impact of Weimar period
A coalition government - weak as compromises have to be made - nobody could get the majority as they used proportional representation
People hated the Treaty of Versailles - had to pay £6,600 million reparations, had to accept war guilt. Government known as Novemer Criminals because they signed it when the military could have gone on fighting - stab in the back
Rioting in Berlin - communists. Had to form repubic in Weimar instead
The president could use Article 48 to pass laws without the Reichstag
Germany couldn't afford to pay second installment of reparation so France invaded the Ruhr. Workers went on strike. Items were in demand and price increased. Nobody could afford anything so government printed more money. This led to hyperinflation.
8th November 1923 - Hitler felt strong enough to attempt an uprising
It didn't work - Hitler was arrested and trialled for treason.
Hitler made speeches at the trial and the people liked what he was saying - should have been executed but only sentenced to 5 years - was released after 9 months
Whilst in prison Hitler wrote Mein Kampf -main ideas - Volksgemeinschaft – the creation of a people’s community, Treaty of Versailles – abolition of the hated treaty and reversed terms, Social Darwinism – The German Aryan race is superior / Jews are inferior, Anti- Semitism, Anti- communist, Lebenstraum – obtain living space, expand to the East as he believed they were inferior
Whilst Hitler had been in prison, Stresseman had come into power
He had improved the economic situation so Hitler wasn't going to get votes
- He sent the workers of the Ruhr back to work
- Introduced a new currency - Rentenmark
- Negociated Dawes plan and Young plan with America
Hitler and the Nazis 1923-1929
Already renamed it to Nazis, introduced SA - leader Ernst Rohm, mustache, uniform, swastika
Created the ** - personal bodyguards
Created His salute
Practised his speeches
Made speeches at rallies etc.
Propaganda - Josef Goebbels
impact of the Wall Street Crash
Germany were relying on loans from USA - stopped loans when wall street crash happned - 29th october 1929
•Demand for consumer goods fell sharply and German firms were forced to lay off workers
•International trade began to contract and German exports fell rapidly
•Factories closed and unemployment rose sharply, reaching a peak of 6.2 million in 1932
•Many Germans were unable to pay their rents and found themselves homeless
•Four out of every ten German workers were without a job
Government weren't doing a lot to solve economic problems - many turned to extremist groups
Why the Nazis gained support
Hitler was a gifted public speaker
use of propaganda
they had financial support from large businesses that were afraid of communism
many feared communism
Use of the SA - disrupted rivals meetings and protected Nazi speakers
promises to different sections of society
To women: •To put emphasis on family life and moral values •To put emphasis upon children’s welfare To big Industries •To protect against communism •To curb the growth of powerful trade unions To farmers •To reverse the decline in agricultural prices To the working class: •To tackle unemployment •To provide a decent wage •To protect worker’s rights To the upper class: •To protect against communism •To allow them to keep their wealth and status •To restore Germany’s status To the middle class: •To protects against communism •To increase living standards •To restore law and order
Bruning was chancellor in 1930, he was relying on Hindenburg and article 48 to pass laws
He was becoming more unpopular
Became known as the hunger chancellor when he cut unemployment benefits
In 1932 Hitler stood for president against Hindenburg. Didn't win but got 13 million votes
The nazis were the biggest party in the Reichstag and Hitler should have been appointed Chancellor
Instead Von papen was elected. He didn't have the majority and had to call an election. Hitler still had the majority and demanded the post of chancellor. This time Hindenburg appointed General Von Schleicher.
Hitler and Von Papen were meeting behind the scene. Hitler could be chancellor and Von Papen would be vice chancellor. He thought he could control him as the Nazis would only have 3 seats in the cabinet and Von Papen would be in charge of the military and the money.
Hitler was appointed chancellor in January 1933.
Importance of Reichstag fire
An election was called as Hitler didn't have an overall majority.
The Reichstag building was set on fire a week before the election was due to occur.
A dutch communist - Van Der Lubbe was arrested and charged for starting the fire.
Hitler banned communists with the Law for the protection of the people and the state
Hitler still didn't get a majority so couldn't pass laws.
The Enabling act would give Hitler the power to pass any law he wanted for four years. So in reality he could now do what he wanted.
To get this act passed he surrounded the building with SA, they bullied people into voting in favour
anyone that didn't turn up or turned up late was counted as present and in favour of the act
This became the foundation of his Third Reich
•Uses of the Enabling act •Purge of the civil service – Jews and political opponents of the Nazis removed from their posts in the civil service •Trade Unions – All trade unions banned, replaced by DAF. Strikes were made illegal. •Ban on Political parties – Nazi party only legal party, Germany now a one-party state. •Control of the press – strict control and censorship of the press •Control of the states – abolished state assemblies and replaced with Reich governors
Night of the Long Knives
Hitler saw the SA and their leaders especialaly Ernst Rohm as an increasing threat
Hitler needed to gain the support of the Army
On 30th June 1934, Hitler ordered the ** to kill over 400 'enemies of state'
It eradicated opponents of Hitler's rule
It secured the support of the army
It regulated the army to a minor role
It provided Himmler with the opportunity to expand the **
on 2nd August 1934, president Hindenburg died.
Hitler seized the opportunity to combine chancellor and president and made himself a new title. Fuhrer meaning leader.
Hitler was now absolute dictator of Germany
The officers and men of the army had to swear an oath of loyalty to Hitler.