War and its impact on life in Germany

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  • Created by: chloe
  • Created on: 06-04-14 14:10

Mein Kampf/Start of the War

The main ideas Hitler expressed in mein kampf were

  • Lebenstraum - living space in the east, he believed they were inferior/sub-human
  • anti-semitism - hatred of jews, they were to blame for everything
  • anti-communism - hatred of communists
  • rip up the Treaty of Versailles

Preparations for war - Hitler started to rip up the Treaty of Versailles - remilitarised Germany - job creation - he got away with it because Europe was now afraid of Communism not Germany and saw them as a barrier to communism. Four year plan - produce arms, self sufficiency (autarky), Hitler youth became compulsory.

He started taking back land that had belonged to Germany. War broke out when Germany invaded Poland in 1939.

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How was life affected during early years

Germany had quick victories because of the Blitzkrieg tactics they used (lightening war)

These victories meant Germany was getting more suplies so rationing wasn't severe. Also Hitler had tried to make Germany self-sufficient (Autarky) so they didn't rely on other countries for all their supplies.

Germans were reluctantly loyal - they were loyal to Hitler but didn't really want war.

In September 1940, children were evacuated from Berlin fearing bombin raids however they soon returned.

All sections of society were encouraged to help the war effort, more women got jobs as men were fighting. Hitler Youth collected scrap metal, clothing and books for recycling.

Propaganda of the victories was used to boost morale.

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Second half of war 1942-45

Turning point in 1941 - Batlle of Britain - stopped Germany (didn't defeat them)

America joined the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941. Germany was now fighting on two fronts.

operation Barbarossa had been the invasion of Russia - it was winter and Russia were used to the conditions, Germany weren't.

Germany's first defeat came in 1942 - the battle of Stalingrad

From 1942-1945 - Total war

Rationing tightens and there was massive queues in shops. Led ot ilegal trading - black market.

Workers were in short supply - relying on foreign workers and women. Slave labour - prisoners of war.

Britain and USA bombed Major cities - Dresden, Berlin, Hamburg - completely destroyed - lowered morale. Their priority was to rebuild factories so civillians were homeless.

Volkssturm - homeguard - old and young boys defending Germany. Lacked experience. Hitler Youth were more effective - fanatical.

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Treatment of Jews during war

As Germany invaded more countries they had more Jews in their control

The war speeded up the treatment as it acted as a cover - countries busy fighting didn't notice, couldn't send the Jews to other countires.

Ghettos - Jews were forced out of their homes into Ghettos.

They were sent to concentration camps to work when there was room.

Einsatzgruppen - murder squads. make Jews dig mass graves and shoot them.

Wannsee Conference - Final solution was decided - death camps.

Gas chambers used Zyklon B. Jews would be sent to death camps. If they were fit enough to work, they were worked to death. Otherwise they were sent straight to gas chambers.

Became known as the Holocaust - 6 million jews killed.

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There were no uprisings because of fear - gestapo, SS, concentration camps.

Also people were afraid of what would happen after the war, fear of communism.

Youth - Edelweiss pirates - beat up Hitler youth, used propaganda against Hitler

White Rose group - brother and sister, and Professor - Hans and Sophie Scholl. He had been at war and seen atrocities in Russa. Used propaganda, painted anti-nazi slogans everywhere. Were tortured and hanged.

Swing groups - listened to American and British music, developed a rival culture.

Religion - Martin Niemoller, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Von Galen.

Military - General Ludwig Beck organised two failed assassinations of Hitler. Played a part in the July bomb plot.

Stauffenberg and the July bomb plot - operation valkyrie. Table leg sheltered Hitler as bomb was moved. Could have still worked if they cut the communications so news didn't get out that Hitler was still alive.

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D - Day landings 6th June 1944 - operation overlord. Allied forces landed on Normandy beaches, opening second front.They liberated Paris and went into Belgium.

Battle of the Bulge - last tank battle. German forcers launched a counter-attack. pushed back.

Allied forces tried to get to Berlin before Soviets.

On 16th April, Soviet attack of Berlin started.  Volkssturm attempted to defend. on 2nd May, General Weidling ordered the surrender of German forces defending the city.

Hitler spent his last days in an underground bunker. 28th April married Eva Braun. 30th April, committed suicide. In his political testament he left the leadership of Germany to Admiral Donitz and Goebbels.

1st May Goebbels commited suicide.

8th May Donitz agreed to allied terms of unconditional surrender which ended war and the Third Reich.

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After the war

Yalta - Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin met. Decided to split Germany into four zones. Berlin was also to be divided.

Potsdam  - Stalin, Attlee, Truman. Split Germany into four, denazification, demilitarisation.

Nuremberg Trials - show trials - nazi leaders. 142 found guilty, 24 sentenced to death, 11 ammended to life imprisonment. Goering committed suicide.

West of Europe was capitalist. Wanted to rebuild Germany to stop communism.

East - communist. East Germany was used to rebuild Russia.

Truman doctrine - contain communism

Marshall plan - give money to countries, they had to match it and allow American businesses in their country. To try and stop communism because if their economy was running nobody would support communism.

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