Weimar Germany and Nazi Germany Notes - Thomas Vanderstichele
1Germany (1918-1939)9thNovember 1918 Kaiser abdicated Kaiser Wilhelm II went into exile in the Netherlands.11thNovember1918Armistice Signed Matthias Erzberger representing the new governmentsigns the armistice. Matthias Erzberger is shot in 1923while walking in the black forest for being a ‘NovemberCriminal’9thJanuary German workers’Party (DAP) foundedHitler is given an army assignment to join a politicalgroup. One of these groups is the DAP founded by KarlDrexlerJanuary 1919 Spartacist Uprising Left-wing uprising throughout Germany. SpartacistLeague set up soviets or councils in towns acrossGermany. Their leaders Karl Liebknecht and RosaLuxemburg lead 100,000 demonstrators in Berlin. TheReichswehr is unable to put down the revolt. TheFreikorps (250,000 disbanded soldiers) is used instead.Spartacist uprising is bloodily put down and both theleaders are shot.28thJune 1919 Treaty of Versailles LandLand: 13% of European territory lostEupen and Malmedy lost to BelgiumAlsace and Lorraine lost to FrancePosen and West Prussia lost to PolandNorthern Schleswig lost in a plebiscite toDenmarkUpper Silesia lost in a plebiscite to PolandColoniesAll 11 overseas colonies lost to victorious alliesas mandatesReparations£6600 millionMilitary ForcesArmy is limited to 100,000 membersNo air force is allowedNavy is limited to 6 cruisers, 12 destroyers, 12torpedo boats and no submarinesRhineland is demilitarisedAugust 1919 New Constitution ReichstagControlled taxationMembers were elected every four yearsAll men and women over the age of 20 couldvoteProportional representation was usedReichstratReichstrat could delay new laws unless therewas a two-thirds majority in the ReichstagChancellor was head of government; he choseministers and ran the country.The President chose the chancellor who was usually
2the leader of the biggest party. The president couldsuspend the constitution and govern by decree underArticle 48.1920 Kapp Putsch Right-wing uprising in Berlin led by Dr Wolfgang Kapp.His primary aim was to reinstate the Kaiser. The rebelscontrolled the city and the Weimar government fled toDresden. The revolt was defeated by workers whohave no intention of seeing the Kaiser return. Strikescrippled the putsch and Kapp was caught fleeing.7thAugust 1920 DAP becomes NSDAP Before Hitler was working with Drexler on the 25 PointProgramme. This included: scrapping Treaty ofVersailles, extending Germany’s borders forlebensraum, depriving the Jews of German citizenship.Swastika is adopted as its emblem. Membership to theparty increased to 6000 members.1921 Hitler becameNSDAP FuhrerHitler pushed Drexler aside to become the party’sleader. Hitler placed loyal colleagues around him. ErnstRohm, Herman Goering, Rudolf Hess and JuliusStreicher1921 Sturmabteilung (SA)createdThis was the Party’s private army which was used todefend their meetings, break up the meetings ofopposition parties and were used as bodyguards.1923 Munich Putsch On the 8 November Hitler walked into a meeting in theBurgerbrau Keller and declared that he was taking overthe government of Bavaria. The leaders inside theKeller at first cooperated with Hitler but later betrayedhim. Hitler pressed on and sent supporters to keybuildings in Munich. While marching on the towncentre they came under fire from policemen. Hitlerwas forced to flee and later captured and arrested.Effects-1. NSDAP banned2. Hitler put in prison for 5 years3. Hitler’s trial gained him national publicity.4. The ban on the NSDAP was weakly enforcedand it was reformed in 19255. Hitler wrote Mein Kampf in prsion.6. Hitler was released after 9 months7. Hitler realised that in order to gain power hewould have to do so democratically throughthe Reichstag.1923 French Occupationof RuhrGermany is bankrupt after all its gold reserves hadbeen spent in the War. By 1923 Germany could nolonger pay the reparations laid down in the Treaty ofVersailles. The French occupy the Ruhr and confiscateindustrial equipment. The German Government usespassive resistance but the French bring in theirworkers. The occupation crippled Germany. 80% ofGerman coal and iron were based there.1923 Hyperinflation began The government could no longer pay reparations so
3they started printing money. By the end of 1923 therewere 2000 printing shops and 300 paper mills. Thisleads to prices reaching colossal heights. In 1919 a loafof bread cost 1 mark in 1923 is cost 100,000 millionmarks. The effects of hyperinflation were thateveryone suffered from shortages as no othercountries wished to trade with an obsolete currency,the middle class lost all their savings and everyonefound it difficult to buy what they needed.September 1923 Gustav Stresemannappointed chancellorBy the time that Gustav Stresemann came to powerthe Weimar republic was permanently weakened bypolitical unrest. The government was forced to use theFreikorps and workers to put down revolts.November 1923 Rentenmark issued Stresemann abolished the existing currency andcreated a new one. This increased confidence inGermany at home and abroadApril 1924 Dawes Plan 1. Reparations were reduced to an affordablelevel.2. American banks would invest in Germanindustry.3. The Reichsbank was to be reorganised underallied supervision.4. The Ruhr area was to be evacuated of alliedtroops.Effects-Industrial output doubled within 5 years,employment went up, imports and exports increased.27thFebruary 1925 Nazi party re-launchedUpon its rebirth National Socialism had these keyfeatures:NationalismBreaking Treaty of VersaillesReviving Power of GermanyExpanding bordersSocialismControl the economyTotalitarianismTotal loyalty to an autocratic leaderRadial Purity and Traditional German valuesPreserve traditional German valuesAryans were superior raceJews and Slavic races were inferiorStruggleStruggle to get lebensraumPurify German race1925 Paul von Hindenburgbecame President1925 MeinKampfpublishedA book that contained all the Nazis political ideas andbecame the guiding light of the Nazi party.October 1925 Locarno Pact 1. All new borders created from the Treaty ofVersailles were ratified.2. Allied troops left the Rhineland.3. France promised peace with Germany.
41925 Schutzstaffel (SS) setupThe SS was set up as a new party security group and toact as bodyguards to Hitler.Nazi Party OrganisationHitler gained the support of wealthy businesstycoons to help the party’s finances.With this money Hitler placed gauleiters incharge of each gaue or region in order tospread Nazism.Joseph Goebbels worked with Hitler toimprove the propaganda of the party.I. Created scapegoatsII. Promoted Hitler as leaderIII. Used technology to spread ideasIV. Clear image of strengthSeptember 1926 Germany enteredLeague of NationsThe league of Nations was an international body whichwas responsible for maintaining peace and discussingthe world’s problems. Germany’s entrance was seenby Stresemann as another step to Germany’s equalityin its foreign policy.August 1928 Kellogg-Briand pact A pact signed by 68 countries in which states promisednot to use war to achieve their foreign policy aims.August 1929 Young Plan 1. Reduced total reparations to £2 billion.2. Gave Germany a longer time to pay.3. Germany would not be pressed for immediatepaymentsEffects- German government could lower taxation andthus increase spending power.3 October 1929 Stresemann dies Stresemann had restored economic stability.He had regained a place for Germany on theinternational stage.24 October 1929‘Black Thursday’Wall Street Crash Prices begin to fall on the Wall Street stock exchange.Panic selling led to lowering of prices. Within a weekinvestors lost £4000 million.EffectsI. Money invested by American banks iswithdrawn from Germany.II. Industrial production falls by 40% andunemployment rises to 6 million.III. Middle classes lost savings.IV. Workers became unemployedV. Power vacuum was left when ChancellorBruning resigned in 1932.March 1932 Hitler stood forelection as PresidentNazi support has grown since the election of 1928 butHitler loses to Hindenburg.Nazi Party SupportI. Working Class- traditional German values and‘work and bread’II. Middle Class- strong leader who could helpGermany recover, afraid of communism andwanted to see return of traditional valuesIII. Farmers- Hitler promised to protect farms
5from communismIV. Business-protection from nationalisationV. Young people-atmosphere of Nazi ralliesVI. Women-best for country and familiesApril 1932 Bruning removed aschancellorCoalition organised by von Schleicher of right winggroups. Hindenburg thought that Bruning no longerhas a majority. Therefore he removed him.May 1932 Von Papen madeChancellorVon Papen becomes head of coalition that is actuallycontrolled by von Schleicher. The Nazis were part ofthis coalition but when they won 230 seats in theReichstag Hitler demanded to Hindenburg to becomechancellor.November 1932 Von Papen resigned Von Papen called another election but the Nazisremained the biggest party. Von Papen was forced toresign without the support of Hitler30 January 1933 Hitler appointedChancellorVon Schleicher became Chancellor. He informedHindenburg that Hitler and von Papen were conspiringagainst him. He asked Hindenburg to suspendconstitution and declare himself head of a militarydictatorship. Hindenburg refused and news of vonSchleicher’s plan leaked out and he lost all support(von Schleicher died in the Night of the Long Knives‘resisting arrest’).Von Papen and Hitler persuaded Hindenburg to makeHitler chancellor.27 February 1933 Reichstag Fire Hitler declared a state of emergency. Hitler could nowgovern by decree. Hitler declared an election. Beforethe election Hitler issued the Decree for the protectionof People and the State. He was now able to imprisonpolitical opponents.5 March 1933 Hitler gets two-thirdsmajorityHitler increased Nazi members in the Reichstag to 288.He banned the communist party taking another 81seats. Hitler now had enough seats to change theconstitution.March 1933 Enabling Act Hitler forced through the Enabling Act. It gave Hitlerthe right to pass make laws without the consent of theReichstag.March 1933 First concentrationcamp opened atDachauConcentration camps were located in isolated areasaway from the public gaze. Inmates were politicalprisoners or undesirables such as Jews and prostitutes.By 1939 there were six concentration camps.April 1933 Nazi boycotts ofJewish BusinessesMay 1933 Trade unions banned Trade Unions were potential sources for communistopposition. Hitler used his new powers to make themillegal.May 1933 Jews banned fromgovernment jobs1933 DAF set up The German Labour Front ensured that workers servedthe interests of the Nazi state. The DAF established theminimum working standard and prevented
6exploitation of workers1933 RAD set up The RAD employed the unemployed in manual work.At first it was a voluntary scheme but from 1935 allyoung men had to serve six months in the RAD. TheRAD prepared them for military service. The pay wasvery low and the food was poor. However by 1939Hitler had 7000 miles of autobahn.July 1933 All political partiesbannedHitler issued a decree declaring all political partiesbanned.July 1933 Concordat agreedwith PopeThe catholic Church was a source of opposition toHitler.I. Catholics owed their allegiance to the Popeand not HitlerII. Catholics had their own schools which taughtdifferent values to Nazi ones.Hitler tried to reach an agreement with the CatholicChurch. A concordat was agreed:I. Confirm freedom of worshipII. Not to interfere with catholic schoolsIII. Priests would not interfere in politicsIV. Bishops had to swear loyalty to the regimeHitler didn’t keep his promises:I. Catholic priests were arrestedII. Catholic schools were closedIII. Catholic youth groups were bannedIn 1937 the Pope realised the Concordat was worthlessand issued a criticism of the Nazi regime in a statementknown a ‘MitBrennenderSorge’.1933 Law for theEncouragement ofmarriageLoans of 1000 marks were given to newly marriedcouples. Couples could keep a quarter of the loan foreach child they had.The Mother’s Cross was a medal given to mothers withlarge families.1933 Law passed allowingDoctors to forcesterilisationNazis claimed that babies born with disabilities shouldbe allowed to die. 700,000 Germans were sterilisedfrom 1934 to 1945. A secret policy was started in 1939to kill disabled Germans with a lethal injection. By1945 6000 were killed.September 1933 Jews banned frominheriting landJanuary 1934 Lander parliamentsabolishedHitler wished to strengthen the central governmentwhich he controlled and to weaken local governmentswhich he didn’t have control of. Hitler abolished theLander parliaments and governors appointed by himwould run every region.30 June 1934 Night of the LongKnivesHitler feared Ernst Rohm. The SA numbered 3 millionand had a strong loyalty to Rohm. Rohm had criticisedHitler’s connections with rich industrialists. The SS andthe army warned Hitler that Rohm was planning totake over. Rohm and other SA leaders were shot. Hitlercontinued to remove political opposition by murdering
7von Papen, von Schleicher and Strasser. The SA wasfirmly under Hitler’s control.2 August 1934 Death of PresidentHindenburgOnce Hindenburg died Hitler declared himselfGermany’s Fuhrer, he added all the political powers ofthe president to his own and forced an oath of loyaltyfrom every member of the army. Hitler’s Third Reichhad begun.1935 LebensbornProgrammeThe policy provided financial aid for women who weremarried to SS officers. Later it made single womenavailable for fertilisation by men.1935 Law againstHomosexualityMany homosexuals were sent to concentration camps.60% of those sent to the concentration camp diedthere. Voluntary castration was encouraged.May 1935 Jews banned fromarmyJune 1935 Jews banned fromrestaurants15 September1935Nuremberg lawspassedReich Law of Citizenship-Jews lost the right tovoteReich Law for the Protection of German blood-Jews were not allowed to marry GermancitizensJews had to wear a coloured patch and sit ondifferent parts of buses1936 Olympic games inBerlinI. Nazis built largest Olympic Stadium in theworld.II. Nazis used Olympic Games as proof of Aryansuperiority.1936 Four year plan Hitler needed to provide Lebensraum for the Germanpeople. This could only be provided through militarymight. Hitler wanted Germany to be able to wage warwithin four years:I. Spending on arms increased to 26 billion marksII. Iron and steel production trebledIII. Plastic production increased by 460%IV. Germany army grew to 900,000V. Unemployment decreased and profits wentup.1937 Pastors’ EmergencyLeague bannedSome members of the Protestant Church worked withthe Nazis. Ludwig Müller led the German ChristianMovement which allowed Swastikas to be place inchurches. However, Martin Niemoller founded thePastors’ Emergency League which spoke out againstHitler. It was banned in 1937 and Niemoller was sentto a concentration camp.March 1938 Jews have to registerPossessionsJuly 1938 Jews had to carryidentity cards9 and 10 Kristallnacht Ernst von Rath is shot by a Jew in the German embassy
8November 1938 in Paris. When von Rath dies Hitler orders thegovernment should do nothing to prevent revenge onJews. Gangs smashed up Jewish property and attackedJews. The Damage amounted to 1 billion marks. 20,000Jews were sent to concentration campsJanuary 1939 Reich office forJewish emigrationset upReinhard Heydrich was given the task of riddingGermany of the Jews altogether by enforcedemigration. It was Heydrich who proposed the finalsolution to Hitler in 1942.April 1939 Gypsies collected fordeportationGypsies were enclosed in ghettos and guarded by thepolice.