The Enabling Act- March 1933
The March 1933 Elections
- To make people vote for the Nazis, they became the only party that was allowed to campaign, they used floods of propaganda.
- They dealt with the opposition by: Workers were no longer allowed to join trade unions, opposition politicians were arrested and imprisoned, enemies were executed, the SA could search and ransack homes, opponents driven to exile, and the Nazis watched people as they voted.
- The result: best result, but didn't have an over all majority so Hitler wanted an Enabling Act to put all power into his hands, but he didn't have enough support.
The Enbaling Act
- To gain votes they banned the communists, and pressured the other parties through intimidation.
- However the Socail Democrats still voted against- it wasn't enough and the act was passed.
- The Act meant Hitler didn't need the Reichstag- it started the Nazi Revolution.
The Night of Long Knives- July 1934
- Hitler had decide between the army and SA- he went with the army.
- Rohm was arrested and shot as Hitler accused him of planning a coup.
- 200 other SA leaders were also executed.
- There was no resistance as many SA leaders thought there had been some mistake.
Persecution of the Jews prior to Kristallnacht
- There had been anti-semitism in Europe for centuries
- From the start, the Nazis had campainged agaisnt Jews, but voters didn't think they would act on this. For the first two years of Nazi rule, there was no organised persecution:
- April 1933: Official one-day boycott of Jewish shops and practices all over Germany
- 1934: Increase of anti-jewish propaganda
- May 1935: Jews forbidden to join the army
- September 1935: Nuremburg Laws- 'Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honour' banned marriages and sexual relations between Aryans and Jews. 'Reich Citsenship Law' made Jews 'subjects' not citizens.
- 1936: Anti-Jewish signs taken down during the Olympic Games
- Septmber 1937: Hitler made an outspoken attack against the Jews for the first time. The Aryanistation of business increased.
- April 1938: Jews have to register their property, making it easier to confiscate.
- June-July 1938: Jewish doctors, dentists and lawyers forbidden to have Aryan clients.
- October 1938: Jews have 'J' stamped on passport.
- 9-10 November 1938: Kristallnacht.
Kristallnacht- November 1938
- Ernst von Rath, a German Diplomat, was murdered by a Jewish boy in Paris.
- Authorised persecutio of Jews across Germany: many synagogues, shops and Jewish homes were destroyed.
- Shows how acceptable the violence was and how vulnerable the Jewish community was.
Why did it happen?
- A power stuggle among the Nazis
- Goebbels had had an affair and needed to win back Hitler's love. He suggested Kristallnacht to satisfy the hatred many Nazis had for Jews. Hitler agreed and used it to speed up the removal of Jews from German economic life.
- Other leaders were irritated by it.
1939-41: The war goes well for Germany
- Winter of 1939- rationing of goods increase, luxury goods became rare and diets became increasingly monotonous.
1941-43: The tide begins to turn on Germany
- Propaganda increase to keep up the war effort, despite invaded areas resisting and pushing back.
- December 1941- US join the war.
1943-44: Total war
- Women were conscripted for war work (too late!)
- Any activities that weren't essential for war were banned
- Extravagent propaganda films were made to encourage the German people
- Extermination programmes given priority over war effort
- Germany wasted resources- produced less planes and tanks than Britian and Russia.
- Increasing allied bombing raids on German territory
1944-45: Failure and Defeat
- German army retreated in the East and West
- Desperate attempts to get the whole population into armament factories
- Volkssturm (Homeguard) formed to defend Berlin
- Dresden bombed and 150,000 people were killed in a firestorm
- German Govt in chaos
- German people had to rely on black market and scavanging
- April 30: Hitler and Goebbels commit suicide in Govt bunker in Berlin.
- The war is over.
The Final Solution
Factors leading to the final solution
- Kristallnacht: shows that the escalating violence was acceptable
- Nuremburg laws and other persecution- first anti-semitism, very little resistance
- Propaganda/technology: people disliked Jews, first time mass extermination could happen
- War: more Jews came under Nazi control, emigration was no longer possible. Acted as a distraction.
What was it?
- Millions of Jews were now under Nazi control
- Originally put in Ghettos, where many starved to death. Warsaw=500,000 deaths.
- Einsatsgruppen: shot every Jew they could (500,000). First mass execution of the war.
- Death camps were built far away from Germany.
- Many did not resist as they knew what was to happen, and wanted a dignified death with their family.
- 6 million Jews were killed, as well as political opponents, homosexuals, Gypsies to name but a few.
The Munich Putsch: November 1923
Reason 1: Hitler had a close relationship with Ludendorf, an army leader. The Nazis believed the army would support them and not the Government in a crisis.
Reason 2: The Bavarian State Government were right-wing, and were plotting against the Weimar Government. Hitler was sure they would support him.
Trigger: Stresemann called off the passive resistance- many Germans saw the Gvnmt as weak. Hitler was sure it was time to act, and did so despite Kahr, the head of the Bavarian Government, not being so sure.
- Hitler and Goering came with 600 stormtroopers to a Munich Beer Hall.
- The meeting held there was stpped and Kahr and his ministers were taken into a side room, where they were persuaded to support the Nazis at gunpoint.
- Berlin sent the army to Bavaria to crush the Putsch and Kahr's pledge was worthless.
- 3000 Nazis marched into Munich on teh 9th November and met 100 policemen. There was a gun fight, 16 Nazis and 3 policemen were shot.
- Hitler dislocated his shoulder and both he and Lundendorf were arrested.