Germany 1918-39

The Weimar Republic 1918-33

Hitler and the growth of the Nazi Party 1918-33

The Nazi dictatorship 1933-39

Nazi domestic policies 1933-39

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  • Created by: Laura
  • Created on: 15-05-12 16:11

Why was the Weimar Republic set up?

  • 9 November 1918 - Kaiser abdicated after losing German support.
  • 11 November 1918 - newly declared German republic accepted armistice with the Allies.
  • The army felt the had been stabbed in the back - Dolchstoss. The politicians became the November Criminals.
  • New Republic was to meet in Weimar because of troubles in Berlin.
  • Needed to draw up a new constitution.
  • First government was a coalition government as no one could gain a majority. Assembly chose Ebert of the SPD (Social Democratic Party)
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Territorial terms in the Treaty Of Versailles

Territorial terms:

  • Lost all colonies.
  • Alsace-Lorraine to be returned to France.
  • Eupen-Malmedy given to Belgium.
  • Saar to be administered by League Of Nations.
  • Posen and West Prussia to be given to Poland.
  • Danzig created a Free City.
  • Memel administered by League of Nations.
  • No union with Austria.
  • North Schleswig to Denmark.
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Military terms in the Treaty Of Versailles

Military terms:

  • Army not to exceed 100,000.
  • No tanks.
  • No aircraft.
  • No naval vessels.
  • No submarines.
  • Rhineland demilitarized.
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Financial terms in the Treaty Of Versailles

Financial terms:

  • Coal from Saar given to France.
  • Reparations of £6.6 billion.
  • Cattle and sheep given to Belgium and France.
  • Ships over 1600 tons to be given up.
  • Replaced Allied merchant ships.
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Why was there opposition to the Weimar Republic 19

  • People thought democracy was imposed on them.
  • Consequences of war were creating unrest:
    • Shortages of food after British naval blockade.
    • Rise of Bolsheviks in Russia.
    • Inflation.
  • The Spartacist uprising - attempt to establish a Communist state.
  • The Kapp Putsch - attempt to seize Berlin and establish a right-wing government.
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Why did Germany experience economic problems 1918

  • Germany borrowed extensively to finance the World War 1 effort.
  • Reparation figures for Germany to pay back were far too high.
  • Weimar government printed more money which meant the currency value began to fall. Led to inflation.
  • 1921 - Germany unable to pay reparations to France. France invades the Ruhr, Germany's major industrial area. Led to hyperinflation.
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To what extent did Germany recover in this period?

  • Germany recovery down to Gustav Stresemann who worked with Allies to economic and international position.
    • Dawes Plan - lower reparations and payments.
    • US loans - given to Germany to help pay reparations.
    • Rentenmark - restored confidence in currency.
    • Young Plan - restructure of reparations.
    • The Locarno Treaties - improved German international position.
    • League of Nations - Germany's return as a 'Great Power'.
    • Kellogg-Briand Pact - France withdraws from Ruhr.
    • Political stability - less support for extremist parties.
  • Overall position seemed to improve but Germany was over-reliant on US loans.
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What was the impact of the Great Depression on the

  • US stock market collapses in October 1929. Banks ask Germany to pay back loans.
  • Trade began to contract. Prices began to fall.
  • Unemployment rose.
  • January 1932 - 6 million unemployed.
  • People lost faith in Weimar government, started to turn to extremist parties for solutions.
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What was the course of Hitler's career in the year

  • Born in Austria 1889.
  • Father died in 1903.
  • Mother died in 1907.
  • Not especially successful at school.
  • Wanted to attend art college - was rejected by the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.
  • Fled to Germany in 1913. Joined army on outbreak of World War 1.
  • Brave soldier - won Iron Cross in 1914. 
  • 1918 - Wounded in a gas attack.
  • Angered by German surrender - blamed November Criminals for Germany's position.
  • 1919 - attended German Worker's Party meeting.
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What was the Deutsche Arbeiter Partei?

  • German Workers Party (DAP) - social nationalist party.
  • Founded by Anton Drexler.
  • Hitler became an informant for the army and attended a DAP meeting in which he impressed Drexler.
  • The led Hitler to joining the DAP where he discovered his skills in public speaking.
  • Became responsible for recruitment and propaganda.
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How did the NSDAP develop in the years 1920 to 192

  • February 1920 - Hitler and Drexler write the 25 Point Programme (political manifesto).
  • Party grew rapidly in 1920 - became able to purchase its own newspaper, The People's Observer.
  • Hitler became the leader of the NSDAP in July 1921.
  • Began to develop ideas on how to lead the party.
  • Gave himself the title of Fuhrer, establishing the idea of Fuhrerprinzip (the leadership principle).
  • Adopted the swastika as party emblem; formation of SA which were used to disrupt other political party meetings.
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What were the causes of the Munich Putsch, Novembe

  • Growth of the Nazi Party.
  • Weimar disgraced, people would turn to Hitler.
  • German humiliation following the French occupation of the Ruhr.
  • Hitler hated the Weimar Republic.
  • Detested the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Hitler won support of Ludendorff - former army general who was still very popular.
  • SA used as armed support.
  • Hitler was confident that von Kahr and the army in Bavaria would support him.
  • Weimar blamed for hyperinflation.
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What were the key features of the Munich Putsch?

  • 8 November 1923 - Nazis seize beer hall in Munich where von Kahr, von Seisser and von Lossow were present.
  • Hitler won promises of support from these via gunpoint, after which he releases them.
  • Von Seisser  and von Lossow change their minds and organised troops and police to resist Hitler.
  • Hitler still continues the march. They were defeated, 16 Nazis were killed.
  • Hitler was arrested 2 days later and the Nazi Party was banned.
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Why was his trial and imprisonment important for H

  • Hitler tried for treason - this gave him nationwide publicity and a chance to express his political views.
  • Sympathetic judges let him make long speeches. It was these speeches that made Hitler famous.
  • Was found guilty but only sentenced to five years in Landsberg Prison.
  • He only served nine months before release.
  • Completed his book My Struggle and realized that he needed to attain power by legal and political means.
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How did the Nazi Party change in years 1924 to 192

  • Banned after Munich but met secretly. The party became divided under the leadership of Alfred Rosenburg.
  • Hitler managed to have the ban lifted and the Nazi Party was re-launched.
  • The Bamberg Conference in 1926 allowed Hitler to strengthen his position as party leader:
    • Won rivals over such as Goebbels.
    • Removed opponents such as Rohm.
    • Set up SS (bodyguards to Hitler).
    • Set up the Hitler Youth.
  • By 1928 the party had one hundred thousand members compared to its twenty seven thousand members in 1925.
  • However, they only won 12 seats in Parliament in the 1928 elections.
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What methods did the Nazi Party use to increase it

  • Between 1929 and 1933 the Nazi Party used propaganda to increase its support.
  • Josef Goebbels became Minister of Propaganda.
  • He knew how to use the mass media and manipulate huge audiences.
  • In the 1930 elections the Nazis went up from 12 seats to 107.
  • Nazis used modern technology in the Presidential election of 1932.
  • Campaigns were supported by big industrialists such as Bosch who were afraid of trade unions and Communism.
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What was the role of Hitler in increasing support

  • Hitlers image was very important:
    • The war hero.
    • The savior.
    • The ordinary man on the street.
    • The father figure.
  • Hitler had one characteristic that most politicians did not have - charisma.
  • Kept his promise to reduce unemployment.
  • The Cult of the Fuhrer.
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How did the events of July 1932 to January 1933 br

  • Much violence leading up to the elections.
  • Nazis won 230 seats in July 1932 elections (became the largest party in the Reichstag).
  • Hitler though was refused the Chancellorship by Hindenburg.
  • Von Papen could not secure a majority and was forced to resign. He was replaced by Schleicher.
  • In January 1933 von Papen and Hitler joined up to form a Nazi-Nationalist government.
  • On the 30 January 1933 Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany.
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What was the importance of the Reichstag Fire?

  • Hitler had some problems when he became Chancellor..:
    • There were only 2 other Nazis in a cabinet of 12.
    • The Nationalist Party did not have a majority in the Reichstag.
    • Hindenburg detested Hitler and could remove him at any time.
  • So, Hitler called an election for the 5 March 1933 to gain a majority.
  • On the 27 February, one week before the election, the Reichstag building was set on fire. It was not known who started it.
  • Nazis arrested Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch Communist.
  • Hitler claimed the Communists were staging a take over.
  • Political opponents were arrested and the party was banned.
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Why was the Enabling Bill important for Hitler?

  • March 1933 elections - Nazis won 288 seats (not a majority).
  • The passing of the Enabling Bill would grant Hitler 4 years of power.
  • It was passed by devious means:
    • The SA intimidated voters.
    • Communists were not allowed to vote.
    • Communist Party were not counted, this meant there were less votes needed to pass.
    • Absentees counted as present.
    • Promises to the Catholic Center Party won their vote.
  • The Enabling Bill was passed on the 24 March 1933 and was the end of the Weimar Constitution and  democracy in Germany.
  • All other political parties were banned on the 14 July 1933.
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How did the Nazis remove opposition to their regim

  • The Enabling Bill started the process of Gleichschaltung:
    • It effectively made Hitler a dictator.
  • Other political parties were banned:
    • Destroyed all newspapers and confiscated funds.
    • On the 14 July Hitler made a law stating that the Nazi Party was the only one allowed.
  • Regional governments were closed down:
    • Power was centralized to the Reichstag.
  • Trade unions were banned:
    • On the 2 May 1933, Nazis broke into trade union offices all over the country and arrested thousands of union officials.
    • The unions were then replaced by the German Labour Front.
  • Anyone who disobeyed or went against Nazi policies were sent to concentration camps for "re-education".
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What were the causes of the Night of the Long Kniv

The Night of the Long Knives was the purging of political and military rivals in the SA on the 30 June 1934. Why?

  • To win the support of the army:
    • If Hitler removed SA he could win the support of the army.
  • Demands made by the SA:
    • They hoped that Hitler would introduce reforms to help workers.
    • Rohm, the leader of the SA, wanted to incorporate the army, more government interference and to bring greater equality - in effect he wanted a socialist revolution - which Hitler did not want.
  • The views of the old elite:
    • Hitler had close relations with industrialists and army leaders.
  • The views of Himmler and the SS:
    • Himmler told Hitler that Rohm was a bout to seize power and that he wished to break away from the SA.
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What were the consequences of the Night of the Lon

  • Many of Hitler's opponents were now dead:
    • Rohm and Strasser of the SA.
    • Conservatives like von Schleicher.
  • SS were established as a separate organisation from the SA:
    • 20 June 1934
    • Himmler now took orders only from Hitler.
  • Hitler won the support of the army:
    • They now swore an oath of allegiance to Hitler himself, instead of to Germany.
  • Murder had now become a part of government action:
    • Hindenburg backed Hitler and so did the Reichstag.
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What was the police state?

  • The Nazis used fear and terror to control all aspects of German life.
  • The SS, SD (security service) and the Gestapo led by Himmler did this.
  • Roles:
    • SS - removal of all opposition within Germany.
    • SD - maintaining security within the party and country.
    • Gestapo - arrested and imprisoned those suspected of opposing the state.
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How was the legal system bought under Nazi control

  • All laws were interpreted in a Nazi fashion.
  • Some Judges were removed.
  • All judges had to become members of the National Socialist League for the Maintenance of Law.
  • This meant that Nazi views were upheld in courts.
  • October 1933 - the German Lawyers Front was established. It had ten thousand members by the end of the year.
  • In 1934 a People's Court was established to try cases of treason.
  • Judges were loyal Nazis.
  • They knew that the Ministry of Justice would check that sentences were not too lenient.
  • Hitler would sometimes alter sentences.
  • By the end of 1934 Hitler had control of the legal system.
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What were conditions like in concentration camps?

  • Prisoners were classified into different categories, each denoted by a different colour triangle worn by the prisoners:
    • Political prisoners - this included Communists, members of other political parties and trade union leaders.
    • Sexual offenders.
    • The work shy - this included anyone unwilling to work, as well as gypsies, vagabonds, tramps and alcoholics.
    • Religious groups - known as the Bibleforscher (bible bashers). Included Catholics and Protestants.
    • Foreign Forced Labour Groups - non-German ethnic groups who were seen as a threat to the Nazi regime.
    • Professional criminals - included burglars and thieves.
    • Jews.
  • Opponents of the regime were taken to concentration camps for questioning, torture and hard labour.
  • Few survived the experience.
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Why were religious groups persecuted by the Nazis?

  • Nazi ideals were opposed to the belief and values of the Christian Church:
    • Catholic Church:
      • Catholics owed their first allegiance not to Hitler, but the Pope.
      • Catholic school messages were opposed to that of the Nazi Party.
      • Catholics supported the Centre Party. Hitler intended to remove this party.
    • Protestant Church:
      • Some Protestants admired Hitler - they were called German Christians.
      • Many protestants opposed Nazism as it contradicted Christian beliefs.
      • Confessional Church was set up to oppose Hitler. The members were arrested and sent to concentration camps.
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How important were censorship and propaganda?

  • Goebbels used many methods to control the thoughts, beliefs and opinions of the German people.
  • All aspects of the media were censored and skilfully manipulated by Goebbels. These included:
    • Newspapers.
    • Rallies.
    • Radio.
    • Cinema.
    • Posters.
    • Books.
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How did the Nazis control the arts and sport?

  • Arts and sport were used a methods of propaganda.
  • Goebbels set up the Reich Chamber of Culture.
  • Arts:
    • Music - Jazz was banned, traditional German music was encouraged.
    • Theatre was to focus on German history and political drama.
    • Encouraged a 'monumental style' for public buildings.
    • Modern art was banned as it was seen as unpatriotic, backward and Jewish.
  • Sport:
    • Germany needed to be a fit nation because boys were to be soldiers and girls needed to be healthy to breed.
    • Success in sport to promote the Nazi regime.
    • 1936 Berlin Olympics were used to show German as a 'Great Power' once again.
    • Success of black athletes such as Jesse Owen hindered this. Hitler refused to present medals to them.
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How did the Nazis control the young through educat

  • Teachers had to:
    • Promote Nazi ideals in the classroom.
    • Swear an oath of loyalty to Hitler.
    • Join the Nazi Teachers' League.
  • Curriculum:
    • Race Studies was introduced to put across Nazi ideas on race.
    • Taught that the Aryan race was superior.
    • 15 percent of school time was devoted to PE.
    • Boys - emphasis on prep for the military.
    • Girls - needlework, home craft, mothers.
  • Textbooks:
    • Rewritten to fit the Nazi view of history and racial purity.
  • Lessons:
    • Began and ended with the Nazi salute.
    • Nazi themes and ideas were presented in every subject...
      • Maths problems dealt with social issues.
      • Biology used to show how Jews were physically inferior.
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How did the Nazis control the young through the Hi

  • Control the young in their spare time.
  • From 1936 membership was compulsory.
  • All other youth groups were banned.
  • Boys:
    • Joined the German Young People at the age of ten.
    • From fourteen to eighteen they became members of the Hitler Youth.
    • Learnt Nazi songs and ideas.
    • Took part in athletics, hiking and camping.
    • As they got older they practised marching, map reading and military skills.
    • Many enjoyed comradeship. Also possible that they enjoyed the fact that their camps were often near to the of the League of German Maidens.
  • Girls:
    • Joined the Young Girls at the age of ten.
    • From fourteen to eighteen they joined the League of German Maidens.
    • Did much the same as boys.
    • Also learnt domestic skills in preparation for motherhood and marriage.
    • Was much less emphasis on military training.
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How successful were these policies towards the you

  • Although many people enjoyed the Hitler Youth, it was not popular with many of its members.
  • Not all young people accepted the Nazi ideas.:
    • In the 1930s gangs appeared on street corners.
    • The Edelweiss Pirates listened to forbidden music and daubed walls with anti-Nazi graffiti.
    • By 1939 the Edelweiss Pirates had 2000 members.
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What was the Nazi view of the role of women?

  • Very traditional role.
  • The Nazi ideal woman:
    • Did not wear make-up.
    • Was blonde, heavy-hipped and athletic.
    • Wore flat shoes and a full skirt.
    • Did not smoke.
    • Did not go out to work.
    • Did all the household duties, especially cooking and bringing up the children.
    • Took no interest in politics.
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What was the Nazi policy towards women?

  • Marriage and the family:
    • Propaganda campaign to promote motherhood.
    • Law of Encouragement of Marriage - giving loans to young couples.
    • German Women's Enterprise - organised classes and radio talks on motherhood.
    • On Hitler's mother's birthday, medals were awarded to women with large families.
    • Divorce was possible if a husband or wife could not have children.
    • Lebensborn (Life Springs) programme - breeding farms with SS men.
  • Appearance:
    • Discouraged from wearing trousers, high-heels and make-up.
    • Were encouraged to keep healthy and wear their hair in buns.
    • Discouraged from dying or styling hair and from slimming.
  • Jobs:
    • "Three K's" - Kinder (children), Kuche (kitchen) and Kirche (church).
    • Women doctors, civil servants and teachers were forced to leave.
    • Girls were discouraged from going onto higher education.
    • Nazis changed policies from 1937 because they needed women to replace the men when the men went to war.
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What policies were introduced to reduce unemployme

  • Labour Service Corps:
    • Provide young men with manual labour jobs.
    • In 1935 it was made compulsory for all men aged 18-25 to server for 6 months.
    • Lived in camps, wore uniforms, received low pay and carried out military drills.
  • Job creation schemes:
    • Nazis subsidised private firms.
    • Introduced road-building programmes.
    • Built 7000 kilometres of motorways.
  • Invisible unemployment:
    • Jews dismissed from jobs.
    • Unmarried men under 25 who were pushed into the National Labour.
    • Women dismissed from schemes.
    • Opponents held in concentration camps.
  • Rearmament:
    • In 1935 Hitler re-introduced conscription.
    • Heavy industry expanded.
    • Billions spent on building tanks, planes and ships.
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Were the German people better or worse off under t

Better off:

  • Strength through Joy - tried to improve the leisure time of German workers.
  • Beauty of Work - tried to improve working conditions.
  • Volkswagen scheme - opportunity to buy a car.
  • Wages - average weekly wages rose from 86 marks in 1932 to 109 marks in 1938.

Worse off:

  • Lack of freedom - lost their rights under the Nazis.
  • Strength through Joy - very few could afford the expensive holidays.
  • Volkswagen Swindle - by 1939 no one owned a car through this scheme and there were no refunds.
  • Cost of living - increased during 1930s.
  • Hours of work - increased from 42.9 hours per week in 1933 to 47 in 1939.
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What was the Nazi theory of the racial state?

  • Wanted to create a pure German state, all non-German groups were second class citizens.
  • Theory based on the idea of the 'master race' and the 'sub-humans'.
  • Master Race - all Germans were from pure Aryan descent.
  • Sub-humans - Jews and Slavs.
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Why did the Nazis persecute the Jews?

  • Jewish people have been persecuted throughout history.
  • This is because Jewish people stood out as different in regions across Europe.
  • Hitler had spent several years in Vienna where there was a long tradition of anti-Semitism.
  • He resented the wealth of many of the Viennese Jews.
  • He used Jews, in the 1920s, as scapegoats for all society's problems.
  • He blamed them for defeat in World War 1, hyperinflation in 1923 and the Depression of 1929.
  • Hitler was determined to create a pure racial state.
  • This did not include the one hundred thousand Jews that lived in Germany.
  • He wanted to eliminate the Jews from German society.
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How did the lives of German Jews change in years 1

  • Hitler did not immediately persecute the Jews, he needed to get the support of the people first.
  • Used propaganda and schools to achieve this.
  • The Jews were seen as sub-humans.
  • They loss their rights, freedom and citizenship.
  • They were sent to concentration camps.
  • Jewish children were humiliated in front of their peers at school.
  • Jews were used as scapegoats in textbooks.
  • Children's books showed the Jews as ugly and scary.
  • Jewish shops were boycotted.
  • Jews were banned from public spaces.
  • Nuremberg Laws were introduced:
    • Reich law on citisenship - Jews lost citizenship, right to vote and hold government office.
    • Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honour - banned marriage/sexual relations between Jews and Germans.
  • Jews had to carry identity cards.
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What were the causes of Kristallnacht?

  • On the 8 November 1938, a young Polish Jew shot a German official in Paris.
  • This was because he had heard about Jews being deported from Germany, including his family.
  • In relation to this murder, the Germans launched an attack on Jews and Jewish property on the night of the 9 November.
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What happened on Kristallnacht?

  • About 100 Jews were killed.
  • 20 thousand were sent to concentration camps.
  • 7500 Jewish businesses were destroyed.
  • Nearly 200 synagogues were burnt down.
  • The night became known as Crystal Night as a reference to all the broken glass resulting from the destruction.
  • Views of the German people:
    • Many Germans were disgusted at what happened.
    • Hitler and Goebbels were anxious that it should not be seen as the work of the Nazis.
    • It was portrayed as a spontaneous act of vengeance by Germans.
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What were the consequences of Kristallnacht for Je

  • Hitler officially blamed the Jews themselves for having provoked the attacks.
  • He used this as an excuse to step up the campaign against them.
  • He decreed the following:
    • Jews are fined one billion Reichmarks as compensation for the damage.
    • Jews can no longer own or manage businesses or shops or employ workers.
    • Jewish children can no longer attend Aryan schools.
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Which other groups were persecuted?

  • Gypsies - homeless, work-shy and threatened racial purity.
  • Vagrants - 'asocial', beggars and they didn't work.
  • Black people - not pure Germans and they were seen as pollutants of society.
  • Mentally ill - could not reproduce good Aryan soldiers and they were no good to society.
  • Homosexuals - could not reproduce, making them no good to society.
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What were the main methods of persecution?

  • Sterilisation Law:
    • Passed in July 1933.
    • Allowed Nazis to sterilise people with certain illnesses described as 'simple mindedness' and 'chronic alcoholism'.
  • Concentration camps:
    • Many 'undesirables' were sent to concentration camps.
    • Such as prostitutes, homosexuals, juvenile delinquents, gypsies and tramps.
  • Euthanasia campaign:
    • Exterminate the mentally ill.
    • 6000 disabled babies, children and teenagers were murdered by starvation or a lethal injection.
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This is really good. Its concise and has all of the detail needed for the Edexcel specification and more. Thanks :)


Pleasure! I'm glad it has helped you :)


Does this cover ocr as well?

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