The Treaty of Versailles and Trade Unions

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  • Created by: Lozza8
  • Created on: 19-05-15 14:38

The Treaty of Versailles

  • Signed by the allies (Britain, France, USA) in 1919
  • Treaty blamed Germany for starting the war
  • Germany had to pay for reparations
  • Demilitarised zone was set up 50km from the river Rhine
  • Army was restricted to 100,000 men
  • Army couldn't have tanks
  • Navy couldn't ahve submarines
  • Air force was scrapped
  • Colonies were taken away from Germany
  • Germany hadn't been involved in the discussion
  • They felt betrayed by their government for agreeing to it
  • They thought the agreement was harsh and unfair
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Un-doing of the Treaty of Versailles

Hitler's three aims:

  • Tear up the Treaty of Versailles- which brought end to war (1918) and blamed Germany for the start of it, thus allies took away land, money, and material for war
  • Unite all Germans in a single country- millions of Germans living in neighbouring countries (Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland); Hitler wanted to bring these countries under his control.
  • Provide Germany with LEBENSRAWN (living space)- Germany was overcrowded, there was not enough food/materials for needs. Hitler wanted to take over rich farmland and mines.


  • 1934- top secret order from Hitler- to expand the armed forces from 100,000 to 30,000 (treble)
  • The Navy was to build two 'pocket battleships' and six submarines
  • Air force was to be trained; HOWEVER, all of the above were forebidden.
  • Hitler announced the army would be built up to 550,000 men. Surrounding countries reacted to this, and signed agreements to fight and protect eachother.
  • However, no country took action to stop Hitler's un-doing of the Treaty of Versailles.
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Trade Unions and Nazi Germany

  • When Hitler came to power- he saw that Trade Unions were exercising more power over workers than he could; there this challenged Hitler- he wanted to dispose of them.
  • However, he knew he needed workers on his side but couldn't allow trade unions to exert potential power they had.
  • Trade unions were banned in Nazi Germany; police units occupied all trade union headquaters, thus union officials and leaders were arrested- and the state took over the role of looking after the working class.
  • This happened just months after Hitler was appointed Chancellor (2 May 1933).
  • To keep the working class happy- German Labour Force was introduced.
  • It was the 14 July 1933 that all other political parties were banned, thus only the Nazi Party was allowed to exist.
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German Labour Force

  • Replacement of Trade Union to keep the working class happy.
  • Lead by Robert Lay
  • New organised was deliberately cloaked in patriotism
  • Nazi Party made the working class feel better off
  • Hitler had major plans for the working class-brought them onto his side
  • Offered cheap theatre trips, etc
  • Hitler offered better leisure life
  • On the other hand, Hitler took away traditional rights, e.g. strikes were banned
  • Conditions of work and pay controlled by the German Labour Force.
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