Germany 1919-1945

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The beginning

When it was formed in 1871, Germany was ruled by an emperor: Kaiser, Wilhelm II. The country had a parliment; the Reichstag, but elected people had limited power. In 1914, Germany went to war against Britain, France and Russia. By 1918, Germany's generals had to accept they had been defeated. Weeks of violence came from the Germans to express their anger and shock. On the 11th November, Germany signed the Armistice to bring ww1 to end. The 19th January 1919 elections were held for a new government. Febuary 6th 1919 a new government met for the first time in WEIMAR. The preseident: Ebert; Chancellor: Scheidemann. Germany was now a democratic republic. Democracy had been forced on the Germans. 

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Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945)

Responsibility: Minister of Propaganda 1933-1945. 

What happened to him? 

Died with his wife and family in the bunker with Hitler in Berlin, 1st May 1945. 

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Hermann Goering (1893-1946)

Responsibility: Took action against the Rohm in 1934, on the night of the long knives. In 1935, he became responsible for the air force (luffewaffe). In 1936, he became responsible for the four year plan. 

What happened to him?

He was tried at the Nuremburg trials and found guilt, his punishment - hanging. Committed suicide by taking poison whilst waiting to be executed. 

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Heinrich Himmler 1900-1945

Responsibility: he was the head of the SS and was responsible for implimenting the final solution, setting up extermination camps.

What happened to him?

He was arrested on the 23rd May 1945, he committed suicide. 

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Reinhard Heydrich (1904-1942)

Responsibilities: He was responsible for the Gestapo (secret police, spies). in 1941 he became known for his work in the final solution. 

What happened to him?

He was killed in Prague in may 1942. 

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Rudolf Hess (1894-1987)

Responisiblities: deputy leaders of the nazi party. 

What happened to him?

He was given a life sentence for his crimes. 

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Dr Robert Ley (1890-1945)

Responsibilities: Head of the labour front- he established the strength through joy scheme. 

What happened to him?

He committed suicide during the Nuremburg trials. 

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Albert Speer (1905-1981)

Responsibilities: Minister for rearement and war production in 1942. 

What happened to him?

He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for crimes against peace and humanity. 

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Ernest Rohm (1887-1934)

Resposibilites: Head of the SA

What happened to him?

He was killed on the night of the long knives. 

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The effect of the treaty of Versailles

Gave the coal mines of the Saar area to France as reparation or compensation for destroying the coal mines of northern France

Acknowledged Austria as an independent country

Lost foreign lands

Transferred Alsace-Lorraine to France

Placed a limit on the army of no more than 100,000 members

Accepted that Germany was responsible for causing the devastation and losses of the war

Paid reparation to ordinary people for the damage caused

Presence of Allied forces in the Rhineland

Due to the economic crisis, a political crisis ensued, and by the 1930s Germany was no longer a democratic country.

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Weimar period

Political problems: Coalition Government - During the 14 years of the Weimar Republic, nine elections were held, two in 1924 and 1932. Consequently, the government was weak and unstable. Article 48 - Hindenburg was President for nine years. He had a great deal of power as he could pass laws without discussing them with anyone. Hindenburg used Article 48 after 1930. Small, extremist parties that wanted to abolish the Republic - Had support at the beginning of the 1920s, but when conditions improved in Germany after 1924, they found it difficult to win votes. They had another chance to gain votes in 1929 after the Wall Street Crash. The November Criminals - Because of propaganda, the Germans didn’t realise that they were losing the First World War. The new government had got off to a bad start for signing the armistice, 11 November 1918. The Treaty of Versailles - This made Germany weak. Germany had to shoulder the blame for causing the First World War. Revolt - Extremist groups rioting and creating havoc in the streets.

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Weimar period

Econimical problems

Signing the Treaty of Versailles, 28/06/1919 - £6600 million in reparation payments.

The Ruhr crisis of 1923 - Germany couldn't pay, and France wasn’t happy as it needed the money to pay its debts to the USA. France and Belgium occupied the Ruhr to obtain goods.

Hyperinflation - The government printed more money to pay the Ruhr workers.

The Wall Street Crash, New York, 1929 - No more help available from the USA.

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The Munich Putsch of 1923

Causes: 

The Nazi Party with 55,000 members was stronger than ever.The Weimar Republic was in crisis, almost losing control of Germany.Hitler believed that key nationalist politicians would support him.The SA was a large army, and Hitler needed to give them something to do before he lost control of them.Hoped to emulate Mussolini in Italy – he had risen to power by marching to Rome.

Effects: 

Exclusion of the Nazi PartyHitler prohibited from speaking in public until 1927Hitler imprisoned – where he wrote Mein Kampf. Many Germans read the book and his ideas became well-known.For Hitler to rise to power, he would have to use legal and constitutional methods, not violence. Therefore, he organised the following: Propaganda campaigns, Hitler Youth, Merges with other right wing parties, Local branches of the party to try to win more seats in the Reichstag, The SS - his personal guards, in 1925

This was the strategy that eventually secured his successful and legal rise to power.

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Germans attitudes to Nazis.

Military:  Unhappy with the way the war had ended as Germany was left with a small army.

Middle class:  Had suffered economically during the war.

Business people:  Scared of the growth of Communism.

Farmers:  Low food prices.

Racist people:  Hated Jews.

Criminals:  Found the party exciting.

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Turning point for Nazis

The Munich Putsch, 1923

Party reorganisation

Public meetings

Growing number of members

Mein Kampf

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Bruning, Von Papen and Von Schleicher coalition

The Brüning Government, 1930–32 :    Chancellor Brüning ruled alongside President Hindenburg, using the emergency powers of Article 48.This government did not suceed in solving the problems, and Brüning wasn’t popular. Von Schleicher, a general in the army, managed to persuade President Hindenburg to get rid of Brüning. He resigned in May 1932.

The Von Papen Government:     Von Papen, at the time a member of the Centre Party, became Chancellor. He only had 68 supporters in the Reichstag. He hoped to win more support in the 1932 election, but he was disappointed. The largest party in the Reichstag was the Nazi party. Hitler wanted to be appointed Chancellor.Hindenburg supported Von Papen. The Reichstag decided to hold a vote to decide whether or not they would also support Von Papen as Chancellor. He won 32 votes – but 513 had voted against him.In March 1932 Hitler stood against Hindenburg as President of Germany. He gained 13.4 million votes but Hindenburg won with 19.3 million.Von Papen organised another election in November. The support for Von Papen in this election was even less.

The Von Schleicher Government:   He was Chancellor for two months. Hindenburg had no choice, and on 30 January 1933, he appointed Hitler as Chancellor.

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The reasons for Nazi success.

The effect of the recession:

Year- number of unemployed.

 1920- 1,862,000

1929 - 2,850,000

1930 -3,217,000

1931-4,886,000

1932 -6,042,000

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Reasons for Nazi success

The middle class (Mittesland) Protection from Communism, and restoration of law and order.

The upper class Reprisal for the Treaty of Versailles, and the creation of a strong government.

Large industrialists Suspension of trade unions.

The working class Jobs and the protection of workers.

Ordinary people from the countryside An increase in the price of agricultural products.

Women Emphasis on the family and morals.

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Reasons for Nazi success

Fear of Communism: The Communist Revolution happened in Russia in 1917. Many feared that it would spread to Germany.        The role of the SA

The SA - the Nazis' private army, the party's military wing

LeaderMembersActivityUniform Ernst Rohm 2,500,000 by 1934. Many were undisciplined hooligans. Fought for the Nazis in the Munich Putsch of 1923. Controlled the streets in order to promote the Nazis' activities and prevent their opponents' activities. Brown shirts Dr Josef Goebbels was responsible for propaganda from 1928 onwards. Various methods: Newspapers Posters Radio News films in the cinemas. 

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How did the Nazis gain power during 1933-1934?

27 February - The Reichstag Fire. Marinus van der Lubbe arrested. The Nazis blame the Communists – according to the Nazis, the fire was a Communist plot to destroy the government. Hindenburg announces additional powers – The Law for the Protection of the People and the State.4 February - Every party and every public meeting banned from criticizing the Nazi Government. 28 February - Suspension of all civil rights and personal freedom. Political prisoners can be held in custody indefinitely, without a hearing. By April, 25,000 political prisoners in Prussia alone. The March election. 5 March - The Nazi Party wins 43.9 per cent of the vote, which equates to 288 seats in the Reichstag. Hitler forms a coalition with the National Party (8 per cent). The Communist party wins 81 seats.. 5-9 March - The Nazis gain power in the Lander province..20 March - Himmler establishes the first concentration camp, in Dachau. The Enabling Act: 23 March - The Reichstag passes the Enabling Act. Hitler had to persuade at least 91 members to vote in favour of the act. As a result, 444 members voted, which was just over two-thirds of members. Only 94 voted against him. What does this show? Not everyone supported the Nazis. 'Gleichschaltung' means bringing into line. Removal of civil rights: 31 March - Every provincial parliament is shut down. They are reorganised to have the same constitution as the Reichstag – the Nazis are therefore in control. 7 April - Managers appointed for each province - they are all members of the Nazi party. They are given the right to appoint and dismiss officers.

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How did the Nazis gain power during 1933-1934?

27 February - The Reichstag Fire. Marinus van der Lubbe arrested. The Nazis blame the Communists – according to the Nazis, the fire was a Communist plot to destroy the government. Hindenburg announces additional powers – The Law for the Protection of the People and the State.4 February - Every party and every public meeting banned from criticizing the Nazi Government. 28 February - Suspension of all civil rights and personal freedom. Political prisoners can be held in custody indefinitely, without a hearing. By April, 25,000 political prisoners in Prussia alone. The March election. 5 March - The Nazi Party wins 43.9 per cent of the vote, which equates to 288 seats in the Reichstag. Hitler forms a coalition with the National Party (8 per cent). The Communist party wins 81 seats.. 5-9 March - The Nazis gain power in the Lander province..20 March - Himmler establishes the first concentration camp, in Dachau. The Enabling Act: 23 March - The Reichstag passes the Enabling Act. Hitler had to persuade at least 91 members to vote in favour of the act. As a result, 444 members voted, which was just over two-thirds of members. Only 94 voted against him. What does this show? Not everyone supported the Nazis. 'Gleichschaltung' means bringing into line. Removal of civil rights: 31 March - Every provincial parliament is shut down. They are reorganised to have the same constitution as the Reichstag – the Nazis are therefore in control. 7 April - Managers appointed for each province - they are all members of the Nazi party. They are given the right to appoint and dismiss officers.

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How did the Nazis gain power during 1933-1934?

27 February - The Reichstag Fire. Marinus van der Lubbe arrested. The Nazis blame the Communists – according to the Nazis, the fire was a Communist plot to destroy the government. Hindenburg announces additional powers – The Law for the Protection of the People and the State.4 February - Every party and every public meeting banned from criticizing the Nazi Government. 28 February - Suspension of all civil rights and personal freedom. Political prisoners can be held in custody indefinitely, without a hearing. By April, 25,000 political prisoners in Prussia alone. The March election. 5 March - The Nazi Party wins 43.9 per cent of the vote, which equates to 288 seats in the Reichstag. Hitler forms a coalition with the National Party (8 per cent). The Communist party wins 81 seats.. 5-9 March - The Nazis gain power in the Lander province..20 March - Himmler establishes the first concentration camp, in Dachau. The Enabling Act: 23 March - The Reichstag passes the Enabling Act. Hitler had to persuade at least 91 members to vote in favour of the act. As a result, 444 members voted, which was just over two-thirds of members. Only 94 voted against him. What does this show? Not everyone supported the Nazis. 'Gleichschaltung' means bringing into line. Removal of civil rights: 31 March - Every provincial parliament is shut down. They are reorganised to have the same constitution as the Reichstag – the Nazis are therefore in control. 7 April - Managers appointed for each province - they are all members of the Nazi party. They are given the right to appoint and dismiss officers.

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Hitler becomes Fuhrer

How did he succeed?

Germany's politicians had not realised Hitler's strengths or motives. 

Politicians collaborated with Hitler. 

Weak opposition. 

He dealt with any threats to his position within the party quickly and efficiently.

Used violence to get rid of opposition 

Hitler exploited every opportunity to reinforce power. 

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events of 1934

30 January – Dissolution of the provinces.

2 May – Dissolution of the Trade Unions - their offices broken into in all parts of the country, and a number of officers arrested. They merge to become the 'German Labour Front', managed by the Nazis.

10 May – The Nazis occupy the Social Democratic Party’s offices, destroy the party’s newspapers and take its money. Document Democracy or Dictatorship (PDF file 437 kb) Open Moving towards dictatorship

22 June – The Social Democratic Party is banned, other parties dissolve soon afterwards.

14 July – A law is passed to make every party illegal apart from the Nazi party.

12 November – A new 'election' to the Reichstag is held. The Nazis win 92.2 per cent of the vote. What does this show? Not everyone in Germany supported the Nazi party. The events and consequences of the Night of the Long Knives

30 June – The Night of the Long Knives. Röhm and members of the SA, together with opponents of the Nazi party, are arrested and shot without trial.

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How were the economic problems solved?

National labour service: Every man aged between 18-25 must spend six months in the labour service preparing to be a soldier. 

Public work schemes: Autobahn, hospitlas, houses. Working with hands= creating more work.

Rearming: increase the army. Navy buildings two warships (preparing for war)

Nazi Statistics: No women, Jews or RAD included in the statistics. 

The four year plan: Preparing for war. Producing arms. Ensuring that the country was self-sufficient. 

KDF: Strength through joy. Ensuring leisure opportunities for workers. Volkswagen, holidays theatre. 

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Trade unions

Trade unions and the DAF

Workers’ trade unions ensure that workers get fair wages and working conditions. Hitler didn’t like trade unions. He believed that they supported socialism and communism.

Trade unions were banned in Germany in May 1933. Their money was taken away from them. Their leaders were arrested.

The German Labour Front was established in their place, or the DAF. Every worker in Germany was now a member of the same trade union, which was controlled by the Nazis. The DAF managed discipline, wages and working hours.

Results

  • Working hours were increased.
  • Wages were frozen.
  • It was impossible to show disapproval about this.
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How did Nazi economic and social policy affect lif

The three Ks

Kinder – children

Kriche – church

Küche – kitchen

There was a great deal of propaganda celebrating the image of the mother and the family unit.German women were not allowed to wear make-up and couldn't colour or perm their hair.

Women in 1919               Women in 1933

voted                                no make-up

good jobs eg doctors        no permed hair

in government                gave up their jobs to men

good wages                stayed at home to bring up the children

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Treatment of young people

Controlling education

Up until 1933, the provincial governments were responsible for the majority of schools. When the Nazis came to power, Berlin's Minister of Education, Bernhard Rust, became responsible for education in Germany. Every pupil had to stay in school until he or she was 14 years old, then it was optional. There were separate schools for girls and boys. The number of Physical Education lessons doubled, but Religious Education was abolished.

Conditioning – every subject was presented from a Nazi perspective. Textbooks were re-written. History books emphasized Germany's military success. Jews and Communists were blamed for the Recession.

The aim of education was to:

  • separate Jews from other children
  • encourage hatred towards the Jews
  • prevent Jews from getting an education.
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Treatment of young people

The Hitler Youth Movement

The young people of Germany were important to the Nazis if they wanted the Third Reich to last for a thousand years. As was the case with the adults, the Nazis wanted to control the young people’s leisure time.

  • 1925 – The Hitler Youth Movement established
  • 1932 – Membership: 108,000
  • 1936 – Hitler Youth Act passed, giving the movement the same status as the home and the school. It was difficult to avoid being a member of the Hitler Youth Movement. Parents would not be able to get a promotion at work unless their children were members.
  • 1939 – Membership: 8 million

Activities of the Hitler Youth Movement

Boys: Military skills. Shooting. Map reading (preparing to be future members of the armed forces)

Girls: Mothers. Nothing academic

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The SS and the Gestapo

1925 – The SS established as part of the SA, but a more disciplined unit, with black uniform.

1929 – Under Henrich Himmler's, leadership, and as a result of the Night of the Long Knives in 1934, the SS became the most important military group in Germany. It was divided into three sections: Safety: Waffen SS – the armed forces’ most devoted and dependable unit: Killing unit – Concentration Camps during the Second World War. By 1936 the SS controlled the police, including the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei).. 

The Gestapo was established in Prussia in 1933 by Hermann Goering.

1936 – the Gestapo’s control over the rest of Germany extended, linked with the SS, Reinhard Heydrich is leader

Activity – torturing in order to obtain a confession, Purpose – looking for enemies of the Third Reich, Responsible for Dachau, April 1933

 1934–39 - 534 people sentenced to death.

 1939 - 160,000 people arrested for political crimes

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Propaganda

Person: Josef Goebbels: Methods of propaganda: 

Rallies e.g. Nuremburg,

Radio,

Sculpture and architecture, 

Film: 'the eternal jew', 

Music- no jazz!

Newspapers/the press

Art, 

Book burning

Sports and games, eg, the olympic games 1936

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The Nazis religious policy

The Supreme Race and ideas about the Aryan superiority:

Hitler’s argument was that the race needed to be purified, therefore some people had to be prevented from having children, for example, gay people, black people, gypsies, people with a mental illness and people with a physical disability.

1936 - Lebensborn established

Lebensborn was a maternity home for unmarried mothers. Aryan women wo

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Persecution of the Jews

1933April Boycott of Jewish shops and businesses. Jews banned from working as teachers and judges. The SA stand outside Jewish shops, cafés and businesses to prevent customers from entering, and paint Jude on their windows.

1936April Jews banned from working as doctors and dentists. October Jews banned from being journalists.

1935 July Jews banned from being members of the armed forces. September The Nuremberg Laws – Jews didn't have the right to be German citizens. Not allowed to marry Aryans.

1936 November Jews not allowed to say "Heil Hitler".

1938 July ID cards for Jews.: August Jews forced to use Jewish forenames such as Israel and Sara.

November. On the 9th and 10th of November the Nazis destroyed 7,500 Jewish shop windows, burned 400 synagogues and arrested 30,000 Jews and sent them to concentration camps. This was Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass). The Jews were forced to pay for all the damage. Following this event, the Jews knew that Hitler wouldn't stop until he had destroyed them. December: Jews forced to sell their businesses.

1939: January Hitler's speech in the Reichstag. On 30 January 1939 Hitler announced: "If the international Jewish financiers inside and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the outcome will not be the victory of Jewry, but rather the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!"...FebruaryJews forced to give their metals and jewels to the Nazis.

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Nazi view point on religion

The Nazis believed in Constructive Christianity and freedom for every religious denomination (group). But in reality, the Nazis saw the Church and Christianity as a threat to their policies. One-third of Germans were Catholics and two-thirds were Protestants. At the beginning they cooperated with the Nazis. They believed that the new government protected them from communism and maintained traditional morals and family values.

Hitler signed a concordat with the Pope in 1933. He promised full religious freedom for the Church and the Pope promised that he wouldn’t interfere in political matters.

Then, the Nazis started to close Catholic churches. Many monasteries were shut down and the Catholic Youth Organisation was abolished (remember that the Nazis had created the Hitler Youth Movement). The Pope protested by issuing a letter in 1937, which was to be read in every Catholic Church. This didn’t have any impact at all. Around 400 priests were arrested and sent to the Dachau concentration camp.. 

The National Reich Church...There were 28 Protestant groups in Germany, and they were merged to form the National Reich Church in 1936. A member of the Nazi party was elected Bishop of the Church. Non-Aryan ministers were suspended.

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Martin Niemoller

Not everyone was happy with the new Church. The Confessing Church was formed by Martin Niemöller in 1934 with 6,000 ministers, leaving 2,000 behind in the National Reich Church. This was a challenge to the Nazis. Around 800 ministers were arrested and sent to concentration camps.

Niemöller was arrested in 1937 and sent to Dachau, then Sachsenhausen, until 1945.

Dietreich Bonhoeffer was imprisoned in 1943 and was later executed.

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More persecutions

Jehovah Witnesses were killed in concentration camps as they weren’t willing to fight for any cause, and therefore refused to serve in the army.

The following religious groups disappeared from Germany:

The Salvation Army, Christian Saints, The Seventh Day Adventist Church

The following groups were banned:

Astrologers, Healers, Fortune tellers

Pagans - The German Faith Movement was pro-Nazi. They were racist. They worshipped the sun and the seasons.

The Church - They did not manage to abolish the Church. The majority chose to keep quiet and appeared to be conforming. There was an intense fear of the Gestapo.

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Impact of war- Early years 1939-1941

Military success, not much effect on the civil population, Germans took resources, many people ate better in the war, balanced diet, artificial goods. 

The Nazis tried to encourage women to increase birth rate and to get them to work, with little success the propaganda of 1930s made women want to stay at home. Women’s health suffered during the war

Women’s health suffered during the war: Food shortage, Bombings. They were worried about their children and their husbands who were in battle. 1943 – The Nazis tried to force 3 million women aged 17–45 to work. Only 1 million went in to work. This was one of the reasons why they lost the war. Foreign workers represented 21 per cent of Germany's workforce.

The use of propaganda on the home front:

The purpose of propaganda was to keep people's spirits up and maintain their support for the war. It was announced that Germans had contributed 1.5 million items of fur and 67 million items of wool to ensure a sufficient supply of warm clothes for the soldiers on the Eastern front. The propaganda played on the Germans' fear of Communism. The propaganda also persuaded the people to: to save fuel, to work harder

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Impact of war- Late years 1942-1945

June 1941: the start of the Barbarossa campaign - the attack on Russia. The turning point came in 1942 with Germany’s defeat in Stalingrad. This was a shock for the people of Germany, as the war propaganda had said that they were winning. 

Shortages and the black market: 1939: 700 grams of meat for each person per week., 1945: only 250 grams of meat for each person per week.. In 1943, the zoo animals were slaughtered!

The aim of the Allies' intensive bombing programme in May 1943 was to kill people's spirits and force the war to end. Germany's large cities were bombed. The effect of the bombing: Many fled to the safety of the countryside, The population of the villages increased quickly, People had to share their homes, Germans saw that they were losing the war. Germans main cities were bombed: Berlin, Koln, Hamburg, Dresden, Hamburg again. 

1944 – the Volksstrum was just propaganda, and its aim was to raise the Germans’ spirits.

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Impact of war- Late years 1942-1945

June 1941: the start of the Barbarossa campaign - the attack on Russia. The turning point came in 1942 with Germany’s defeat in Stalingrad. This was a shock for the people of Germany, as the war propaganda had said that they were winning. 

Shortages and the black market: 1939: 700 grams of meat for each person per week., 1945: only 250 grams of meat for each person per week.. In 1943, the zoo animals were slaughtered!

The aim of the Allies' intensive bombing programme in May 1943 was to kill people's spirits and force the war to end. Germany's large cities were bombed. The effect of the bombing: Many fled to the safety of the countryside, The population of the villages increased quickly, People had to share their homes, Germans saw that they were losing the war. Germans main cities were bombed: Berlin, Koln, Hamburg, Dresden, Hamburg again. 

1944 – the Volksstrum was just propaganda, and its aim was to raise the Germans’ spirits.

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How the Jews were treated in war years.

Developing ghettos: Poland – Ghettos were developed in Warsaw and Lodz. Jews weren't allowed to leave a part of the city – soldiers and barbed wire prevented them. Around 500,000 died as a result of disease and starvation. The Jewish population was increasing, and the Nazis used them to work in factories. As Germany went into Russia in June 1941, even more Jews came under the Nazis’ control. One of the sections of the SS, called the Einsatzgruppen, was used to gather Jews, shoot them and throw them into mass graves. Around 750,000 were killed in this way. In the eyes of the Nazis, this process was too slow for them to be able to deal with the number of Jews they had under their control.

In July 1941,  Goering ordered Heydrich to prepare a plan to find the Final Solution to the problem. The result was the construction of concentration camps.On 20 January 1942, at a Conference in Wannsse, Berlin, Himmler was given the task of extending the concentration camps and developing more effective ways of dealing with the problem. Therefore, gas chambers were constructed in camps such as Sobibor, Treblinka, Maidank and Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. In Auschwitz I it was possible to put 700-800 Jews in one gas chamber, and Auschwitz-Birkenau's chambers were even bigger. It would take between three and 15 minutes for them to be killed. The Nazis killed 6 million Jews – this was the Holocaust. The gas used in the chambers was called Zyklon B.

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Opposition was there to the Nazis in the war years

The Edelweiss pirates Barthel Schink, leader of the Köln Pirates – he was hanged in November 1944, aged 16. The Swing Kids Middle class. Inspired by the music of Britain and the USA – especially jazz. Swing clubs were opened where people danced the jitterbug. They listened to music that had been banned. The White Rose group: Students at Munich University - Hans and Sophie Scholl, and Christopher Probst. Their opposition was non-violent. 18 February 1934 – they were arrested by the Gestapo for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets, displaying posters and writing graffiti. They were tortured and hanged.

Left Wing: The Red Orchestra: An espionage network which provided information to the Soviet army. The leader was Anton Saelfhow. Activity: vandalism, organising strikes, encouraging soldiers to flee from the army.

Conservatives: The Kreisau Circle: The Kreisau Circle included officers, noblemen, right wing people, academics and professionals.

Martin Niemöller Founded the Confessing Church. See 'Racial and religious policy'... Von Galen, Munster's Catholic Archbishop Criticised the Nazi euthanasia policy of killing people with mental illness...Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Protestant minister He opposed the Nazis' policies on racism and helped Jews to escape.

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Opposition by the armed forces

The causes and effects of the July Bomb Plot

General Ludwig Beck resigned from the army after Germany defeated Austria. He led the conspiracy against Hitler within the armed forces, together with Karl Goerdeler. They made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Hitler in March 1943.

The Bomb Plot took place in July 1944. The aim of Operation Valkyrie was to kill Hitler and take control of Berlin using the army.

On 20 July 1944, Colonel Claus von Staffenburg, a senior officer in the army, left a leather bag under a table in Hitler's headquarters in east Berlin.

When Hitler arrived, Staffenburg left the room and the bomb exploded. Four people were killed.

Hitler suffered minor injuries. The conspirators were too slow. The soldiers didn't move and didn't take over the radio stations or phones.

The result: Around 5,000 people who were suspected of being part of the plot to kill Hitler were executed, including 19 Generals and 26 Colonels.

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Germany's defeat

The fall of Berlin and death of Hitler: 

24 March 1945 - The Allies cross the Rhine River.

22 April 1945 - Russia's Red Army enters Berlin from the east.

29 April 1945 - Hitler marries Eva Braun in the early hours of the morning.

30 April 1945 - Then, Hitler commits suicide by shooting himself, but not before poisoning his new wife. His officers cremate his body, as ordered by Hitler himself. During his last days, Hitler began to rant about the Jews, blaming them for everything. He showed no sign of remorse.

7 May 1945 - Karl Doenitz had been authorised by Hitler to control Germany. Doenitz agreed that Germany surrendered unconditionally. Germany had lost the war.

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The division of Germany

The Treaty of Versailles had not managed to prevent Germany from going to war, so there was a need to think carefully about how to punish Germany this time.

Germany was divided into sections, and Allied soldiers were put in place to keep order.

East and West Prussia came under the control of Poland.

Austria was separated from Germany and placed under the control of the four powers (USA, Britain, Russia and France).

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Ups and Downs of Weimar Germany

Strengths: 

The head of state, the president wa elected every 7 years. 

All Germans over the age of 20 were given the vote. 

Basic rights like freedom of speech and religion were protected. 

Weaknesses: 

In times of crisis article 48 allowed president to take on extra powers and 'rule by decree' 

The voting system of proportional representation (PR) meant many minor parties won seats in the Reichstag. They tended to represent the concerns of small groups rather than the national interest. 

The presence of many small parties meant it was hard for one party to have a majority -coalitions were inevitable. 

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