Nazi Rule. Conditions in 1930s Germany was defeated in World War I Germans lacked confidence in their weak government An Economic depression hit Germany Millions lost their jobs . Hitler Comes to Power. Germans were desperate for change, so they
Hitler Comes to Power
The Nazi Terror Begins
Hitler moved quickly to turn Germany into a one-party dictatorship. He ended individual freedoms and organized police power to enforce policies. People lost their right to privacy. He put tons of jobless men to work as Nazi Storm Troopers. These men were put to the streets to beat and kill some opponents of the Nazi regime.
May 2,1933 - Trade union officials and activists are terrorized. The trade unions' records are impounded and their assets seized.
July 14,1933 - All political parties except the Nazi party are dissolved.
SS Police State
An important tool of the Nazi terror was the Protective squad, or SS. The SS began as a special guard for Adolf Hitler and other party leaders.
~Some of the SS members formed a smaller, elite group whose members also served as auxiliary policeman and also as concentration camp guards, which eventually overshadowed the Storm Troopers, or SA.
~The SS chief, Heinrich Himmler, also turned the regular police forces into an instrument of terror. These non-uniformed police used ruthless and cruel methods throughout Germany to identify and arrest political opponents and others who refused to obey laws and policies of the Nazi regime.
~After Hitler took power, the SA and Gestapo agents went from door to door looking for Hitler's enemies. Socialists, Communists, trade union leaders, and others who had spoken out against the Nazi party were arrested, and some were killed. By the middle of 1933, the Nazi party was the only political party, and nearly all organized opposition to the regime had been eliminated.
~Many different groups, including the SA and SS, set up hundreds of makeshift "camps" in empty warehouses, factories, and other locations all over Germany.
Hitler believed that there should be only one pure race, Aryan, which are blond, blue-eyed and tall. This idea was spread quickly to the public, such as public displays, the radio, classrooms, and in newspapers. German physicians began operations to make it impossible to have children. The Jews were considered a poisonous race. People under Hitler started taking measurements to determine if they were considered to be part of the Aryan race.
World War II in Europe
During WWII in Germany, a new tactic called “Blitzkrieg,”(lightning war) was used to break through enemy defenses. Germany defeated Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Greece, and Yugoslavia. German Nazis pushed more than 600 miles to the gates of Moscow. Allies tried to start attacking their way into Germany. Finally, Nazi Germany surrendered in May of 1945.
The Murder of the Handicapped
~Adolf Hitler suggested that wartime "was the best time for the elimination of the incurably ill." Many Germans did not want to be reminded of individuals who did not measure up to their concept of a "master race." The physically and mentally handicapped were viewed as "useless" to society. At the beginning of World War II, individuals who were mentally retarded, physically handicapped, or mentally ill were targeted for murder in what the Nazis called the "T-4," or "euthanasia," program.
~The "euthanasia" program required the cooperation of many German doctors, who reviewed the medical files of patients in institutions to determine which handicapped or mentally ill individuals should be killed. The doctors also supervised the actual killings. Doomed patients were transferred to six institutions in Germany and Austria to be killed in specially constructed gas chambers. Handicapped infants and small children were also killed by injection with a deadly dose of drugs or by starvation. The bodies of the victims were burned in large ovens called crematoria.
confiscated for the war effort