nazis own ideas over others. Josef Goebbels used simple slogans with short messages and powerful visual images. Therefore, criticising the Treaty of Versailles, making Germany great and blaming the Jews for Germany's disasters, could be presented in posters, newspapers, films, speeches and on radio. Every September, from 1933 to 1938, a huge rally was held at Nuremberg. The event lasted several days and was a mixture of spectacle, parade, festival and religious ceremony. Leni Riefenstahl was paid to produce films that glorified the Nazis using an event such as this, and they were shown at cinemas across Germany. The largest Propaganda event was when Berlin staged the Olympic games in 1936. Everything was carefully stage managed. The Stadium was, at the time, the largest in the world. News reports were carefully controlled, as was the filming of the event. During the games, the Nazi state was on show. Anti-Jewish slogans were removed from the streets of Berlin, and thousands of visitors went away with a very positive view of Nazi Germany. Propaganda was used to promote Hitler as a powerful, yet caring leader. Hitler was photographed with children or dogs and presented as a friendly person. He was also shown in photographs and posters as a military leader who had all the skills needed to lead Germany.
Censorship influenced every aspect of daily life under the Nazis. The Nazis controlled what was heard, read or seen: nothing was allowed to contradict the propaganda concerning the Nazis.
'Kinder, Kirche und Kürche' (Children, Church and Kitchen) - Nazis attitudes towards women. Propaganda posters and paintings showed the ideal Nazi family. The Nazis were worried about a declining birth rate and wanted to promote the 'racially-pure' Aryan race. Therefore, incentives were introduced to encourage women to have children. For example, the Law for the Reduction of Unemployment in June 1933 introduced free loans of up to 1,000 Reichmarks for young married couples on condition that the wife gave up work. Laws against abortion were strictly enforced. From 1936, the Nazis opened special maternity homes designed to be breeding centres for the production of pure Aryan children. Racially-approved Aryan mothers were matched with SS men with the intention of filling Hitler's Germany with pure-bred German children.
1932-33 Hitler's rise to power
As unemployment in Germany soared, so did the support for extremist political parties- the Communists and the Nazis. Both promised solutions to Germany's economic and social promblems. The Nazis also promised to restore Germany's pride. In January 1933, Hitler became the leader of the largest party in the Reichstag. Hitler tightened the the grip of Nazi policies on the German people. Political opposition was crushed, Nazi propaganda seeped through into every aspect of life including the education of children. The SA, SS and Gestapo ensured that any non-Nazi expression of opinion was acted on ruthlessly. The Nazis spread their ideas through posters, pamphlets and Nazi controlled newspapers. The Nazi message was spread through simple slogans such as 'ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer". Hitler made many speeches, stressing simple facts. He spoke at length about the disgrace brought to Germans by the shameful Treaty of Versailles.
Between March 1930 and May 1932 the Nazis were growing substantially in popularity. Hitler appealed to the German people's nationalism; to their pride that had been badly dented; and to their belief that Germany had been 'stabbed in the back' by cowardly politicians after the First World War. Hitler was also quick to blame Jews for the financial ills that had hit Germany, and visual propaganda was effective in showing the Jews as greedy bankers and business men enjoying wealth at the expense of poor German citizens.
The Nazis abolished the right to trial before imprisonment. Judges were replaced where necessary by Nazi supporters. the SS and the Gestapo could put people in concentration camps without a trial. In 1932, Hitler set up the People's Court, which tried people for 'crimes against the State'. Any opponent of the Nazis was called an enemy of the State. The SS had been formed in 1925 as Hitler's personal bodyguard. By the early 1930s, it had become the party's own police force. After the NIght of the Long Knives in June 1934, it had become the most important military group within the State under its leader, Heinrich Himmler. The Gestapo was the secret police, first in the State of Prussia, then over the whole of Germany from 1936. Reinhard Heydrich became is head. Its job was to search out opponents of the Nazis, and it had the powers to arrest and imprison. It used torture to extract information and confessions.
When the concentration camps were first established, there were over 100,000 prisoners. Most of them were political opponents. The Camps were run by SS guards - Death's Head Units - trained to be ruthless and cruel. Beatings were given for minor offences; anything more major resulted in execution without trial.
Weimar Republic Structure
In February 1919, Friedrich Ebert became the first president of the Weimar Republic. The consitution was very democratic, it allowed all adults over 20 to vote. It also allowed all of the different political parties to have a say in the government. Proportional Representation - number of seats=number of votes.The head of Government, the Chancellor, had to have majority of support in the Reichstag. The Head of State, the President, was in power for a maximum of 7 years.
However, the President had the power to dismiss the Chancellor as he wished. The President could use Article 48 to suspend democracy for a time and rule directly with his own laws and the backing of the armed forces. Due to proportional representation, there was always a coalition governments. Several parties would quarrel on new laws thus making firm government difficult. In the election of 1919, most support was given to parties that were moderate or willing to join coalition governments. There was also support for the extreme left-wing Communists - 5.3% and right wing Nationalists - 11%.
Walter Rathenau was Germany's foreign minister and a group called Organisation Consul pumped bullets into Rathenau on Saturday 24th June 1922. He was a popular minister.
Nazi beliefs/Munich Putsch (2)
On 8th November 1923, a meeting in a beer hall in Munich was being adressed by Gustav von Kahr, the head of government of the southern province of Bavaria. He was very right wing in his views and hated the policies of coalition governments in Berlin. A Nazi demonstration broke out. The SA surrounded the hall; Hitler, holding a revolver announced that he was taking over the government of Bavaria and then marched on to Berlin. In the morning of 9th November 1923, Hitler, with the support of the war-hero General Ludendorff, marched into Munich with about 3,000 supporters. However, they were met in a narrow street by the 100 armed police summoned by Kahr to break up the march. A shot was fired and then the police opened fire. 16 Nazi supporters and 3 policemen were killed. Hitler had a dislocated shoulder and fled from the scene.
Ludendorff, Hitler and Röhm were arrested and put on trial for treason in February 1924. Hitler was sentenced to only 5 years in Landsberg Castle. He was treated well, he only served 9 months of his sentence. While in prison, Hitler wrote his autobiography Mein Kampf. It told the people about his views on history, race and the future of Germany. The Nazis believed that the Germans are a superior race. That Dictatorship is essential to build up the strength of Germany after the Treaty of Versailles. Communism must be destroyed. The German people need more Lebensraum (living space) in the east in order to help establish German domination. Germany's natural allies are Britain and Italy.
Treaty of Versailles
The Germans signed the treaty because their allies were defeated. they counldn't fight back as their soldiers were starving and were exhausted - they wanted the war to end. Germans were angry as they were blamed for the war in the 'War Guilt Clause'. this is why they paid for Reparations. Armed forces were reduced to 100,000 men in the army. Only 6 battleships and a demilitarized Rhineland. Germany also lost land to other European countires. They lost Alsace-Lorraine to France, part of East Prussia and Silesia to Poland, Eupen and Malmedy to Belgium, Memel to Lithuania and North Schleswig to Denmark. This amounted to 4 million people, 13% of European terriroy was lost. Germany lost all its colonies and wasn't allowed to join the newly-created League of Nations. The treaty also included the annihilation of German fortifications also Germany had to be supervised by the League of Nations.
Hitler becomes dictator
The Reichstag Fire - On 27th February 1933, whilst Hitler was having dinner with Josef Goebbels, the Reichstag building was severly damaged by fire. Hitler immediantely blamed the Communists. Hitler declared, "This is a signal from God. If this fire turns out to be the work of the Communists, then there is nothing that shall stop us from crushing out this muderous group with an iron fist." Dutch Communists Marinus van der Lubbe was caught at the scene. After 11 months he was found guilty, and having admitted his guilt, was beheaded. The day after the fire, Hitler persuaded President Hindenburg to pass an Emergency Decree using Article 48 of the constituiton. This law for the 'Protection of the People and the State' gave Hitler sweeping powers to arrest anyone suspected of opposing the government. it ended all personal liberty, stopped freedom of expressions, and took control of the press. This gave Hitler the opportunity to act against his political opponents. Many of them were arrested; others were too afraid to vote because of the threatening behaviours of the SA.
In the election of March 1933, the Nazis didn't have overall majority - just 44% of the seats. Hitler used the state of emergency delcared by the President to stop the Communists from taking their seats. He won over the Centre Party with promises to protect the Catholic church in Germany. The Nationalists were prepared to support him as well.
Hitler becomes dictator (2)
The Reichstag members passed the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler the power to make his own laws without the Reichstag. Members voted 444 in favour, with only 94 of the Socialists voting against. The Reichstag members had voted to let Hitler and the Nazis do what they wanted.Hitler acted swiftly to get rid of all politcial opposition to the Nazi party. his biggest threat, the Communist Party, had been banned after the Reichstag Fire. Between May adn July, all the other parties were banned, including those that had helped him to become Chancellor. using his powers following the Enabling act, Hitler passed a law against the formation of parties. This meant that the Nazi Party was the only political organisation allowed in Germany. Many prominent Socialists and Communists were arrested.
Trade Unions, which had contained many Communist supporters, were closed down in May 1933 and were replaced by the Nazis' opwn trade union, the german Labour Front. In july 1933, hitler also signed an agreement with the Pope, known as the Concordat. Catholics agreed to accept Hitler's promise that he would not interfere with Catholicism in Germany.
By the summer of 1933, Hitler was not fully in control of the SA, who were under the leadership of Ernst Röhm. Hitler saw that the SA could challenge his leadership, they had a reputation for violence and chaos and Röhm was also personally ambitious and a potential threat to Hitler.
After the announcement of the reparations bill in April 1921, panic set in, leading to Hyperinflation. Nothing was paid in 1922 for the reparations so in January 1923, French and Belgium troops invaded Germany's main industrial area, the Ruhr, with the intention of collecting reparations. The German government ordered the workers in the Ruhr to go on strike - passive resistance. The French responded by sending in their own workers. Over 150,000 German workers were removed from the Ruhr. The strike by the workers in the Ruhr increased shortages of materials in Germany, and this further pushed up prices. The government had to print more notes to keep up. They also printed large numbers on each one. All this achieved was to send prices spiralling out of control.
Hyperinflation caused those on fixed incomes (pensioners) and those living on savings suffered as those became worthless. Workers also suffered as wage rises could never keep pace with prices. However, those with debts, landowners and rich businessmen benefited. In the longer term, the real losers were the middle class with businesses and savings destroyed. Due to this, the reputation of the Weimar Republic was damaged. The British though that poverty was non-existant in Germany, that they are a nation of actors and they are teeming with wealth.
Stauffenberg had left the meeting having made an excuse that he had to make a phone call to Berlin. Having witnessed the explosion, he concluded that no one could have survived it and flew back to Berlin to put the second part of the plan into operation - taking over the key points on the city and to put the city in the control of the conspirators. However, there had been a fatal delay in decision making in Berlin and for two hours nothing happened. Stauffenberg realised that the plan had failed and was arrested in hsi office in Berlin by General Fromm, fellow conspirator, who was trying to protect himself and show loyalty to Hitler. Stauffenberg was found guilty of treason and shot on July 21st 1944.
The White Rose Movement was the most famous of the civilian resistance movements that developed within Nazi Germany but some of its members paid a terrible price for their stand against the system. They were made up of students who attented Munich University. Its most famous members were Hans and Sophie Scholl. Members of the movement secretly distributed anti-Nazi and anti-war leaflets and it was while they were in the process of doing this that they were caught by the Gestapo. The movement was active between June 1942 and February 1943, in this time they made 6 anti-war/anti-Nazi leaflets which were distributed in public. One of the leaflets entitled "Passive Resistance to National Socialism" stated: "The only protest available is passive resistance. The meaning and goal of passive resistance is to topple National Socialism, and in this struggle we must not recoil from any course, any action, whatever its nature. A victory of fascist Germany in this war would have immeasurable frightful consequences." Sophie, Hans and Christoph Probst were the first to be brought before the People's Court on February 22nd 1943. All three were found guilty and sentences to death by beheading. Before World War 2 in Europe ended, the final leaflet produced by the movement was smuggled out of Germany and handed to the advancing Allies. They printed millions of copies of it and dropped them all over the country.
1919-1922 Putshes and murders
During the winter of 1918-19 many suffered badly. This was made worse by the outbreak of Spanish flu, which started in summer 1918 and peaked in early 1919. More than half a million civilians and soldiers died from the epidemic.
In January 1919, Spartacists attempted an uprising. The Freikorps crushed it. Over 100 Spartacists were killed. Ebert used the Freikorps, so over 600 Communists were killed. In March 1920, over 5000 Freikorp supporters led a putsch and seized control of the capital, naming Dr Wolfgang Kapp as Germany's new leader for a right wing movement. The attempted Putsch failed and Kapp fled to Sweden.
The Edelweiss Pirates were groups of youths who opposed Nazi rule, they were opposed to the way the Hitler Youth movement had taken over the lives of youths in Hitler's Germany. The Hitler Youth Movement was made compulosory in 1936 and historians tend to use this date as the start of the 'Pirates'. The pirates were the opposite of the Hitler Youth Movement, which was run on military lines. They were free to express what they thought. While boys and girls were strictly segregated in the Hitler Youth Movement, the Edelweiss Pirates encouraged the opposite. Most cities in western Germany had some form of Edelweiss Pirate group. In Cologne, for example, they were known as the 'Navajos'. It was these young people who formed Edelweiss Pirate groups, they were anti-authority and non-conformist. They went on hiking and camping trips, they would have enough freedom to sing songs banned by the Nazis - mainly 'degenerate' blues or jazz songs. Between 1936 and September 1939, the Nazi authorities saw the Edelweiss Pirates as little more than a small-scale problem. However, attitudes changed during WW2 when the authorities believed that the Edelweiss Pirates were responsible for collecting British anti-Nazi propaganda leaflets dropped by Bomber Command at the start of the War and posting them through letterboxes. The authorities knew that the Edelweiss Pirates prided themselves on their non military look. A standard punishment for anyone caught was to have their heads shaved so their appearance changed to an army/prison one. However, Henrich Himmler, who required all germans to be obedient, ordered a crackdown on all youths who failed in their loyalty to Hitler.
In a letter from Himmler to Reinhard Heydrich (January 1942) the head of the SS wrote that a half-measured approach to any youth groups that failed to show total loyalty was unacceptable and that members of any such groups had to be dealt with accordingly. Himmler told Heydrich that labour and work camps were inappropriate. They had to be sent to concentration camps for beteween 2-3 years. Himmler did not differentiate between male youths and "worthless girls." In November 1944, thirteen youths were hanged in public in Cologne - six of them were or had been members of the Edelweiss Pirates. The Kreisau Circle (1939-1944) was one of the most famous groups to oppose Hitler, it was made up of churchmen, scholars and politicians. They were more concerned with planning for Germany's future. However the Gestapo found out and rounded up its members who were duly exectuted. The success of D-Day on June 6ths 1944 convinced Stauffenberg that the war was lost and that the sooner it was brought to an end the better for Germany. He defended his right to break his oath of loyalty to Hitler by claiming that resistance was part of "natural law". Stauffenberg had been promoted to colonel in June 1944 and appointed Chief of Staff to General Fromm. His disabilities also made him a highly unlikely assassin. On July 20th 1944, Hitler held a breifing at his military headquarters in East Prussia, the Wolf's Lair. The explosion killed 4 men and injured almost all of the survivors. Hitler was only slightly wounded, his hearing also temporarily suffered as a result of the blast.
Nazi beliefs/Munich Putsch
The Nazis believed that many of Germany's problems had been caused by the weak leadership of the Weimar period. They wanted Germany to be strong again. They wanted a government strong enough to overturn the Treaty of Versailles, a strong army to make Germany once again the great military power it had been before the war, and a strong thriving economy to restore the prosperity of the German people after the helpless ness of the Depression.
Stresemann 1923-29 (2)
Germany joined the League of Nations in 1926, any future disputes would be settled there. The Kellogg-Briand Pact in 1928 included over 60 countries agreeing not to use war against each other in the future. The period of relative prosperity and stability from 1923-29 under Stresemann is often referred to as the Golden Era.
The economy appeared to be recovering. By 1928, industrial production was greater than pre-war levels. Germany was becoming a world leader as an exporter of manufactured goods. Economically, germany relied heavily on American loans, which could have been withdrawn at any time. Imports were rising faster than exports, which meant that Germany was trading at a loss. There was still substantial unemployment. As food prices fell rapidly worldwide in 1927, farmers' income was greatly reduced and this increase their debts.