Unit 2A Germany 1918-1939

  • Created by: Sophia*
  • Created on: 19-11-16 11:49

The Weimar Republic 1918-23

  • After the Kaiser abdicated, uncertainty ensued, so Friedrich Erbert put together a new government, but it had major weaknesses. Some key features were:
    • proportional representation
    • elections every four years
    • the chancellor needed a majority in the Reichstag to pass laws
    • the president could suspend the constitution and pass laws by decree
  • The constitution - unstable coalition governements, hard to agree, suspension often the only way
  • Treaty of Versailles - blamed for signing it, reparations caused economic problems
  • Kapp Putsch (right) - seized power in Berlin (workers striker, so Putsch failed)
  • Munich Putsch (right) - putsch failed but Hitler's trial publicised his views
  • Hyperinflation (1923) - government printed money (for reparations etc), worthless, poor living conditions
  • French occupation of Ruhr - reparations, wrecked equipment so French couldn't profit, still lost money
  • Attacks from left - Spartacist uprisings defeated by Weimar Republic using Freikorps
  • Bankruptcy (1923) - lost wealth-making regions, spent all gold reserves on war, reparations, broke (1923)

Key = What was the Weimar Republic?Problems for the Weimar Republic

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Stressemann's Successes

  • November 1923-Stressemann introduced new currency-Rentenmark (it stabilised the currency, German people showed confidence in it)
  • 1923-38-US loans (helped to pay reparations, greatly helped German industry)
  • 1924-Rentenmark converted to Reichsmark (backed with gold) (gradually restored the value of German money)
  • 1924-Stresseman negotiated the Dawes Plan with the USA (reorganised&reduced reparations, French withdrew from the Ruhr)
  • 1925-Locarno Pact (improved relations with Britain&France&guaranteed borders with Belgium, France&Italy)
  • 1926-Stressemann negotiated German entry to the League of Nations (meant that Germany was recognised as a great power once again)
  • 1928-Kellogg-Briand Pact - NOT STRESSEMANN'S INITIATIVE (one of 62 countries that agreed to settle disputes peacefully, better relations with USA and France)
  • 1929-Young Plan (set timescale&reduced reparations, France agreed to leave the Rhineland early)
  • Short lived coalition governments, extremist parties, unemployment, reliant on US loans, industry slowed down by 1927, USA buying Germany's exports, German nationalists hated Young&Dawes Plans

Key = Stressesmanns successesRemaining problems

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Hitler&the Nazi Party 1919-23

  • Was born in Austria but obsessed with everything German
  • Wanted to be an artist but failed to get a place at art school
  • Couldn't get a job so blamed the Jews for controlling all the opportunities
  • Blamed Jews and socialists for 'stabbing Germany in the back'
  • Fought bravely in First World War and couldn't believe German defeat
  • 1919 - Hitler joined the DAP (German Workers' Party) (led by Anton Drexler)
  • 1920 - Hitler was second command of the DAP, (August) Changed to NSDAP (National Socialist DAP)
  • 1921 - Hitler took over control of the Nazi Party from Drexler
  • Treaty of Versaille must be scrapped
  • Germany must be allowed to expand into neighouring countries - lebensraum
  • No German citizenship for Jews
  • Fight the Bolshevik menace
  • Nazi Party's private army (Strumabteilung/Stormtroopers/Brown Shirts/SA)
  • Created in 1921 by Hitler for security and fights with communists
  • By 1924 over 50 000 members
  • Ernst Rohm put in charge (many were ex-soldiers for the First World War)

Key = Hitler during WWI / Hitler&the early DAP/NSDAP / Policies / The Sturmabteilung (SA)

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The Years of Struggle

  • Unpopular Weimar Republic - worsened in September 1923 by callled of strike in Ruhr and start of paying reparations to France
  • Former army leader (Ludendorff) close to Hitler - persuade army
  • Ready - 55 000 supporters and SA
  • Bavarian governemnt (right wing) - would support Munich Putsch
  • Hitler's trial - propoganda (led to election successes in 1930s)
  • Wrote Mein Kampf while in prison
  • Improved economy - less unemployment
  • Hindenburg (War hero) was president of Weimar Republic - increased popularity
  • May 1928 Elections - Nazis only won 12 seats in the Reichstag
  • Split into regions (gaue) controlled by a gauleiter
  • Given money by backers e.g. Krupp
  • SA expanded to 400 000 members and ** set up in 1925
  • Party Propoganda more effective (clear message, newspapers, radio and film 'new')

Key = Reasons for Munich Putsch / Outcomes / 1924-29 'Lean years' / Reorganisation of Nazi Party

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The Impact of the Great Depression

  • The Great Depression (1929-32) (caused by the Wall Street Crash) was a worldwide economic recession
  • This had direct impacts on Germany (German businesses and German government) which led to many impacts on German people
  • Had to pay back loans to the USA and couldn't get new ones, they had to pay higher taxes to the government, the markets dreied up, as few people in Germany or other countries had money to buy Germand goods
  • It couldn't borrow money from the USA, it refused to print more money, so it had to increase taxes instead, government workers lost their jobs and also made cuts in the unemployment benefit, the government was blammed for depending on US loans, the coalition government already had its problems, as divided the government couldn't agree how to solve the crisis
  • Millions of workers and farm labourers lost their jobs, banks went bust and people lost their savings, businesses collapsed, as did investments based on them, young people were particularly badly affected by job losses, many families suffered terrible poverty, as men couldn't find work and unemployment beneefit had been reduced, in 1928, 0.8 Germans were unemployed, by 1932, this had risen to 6 million

Key = Impacts due to the Great DepressionImpacts on German businessesImpacts on German governmentImpacts on German people

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Who Supported the Nazis 1929-33?

  • Strong propoganda - clear messages of NSDAP's policies, Goebbels was very important
  • Support for women - messages of the key role for women and the family in Germany's future
  • Big business - promised strong leadership and protection from communists
  • Farmers - promised to protect farmers from communists
  • Middle-class support - hit hard by Great Depression, felt let down by moderate parties, liked the anit-communist message
  • Some working-class support - jobs and images of a strong Germany (but more supported communists)
  • SA as private army - stronger than communists
  • Great Depression - Nazis offered hope and strong leadership
  • Unemployment hit the working class and the middle class very hard
  • People lost faith in the moderate politicians - a succession of Weimar governments failed to tackle unemployment between 1929 and 1933
  • People turned to the extremist parties instead - communists on the left and the Nazis on the right
  • Workers liked the communists, but anyone with something to lose (such as businesses, farms or property) hated them - this meant that many middle class people voted for the Nazis to keep the communists out

Key = Reasons for Nazi Party success 1929-33Impact of the Depression

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Hitler Becomes Chancellor

  • March 1932 - Hidenburg beats Hitler in presidential election
  • May 1932 - Hindenburg makes von Papen chancellor under Article 48 (Bruning is unpopular)
  • July 1932 - Centre party (less than 68 seats) vs Nazi's (230 seats) but von Papen still chancellor
  • November 1932 - Centre party (even less seats) vs Nazi's (196 seats) but von Papen still chancellor
  • December 1932 - Still ruling by decree so he removes von Papen and makes von Schleicher chancellor
  • 28 January 1933 - von Schleicher resigns due to lack of support
  • 30 January 1933 - Hitler made with chancellor after von Papens assisstance
  • Hitler had the largest party - von Papen wanted him on his side to give him support in Reichstag
  • German governement always shaky coalitions - needed other parties' support to pass laws
  • Hitler's party linked to violent thugs - SA fought pitched battles in the streets so von Papen made a plan:
    • Nazi Party backing (230 seats in Reichstag)
    • Won't remain popular for long - will have to do what they say
    • Nazi's depend on money from businesses (can cut this off at any time we need to)
    • Make Hitler chancellor but we will control him to get what we want

Key = Hitler Becomes Chancellor / Why did von Papen help Hitler? / von Papen's plan

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Removing the Opposition

  • Used legal methods (March 1933 election, Enabling act), party organisation (propoganda, donnations from businesses) and illegal methods (intimidation and violence) to remove opposition&take control
  • 27 February 1933 - Reichstag Fire (Reichstag building burnt down by Dutch communist (Marinus van der Lubbe) who confessed, Hitler persuaded Hindenburg to call an emergency election, Nazi's won 288 seats, made deals to get 2/3 majority needed to change the constitution)
  • March 1933 - Enabling Act (power to make any laws without Reichstag approval for four years)
  • People were prevented from organising into groups that might challenge the Nazis:Censorship of the press and Ministry of Propoganda established, people could be arrested&held without trial (suspension of Habeas Corpus), any house could be searched&belongings confiscated
    • 1933 - (May) Trade Unions banned and strikes made illegal, (July) Other political parties banned
    • January 1934 - Regional parliaments closed down
  • Rohm challenged Hitler - wanted Nazis to be about workers, not big businesses
  • ** got rid of theis opposition, shot Rohm and 400 other opponents
  • President Hidenburg died, propoganda ensured 90% of voters chose Hitler for Fuhrer

Key = How? / Reichstag Fire / Enabling Act / What happened after the Enabling Act? / The Night of the Long Knives / The death of Hindenburg

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The Nazi Police State

  • New laws were passed (made it a crime to do things like listen to a foreign radio station)
  • ** arrested people who were accused of disobeying laws ('protective custody')
  • Gestapo (secret police) - read mail, listened in on phone calls - to spy on people
  • Wardens given 40 households each to spy on and report any suspicious behaviour
  • Encouraged to be informer - spied on their friends and family
  • Law Courts under total Nazi control - no jury, all judges took an oath of loyalty to Hitler
  • Concentration camps were where many prisoners were taken (first opened Dachau in 1933)
  • Totalitarian regime - central government in control of every aspect of the country
  • Communists, political opponents, Christians (who didn't support the Nazis), Undesirables (Jews, Gays)
  • Concordat with Pope (1933) - allowed Catholics to worship if their bishops agreed to support Hitler
  • Went back on promise; harrassed priests, closed Church schools, banned Catholic youth organisations
  • Some protestants in the Confessional Church backed Hitler, forming the Reich Church under Ludwig Muller
  • But some Protestants opposed Hitler and were sent to concentration camps, such as Martin Niemoller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Key = Features of the Nazi Police StateTargets for the Polics StateThe Churches

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Controlling&Influencing Attitudes

  • Censorship - government controls what people hear, see and read
  • Propoganda - information given out to spread ideas or points of view
  • Nazi Minister of Enlightenment and Propoganda (controlled newspapers, radio, books, films, the arts)
  • Newpapers that opposed Nazis were shut down
  • Books could only be published with the government's permission
  • 'Decadent' art and culture banned including modern styles of art and jazz
  • Public burning of books by Jewish authors or books with non-Nazi views
  • 1933 - Reich Chamber of Culture - only members could publish or perform their work
  • Only short-range radios were made - couldn't recieve foreign stations
  • Radio producers, playwrights, academics, film-makers, newspapers told what to produce by the Nazis
  • Posters, radio, cinema, rallies, plays, art, education, sport, slogans (Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer! = One People, One Nation, One Leader!)

Key = Definintions / Goebbels / Methods of Censorship / Methods of Propoganda

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Nazi Policies: Youth&Women

  • Only Nazi youth groups allowed (others shut down) to make children into Nazi citizens
  • Race studies (Aryan superiority and Jewish inferiority), a lot of PE (fit), Boys (trained for military roles), Girls (trained as housewives and mothers)
  • 8 million members of youth groups by 1939: Little fellows (B6-10), Young German Folk (B10-14), Young Girls (G10-14), Hitler Youth (B14-18), League of German Maidens (G14-18)
  • Some opposition: didn't like to encourage spying, joined rival groups (Edelweiss Pirates)
  • 3Ks - kinder, kuche, kirche (children, cooking, church) & many professional women lost jobs (e.g. doctors)
  • 1933 Law for the Encouragement of Marraige lent money if wife left work (per child 1/4 of loan let off)
  • German Women's Enterprise (GWE) gave medals for having children (Bronze4-5)(Silver6-7)(Gold8+)
  • Also gave classes and radio programmes on household topics
  • 1933-36 - number of working married women fell (rose again during war)
  • Number of marriages and birth rate increased (may have been due to improving economy)
  • Few women had more than two children
  • GWE had 6 million members
  • Many employers employed women (womens' wages were 2/3 of mens' wages)

Key = Young People / Youth Groups / Opposition / Women / How successful were Nazi Policies?

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Employment&Standard of Living

  • Set working hours/rates of pay, made sure workers/employers doid what state needed
  • Unemployed working, compulsory (1935) for all young men, army-style work and living conditions, public works e.g. building 7 000 miles of autobahn by 1939
  • Wanted to rebuild German military power, military spending rose from 3.5 billion - 26 billion marks (1933-39), economy refocused on supplying for military, boost for war factories and economy, less unemployment
  • Unemployment (1933-38) 4.8 million-0.5 million - Invisible unemployment (Jews&Women), Men (Military)
  • Wages rose/Afford consumer goods - Became more expensive to buy things
  • Car ownership up by 300% in 1930s - Overspending on military (imminent bankruptcy)
  • SdA (Beauty of Labour): improved working conditions - Had to work for longer hours
  • KdF (Strength through Joy): holidays&leisure activities for workers - Had to work for longer hours
  • Public support for Nazis as better living standards - Standards of living were so low in the Great Depression that they were bound to rise once the depression was over

Key = DAF (German Labour Front) / RAD (National Labour Service) / Rearmament / Arguments for Nazi success in raising living standards / Arguments against Nazi success in raising living standards

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Nazi Persecution

  • 1933 - Boycotts of Jewish businesses, banned from inhertiting land and government jobs
  • 1935 - Jews banned from the army and public places, Nuremberg Laws bdeny Jews German citizenship (so lose right to vote), Jews banned from marrying Aryans
  • 1936 - Jews banned or restricted from being teachers, nurses, dentists, vets and accountants
  • 1938 - (March) Register property (July) Carry identity cards (November) Kristallnacht
  • 1939 - (April) Evicted from homes and moved to ghettos - thousands died from disease and starvation
  • Long standing distrust of Jews (common across Europe), Nazi propoganda and fear of the Gestapo and **
  • Jewish shops and synagogues set on fire and smashed up
  • 20 000 Jews arrested, 100 killed
  • Jewish community blamed for attack and ordered to pay fine for damage
  • Jews barred from opening businesses
  • Aryans--> Lesser Races (e.g. Slavs) --> Untermenschen (sub-humans e.g. Africans) --> Lebensunwertes (not worthy of life e.g. Jews and Gypsies)
  • Nazis said that disabled babies should be allowed to die and disabled ('weak') people should be sterilised
  • Nuremburg Laws prohibited marriage with Aryans, April 1939 - rounded up into ghettos

Key = Jewish Persecution / Why people let it happen / Kristallnacht 1938 / Races / Disabled / Gypsies

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Really good information



lov u dad



you absolute star love



amazing! cheers x



this is amazing! Thank you.




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