Hitlers Germany

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Youth Movements

-Boys would attend a Nazi group called the ‘Little Fellows’ from the ages six to ten. They then joined the ‘Young Folk’ from ten to fourteen and finally they then joined the ‘Hitler Youth’ at 14 and it goes on until they are 18.

-Girls would join the ‘Young Girls’ between 10 and 14 and the after that joined the ‘League of German Maidens’ from 14 to 17.

-Both the girls and the boys camps went on tough marches but other than that they did different things. Boys learnt how to become the perfect soldier and girls learnt about what to do in the home.

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What Hitler got out of them

-Fit soldiers for the future

-Support, loyalty, respect, commitment

-Skilled soldiers

-Well trained – learnt survival skills and basic skills

-Un-dying loyalty

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The collapse of the Weimar Republic

-Between 1924-1929 Germany went through a recovery after their post war problems:

                 -Hyper-inflation was solved.

                 -American loans were used to kick start the economy.

                 -Foreign policy meant that Germany improved its relations with the rest of the worlds.

                 -The government became more stable and people started to believe in democracy.

                 -Votes for extremist parties (communists/Nazis) declined dramatically.

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Why was Hitler appointed Chancellor?

-Though the Nazis had been the largest party in the Reichstag since July 1932, Hindenburg and the establishment would not appoint Hitler.

-Hitler, however, had persuaded big businesses and the army that it would be good for them.

-The political establishment thought that they could control Hitler and the Nazis, while Von Papen believed he could do the same by forming a coalition government, as Hitler then would never be able to have the majority.

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Self sufficiency

-Hitler wanted Germany to produce its own food/raw materials so it did not depend on other countries.

-This policy was called autarky and was a 4 year plan to achieve self sufficiency.

-4 year plan was expensive and needed massive state investment in industry.

-Coal, oil, iron and other materials were produced.

-Raw materials such as rubber, fuel and textiles were developed.

-New factories and industrial plants were built.

-By 1939 Germany was still not fully self-sufficient.

-1/3 of raw materials were still imported from other countries.

-It was obvious that Germany could not achieve self-sufficiency.

-The Nazis decided to take other countries with raw materials/food that they needed.

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April 1933 - Official one day boycott of Jewish shops, lawyers and doctors throughout Germany. Then members of the SA stood outside shops and physically prevented customers entering. 

September 1935 - The Nuremberg Laws provided legal restrictions on Jews:

1. The Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honour banned marriages between Jews and Aryans, and banned sexual relations outside marriage. 

2. The Reich Citizenship Law made Jews 'subjects' rather than 'citizens', and this meant that Jews lost some legal rights. 

June-July 1928 - Jewish doctors, dentists and lawyers were forbidden to treat Aryans. 

October 1938 - Jews had to have a red letter 'J' stamped on their passports. 

November 9th 1938 - Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass) happened after a Jewish youth shot and killed a german embassy official in Paris:

-Attacking of 8,000 Jewish shops and homes and most of the Jewish synagogues in Germany

-About 100 Jews were killed

-20,000+ arrested and sent to concentration camps.

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The Treatment of undesirable groups

Gypsies: Unpopular because they never had regular jobs and moved around a lot. Many Germans were pleased when the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were applied to them.

Disabilities & mental problems: were seen as a threat the the Aryan superiority if they were allowed to have children. 

July 1933: a law was passed including compulsory sterilisation. This included people with depression, epilepsy, blindness, deafness and the physically disabled.

1937: almost 200,000 compulsory sterilisations had been performed on men and women. The mistreatment of the Jews and other 'undesirable' groups got worse very quickly after the war started in September 1939.

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The Final Solution:

Factors leading to the final solution:

-Kristallnacht: shows that the escalating violence was acceptable

-Nuremburg laws and other persecution- first anti-semitism, very little resistance

-Propaganda/technology: people disliked Jews, first time mass extermination could happen

-War: more Jews came under Nazi control, emigration was no longer possible. Acted as a distraction.

What was it:

-Millions of Jews were now under Nazi control

-Originally put in Ghettos, where many starved to death. Warsaw=500,000 deaths.

-Einsatsgruppen: shot every Jew they could (500,000). First mass execution of the war.

-Death camps were built far away from Germany.

-Many did not resist as they knew what was to happen, and wanted a dignified death with their family.

-6 million Jews were killed, as well as political opponents, homosexuals, Gypsies to name but a few.

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July bomb plot 1944

Operation Valkyrie:

-the most serious attempt made on Hitlers life.

-Came from the senior army officers.

-Plotters aimed to kill Hitler and then seize conrol of Berlin, followed by the whole of Germany, using the army.


-Getting close to Hitler.

-Mobilising troops.

-Dealing with the SS.

-Seizing the radio, telephone and telegraph network.

Who was involved:

-Stauggenberg and other high ranked people e.g. Ludwig Beck and Hans Oster

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Public Reactions to My Lai

-Defeatism turned to horror as details of My Lai leaked out.

-Vietnamese propaganda reports massacre and complaints numbers of soldiers were ignored or covered up for 18 months.

-Seymour Hersch broke story Novemeber 1969.

-Photographs taken by Ron Haeberte, official US army photographer, who had also taken graphic colour photos on a secret second camera.

-Lietenant William Calley, who led the massacre, was sentenced to life in prison with hard labour.

-He was court martialled for murder March 1971.A fter 3 days he was put on house arrest.

-He served 3 years of house arrest before he was released.

-79% disapproved of Calley's court martial. 20% refused to accept that what he done was wrong.

-Massacre destroyed vestige of 'moral right' that Americans may have felt about the war.

-US public confused and distressed - how could so many good US boys be able to do such a thing.

-Returning Vietnam soldiers found themselves stigmatised as 'baby killers’.

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