“Germans” consider the Holy Roman Empire to be the First Reich. “Germany” as a nation-state came in existence in 1871 Before this the German-speaking people lived in a number of states The largest state, Prussia, defeated France in a war (1870-1) It organised the other states into an Empire: the Second Reich The Second Reich didn’t contain every German in Europe However, many of the Germans who was not in the Second Reich dreamed of a time when they would be part of a Greater Germany which contained all Germans
The Second Reich was ruled by the Kaiser who was an hereditary ruler He had enormous power over foreign policy and war In 1888, Wilhelm II, 29years of age, became Kaiser He was the great nephew of Queen Victoria of England, and Kaiser during WWI Wilhelm abdicated at the end of WWI, ending the Second Reich
The Constitution of the Second Reich Germany became a democracy Kaiser The government met in the (hereditary for life) town of Weimar to draw up a constitution, it was known as Weimar Germany even Chancellor (usually also the chairman of the Bundesrat) Chosen by the Kaiser (Kaiser was Supreme Commander of the Army) Army though they soon moved back to Berlin Bundesrat More important than the Reichstag Could only approve laws Socialist, Friedrich Ebert, was Reichstag in making laws. The 17 Prussian representatives could proposed by the Chancellor and the Bundesrat veto any law the first President of Upper House of Parliament Lower House of Parliament Germany after elections were held Members were chosen by the state governments of Germany Elected by all men over the age of 25. fewer could vote in Prussia
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE NEW CONSTITUTION THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC1. Proportional Representation Army President The President2. Article 48 - In an emergency the Article 48 (for 7years) was Supreme Commander of President could abandon The President could suspend the army the democracy constitution. He could make Chancellor Reichstag laws and keep a3. The Army was only allowed Chosen by the Was more important Chancellor in President but than the Reichsrat. It office who did had the support could make laws. The 100,000 men not have the support of the of the majority of the Reichstag Chancellor had to have the support of a Reichstag majority of its4. The Courts were the same men members Lower House of that were in charge of the Reichstag Parliament Could only approve laws justice system before the new propose by the Chancellor and the Reichstag Constitution Upper House of Parliament They sympathized with people Elected by all adults over the age of 21 who wanted to end democracy
Germany had not been allowed to take part in peace talks Germany lost: 13% of its land 48% of its iron production 15% of its agricultural production 6million of its people 90% of its merchant ships It also had punishments: Its army could be no greater than 100,000men No troops were allowed in the Rhineland It was not allowed an air force The navy could not have any battleships
Many Germans felt humiliated by the treaty and wanted revenge for the way they had been treated Paying reparations threatened to make every German poor Many Germans blamed the government for signing the armistice and referred to the government as the ‘November Criminals’ (as the armistice was signed on the 11th of November) They were accused of “stabbing the army in the back” and this theory blamed the government for the Treaty of Versailles This led to a rightist trend
Germany was forced to take total responsibility for World War I and pay damages Germany was fined £6600 million to repair the damage At Versailles, France did not just want Germany to be punished but also hoped to break Germany up In hindsight, it could be said that the major part of Germany’s strength (land, population and resources) was untouched – leaving the German empire basically intact
In the early years of the Weimar Germany there were a number of attempted revolutions A democratic government was being set up in Germany but not everyone agreed with the system There were various staged armed uprisings in Berlin and Munich
The right-wing groups not only tried to seize power but also assassinated some of the government ministers who were seen as the ‘November Criminals’ In August 1921, Matthias Erzberger, who signed the armistice, was shot dead Walter Rathenau, Jewish industrialist and Foreign Minister In June 1922, the Foreign of Germany, was a proponent of Minister Walter Rathenau was Jewish assimilation until his assassination by right-wing gunned down in Berlin nationalists in 1922
All the attempts to overthrow the Weimar government failed The first elections for the Reichstag were held in 1920 It was not a good one for democracy The Weimar republic had been created by a Socialist, Democratic and Centre Parties Together, they did not even win half the seats The Germans were obviously doubtful of the new system
By January 1923, Germany was behind on the reparation payments to Belgium and France France was angry because they needed the money to repay their war debt to the USA French and Belgian troops then invaded the Ruhr – the industrial centre of Germany The Ruhr is in the Rhineland and so there were no German troops to defend the land The French and Belgians decided to take the goods they needed rather than wait for the Germans to send them
French occupation forces in the German Ruhr district, 1923
1923: German tractors on a train to France When the French and Belgiansoccupied the Ruhr, they ensured that German factory production went straight toFrance. The occupation was ended with the acceptance of the Young Plan in 1930.
The Germans could not use armed force against the French and Belgians Germans workers went on strike as a protest They also sabotaged the mines so that they flooded and could not be worked in as well as burning down the factories Staged huge demonstrations, some became violent Funerals of those shot by the French army turned into even bigger demonstrations The French army arrested the entire police force of Ruhr French and Belgium forces also stole money from banks and took equipment from offices and factories
The invasion united the Germans in their hatred of the French and Belgians The strikers were heroes to the German people who were standing up to the Treaty of Versailles – showing that Germany could not be crushed The government backed the strikers They printed money to pay the strikers a wage but this caused inflation Then, because the workers were on strike, less goods were being made so inflation was made worse These two factors alone helped to turn inflation into hyper-inflation
German reparations required that large quantities of goods were to be sent to France and Belgium As a result there was not enough goods in Germany, making prices rise. At the same time, the government printed more money and workers went on strike In 1923 inflation shot out of control In 1918, a loaf of bread was 0.6marks but in January 1923, it was 250marks and then in September it was 1.5million marks
Workers had to be paid twice a day so they could carry the money but soon the wheelbarrows, baskets and suitcases were worth more than the money inside it German money was worthless, savings were lost and those on fixed pay suffered terribly Businessmen found they were making lots of money and their debts had been wiped out as well as low wages Farmers also did well because people would always need food before other goods Foreigners were lucky as the exchange rate was good and could buy a lot of products most Germans couldn’t
Gustav Stresemann was elected the new Chancellor in August 1923 He introduced a new currency, the Rentenmark, which replaced the old worthless mark The striking workers were ordered back to work He agreed to paying the reparations again All this made him unpopular because he was giving in to the countries who were making Germany look humiliated Germany was rewarded with the Gustav Stresemann introduction of the Dawes Plan in 1924 for repaying the reparations
The American Dawes Plan The Ruhr area was to be evacuated by Allied occupation troops. Reparation payments would begin at “one billion marks the first year, increasing to two and a half billion marks annually after five years“ The Reichsbank would be reorganized under Allied supervision. The sources for the reparation money would include transportation, excise, and custom taxes. Charles Dawes
The Dawes Plan relied on an American loan of 800 million marks given to Germany by the US. The loan was to be used to build new factories, produce goods and jobs, and raise the standard of living for Germans. Loan allowed Germany to repay its war reparations again, and helped support the American economy in the “roaring 20’s” economic boom. In 1925, the French and Belgian troops left the Ruhr Although German business rebounded and reparation payments were made promptly, it became obvious that Germany could not continue those huge annual payments for long. As a result, the Young Plan was substituted in 1929.
After 1923, people had money to spend and Germany appeared very different to what it was like pre-1923 Berlin was the pleasure capital of Europe Going to clubs and cafes were important parts of Berlin life Artists flocked to Berlin There was little censorship so people could do as they wished
Other countries were starting to treat Germany as an equal In 1925, Germany and France signed the Treaty of Locarno in which they agreed never to try to change the border between them In 1926, Germany was allowed to join the League of Nations In 1928, Germany signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact with over 60 other countries which said they would never go to war against each other Stresemann was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in the same year ▪ He died in October 1929, when Germany seemed to have completely recovered
In October 1929, the U.S. Wall Street stock market crash occurred, with global repercussions The German economic boom had been created because of a loan from America, but the U.S. needed/wanted this back because of the crisis German industrial production slumped Factories were producing less and so unemployment rose In 1928, employment was 1.4million Germans but in 1931 this figure was 4.8million Many people lost faith in democracy and turned their attention to extremist groups
Elections in 1930 showed that the Nazis and Communists did well The communists promised a fair society of taking from the rich to give to everyone to make all equal The Nazis were promising to stop the reparations so the money would be spent creating jobs Unemployment continued to grow This time the whole world was effected by the Depression rather than the inflation problems that only Germany had suffered in 1923
The German government could not agree on how to deal with the Depression. Elections were called in July 1932 The Nazis won 230 seats which was far more than anyone else, but they didn’t get the 50% of the seats needed to govern on their own Leadership in the German government changed hands multiple times Paul von Hindenburg was elected President of Germany in 1925, was re-elected in 1932, and appointed Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Paul von Hindenburg Germany in 1933 Hindenburg died the following year, allowing Hilter to seize power and name himself head of state.
Brüning resigned in May 1932 and replaced by von Papen Elections were called in July in the hope the parties that supported the government would win a majority He hoped to do things democratically rather than by Presidential Decree But it didn’t work The Nazis won 230seats which was far more than anyone else But they didn’t get the 50% of the seats needed to govern on their own von Papen continued as Chancellor and tired the same tactic again as he called for elections in November Again it failed But the Nazis did win 34 fewer seats Thus they were becoming less popular von Papen was also replaced by General von Schleicher In January, General von Schleicher resigned because Hindenburg wouldn’t allow him to continue to govern by presidential decree Hitler was then asked by Hindenburg to become the new Chancellor In 1925 Hindenburg became President with fewer than 50% of the votes because the Communists put up a candidate so splitting the majority anti-Hindenburg vote
Hitler would not have become Chancellor if the President had allowed General von Schleicher to govern my decree The Centre Party leaders, like von Papen, didn’t want General von Schleicher in power and hoped to rule Germany – using the support of the Nazis to stay in power They thus thought they could control Hitler and dominate him von Papen became Hitler’s vice-Chancellor Ironically, Hitler became Chancellor when the Nazis were losing support
How do we explain theenormous power andinfluence Adolf Hitlerexerted in Germanyand around the world?
Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 in Braunau, Austria. Adolf was one of six children - three of whom died at early ages
Alois Schickelgruber Hitler was a customs official who was illegitimate by birth. His father, Adolf’s grandfather, may have been Jewish. He died when Adolf was 14 and left him a small inheritance.Klara Hitler was very young when she married theolder Alois. She showered young Adolf with loveand affection. Adolf carried a picture of his momuntil the day he died. She died of breast cancerwhen Adolf was 18 years old.
Attended a Benedictine monastery school where he took part in the choir. Hilter wanted to become an artist; his father wanted him to become a civil servant. After his father died, he dropped out of high school and attempted to get into the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts - he failed.
After his mother died, Adolf (now 18) decided to move to Austria to pursue his dream of becoming a great artist. Again he failed to gain entrance into the Academy He eventually sold all his possessions and became a homeless drifter who slept on park benches and ate at soup kitchens throughout Vienna (age 19) Adolf did manage to sell some paintings and postcards, but remained impoverished
Adolf left Austria at the age of 24 to avoid mandatorymilitary service that was required of all men.But he did sign up formilitary service at thestart of WW I. He joineda Bavarian unit of theGerman Army. This is apicture of Hitler listeningto an enlistment speech.
Excited to fight for Germany. Found a home fighting for the Fatherland. Highest rank held was corporal. Was a regimental messenger, not an easy job at all.
Was awarded the Iron Cross twice. (5 medals overall) Highest military honor in German Army. Single handedly captured four French soldiers. Temporarily blinded by gas attack towards end of war.
Hitler was devastated when he heard the news of the German surrender. He was appalled at the anti-war sentiment among the German civilians. Believed there was an anti-war conspiracy that involved the Jews and Communists. Also, felt that the German military did not lose the war, but that the politicians (mostly Jews) at home were responsible for the defeat.
Hitler was depressed after WW I. Still in the army, he became an undercover agent whose job was to root out Communists. Also, lectured about the dangers of Communism and Jews
Hitler was sent to investigate the German Worker’s Party in Munich in 1919. He went to a meeting and gave a speech. They asked him to become a member, which he did
Hitler began to think big for the German Worker’s Party Began placing ads for meetings in anti-Semitic newspapers Hitler changed the name to National Socialist German Worker’s Party or the NAZIS
Hitler drafted a NAZI platform of 25 points Revoke Versailles Treaty Revoke civil rights of Jews Confiscate any war profits Besides changing the party name, the red flag with the ‘swastika’ was adopted as the party symbol
The swastika was an ancientsymbol usually associated withthe sun. It is still commonly usedin Buddhist shrines. Due to incorrect translations in Sanskrit/German dictionaries Hitler believed that the swastika was a symbol that represented the word Swasie which meant Aryan. This was not the case.
October 30, 1923 Hitler held a rally in a Munich beer hall and declared revolution Led 2,000 men in an attempted take over of Bavarian Government It failed and Hitler was imprisoned on charges of treason
At his trial, he used the opportunity to speak about the NAZI platform and spread his popularity. The whole nation suddenly knew who Adolf Hitler was and what he stood for He was sentenced to five years, but actually only served about 9 months When he left prison, he was ready to go into action again.
Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf” (My Struggle) was written while in jail Sold 5 million copies, made him rich Topics included: Jews were evil, Germans were superior race, Fuhrer principal, dislike of Communism and Democracy and need to conquer Russia
Used popularity from failed revolution and book to seize power legally Spoke to mass audiences about making Germany a great nation again Nazi Party: 1930 = 18% of vote 1932 = 30% of vote Hitler becomes Chancellor in 1933
Germany was in the midst of an economic depression with hyper-inflation Hitler was a WW I hero who talked about bringing glory back to the “Fatherland” He promised the rich industrialists that he would end any communist threat in Germany Constantly blamed Jews for Germany’s problems, not the German people. Hitler was an excellent public speaker.
HITLER THE THEBECAME REICHSTAG ENABLINGCHANCELLOR FIRE ACT OATH OF DEATH OF THE NIGHT LOYALTY PRESIDENT OF THE TO HINDENBURG LONG HITLER KNIVES
The depression after theWall Street Crash mademany more people vote forthe Nazis. In 1933 VonPapen convincedHindenburg that Hitlershould become Chancellor. January 1933
Hitler was Chancellor of Germany and only had 2 Nazis in the government: Göring and Frick Hitler called for elections hoping for 50% of the votes a majority Göring was the Prussian Minister of the Interior, meaning he controlled ⅓ of Germany’s police This allowed for the SA to be mostly untouched while it attacked their opponents Hitler did not want competition in the elections, and may have been behind the Reichstag Fire.
The Reichstag, the German capitol building, was a symbol of democracy Reichstag elections were to be held in March 1933. On the evening of February 27th 1933, the Reichstag was burnt down. Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch communist, was blamed. He was arrested at the Reichstag He was carrying matches and firelighters He even admitted he was guilty Hitler and Göring didn’t believe he acted alone but was part of a Communist plot KPD (Communist party) leaders were put into prison The KPD was banned from participating in elections There is some evidence to suggest it was the Nazis, Göring in particular The reason being to arrest the KPD and win the elections
With the Communists banned fromthe Reichstag Hitler was able to pass:March 1933 HITLER CAN RULE ALONE FOR FOUR YEARS. THERE IS NO NEED TO CONSULT THE REICHSTAG.
1. The Enabling Act 2. Political Parties 485MPs opposed the Nazis The KPD was the first to be banned in the Reichstag with only In May the SPD was banned the Nationalists (DNVP) to In July other parties, even those who helped Hitler get into power, was banned support them A Law Against the Formation of Parties The Enabling Act was a was also passed ‘temporary’ act that Leaders of the parties were put into concentration camps allowed Hitler to make any The first one was opened at Dachau in March 1933 law without the vote of the 150,000 KPD members would end up in camps, Reichstag 30,000 would die there Hitler used the Enabling Act to ban other political parties
3. Trade Unions 4. Regional Govt. Trade unions were Germany, founded in 1871, was associated with made up of Länder, or states Communism and thus seen Elected governors run the as an enemy Länders In May all trade unions Many opposed Hitler were abolished In April 1933, Hitler replaced Strikes were made illegal the elected governors with Reich governors appointed by Hitler All were Nazis
The “Brownshirts” or SA (Stormtroopers) SA was used to put down opposition parties Threatened and beat up Jews and anti-Nazi voters Wore brownshirts, pants and boots Numbered almost 400,000 by 1932
Now I have gotten rid of opposition political groups, I can now deal with opposition in my party. Ernst Rohm (an old friend), head of the S.A. is very unpopular with the German army leaders. They have the power toJune 1934 overthrow me. I’ve been worried about Rohm for a while, so this is a good excuse.
In the early hours of the 30th of June 1934, Hitler entered a hotel in the Bavarian resort of Bad Wiessee, with heavily armed SS In the hotel was important members of the SA who were arrested Including Ernst Röhm, the leader of the SA They were taken to Munich and shot Over the next few days other members were also arrested and shot Including Gregor Strasser Up to 200 people were killed including non-Nazis Including former Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher
THE SA THE SS Public face of the Nazis Founded in 1925 as Hitler’s Beating up opposition personal bodyguards, they Holding large meetings and demonstrations were technically part of the By 1934, there were 2million SA Röhm was more socialist and Himmler wanted to be a expected wealth to be taken separate organisation away from the rich He also wanted to take over the Himmler told Hitler that army which was unpopular with Röhm planned to overthrow the army him on the evening of the 28th He also wanted the SA to be the of June focus of a National Socialist Germany It was after this that the Night of the Long Knives took place
THE ARMY INDUSTRIALISTS Dominated by men who had Many industrialists fought in the Kaiser’s army in supported Hitler WW1 Like Fritz Thyssen They believed only Hitler would ignore the Treaty of They feared communism Versailles and rearm They believed only Hitler They would become a would destroy communism powerful and modern army However, they thought the under Hitler SA programme looked far They were frightened by the thought they might be taken too much like communism over by the SA Like von Papen
HITLER GÖRING Hitler was in power and he Hermann Göring was in wanted to create Lebenraum charge of the arrests and in the east Therefore it was important to assassinations in Berlin have the support of the army He was a Nazi hero and He also needed the support of the industrialists was part of the Munich They would create wealth to putsch pay for the army The removal of important They would be able to make arms/ weapons Nazis like Röhm would Hitler only needed the SA to make him more powerful take part in huge parades and to impress the public
Many opponents were now dead. On the 20th June 1934 the SS was established as a separate organisation from the SA A month later the army swore an oath promising to be loyal to Hitler rather than to Germany Murder had now become a part of government action Hitler had wiped out 200 of his political opponents and no one stopped him Hindenburg backed him and so did the Reichstag Hitler justified his actions as he had acted as the “Supreme Judge of the German People”
A final noteAugust 1934 PRESIDENT HINDENBURG’S DEATH GAVE HITLER THE OPPORTUNITY TO COMBINE THE ROLE OF CHANCELLOR AND PRESIDENT. HE CALLED HIMSELF ‘DER FUHRER’.
Only President Hindenburg could sack and replace Hitler as Chancellor Hitler had full control of Germany In July 1934 Hindenburg died Hitler took over and combined President and Chancellor into Führer On the 2nd of August, the German Army, the last remaining opposition, wore allegiance to Hitler as Führer, rather than Germany Hitler called Germany the Third Reich, the third German Empire, which he promised would last 1,000 years at least it lasted just 12
Every soldier swore a personal oath ofloyalty to ADOLF HITLER.
HITLER THE THEBECAME REICHSTAG ENABLINGCHANCELLOR FIRE ACT OATH OF DEATH OF THE NIGHT LOYALTY PRESIDENT OF THE TO HINDENBURG LONG HITLER KNIVES