World war II - Part 1


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First part of World War 2 lesson detailing the rise of Nazi Germany and the beginning of Jewish persecution.

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  • Mussolini also known as “Il Duce” (the leader). Mussolini preferred to be called this. Squadistri – armed bands of Fascist thugs – attacked their political enemies, destroyed private property, dismantled the printing presses of adversary groups, and generally terrorized both rural and urban populations. The Fascist experiment in Italy inspired observers throughout Europe to emulate it.
  • Hitler originally wanted to be an artist, but was denied admission at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Hitler believed in the stab-in-the-back legend: Germany had not lost the war (WW1), it had been defeated from within-or stabbed in the back by Jews, Communists, Socialists, and Liberals.
  • The Beer Hall Putsch was failed coup d'état. The Nazi party tried to copy the “March on Rome” which Mussolini used to come to power. So they made a “March on Berlin” to overthrow the Weimer Republic, but failed. Beer Hall was place where people go in the evenings to drink beer and engage in political debates. “Putsch” is German word for coup d'état. After failed coup d'état, Hitler learned he can succeed against the German republic only from within, by coming to power legally. Despised Democracy, Socialism, and Communism for their failures to maintain economy and stability. Fascism promised what democratic societies failed to deliver – a way out of the economic and political morass. Fascist rule – dictatorship by a charismatic leader – promised an escape from parliamentary chaos, party wrangling, and threat of communism.
  • Mein Kampf was published in 1925. It was very hard to read, weird, and was not a best seller. It only became a best seller after Hitler came to power. Mein Kampf combines elements of autobiography and political ideology of Nazism. Hitler stated the two evils of the world are Judaism and Communism, and they must be eradicated.
  • Hindenburg was President of Weimar Republic. His plan was to appoint Hitler to Chancellor in order to control him, like a puppet Chancellor. Hitler encouraged Hindenburg to sign Reichstag Fire Decree, suspending Civil liberties, so anyone who were considered opponents of Nazis were imprisoned, and suppressed publications that were not favorable to Nazis. Hindenburg died in 1934 due to old age. Hitler never created new elections for president, he was the sole leader now.
  • Fuhrer is German title meaning leader. First Reich was medieval German empire The Holy Roman Empire; the second Reich was the German Empire created by Bismarck in 1871. Anschluss was German name for political movement to unite all German speaking lands. Lebensraum: Hitler stated that superior nations had the right to expand into territories of inferior states. Rearmament: Hitler withdrew Germany from League of Nations in October 1933 and in 1935 announced that Germany was rearming. Secret rearmament had been under way for some time, including development of an air training center at Lipetsk, a gas warfare school at Torski, and a tank school at Kazan (all in the Soviet Union).
  • Nazi propaganda for Nazi Germany's T-4 Euthanasia Program: "This person suffering from hereditary defects costs the community 60,000 Reichsmark during his lifetime. Fellow German, that is your money, too." The idea behind the T-4 Euthanasia Program was that the Aryan race should survive and not be contaminated. Anyone who was handicapped or mentally challenged were euthanized. The government will the not have to support them.
  • The plan was simple. Jews from countries occupied by Germany would be rounded up, packed like cattle into freight trains, and shipped to Poland, where extermination centers were built for this purpose. The worse was Auschwitz.
  • A German police officer shooting naked Jewish women and children who were still alive after a mass execution of Jews from the Mizocz ghetto in the Ukraine.
  • Deportation of Jewish children from Lodz Ghetto. Lodz is in Poland. Deportations from the Lodz Ghetto to the first extermination camp called Chelmno began in December 1941. Chelmno is in northern Poland.
  • Jewish women and girls gathered before their execution – Liepaja, 1941. (Liepaja is in Latvia).
  • Most western nations were appalled at the prospect of another war and were willing to pay almost any price to settle the crisis peacefully. Hitler proclaimed a union (or Anschluss ) between Austria, his native land, and Germany, his adopted one – thus fulfilling his longtime dream of uniting the German speaking peoples in one great nation. European leaders sought to avoid war and maintain peace through appeasement which recognized Hitler’s claims to former territory lost by Germany in the Versailles peace treaty that ended WW1. Hitler said “This is the last territorial claim I have to make in Europe.” Chamberlain strongly believed in the sanctity of contracts and could not accept that the leader of the most powerful state in Europe was a blackmailer and a liar. Chamberlain and Daladier (French Premier) were well received at home, the British Prime Minister reporting that he believed he had brought back “peace in our time.” The day after the Munich Agreement was signed, Hitler told his aides that he would annex the remainder of Czechoslovakia at the first opportunity.
  • Hitler summoned elderly Czech President Emile Hacha to Berlin. Commander of the Luftwaffe, Herman Goring, threatened the immediate destruction of Prague unless the remainder of Czechoslovakia becomes a Reich protectorate. German bombers, he alleged, were awaiting the order to take off. Hacha signed, and on that date, 15 March, Nazi troops occupied what remained of Czechoslovakia. Picture - Adolf Hitler inspects guard of honor as he enters Prague's Hradcany castle. Chamberlain’s reputation ruined due to invasion and his failure to maintain “peace for our time.” Invasion served to convince the British that they can no longer trust Hitler. On April 13, Britain and France extended guarantee to defend Greece and Romania.
  • Vyacheslav Molotov was Commissioner for Foreign Affairs to Stalin, Joachim von Ribbentrop was Hitler’s foreign minister who flew to Moscow to sign pact. Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was other name for treaty. The Nazis and Soviets agreed to refrain from aggression against each other, in the full expectation that they could both commit aggression with impunity in other directions. Soviets stakes out their claim to the larger part of Poland, to Bessarabia, Estonia, and Latvia. Soviets later exchanged Poland for Lithuania. Treaty was to come into affect when Germany invaded Poland. Nazi Germany did not want to repeat the same mistakes from World War I by fighting a two-front war.
  • “ This nation will remain a neutral nation…” – Franklin Roosevelt. One senator declared, “To hell with Europe and the rest of those nations.” At this time, America did not really care for what's happening in Europe, it wasn’t their problem. Their excuse was that America was in the Great Depression. Americans believed World War I got them into this mess and it did not solve anything for Europe. Americans were dissatisfied with their involvement in European affairs; they believed they had been misled by wartime propaganda and that the arms manufacturers had drawn the nation into the war to assure themselves payments for sales to the Entente side. In the 1930’s, the United States adhered to rigid neutrality, and Congress passed legislation preventing the government from loaning money or selling arms to combatants in war.
  • World war II - Part 1

    1. 1. World War II Part 1: The Rise Of Nazi Germany
    2. 2. Benito Mussolini <ul><li>Mussolini fought in World War I. </li></ul><ul><li>In March 1919, he formed the Fascist Party . </li></ul><ul><li>On October 28, 1922, the Fascists undertook their famous “March on Rome.” </li></ul><ul><li>Mussolini’s followers occupied the capital. </li></ul><ul><li>Fascists achieved their first parliamentary majority by using violent tactics of intimidation to secure votes. </li></ul><ul><li>Mussolini destroyed political parties and made Italy into a one-party dictatorship. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Adolf Hitler <ul><li>Adolf Hitler was born in Austria. </li></ul><ul><li>Joined the German army in World War I. </li></ul><ul><li>Believed in the racial superiority of the Aryan (German) people and was committed to providing Lebensraum (living space) for his “master race.” </li></ul>
    4. 4. Nazi Party <ul><li>After WW1, Hitler entered politics by joining the National Socialists Party (Nazi), and soon took over the party. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1923, Hitler and the Nazi’s tried to overthrow government, but failed and Hitler sent to jail. </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler wrote Mein Kampf (My Struggle) while in jail. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Mein Kampf Quotes <ul><li>“ The worst danger is that we are interrupting the natural selection process ourselves (by caring for the sick and the weak).” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The [Nazi party] should not become a constable of public opinion, but must dominate it. It must not become a servant of the masses, but their master!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ ...the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.” </li></ul>
    6. 6. Chancellor Adolf Hitler <ul><li>Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933 through legal means. </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler claimed Germany was on verge of Communist revolution and persuaded President Paul von Hindenburg and the Reichstag (Parliament) to consent to a series of emergency laws, which Nazis used to establish themselves in power. </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler removed all political parties of Germany except the Nazi party. </li></ul><ul><li>Within two months, Germany was a police state and Hitler was dictator. </li></ul>
    7. 7. The Third Reich <ul><li>Hitler was dictator now, was called the “Führer” </li></ul><ul><li>Goal was the unite all German speaking lands. </li></ul><ul><li>Three goals for the Nazi state: Lebensraum, rearmament, and economic recovery. </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler started to round up Jews and placing them in Ghettos and eventually concentration camps. </li></ul><ul><li>For the next six year, Germany began building an army worthy of the new Reich. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Propaganda <ul><li>Joseph Goebbels was Reich Minister of Propaganda. </li></ul><ul><li>German audience continually reminded of struggle of the Nazi Party and greatness of German culture. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Heroic Art” portrayed only Aryan men as heroic and strong. </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler was glorified like a God. </li></ul><ul><li>Jews were depicted as animals or evil monsters. </li></ul>
    9. 16. Jewish “Problem” <ul><li>By beginning of 1939, Nazi policy focused on promoting the “emigration” of Jews from Germany. </li></ul><ul><li>Heinrich Himmler and the SS shared Hitler’s racial ideology. </li></ul><ul><li>Reinhard Heydrich given responsibility for what Nazis called their Final Solution to the Jewish problem – extermination. </li></ul>
    10. 17. Jewish “Problem” <ul><li>After defeat of Poland, Heydrich ordered special strike forces to round up all Polish Jews and concentrate them in ghettos. </li></ul><ul><li>Eventually, death squads entered the ghettos. Their job was to round up as many Jews as possible and execute them. </li></ul><ul><li>Often times, the Jews dug their own graves before they were executed. </li></ul><ul><li>As many as one million Jews were killed through this fashion, but was soon perceived as inadequate. </li></ul><ul><li>Nazis opted for the systematic annihilation of Jews in specially built death camps. </li></ul>
    11. 21. Hitler Makes His Move <ul><li>In March 1938, German forces marched in Austria, they were cheered by Austrians. </li></ul><ul><li>European leaders sought to avoid war through appeasement . </li></ul><ul><li>British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French Premier had conference with Hitler in Munich. </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler demanded the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia, they agreed. </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler “promised” for no more expansion. </li></ul>
    12. 22. Czechoslovakia Seized <ul><li>Six months after Munich Conference, Hitler occupied the remainder of Czechoslovakia. </li></ul><ul><li>Seizure finally showed that Hitler’s demands were not limited to German speaking areas but instead determined by the need for Lebensraum (living space) for the “Master Race.” </li></ul><ul><li>Obvious Poland was Hitler’s next target. </li></ul><ul><li>On March 31, 1939, Britain and France extended a formal guarantee to support Poland in the event of a German attack. </li></ul><ul><li>Mussolini took advantage of the European situation by invading Albania on April 1939. </li></ul>
    13. 23. Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact <ul><li>The Soviet Union potentially faced war on two fronts against Germany in the west and Japan in the east. </li></ul><ul><li>On August 23, 1939 the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact signed. </li></ul><ul><li>Agreement consisted of a 10-year nonaggression pact. </li></ul><ul><li>Partitioning of Eastern Europe between both nations. </li></ul><ul><li>USSR will supply vast quantities of raw materials to Germany in exchange for military technology and finished goods. </li></ul>
    14. 24. Neutrality <ul><li>“ This nation will remain a neutral nation…” </li></ul><ul><li>Neutrality Act (1935) passed by Congress. It prohibited American munitions sales to any nations at war. </li></ul><ul><li>The message was clear: the United States would take care of its own problems; Europe should do the same. </li></ul>