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Weimar Germany and the Rise of Hitler


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A PowerPoint presentation regarding the structure of the Weimar Republic and the eventual rise of Hitler and the Nazi party.

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Weimar Germany and the Rise of Hitler

  1. 1. Weimar Germany and the rise of hitler - Question: How did Hitler come to power? - Grab a “Weimar Germany and the Rise of Hitler” packet from up front. - BUT FIRST! Take out a piece of notebook paper.
  2. 2. An Artistic Legacy “(World War I) was the most colossal, murderous, mismanaged butchery that has ever taken place on earth. Any writer who said otherwise lied, so the writers either wrote propaganda, shut up, or fought.” – Ernest Hemingway WWI marks the entry of modernism into the forefront of the artistic world. • Cynicism • Distrust of ruling classes & religion • No moral progress • Fragmentation “Wounded Veteran,” 1922. Otto Dix. Courtesy of
  3. 3. Before. “The Second of May 1808”, by Goya. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
  4. 4. Blast magazine, an example of English Futurism, 1915. “Blood and Iron,” 1916. Charles Ernest Butler. Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum.
  5. 5. Otto Dix and the Weimar Republic - - - - - Veteran of the First World War. Fought on both the Western and Eastern front Returned to Germany and quickly became disillusioned by the excess of the Weimar Republic. Much of his work focused on the terrors of World War I and the depravity of the new Weimar Republic. Placed in German army in World War II, captured and kept as a POW in France. Trench warfare = surrealism “Stormtroops advancing under gas attack,” 1924.
  6. 6. After. “Mealtime in the Trenches,” 1924.
  7. 7. “Corpse in Barbed Wire,” 1924. “Dead Sentry in the Trenches,” 1924.
  8. 8. “Dance of Death 1917 (Dead Man’s Hill),”
  9. 9. “The Road to Menin,” 1919. Paul Nash.
  10. 10. “Mule Track.” John Nash. Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum.
  11. 11. The Golden Twenties in Berlin. Image courtesy of Wikimedia.
  12. 12. “We Want Bread,” 1923.
  13. 13. “Two Victims of Capitalism,” 1923. The pamphlet reads, “Jews Out!” Prague Street, 1923.
  14. 14. B. ^A D> C.
  15. 15. Veteran begging in Berlin. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
  16. 16. After the Election • Nazis make the largest gain in parliamentary seats. Net gain: +123 seats. Now the majority party. • Nazis can’t establish governing majority • November, 1932: Election shows diminished influence of Hitler and the Nazis. • January 30, 1933: Hindenburg appoints Hitler Chancellor, in hopes that they can curtail his radicalism – January 30, 1933. • February 27, 1933: The Reichstag burns down. Hitler blames the Communists. Issues emergency decree: • No freedom of speech • No freedom of assembly • KPD banned, SPD intimidated The Reichstag burns. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
  17. 17. The Enabling Act – 1933 Article 2 Laws enacted by the government of the Reich may deviate from the constitution as long as they do not affect the institutions of the Reichstag and the Reichsrat. The rights of the President remain undisturbed. Article 3 Laws enacted by the Reich government shall be issued by the Chancellor and announced in the Reich Gazette. They shall take effect on the day following the announcement, unless they prescribe a different date. Articles 68 to 77 of the Constitution do not apply to laws enacted by the Reich government
  18. 18. Image courtesy of
  19. 19. Hitler’s Speech on the Enabling Act By its decision to carry out the political and moral cleansing of our public life, the Government is creating and securing the conditions for a really deep and inner religious life. The advantages for the individual which may be derived from compromises with atheistic organizations do not compare in any way with the consequences which are visible in the destruction of our common religious and ethical values. The Government will treat all other denominations with objective and impartial justice. It cannot, however, tolerate allowing membership of a certain denomination or of a certain race being used as a release from all common legal obligations, or as a blank cheque for unpunishable behavior, or for the toleration of crimes. [The national Government will allow and confirm to the Christian denominations the enjoyment of their due influence in schools and education.] And it will be concerned for the sincere cooperation between Church and State. The struggle against the materialistic ideology and for the erection of a true people's community (Volksgemeinschaft) serves as much the interests of the German nation as of our Christian faith. ...The national Government, seeing in Christianity the unshakable foundation of the moral and ethical life of our people, attaches utmost importance to the cultivation and maintenance of the friendliest relations with the Holy See. ...The rights of the churches will not be curtailed; their position in relation to the State will not be changed.
  20. 20. Chancellor to Dictator • By July 14, 1933 all non-Nazi parties are outlawed. • October, 1933: Germany withdraws from the League of Nations. • August, 1934: One year later, following the death of President Hindenburg, Hitler is dictator. • September, 1935: Hitler proclaims anti-Semitic Nuremberg laws. • Over the next five years, Hitler would cement his grip on German governance and police apparatus Hindenburg and Hitler. Image courtesy of
  21. 21. From a Democracy to Dictatorship • Following the death of President Hindenburg in August, 1934, Hitler combines the offices of President and Chancellor and declares himself Fuehrer. • Fuehrer translates to “leader,” or “guide.” • Führerprinzip: The Fuhrer Principle – that the Fuhrer’s word is above all else. • Certain individuals are born to rule • Extremely hierarchical. Demands total obedience from underlings. • Stormtrooper ideology. “Long Live Germany.” Image courtesy of
  22. 22. Reich Party Congress, Nuremberg, 1938. Courtesy of Life Magazine.
  23. 23. Hindenburg and Hitler on the Day of Potsdam, March, 1933. Courtesy of Wikimedia.
  24. 24. The Nuremberg Laws • Introduced at the annual Party Rally in Nuremberg on September 15, 1935. • The first law, known as “The Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour” banned intermarriage and intercourse between “Jews” and “Germans.” • “...Bitter complaints have come in from countless places citing the provocative behavior of Jews....a certain amount of [conspiratorial] planning was involved....[To prevent] vigorous defensive action by the [Aryan] people, we have no choice but to contain the problem through legislative may be possible, through a definitive secular solution, to create a basis on which the German people can have a tolerable relationship with the Jews. ... This law is an attempt to find a legislative solution....if this attempts fails, it will be necessary to transfer [the Jewish problem] ... to the National Socialist Party for a final solution by law” – Hermann Goring, President of the Reichstag.
  25. 25. Nuremberg Laws, cont. • What did they do? • Banned marriage between Jews and German citizens • Banned intercourse between Jews and German citizens • Disallowed the employment of German women under the age of 45 by Jews • Jews forbidden to display the national flag or colors. • Violation of laws punishable by hard labor or imprisonment. “Jews are not welcome here.,” Berlin after the passage of the Nuremberg Laws. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
  26. 26. Nuremberg Ancestry Tree. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.