The Treaty of Versailles:
The Diktat: 11th November 1918, two days after the Kaiser had abdicated, Erzberger, representing the new goverment, signed the armistice, an agreement to stop fighting. The peace treaty was drew up by Lloyd Gerorge, Clemenceau and Wilson.
The Germans were given 15 days to repsond. It said that Germany had to accept blame for the war, pay reparations to the victorious nations and they had to agree to reduce thier armed forces and territory.
The Germans were bitterly opposed and they asked for several changes, but all were refused. The treaty was a diktat. Due to thier militaary collapse and economic and political termol, they had to accept, on 28th June 1919 they signed the treaty.
It was not liked by the German people. They belived it was humiliation and it weakened to new republic from the start.
The Terms of the Treaty of Versailles
- Germany had to pay reparations to the Allies: They were eventually fixed in 1921 at 136,000 million marks (£6600 million)
- Germany lost all its colonies: The 11 Germna colonies in Africa and the far east were given to victorious countries, to look after.
- German military forces were cut: army limited to 100,000 men, navy limited, no submarines allowed, the air force was destroyed, the Rhineland was demilitarised.
- Germany lost land: Alsace and Lorraine were lost to France. Eupen and Malmedy were lost to Belgium. Posen and West Prussia were lost to Poland. Plebiscites(votes) took place to decide if they should leave Germany. Altogether Germnay lost about 13% of its European territory and almost 50% of its iron and 15% of its coal reserves.
Dolchstoss- The Stab in the back
The treaty was very unpopular with the German people,as they belived that their army was never defeated in the war. Critics of the treaty clamied that the army had been ready to fight on. They said they had been betrayed by politicans and stabbed in the back. Even Ebert, the new chancellor, greeted the return of the German Army to Berlin in December 1918 with the words "no enemy defeated you".The politicians who signed the Treaty were blamed for its harsh terms. These politicians became known as the 'november criminals' and resentment followed the new republic all the way to its collaspse in 1933. The treay therefore had lasting effects on Germnay:
- It weakened the popularity of the Weimar Republic
- Caused lasting political protests
- Harmed Germany's ecomomy
The Weimar Republic- A new constitiution
After the Kaiser left, there was unrest all around Germany. Armed groups with extreme political views clashed with the army and even clamied control in some towns. Ebert began to take control by slowly introducing careful changes. Civil Servents stayed in place. 6 moderate social democrats formed a concil of people's representatives, a temporary goveremnt. They organised elections for a National Assembly. This met in February 1919 to create a new constituition. With so much urest in Berlin, the assembly met in Weimar and the new republic was called the Weimar Republic, even after the goverment moved back to Berlin. By August 1919 the assembly had drawn up the new constituition.
The Terms of the Constitution:
The constituition was more democratic than goverment under the Kaiser. German people had more control.
There was also a system of checks and balances. This meant that power was shared out.
- Local Goverment was run by the 18 regions of Germany
- Central Goverment recived more power
- The Reichstag was the house of German parliament. Members of the Reichstag voted every 4 years and Men and Woman over 20 could vote.
- The Reichsrat was the other house of German Parliament. A number of members were sent by each local region and they could delay new laws unless overruled by 2/3 of the majority.
The Weimar Republic:
Ebery was elected by the assembly as the first President. He careful gained support of powerful groups in Society.
- He promised General Groner, head of German army there would be no reform of the armed forces.
- reassured industrial leader Stinnes, would be no nationalisation of private businesses.
- ensured support of trade unions by promising a maximum of 8 working hours a day
With this new support the goverment overcame opposition and gradually gained control of the country.
The careful balancing of powers made it difficult for the chancellor to be sure he could give a strong goverment when the country most needed it.
Weaknesses of the Constitution:
The republic was built on shaky grounds. Extrimist parties didnt support it; moderate Germans feared it was to weak.
Firstly, proportional representaion meant that even a party with a small number of votes gained seats in the Reichstag. During the 1920's there were 28 parties in the Reichstag. To get majority votes chancellors needed coalitions of several parties. However these parties all wanted different things, making stable goverment difficult.
Economic Problems 1918-1923
Bankruptcy: At first, Germany's biggest problem was that the goverment was bankrupt; its reserves of gold had been spent on the War and the Treaty of Versailles made things worse as it deprived Germany of walth-earning area's. By 1923 Germany was unable to pay.
Occupation of the Ruhr: The French sent troops into the German industrial area of the Rhur. They confiscated raw amterials, manufactured goods and industrial machinary. The German goverment urged passive resistance; workers went on strike. The French replied by arresting people and brought in thier own workers. The ocupation of the Rhur did little for the French but it cripples Germany as 80% of German coal, iron and sttel were based there. The disruption increased Germany's debts, unemployment and the shortage of food.
These shortages meant that the price of money went up. People had to pay more moeny to get what they needed.
The goverment needed money to pay thier debts, but unemployment and failing factories meant that they were reciving less money. So during 1919-1923, the goverments income was a quater of what they required, so they just printed more money. This made it easier to pay reparations but made inflation even worse. The more prices rose the more money was printed. By 1923 prices reached spectacular highs. This extreme inflation was called hyperinflation. In 1919 a loaf of bread was 1 mark and by 1923 it was 200,000 billion marks.
- Everyone suffered from shortages
- Everyone found it difficult to buy what they needed
- People with savings were hit hardest
However some people did benefit: big businessmen and industrials, who had borrowed heavily, profited as he real value of thier debts plummted. Foreign visitors also benifited as the vale of their own currency rose against the German mark.
Eventually things improved. In August 1923 a new chancellor was appointed, Stresemann. He cancelled the old mark and introduced a new currency, the retenmark, This lead to a period of stability. However most Germans had suffered and blamed the Weimar Republic. The middle class suffered the most and they should have given the most support to the Weimar Republic.
Political Problems, 1918-23
Right Wing and Left Wing: The start of the Weimar Republic was marked by political unrest all over Germany. This unrest came from right-wing and left-wing groups.
- Right Wing: Wanted to keep soicety stable, wanted a strong goverment, supported capitalism, nationalists. They resented the Weimar Rupublic, they hated the communists who undermined the Kaiser, wanted to reverse Versailles anf gained military support.
- Left Wing:Wanted to change societ rapidly, aimed to treat people as equals, opposed capitalism, were internationalist's. Socialists are left wing. Communism is an extreme left- wing movement. They wanted a revolution in Germany, thought the Weimar republic gave too little power to workers and wanted goverment by concils of workers or soilders.
Support for Extreme Parties:From 1918- 23 the German people were unhappy about: The Weimar leaders' decision not to fight, The 1919 Treaty of Versailles, which German's regared as punitive and Vindictive and The hardship caused by umemployment and inflation. All this persuaded many people in Germany to support left-wing or right- wing political groups between 1918-23.
Violent Political Unrest
One thing which made politics in the Weimar republic so violent was that political parties had thier own private armies. They recruited mainly ex-soilders, who were often unemployed and bitter that thier goverment had accepted peace.
- The left wing had its Rotfrontkampfer
- The stahlhem were a conservative organisation on the right wing.
- Even the moderate SPD had its sozi force.
At frst private armies were for protection, but they quickly casued political activity to become violent.
They were demobilised soilders, returning from the war, who had refused to give back their arms. They were anti-communist and worked with the regular army. It i estimated that the Freikorps numbered 250,000 by March 1919. Freikoprs members sometimes took the law into thier own hands and used violence to further thier own political cause. Between 1919-1922 there were 376 political murders, mostly of left- wing or moderate politicians. However not a single right-wing murder was cpnvicted, but ten left- wing were assassinated. This shows the extent to which the legal system was filled with right wing supporters.
The Spartacist League
Sometimes extreme political groups tried to overthrow the goverement by force. e.g during the winter onf 1918-1919 there were left-wing uprisings thoughout Germany, which set up workers' and soilders' local councils in towns across Germany. Also formed a central Council of Commissars, which claimed to be the ture goverment, as a direct threat to the new moderate goverment of Ebert in Berlin.
The main communist leaders were Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Libknecht, leaders of the Spartacist Leauge. On 6th January 1919, 100,000 communists demonstrated in Berlin and took over key buildings, such as newspaper offices. Ebert and his defence minister Noske, needed to put down the rebles, so they turned to the Freikorps for help. Several communist supporters were killed, however there need to rely on upon the force did nothing for peoples faith in republic. The uprising was put down by early 1919.
The Kapp Putsch (Right-Wing Revolt)
Soon the unrest returned. This time it was lead bu right-wing opponents of the goverment, who were outraged by the Treaty of Versailles of 1919. They were particularly angry about cuts in the armed forces. In 1920, 5000 right-wing supporters of Dr Wolfgang Kapp marched on Berlin to overthrown the Weimar Republic and bring back the Kaiser. The army refues to move against the Kapp and for a while the rebles controlled the city. The goverment was forced to move to Dresen; they urged people not to co-operate and instead go on strike. Many workers obliged- they had socialist leanings and no desire to see the kaiser return. Essential services- gas, electricity, water and transport stopped and the capital ground to a halt. Kapp realied he could not govern and fled to Sweden. He was later arrested and put in prision , where he died in 1922. But again the Republic had been shown to be weak, and the unrest continued.
The Munich Putsch- 1923
Background: Hitler was a leader of a small, but rapidly growing right- wing party the NSDAP, know as the Nazi Party. By 1923 the nazis had the support of: around 55,000 party members, mostly from around Munich, the capitalof Bavaria and south Germany they also had there won private army The Storm Troopers (SA).
Causes: In 1923, Hitler decided to take control of Munich and then march on Berlin. Belived he would get public support as many people who wanted a strong German goveremnt would stanf up for Germany after France had occupied the Ruhr. Seondly it was also the year of hyperinflation when people resented the Weimar Republic.
The Munich Putsch- 1923
Events: On the evening of the 8th November 1923, there was a meeting of 3000 officials of the Bavarain Goverment in a beer hall, called the Burgerbrau Keller, in Munich. The three main speakers were all right-wing sympathisers: Von Kahr (leader of Bavarian goverment), Von Seisser (head of Bavarian Police) and Von Lossow (head of the army in Bavaria). Hitler burst into the meeting with 600 SA. He fired a shot into the ceiling and announced he was taking over Bavaria. The three were taken into a side room and threatened with Pistols, untill they agreeed to support the uprising. The next morning, Hitler found that all 3 had changed thier minds and now opposed him. So he sent 3000 supporters to occupy key buildings around the town. Hitler and his Shock Troop marched on the town centre to declare him the president of Germany, but they were faced with police. Hitler fled and was later arrested.
Results of the Munich Putsch:
One result of failure was punishment. Hitler was found guilty of treason and imprisioned for 5 years. His party and its newspapers were banned. Hitlers punishment was lenient. Partly becasue, in truth, the Putsch was no real threat to the goverment in Berlin Hitler had:
- Falied to take control of key poilce, military and communications offices in Munich
- Falied to get support of key politicians
- and failed to get support from the local police.
However Hitler managed to use his trial to publicise his political views. From 1918- 23 Germany had been in political turmoil. Widespread anger about Versailles and econimic suffering fulled left-wing an right-wing extremism. But the unrest calmed down from 1924.
Weimar Recovery 1924-29
August 1923, Stresesmann became the chancellor and foreign secretary. But he was forced to resign in November 1923, but remained foreign secretary until 1929.
Rentenmark: In 1923 Stressesmann set up a new state-owned bank, the Rentenbank, which issued a currency- the Rentenmark. It was printed in limited supplies and backed by land and industrial plant. So it had real value. People trusted it. In 1924 a new bank the Reichsbank was given control of this currency and it was renamed the Reichsmark. German money was trusted at home and abroad.
The Dawes Plan and The Locarno Pact
April 1924, Stresemann agreed to the Dawes Plan, suggested by Charles G. Daws, an American banker. The plan addressed the reparation issues: annual reparations would be reduced & U.S. Banks would give loans to German economy. This meant employment went up, government income from taxation improved, imports and exports increased and industrial output doubled.
Most Germans were reassured, but was drawbacks. The economy depended on America and extreme political parties hated the treaty of Versailles and were furious Germany signed it.
The Locarno Pact: Stressesmann made progress in international affairs. In October 1925, signed the pact. It was a treaty between Germany, Britain, France and Belgium. In the pact Germany agreed to keep its new 1919 border with France and Belgium. in return allied troops left Rhineland, France promised peace with Germany and allowed talk about Germany joining the League of Nations. Germany was now being treated as an equal.
The Young Plan 1929 and The League of Nations
Stressesmann made further progress with reparations five years later when, in the last year of his life he agreed to the Young Plan. the plan was put forward in August 1929, by a committee set up by the allies and headed by an American banker called Owen Young. The young plan reduced the total reparations debt from £6.6 billion to £2 billion and they were given an extra 59 days to pay. This plan reduced the amount the government had to pay, allowed taxes to be lowered and released spending power, which boosted the German Economy. Most saw this as a success for Stressemann, however there were drawbacks such as, annual payments were still £50 million per year, and hitler said that extending payment was 'passing on the penalty to the unborn'.
Leauge of Nations: By the end of WW1 the allies had founded the League of Nations. This was a new powerful body where countries discussed world problems. In September 1926 Stressemann persuaded the others to accept Germany into the League of Nations, they were then given a place on the council.
Kellogg- Briand Pact & Stabilising the Republic
Kellogg- Briand Pact: August 1928, Germany and 61 other countries signed the Kellogg-Briand pact. The pact promised that states would not use war to achieve foreign policy aims. For Germany it was a sign of better relations with France and USA. It also showed Germany as a respected member of the world community.
Stabilising the Republic: Between 1923 and 1929, moderate Germans regained confidence in the Weimar Republic. The confidence was reinforced in 1925 when Ebert, the president, was replaced by Hindenburg. He seemed to give Germanya strong figurehead. Stressemann had started to stabilise the Weimar Republic by: reducing reparations, improve Germany's relations with France and the USA.
KT2: Hitler and the Rise of the NAZI Party 1919-33
THE BIRTH OF THE NAZI PARTY 1919-23:
After the war Hitler was given an assignment checking up on political groups. One of these party's was the German workers party (DAP), who were a small group founded in 1919 by Anton Drexler. hitler attended two parties in Septemeber 1919. there were only 23 people at the first meeting. hitler soon found that he agreed with many of their views as they railed against; the communists and socialists whom they blamed for brining down the kaiser, the Weimar politicians who accepted the treaty of Versailles and the Jews. These ideas matched hitters views, so he joined the DAP. Hitler became the 7th member of the party.
25 Point Program: By 1920, hitler was Drexlers right hand man and in February 1920, the two men revealed the plan, which included; scrapping the treaty, expanding the German border, depriving the Jews of German citizenship and the plan made it clear they would use force to achieve their aims.
Hitlers Role Grows
Hitler was energetic and an inspiring speaker. People were attracted to Hitlers views, his vision of the future and his passionate speeches. He particularly attracted support from the army, the police and businesses. By June 1920 membership had risen to 1100. On 7th August hitler suggested that they changed their name to the nazi party. He also introduced the Swastika as the party's emblem. During 1920 membership grew to 3000. The membership boosted funds and party set up newspaper 'the völkischer Beobachter'. Then in mid 1921 became the party's führer. He gathered around him loyal party leaders. Röhm (solider), Goering( Air Force), Hess(became his deputy) and Streicher (founder of another nazi party). Hitler alos cultivated powerful friends, such as General Ludedorff, Leader of the German Army during WW1.
The SA- Hitler's Stormtroopers & Impact of Munich
The SA: In 1921, Hitler created the SA. These were the NAZI's private army. They were recruited from ex- soilders demobilised from the army, the unemployed and students. Many came from the Frekikoprs. The SA were sometimes called Brownshirts. They provided security at meetings and bodyguards, broke up meetings of opposition groups. Many of SA were thugs and hard to control. Hitler wanted people he could rely on so in 1923 he selected trusted members from the SA and bormed his own bodygurard the Shock Troop.
Impact of Munich Putsch:Hitler overstreched himself when he launched the Munich Putsch in 1923. It failed and he was imprisioned. But the long term effects were not bad as used it to get publicity, won 32 seats in the Reichstag in 1924, was released after 9 months and wrote Mein Kampf. By end of 1923 had learn lesson and by 1924 started to re build party to takeover.
Nazi Party Beliefs
Whilst Hitler was in prison he read widely and clarified his political views and he wrote his book a blueprint of Nazi Beliefs.
Nationalism: This involved; reviving the power of Germany, Breaking restrictions on Germany in Versailles, expanding borders and purifying the German race.
Socialism: Wanted to control big businesses. To him socialism meant running the economy in the national intrest so that: workers could be treated fairly and jews could not be in control.
Totalitarianism: Should take control of every aspect of life. He dispised democaracy as it was weak and believed in loyalty.
Traditional German Values: Strong family values & christian.
Struggle's and Racial Purity
Struggle: Hitler belived that life was a contest, in which people struggled against each other. He said that it made people healthier and fitter. Nazi's belived Germant should strugle: outside her borders, against other countries to get Libensraum (living space) and inside her borders, against non- German people, so they could strengthen true German values.
Racial Purity: Hitler said pople were divided into superior and inferior races. Acording to Hitler, the Aryans were the superior race. Belived people from other places e.g Asia were inferior race. The lowest form of life, he said, were the jews, whom he described as parasites who fed off the countries they lived in.
Nazi Party Organisation and the Lean Years, 1924-2
Re- Lauch: On 27th February 1925, Hitler relaunched the Nazi Party. 4000 people heard him speak and a further 100 had to be turned away.
Admin & Finance: Hitler appointed two efficient organisers to run Nazi headquarters: Bouhler as Secretary and Schwarz as Treasurer. Also divied the party into regions and appointed network of Gauleiters answerable only to him, they ran the NSDAP in each Gaue(region)
The SA and the SS: Extra income helped to expand the SA. Had 400,000 members by 193. Munich Putsch taught Hitler importance of totally loyal bodyguard, but didnt trust many of them, had gained dangerous loyalty to Rohm whilst in prision. So in 1925 set up SS. At first was run by his chauffeur and bodyguard. The SS became famous and feared for thier black uniforms (1932). This increased his personal control on the party.
Goebbles & Nazi Propaganda
Hitler used Goebbles to improve Nazi propaganda. Propaganda is information and ideas that you spread to help your own casue or harm other people. Hitler and Goebbles wanted a simple message, but used many ways to get it round.
- Blamed Jews, communists and leaders of the Weimar Republic for problems & Promoted Hitler as voice of party, by 1930 his speeches were reported in 120 daily or weekly nazi newspapers & Created a clear image, image of strenght. Image was set by Hilter's passion, the spectacle of mass Nazi rallies and the impressive power of the SA.
The Lean Years: By 1928, the party was well organised. Had 100,000 members an Hitler was national figure. Were lean years as inflation had eased, Hindenburg became president. As result moderate parties supported. In May 1928 won 12 seats, 9th biggest in reichstag and polled 2.6% of national vote.
Economic Crisis 1929-32: The Great Depression
The Wall Street Crash: October 1929, share prices began to fall on the Wal Street stock exchange in New York. Falling shares meant peoples investemnts fell in value. Worried about loosing money people rushed to sell their shares. On 'Black Thursday', 24th October 1929, 13 million shares were sold. Panic selling got worse. Shares went from $20,000 to $1000 by the end of the day. Within a week investors lost $4000 million.
Economic Effects: Banks were majour investors in shares as suffered huge losses. Germna banks lost so much money people feared they couldn't pay out the money in bank accounts. People rushed to get moeny back, some banks run out of money. German and American banks needed money they leant to businesses back. German companies were dependant on these loans. Either had to reduce operations of close. German industirial output fell and unemployment rose.
Social and Political Effects:
- The economic collaspe caused suffering. The middle class, lost savings, their companies or homes
- workers became unemployed
- People demaned political action byt Weimar Goverment falied them. From 1930-32, Chancellor Bruning proposed: Rasing taxes to pay cost of unemployment benefits and to reduce unemployment benefits to make payments more affordable.
- This pleased no one. Right wing opposed taxes and Left Wing opposed lower benefits.
- Bruning could only govern by decree. As the crisis deepened, Bruning's goverment had to rely on 44 decrees in 1931 and 66 in 1932.
- Casue of suffering was beond goverment control and the crisis continued. Unemplyed roamed the streets and some joined private armies . He lost control of the Reichstag, the economy anf streets. Resigned in 1932.
Nazi Support Grows, 1929-32
The bank collapes, the business faliures and the unemployment of 1929 to 1933 were a huge boost to the nazi party. Bruning's goverment was weak and ineffective. So voters turned to the extreme left- wing anf right- wing parties to solve thier problems.
Hitlers Appeal: He was 1 of the reasons people tunred to the nazi party. Germany saw him as a man who could be a strong leader, unite the country and restore order. Since WW1, Germany's national pride suffered. So he promised to 'tear up the treaty of Versailles' and restore social order, this was very popular with the German People.
Strength of the SA & Working Class Support:
Strength of the SA: Main opponent for thr NSDAP was the communist party. One factor in the electoral sucess of the NSDAP was that it had a stronger private army than the communists. By 1930 the SA had 400,000. The SA was used in rallies to make the Nazi' s seem strong. The SA were used to whip up feelings of hope for the future and finally the SA were used to distrupt opposition parties. The elections of 1930 and 32 were violent. They intimidated candiates to vote for them.
Working Class Support: Many people liked their traditional german values. Promised them 'work and bread'. Gave impression working class supported the Nazi's. They were the biggest group of voters. However they never dominated the working class, as many of them supported communism.
Middle Class Support
Key groups in the growth of Nazi support were the middle class, which contained professional people, lile teachers, farmers and business people. Bewtween 1929-32, they deserted the moderate parties and supported the Nazi's becasue; Great depression and saw Hitler as strong leader, Afraid of the growth of communism and also the view that there had been a moral decline under the Weimar Republic.
Farmers: Targeted them. Policy of confiscating all private lanf was changed in 1928. Now would only be confiscated if owned by Jews.
Big Business: Industrails saw Hitler as thier best hope of protection from the rise of communism.
Young Woman & Children: Young people liked his passionate speeches and said voting for NSDAP was best for family
The Nazi Win Power, 1932-33
By July 1932, they were the biggest party in the Reichstag and in March 1932 he stood as a candiate in the presidential election.
The Presidential Elections: Germany was in turmoil at this time. The walls treet crash had casus the the collaspe of German industry. Hindenburg, president since 1925 gained 18 million votes and Hilter gained 11 million. As no one achived 50% of votes election was repeated. Hindenburg polled 19 million and was re-elected and Hitlers vote grew to 13 million.
Fall of Chancellor Bruning: April 1932, banned the SA & SS. Wanted to calm unrest and control Nazi Party. So Von Scleicher removed him. He organies a coaltion of Right wing groups, landowners ect. Persuaded Hinenburg that thet had majority in Reichstag so Bruning was sacked.
Von Pappen becomes Chancellor
Schleicher controlled the new goverment from behind the scenes. He chose a wealthy politician Von Papen, as the figurehead for this new coalition. He then made Von Papen Chancellor in May 1932. Schlieicher offered the NSDAP a place in the coalition. He thought he could control thr nazis this way. Hitler agreed to this offer. From May 1932 Hitler and the Nazi Party were part of the German goverment. The Coalition was weak from the start. In July 1932 the NSDAP won 230 seats in the reichstag and was now the largest party. Hitler demanded that Hindenburg should sack Von Papen and appoint him chancellor, but Hindenburg refused. Instead Von Papen called an election in Novmeber 1932. Luckly nazi spoort did fall to 196, but were still the largest party. Without Hitler's support Von Papen could no longer control so he resigned.
Von Schleicher becomes Chancellor
39 business like Bosh, signed a letter to Hindenburg asking to appoint Hitler as chancellor. They thought aht with thier donations to his party they could control him. But Hindenburg refues and apointed Von Schleicher as chancellor. Schleicher was confident nazi support was fading But he falied to get the majority in the Reichstag. He informed Hindenburg that Hitler and Von Papen were conspiring against him and that he needed hindenburg to suspend the consititution and declare von Schleicher head of military dicatorship. But Hindenburg refused and Von Schlichers plan was leaked out an he lost any remaining support in the reichstag. His time was up.
Hitler becomes Chancellor
Through all this Von Papen continued to plot against Von Schleicher with Hindenburg and right-wing parties in the Reichstage, He told them that, if they supported the Hilter as chancellor, with von papen as vice-chancellor thay could make all the decisons themselves and use Hitler as a figurehead. So reluctantly, Hindenburg agreed that there was no alternative and on 30th January 1933, Hitler was legally and democratically apointed the chancellor of Germany.
KTP: The Nazi Dictatorship 1933-39
The Removal of Opposition 1933-34:
The Reichstag Fire: 27th February 1933, the building was destroyed in a massive fire. A young dutchman, a communist was caught on the sight with matches and firelighters. He confessesd and was put on trial with 4 others, though he claimed he acted alone. Van der Lubbe was found the olny guilty one and was excuted. Hitler saw the fire as a oppertunity to attack the communists. Goering, a naxi chief of police said Van der Lubbe was part of a communsit conspiracy against the goverement. He used the fire to mae Hindenburg declare a state of emergency. Hitler could now use his decress to govern Germany. So in March 1933 he called a election, hoping for more seats. It was a bloody election campaign, there was 70 deaths. The Nazis now had 288 seats. He used emergency powers to ban communists from taking 81 seats.
The Enabling Act:
One of the first laes Hitler introduces was the enabling act, which changed the constituition of the Weimar Republic. Hitler forces it through the Reichstage in late March 1933. It gave Hitler the right to make laws for 4 years without the consent of the reichstag. It was renewed in 1937. The new law was passed by 44 votes to 94. In this sense it was legal, even thought the Reichstag members were intimidated during the vote. However, in effect, it marked an end of democratic rule and of the Weimar Republic.
Trade Unions: Were a potential source of opposition to Hitler. So in May 1933, He used his new power to ban trade unions and make strikes illegal.
Political Parties: In July 1933 he made all political parties illegal apart from the NSDAP.
Control of Local Government:
Local Goverment: The next step for Hitler was to strengthen the centeral goverement in Berlin, which he controlled and to weaken the local goverment in Germany. Under th eWeimar Constitution, all regions of Germany had thier own parliment, which ran local goveremnt in thier area. By 1934 he had control onf the Reichstag but could not control these 18 Lander parliaments. SO in January 1934, he abolishef the lander parliaments and declared that governors, appointed by him, would run every region of Germany
The Night of the Long Knives
By the start of 1934, Hitler had made Germnay a one-party state. He now made sure that he was the unrivalled leader of the Nazi Party. But Hitler feared Rohm, the leader of the SA. Rohm had merged an army veterans group with the SA. This meant the SA now had 3 million members, with so many loyal SA members he was in a position to threaten Hitler. Rohm also opposed Hitler's policys. Hw wanted to tax the rich and wanted more socialist policies. The German army was alos worried by Rohm as they only had 100,000 men. Rohm wanted the SA to replace the Army. Leaders of the SS also resented Rohm too. They wanted to reduce the powers of the SA, so they could increase the power of the SS. So in 1934 the leaders of the SS and the Army warned Hitler that Rohm was planning to sieze power. So on 30th June 1934, Hitler arranged for Rohm and several other offices of the SA to be arrested, imprisioned and shot. This was know as the night of the long knives.
The Night of the Long Knives
Rohm was taken to Stadelheim Gaol, where, on 1st July, a SS brigade leader arrived. He left a loaded pistol with one bullet, in Rohms cell, inviting him to commit suicide. After 15 minutes, hearing no sound, he entered the cell with his deputy, where they both shot him. In addition to Rohm, six other SA leaders were shot, on Hitlers orders. In the middle of this Von Papen was still vie- chancellor, protesting to Goering. He was told the SS had things under control and should return home for his own saftey. SS squads were rounding up suspects; one group went to Von Papen's offcie, shot his press secrtary and arrested his staff. His house was surrounded and phon cut. Over 4 days about 400 people including 150 senior members of the SA were shot, this included Von Schleicher and Strasser. This was illegal what Hitler was doing but said it was for Germany, most were grateful the SA had been restrained. Now under hitlers control and was limited.
Death of President Hindenburg
On 2nd August 1934, he died aged 87 and Hitler moved in to take over supreme power
- He declared himself the German Fuhrer
- He decreed that, as Fuhrer he would add all of the presidents pwers to those he already held as chancellor
- he forced an oath of loyalty to him from every soilder in the Army
The Public Vote was organinsed to confirm Hitler as the Fuhrer.. Bombardment of Nazi Propaganda, 90% of voters voted in favour. The Weimar Republic had ended and Hitles Third Reich had begun.
The Nazi Police State: The SS & Gestapo
Nazi Germany was a police state. This is a stae which the goverment uses the police, sometimes secret police to control peoples lives. Viewswere supresses. The main organisations used by Hitler to exert this control over Germany were the SS and the Gestapo.
The SS: Were a military group, set up in 1925 as a personal bodyguard for Hitler. The main role of the SS was to be the Nazi party's own private police force. They were totally loyal to hitler. Another role of the SS was to carry oth the Nzi Policy of Racial Purification.
The Gestapo: Was Hitlers secret police force. They were set up in 1933 and placed under control of the SS in 1936. Germans feared them as they could not tell them apart from the german people. They arrested people who acted against the Nazi Party, by 1939, 150,000 were under protective arrest in prision.
Concentration Camps and Law Courts
The First Nazi concentration camp was opened in 1933, Camps were in isolated locations. They were secretive places, not controlled by normal prioson rules. Inmates were mainly political prisions ot 'undersirables like prostitutes and minority groups such as jews. From 1938 the SS used the camps as iforced labour for business enterprieses . There were 6 by 1939, holding about 20,000 people. After 1939 concentration camps grew in number and size and were used for mass murder.
The Law Courts: Hitler took control of what was happening in the courts. He set up the National Socialist Heauge for the Maintenance of the Law. He insisted that all judges must be members. If any judges displeased the nazis they were denied membership. Certain judes supported Nazi ideas. Also set up a new peoples cour, to hear all treason cases. Judges were hand picked.
Repression of the Church
The Christian religion was one aspect of German repressed by Hitlers Police State.At first Hitler tried to control the churches by reassuring them and encourging them to work with the nazi goverment. But this did not workof long, soon he turned full force of the police state against christians.
The Catholic Church: 1/3 of Germans were catholic. One social issue was that Hitler came first not the poe. Catholics also had own schools different from Nazi schools. So in July 1933 he made an agreement with the Pope saying that He would not interefre with catholic schools if priests woulf not interfere with politics. But he didnt keep his promise as 400priests were imprisioned, catholic schools were shut.
Censorship and Propaganda:
Nazi Germany was a totalitarian state. This means a state in which the goverement seeks to control all individuals and every aspect of society. Censorship and propaganda were 2 ways the nazis gained control. The Nazis stopped the press printing some news and told them what to print instrad. It was used to control people's political views, actions and artistic and cultrual views.
The Press: ewspapers were encouaged by the Nzis', but they had to provide views which the ministry agreed. Journalists were given briefings containing the information to publicise. Under these circumstances there could be no free press in Germany, every newspaper was a nazi newspaper.
University & The Arts
Universities: The Nazi's had little respect for academic research. Betwenn 1933 and 38, 300 professors were dismissed from jobs. Reaseach was haily directed by the Misistry and the results were expected to support Nazi views. Al academics who remained had to agree publicly to things which were nonsence e.g "physics is the creation of german mind... in fact, all european science is the fruit of Ayran thought".
The Arts: Goebbles set up the Reich Chamber of Culture. Writers, musicians and aritists had to be members. They deciced what would be avaliable. Million of books were burnt if written by jews or diagreed with thier policy's. Jazz was banned as it was seen as blac music. No Modern art was allowed. Theatre tickets were also made cheaper as it was a good way of getting nazi views across.
Radio, Cinema and Sport
Radio: All radio staions were put under nazi control, Hitler an other nazi officials made frequent broadcasts, radios were also sold cheaply so that everyone could listen.
Cinema: Films were made publicising german achivements, by 1934 all film plots had to be aproved. Some filsm had political messages.
Sport: Built an olymipic stadium which could hold 110,000 people and was the largest in the world. Events were well organised to sho off German efficiency. Germany would 33 gold medals more that any other country. One embrassement was Jesse Owens a black american athlete who broke a olympic record.
Hitler the Key Figurehead: His image was carefully crafted, he was strong and decisive and pictured with children to show him as caring.
KT4: Nazi Domestic Policies 1933-39
Youth and Education in Nazi Germany:
Boys were directed towards paid work and the military and Girls were intended to be good wives and mother.
Schools: All chidren went to school till 14. Boys and girls attended seperate schools. New Subjects such Race Studies (told aryans were superior, not marry jews),Mein Kampf was a compulsory text, PE was alocated 1/6 of of school time to keep people healthy and Domestic science included cooking, needlework. And History and maths became vehicles for Nazi views.
Youth Movemement: Boys would join Hitler Youth and do millitary training like in the SA. Girls focused on health and motherhood, but some went against hitler by listening to swing music or being in mixed- sex groups.
Woman in Nazi Germany 1933-30
In Weimar Germnay:
- Women over 20 could vote
- By 1933 there were around 100,00 female teachers
- Woman started to enjoy more social activities
In Nazi Germany:
- Stay Healthy
- Learn Housecraft
- Have children, bring them up as good Germans
- stay at home and comcentrate on domestic matters
- not expected to wear trousers, make up or dye hair.
- Woman were encourraged to leave work and focus on 3K's (children, kitchen and church)
Marriage and Childbirth
Birth rate was falling in Nazi Germany, So in 1933,
- the law for the encouragment of marriage was introduced. Loans of 1000 marks, worth about 9 months wages were provided for young couples to marry as long as the wife left work. For each one of first four children couples could keep a quater of the loan.
- The mothers cross alos encouraged childbirth. It was an award given to woman for the number of children they had. Medals were distributed to woman who had a certain number of children, bronze, silver and gold.
- Lebensbor another policy to enocurage childbirth. Started in 1935 by the SS, at first provided financial aid for woman with SS men. Over 540 mothers gave birth from 1938-1941
Work and Employment, 1933-39
Nazi Policy towards Workers: Hilter belived trade unions could distrupt the economy, so the goverement banned these in 1933 and in thier place set up the DAF, it also controlled the power of the employers and regulate working hours. But they also had power to punish workers. It prevented explotation of workers.
Nazi Policy towards the Unemployed: Solving unemplyment was important to hitler, as it meant they may turn to communsim. He belived men needed to be put to work, in the service of thier country. So in 1933 the Nazi's set up the RAD. This provided manual work for the unemployed. At first it was voluntry but then in 1935 it was made compulsory for all young men to serve for 6 months. Men in RAD were organised like an army. They worde uniforms and lived in camps. They were very low paid. By 1939 Germany had 700miles of motorway.
- German needed living spac. These views required militarry power. Therefore, Nazi policy towards the economy,like its policy towards the youth, was organised to make germany strong as a military nation.
- In 1936, Hitler issued a secret memo declaring that the economy must be reorganised to make Germany able to wage war within 4 years. Hitlers 4 year plan had several effects on the economy.
1) Goverment spending on rearmanment increaded from 3.5 bilion to 26 billion.
2) The army's need for Iron and Steel increased
3) The goveremnt wanted to reduce the damage any navel blockaid might do so boosted german production, to be self sufficient
4) The German army Grew, from 100,000 in 33 to 900,000 in 39.
The Standard of Living 1933-39
Unemployment had drastically reduced in Germany by 1939. More poeple in work meant more people enjoying the benefits of a regular income. Wage levels also improved and one sign of people's higher spending power was that sales of consumer goods increased. The nazi's supported the production of the people's cat, which was meant to make car ownership possible for masses. The number of cars tebled in the 1930's. Hitler also set up 2 organisations to help working conditions. One way was the SdA- Beauty of Labour, this ensured the standards at work e.g. saftey, light and hot meals. The second way was KdF- Kraft Durch Freude, this provided leasure activities for workers and the most loyal workers could win impressive holidays.Public suport for hitler was mainy due to his economic success.
The case against a rising standard of living
- With trade unions banned workers freedom had been reduced and working hours increased
- offical unemplyoment figures were keft artificially low didnt include people like jews or woman.
- After Great Depression standard of living was really low so was just a return to normal
- goverment spent more than its income from taxes
Persecution of Minorities, 1933-99
- Believed Aryan race was superior race
- Other reaces such as the slavsof Eastern Eruope, were lesser races
- Sub-humans, included africans
- Worst off all were gypsies and jews and he determined these as unworthy of life.
- April 1933: Nazi Boycott of Jewish Businesses and banned from goverment jobs.
- September 1033: Jews were banned from inheriting land
- May 1935: banned from the army
- June 1935: banned from restraunts
The Nuremberg Laws
As the Nazi's established themselves in power, prosecution became worse. In Spetember 1935, The Nuremberg laws were passed. It wasin 2 parts.
- Only those of German blood could be citizens and jews lost the right to vote and have German passport.
- It forbit Jews from marrying Germans
- In April 1938 thy had to register all posessions so they could easily be confiscated.
- July 1938, had to carry identity cards on them
On 7th November 1938 a Polish Jew Grynszpan, went into the German embassy in Paris, randomly picked out a German Von Rath and shot him. He did this as he had a grievance against the Germans for the way that they treted his parents. A wave of anger swept the county and there was violence towards jews. Many SA started to arrest as amany jews as they could fit in prison and they unleashed their own forces.
On the 9th and 10th November gangs smashed up jewish property and attacked jews. Some were horrified and some watched with pleasure. About 100 jews were killed. 814 shops,171 homes and 191 synagogues were destroyed. The damage was so bad it was called the night of the broken glass.
The aftermath of Kristallnacht
Goebbels blamed the jews for starting the trouble and said that jews should be fined 1 billion marks to pay the damage,banned from running shops or businesses and banned from schools.
The SA and SS also started to round up Jews. By 12th November 20,000 jews had been sent to concentration camps.
In January 1939 Heydrich was given the job of getting rid of jews in Germany. From April 1939 jews could be evicted from rented homes. In September 1939 Germany ocupied poland and sent jews their tobe detained in fenced- off areas of towns called ghettos. The living conditions were teriable
Who was to blame? many germans took part in persecutio and most other countries did little to stop it.
Persecution of Other Minorities:
- After 1933 Gypsies wer arrested and sent to concentration camps
- from 1935 marriage between gypsies and Geman's was forbidden
- In 1935 the laws agaist homosexuality were strengthened
- Belived babies who where born disabled should be allowed to die
- By 1945 6000 disabled Germans had been killed by starvation or lethal injections