Nazi Germany Key Topic 2

  • Created by: holly6901
  • Created on: 09-04-19 12:33

Hitler's early career

  • Hitler was born in Austria in 1889.
  • When he was 16 he went to Vienna to become an artist.
  • This didn't work out so from 1908-1913 he was virtually a 'down and out' on the streets of Vienna.
  • It was during this time he developed his hatred of Jews.
  • Antisemitism was widespread in Vienna.
  • He was envious of wealthy Jews and blamed them for his own problems.
  • In 1914, Hitler joined the German Army and served with distinction and won the iron cross.
  • He found it hard to accept the armistice and believed Germany was on the verge of winning the war when it was betrayed by the politicians.
  • Hitler stayed in the army after the war, working for the intelligence service. 
  • He came across the German Worker's Party(DAP), led by Anton Drexler, and Hitler joined in 1919.
  • In 1920, it was renamed the National Socialist German Worker's Party (Nazi party)
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The early Nazi party

Hitler was good at public speaking and in February 1920 he was put in charge of recruitment and propaganda, attracting new party members. By 1921, he could challenge Drexler and take over as the leader.

  • The political meetings generated violence.
  • Protection squads were used to protect the meetings, these squads later became the Sturmabteilung.
  • By 1922, the Nazi party had 6000 members.
  • By 1924, it had 50,000 members  
  • The party drew up a 25-point plan. 
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The 25-point-plan

  • The union of all Germans to form a greater Germany.
  • Getting rid of the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Citizenship of the state to be granted only to people of German blood. Therefore, no Jew is to be a citizen of the nation.
  • The government to nationalise all businesses that have been formed into corporations.
  • All newspaper editors to be German, and non-german papers to only appear with the government's permission.
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The Munich Putsch

Background to the putsch

  • The Republic was more unpopular than ever because of hyperinflation.
  • Hitler wanted to overthrow the Republic by organising a putsch in Bavaria and then march to Berlin.
  • In 1922, Mussolini had successfully marched to Rome and taken over the Italian government with the support of the army.
  • Hitler knew he needed the support of the German army.
  • Hitler thought the Bavarian leaders would support him.

Events of the putsch

  • On 8th November 1923, Hitler and the SA burst into a beer hall, disrupting a political meeting.
  • The three leaders were held at gunpoint until they offered their support. 
  • The next day, Hitler, Ludendorff, SA members and other supporters marched through Munich, hoping to win mass support.
  • The leaders ordered troops and police to resist them.
  • 16 marchers were killed and Hitler fled.
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The Munich Putsch and the lean years

Consequences of the putsch

  • In February 1924, Hitler was put on trial for high treason.
  • Hitler turned his trial into a propaganda success and used it to attack the Weimar Republic. He got nationwide publicity.
  • The court was sympathetic to Hitler and gave him the minimum sentence.
  • Hitler was in Landsberg prison for 9 months, he wrote Mein Kampf there.
  • Hitler realised he would have to take control through legal methods.

The lean years 1924-29

The Nazi party survived in secret until the party ban was lifted in 1924. The period of 1924-29 was a time of mixed fortunes for the Nazi party. These are some of the events:

  • There were disagreements during Hitler's period in prison.
  • Economic recovery meant there was little support for extremist parties.
  • The Nazis only won 12 seats in the 1928 elections.
  • However, it won 32 seats in the 1924 elections.
  • Mein Kampf helped with the development of the party.
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The growth of unemployment

In 1929, the Wall Street Crash led to US loans being recalled. This led to German businesses sacking workers and being forced to close. This led to mass unemployment.

  • The Republic was blamed for allowing the economy to become too reliant on US loans.
  • There was disagreement about unemployment contributions.
  • Bruning was Chancellor in 1930, his reduction of government spending, pay cuts, cuts to unemployment benefits and increases in taxes lost him support.
  • Elections were called in July and November 1932 and the Communist Party gained 16.9% in the November 1932 elections
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Reasons for growth in support of the Nazi party

By July 1932, the Nazi party was the biggest party in Germany. Three of the reasons for increased support are listed below.

Hitler

  • Posters and rallies built Hitler up as a superhero. The campaigns focused around his personality and his skills.
  • Hitler tried to appeal to everyone.
  • Hitler provided Germany with someone to blame as he blamed the Jews for Germany's problems.
  • Hitler won support from businesses which gave money to the party.

The SA

  • By 1932, the SA had 600,000 members.
  • It organised parades to impress local Germans.
  • It was used to intimidate opposition, particularly the Communists.
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Reasons for growth in support of the Nazi party

Josef Goebells

  • Goebbels was in charge of propaganda.
  • Posters were timed to have the most impact on different groups.
  • He organised planes to fly Hitler to speeches all over Germany.
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Political developments in 1932

A series of changes weakened the Weimar Republic.

  • After Bruning stepped down, Franz Von Papen was appointed Chancellor, he only had 68 Reichstag supporters and was dependant on the government.
  • In July 1932, Von Papen hoped to get more support through the elections. The Nazis won 230 seats, becoming the largest party and Hitler demanded the job of Chancellor.
  • In November, Von Papen held another election to gain support however his party, the centre party, won even fewer seats, the Nazi Party's seats fell to 196.
  • Von Papen suggested abolishing the constitution, an army leader convinced Hindenburg this would lead to civil war. Hindenburg lost confidence in Von Papen, who resigned.
  • Next month, Hindenburg appointed the army officer, Von Schleicher as Chancellor, but he lasted less than two months.
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The part of Hindenburg and Von Papen

  • Von Papen was determined to regain power, he met Hitler in January 1933 when they agreed Hitler should lead a government with Von Papen as the Vice-Chancellor.
  • They had the support of the army, major landowners and leaders of industry who disliked Von Schleicher's plans about politics and were worried about a communist takeover.
  • Von Papen convinced Hindenburg that a government with Hitler as chancellor would bring stability. Von Papen said he could control Hitler.
  • On 31 January 1933, Hitler became Chancellor.
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