German History 2

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German History 2

  1. 1. Improve your understanding of German History The Nazis In power
  2. 2. How far did the Fascist state rely on fear rather than popular support for it’s survival? <ul><li>Your outline answer: </li></ul>
  3. 3. How far did the Fascist state rely on fear rather than popular support for it’s survival? <ul><li>This question wants you to decide on why Germans supported the Nazis – was it because they were frightened of them, or was it because they liked what they were doing? </li></ul><ul><li>After Hitler came to power the Nazis moved quickly to create a climate of fear in Germany. Opponents of the regime were rooted out & arrested, opposition parties banned & organisations where opposition might appear e.g. Trade Unions, the Protestant Church, or schools were nazified in a process known as Gleichschaltung. A structure for a police state emerged: the Gestapo would identify targets & the S.S. would arrest them and deal with them in concentration camps. The law courts were also nazified & there was no possibility of appeal. The power of the police state was brought home in the Night of the Long knives when Rohm & other leading Nazis were killed: this emphasised to ordinary Germans the no-one was safe. The open persecution of the Jews, especially from 1936 on, simply added to the atmosphere of violence & repression. </li></ul><ul><li>HOWEVER, there is evidence that the Nazi state also had genuine popular support. The Gestapo was too small to function without the support of 100s of thousands of ordinary Germans who acted as informers – clearly they were happy to support the police state. Furthermore, most of those who were dealt with harshly: Jews, gypsies, Communists & criminals, were unpopular anyway. In addition a loss of freedom seemed to many a price worth paying for strong leadership, law & order & a return of national pride. Ultimately, however, it is difficult to be certain what most Germans thought, as a massive propaganda campaign manipulated their views & fear kept opposition hidden. </li></ul>
  4. 4. How far did the Fascist state rely on fear rather than popular support for it’s survival? <ul><li>How did you perform? </li></ul><ul><li>Common errors include: </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to fully explain the extent of the climate of fear e.g. the Night of the Long Knives, persecution of minorities/ removal of trade unions, protestant church, law courts etc where opposition could be voiced </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to point out that Gestapo could only function with help of ordinary Germans </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to mention that most Germans weren’t affected by police state: those that were were disliked anyway </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to mention all of Hitler’s popular policies </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to note that propaganda & fear made it difficult for us to be certain what ordinary Germans thought. </li></ul>
  5. 5. How far did the Fascist state rely on fear rather than popular support for it’s survival? <ul><li>Can you now improve your answer? </li></ul>
  6. 6. To what extent did the survival of Nazi rule in Germany 1933-39 depend on their solving Germany’s economic problems? <ul><li>Your outline answer: </li></ul>
  7. 7. To what extent did the survival of Nazi rule in Germany 1933-39 depend on their solving Germany’s economic problems? <ul><li>This question wants you to explain why Nazi economic success was so important to their survival, but also show that you are aware that survival also depended on fear & propaganda. </li></ul><ul><li>As AJP Taylor said: ‘it was the Depression that’ put the wind in Hitler’s sails’. Hitler was well aware that the Depression destroyed Weimar & was determined it would not happen to him: thus solving Germany’s economic problems was Hitler’s priority. To do this he borrowed heavily & created massive public works schemes: most famously the autobahns. He also re-armed: the army was increased to 500,000 & factories & shipyards were set up to supply the armed forces. In addition Jews were forced out of state jobs & women were discouraged from working. By 1936 unemployment had virtually vanished. There is no doubt that this was crucial in winning support for Hitler: as R. Gellately has said – ‘the most important thing he could do to win them (the German people) over, was solve the massive unemployment problem.’. </li></ul><ul><li>L. Rees (Producer: ’the Nazis: a Warning from History’) remarked: ’almost everyone we talked to emphasised the Nazis achievement in reducing unemployment & clearing the streets of desolate looking jobless.’ </li></ul><ul><li>However: important though solving economic problems was, there were other priorities. It could be argued that preparing Germany for war was more important than solving economic problems. Unemployment was reduced, but money was borrowed at a rate that could not be paid back & because it was being spent on the army, Germany was not exporting much & shops had little in the way of consumer goods. Living standards did not improve much & more rapid economic progress was held back. In any case, the Nazis did not depend exclusively on economic success for survival: they also developed a police state & made extensive use of propaganda to brainwash the German people. </li></ul>
  8. 8. To what extent did the survival of Nazi rule in Germany 1933-39 depend on their solving Germany’s economic problems? <ul><li>How did you perform? </li></ul><ul><li>Common errors include: </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to point out that economic problems were crucial to Weimar’s failure </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to point out that although Hitler got unemployment down, he didn’t improve living standards & borrowed excessively </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to point out that it could be argued that economic recovery was secondary to getting ready for war </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to point out that there were other reasons for the Nazis survival: fear & propaganda </li></ul>
  9. 9. To what extent did the survival of Nazi rule in Germany 1933-39 depend on their solving Germany’s economic problems? <ul><li>Can you now improve your answer? </li></ul>
  10. 10. ‘ Fascist domestic policies were a triumph more of propaganda than of genuine achievement’. How far do you accept this view of Germany 1933-39? <ul><li>Your outline answer: </li></ul>
  11. 11. ‘ Fascist domestic policies were a triumph more of propaganda than of genuine achievement’. How far do you accept this view of Germany 1933-39? <ul><li>This question is asking you to consider what Nazi domestic policies were & whether or not they were genuinely successful or just exaggerated by propaganda. </li></ul><ul><li>The Nazis seemed to restore economic stability, law & order & national pride to Germany. Certainly unemployment was reduced & economic production greatly expanded, however, this, it could be argued, was an exaggerated success. The economy was already improving when the Nazis came to power & growth rates were no higher than in other European countries. Success was also based on loans that in the long run would de-stabilise the economy; furthermore it focused on building a war economy, rather than bring prosperity to ordinary Germans. Finally the Nazis reduced unemployment partly by forcing out Jews & women from jobs, then leaving them off the unemployment statistics, so success was exaggerated. </li></ul><ul><li>They had more success in restoring national pride. Their regime seemed much more stable than Weimar & was not associated with defeat in 1918. The Nazi parades, autobahns, economic success, 1936 Olympics & re-armament all created the image of a resurgent, powerful modern nation. The police state & banning of rival groups meant that the street violence that disfigured Weimar disappeared. </li></ul><ul><li>However it is debatable what success the Nazis had in creating a Volksgemeinschaft (national community) – a classless society where everyone identified with the nation: the working class were resistant & many Germans undermined this policy by simply ignoring Nazi aims: there was no social revolution. </li></ul><ul><li>Thus Nazi success was exaggerated by propaganda, but it would be untrue to say that they did not have any success at all. </li></ul>
  12. 12. ‘ Fascist domestic policies were a triumph more of propaganda than of genuine achievement’. How far do you accept this view of Germany 1933-39? <ul><li>This is a tricky question, to answer it, you really need to have studied all your notes! </li></ul><ul><li>Common errors would include </li></ul><ul><li>Pupils fail to see that propaganda exaggerated the success of the economy </li></ul><ul><li>Fail to see that economic success was based on borrowing </li></ul><ul><li>Fail to mention that other countries did just as well. </li></ul><ul><li>Fail to see the range of Nazi domestic policies: don’t mention restoring national pride/creating a national community ( Volkesgemeinschaft ) </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to see restoration of national pride as a success/ Volkesgemeinschaft relatively unsuccessful. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to see that while most people tolerated the Nazis & many liked Hitler, they were uninterested in their more radical social policies & simply ignored them. </li></ul>

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