IMPROVE YOUR UNDERSTANDING IN GERMAN HISTORY HITLER’S RISE TO POWER
Improve your grade <ul><li>There is a difference between knowledge and understanding in History: pupils’ knowledge is ofte...
Hitler’s rise to power How important were economic factors in Hitler’s rise to power?
How important were economic factors in Hitler’s rise to power? This question wants you to look at how economic factors con...
How important were economic factors in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>How did you perform? </li></ul><ul><li>Common error...
How important were economic factors in Hitler’s rise to power? How important were economic factors in Hitler’s rise to pow...
Hitler’s rise to power How important was the weakness of Weimar in Hitler’s rise to power?
How important was the weakness of Weimar in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>This question wants you to look at how the wea...
How important was the weakness of Weimar in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>How did you perform? </li></ul><ul><li>Common ...
How important was the weakness of Weimar in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>Want to try again? See if you can improve your...
Hitler’s Rise to power <ul><li>How important was resentment over the Treaty of Versailles in Hitler’s rise to power? </li>...
How important was resentment over the Treaty of Versailles in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>This question wants you to l...
How important was resentment over the Treaty of Versailles in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>How did you perform? </li></...
How important was resentment over the Treaty of Versailles in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>Want to try again? See if yo...
Hitler’s Rise to Power <ul><li>How important was propaganda in Hitler’s rise to power? </li></ul>
How important was propaganda in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>This question wants you to look at how  propaganda contrib...
How important was propaganda in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>How did you perform? </li></ul><ul><li>Common errors would...
How important was resentment over the Treaty of Versailles in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>Want to try again? See if yo...
Hitler’s Rise to Power <ul><li>How important was Hitler’s leadership in the Nazi rise to power? </li></ul>
How important was Hitler’s leadership in the Nazi rise to power? <ul><li>This question wants you to look at how  his own l...
How important was Hitler’s leadership in the Nazi rise to power? <ul><li>How did you perform? </li></ul><ul><li>Common err...
How important was Hitler’s leadership in the Nazi rise to power? <ul><li>Want to try again? See if you can improve your an...
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Improve Your Understanding in German History 1

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A self-help resource for supporting school pupils studying Higher History

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Transcript of "Improve Your Understanding in German History 1"

  1. 1. IMPROVE YOUR UNDERSTANDING IN GERMAN HISTORY HITLER’S RISE TO POWER
  2. 2. Improve your grade <ul><li>There is a difference between knowledge and understanding in History: pupils’ knowledge is often sound, but their understanding of what their knowledge is telling them about a topic is poor. You need to improve your understanding to perform well in essays </li></ul><ul><li>What follows is a series of exercises designed to focus on your understanding & improve it </li></ul><ul><li>You will have a chance to express your ideas, review them, then try again to see if your understanding has improved. </li></ul><ul><li>Good luck! </li></ul>
  3. 3. Hitler’s rise to power How important were economic factors in Hitler’s rise to power?
  4. 4. How important were economic factors in Hitler’s rise to power? This question wants you to look at how economic factors contributed to Hitler’s rise, then explain how other factors had to interact with them for Hitler to come to power e.g. After Versailles the German economy was weak & vulnerable: she had lost resources & had to rebuild after the war & had to pay reparations. This led to disaster in the hyperinflation of 1923 & a loss of confidence in the Weimar System of government. It is interesting that as the economy improved 1924-9 support for Nazism & Communism declined sharply. The Wall Street Crash In 1929, followed by the Great Depression greatly revived Nazi fortunes, because there was now a total collapse in confidence in the ability of Weimar to control the economy. As a result, in the election of July 1932 the Nazis became the largest party, with the Communists 3 rd . Thus the Nazis became Germany’s biggest party because of the Depression. BUT It did not put them in power. What it did do was frighten people because of the rise of Communism & discourage them from supporting Weimar. It made Hitler attractive as someone who could be used by the Hindenburg clique to give them public credibility. From this point Hitler used opportunism & ruthlessness to exploit the Reichstag Fire & force through the Enabling Bill in March 1933.
  5. 5. How important were economic factors in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>How did you perform? </li></ul><ul><li>Common errors would include: </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to see that the Depression gave the Nazis mass support, but didn’t give them enough to put them in power </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to see that the Depression created increased support for the Communists: this encouraged voters to turn to the Nazis </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to see that the Depression led to a collapse of Weimar parliamentary democracy (there were no coalitions possible 1930-33) thus the Hindenburg clique ran Germany using Article 48: by 1932 they saw Hitler as someone they could use – this put him in power. </li></ul>
  6. 6. How important were economic factors in Hitler’s rise to power? How important were economic factors in Hitler’s rise to power? Can you now improve on your original response?
  7. 7. Hitler’s rise to power How important was the weakness of Weimar in Hitler’s rise to power?
  8. 8. How important was the weakness of Weimar in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>This question wants you to look at how the weakness of Weimar contributed to Hitler’s </li></ul><ul><li>rise, then explain how other factors had to interact with them for Hitler to come </li></ul><ul><li>to power e.g. </li></ul><ul><li>Weimar was weak from the outset. It was associated in German minds with defeat & the ‘stab in the back ’ & so never really had much support. </li></ul><ul><li>What was worse Germany was such a divided nation that numerous small parties emerged in 1919: they were able to gain Deputies in the Reichstag, so this made it impossible for one party to gain a majority. Instead govts consisted of weak coalitions that couldn’t agree on much, creating the impression that democracy just didn’t work: there were 13 coalitions in the first 11 years! </li></ul><ul><li>Too many of the key individuals in society were left in power from the Kaiser’s time: they were anti-democratic & anti Weimar & undermined it from within: this explain’s why judges & police dealt so leniently with Hitler & the Nazis. </li></ul><ul><li>Furthermore, the President was given too much power . Under Ebert this was used to protect democracy, but under Hindenburg , particularly after 1930, Article 48 was used to undermine democracy, which was crucial in Hitler’s rise to power. </li></ul><ul><li>By 1930 the majority of Germans had lost faith in Weimar & were voting for the extremes out of desperation. This left Hindenburg & the right-wing clique around him with far too much power, which they used to destroy democracy & ultimately install Hitler as chancellor. </li></ul><ul><li>However, Weimar’s weakness was not in itself enough to explain Hitler’s rise. Its weaknesses didn’t need to be fatal: it did well 1924-29. What was a disaster was the pressure it came under from economic problems that began with Versailles, flared up in the hyperinflation & eventually destroyed it in the Depression 1930-33. Without this ‘spanner in the works ’ Hitler may not have come to power, because he would never have won mass support & the Hindenburg clique would never have been in a position to try to take control themselves. </li></ul>
  9. 9. How important was the weakness of Weimar in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>How did you perform? </li></ul><ul><li>Common errors would include: </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to see that Weimar actually was reasonably successful when the economy did well: the economy & politics were very closely connected </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to realise the importance of the collapse of coalition gov.t after 1930: this left the President in control, using article 48 to appoint Chancellors. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to appreciate the importance of Hindenburg. Article 48 was a dangerous time-bomb at the heart of democracy, as it could be used to undermine it. But Ebert as President used it to defend democracy – Hindenburg had no love for Weimar & so used Art. 48 to help the right-wing clique around him that wanted to destroy democracy. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to understand that Hitler was not the main force trying to destroy democracy. The clique were in a stronger position to destroy it: Hitler was simply someone they thought they could use. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, failure to realise that Weimar’s weaknesses only explain the collapse of democracy: not why it was Hitler who took advantage. To do this you need to look at how the Nazis won mass support, fear of Communism the intrigues of the Hindenburg clique, Hitler’s fanatical self-belief & his opportunism & ruthlessness with the Reichstag Fire & Enabling Bill. </li></ul>
  10. 10. How important was the weakness of Weimar in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>Want to try again? See if you can improve your analysis? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Hitler’s Rise to power <ul><li>How important was resentment over the Treaty of Versailles in Hitler’s rise to power? </li></ul>
  12. 12. How important was resentment over the Treaty of Versailles in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>This question wants you to look at how the Treaty of Versailles contributed to Hitler’s rise, then explain how other factors had to interact with them for Hitler to come to power e.g. </li></ul><ul><li>The Nazi Party was born out of the Treaty of Versailles. It caused massive resentment in Germany, because it humiliated her, stripped her of land and people, left her militarily weak & blamed her for starting the war, forcing her to accept punishing reparations. The Nazis fed on this hatred. </li></ul><ul><li>Furthermore , Weimar was associated in Germans with Versailles . Its politicians were known as ‘November Criminals’ & accused of a ‘stab in the back’. This undermined faith in democracy. </li></ul><ul><li>Reparations caused huge economic problems in Germany, contributing directly to the French invasion of the Ruhr & hyperinflation in 1923, which greatly damaged confidence in Weimar. </li></ul><ul><li>To get out of this mess, Streseman borrowed millions of dollars from USA ( Dawes & Young Plans ), this left the economy fragile & vulnerable if something went wrong in the USA (Streseman said Weimar was’ dancing on a volcano ’). This is why the Wall St Crash was so disastrous for Germany. </li></ul><ul><li>However, while Versailles created Nazism & contributed to the economic conditions which allowed it to flourish, it did not in itself put them in power. </li></ul><ul><li>It helped the Nazis win mass support , but they were clever in using propaganda to make the most out of this. Furthermore you would need to examine the collapse of democracy in 1930-33 & the key role of the Hindenburg clique in lifting Hitler into power. The Nazis gained votes because of Versailles, but not enough to seize power; in fact Hitler comes to power when their votes were falling. You would also have to give credit to Hitler’s ruthlessness & opportunism. </li></ul>
  13. 13. How important was resentment over the Treaty of Versailles in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>How did you perform? </li></ul><ul><li>Common errors would include: </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to consider all the ways that Versailles hurt Weimar e.g. ‘stab in the back’, reparations, connection with the hyperinflation of 1923. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to see the connection between Versailles, US loans & the Depression </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to see that Versailles alone could not have brought Hitler to power: it contributed, but to be successful he needed the blunders of Hindenburg & his clique plus Hitler’s ruthlessness & opportunism. </li></ul>
  14. 14. How important was resentment over the Treaty of Versailles in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>Want to try again? See if you can improve your analysis? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Hitler’s Rise to Power <ul><li>How important was propaganda in Hitler’s rise to power? </li></ul>
  16. 16. How important was propaganda in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>This question wants you to look at how propaganda contributed to Hitler’s rise, then explain how other factors had to interact with it for Hitler to come to power e.g. </li></ul><ul><li>When the Depression hit Germany, the nazis used propaganda to win mass support, becoming the largest party in Germany with 37% of the vote in July 1932. </li></ul><ul><li>Goebbels was a master of propaganda & played on successful themes: the Nazis would protect Germans from the evils of Communism; the Nazis would bring a rebirth of Germany, making her strong & proud again; the Nazis would bring an end to division amongst Germans, creating a Volkesgemeinschaft (united nation); Hitler was a messiah come to lead Germany out of disaster; the Nazis would sort out the economy & give Germans work & bread; the Nazis would restore law & order & discipline; Hitler would provide strong, decisive leadership o replace the weak indecision of Weimar. </li></ul><ul><li>However: </li></ul><ul><li>Propaganda could only work in connection with other factors e.g. despite propaganda the Nazis only had 2.6% of the vote in 1928: they needed the Depression for propaganda to work. </li></ul><ul><li>Most Germans did not accept propaganda: 63% didn’t vote Nazi inJuly ’32. Nazi votes fell in November 1932: propaganda was losing its effect when Hitler came to power. </li></ul><ul><li>Propaganda was not behind the deal that brought Hitler to power. </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimately Hitler’s ruthlessness in exploiting the Reichstag Fire was crucial in getting the Enabling Bill passed. </li></ul>
  17. 17. How important was propaganda in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>How did you perform? </li></ul><ul><li>Common errors would include: </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to mention the aims of Nazi propaganda e.g. strength, unity, strong government, destruction of Communism etc </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to see that propaganda 1920-28 failed </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to see that while propaganda won votes, it didn’t win enough </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to see that propaganda ran out of steam in Nov. 1932, because the Nazis lost votes </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to appreciate that it simply won votes & made Hitler attractive to the Hindenburg clique. </li></ul>
  18. 18. How important was resentment over the Treaty of Versailles in Hitler’s rise to power? <ul><li>Want to try again? See if you can improve your analysis? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Hitler’s Rise to Power <ul><li>How important was Hitler’s leadership in the Nazi rise to power? </li></ul>
  20. 20. How important was Hitler’s leadership in the Nazi rise to power? <ul><li>This question wants you to look at how his own leadership contributed to Hitler’s rise, then explain how other factors had to interact with it for Hitler to come to power e.g. </li></ul><ul><li>There are 4 aspects of Hitler’s leadership that were crucial to his rise to power: a. he was convinced that it was his destiny to rule Germany & so never compromised (e.g. when offered Vice-Chancellorship in summer of 1932) or lost confidence e.g. when Schleicher approached Gregor Strasser, Hitler forced Strasser to turn down any offer & drove him out of the party in late 1932.; b. He was a brilliant orator who could command mass support; c. he was a great opportunist, who knew when to take his chances e.g. the Reichstag Fire gave him the chance to arrest opponents & push through the Enabling Bill; d. he was ruthless & used violence & intimidation to win votes, destroy opposition & force other parties to vote for the Enabling Bill </li></ul><ul><li>However: </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler’s leadership did not bring success prior to 1930: he needed the luck in the form of the Great Depression to win mass support (‘the Depression put the wind in Hitler’s sails’ – AJP Taylor ). </li></ul><ul><li>Despite his leadership, in Nov.1932 Nazi votes fell from 37% to 33% & the party was in critical financial difficulty. </li></ul><ul><li>What saved Hitler was the deal offered by the Hindenburg clique – he was lifted into power when he was vulnerable, not strong. </li></ul><ul><li>The Reichstag Fire came at a crucial time (Jan 1933) opening the possibility of forcing through the Enabling Bill </li></ul><ul><li>Thus Hitler’s leadership was decisive – but he was dependant on luck & others blunders to be successful. </li></ul>
  21. 21. How important was Hitler’s leadership in the Nazi rise to power? <ul><li>How did you perform? </li></ul><ul><li>Common errors would include: </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to identify the 4 ways in which Hitler’s leadership was important </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to see the importance of his refusal to compromise or cut deals with the clique </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to note that the Nazis had little success until 1930; therefore you could argue that the Depression was more important in Nazi success </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to see that his leadership alone could not have brought him to power: he required luck & others errors. To answer this question you must stress the importance of luck & leadership coming together at the same time. </li></ul>
  22. 22. How important was Hitler’s leadership in the Nazi rise to power? <ul><li>Want to try again? See if you can improve your analysis? </li></ul>

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