Germany 1918-1939

Hitler and the Nazi Party. woo


The SA & **

  • The fact of the Nazi Party.
  • They were known for beating up communists and holding large meetings and demonstrations.
  • They were commonly known as 'the brownshirts'
  • by 1934 there were around 2 million of these.
  • When Hitler came into power they expected him to take wealth from the rich. This was good because many of them were unemployed.
  • The leader of the SA wanted them to take over the army. He thought that the SA should become the focus of  national socialist Germany.
  • The ** was formed in 1925 as Hitler's personal bodyguards. They were officially part of the SA but Himmler (their leader) wanted them to be a separate organisation. 
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Dawes Plan

The USA agreed to lend Germany 800 million marks if they agreed to start paying their reparations again.

This was used to build factories, increasing employment and raising the standard of living.

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The League of Nations - 1920

The League of Nations was set up in 1920 to encourage co-operation between countries.

It had an original committee of 42 countries including Britain and France. It was set up by President Woodrow Wilson.

Germany wasn't invited (as it was not seen as a peace loving country after WW2) until 1926 when Stresseman took Germany into it.

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Kristallnacht - 1938

In early November 1938, a Polish Jew called Herschel Grynzpan shot a German diplomat in Paris. 

Hitler ordered an immediate attack on Jews and their property in Germany. 

On 9th - 10th November, thousands of Jewish businesses were attacked and 200 synagogues were burnt down.

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Locarno Treaty - 1925

The Locarno Treaty was signed by Britain, France, Italy and Germany.

It guaranteed Germany's frontiers with France and Belgium - basically designed to preserve the existing French - German and Belgian - German borders, and to foster international co operation to avoid war.

This improved foreign policies for Germany.

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Kellogg-Briand Pact - 1928

Germany signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact along with 64 other nations.

They said that the countries should keep their armies for 'self defence' but should try to solve any problems that they had as peacefully as possible.

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Wall Street Crash - 1929

Germany relied a lot on American loans (Dawes Plan etc) the Wall Street Crash in America affected Germany very badly.

German businesses began to close. 

Unemployment rose from 2.5 million to 4 million. 

This meant that more and more people felt let down by the Weimar Government, leaving them to be more and more supportive towards groups like the Nazi Party.

Nazi support increased from twelve seats (1928) to 107! (1930)

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Nazi domestic policies - 1933-1939


Women were taught the three K's - 'children, kitchen, church'

They were taken out of employment to look after children and concentrate on marriage.

Married women were given loans based on the amount of children they had.

They were told to wear long skirts, limited make up and long hair.

Young People

Teachers had to swear an oath of loyalty to Hitler and had to join the Nazi Teachers' League. Girls took needlework and homecrafts and boys learnt about the military. 'Mein Kampf' became a standard school text.

By 1936, Hitler Youth was compulsory.

Boys joined the 'German Young People' and girls the 'Young Girls' at aged ten.

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The Labour Service Corps was set up. From 1935 it was compulsory for all men aged 18-25 to serve in the Corps for six months.

Unemployed men were put to work building government funded roads, motorways, houses, hospitals and schools.

From 1935 all men aged 18-25 had to do two years of military service.

'Strength through Joy' and 'Beauty with Labour' was introduced, providing cheap holidays and leisure activities. 

However workers were not allowed to leave their jobs without permission.

Unemployment figures did not show 'invisible employment' - women and Jews.

'The Volkswagen Scheme' where people were encouraged to save five marks per week to buy their own car, was a swindle. In 1939, when war broke out, nobody had received their cars and nobody ever did after the war.

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Persecution of minorities

The Nazis believed in the superiority of the Aryan race and persecuted members of other races and many minority groups such as Gypsies, homosexuals and mentally/physically disabled people.

Gypsies were thought to be inferior - 5/6 gypsies living in Germany in 1939 were killed by the Nazis

In 1933, the Nazis ordered a boycott of all Jewish businesses, doctors, dentists etc. Jews were bullied and intimidated at school.

Germany was taught that Jews were unclean and responsible for Germany's defeat in WWI.

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Reichstag Fire - March 1933

The Reichstag was the German parliament building. It was a symbol of democracy.

In March 1933 Reichstag elections were to be held. Hitler hoped to get 50% of the votes so that the Nazi Part could rule Germany alone.

On the evening of the 27th February 1933, the building was burned down.

Marinus van der Lubbe admitted to committing the crime (a Dutch communist)

Hitler and Goring did not believe that he acted alone. They declared that it was a communist plot. Leading communists were imprisoned.

Many people think that the Nazi Party wanted to frame the communists.

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Nuremberg Laws - 1935

Jews could no longer be German citizens and could no longer vote

Marriages between Jews and Aryans were forbidden

Jews had to wear the star of Hitler on their clothing

Jews could not use public facilities

Jews were defined as anyone who had at least one Jewish grandparent

30% of all German Jews emigrated from Germany between 1933-1938.

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