History B GCSE AQA Unit 5 - (5.3)

To what extent did Germans benefit from Nazi rule in the 1930s?

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Economic Policies

  • In 1933, the German economy was in ruins
  • The unemployment figure was 6 million
  • Once in power Hitler acted swiftly and unemployment fell
  • The Nazis spent vast amounts of money on job-creation schemes
  • This was, of course, public money
  • The amount doubled between 1933-38
  • One major project was road building
  • Another of Hitler's promises was to get rid of parts of the Treaty of Versailles
  • He started a huge programme of rearmament and conscription, which was announced officially in 1935
  • The army grew from 100,000 in 1933 to 1.4 million in 1939
  • Huge amounts were spent on equipment
  • Unemployment fell to virtually zero, however some groups were not included suchs as Jews or women
  • Hitler wanted to make Germany self-sufficient, he didn't totally succeed. German heavy industry still relied on Swedish iron
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Social parties and standards of living

  • Small businesses often did well - especially where they had been competing with Jewish businesses that were now closed down
  • Big businesses benefited from the huge construction projects and big profits were made
  • From July 1935, it became compulsary for all German men between 18-25 to do six months work on practical projects
  • There were not paid wages, just pocket money which was never popular but gave a purpose to the unemployed
  • The 'Stength through Joy' organisation was part of the German Labour Front. It attempted to provide activites for leisure time to ensure a happy workforce
  • Holidays and cruises were the ones that attracted much publicity
  • Hitler wanted Germans to have their own cars. The Voltkswagen was designed in 1938
  • During the mid-1930s Germans were pleased with Nazi policies
  • When Hitler put troops in the demilitarised Rhineland in 1936, Germans felt more secure
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Women - Part 1

  • Nazis wanted women to stick to being wives and mothers
  • "Kinder, Kirche und Kuche" - (Children, Church and Kitchen)
  • The nazis were worried about a falling birth rate and wanted to promote 'racially-pure' Aryan race
  • Incentives were introduced so women have more children
  • Law for the Reduction of Unemployment in June 1933, introduced intrest free loans of up to 1,000 Reichmakrs for young married couples on condition that the wife gave up work
  • A quarter of the loan was cancelled per child
  • The most productive mothers were awarded medals
  • Laws against abortion were enforced
  • Also Hitler opened 'Bredding centres' for the production of pure Aryan children, Aryan mothers were matched with SS men to make children


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Women - part 2

  • German women with positions of responibility were fired
  • 1936 - women could not be judges
  • There were even campaigns to affect how women dressed, making them dress conservatively
  • Slimming was criticised, as women needed to bare a lot of children
  • Young couples however found it difficult to find/afford houses
  • Also with a shortage of workers more women did paid work
  • In 1938 the Nazis were forced to change a clause in their marriage loans chemce, now married women who had a loan could take up a paid job
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German culture

  • German culture was restricted through censorship and propaganda
  • Modren art was dismissed
  • Plays and films were checked for having suitable themes that promoted Nazi ideas
  • The tolerant perm issive society of Weirmar Germany with its nightclubs and American music was banned. So was the work of Jewish writers and composers
  • Many artists, authors and scientists decided to emigrate
  • To begin with, 1933, the benefits of Nazi rule appeared to outweigh the disadvantages
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Racial persecution: Jews and other alien groups

  • Nazis believed Jews were inferior
  • When Hitler came into power there were hlf an million Jews in Germany, less than one per cent of the population
  • However many had important positions in society
  • When Hitler took over Austria in March 1938, there was a large concentration of Jews in the capital
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  • Hitler had no organised policy to begin with, but some extremists in the Nazi Party took actions against Jews-
  • April 1933- One-day boycott of Jewish shops, lawyers and doctors. Also SA members physically preventing customers from entering
  • 1934 - Anti-Jewish propaganda increased
  • Septembet 1935- The Nuremberg Laws:
    • The Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honour banned marriages between Jews and Aryans and sexual relations outside of marriage
    • The Reich Citizenship Law made Jews 'subjects' rather than citizens - therefore losing rights
  • June/July 1938 - Jewish doctors, dentists and lawyers forbidden to treat Aryans
  • October 1938- Jews had to have a red J stamped on their passports
  • November 1938- Kristallnacht
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  • The Night of Broken Glass
  • Happened after a Jewish youth shot and killed a German embassy in Paris
  • Josef Goebbels announced there should be 'demonstations' against Jews during the night of 9 November
  • Violence was encouraged and 8,000 Jewish shops and homes and synagogues in Germany were attacked
  • 100 Jews were killed and over 20,000 arrested and sent to concentration camps
  • Much of the property damaged was rented by Jews from German owners
  • The Nazis took the opportunity to fine the Jews 1 billion Reichmarks to repaire the damage
  • Any remaining Jewish businesses were confiscatedd
  • Jewish pupils were only allowed to attend Jewish schools
  • Jews were expected to do the worst jobs and Germans were encouraged to treat Jews badly
  • In March 1939 - Nearly 30,000 Jewish men and boys were sent to concentration camps
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Treatment of undesirable groups

  • Nazis were also against other groups
  • Gypsies had been unpopular due to their unregular jobs and moving around
  • Germans were happy when the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, applied to gypsies
  • Tramps and beggars were arrested and put into forced labour
  • Those with physicla disabilities or mental problems were seen as a threat to the Aryan race
  • A law in July 1933, included compulsary sterilisation, this included people with depression, epilepsy, blindness, deadness and physically disabled
  • By 1937, almost 200,000 compulsary sterilisations had been performed
  • Later policies included euthanasia or 'mercy killing' by means of lethal injections
  • The treatments got worse after 1939 September
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